my 96 ford bronco

Discussion in 'Trucks' started by 78jdbronco, Apr 7, 2016.

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  1. 78jdbronco

    78jdbronco Greenie Member

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    so back in the day, i had a pretty sweet '81 bronco. it had a 351m engine but wasn't outlandish. i loved the thing. i couldn't get it stuck, it climbed hills like a dang goat, but i couldn't afford the 8mpg either. so i sold it...but i never lost the love for it.

    fast forward 17 years or so, and i was able to buy another.

    i bought this in late january 2015 in tucson, az. it was nearly exactly what i wanted and, most importantly, it was in my very modest budget.

    @Enki; was gracious enough to inspect it in person for me before i flew out. he even picked me up from the airport and chauffeured me to the guy's house.

    ultimately, i flew out, bought it, and drove it back the 930 miles to dallas. it ran great. i averaged 15-17 mpg doing up to 75 mph, as speed limits allowed. it was also REALLY cold b/c the heater didn't work.

    the stats:
    1996 Eddie Bauer
    351w / E4OD transmission
    Tow package
    "red" & tan
    223,000 miles


    good:
    rust free
    straight body
    stock condition
    door windows work
    doesn't burn oil
    doesn't leak any brake or transmission fluids
    came with a custom roll cage (this was a big factor for me since i would have had to get one before i let my kids ride in the back with the top off.)

    if it was a house, they'd say it has good bones

    bad:
    leaky rear-main seal
    no a/c
    back window/tailgate sensor problem
    leaky back window
    incredibly soft steering
    engine won't warm up properly
    no heater
    only one speaker worked
    airbag light is on
    worn out interior
    front bumper is damaged, needs to be replaced


    i know everyone likes pictures, so here's what i started with.

    these were from the for sale ad.
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    this is after i got it home
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    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
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  2. 78jdbronco

    78jdbronco Greenie Member

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    i forgot to mention my plans for the bronco. basically, i want it mildly modified. my daughter will drive it at some point, so i'm not going to lift it until she's moved out or old enough to have experience driving it. but, this is a great family adventure vehicle. that said, i am doing tons of maintenance on it plus a few minor upgrades.

    the stereo barely worked. only one speaker had sound. i replaced that with an aftermarket radio and 4 new speakers. i ran new speaker wire throughout.

    the back window leaked. this was my temporary solution.
    [​IMG]

    it was leaking b/c the tailgate sheet metal was torn. i had it welded by a local muffler shop.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    then the welds broke. so i riveted it. doesn't look great but you guys know...form>function. leak: fixed.
    [​IMG]



    the engine didn't warm up b/c the thermostat was backwards
    the heater didn't work b/c the heater core was clogged
    i removed the aftermarket cold water intake, i mean cold air intake with the factory one. it's a great design.
    redid most of the front suspension. still needs ball joints.
    the back window motor would sometimes work. there's a safety switch back there that acts up. i bypassed it.

    i took the bronco to three different locally respected 4x4 shops to look at that roll cage. i told them my goals for the truck and asked if i should have them tie it to the frame. the consensus was this: they could do it, but it was unnecessary. the cage was well built and would be sufficient for a basic rollover. if/when i lift it i will have the cage modified to tie to the frame.

    airbag light is on. turns out the guy who built the cage removed a side sensor for the air bag. the sensor and cage occupy the same space, so no more air bag. but that's fine with me. i'm not sure i trust 20 yr old first generation air bag technology.
    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 7, 2016 ---
    shout out @Donny@RPM for this one. he sold me my brake pads and rotors.

    went to change brake pads & rotors. found the rubber dust boots on the pistons were kaput. the caliper bolts were sticking, as evidenced by the uneven wear on one side. and, when the previous owner converted from auto to manual hubs, he failed to pick up the spindle nut conversion.

    so, in the end, i installed the following:
    a1 cardone reman calipers (both sides)
    new caliper bolts
    hawk LTS brake pads (HB295Y.630)
    centric premium rotors (120.65041)
    warn premium locking hubs (20990)
    mile marker spindle conversion kit (95-32720)
    brake fluid flush (valvoline brake fluid)

    the only thing i forgot to picture was the calipers. and the old brake parts. they were toasted.

    check out the first bit of brake fluid to come out of there. it was pretty gross.

    [​IMG]
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    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
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  3. Castillo817

    Castillo817 Greenie Member

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    Nice!
    I need to make a thread about my truck.
     
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  4. 78jdbronco

    78jdbronco Greenie Member

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    the previous owner had a CB installed, but the antenna wasn't mounted. i bought a few mounts and settled on one to go to the tire carrier. the fluorescent orange antenna has been replaced with a black shorter one.

    [​IMG]


    i pulled out the back carpet because it was super funky. i replaced it with this anti-fatigue mat. i have a gallon of herculiner sitting in the garage. at some point i'll coat the entire bed area.

    what was really cool was when i pulled the carpet, i found the build sheet for the bronco. i had that laminated.
    [​IMG]

    i was excited when my spare tire cover came in. the old one was held on wit bailing wire and zip ties.

    [​IMG]

    i installed my trailer hitch, curt 14001.
    [​IMG]

    i had to relocate my 7 pin plug because it was in the way of the hitch.
    [​IMG]

    you can see how FUBAR'd my front bumper was. summer vacation was spent in my parents' camper.
    [​IMG]
    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 8, 2016 ---
    later i did some work on aesthetics. i changed my chrome grill out for a black one that i sprayed with bed liner. i also pulled my pumper and bent it back in place, to some degree. (really, the bumper mounts bent, not the bumper)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    i also sprayed my side mirrors, but i guess i don't have pics of that. you'll have to take my word for it.

    i vinyl wrapped the faux wood grain trim.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    i removed the chrome over the wheel wells and repainted the wiper arms.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    and i painted my roll cage with bed liner.
    [​IMG]

    after that, bought a used tuffy console. it has a space for a radio/CB, so i moved my CB into it. then i got a second set of cup holders for the people in the back.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    i later welded some bolts to the floor board to bolt the console in place.
    [​IMG]

    i made a deal with a local bronco owner. i bought material 2x and he welded up a set of rock sliders for me. they also got coated in bed liner.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    i swapped out the cigarette lighter for a 2 plug USB charger.
    [​IMG]
    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 8, 2016 ---
    $60 and some effort in the junk yard later, i had a new set of seats. the only downside is the driver side arm rest on my seats is in worse shape than i realized. i'm going to have to get a new cushion for that. i will try to get the one from the JY first, but if that doesn't work out, then i guess i'll order a new one. and, the seats didn't come with a passenger arm rest. so i had to reuse my current passenger arm rest. but it's in great shape, so no biggie.

    really, the seats are probably 90-95% perfect. now if i could just do something with that carpet...

    i spent more on the seat covers (that i used to cover up the seats for the past year) than i spent on the replacement seats. that just blows my mind.


    first old and busted:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    and the new hotness:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    i was able to get my driver side arm rest installed. i had to weld a section of a nut to replace the damaged arm rest part. then i stuck a little duck tape on the top to help the pad from getting worn out as fast.
    [​IMG]
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    and my carpet was so funky, i finally pulled it and took it to the car wash.
    before
    [​IMG]

    washing
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    it was so dirty, i went back a second time and washed it again that same day. finally installed...

    [​IMG]

    here's my son using the leaf blower on the floor mats.
    [​IMG]

    and the final touch to my interior clean up was a "new" dash pad.
    out with the old and in with the new
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    and the guy who sold me the dash pad invited me to go to his second garage in the back yard. he said he had a few other pieces i might want. i didn't. i was please, however, that i wasn't taken to a torture dungeon. i think he was looking for an excuse to show me his 70 challenger and 87 GNX. he said the GNX was #112 or something crazy. they made less than 600 that year.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
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  5. 78jdbronco

    78jdbronco Greenie Member

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    i have done more but don't have time to post.

    for now, i'm going to post what i'm ordering because i am excite. and i've come across some ridiculous deals so that really pleases my cheap (poor) side. i'm going to do some suspension, some power steering, and some gauges.

    suspension
    going to install 1.5" leveling coils in the front (basically a lift of the front end since it is angled to the front)
    i've ordered new centric premium ball joints for $75 from carID, which is awesome b/c it's so cheap. not even rock auto can touch the price on a set of MOOGs.
    this will require some alignment bushings. normally they're about $25 ea, but i found one on rock auto from SPC (warehouse closeout) for $4. the other i got "used" moog from amazon for $20.

    steering
    i'm swapping the noisy stock power steering pump with a saginaw pump i got from a junk yard off an econoline van i bought / sold other stuff from that day and basically am coming away from the deal with the pump for free.
    i'm also changing the steering gear. they are notorious for getting loose like <insert sex joke>. i'm replacing it with one off an econoline since it's 95% bolt up. those don't wear out. should be less than $40 at the JY.
    adding the pump will require a new belt to match the van and a new p/s hose. all told, i paid $20 for those combined.

    gauges
    adding bosch transmission temp, oil pressure, and water temp gauges on an autometer a-pillar pod.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
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  6. 78jdbronco

    78jdbronco Greenie Member

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    well, over the last couple weeks i installed new ball joints, a power steering pump from a 96 econoline, that required a new (longer) serpentine belt so i got that, a steering gear from an 03 econoline, a custom high pressure steering hose, a modified return hose plus a p/s fluid filter, and got an alignment. i love being able to go to a junk yard and search for parts.

    my truck drives like a new vehicle. it's really pretty awesome. going from 3" of play in steering to a completely tight steering situation is amazing.

    and if you're not keeping up at home, the work i did on the front end closes the book on front suspension for the foreseeable future. i've replaced every front end bushing as well as every steering component. it was expensive and time consuming, but the difference is day and night. and finally i'll feel comfortable letting my daughter drive it.

    [​IMG]

    here are the parts ready to go on
    [​IMG]

    stock return hose
    [​IMG]

    modified hose w/filter
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    everything installed
    [​IMG]

    finally, over the weekend i picked up a set of 4.10 gears for the rear out of a sport trac at the junk yard. boom. whenever i get new tires, i'll go from 31s to 33s. and at that point, i'll want to gear up (down?) to maintain a ratio that's close to stock.
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Castillo817

    Castillo817 Greenie Member

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    Nice progress! I need to get rid of the massive play that my f250 has.
     
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  8. Easter Bunny

    Easter Bunny Professional Engineer Gold Member

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    Did you also get a gear for the front?
     
    Easter Bunny, via a HTC device, Jun 3, 2016
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  9. 78jdbronco

    78jdbronco Greenie Member

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    no, not yet. i'm hoping to find an f250 with 4.10s in the front that i can pillage the ring, pinion, and carrier. barring that, i'll have to buy a new ring/pinion plus a carrier. the carrier break is something in the 3.90 range and i have 3.55s now.
     
  10. 78jdbronco

    78jdbronco Greenie Member

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    I have a rear main leak, a valve cover leak, an oil pan leak, and water pump gasket leak.

    Gonna pull the engine and replace all gaskets except the heads.


    [​IMG]
     
    78jdbronco, via a mobile device, Jan 23, 2017
    #10
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  11. Littleloogy

    Littleloogy Recovering Speed Addict Platinum Member

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    Should replace the heads too, after all it is a ford.

    How many miles on the block? Original engine?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
    Littleloogy, via a mobile device, Jan 23, 2017
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  12. 78jdbronco

    78jdbronco Greenie Member

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    it's original as far as i know...right at 240,000 miles. that thing is nasty dirty.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  13. Littleloogy

    Littleloogy Recovering Speed Addict Platinum Member

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    I bet all that caked oil is helping to seal the leaks. Can't wait to see it torn apart! What a mess.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
    Littleloogy, via a mobile device, Jan 30, 2017
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  14. Redline

    Redline I done fucked up for the last time. BANNED Greenie Member

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    Time for twin K04 install!
     
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  15. stg_ms3

    stg_ms3 Greenie Member

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    Any plans for the engine, or are you just fixing the leaks?
     
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  16. 78jdbronco

    78jdbronco Greenie Member

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    i'm just replacing the gaskets. broke a couple bolts. got out one. the other had to go to the machine shop. i'll start reassembly this weekend.
    inside looks good, though
    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    and then i cleaned it
    [​IMG]
     
  17. 78jdbronco

    78jdbronco Greenie Member

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    i got the engine cleaned up and installed.
    [​IMG]

    then installed some gauges
    [​IMG]

    i ended up having to buy new wheels because the used-but-new-to-me wheels that i had installed when i bought new tires in the fall were bad. they look nearly identical to the wheels i removed, so no pics necessary.

    i installed some an oh shit handle.
    [​IMG]

    the in-tank fuel level float sprung a leak and filled with gas, rendering my gas gauge useless. sooo...instead of dropping the tank, i cut a hole over the tank.
    [​IMG]

    and installed a plastic fuel float for a jeep
    [​IMG]

    after that was fixed, then i installed new shocks
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    with the truck essentially leak free, running smooth, riding smooth, and with everything going well i decided to go to the off-road park. and then i did this.
    [​IMG]

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    i almost made it! in all honesty, had i realized it got that deep at the end of the puddle i wouldn't have gone through it in the first place. i ended up killing my fan clutch.
    [​IMG]

    fixed that and went back on my way. drove around for the day and then hit up a car wash on the way home. aggressively power washed the under side of the bronco. on the way home, it wouldn't shift higher than 2nd gear. otherwise it's fine. had to tow it home. and now it sits until i can figure out what the hell.
     
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  18. Easter Bunny

    Easter Bunny Professional Engineer Gold Member

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    How many miles did you drive before fucking it all up again?

    Probably just water in one of the electrical connectors to the transmission.
     
  19. 78jdbronco

    78jdbronco Greenie Member

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    well it was like 60-70 from my house to the off-road park...so i probably did 100 or so. it's still down and i'm quickly running out of ideas. if my last ditch effort fails, then i'm taking it to a shop i know.

    *edit* i drove it a bit after the re-seal. which, the rear main still fucking leaks. i guess i should have gone with a repair sleeve. but after the engine, i still had to chase out a high speed vibration. then i did the shocks and it was perfect...until the next day.
     
  20. 78jdbronco

    78jdbronco Greenie Member

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    well...well...water got in and started to delaminate the clutches. and, the torque converter was failing (as in disintegrating). and the valve for the 2-3 shift was stuck. it was so screwed up that was impossible to tell what was the first problem.

    i had the transmission rebuilt, replaced the torque converter and a few other parts, and i'm back in business. i guess i'll have to stay out of the water for a while now, though. lol

    also - while the transmission was out i dropped the oil pan and stuck some silicone gasket maker in a few spots. i didn't know to do it the first time through and turns out that was the source of the leak.
     
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