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1985 Eddie Bauer build

73177 Views 406 Replies 41 Participants Last post by  mtbikerTi
So, as some of you know, my '81 was rear ended a few months ago.

I found myself a nice '85 while I was visiting friends in Seattle. It was in nice shape, but just a little rough. I could just tell it was very solid (doors clicked closed nicely, no rips or tears in the interior), just some cosmetic stuff that needed work, like a broken wing window, cracked windshield, some body rust, etc. Bought it for $1800 and drove it 500 miles home. It has 50,000 on the odometer and I'm imagining considering it's condition, that it's probably 150k. It also hasn't been registered since 2011.

Over the next few months, all of the goodies from my '81 will be going into the new '85. My family tells me I should call it the Phoenix since it'll be bringing the other back to life.

Time for a build thread!

It's a 1985 Eddie Bauer edition with all the bells and whistles. I had looked at several other Broncos, and found a few I liked, but despite the issues it had, this one stood out. I also like that it has a tan interior, which is about the only other color aside from the awesome black interior of my '81 that I could stand. (I even passed up some nicer Broncos because I knew I couldn't stomach the pimp red interior for the next who knows how many years. :toothless)

Another set of pictures I took half way home from Seattle. Had to stop and commemorate the new Bronco. I'm hoping the original Ford Bronco tire cover will fit over 32" tires, but I have my doubts.

Here it is sitting next to my '81

I just finished building my 300 in April, so it'll definitely be going in in the near future. It currently has an EFI 302 and an AOD. I'm debating between the NP435 I have in the '81 or getting a ZF5. The 3.00 worked great with the NP435 but the 3.55s in the '85 might be a bit much on the highway. An overdrive is much needed.

I'll also be keeping the EFI pump and installing a fuel injection kit of some kind. I think I'm checked out on carbs.

Immediate things I knew it needed

Tachometer is all screwed up. Just sort of flops around and points wherever.
AOD shifts hard
Cracked windshield
Rust in the body panels and rotted tailgate
Fuel gauge doesn't work
Headliner sagging
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It's finally back on all 4 wheels!

Now, for a dumb oversight on my part. The topmost bolt on the shackle MUST go from inside out. Otherwise, the bolt hits the frame. I pretty much had to undo the entire suspension on both sides and remove the leaf springs to turn this back around. Very annoying for such a simple little mistake!

Next, the 8.8" had a bolt hole on top to mount the parking brake cable. The 9" had no such provision, so I had to think up something. I am going to try bolting it to one of the case bolts and see how it holds up. Seems solid enough. Fortunately, if it doesn't work, it's not like I'm going to be left stranded:

The next issue I have to get around is the swaybar. The 8.8" tube is 3.25" all the way to the diff, but the 9" flares. This looks to be about 3.5" diameter right here. I have some u-bolts on order, so we'll see if it works.

Next, I figured that since the rear was getting new leaf springs, the front should get new coils. MOOG makes a progressive spring replacement for about $80 a set. If they suck, it doesn't set me back too far, so they're worth a try. :D

The only thing I don't like about them is it looks like they have a lot more coils in them, which means they'll coil bind easier. But, we'll see:

A little frame stretching and a rented spring compressor and they were a relatively easy swap:

I know the front end likes to do this when you lift it up off the ground, but I may need an alignment with the new springs. The front also sits a little higher than the rear, which I hope settles after I drive it.

How's the front doing on the settling? Mine looks similar right now. :LOL:
Hey Jason,
The extreme tilt of the tires was simply due to jacking it up off the ground. It's the nature of the TTB.
But once I drove it, it settled right out. The camber was off a tiny bit due to the fresh springs, so I had to put in new camber bushings to get it properly aligned, but it looks great now!

This is just last week:

View attachment 165453

View attachment 165454
Looks great!!!
Man she looks so good! Lots of big updates!
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