My 81's Road to Road-Worthiness - Page 5 - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #81 of 154 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Booma View Post
LMC sells a plastic dash pad cover that fits very well.
Thanks, it looks good and it's good to know their's fits very nice. That's what I may end up with as my dash pad is in very bad shape.
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post #82 of 154 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Got some Bronco time today. I had been reading about troubles with headlight switches, so I pulled mine to check it out. There was no evidence of connections heating up, so I cleaned it up and put it back in. I do plan on a HD headlight harness in the future. Also cleaned the wiper switch as it had not been working the best. Actually took it apart and cleaned the contacts and it still worked when I was finished (after I remembered you have to have the ignition on, but we don't need to go into that).

Got the instrument cluster back together and reinstalled. It's nice having all the lights working and the indicator lenses back in. I did a Red Green repair on the lenses, actually a little better as I used foil tape to secure them. The stuff sticks really good, so I think it will hold up; we'll see.

I've been trying to to get the floor pan cleaned up so I can install the new carpet. Got the rusted areas cleaned up and painted. Most was surface rust where the padding under the mat was holding moisture from the leaking heater core. The worse spot was at the upper right where there were a couple small holes. Will post pics of the repair later).



Was cleaning at the bottom of the B pillars/rear of rocker panels at the access hole. There was dirt and gravel in there, but the metal looks pretty clean. I need to get some Fluid Film to spray in there.

I took a step backwards though. I decided to remove the dash pad since I already had some of the screws out. I'll have to post a pic of it. Maybe when you all see how bad it is, someone will feel sorry for me and sell me one they've been hoarding.
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post #83 of 154 (permalink) Old 01-14-2017, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I took a step backwards and pulled the instrument cluster back out after deciding on doing a 3G conversion and reading it is recommended to eliminate the ammeter when doing so or converting it to a volt meter. I saw where someone had put an aftermarket gauge in the stock location, but it had a different face on it. I also saw where I could send it off to have the conversion done to the stock gauge, but with shipping it would be over $50. So, I bought a Sunpro voltmeter on Amazon and put the mechanism in the stock housing, keeping the stock face. Here's the voltmeter for reference: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

After carefully prying the stock face off, I had to modify it by cutting a section out of the bottom so it would slide onto the housing with the aftermarket mechanism in it.



I had to flatten the bottom of the housing between the holes so the aftermarket works would sit flat and file the holes a bit as the posts were just a tad narrower than stock.



I had to shim the bottom of the works with a couple of washers on each side and pieces of Folgers lid (to insulate) to raise it as high as I could b/c the stock face is thicker than the aftermarket one and the needle barely clears after shaving the battery icon and the white indicator lines down.



The aftermarket works was a very tight fit in the stock housing. I had to bend the resistors to get them to clear and make sure the tail of the needle didn't hit the flat section of the housing.



The face snaps on the housing nicely with the notch cut out. I thought about cutting the aftermarket needle off and grafting on the stock needle, but didn't want to take the chance of it falling off.



I had to elongate the holes in the cluster housing slightly. A buddy gave me a cluster from an 82 F150. I swapped the printed circuit onto mine b/c the ammeter circuit was burned on it so I didn't feel as bad cutting it out. You can see remnants of the burned circuit between where I cut it out.



I need to find some paint for the faded stock needles, but after finding a switched hot it should be ready for the 3G.

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post #84 of 154 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Here's my original dash pad. I think it's been over-baked.



Here's one I picked up locally off Cl. Not perfect, but as you can see, much better than the original. I'd like to put some kind of tray or compartment with a lid in the area of the speaker grill if anyone has any ideas.



I'm going to have to quit hanging out here, you guys give me all these ideas of things I need to do. I wasn't planing on doing a 3G or headlight harness upgrade, but figured I might as well do them and get it over with. I still need to run a new battery ground wire. I wired in 2 extra fuse holders and ran an extra wire to the driver's side for future use.



This is the second 3G I bought off eBay. They both failed the O'Reilly test, showing they were charging a little too high out of range. The first one also had bad bearings, so I sent it back. Thought I'd just try this one and replace the regulator if need be.



With the HD headlight harness, my emergency headlight flasher no longer works, so I worked on eliminating it tonight. I'm planning to reuse the toggle switch in the future for lights.

I also got the passenger floor pan cleaned up and ready to put some Frost King duct insulation down.
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post #85 of 154 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 09:46 PM
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I have never felt the need to go to a 1G or 3G alternator. That is a very over used modification that usually is not needed. And for that reason, I have never had an alternator failure or associated problems because of it. With my restoration work in the Mustang world, I see these mods all the time, like it is something someone must do . . just not so.
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post #86 of 154 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
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To each his own, but I suppose we all do things, especially to our Broncos, that aren't necessarily must do stuff. But I suppose you didn't see many dual battery systems, off road lights or winches on Mustangs either. No, I don't have these on my Bronco either - yet.
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post #87 of 154 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 09:10 AM
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A winch isn't a problem because of how it is used. Lots of driving lights would add to the amperage draw. Dual battery doesn't mean anything because a charging system, if operating correctly, covers the draw of the electrical system. That hasn't much if anything to do with the draw to charge a battery that is already charged. But I understand what you are trying to say. I'm more than just a guy that "fixes" Mustangs, I am a retired auto teacher as well.
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post #88 of 154 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 09:41 AM
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You might have trouble with the 3G alternator and your v-belt set up. The 3G is harder to turn when its charging and it may cause the belt to squeal. I see your alternator has a double belt pulley but you're only using one. If you change out your power steering belt to a Gates 7612 it will go around the alternator too.

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post #89 of 154 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 11:37 AM
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Scoop, I tried doubling up the belt for my power steering pump and second alternator groove, and I would shred a belt about every two weeks. Pretty frustrating until I tracked down the problem. Unlike a serpentine, I don't think V-Belts are designed to be used on more than one pulley at a time. If you have an alternator and a power steering pump that have two different resistances to turn, that belt is going to stretch on one side and have slack on the other, which fatigues it really, really fast.


As for the alternator upgrade, that's something I've never done either and never missed it. Granted, no winch, no extra lights, no powerful subwoofer, etc.

And nice find on replacing the dashboard cap. I've been trying to find one for mine but you'd be amazed how rare a black interior is. In 10 years, I haven't ever found another 80 - 86 F-series or Bronco with a black interior. At least, not in a junk yard. =P
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post #90 of 154 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AbandonedBronco View Post
Scoop, I tried doubling up the belt for my power steering pump and second alternator groove, and I would shred a belt about every two weeks. Pretty frustrating until I tracked down the problem. Unlike a serpentine, I don't think V-Belts are designed to be used on more than one pulley at a time. If you have an alternator and a power steering pump that have two different resistances to turn, that belt is going to stretch on one side and have slack on the other, which fatigues it really, really fast.


As for the alternator upgrade, that's something I've never done either and never missed it. Granted, no winch, no extra lights, no powerful subwoofer, etc.

And nice find on replacing the dashboard cap. I've been trying to find one for mine but you'd be amazed how rare a black interior is. In 10 years, I haven't ever found another 80 - 86 F-series or Bronco with a black interior. At least, not in a junk yard. =P
I remember when you were having trouble shredding belts, was wondering if you ever figured out what was causing it, kinda makes sense.

I'm going to paint my dash pad (and other trim parts) gray. I'm sure you know, but you could paint one black. I posted a link to a nice looking one on ebay. Here it is: 1980-1986 FORD TRUCK AND BRONCO DASH PAD | eBay
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post #91 of 154 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 01:43 PM
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Oooh, that one is nice.

How well does painting trim pieces work? I've heard of people doing it, but is it specific trim paint? Or just regular spray paint?

Yeah, I should probably go back and update that thread (thought I did, must've forgot) but it was kind of a two part thing. I first was shredding them because my old stock power steering pump was wearing out and putting too much drag on the belt, then after I did a Saginaw swap, the pulley then prevented me from running the two belts for the alternator (originally it used the third outer groove). So I tried the one big belt around the pump and the alternator, and it kept shredding them again.
I now have one belt on the alternator and one on the PS pump and it's been good for months. Ultimately, I'd like to get a different pulley on the PS that moves it further forward to that outer groove so I can put two belts back on the alternator, but for now it works.
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post #92 of 154 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 01:59 PM
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AB, so you think that's why I shredded mine last week?? LOL Maybe it is. I'll keep an eye on it. But I really hate to see a double pulley not being used! Must be my OCD . . .
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post #93 of 154 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 02:01 PM
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I didn't even put 2 and 2 together, Scoop! I was just commenting on you shredding your belt just like mine.

And yes, I think that's why. I think I went through about 3 belts before I realized what was going on.
An empty pulley groove on the alternator is driving me crazy too. When I pull my engine here in a month or so to put in my rebuilt one, I'm going to measure the power steering pulley and how much further forward I want to move it, so I can get a different one. Then... two belts back on the alternator and a single on the PS pump. Just like it should be!
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post #94 of 154 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbandonedBronco View Post
Oooh, that one is nice.

How well does painting trim pieces work? I've heard of people doing it, but is it specific trim paint? Or just regular spray paint?
They make special plastic paint. My buddy has an 81 F150 that Colorbond on and it has held up well. Some recommend other brands, but like any painting, prep is key. Here's a thread about it: Interior spray dye thoughts?
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post #95 of 154 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 09:23 PM
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Cold galvanizing or rustolium works on the outside, I have used aplience epoxy paint too. A couple bicycle inner tubes work great for insulators.
I used Eastwood Rust Encapsulator on mine and then topcoated with Rustoleum silver.

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post #96 of 154 (permalink) Old 01-28-2017, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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I went and done it now...

I am painting the plastic parts gray, and wasn't going to paint the dash, but I figured I'd never get it this close to coming off again and I knew I would really like it to be the same color as the rest of the plastic, so here we are.



I had a couple things that needed to be taken care of behind the dash, then I found the blend door our of position. It appears to me that the right side of the door should be hinged. Or is it just supposed to be tucked into the corner?

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post #97 of 154 (permalink) Old 01-28-2017, 10:42 PM
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The blend door on our 1981 Bronco was messed up when we got it. Most of the time the air would only blow out of the dash vents, only once did it blow out of the defrost vents. Finally spent some time on it a couple of months back. The blend door was just as yours looks. After testing it, I finally figured out that the door needed to be hinged somehow on the right side. All I could do at the time was to use some really sticky duct tape to make it hinge. It has held up fine since. I might look at it further sometime down the road.
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post #98 of 154 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Got my instrument cluster back together a few days ago. I clipped the pointed end of the stock needles so they match the new volt meter. Went to Hobby Lobby and picked up Model Master Fluorescent Red FS28915 model paint and applied to the needles. I think it turned out pretty good.



Pulled the evaporator and found this:



I went ahead and disconnected the lines as there wasn't any refrigerant in it. I'm thinking about leaving it out for now until I get around to replacing all the o-rings, etc.
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post #99 of 154 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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I just installed my seat covers from https://www.seatcoversunlimited.com/...r-p-16149.html and I'm very please with them. Took about 3 weeks from order to my door. I guess the only way to get something better is to take them to an upholstery shop. They have slots for the seatbelts and back release levers. They use velcro to secure the bottom, along with a drawstring around the bottom front and sides. The backs have loops sewn in and includes strings to fasten. The original cover shows on the backs of the bottom, but it wasn't a surprise b/c I had asked them about that and they said there may be areas that would show, so I may later on use the velcro strip to hang an gray apron over it. Here's before and after, after about an hour and a half of labor, including clearing the stuff off it, running a shop vac over it, and removing the seatback latches from the bench (driver's side didn't work anyway).



Gor rid of about 6 yards of red! I guess I'll have to cover it with plastic now so I can use it to put stuff on again.











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post #100 of 154 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 01:44 PM
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Nice addition.... makes the seats look really good.
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