Fix it now, or fix it when I get it up here?

My Grandfather gave me a 1963 Ford Ranchero for Christmas. It has a 260 V8 with a 4-speed on the floor. It runs, but the only problem is the brakes (the pads and the tubing from the master cylinder to the brake drum) are no good, and the power steering pump needs fixing. It also has a leaky roof. My grandfather’s house is 180 miles away from mine (he lives in Coos Bay, OR, I live in Salem), and I was originally going to go down with my uncle and haul it up via a car trailer, then fix it here.

However, my dad just called, and said as a Christmas present, he said if it wasn’t too horribly expensive to fix, he’d wire us the money to pay for it (the brakes and power steering).

Would it be easier to fix it to the point of where it runs and rive it, or just haul it up and fix it here?

I would haul it home. No matter what you think you know about this old vehicle, it will surprise you with something else, and you are way better off dealing with it at home. It’s just got to be really unsafe to drive it that far. The tires must be dried out and crumbly, and everything needs to be cleaned, lubricated, inspected, etc.

You can’t drive it only because there’s a problem with the brakes. And that’s only what you can see. Another area of the brake system could fail that you didn’t see while it’s driven. Haul it.

Cool car by the way!


If you’ve already got your uncle to help trailer it to your place I’d do that. It will only be a 3 to 4 hour haul. If you try fixing it where it is who knows what else you might run into that also needs attention, plus you could then have a breakdown on the drive back. Work on it at your place, then you can drive it nearby and if anything happens it will be easier to tow back to your house.

Haul it home and find a mechanic to fix it correctly. Brakes and steering are not things you want to gamble with.

It’s unlikely there are any “pads” on this vehicle. It probably has four drum brakes, which require brake shoes, not pads. The tubing, however, is the major concern. If the brake lines are no good you can’t drive it. It wouldn’t be safe, and this is not going to be a cheap repair.

Why does a Ranchero have a leaky roof?

Definitely haul it home. Bad brake lines are an absolute no-no to be driving.

Imagine if one of those lines fail and you become maimed or killed or maim or kill someone else. Imagine what that would do to the rest of your life and the lives of all those you (and/or the other party to the crash) love and hold dear. Christmas would forever be a time of tears, sorrow, and horrible memories.

Do not chance this. Haul it home.