Deathmobile2 - Multi-Use 1978 Ford Bronco - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 545 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Deathmobile2 - Multi-Use 1978 Ford Bronco

Hello All,

I just took receipt of a rust free, 1978 Ford Bronco Ranger XLT. I will be building it to be a multi-use rig capable of tackling trails & highways. My intent is to build this Bronco in an authentic manner without a lot of unnecessary extras, using factory Ford parts where possible, and keeping the vehicle looking as stock as possible. Nice and clean.

I also own a 1978 Ford F-150 Ranger that I redid while in college. It was a New York truck and I learned a lot of lessons, the most important being to start with a rust free rig to begin that has maintained as much of its originality as possible. My new Bronco has that with the exception of the front seats. Every clip & hose are where they were from the factory.

There are some engine and transmission fluid leaks, but nothing that a few new gaskets won't fix. It starts with no problems and feels really solid.

I will be working this project in three phases over the next 18 months.

Phase I - Swap desirable parts from the F-150 (4" soft ride rear springs, brake hoses, track bar, MSD ignition, 35" BFG's, etc), F350 brake upgrade, new bushings all around, new front super flex springs, fix all leaks and all new weather stripping (the California sun did a number on the original stuff) and add a family bar from JBG.

I have just received the last shipment of parts from JBG, so now I can get to work.

Phase II - F&R Lockers, swap transfer case from F-150 (both 205, but F150's is recently rebuilt), rebuild engine & C6, rock sliders, front & rear bumpers, winch, dual battery upgrade (I have an original auxiliary battery tray).

At the end of Phase II, all technical mods will be completed and all components will be properly fitted. Also, the F150 will be sold at this time as it will no longer be needed.

Phase III - Paint & interior restoration (sound deadening, carpets, recover front and rear seats, interior panels, tint, new sliding windows, audio with navigation) - all done to make the Bronco appear as it was from the factory - just better.

My other vehicles include:
- 2008 Mercedes ML350 SUV - wife's car
- 2005 Infiniti G35 - for sale - I walk down the street to work or go to the airport, so not much need for it now that the Bronco will be able to carry my family, unlike the F150
- 1978 F-150 - had since HS, but the rust monster will not sleep
- 1968 Chevy C20 with factory detroit locker - for sale - I only need one classic.

I will post pictures once I upload them to a site that I can share the link for.
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post #2 of 545 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 09:03 PM
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Wow some thought has gone into that build. Looking forward to the pictures. Finally welcome aboard the site.


Rick
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post #3 of 545 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 10:48 PM
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Welcome. Sounds like a fun build. But we need pics!!!


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post #4 of 545 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 08:40 AM
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Hey there, sounds like you've got a good plan. I keep letting the plan change little bits at a time on mine, lol. Can't wait to see some pics.

My 79 build http://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/...d.php?t=207864 - Aluminum 3-core radiator, Mallory 85 HEI conversion distributor, High Angle Driveline One Tons front and rear, JBFAB Twin stick shifter kit, True trac differentials front and rear, Yukon 4.56 gears front and rear, Moser Extreme 31 spline rear axles, Borgeson adjustable steering shaft and rag joint, 95 amp 3G alternator, Fireguy/RJM Tech upgraded headlight harness, and a ton of other crap!
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post #5 of 545 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Where in Nova are you? Where do you go off road?
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post #6 of 545 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quick Update

Last weekend, I dissembled the tilt steering column. The rag joint was disintegrating due to power steering fluid leaking on to it from a poor fitting PS pump cap.

There was also a lot of play in the tilt mechanism. Once apart, I saw two small cracks in the metal that the steering column head attach to. I also needed the new lower column bearing tacked on, so I dropped off the unit at my local machine shop for that as well.

After reviewing the pivot point, I realized that the reason the upper and lower flange seem to flop around is that the pins work themselves back out just enough to create a loose fit. I am going to apply a small amount of epoxy to the lower flange (where pins go in) just to hold them in place. In the upper flange, I will lube the pin with graphite.

Once that is complete, I will be able to reinstall the column and take the Bronco in for its safety inspection.

On another note, I have sourced a pair of excellent shape 79 Bronco Captains chairs. They are brown and will need to be recovered at some point, but they are Ford OEM parts that will be a great improvement on the current junkyard seats.

Also, I am going to add a 2004 Tahoe third row similar to what was installed in the Rator Blue 78. The 2004 has three integrated shoulder belts - perfect for child booster seats. I will also be replacing my original belts with OEM style replacements from JBG - they are 35 years old and show their age.

I now have all the parts in hand to do the F350 brake upgrade, Suspension Upgrade and replace the leaking valve cover gaskets with new gaskets and studs.

Finally, what is everyone using to post pictures? I am looking for the easiest solution to publish them from my blackberry's camera.
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post #7 of 545 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 10:46 AM
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Yeah we need to see some pics of the Deathmobile. I use photobucket, it's quick, it's easy and there is an app to direct upload of photos to your account. How bad are the OEM seatbelts and what color are they?


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post #8 of 545 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deathmobile2 View Post
Where in Nova are you? Where do you go off road?
Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, I forgot to subscribe to your thread.
I'm in Aldie...it's between Chantilly and Leesburg just off of Rte 15 and Rte 50. I go off-roading here at my house.
Once you get used to using the site, you'll find lots off good info, but it does take practice.....posting pics for instance. I went the lazy route and upgraded my membership, but there's threads here about using "Supermotors". You post your pics there and link them to this site...too technical for me, but tons of folks do it.

My 79 build http://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/...d.php?t=207864 - Aluminum 3-core radiator, Mallory 85 HEI conversion distributor, High Angle Driveline One Tons front and rear, JBFAB Twin stick shifter kit, True trac differentials front and rear, Yukon 4.56 gears front and rear, Moser Extreme 31 spline rear axles, Borgeson adjustable steering shaft and rag joint, 95 amp 3G alternator, Fireguy/RJM Tech upgraded headlight harness, and a ton of other crap!
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post #9 of 545 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 07:12 AM Thread Starter
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Bronco Info: 1978 XLT Ranger; 400, AT, 37" MTR's,4.88's & Lockers,5" Deavers, No Rust & No Knicknacks!
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Initial Pictures

Ok, so I started a Flickr account to document the build and share the photos. These are photos from the seller that I have on my computer. I will take more throughout the process.

The deciding factor to go with this truck was its lack of rust. I dealt with it on my 1978 F-150 and now that truck is wasting away again.







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post #10 of 545 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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Bronco Info: 1978 XLT Ranger; 400, AT, 37" MTR's,4.88's & Lockers,5" Deavers, No Rust & No Knicknacks!
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Interior Ideas

While my son and I were getting our hair cut yesterday, I was telling my long time barber about the new project and he made a suggestion that I really like. Given the color scheme of the truck, I should go with white vinyl seats to give it that cool 70's vibe. The more I thought of it, the more I liked it. I am thinking of covering the seats in white pleated vinyl as well as the headliner. The rest of the interior would just be stock blue.

Here are some pictures of the seats that I am picking up tomorrow - 1979 Bronco Captains Chairs. They fit my goal of using as many OEM elements as possible.



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post #11 of 545 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 08:57 AM
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That is a good looking Bronco you got there. Those seats are amazing...redone in white should look really nice too.

My 79 build http://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/...d.php?t=207864 - Aluminum 3-core radiator, Mallory 85 HEI conversion distributor, High Angle Driveline One Tons front and rear, JBFAB Twin stick shifter kit, True trac differentials front and rear, Yukon 4.56 gears front and rear, Moser Extreme 31 spline rear axles, Borgeson adjustable steering shaft and rag joint, 95 amp 3G alternator, Fireguy/RJM Tech upgraded headlight harness, and a ton of other crap!
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post #12 of 545 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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OEM's are black (retractor sidie) and blue (floor side) - someone changed the floor side at some point. They are greying up a bit. I will take a picture and post it. I need new plastic sleeves to hold up the belts and given what I am doing with this Bronco, I need a matched pair.
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post #13 of 545 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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New Rear Seat Option

I am going to install a third row seat out of a late model Tahoe. I like this one as it has three integrated shoulder belts. I have some measurements to make and will have to find/fabricate the brackets, but this should be a lot safer for my passengers than the lap belts. Also good for kids booster seats!

BIGOLTEX likes this.
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post #14 of 545 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 01:44 PM
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Those CC look real nice and the tahoe rear is an outstanding idea. I found a company that sells the seatbelts that will work in these truck cheaper than lmc and jbg but they just aren't oem looking enough. Just a thought on the white vynl seat how are the going to hold up to wheeling in the Bronco? Lastly the Bronco looks real nice and those two areas are well known to rust and they look nice and solid.


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Filly

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post #15 of 545 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Good quality vinyl cleans up just fine. I can throw a set of inexpensive covers on if needed when wheeling. My objective is to build a rig that doesn't get stuck/be smart enough not to let my balls overrule my brain.
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post #16 of 545 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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Valve Covers & Oil Pan

I am looking for a set of clean (no dents) stock valve covers and oil pan for my 400.

The 400 is very strong and I suspect was rebuilt at some time in the past 10 years. I want to powder coat the valve covers, oil pan, Edlebrock intake and air cleaner assembly.

The 400 currently has a set of chrome motorsport covers (willing to trade) and the stock pan, so I need replacements that I can take to my powder coat shop.
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post #17 of 545 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deathmobile2 View Post
My objective is to build a rig that doesn't get stuck/be smart enough not to let my balls overrule my brain.
I think most of us have that problem, er, I mean "goal".
Friendly note, be careful.......you have a low post count.

My 79 build http://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/...d.php?t=207864 - Aluminum 3-core radiator, Mallory 85 HEI conversion distributor, High Angle Driveline One Tons front and rear, JBFAB Twin stick shifter kit, True trac differentials front and rear, Yukon 4.56 gears front and rear, Moser Extreme 31 spline rear axles, Borgeson adjustable steering shaft and rag joint, 95 amp 3G alternator, Fireguy/RJM Tech upgraded headlight harness, and a ton of other crap!
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post #18 of 545 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Got you.
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post #19 of 545 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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I will try and increase my post count.
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post #20 of 545 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Does that sound like a plan.
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