I'm thinking about building a Bronco for Prerunning, chasing, street cruiser and family 4x4 rig. I need something that's REALLY reliable, comfortable to drive on the street for multiple hours, comfortable offroad, seats 4 and not a maintanence nightmare. I have a few questions on how to build it "bulletproof" and cost. When I "service" or replace any part of the truck I want to do it once and do it right.
Platform - Stock 1995 Bronco with 125,000 miles
#1 - Engine. Main concern is reliablilty, smog, HP - In that order. Rebuild? Replace? Cost? [COLOR="Red"]I would keep the stock set up witha set of headers and call it good, rebuild or replace it is your choice based on your sklls and time. If you want to build some bigger HP consider a 393 stroker, as long as you dont get crazy on the cam you can still pass smog. Cost can be anywhere from 3k-10k depending on what you do and what you farm out.
#2 - Tranny. I'd prefer to keep the stock tranny with overdrive or a different tranny with O/D. Pros? Cons? Cost? 5 speed? I know the C6 is cheaper and stronger, but not as comfortable to drive from Cabo to California.... do the pros of the C6 outweigh the Cons of everything else?
IMO for a dual purpose toy/driver the E4OD is adequate, I would have a good trans shop rebuild/freshen it and add a trans filter/oversized cooler. THe C-6 while a simpler and stouter unit will give you some benefits but unless you are building 500HP and racing I dont think it is really worth the effort to swap for your application.
#3 - Rearend. I would replace and upgrade to a Currie or ? Cost?
Alot of folks will tell you the 8.8 isnt worht a darn but so far I have yet to have a problem for my use, replace the axles with a good upgrade (strange/moser etc) and have fun. If you are dead set on going with the 9" then you will need to either fab or relocate a new VSS toner ring for your 95 not too bad to do but another item and you did state reliability is a concern. Cost again is a wide range depending on what you have done( regear, locker etc) a guesstimate would be 2k-5k 5k being a new rear end , if you regear dont forget the front.
#4 - Front Suspension. I'm leaning towards the Camburg stlye lenghten beams, King Coilovers, king bypass, heimed radius arms. What about replacing the stock Spindle? Who makes it? Also, I'd prefer to upgrade the hub and brake
Ths is a great system but remeber you will need new axles at a high cost, you can do coilovers without extening the beams, call camburg regarding the spindles that they recomend.
#5 - Rear Suspension. Either leafs or 4 link. Can I still fit 2 people in the back if the shocks come through the floor? Travel with leafs = 18"?
IMO unless you are going to stretch the Bronco a 4 link is not going to be worth it, possiblya cantilever set up may but you will still be limited by the short driveshaft (one benefit of a C-6 longer driveshaft). Look inot Autofabs 2 llink set up, it yeilds you 18" in the rear, I would consider a set of deavers vs nationals and consider using the F-150 leaves instread. If you have anything come into the cab then you will have a difficult time at best in retaining 4 seats, I have seen it once the guy had his shocks angled back instead of forwards, the rig worked well too.
#6 - Cage. I have this department covered (good friend is doing the fab work) I am jealous
#7 - Fiberglass. I like Autofab.
#8 - If I do go "all out" and 4 link the rear, shouldn't the Bronco be strecthed about 12". It seems silly to spend all that time and money on a Prerunner with a 105" wheelbase. If I do stretch it, what will that cost???
I already addressed this further up but the answer is yes stretching the wheelbase is really the only way to get the full benefit of the 4 link , again our travel in the rear is really limited by our driveshaft angles as afar as cost goes if you need to ask on this one you dont want to know, I am going to take a stab and say 40-50k by the time its said and done to lengthen/link the rear end and get the cosmetic stuff. I guess if yu have 100k to throw at it then I say go for it I would love to see it. Hope this helps I am sure that some others will chime in soon.