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· Registered
1988 Ford Bronco XLT 5.0 four speed auto Raven black with red interior
171 Posts
I've just sat here reading through your build thread from start to now and am Absolutely amazed at your dedication to getting things done on your bronco and making it they way you want it is great!
Furthermore to carry on with the same drive even after losing your wife to cancer right at the start of this pandemic and to have to be stuck at home with all the thoughts going through your head and still come out with the same drive to complete the bronco the way you want it is inspiring to say the least!
I am absolutely following your build thread from this moment on and look forward to any and all updates!

· Super Moderator
1985 Ford Bronco. H.O. 300 I6. ZF5 transmission. 4.11 gears with Detroit True Trac. Nodular 9".
5,593 Posts
Discussion Starter · #402 ·
Thank you, it's been a really fun journey!

Honestly, after losing my wife, having it to focus on and put my energy into helped tremendously. It's when I did the regearing and axle rebuild. I'd never done it before, so it was a month or two of research and very intricate work with shims and setting the gears, etc. Really helped me to have something positive to put my mind into! Crazy to think it's going on 2 years now.

I have some projects coming up. I'm driving it every day due to all the snow we have, but once it eases up a bit, I plan on finishing my thunderbird caliper upgrade (have all the parts for it).

I'm also getting carried away with researching building my own MPFI setup. lol. The more I read, the more crazy my idea gets. MegaSquirt and then a crank and cam trigger so I can do sequential fuel injection. If that's set up, then I can convert it to distributorless coil on plug ignition. It's getting carried away, but it sounds like a really fun project, and if nothing else learning how all the stuff works has been great.

· Super Moderator
1985 Ford Bronco. H.O. 300 I6. ZF5 transmission. 4.11 gears with Detroit True Trac. Nodular 9".
5,593 Posts
Discussion Starter · #403 ·
Ok, this feels good!

When I put the fuel injection kit in, I wired everything up so that it would "just work". The wiring was good, but there was little rhyme or reason to it.
Then it did a 3G upgrade.
Then I did computer controlled timing, which took more wires for the coil driver.
And I have a heavy duty headlight harness, which also requires relays and direct battery power.

After a while, I was stuck with this rats nest:

Motor vehicle Electrical wiring Auto part Technology Wire

Motor vehicle Electrical wiring Gas Wire Auto part

Plus, over on the passenger side, I had left a lot of the original plugs "just in case", as well as several others that I didn't know what they went to

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I decided it was time to clean up all the wiring!

First thing I did was use my new tool. It's a rivet gun that puts threaded holes in the metal, so that things can be tightened down with a bolt, instead of sheet metal screws. I really like it.

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Then, I got these battery cable terminals that allowed for multiple connections, as well as some junction blocks. All of the wires were shortened to only what I needed, and many of them were rerouted.

Motor vehicle Hood Electrical wiring Car Automotive exterior

Then, I ran a heavy 8 gauge wire over to the passenger fender for all of my ignition components. This way the ignition wires weren't strung all across the engine and could go straight to the distributor. I also removed a lot of the old plugs and wires I was no longer using. It removed a lot of backwards compatibility (which is why I had left a lot of them), but I have no intentions of going backwards anymore. So, no point in keeping them.

Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Electrical wiring Vehicle door Bumper

Brown Horse Horse tack Working animal Wood

The fuses and relay for the Sniper are now bolted up behind the engine where there used to be a broken vacuum junction box I wasn't using:

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The wires are all loomed and bundled and run back against the firewall, instead of draped over the top of the engine.

All in all, it really cleaned up the engine bay and makes me feel a lot more confident in all of the wiring. Plus, it really helped me trace and track what all the wires do.

· Super Moderator
1985 Ford Bronco. H.O. 300 I6. ZF5 transmission. 4.11 gears with Detroit True Trac. Nodular 9".
5,593 Posts
Discussion Starter · #404 ·
Onto another project!

I bought the parts for this a while back but finally got around to installing them. This last week I did the upgraded Thunderbird calipers on the Bronco.

The first steps are to modify the calipers and brake lines. The T-Bird calipers use a different connection, so the port for the hose has a raised ridge around it that needs to be removed so that the Bronco style can sit.

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That all needs to be slowly and carefully ground down so that the flat mating surface is not scratched or damaged.

Automotive tire Wood Gas Auto part Screw

Next, I went for steel braided brake lines. The T-Bird calipers require a 7/16" banjo bolt as opposed to the Bronco's 3/8", so the hole needs to be drilled out.

Wood Electrical wiring Gas Hardwood Tool

A drill press would be much nicer for this, but I don't have one. This worked just fine though.

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Motor vehicle Wood Gas Tints and shades Electric blue

Here's the next big hurdle when working with the Thunderbird calipers.
Although they're physically nearly identical, the hose and bleeder valve are on opposite sides:

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This puts the hose port on the T-Bird caliper up close to the knuckle. There's no room for the hose, and more specifically, the banjo bolt.

Wood Mammal Comfort Tints and shades Snout

Some material needs to be ground out to make room:

Bumper Automotive tire Gas Wood Auto part

Next issue is that the hose hits the driver's side TTB arm when turning the steering wheel. This prevented me from turning the steering all the way to the left. The passenger side didn't hit at all.

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Some grinding made for proper room:

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive exterior Tread
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· Super Moderator
1985 Ford Bronco. H.O. 300 I6. ZF5 transmission. 4.11 gears with Detroit True Trac. Nodular 9".
5,593 Posts
Discussion Starter · #405 ·
Since I had only done my brakes about 4 years ago, I figured I'd just swap the calipers on and be done. But my pads were pretty worn! So I got new pads and some higher end rotors.

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All installed and in place.

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The next challenge was the back end. The larger amount of fluid required rear brake cylinders from an F-350. I thought these would be a direct swap, but they're not. They have a larger port on them that required me to put on a new fitting

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Otherwise, they're a direct fit

Motor vehicle Rim Locking hubs Gas Automotive lighting

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I had previously picked up a flare tool for this job a little while back and that made quick work of it:

Wood Engineering Machine Composite material Auto part

This needed to be done on both sides.

Also, the steel braided brake line I got had the same size fitting on both sides. The original had a small and large fitting. So I had to cut and redo one of the inner lines as well.
On the driver's side, the ends just needed to be swapped. It was a lot easier to cut the ends off, swap them, and re-flair, than it was to try to rebend the whole line to a new shape:

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To complete the rears, it got a steel braided hose:

Tire Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle Car

Lastly, to provide more fluid, I got a master cylinder from an F-350. I decided to get a newer style one so that I could have an upgraded reservoir. The ones with the clamp down caps have always leaked, and it's an issue I've dealt with for years that I'll be happy to get rid of.

The F-350 master has the larger port and smaller port's positions swapped from the older style, but the thread sizes are the same.

I was able to just bend the original brake lines a little bit to switch them:

Motor vehicle Automotive fuel system Automotive exterior Car Vehicle

Automotive fuel system Motor vehicle Paint Gas Auto part

Overall, I can feel quite an improvement in braking power. The brakes have never been bad, per-se, but they've never been great. This feels a lot stronger, which is nice for larger tires and a back full of camping gear. I'm happy with the results!
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· Super Moderator
1985 Ford Bronco. H.O. 300 I6. ZF5 transmission. 4.11 gears with Detroit True Trac. Nodular 9".
5,593 Posts
Discussion Starter · #406 ·
Now that I'm going through this, I think I screwed up (slightly).

I just swapped the lines on the master cylinder since they were the same sizes. I figured the bigger fitting would be for the fronts and the smaller fitting for the rears.

However, I just looked up the documentation on them:

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White Light Product Camera accessory Font

The old style uses 0.5625" (9/16") for the primary and 0.4375" (7/16") for the secondary.
The new style uses 0.4375" (7/16") for the primary and 0.5625" (9/16") for the secondary.

I just swapped them. So I'm sending the larger amount of fluid for the front rotors to the rear drums and the smaller amount of fluid for the drums to the front rotors.

I'll have to cut the ends off and swap them properly.
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