79 Rusty Custom build - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 113 (permalink) Old 05-16-2016, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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79 Rusty Custom build

Wanted to start a write-up for my 1979 Bronco Custom. It's got the 351m and is, from what I can tell, almost completely stock. The guy I bought it from sounded like he was the 2nd owner and had only owned it for a couple years. Original owner loved the thing and babied it, took really good care of it but probably put a lot of miles on (mentioned a trip to Montana and back).

I bought it in March from a guy in Kansas (2 hours away). Showed up sight unseen and loved it (and the price) and I was amazed when it made the trip home without a single problem, and at 15 mpg. One of the biggest issues it had was that the old tailgate had been hit pretty hard, broke the window, all that, so I already grabbed a new tailgate from the local junkyard and slapped it on- I was pretty happy it actually rolled up and down. So far I've been really lucky- hoping the luck holds out.

I plan on making it a fun truck- something I can take off road (nothing too serious), haul stuff around in, drive to work, etc without worrying about it getting scratched or anything. I've got a really low budget, but my plan is to:
-Clean it out and fix the holes in the floor pans
-Add a good stereo (I'm a musician, so that's an important part)
-Going to need to do something with the interior... especially the seats which are totally wrecked
-Fix the holes in the body- bad rust over rear fenders and the rear corners- not surprised by either
-Eventually I'm probably going to paint it with Monstaliner or Line-x (though I probably can't afford the latter) after it's all cleaned up
-Put a 4" lift on it
-Upgrade the 33" tires to 35's, though that will require a re-gear so I may put that off a while. The tires are about bald though, so I may not be able to put it off long.

I've got a little experience under my belt (did some engine work on an EFI F150 and an '80 Bronco, as well as a little interior stuff) but I'm still new to all this, and I've yet to get my hands dirty with suspension and the gearing changes.

I'd love suggestions and recommendations- this is going to be a fun truck, like I said, not a show piece, so I just want to enjoy working on it.

Thanks for the help! Pics below



Not sure where the pics of the passenger side went. Same story but less fender rust (some of it is still there).


New door panels and seats in store.



1979 Bronco Custom stock 351m, 33x10.5 BFG tires, Monstaliner paint job, work in progress!
Rusty Custom Build
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post #2 of 113 (permalink) Old 05-16-2016, 04:29 PM
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Looks like the body is in decent condition can't wait to see your build!
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post #3 of 113 (permalink) Old 05-16-2016, 04:53 PM
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Very Nice
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post #4 of 113 (permalink) Old 05-16-2016, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbollero View Post
-Add a good stereo (I'm a musician, so that's an important part)

I don't understand. It looks like the PO left you a premium top shelf sound system sitting on your floorboards.

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post #5 of 113 (permalink) Old 05-16-2016, 07:47 PM
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Wish the 78 I am working towards was that clean nice original truck.
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post #6 of 113 (permalink) Old 05-16-2016, 11:12 PM
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welcome
sweet looking truck you scored

looking forward to see where this build goes

must have been all down the mountain hills driving at 45mph to get that much mileage from you bronco!
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post #7 of 113 (permalink) Old 05-17-2016, 12:17 AM
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Nice truck! I always loved the 78-79's, I have heard of other 351M's getting decent mileage from them as well.
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post #8 of 113 (permalink) Old 05-17-2016, 07:17 AM
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Nice score!
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post #9 of 113 (permalink) Old 05-17-2016, 11:30 AM
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Looks like a decent Bronco you found. Trailer Special it could be with those mirrors and possibly that badge on the driver side. Those seats don't look all that bad, just new skins which can be had at lmc or rock auto rather inexpensive.


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post #10 of 113 (permalink) Old 05-17-2016, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.

The body is definitely got some rust issues. It's hard to see, but the driver's rear fender is just rusted away under the trim. Not as bad under the pass. side. The floor is also pretty rough- going to need new floor pans and some work in front of the back seat. Nothing too unexpected though.

Quote:
I don't understand. It looks like the PO left you a premium top shelf sound system sitting on your floorboards.
That's definitely at the top of the list!

Could be the trailer special- it has a really thick sway bar on the back, but maybe that's standard. It has a lot of the original documentation in the glove box (I'll definitely take a picture of it), so I'll have to look at that more closely.
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1979 Bronco Custom stock 351m, 33x10.5 BFG tires, Monstaliner paint job, work in progress!
Rusty Custom Build
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post #11 of 113 (permalink) Old 05-17-2016, 01:39 PM
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Congrats on a fun find. I always get Excited when I see someone with a 79 Custom with that paint scheme. That's what I bought new back in 79. I always wonder if it will show up on here someday! I would love to know if it still exist.

Look forward to following your build thread. As far as the rust you might take a look above the windshield. They are famous for rusting there also.

And no such thing at to many pics!
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post #12 of 113 (permalink) Old 05-18-2016, 06:30 PM
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Very nice! I always loved the 78-79 body, especially with that paint & trim option.

Call me crazy, but I'd leave the exterior as-is! It would be incredibly neat to have the engine compartment & interior totally restored, but leave the exterior looking like that (minus the rust issues, of course). Don't go with a Line-X or similar finish, on the inside or out. Paint always looks better.

And if you're planning to lift it 4" and add 35's, forget about keeping track of the mileage! lol!

I look forward to seeing your progress!
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post #13 of 113 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Things have been quiet for the last couple weeks. My wife and I had our first baby, so, needless to say, priorities have been elsewhere.
I did manage to make a quick trip to the junkyard. There's a 90's bronco that is in pretty good shape (besides looking like it sat so long that moss grew all over it), and it has a 4-6" lift on it, so I pulled the leaf springs and plan to use those on my truck (assuming they fit, which it seems like they will). I'll be back to pull the coil springs and pitman arm when I get the chance, as well as cut out some floor pans to patch up the rusty spots.

Also, I noticed that the truck already has a steering stabilizer on it, which saves me a few bucks! I'm wondering if somebody already installed a couple inch lift on it in the past. It also has a small pitman drop arm, but I don't know what came stock. Will upload pics of that stuff later. Running 33's and there's a couple inches of space and no clearance or turning issues, so I'm thinking it may already be slightly lifted.

A few pics of cleaning out the truck a couple weeks ago, just before the baby was born. Sorry, they're a little blurrier because I have a crappy phone.


[URL=http://s1325.photobucket.com/user/mrbolleror/media/20160507_104905_zpspr1jakfm.jpg.html]

This beaut was in the glove-box!
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1979 Bronco Custom stock 351m, 33x10.5 BFG tires, Monstaliner paint job, work in progress!
Rusty Custom Build
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post #14 of 113 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 12:42 PM
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rear spring will work front springs are different ,,keep up the good work
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post #15 of 113 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huck2080 View Post
rear spring will work front springs are different ,,keep up the good work
That's good to know. Won't waste my time then, I guess. Would've saved me some cash though!

1979 Bronco Custom stock 351m, 33x10.5 BFG tires, Monstaliner paint job, work in progress!
Rusty Custom Build
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post #16 of 113 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 03:05 PM
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Springs are drastically different. 1978-1979 rear spring is 7/8 shorter in the rear half from the center bolt back but same length from the center bolt forward. The biggie is tha arch, 1978 has in stock form 3" more arch than a 1980 up. So a 6" 1980-1996 lift spring turns out to be actually only 3" over standard arch. The width is the same 2.5 inch so that would work but the flatter arch and shorter length will make things not go so well.
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post #17 of 113 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 445 FE Bronco View Post
Springs are drastically different. 1978-1979 rear spring is 7/8 shorter in the rear half from the center bolt back but same length from the center bolt forward. The biggie is tha arch, 1978 has in stock form 3" more arch than a 1980 up. So a 6" 1980-1996 lift spring turns out to be actually only 3" over standard arch. The width is the same 2.5 inch so that would work but the flatter arch and shorter length will make things not go so well.
I'm not too surprised by that. Has anybody tried it and what were the results? I can easily return or resell the springs so I'm not too worried about it. I might just scrap the lift idea for now- not super excited about trying to change the gearing if I put 35's and adding 4 inches will make the 33's look puny.

1979 Bronco Custom stock 351m, 33x10.5 BFG tires, Monstaliner paint job, work in progress!
Rusty Custom Build
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post #18 of 113 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like it's been done- but I'd be curious to hear more opinions. The 3" additional doesn't bother me- just want to be safe.
Another junkyard tip - rear springs for a 78-79

1979 Bronco Custom stock 351m, 33x10.5 BFG tires, Monstaliner paint job, work in progress!
Rusty Custom Build
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post #19 of 113 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 09:45 PM
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Congratulations, much work ahead
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post #20 of 113 (permalink) Old 05-25-2016, 10:25 AM
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You have some work ahead of you for sure. There are a lot of good threads to refer and see how folks repaired what you have. One I like to share is attached below. Gary did a good job on quite a few things.

Scoop's 78 Bronco Custom Build/Restore


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