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1985 Eddie Bauer build

73431 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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The np208 and both BW cases are aluminum and chain driven.
If I remember right, the 1356 has a magnesium case, it’s lighter than aluminum but can be worn through around the pump arm, causing it to spin on the shaft and not pump. As far as I know everything else you said is accurate though.

I don’t really have much experience with the 1345 but haven’t heard much good or bad about them.

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 think if you get a zf5 you might look into 3.73 or 4.10 gears. My 87 has a swapped in np435 and I think 3.08 gears, 33’s and a 5.0L and it’s a dawg in the mountains here. I feel like the trans doesn’t have enough gears. I can start in 2nd as long as I’m on flat ground, I can down shift into 3rd when making right turns but need a higher gear when cruising at 45 (common speed limit in my area) but the revs are too low in 4th at 45 to make it up a hill. When cruising down the highway I don’t want to go much over 65 due to the revs (and a wobble). I would love to have another gear above 4th, then redo the axle gearing to bring all the other gears “closer together” if you know what I mean. At some point I will probably change the axle gearing to 3.55 and deal with the higher revs, maybe swap in a zf5 way down the road and up the gearing even more. But my bronco is a weekend wheeler and not my daily driver, so I would sacrifice some road manners for off-road performance. Your preferences might be different. And it might not be as bad with smaller tires.
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If it is for the inertia switch, the PO would have to put a jumper wire between the two pins or spliced the wires together further down the harness somewhere. As I understand it, the inertia switch is normally closed, allowing power to travel from the fuel pump relay, through the inertia switch then to the fuel pump. When the switch detects a hard impact (like a wreck) it “trips” meaning the switch opens (electrically speaking, meaning the circuit is no longer complete). Power can’t flow through the inertia switch when it’s open so the fuel pump stops running.
Hey AB, did you ever get the factory tach hooked up to your DUI dizzy? If so how did you do it?
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