On to the Bronco. Since I'm about a week behind, I have some catching up to do.
And, since photobucket is now back up, I went back and added pictures to my previous post. Check'm out!:
FULLSIZE BRONCO OF THE YEAR CONTEST - 2016! VOTE HERE!!!
As I said previously, I got my Bronco in 2004 and it has been my daily driver ever since.
When I first got it, I was pretty ignorant to a lot of mechanics. I had done some basic work, but about the extent of work I had done before was replace some gaskets on an engine. Nothing major.
The Bronco was in good shape, but it was worn out
. Considering what I've learned about it in the years, I'm pretty sure it had at, a minimum, half a million miles on it. I later learned that the engine had already been rebuilt once (the pistons in it were bored 30 over), and when I attempted to first rebuild the engine, they told me that it was so worn out that 60 over wasn't enough to true up the cylinders. Considering the longevity of the 300, there were some serious miles on this beast.
And the suspension had never been replaced. It swayed and wobbled all over the place. I took it down for an alignment and the guys at the shop took one look at it and said it was near impossible and quoted me about $2000 worth of work. Tie rod ends, ball joints, shocks, radius arm bushings, axle pivot bushings, sway bar bushings, drive shafts even. Everything was shot
Considering I was in college, and this was technically a "free" truck, there was no way I was spending $2k on it. However, my first problem was, I didn't know what any of those parts were. But it was time to learn.
So, I ordered up all the parts at my local Napa store and figured I'd try to make sense of them when they arrived.
The shocks were the originals and still had the FORD logo stamped on them. When I removed them, they would compress under their own weight, and would uncompress when I turned them upside down. Both driveshafts thumped and wobbled and blew out rust powder when I compressed them.
Now, I'm going to cheat here a little bit, since it'd been 11 years, and I hadn't maintained it very well in that time (learned my lesson on that one), so last year, I did it all again.
Ahhh.... Fresh parts
Getting to the axle pivot bushings without removing the axles is a difficult. But... getting the old ones out... Even more so. I never want to do it again.
This is after hours of hammering.
Now for some ball joint work. The old ones were so bad I could shake them around and they'd flop side to side.
Pressing the old ones out. Not my favorite task without a vice. I had to stand on / hold the knuckle between my legs to keep it from spinning around while I pressed them. But, you do what you have to do.
New joints pressed in.
When the axle was out, I noticed it was nice and crunchy when I turned it, so time for a new U-Joint
After some heat, WD-40, and tightening the press a little at a time until I thought it was going to break, I heard the satisfying POP of the old joint releasing.
New joint in place
Now that it's got a new suspension and isn't dangerous to drive, it's time to go have some fun with it.