Join Date: Apr 2012
Bronco Info: '96 XLT 5.0L manual hubs, 4" Rancho lift, rock sliders, relocated shock mounts, original USBP vehicl
Remember when I said that I wasn't going to touch this thing until (1) it was an antique, and (2) I finished my other project car?
I also said that I was just going to focus on keeping it in running & driving condition so that if I needed to move it around, I could. I wasn't going to worry about any of the "little stuff"
Well... yeah right! lol!
Anyway, I've been watching prices on those stainless tailgate trim panels and realized a few things. There aren't many out there that aren't beat to hell, and the owners of the ones that ARE decent, straight, and unscratched seem to think they are made of solid 24K gold with a brushed stainless skin! $$$!!!
I finally found one online that, at least in the photos, seemed to look very nice and was priced to sell, so I bought it. It's now sitting in the back of the Bronco (which is in storage), waiting for me to install. I haven't even seen it in person yet! But I basically HAD to get it, as the one on there now is a huge sore thumb (I choose to ignore the other huge flaws, like horrible paint on the fenders and cracked windshield), plus they will only get more difficult to find as time passes (That's my justification for buying it). I passed on that $500 NOS one on eBay a few months ago; I was tempted, but wasn't ready to spend that much on 1 trim piece for a truck that I paid $1,500 for! But anyway, I have a good one now.
To add more temptation, I have been talking to BroncoJoe96 about the nice door panels and seat upholstery from one of his parts trucks, and we finally got together and they are headed my way. Joe treated me very fairly, but I have to say that we were both a little shocked on what oversized shipping costs lately. But, it's supposed to be clean & nice stuff (at least much better than I have) and if you've looked around for '96 interior replacement parts, you know that there are NO reproduction door panels or correct seat upholstery available. All the restoration focus seems to go to the earlier trucks. So thanks to Joe, I will soon have some decent looking seats and doors!
I also have a bad eBay addiction, and found something that will most definitely help me keep the truck running and mobile while in storage; a practically NOS Ford AM/FM cassette radio. This will replace my current radio, which is the same thing but in a beat-to-hell condition with half the lights inside burnt out, but still works. Hey, it was just a few bucks! It's not like many people are wanting 20-year-old stock Ford radios. Of course, I'll probably replace the factory speakers with some a little more durable and quality... since I'll have the door panels off anyway.
Which leads me into the next step... carpet. The inside of this truck smells like a wet dog. Or more accurately, a wet dog that's been laying under a tree in Mississippi for a few years, growing green mold on its fur. Nobody wants to ride in this thing, except my 10-year-old, who's immune to stink anyway (as all 10-year-old boys seem to be), so I figure if I replace the carpeting, along with the soon-to-be-professionally-cleaned seat covers, it will help quite a bit! Oh, but that also means I'll need to replace the front & rear headliners, and of course, new foam for the seats. Holy crap! I'm practically restoring the whole interior!
But honestly, it's not much cash outlay. For less than $500, I'm dramatically increasing the appeal of my truck... which cost slightly more than I'm putting into it, BUT that's irrelevant!
Oh, and I've got a source who's located the exterior lights that I'll need! But I'm not going to worry about that right now. The interior clean-up is basically all I'm going to do on this truck until it's an antique & I get my other car finished.
... yeah right!