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Old 03-05-2010, 11:51 AM   #1
jkhcurry
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Bronco Info: 1989 Bronco XLT 5.0
1989 Bronco XLT 5.0

I'm about to purchase a 1989 XLT 5.0 with 159000 miles. The guy kept meticulous records of the truck. He even has a book with the date, mileage and fuel mileage of every fill up since he bought it new in 1989. Exterior is in near perfect condition with just a little rust on the drains at the top of the doors and a very little bit of surface rust on the bottom of the tailgate. Interior almost looks like it came off the show room floor except for the driverís seat showing some wear.

It has a standard transmission and manual 4wd. Truck sounds great and shifts real great. Only thing I noticed was when shifting in to first sometimes wouldnít go, but if you waited a sec or two it would slide in easily with no grinding.

Put the truck on a lift and there is a pretty good bit of oil and a couple drops of antifreeze. I canít see where oil is coming from since there is quite a bit down there. Guy said drips about 4 drops a night on the ground and takes about a quart between changes. From what Iíve read here valve cover gasket and oil pan gasket could be causing all the oil.

Anyway price is 3500. Good deal bad deal???
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:58 AM   #2
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Got any pics? $3500 sounds like a bit much for something that's leaking oil and antifreeze.
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:10 PM   #3
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Bronco Info: STOCK 1989FSB 5.8LEFI,Tran=C6Auto, TCase=BW1356Man, RrAxle=S80SD,3.08,8.8NL, FrtAxle=3.07 Tires=31"
$3500 is what 95 and 96 go for in my area. With that said if it is real clean adn I mean real clean, it may be worth it. Pics would help.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:15 PM   #4
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Bronco Info: 1990 4.9L Custom, M5OD-R2 tranny, 4.10 gearing
Could also be a rear main seal for the oil leak.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:51 PM   #5
jkhcurry
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Well I went ahead and purchased it yesterday evening. Has a few issues, but nothing that can't be fixed with a little work and a whole lot of swearing.

I got to investigate the oil leak a little more today. The valve cover gasket on the drivers side looks pretty clean, but the other looks to be leaking. It'd be real nice if that was the only place it is leaking from. Also noticed a little white smoke while it was sitting idling. I didn't have time to go run it and see if it continued and the engine was cold when it was doing that.

One problem that is aggravating me is that the rear window is getting stuck about halfway up. I put the key in and it goes up about halfway and and then I have to kinda push up and in on the window to keep it going. The motor in it is only a couple of years old and it goes up pretty fast up until that point.

Anyway I'm sure I'll find other issues as time goes on.

Wife's kinda upset since her new Rav4 got kicked out of the garage for a old Bronco. haha
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:17 PM   #6
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Bronco Info: '94 XLT stock 5 speed manual t-case (my 3rd bronco)
tailgate can get hung up on all the little bars that go from side to side in there. best option is to take off the cover sit in the back and have someone else roll it up while you use a flashlight to see if it's getting hung up on anything, it might just need a good greasing of the mechanism.

honestly it sounds bad with the white smoke and antifreeze drip, mine was leaking some from around the head bolts, I thought it was just the fact that the head bolts weren't sealed up (you have to put sealant on the outer ones) but it ended up being a cracked head across the whole surface... so it was leaking anti-freeze and burning it.

If there is smoke coming out the tailpipe, that's a bad sign, no matter what color it is, some is worse than others, yours sounds like coolant.

all that said, you got a badass truck, it's hard to find a manual shift bronco with a manual shift transfer case, I love mine. Mine takes a split second to go into first as well, I think that's normal.

Make sure the transmission is full of the proper type of fluid, mine actually takes automatic transmission fluid in it. Check your fluids all through the truck, transfer case, differentials, everything. If the fella did the maintenance himself that's good, the quick lube shops tend to mess up alot.

I've been doing the head job on it recently and just finished a front end rebuild (ball joints, bearings, shocks). The head job is a real bear, there's alot of useless crap on there to take off, it would be expensive for a shop to do it and time consuming for an average joe so you would have to decide if you would rather spend a few days fixing it yourself or pay some money and have a shop do it.

either way, you need to take it to a shop and have the radiator pressure tested, that will show any obvious leaks... I hope it's not a head gasket, but if it's smoking then that's about the best thing it could be. If you choose to do a head job in your garage, take the heads to a machine shop and have them checked, do not skip that part... The guy who replaced my head gasket over the summer skipped that part, that's why I'm doing it again now...

good luck and have fun in your truck
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:56 PM   #7
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Well congrats. I'm with goober, hard to find Broncos with both manual transmission and transfer case. I actually held off buying a bronco until I found one and love it! I also have the slight delay in getting her into first gear, so it sounds fairly normal. Have fun!
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:10 PM   #8
jkhcurry
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Thanks, I dindn't know that the manual transmission coupled with the manual transfer case was hard to come by. I figured that would be the prefered configuration. I've never been fond of push button 4 wheel drive; I just don't like having another failure point in the equation.

I'm going today to have a radiator pressure test done to try and find where the leak is at. I'm crossing my fingers that it's not in the head.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:35 PM   #9
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Well had the pressure test done and the it was loosing just a little pressure. The old guy doing the test looked down the passenger side of the radiator and said it was cracking. He said the factory radiator's were made with some kind of poxy on the sides and as they got older they would start cracking and leaking.

He told me that I didn't have to replace it since it was just leaking a little, but he suggested that I go ahead and do it. Cost of the radiator and only 50 bucks for labor. I could have done it myself, but felt like giving the old guy some work since his little one stall shop was empty.

After he installed the new one he did a pressure test again and left it on there for about 15 mins. Stayed up the whole time and he said he didn't think that the head was leaking. I'm sure glad it wasn't.

Next I'll be washing the the engine good to try to find out for sure where the oil leak is. After getting a real good look at it I'm thinking it's from the passenger side valve cover gasket, but there could be more.
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