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1986 Bronco XLT "BUKNBUL"

9115 Views 88 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  sackman9975
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Well it's time....I'm going to start a build thread for my 1986 Bronco that I acquired back in March of 2021. This will be virtually a Ground Up Build.

Originally, I was going to purchase a new 2021 Bronco but then decided, it really isn't what I truly wanted.

I started my search for a Bullnose Bronco mainly with the idea of finding something along the lines of my first Bronco I had when I was 17. With a little help from @MS88Bronc and a quick call to say "hey get on Facebook and look to see what I tagged you too", I was able to get this project that you all are about read on.

Automotive parking light Wheel Car Tire Vehicle


Immediately I contacted the seller and worked out a deal offering him exactly what he wanted. Wired the money and BAMM I got EXACTLY what I was looking for!! Had it shipped from Texas and when it got here it was better than expected! I don't think this thing has EVER been off road. The under body is so clean (minus the oil leak) and everything is as solid as it came off the factory line.

Now I've had this truck for a year now and only put maybe 30 - 40 miles on it. Leaks oil like no other but that's ok. Why? Because I got plans for this thing!!!
Wheel Tire Automotive parking light Car Vehicle

Currently as factory, it comes with the 302 FI with the AOD transmission. Has 3.55 open diff and BW1354 transfer case.

I recently did a barter deal with a guy here in Michigan for some parts. I told him I needed parts off his parts truck which was a 1996 Bronco Eddie Bauer with the 351W/E4OD. After working on his truck for 2 hours, I was able to score the 8.8 (H9), all the wiring from the truck and the computer.

So my plans are to make this truck 351 MAF / E4OD using the OBD2 system. I have a 351W in my garage that I had built years ago that's bored .030, E303 cam fully balanced. It moved my last 95 Bronco pretty good on Speed Density. But I've been thinking of maybe doing something different (stroker) with it....not sure just yet.

During the past year I have removed the billet grille and push bar and put a new grill with Ford Emblem, new bumper guards on the front, removed the crappy running boards and found a dash pad from a swap meet that was in MUCH BETTER shape than what it came with.

Automotive parking light Tire Wheel Car Plant


Removed the fancy 1980 steering wheel wrap only to find a MINT steering wheel!!

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So I'm hoping I can find time to get this project completed in about a year. From drivetrain to paint, this will be my FOREVER Bronco. It WILL NOT see a Michigan winter, I can promise you that!!

Now.....Let the fun begin!!
In queue I have new Warn Premium Hubs, a set of Chrome Nerf Bars, a working clock, 4.10 gears and rebuild kit for the 8.8 LS.
I have 2 E4OD transmissions in my garage, one being from a 96. The 96 trans I was told only had 40k miles on it back in 2004 but it's been sitting for 16 years with me. I'm on the fence if I want to rebuild the 96 E4OD or just pick up a factory unit from Monster. I'm certain the seals are probably shot. I think for an extra $1000 from the rebuild kit price, it may be worth the headache. I have rebuilt a few transmissions in my life and they have all worked, but never an E4OD...plus I'm fairly a busy guy. So time is valuable too.

I need to source a few more parts for my project.
Manual Transfer Case linkage from a 91-96
E4OD Steering Column linkage from a 90-91
O/D Button with housing and pigtail from a 90-91
4.10/4.11 gears or a D50 Pig.

My plans for the PSOM is to either one of two things. Either tuck a working PSOM behind the dash and cable drive the existing speedo or integrate the guts from the PSOM with the face of the Bullnose Speedo. Still waiting for a junk speedo to try and see what I can do.

Going to document as I go. Going to be plenty of work including electrical integrating the 86 wiring with the 96 wiring. My goal is to be able to drive it this year, while sending it in for paint during winter of 2022/2023.
I can't wait to cruise this thing!!

Going to start pulling the H9 axle apart probably this weekend to start the rebuild of it.

In case you want to see how it was when I got it, I did a couple of "unboxing vids"


Stay tuned!!
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Sweet XLT! Can鈥檛 wait to see what all you do to it, gonna subscribe, us bullnose rebuilders have to stick together


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Looks like a great purchase. Definitely gonna follow this.

Based on what I鈥檝e been hearing and seeing, don鈥檛 buy a trans from Monster. A lot of stories and even a lawsuit or two from them selling their 鈥渂uilt鈥 transmission which ended up being nothing more than a stock rebuild or junkyard trans with a coat of paint.
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Both of my 86 5.0's had misses when i got them. The first one ended up being the injector wiring had been sampled by some small furry rodents, got a pigtail repair kit and fixed that up (But ended up overhauling the engine anyway). The second one was a bent pushrod...and i still dont know why it was bent, but i put a new one in it and so far so good.
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I鈥檝e seen, heard, and ridden in this bronco鈥t runs pretty well. It just leaks oil like a sieve. Plus, it has those one-year-wonder E6 heads on that 302.

Wheels are in motion!
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Looks like a great purchase. Definitely gonna follow this.

Based on what I鈥檝e been hearing and seeing, don鈥檛 buy a trans from Monster. A lot of stories and even a lawsuit or two from them selling their 鈥渂uilt鈥 transmission which ended up being nothing more than a stock rebuild or junkyard trans with a coat of paint.
Definitely appreciate the input on Monster. Just looked up the pissed off customers and you're right. I will look to probably rebuild it myself. Big fan of "if you want something done right, do it yourself"!
I鈥檝e seen, heard, and ridden in this bronco鈥t runs pretty well. It just leaks oil like a sieve. Plus, it has those one-year-wonder E6 heads on that 302.

Wheels are in motion!
Might want to check the build date, one of my 86's was built in November of 85 and still had E5 heads and valve relief pistons, so there is a chance it has a leftover 85 engine in it....now my other 86 has the good old e6 heads, but in their stock configuration, the E6 head is a little snappier feeling in the low RPM's, which is what it was designed for of course. However if a 351 is going in, it don't really matter anyway.
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Definitely appreciate the input on Monster. Just looked up the pissed off customers and you're right. I will look to probably rebuild it myself. Big fan of "if you want something done right, do it yourself"!
No problem. A Monster AOD was my first thought until someone mentioned it to me, which ended up being what pushed me to a 5 speed swap.
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Because my plans are to use an E4OD, I need to have a way to send it signals for speed. I was able source a junk cluster today so I'm spending the evening mocking up an 86 speedo with a junk PSOM. Prototype stage currently, but definetly PROMISING!

I used the face backing of the original PSOM to use as a template to drill the needle stops. I used a 7/64 drill bit for those.
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I drilled two 3/16 holes so that I could mount the needle sweeper to the back. I used two button cap 8-32 x 3/4 screws with a few nuts on the back to secure everything.

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With the circuit board attached, it's not sitting quite flush yet inside the cluster.


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I may have to bring the sweeper closer to the plate and shorten the needle pin. I I have the original PSOM needle attached.

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Needle currently sweeps freely!

I'm going to open up the trip display to mount the digital display and use a cutout from the original PSOM backing to cover the original 86 odometer hole under the 35-55mph.

Now I have a reason to ask for my rotozip to back...lol
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Subbing now this will be a great build to watch.
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Well....I have been thinking about the engine and what I want to do to it to make it better. The Edelbrock intake has been going up in price and is out of stock.

This morning, a quick search of "351w" on Craigslist and I stumbled upon this:

Automotive tire Bumper Font Gas Bicycle part


Needs to be cleaned up, but I think I did alright on this deal....
I gave the guy EXACTLY what he wanted. I already felt that the deal was too good to be true.

I paid........ drum roll please.....

$565

The guy said he's got more things I may need and will be contacting me tomorrow.

He said he's got a set of GT40 heads with a few hours at most. He's going to dig those out tomorrow and send me pics.

I'm stoked. Can't wait to get this rolling.
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Well I went back and bought a few more things.
GT40 heads with the Ford factory 1.7 roller rockers
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Synthetic rubber Tread


And a set of Lightning wheels. Now I'm not certain if I'll be using these, but the price was right and if needed I can get my money back if not way more.
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Synthetic rubber Black
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Didnt those GT40 heads on the lightnings come with cast valve covers?
I'm not for sure.... but because of you, I tried to search and see that my current valve covers won't work.. the oil tube is on opposite side. Ugh!
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I'm not for sure.... but because of you, I tried to search and see that my current valve covers won't work.. the oil tube is on opposite side. Ugh! View attachment 194069
Ahhhh, because of the air duct. Makes sense. Better check the honey hole lol!
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I took advantage of the nice day today to prep the rear axle housing for some new gears. Because the plans are to run an E4OD, I was able to source a limited slip from a 96. The only thing was, it was rusty as all get out...

Gutted the whole thing and took it to the car wash to get it all cleaned out.

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Then brought it home and started removing the rust using 40 grit flap discs and rotary wire brushes.

I think it turned out alright

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Arms feel like butter but next is paint and rebuild.
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Well, almost ready to start putting the axle back together. I got the carrier back with new bearings installed. Got my set up bearing made for the pinion gear and been painting the housing all day today.
Sure doesn't look like the same axle anymore!
Bicycle part Grass Grassland Auto part Metal


I also went and picked up the factory Lightning Valve covers today and the guy sold me a TrickFlow 8.8 diff cover brand new for $80. I may see about milling the branding off and see if I can laser etch the scripted Bronco on the cover.
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Setting up 4.10 gears today
Couldn't be much happier with the outcome.

Drive side
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Coast side
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Backlash at .008!
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