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1985 Eddie Bauer build

73192 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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Truck is looking really good. Keep it up.
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Alright, so I finally have my settlement from the insurance for "personal injury", so it's time to get moving forward on projects.

Saturday was a harsh day, as I finally stripped the '81 to nothing and then pulled it away. No one wanted it (junk yard, etc) so it had to go to the recycle yard. After having it for 15 years, and a ton of memories, it's sad to know that it's fully gone for good. I was literally sick the rest of the day.

Either way...
First project is rebuilding the BW-1356 I pulled from the junk yard. (I'll do a proper write up on this once it's all done).
The rebuild kit will be here Monday, so I wanted it fully pulled apart and ready to go.

This is about the only real damage to it. Looks like someone smacked it on a rock at some point and chipped a corner.

Pulled the yolks off. The front one was a little wider, so my puller wouldn't span the bolt holes. Had to get clever.

Oil seals out.

Popped the case apart and took a look at the internals. It was very clean inside.

The pump was very close to going out. I don't think it would have taken much longer for it to have chewed through. It also looked like someone had been in this case before. The spot where the pump arm wears through looks to have already been welded. I'm wondering if it already went out before and someone patched it back up and replaced the pump.

I have a new chain on order, but this one looks to be nice and tight. I'll save it as a back up.

There looks to be very little, if any, wear on all of the teeth.

Most of the snap rings were easy to get out, and once they were, the bearings were extremely easy to tap out with a punch and hammer.

However, this snap ring was a nightmare. It took about an hour and a half to get it out, but I did.

Once out, I could pull out the planetary gears and remove the bearing in the back of the case.

Fully disassembled and broken down. Once the kit gets here, I'll do the pump arm fix and then put it back together.

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After having it for 15 years, and a ton of memories, it's sad to know that it's fully gone for good.
Sad day indeed...but remember the good times, no one can take them away!:twotu: it's time to get moving forward on projects.
Little out of context, but that's the thing to do to move on. Keep up the good work, the 85 is lookin' great!:thumbup:rockon
Thank you sir!
And I agree, the memories are the best part, and there are plenty of them (pictures too!).
And I'm having a great time with the '85 making it how I want. It's nice to have one that's kinda cushy. Helps soften the blow a bit. :D
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I know the feeling of seeing the bronco roll off to it's last resting place before becoming a dishwasher. It's a very deep hollow feeling losing the 'One' you loved.

But then the cure is an 85 bronco with a six cylinder and manual transmission! Funny coincidence lol
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Finally got around to replacing the ball joints. The alignment shop said they were having issues aligning it due to them being too loose.
Then, I figured that while I was diving in to one side, had the tools rented, etc. I'd just do both sides.
Then, I figured while I had the knuckles off, I'd take the axles out and replace the U-joints.
Then, I figured while I had the axles out, I'd drop the arms down and replace the axle pivot bushings.
Then, I figured while I had all of that out, I'd replace the radius arm bushings.

Isn't that how these projects go?

Started in on the passenger side, since they said that one was the culprit.

I bought myself a slide hammer, since I have a few upcoming projects that will use it as well. However, it didn't come with the spindle attachment, so I had to improvise. This worked really well in a pinch, and with about 3 - 4 taps, the spindle was off. Both of these ball joints had grease zerts on them, so they had been replaced at some point.

To get the axle out on the '85, I had to remove this dust boot.

Afterward, the axle slipped right out.

Fortunately, the nuts were extremely easy to pop loose, and with a few taps and a ball joint wedge, they popped right off.
Both of these were completely shot. I could wiggle both of them back and forth just by shaking the knuckle.

Held the knuckle in a vice and popped the ball joints out with the press. Not too bad. I only had to be careful since my vice was WAY undersized for the job. Fortunately, it held up.

Since the axle was out, the arm dropped down and easily exposed the axle pivot bushing. I had tried replacing these before on my last Bronco, but could never get them to drop down quite far enough with the axles in to do it.
In this case, I purchased polyurethane bushings so that I wouldn't have to worry about replacing these again any time soon. Also, the hardest part about these is getting the metal sleeve out. I decided to just leave it in and reuse it (which is something you can't do if you purchase rubber bushings). The sleeves were undamaged, so I used the ball joint press and a big socket to press the rubber out of them. It wasn't too bad at all.

The polyurethane bushings are 5 pieces and easy to assemble. A lot of reviews said the instructions were very difficult to understand in how to put them together. I have no idea why. Once they were greased up, I was able to push them in mostly by hand and tapped them in the rest of the way with a hammer. Even if I do have to R&R them in the future, they'll be much easier to remove than the rubber ones.

Next, I used my tie rod press to pop out the U-Joint. It's not ideal, but it worked well.

After I had it all apart, I tried to do the radius arm bushings. I fought with it for a good hour and had almost everything disconnected (spring, shocks, sway bar, etc.) but could not get the arm out. I finally decided to give up on it since the bushings looked brand new. Fresh bushings would be nice and all, but I don't think I would have known the difference. Oh well.

Got the dust boot put back in place and reinstalled everything.

Next was the driver's side... This was a nightmare!! The spindle was completely rust welded on to the knuckle. I soaked it with PB Blaster about 20 times, pounded on it for at least an hour with the slide hammer, tried tapping wedges between it and the dust shield, hit it from the back side, put a block of wood over the threads and smacked down on the spindle with a hammer, etc. etc. etc. My hands were bruised. Finally... after two days a faint crack in the rust appeared. Another hour and it was finally off.

It was very rusty, so I cleaned it up with a wire wheel.

Next, as with the passenger side, the knuckle was really easy to remove after couple of taps and effort with the ball joint wedge.

Even though they were originals, the driver side ball joints weren't nearly as bad. The bottom one was worn out (but not toasted like the passenger side) and the top one was actually still decent.
Pressed some new ones in, and fresh ball joints all around.

Next issue I ran into was a damaged axle. I really fought to get the u-joint out and couldn't figure out why. Once I got it out, it popped out with a lot of force. After I couldn't get a new one in, I finally realized why. The "loops" that hold the joint in place were bent.

Fortunately, these aren't that expensive. It was $30 for a Spicer joint, and it was only $90 for a fully assembled Spicer axle (which included the joint). Just had to wait a day or two for it to ship from Summit (which is only a state away).

As with the passenger side, I slathered it up with anti-seize, to help alleviate having to deal with the seized spindles in the future. (I also did the driver's side axle pivot bushing)

Took the axle down to O'Reilly and found the proper seal. New axle in place and time to install.

Put the wheel bearings, brakes, locking hubs, and tires back on.

Front end is now as tight as a drum.
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Great Job! Ive been putting off doing this to my 96 for about 6 months now bc mine is a NE truck, rusted up lol. Ill be soaking all my parts in pb blast for a good week before attempting it. For the axle pivot bushing, there are videos of using a drill around and around it, and it backs it out. As always, my recommendation prior to having finished the job would have been to POR 15 all rusted metal you had access to. Knuckles, dust shields, etc; but the anti seize will be fine. Want to come rebuild my 96 front end?? :)

Also, check to make sure your radius arm nuts are torqued properly so those bushings last.
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Great Job! ...Want to come rebuild my 96 front end?? :).
I 2nd that and will take 2nd place in line!:thumbup

I need to do this to mine, but am dreading it...:banghead
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Did it two years ago. It's a whole lotta fun lol! I did paint most of mine with a zinc primer and some generic rattle can black.

My stub shaft broke when I was removing the joint. Perfect time to upgrade to a d50 stub.
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Definitely a good idea to rust remove/paint everything. I was kinda wondering about that with the surface rust a lot of the parts had. All of it was just surface so I wasn't too worried.
And I had enough on my hands at the moment and needed it back on the road. It might be a project in the future though!

And... I'll let you guys do your own front ends. This one was enough for me for a while! :toothless

Although, all in all, if the spindles come off easy (or relatively easy), it's really not that bad of a job. The right tools make a huge difference, and you can rent a lot of them.
Most time consuming part is pressing the ball joints in and out, but with a good vice (and mine wasn't even that good) and a long breaker bar, it's quite easy.
The odd thing I noticed is that both my Haynes and Chiltons reiterated strongly that the top ball joint has to be put in first. However, the bottom one has to be put in first, or you can't get it in after the top one is installed. So... think through the logistics of it before pressing them in and don't just go by what you read.

After I got the new axle in the mail and the correct seal for it, I timed myself in how fast I could put it all back together.
Installed the axle, spindle, wheel bearings, hub, brakes, and tire in 45 minutes. :D

But, it was all worth it because the next day, we loaded it up and took off camping. Some extremely rough and tumble roads, low range, 4x4, big rocks and ruts, and all sorts of goodies to climb up to this lake (which sits at around 8000 feet), and it drove like an off-road Cadillac. SO nice!

I also knew this day would come...

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Still working on the BW1356 rebuild. I need a welder to do the pump arm fix, so I'll be taking it to a buddy's house tomorrow.
Next is diving into the ZF5 transmission.

Finally popped the PTO cover off yesterday and took a look at some of the syncros. The set on the right was nice and sharp, but the set on the left was showing a little bit of wear.

I won't throw the image up here since it's too large, but you can see them a bit easier in the original full sized image.

I'm sure it'd be "okay" if I installed it as is, but since it's out, and the Bronco is currently driveable, I might as well rebuild it while I can take my time, and not have to have my vehicle down to do so.
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Today I finished up the transfer case rebuild.

First part was taking care of the pump arm issue. Since this one had already worn partly through the case, it definitely needed it. My buddy help me weld it up.

Reinstalled the main shaft and forks:

Sealed it up and installed the speedometer gear:

And it's ready to go!

I'd never rebuilt a transfer case before, but all in all it was a pretty easy and fun project. I enjoyed it.

If anyone needs a walkthrough, I did a more intensive writeup here:

Next is the bigger project of the ZF5.
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you mashed that out like a pro.
nice work!
you mashed that out like a pro.
nice work!
Thanks! It was a fun and actually somewhat easy project. I enjoyed it. :D

Hopefully the next one goes just as smoothly. I'm going to try my hand at breaking down my ZF5 transmission today and see how that goes. I'm a bit nervous.
But, I can do this... :armed
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Got the transmission broken down last night.

The biggest issue was these moronic bolts that held the reverse idler gear in place. The hex engagement area was seriously less than a millimeter deep, and then it just went to a round hole. There was barely any contact area, so the slightest amount of resistance and they rounded right out. Shortsighted engineering...

But, once the reverse idler gear bolts are out, and the shift rail springs removed, the case slides right off.

Strapped the assembly together and lifted it out and put it on the work bench.

Next is to actually press the gears and bearings out and replace them. Easier said than done.
Most of the synchros were in good shape, but one in particular was toast. I'm sure the previous owner was developing grinding issues.

These looked almost new:

But these were nearly gone:

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If anyone's interested (I know I love this stuff).
Here's the actual gear ratios of the ZF5.

The main input gears are a 45 tooth and a 27 tooth.

It then goes

3rd - 30 tooth / 31 tooth
2nd - 37 / 21
1st - 48 / 14
Reverse - 44 / 14 (with a 27 tooth idler)
5th - 26 / 57

3rd: (30 * 45) / (31 * 27) = 1.6129
2nd: (37 * 45) / (21 * 27) = 2.9365
1st: (48 * 45) / (14 * 27) = 5.71428
Rev: (44 * 45) / (14 * 27) = 5.2381
5th: (26 * 45) / (57 * 27) = 0.76023

4th gear is just when the output shaft connects to the input shaft, so there are no gear ratios. It's just a direct drive / 1:1
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So, might be rethinking the ZF rebuild.
Two of the gears need to be replaced, as well as all 3 shift forks.
About $250.
Rebuild kit is about $300 for a good one.
All the necessary tools, which I don't have. Presses, bearing pullers, etc. About $300 or more.
Plus other miscellaneous stuff that always comes up.

So, I'm looking at around $1000 to just do it myself. That's with no experience (which would be cool to get) and just the bare minimum tools (and a few hacks I read on line, like heating up the gears and then dropping the main shaft onto the ground to pop them off). Then I still have to get all the bearing tolerances perfect, or it'll burn up.

And a rebuilt one is about $1200 - $1400 with a warranty.

Doing it myself is no longer looking like all that good of a deal.
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Yikes! Reman sounds real good at that point.

What is so difficult about the bearing clearances? What kind of adjustments can be made?
The bearing clearances aren't necessarily difficult, they just have to be very exact due to the fact that the casing is aluminum and the internals are steel. So... they expand at different rates. Can't be too loose or too tight, or it'll either tear itself up or burn itself up. =P
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