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Discussion Starter #1
Two years ago, I bought a 1988 Ford Bronco XLT with a 351W EFI, C6, dual shock setup with 3.06 gears. It had lived it's life as a plow truck for a local A&W in Northern Wisconsin. It had 68000 Original miles on it in 2009, which is only 3200 miles per year. It came with a Meyer Plow in working condition. When I bought it, I didn't care about the body, only the mechanicals. It didn't run when I got it, which was remedied with a new TFI and distributor. Anyway, after plowing my driveways for the last two years, I am getting sick of the exhaust flowing in through the floors. The passenger seat belt pulled out of the floor, I think the only thing holding it in was the carpet. Here are a few pics

Rusty Doors and Body[url=https://www.supermotors.net/registry/media/891041][/URL]

Rockers and doors are Gone...[url=https://www.supermotors.net/registry/media/891042][/URL]

[url=https://www.supermotors.net/registry/media/891043][/URL]
[url=https://www.supermotors.net/registry/media/891044][/URL]

The interior is very nice though...
Check that headliner, not bad for 23 years...[url=https://www.supermotors.net/registry/media/891046][/URL]

Not much of the rear quarter left...[url=https://www.supermotors.net/registry/media/891047][/URL]

The passenger side is no better...


The gears are a little high for plowing, but the 351 is strong, the plow works well, as does the heater...not a bad truck for $725 out the door...

BUT...
I just couldn't handle the body any longer. It seemed that this winter, my seat just might fall out on the road I was plowing with me in it...:) The floors are that bad, rotted along the rocker seam from pedals to rear seat, both sides...can touch the carpet all the way...

I started watching craigslist and found a 1989 with a bad, partially disassembled motor, but what appeared to be a good body...only catch, it was 860 miles away in Georgia and I had to base the condition of the body on photos texted to me from a phone...a bit of a gamble.

I initially had to convince my wife that this WAS a necessity, not just a new toy for me. I then located and borrowed a car-dolly (incidentally, did you know that Ford Bronco's are really just too wide to fit on a car-dolly and will require some creativity to keep them attached at highway speeds?).
Next order of business, a co-pilot...hmmmm, I guess I will convince my father to drive with me and take along my 10 year old son for the adventure. It was three generations in the same truck and made for a great experience....

My dad, not being one to waste time on such trivial things such as sleep, convinced me that we would drive all night, straight through, load up the bronco, and drive straight back without a single stop to sleep. He says, and I quote, "you can can catch an hour while I drive and I will catch some when you drive"

We made arrangements with the seller and left on a Friday night at about 5:30 pm from Madison, WI. We drove straight through the night arriving in GA at about 7am, 13 hours driving, about an hour total for all the gas stops,etc. We had breakfast at a "Waffle House" (what's the deal with Grits anyway?) and began hooking up the new Bronco by 9am.

Immediately left for home and arrived back in Madison at 1am Sunday morning, roughly 31 hours round trip with stops and hookup/retrieval time.

I gotta say a Bronco that has lived it's life in Georgia is a far cry from one that has lived in Wisconsin. This 89 Bronco has less rust on it's frame and floor pans than my 2006 F150 Super Crew has, I am totally serious, take a look...

Here it is...
Check out those rockers...
And those fenders...
Previous owner had coated the floors in a bedliner, which is now peeling because he didn't scuff the original paint. I am amazed at how clean and rust free the floors are, even the original gunk under the carpet under your feet is still there and in great shape...

And here are the floor boards...the brown/redish color you see is red mud from Georgia, there is literally no rust, the paint doesn't even looked scratched...
This is looking toward the front from driver's side rear tire...
Passenger side...

Here is in insides of the rear fenders...wow..
Drivers Side...
Pass Side...

And finally, the real test, the tailgate...look at that bottom seem...unbelievable...not even swollen with rust yet...



I pulled the carpet up because it was in rough shape, check out the floors...nice and solid and the rear bedliner appears to be holding...

I can not find any rust on the body. It does have a few dents in the passenger side, one can be seen on the bottom of the passenger rear quarter, and there is a big dent in the passenger door and door jamb of the passenger side. For the record, I would prefer 10 dents for every piece of rust that needs to be cut out and replaced on a restoration...

All in all, I don't thin it was a bad find for $700...

It also has LSD rear, 3.55 rears, custom chrome rims and 33 inch tires. The small pieces that are missing can be found on mine.

I have already located a pair of GT40 heads which I will rebuild and put on my 351, all the parts and ECC for MAF conversion (Mustang A9P Ecc, wiring harness from maf F150 5.0 (1994), Pacesetter headers, custom y-pipe, removal of one cat, cherrybomb. I will bump up the cam, building for low end grunt (read torque). I would like to get it to 300hp, 400 lbft with these mods. For the time being I will keep factory intake...

So some early questions are...

I am contemplating pulling the body off to coat the frame and coating the underside of the body and re-coating the inside of the tub...I want this to last. I am going to continue to use it as my plow truck, but would love to have it completed and nice so my son and daughter could use it as an occasional driver to school when they reach driving age (about 5 years away).

What is my best choice for adhesion and sealing properties on the interior. I have read about duraback, por15, eastwoods product and rust bullet. I really have no rust to encapsulate or bond to, so I am looking for best solution for prevention of rust on the inside.

Underside of tub is same story, no real rust to bond to, but I want to keep it that way...what is my best option out here, rust bullet probably?

and for the frame and axles, Por 15 all the way or is there a better alternative. Don't get me wrong, not important that this looks like a trailer queen, it does, however, need to last...

Lastly, I need to pick a color. The EB interior that came with the truck is less than desirable. Seats are ripped, headliner sagging, plastic trim broken and missing...therefore I plan on using my red interior from my 88 as it is near perfect. I need to find a color that will look good with that interior color. I already own a black Ford truck and a Black Honda Accord, so I would like to steer away from black again..anyone seen something that looked really good or have an idea for an exterior color?

I will keep the updates coming and continue to post pics...Thanks in advance for all the info on this site. It is always nice when people can come to this site and receive honest, helpful advice on their Bronco questions, whether they are historical specification questions or simply "whats wrong with my truck" questions...keep up the good work...

Bratcop
 

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Keep up the great work Keep posting those pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Newly Acquired Parts

So, as part of this build I plan on converting to MAF, switching heads and possibly roller block conversion.

I went to my local boneyard today and found these....

...a set of gt-40 heads from a 1997 Mercury Mountaineer. Just to confirm, I checked and found the three bar casting marks...


Additionally while I was in there, I grabbed these...


If I am not mistaken, the dog bones, spider, and roller lifters, along with new length push rods are all I need to convert the non-roller block I have (after I drill and tap for the spider, of course), right?

I also found this on Craigslist and had it shipped to me for $52. I came out of an 89 Mustang GT and should run my 351 C6 setup perfectly...


So today, I got complete gt-40 heads, roller lifters, spider and dog bones for $150. The computer cost $52.

I will let you all know what I spend on freshening up the heads, will probably do a little porting on the heads, matching to intake and smoothing intake runners...valve grind and check the springs/replace.

FYI I plan on plowing with the original juice (88) this winter and slowly restoring the Juice2(89) throughout the winter...

Also had an Idea on paint...I had said earlier that I wanted to keep my Oxblood interior as it was in such great shape, but really didn't want another black vehicle. I think I found a solution. Has anyone ever seen this done? I would like to duplicate the paint scheme from a 78-79 Bronco, red and white, like this one...

I saw this picture on 78 bronco spring texas's build and immediately reminded me of all the ford trucks and bronco's I saw as a kid in the early 80's...I am just not sure how I would do this justice, as the white on the main body is wrapped in chrome. How would I transition between the red and white without chrome or some type of molding?

Bratcop
 

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Discussion Starter #4
interior removal

So the carpet is out, all the seats are out, all the plastic is out, except for the dash. I still need to remove the seat belts and the dash. I have found no rust what so ever. It is incredibly solid.

A couple questions if anyone cares to answer...

I plan on hitting the interior with 80 grit DA to remove/ scuff the old bedliner, then reapply Herculiner. I will be putting the carpet back in, so no concern on how rough it is or how it looks. I just need it to seal and protect the interior.
Any concerns on how this will be affected by exhaust heat? Shouldn't get too hot, all heat shields are present and accounted for :rockon

I will lift the body and play on coating the underside of the body and hitting the frame while I am there. The thing is that there is no rust on the frame. I was considering rust-bullet, but there is no real rust to encapsulate. I was wondering if I shouldn't go with Eastwood's Chassis Black? Other ideas for the frame and axles?

And for the underside of the body? It is also completely rust free, so what is the best way to keep it that way? Rustbullet? Chassis Black? Self Etching Primer? I am just a little hesitant on the rust converter/encapsulators as there really isn't any rust.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Bratcop
 

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To answer the previous thread question. Are there any body lines you can use as a transition line?

So the carpet is out, all the seats are out, all the plastic is out, except for the dash. I still need to remove the seat belts and the dash. I have found no rust what so ever. It is incredibly solid.

A couple questions if anyone cares to answer...

I plan on hitting the interior with 80 grit DA to remove/ scuff the old bedliner, then reapply Herculiner. I will be putting the carpet back in, so no concern on how rough it is or how it looks. I just need it to seal and protect the interior.
Any concerns on how this will be affected by exhaust heat? Shouldn't get too hot, all heat shields are present and accounted for :rockon

I wouldn't be worried about exhaust heat, I don't think it's going to get that hot. Mine certainly doesn't.

I will lift the body and play on coating the underside of the body and hitting the frame while I am there. The thing is that there is no rust on the frame. I was considering rust-bullet, but there is no real rust to encapsulate. I was wondering if I shouldn't go with Eastwood's Chassis Black? Other ideas for the frame and axles?

Some guys have gone in and cleaned up the undercarrage and just spray the hell out of some black semi gloss. I personally used some good under coating because of the beach trips I make and we do salt the roads sometimes.
And for the underside of the body? It is also completely rust free, so what is the best way to keep it that way? Rustbullet? Chassis Black? Self Etching Primer? I am just a little hesitant on the rust converter/encapsulators as there really isn't any rust.

Same as above response. Looking good, I look forward to seeing how the engine transformation goes.:rockon

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Bratcop
Hope that Helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks for the response, 379sinvb . I am not a fan of the rubberized undercoating per say. I want to eliminate the ability for salt/moisture to seep in the seams...maybe I should go with more herculiner? Kinda kidding there, but I would like something really tough for under there.

Bratcop
 

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Pin stripes do good to cover the transition between paint colors.
 

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thanks for the response, 379sinvb . I am not a fan of the rubberized undercoating per say. I want to eliminate the ability for salt/moisture to seep in the seams...maybe I should go with more herculiner? Kinda kidding there, but I would like something really tough for under there.

Bratcop
Could always go with the Truck Bed Coating. I have found it to be quite durable on my bumpers and rockers. It costs a little more than the rubber undercoat. Dupli-color is my brand.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
return to the garage

So I finally got back into the garage today to do some more work on the bronco... I pulled the body mount covers, and only one screw stuck/stripped.


Then I felt like doing some more work up front, so I removed the grill, headlights, front metal under the grill, battery box, hoses, brackets, ps pump, air pump, vac res, charcoal canister, overflow/wiper washer tank, etc...Here are some pics...


]





I did notice a couple of surprises...The PO had obviously been in a minor fender bender with this Bko. I discovered a small amount of bondo behind the driver door, and located one of the dent puller holes. I also noticed the Bondo Stalagmites inside the door...appears they pulled the dents, and filled the holes. It still is way better than rust. I plan on grinding all the paint off and starting from scratch anyway. I will probably weld those hole shut after getting the dents fixed...



I also noticed that the area behind the passenger side headlight appears bent. Am I correct in assuming that these kinks shouldn't be there?
This is a shot looking down from above the passenger headlight, the kink is visible at the bottom of the circular opening...

same kink from the inside of opening...


Anyway, when I discover these types of little jewels, I must remind myself that this BKO is 22 years old and is bound to have a couple scars...besides, look at how solid the typical places are...I can't get over how clean it looks.


rear inner fenders...


under rear weather stripping at tail gate...

and the usually dreaded "corner"...


I made another observation while removing the vacuum canister today and that is the observation that mechanics in rust free areas, like Atlanta, sure miss out on some real northern mechanicing. For example, when I needed to replace the Vacuum canister on my 88, it was because it had rusted out, even though it was on top of a plastic inner fender, high above the salt covered roads of Wisconsin. I twisted off both bolts trying to get it out and found the bracket had seperated from the rusted can. I then went to the grocery store, bought a can of tomato juice, which I promptly drilled a hole in to drain, then created an opening to slip the rubber vacuum port into, effectively making a replacement canister. Today, I simply unbolted one that looked factory new and had no real rust to speak of...WOW.

This is so much easier to work on, seriously...bolts actually come off, not twist off, and the threads on the bolts are actually visible and distinguishable, unlike the rusted ones we have here in Wisconsin...anyway, the work continues, all be it at a snails pace...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated, this thread is still alive

Life continues to get in the way, oh well...here are the updates, forgive me if duplicates...

89 bronco, motor pulled, trans and tf case pulled, entire interior removed. NO rust to repair, yeah. I then pulled the entire body off the frame and wheeled frame away. I then coated the frame in Chassis Saver Paint. I then pulled the front axles and replaced wheel bearings brakes and rotors, spindle bearings, and rebuilt the Warn Premiums.

Next on to the ball joints, replaced them, new tie rod assy as well as those big, white bushings that are in the trailing arms (?) ...

I dropped the tank, cleaned it out and coated it in Chassis Saver, too. While it was out I replaced fuel pump with 255 model. I then replaced all the shocks with some heavy duty monroes. It's not getting lifted, so no need for Rancho etc. I would have loved the Bilsteins, but saved for motor....u will see...lol

Back to the body. I coated the complete underside of the body in Herculiner. I brushed it on from the trans tunnel back, doing the entire underside of rear fenders. I had pulled all the heat shields as well and coated under them. I then coated each of the heat shield and riveted them all back in place. Two coats of Herculiner to be precise. I then coated the entire interior in Chassis Saver Gloss Black, same as frame.

Eventually, the headliner, et al was removed and replaced with the red interior from the 88 which is in perfect condition. I put the red dash in as well, only to find out that some of the plug configurations changed from 88 to 89, so I had to pull the entire interior harness and door harness from 88 to put in 89, what fun!

I power washed the red carpet, and it's almost good as new..so I put in the rear carpet...getting ready to finish front interior.

I also noted that the seat brackets appear to be different from 88 to 89, xlt to eddie Bauer, because my 88 are not plug and play and will require swapping seat brackets...oh well.

Now on to the engine. As it always goes, more is never enough...so I went bigger. I bought a 408w Stroker kit with flat top pistons. It's a long rod kit.
I picked up a pair of tw 170 aluminum heads. I also obtained a billet MSD distributer. I converted the entire engine over MAF before I pulled it. Oh yeah, I also swapped motors with a buddy giving up my flat tappet 351 for his Roller 351.

Engine is out, block at machine shop. I have a TrickFlow R intake for it, with a 90mm TB. I just got a cam, Crane XE274hr-12, and a Moates in on the way.

As it stands, using comp Cams estimator, I shouldn't have any problem hitting the 500's (hp and tq) at the crank with this combo.. Heads have 1.7 roller rockers as well...

Staying with the C6 trans as it is the beefiest...

Stay tuned...I will post some pics as I find them...

Bratcop
 

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Discussion Starter #15
...and the beat goes on...

Bronco Update...pics to follow...

I love my machine shop does an amazing job and really knows his stuff, been doing it since 1979, but man is he slow....

So while I waited, I decided to rebuild the C6. I had not done it before but felt up to the task, with my phone a friend (my father) having rebuilt c6s in the early 80s as a side job. I bought a 500hp C6 kit from Broader performance. I pulled it apart to find it was already beafy from the factory with extra frictions. I went further, getting 5 frictions in forward and high drums. I also did all the lube mods, and put in bearings instead of bushing where possible. That took a while since it was my first, it took it apart and reassembled it at least 4 times to be sure.

Once that was done, I decided to rebuild the 1356 transfer case. Its a manual, but I didnt want to have a weak link. All new bearings, seals, etc. Did not replace chain as it didnt' need it. I welded in a piece of rod to the pump to secure it, making it bulletproof. I then cleaned primed, and painted all the shift linkage parts and acquired new bushing to make them like new again.

With Trans and transmission done, I was running out of things to do. The interior was finished, all swapped over from 88.

The motor - Machine shop felt that the pistons I had with the setup I had just couldn't get a good enough quench and the compression would be too high. He suggested I look into some other options. I had a compression height I was looking for and found some DSS forged pistons with correct dimensions (they were actually for a 396 big block chevy). I ordered them and sold the others on ebay.

Crank assembly was balanced with new pistons. Hastings ring kit, file to fit acquired. Block was relieved for the bigger stroke.

I got block back yesterday. So far, the crank is installed with the new bearings. I installed all the pistons on the rods. .006 runout. They are full floaters,double locks, rods are bushed, arp bolts. Pistons sit .003 down in block, giving me ideal quench and they are dished so my compression will be around 11 to 1.

Block was cleaned and painted proud FORD blue. I filed both compression rings for each cylinder and matched them to their respective cylinders. Top gap .017, bottom .020.

Double roller Cloyes street timing chain installed.

Again, I will post pic very soon...

Bratcop
 

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Discussion Starter #16
some promised pics...

old vs. older...the white one is 88, the black behind is 89

motor coming out...

working on the interior




The 89...


The completed transmission


The block and related...




thats all for now...
 

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Nice build! By the looks of your engine/tranny upgrades the kids won't be driving this one?
Go with the red & white paint job from the picture you posted. Just use a painted pinstripe to mark the break- easy to do
Great to see you're back at it.

Go Pack Go!!!!:clap:clap
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So the engine is done, in, and running well. I am working on tuning it myself, so there is a bit of a learning curve, but so far so good....I just primed the entire vehicle after stripping it to bare metal. I used SPI epoxy primer and I think it turned out great. I also put in new Moog 824 coil springs up front and retired the tailgate window with relays... Getting ready to plow





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