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Old 11-08-2012, 11:24 AM   #1
MrKris
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Looking to buy a 79, need advice

I am looking to trade my motorcycle for a 79 Bronco with a 351M/Auto trans. From the pics in the ad and talking to the owner through email, it looks good, but so did my 93 until I started to really dig around in it.

1. Is this a good engine/trans combo or am I looking at a hassle with dependability and parts? I don't have the funds for a 460 swap any time soon.

2. What red flags do I need to be looking for? Are there sights/sounds/leaks I need to be on the lookout for that will lead to costly repairs?

It will be my daily driver while the 93 is down. I might pull the 351W in the 93 to fix the oil leaks and such, or just sell it as is and keep the 79.

I got an excellent deal on the bike because it needed repairs. I did the work myself, so it would be (possibly) a great trade for me price wise and a great trade for him value wise. The bike is probably worth $1500 more than I priced it at, just because I got a deal on it and was able to fix it myself without a whole lot of investment (just parts).

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I just DON'T want to get screwed like I did on the 93.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:13 PM   #2
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When buying a 34 year old vehicle of any kind, my advice is to always be ready for costly repairs. Im sure the 351M can be reliable enough if taken care of, but it is better used as a boat anchor.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:25 PM   #3
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as long as it runs & shifts good, it'll be quite reliable even w/the stock 2 bbl.i like to check all fluids except the diffs.esp the tranny fluid...should not be burnt smelling,if it is...probably looking at a rebuild in its future.tailgates rust quickly on these, but that's easy to spot.have a good look at the floorboards and fenderwells for rust/previous patch jobs.i would expect a few minor leaks, being a '79 and a fordmajor leaks should throw up a red flag.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:41 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips. I don't have a JBG catalog in front of me, are replacement parts and panels available without having to sell one of our children? Although that might be a win-win situation.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:45 PM   #5
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they arent that expensive and junkyards and craigslist will be your best friend.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:13 PM   #6
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Lets see the pictures of the bike and bronco.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:24 PM   #7
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He is supposed to be getting some more pics tonight. This one is from the ad.



1999 Suzuki Intruder 1500. Not pictured but included: extra large hard saddle bags and windshield. Just put on new tires.

http://auburn.craigslist.org/mcy/3391990014.html



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Old 11-08-2012, 06:33 PM   #8
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I just want to get screwed like I did on the 93.
Why?
















Someone gave it the flat black look so be on the lookout for bondo over the rear wheel wells. Also it does not have the holes in the cowl where the original badges went so see how those were covered up. Also check the floorboards like Rob said, another known rust issue spot.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:38 PM   #9
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Why?
Cause it's so much fun, especially with the top off.

I fixed the first post.

From an email - " the squeak is from the tappets if you hold the rpm's at the right amount it will make a very slight noise, but if you are driving normally you can not hear it, only if you give it a little gas while coasting but not enough to pick up speed."

and

"It has a little bit of rust in the front floor pans that is visible ( because all the carpet has been removed ready for rhino liner)"
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:45 PM   #10
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Are these the pans (or at least the left)? http://broncograveyard.com/bronco/i-...termarket.html

Not too expensive, but how hard are they to replace? I used to be a professional welder, but got out of it several years ago and sold all of my stuff.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:02 PM   #11
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Looks like it's parked on concrete which is a plus, so maybe it hasn't been mudded to death. But paint job wise I don't see it being worth $2700-3700. Get some pics of the interior it might be mint along with the undercarriage making it worth while.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:46 PM   #12
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It has a small leak from the front of the transmission , will leak about 2"x 2"over a couple of days and then stops. It has a new steel trans pan, I wonder if that is where the drip is coming from. Maybe it is bent around the lip are torqued down wrong and causing a gap.





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Old 11-09-2012, 02:07 AM   #13
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It's crooked looking... across the hood is not parallel to across the roof and there's a wrinkle behind the C pillar that says to me it took a hard hit.

I'd take a very close look at the frame, follow it down the road to see if it dogtracks, drive it and see if it pulls to one side.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:15 AM   #14
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http://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/cto/3296994271.html

I give up where is he hiding the $5k at? There's a reason he has it posted 5 times, it's worth about what he paid for it.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:21 AM   #15
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i will agree that it doesn't look right in the pics.. could be just the way the pics was took . i would really look it over for straightness . the body and frame .. and look at the body mounts ...
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:43 AM   #16
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I own 3 of these beasts. Here is my 2 cents worth. That rig is worth about $1,200 to me. I have 3 running rigs, and I haven't paid over $900 for any of them. All need a little work, but nothing too major. If you are looking to get a DD, be ready to spend money to make it reliable enough.

The 351M is a good enough engine, but you will find a lot of folks that will poo poo them. The good news is that they are easy enough to work on. Check and make sure the wiring hasn't been hacked and spliced. Also, check the bottom part of the tailgate for rust. Check the rear window and see if it works.

Look behind the bumper and under the wheel wells for mud and dirt that might indicate wheeling.

All that being said, get the 79, if you want a '79. If it has a good interior, no body damage or rust, and the engine sounds good, then make him an offer around what he said he paid for it, assuming the work he said had been done actually has been done.

For the money you are going to spend on the rig, I am sure you could make your '93 into a reliable DD. but like I said....if you WANT a 79, then get it, just don't over pay.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:16 AM   #17
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Thanks for those posts, that's why I came here. I saw the wrinkles behind the C and those had me a little concerned. Looks like it came down hard on the front from jumping a ditch or plowing into something. The only problem is, it's about 2-2.5 hours away, so it's a major investment of time and money just to go look at it. I think I may just hold off buying that one and try to find a cheaper one to tinker on. Especially if I can find a sub-$1k one that isn't a heap.

Yes, I do want a 78-79, but not bad enough to get taken advantage of.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:47 AM   #18
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there's a wrinkle behind the C pillar that says to me it took a hard hit.
Quote:
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I saw the wrinkles behind the C and those had me a little concerned.
I think the wrinkles you guys are speaking of is just the look of the paint from water run off from the hardtop.

The alignment of the front bumper to grill shell is near perfect other than where the bumper is bent. If it had any frame damage it would show up there.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:05 PM   #19
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BTW....look at the alignmeemt do the passenger door, where it meets the front passenger fender. Is it my eyes, or does something seem off?

On the positive side, the interior seems to look nice and there doesn't appear to be any rust... But only a closer inspection can really tell.

That is the problem with looking at photos on CL....the photos seem to make the rig look better than they are, when you see them in person. Paint always looks better and the dents and dings don't alway show up.

Good luck!
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:56 PM   #20
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Looks good to me.
Where I live this thing would going for 5k all day.
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