We have a 96, bought it new in May 96 and basically, we "over-maintain" it; meaning 3k mile oil/filter changes & lube, all filters changed, etc, using Ford's severe duty schedule.
One of the most reliable daily drivers and beach run/light off road vehicles we've have ever had (incl the ex 78).
Still, we had minor problems that we addressed quickly.
Check Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for Model Year & Engine Type (for example; 5.0, 5.8, 4.9 or 351W CID 5.8 4 BBL Carb, etc.).
VIN Decoder; for 81-86 & 87-96 Bronco & Ford Truck @ Truck Parts and Truck Accessories
Order a CarFax. Although not all accident info is provided other important info is provided @ https://www.carfax.com
While you take a test drive, have someone stay behind or follow and check for leak puddles, exhaust smoke, tire shimmy, etc.
Member dash_cam offers very good advice on having an independent inspection done at sellers location! If you cant inspect it yourself, post Location in the noobie section and ask members for their help or seek out an ASE certified shop in area to inspect it for you. Google each for reviews especially in Yelp, Facebook, BBB.
Besides the usual visual, driveability and leak checks, look for:
- oil pan rust - our's formed spots @ 62k miles - sand it down and prime/paint it w/Rust Bullet Automotive) & high temp. paint - too time-consuming replacement for such a basic thing as not having better gauge and paint by Ford
- try opening and closing tailgate and moving glass
- radiator plastic side seam leaks, esp. during engine cool-down period/overnight - our's leaked @ 50k miles & again just recently - look for leaks after engine has cooled down, esp overnight
- auto tranny - E4OD in 90 to 96 had a lot of improvements made by 96 so look for good shifts and see the maintenance records; fluids/filter should have been changed every 30k miles and less if used for towing.
For it and C6 or AOD, look for leaks around pan from (front) Pump seal. Observe color and odor of the fluid. It should be red, not brown or black. Odor may indicate overheating condition, clutch disc or band failure. Use an absorbent white facial tissue and wipe the fluid level indicator. Examine the stain for evidence of solid particles and for engine coolant signs (gum or varnish on fluid level indicator).
If particles are present in the fluid or there is evidence of engine coolant or water, the transmission pan must be removed for further inspection.
- engine rear main/timing chain cover seals, etc.
- rust in inner rear fender lips, bottom of B pillars and bottom of tailgate (fender lips are rusting due to Ford's flawed spot weld process on the inner (tub) and 1/4 panel that lets moisture & debris in the seam) - A Bronco may need extensive $ patch or full panel replacements at a body shop, but some diy.
check tg drains for clogs/rust..check weather seals, esp the outer ws on glass
- radius arm bushing deterioration (I coated em w/pure silicone, from day 1) but replaced at 80k miles w/Daystar polyurethane bushings
- Programmable Speedometer Odometer Module (PSOM in 92-96, aka speedometer/odometer), make sure it works; look for a slight waver in the needle at highway speeds.
- cracked exhaust manifold/Y, etc.
- roof/gutter area cracks (mostly appl. to earlier years)
- emissions air check valve & cat. converter (AIR) tubes tend to rust early; as does the AIR tube; buy locally or from pciinc.com
- radiator core supports, lower, it rusts mainly on passenger side, PIA to replace
- body mount deterioration and frame rust
-transfer case operation - electric push button motor/connector is a prob. area; usually a broken travel stop and/or the motor connector is fouled, etc.
Also in non-carbureted Broncos the Check Engine Light (CEL) comes on when the electronic engine control system is not working properly. The check engine warning indicator comes on briefly when the ignition switch lock cylinder is turned to ON, and should turn off when the engine starts. If the check engine warning indicator does not come on when the ignition switch lock cylinder is turned to ON or if it comes on while the vehicle is moving, the system is malfunctioning
If the CEL does not light up at all when starting it; then suspect that bulb is burnt-out or loose, socket was damaged by PO or shop, etc. or someone removed it.
E4OD Transmission Control Indicator Light (TCIL), it is a LED and overdrive on/off switch at end of the Transmission shifter stalk; flashing OD light is an indication of a transmission related trouble code in the Powertrain Control Module (PCM).
Is it flashing while driving?
For him to and including 95 with EFI do a SELF TEST for diagnostic trouble codes (DTC)s by my pal BroncoJoe
For a 96 get a free code scan @ Parts Stores if you don't diy with a scanner.
For 93 through 96, Ask seller if the cruise control, if equipped recall work completed by dealership? Call dealer & have VIN ready to confirm.
Use this guide by jowens1126 @ http://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/...ml#post6530073
The 4-wheel anti-lock brake system (4WABS) in 93-96 is self monitoring. When the key is placed in the RUN position, the anti-lock brake electronic control module will perform a preliminary self check on the anti-lock electrical system indicated by a momentary illumination of the amber ABS warning light in the instrument cluster. During vehicle operation, including normal and anti-lock braking, the anti-lock brake electronic control module monitors all electrical anti-lock functions and some hydraulic operations. In most malfunctions of the anti-lock brake system, the amber ABS warning light will be illuminated. However, most malfunctions are recorded as a coded number in the anti-lock brake electronic control module memory and assist in pinpointing the component needing service.
Our module blew it's microprocessors a few years ago and two yard modules were bad. No returns so I'm running without 4WABS, just like the old days.
Suggest you buy the official FORD Powertrain Controls and Emission Diagnosis (PCED), Electrical and Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual (EVTM) on DVD.. be sure your pc, etc will be able to read the DVD, or buy a paper version.
Cash is King.
As craigslist advises, "Do not extend payment to anyone you have not met in person.
Beware offers involving shipping - deal with locals you can meet in person.
Never wire funds (e.g. Western Union) - anyone who asks you to is a scammer.
Don't accept checks; banks cash fakes, then hold you responsible. ..
Sometimes a seller may "promise" to return a certain amount of money during negotiations..
Transactions are between users only, no third party provides a "guarantee".
Never give out financial info (bank account, social security #, paypal account, etc).
A summary of questions to ask the seller;
"* Do you have the maintenance records?
* Do you have the title in hand and is there a lien on the Bronco?
* How do I get the title?
* Has the vehicle been in any accidents?
* How much tread is left on the tires?
* Are there any scratches or dents on the vehicle?
* Did this car belong to a smoker?
* Was this car used by pet owners?
* Can I receive close-up pictures of a specific area (miesk5 note, such as on 1/4 panels, tailgate, etc)?
* Are there any document or preparation fees?"
* Courtesy of ebay
Post pics here. See http://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/...-pictures.html