The Ranchero is based on a two-door station wagon platform and was marketed as a light pickup that could haul a fair amount of cargo while being easy to operate and drive, like a car. There is not enough space here to cover the various engines and features that were incorporated into the Ranchero over the years, but a few engine choices consisted of a 250 cubic-inch six-cylinder and a variety of V8 power plants that ranged from a standard 302 to a 428 cu-in. (7.0 L) Cobra Jet.
Ford’s Special Vehicles Team (SVT) went to work on the 5.8-liter small block V-8 and managed to squeeze 240 horsepower out of it. A lowered suspension, new shocks, anti-roll bars and 17-inch tires put that power to the road and made the Lighting a great handling truck in addition to being a speed demon. The Lightning cranked up to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds and blazed through the quarter mile in 15.6 seconds. The biggest complaint about the Lightning was that it gulped down gasoline.
The Routan was designed to offer a firmer suspension for a more fun driving experience. Another fail. When compared to Kia and Honda used minivans, the firmer suspension makes for a clumsier experience all around. These shortcomings put a lot of pressure on the powertrain to offer a glimmer of hope for this used minivan. Nope, nope, nope.
This may be a no-brainer to some but those who forget this in their Jeep mods often regret it later. There’s nothing like a good winch when it comes to getting yourself out of a sticky situation. Whether you’re stuck in a swampy mud pit or have found a slope you can’t crawl up, these can save the day.