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Old 09-30-2012, 01:19 AM   #1
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Is it better to buy a 1996 Bronco with OBD II ?

I'm looking into buying a Bronco for the intended purpose of turning it into a "Go Fast Bronco" or a Prerunner if you prefer that terminology. I was wondering if it would be better to narrow my search for only 1996 year Bronco's? Bottom line is, I like the 1992 - 1996 style bronco's anyway. My intention is to install long travel cut & turned beams with extended radius arms and either National springs or a four-link suspension in the rear. The engine will have the usual cold air intake and I plan on installing headers as well. I like the idea of having an engine tuner like the Edge CTS (but I'm not sure if they make a tuner for the 1996 year Bronco's.)
What is the advantage (if any) is there to purchasing the 1996? I'm a Graphic Designer so engines aren't my strong suit. If there is no significant value to seeking out the 1996 should I just look for the best deal I can in the 92 - 96 range Bronco's?
I was told by someone that the 1995 year would be the best because of parts availability. Is there any truth in that?

I appreciate your help and advice

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Old 09-30-2012, 02:31 AM   #2
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I don't believe there is any sort of hand held tuner for these trucks. The only real benefit to getting a later model truck is that it already has a MAF setup and the computer is easier to tune. If all you're planning on is headers and a CAI, the computer can handle that and so the year is moot. If you want more engine mods than that, I believe a '95 is the oldest you should go. Tuning is going to be a bit more involved than newer cars regardless.

Also, the intake from the factory is technically a CAI and can flow more than the engine can possibly ingest. So unless you like the sound, which I admit is nice, it isn't really necessary to mess with.
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:08 AM   #3
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Come to think of it reliability is most important to me. I know I want to get the 5.8L motor. And if the stock intake is just as good if not better then ill just keep that on the truck. As for the header part I thought it would bring more power, possibly better gas mileage and keep the engine cooler. I live in Phoenix so engine temp is very important to me. But to be honest I see some smokin' deals on Craigslist for 1992 - 1996 Bronco's. So if the OBD 2 isn't that important then I should just find the cleanest Bronco I can find right?
Engine modification is not that important to me, reliability is the most important hands down. So are you saying that I can open my search to all 5 model years?
Suspension and reliability is the most important. But suspension has no value in my initial vehicle purchase. Just quality.
I'd really like to have more options regarding my purchase than narrowing it down to just one model year.

Thanks for the input! This site has been very helpful and the forum members have been very respectful and honest. Some of the other sites seem like they are run by 14 year olds pissed off at the world. They need to join the ARMY like I did back in 1990 and let Fort Benning have a crack at them.
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:35 AM   #4
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If you get a 5.8 I would reccomend upgrading the heads and upper/lower intake first, they are far more restrictive than the exhaust manifolds.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:21 AM   #5
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yo HUNTER;
TwEECer® Overview, Forums, Downloads, etc.; "...The TwEECer® is an adapter which connects to the J3 service port of a Ford EEC PCM, giving you the ability to substitute parameters in the calibration data with parameters that match the modifications which you have made to your engine..." read more
Source: by http://www.tweecer.com/support.htm

Supports Ford models from 1984 to 2004
need to know your Calibration number (also called catch code) from your B-pillar sticker

TwEECer® Installation
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:50 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by rewarder View Post
Come to think of it reliability is most important to me. I know I want to get the 5.8L motor. And if the stock intake is just as good if not better then ill just keep that on the truck. As for the header part I thought it would bring more power, possibly better gas mileage and keep the engine cooler. I live in Phoenix so engine temp is very important to me. But to be honest I see some smokin' deals on Craigslist for 1992 - 1996 Bronco's. So if the OBD 2 isn't that important then I should just find the cleanest Bronco I can find right?
Engine modification is not that important to me, reliability is the most important hands down. So are you saying that I can open my search to all 5 model years?
Suspension and reliability is the most important. But suspension has no value in my initial vehicle purchase. Just quality.
I'd really like to have more options regarding my purchase than narrowing it down to just one model year.

Thanks for the input! This site has been very helpful and the forum members have been very respectful and honest. Some of the other sites seem like they are run by 14 year olds pissed off at the world. They need to join the ARMY like I did back in 1990 and let Fort Benning have a crack at them.

You got it. If you're not really interested in engine mods, then year doesn't really matter. Look for a clean truck and a good deal.
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:17 AM   #7
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If reliability is your main goal, get the newest 4.9L you can find. Mine has over half a million miles with no rebuild. It produces almost as much hp as the V8s, more low-end torque, but burns noticeably less gas, and weighs a LOT less. Mine would do ~110mph.
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:25 AM   #8
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Of course if horesepower is your main goal, the 4.9 will fall short as there is very little aftermarket for it.

the 5.8 however has a TON of aftermarket. you can easily get 400 n/a horsepower out of it, or 600 s/c or turbo horsepower.

and yes, the obd-II would be the best choice for a bronco your going to hop up. the earlier stuff was very limited.

a '96 will also have a roller cam.
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:11 PM   #9
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If reliability is your main goal, get the newest 4.9L you can find. Mine has over half a million miles with no rebuild. It produces almost as much hp as the V8s, more low-end torque, but burns noticeably less gas, and weighs a LOT less. Mine would do ~110mph.
Check out this beauty: http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/cto/3259966479.html

I was really waiting for a white 96 5.8L (and there has been a few around you just have to grab them the second they are posted) but this one caught my eye then I got bummed for a second because somewhere in there he says 5.0 fuel injected. All of a sudden my dream bronco became maybe there is still hope. I might be brought to the other side. But once you get it in your head that you want a white 5.8L anything else might just bum you out in the future right? You'll always be saying to yourself "I should have just waited and been more patient"
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:26 PM   #10
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There's not much difference in the power or torque of the 2 V8s, but the 5.8L definitely sprays more gas out the tailpipe. Ask yourself WHY you're hung up on the 5.8L - just because it's a bigger number? Is that a good enough reason? That number isn't gonna help you pay for insurance, fuel, maintenance, repairs, or upgrades. And the 5.0L is just about identical in every way - there are threads here where people are trying to figure out which one they have, so that gives you some idea.

Yes, the 4.9L is a smaller engine, and it certainly makes less power & torque than either V8, but not MUCH less. It costs & weighs a lot less; it takes less maintenance; it burns a LOT less fuel; and it (generally) lasts more miles between rebuilds.

That looks like a clean truck at a fair price, but I'm not a fan of the blue interior, the all-white exterior, or the V8. Check this one out:
http://fullsizebronco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=213738
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:47 PM   #11
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There's not much difference in the power or torque of the 2 V8s, but the 5.8L definitely sprays more gas out the tailpipe. Ask yourself WHY you're hung up on the 5.8L - just because it's a bigger number? Is that a good enough reason?
That looks like a clean truck at a fair price, but I'm not a fan of the blue interior, the all-white exterior, or the V8.
I can't give a good enough reason why I want the 5.8L. It might be because growing up and turning 16 in 1987 & all my trucks were Toyota. I had a 1984 FJ60(the 4 door wagon which we still have), 1979 FJ40 inline 6, 1991 4 banger extra cab truck & two 4 runners. I couldn't haul $h!t with those trucks. So I always thought when I graduate to the big boys I'm not going to get stuck with the smaller engine anymore. Right now I have a 1999 Expedition 5.4L. I also had three Broncos 1969 three on the tree, and two 1996 5.8L trucks. Maybe it's what I'm used to. But then again, maybe I was making the wrong purchases all along. I don't drive fast (I'm actually a slow driver, can't even remember when I got my one speeding ticket could be 20 years ago) I think I just want to make sure I have the power just in case I need it. My toyotas could barely make it up a hill while driving on the freeway & I thought "I'll never go back to that"
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:39 PM   #12
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yea get obdII, and look at the app "torque pro" for your smart phone. Also stock intake is the best. It has been proved many times over.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:00 PM   #13
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i would defiently stay the later years so you have MAF roller engine. to narrow down for only OBD-II might not really be worth it. i like my 96 and dont really have any problems with reliability from sensors and it defiently alot better power than my 88 was when i got it. i like that i got something called an Ultraguage hooked up which is jsut a OBD-II reader. it shows different info and can also check trouble codes in a second. if i get another truck it would defiantly be a 4.9 or 5.8. if your building a truck for prerunner i htink the 5.8 would be best cause 4.9 doesnt produce high rpm but that depends on your driving style.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:30 PM   #14
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yea get obdII, and look at the app "torque pro" for your smart phone. Also stock intake is the best. It has been proved many times over.
I think the Torque Pro is only for Android Phones. I'm an iPhone dork.
So it seems to me that the OBD2 greatest advantage is reading trouble codes. That seems like a pretty good reason to get a 1996 Bronco. That way if the check engine light oes on it eliminates much of the guesswork. Unless the other years have the same option using a different type of port. Remember, my main experience with engines was my 1979 Toyota inline 6 2F. So this whole computer thing is new to me. True story: on my 1999 I went to get some spark plugs cause I was going to do an old school tune up. I couldn't for the life of me find the distributer much less the spark plugs. Only to later find out that my 1999 Expy uses the ignition coils. That blew me away. When the mechanic pulled out the ignition coil contraption I thought: "What the hell is that?" It's amazing what happens when you learn on a 1979 truck then they throw a 1999 robot at you. My brain could barely handle it
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:30 PM   #15
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You can pull codes manually on the 95 and older by counting the cel light blinks. The good part about obdII is the eec diagnosis's problems it's self, and it will give you a code that is more specific than obdI. You can also get number read outs easily. In all obdII is better for a daily driver that stays on the street. For a truck that get abused off road obd1 is better.
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:39 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by rewarder View Post
Come to think of it reliability is most important to me. I know I want to get the 5.8L motor. And if the stock intake is just as good if not better then ill just keep that on the truck. As for the header part I thought it would bring more power, possibly better gas mileage and keep the engine cooler. I live in Phoenix so engine temp is very important to me. But to be honest I see some smokin' deals on Craigslist for 1992 - 1996 Bronco's. So if the OBD 2 isn't that important then I should just find the cleanest Bronco I can find right?
Engine modification is not that important to me, reliability is the most important hands down. So are you saying that I can open my search to all 5 model years?
Suspension and reliability is the most important. But suspension has no value in my initial vehicle purchase. Just quality.
I'd really like to have more options regarding my purchase than narrowing it down to just one model year.

Thanks for the input! This site has been very helpful and the forum members have been very respectful and honest. Some of the other sites seem like they are run by 14 year olds pissed off at the world. They need to join the ARMY like I did back in 1990 and let Fort Benning have a crack at them.
The different years have different cosmetic changes, door mouldings with chrome strips, etc. nothing major. In '96 you get maf but some '95's had it too. You also get the driver's side airbag that you can disable by un-plugging one of the white connectors at the top of the radiator support on either corner if you want to "Go Fast". '96 has the exclusive harmonic balancer which is obsolete and has to be re-built but there are companies that do them. Mine cost $130 and with the resin they use it will most likely out last the motor and be put onto the next. The timing pointer in '96 was re-located to the lower part of the timing cover than it was in earlier years hence the different balancer.
Really it is exactly what "you" said already. You would hate to buy one and then come across the exact color combo you've always wanted with maybe more options, less miles, and in better condition later. I say wait. Wait till you find exactly what you want. It's the only way you'll really be happy. If I didn't really like my truck I'd of burned it to the ground way before this with some of the thing's that have gone wrong/broke and drove me crazy and are the reason I hold this "will work for Bronco parts" sign Mon-Fri..... Good Luck and just keep looking..... -Kevin-
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:52 PM   #17
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96s have gotten a bad rap on some front end components requiring a retrofit to 92-95. This might make the earlier model a better bet unless you have a very deep wallet. And if you do, and you want to pull/haul things around . . . .put in a 460!
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:35 AM   #18
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96s have gotten a bad rap on some front end components requiring a retrofit to 92-95. This might make the earlier model a better bet unless you have a very deep wallet. And if you do, and you want to pull/haul things around . . . .put in a 460!
If you want to haul things around, get a F250 or 350, Bronco's have too short of wheelbase to safely pull anything medium sized trailers.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:04 AM   #19
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Everyone will have their own opinion. I preferred the common non-crumple zone frame from an 87-91 along with the styling of the front clip, but wanted the capabilities of OBDII as well as the upgrades that were only available in 95 and 96. So I built mine that way. I have taken my time and have done it for a good price, but it took a ton of work.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:12 AM   #20
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Short wheelbase????
I'm certain you've never seen a day-cab flat-nosed tractor pulling triples on the interstate!
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