Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: western n.c.
Bronco Info: '94 XLT stock 5 speed manual t-case (my 3rd bronco)
tailgate can get hung up on all the little bars that go from side to side in there. best option is to take off the cover sit in the back and have someone else roll it up while you use a flashlight to see if it's getting hung up on anything, it might just need a good greasing of the mechanism.
honestly it sounds bad with the white smoke and antifreeze drip, mine was leaking some from around the head bolts, I thought it was just the fact that the head bolts weren't sealed up (you have to put sealant on the outer ones) but it ended up being a cracked head across the whole surface... so it was leaking anti-freeze and burning it.
If there is smoke coming out the tailpipe, that's a bad sign, no matter what color it is, some is worse than others, yours sounds like coolant.
all that said, you got a badass truck, it's hard to find a manual shift bronco with a manual shift transfer case, I love mine. Mine takes a split second to go into first as well, I think that's normal.
Make sure the transmission is full of the proper type of fluid, mine actually takes automatic transmission fluid in it. Check your fluids all through the truck, transfer case, differentials, everything. If the fella did the maintenance himself that's good, the quick lube shops tend to mess up alot.
I've been doing the head job on it recently and just finished a front end rebuild (ball joints, bearings, shocks). The head job is a real bear, there's alot of useless crap on there to take off, it would be expensive for a shop to do it and time consuming for an average joe so you would have to decide if you would rather spend a few days fixing it yourself or pay some money and have a shop do it.
either way, you need to take it to a shop and have the radiator pressure tested, that will show any obvious leaks... I hope it's not a head gasket, but if it's smoking then that's about the best thing it could be. If you choose to do a head job in your garage, take the heads to a machine shop and have them checked, do not skip that part... The guy who replaced my head gasket over the summer skipped that part, that's why I'm doing it again now...
good luck and have fun in your truck
"when man behaves like a beast he loses the pain of being man" by someone somewhere sometime...
'94 XLT stock 5 speed 302