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Discussion Starter #1
Getting my all my build thread info into one thread - since I hope to God I'm not buying anymore Bronco's anytime soon.


So last Summer - I'd been on the lookout for something to throw together for my son in college. He's got a 2WD '11 Silverado, and while it's been a good truck, he tends to fish out his kayak with what little free time he has (Div I scholarship athlete) and he doesn't want to mess up the Silverado. So an excuse for a project vehicle? He knows his old man pretty well.

I've always been mainly a GM guy - but I always like the Bronco's. And while I wasn't actively looking for a Bronco - I ran across a '96 XL on Facebook marketplace. Owner said it ran fine, her husband drove it everyday to work (he worked at the Ford Dealer Parts counter - that will become relevant later). One day it wouldn't start when he went to leave work. Replaced the battery. Still no start. Had it towed home. Where it sat, for almost TWO years. All the while they kept insurance on it and kept renewing the tags.

They bought it from the original owner in Texas before they moved to VA. No rust truck. The Driver's 1/4 panel has seen better days. The story I got was the previous owner had an incident with a trailer he was towing. Likely true.

Got it for a pretty good price. Half of what she wanted originally. Clean title. Of course it busted a brake line coming off the roll back when I got it back to the house.



Low miles (less than 120K if memory serves).

Zero Rot - just a bit crusty underneath and the surface rust from the 1/4 panel damage that was apparently never touched

The 1996 - Number One





Interior was even pretty clean - but a stripper XL model.



So I was in the midst of moving into a new place with my GF. Moving stuff out of her house (sold) and moving stuff out of my old house, trying to get it ready to sell, all while working on the new place. Almost 5 acres and two detached shops. With a 3rd coming hopefully next Spring. So needless to say, not much got done. However, after cutting grass and working on the land one day - took a break and decided to see what was up with the Bronco "bad starter". Surely the previous owner - who worked for a Ford Parts counter - checked the solenoid...right?

Put a new battery in it. Jumped the solenoid. Nothing. Posts were really corroded. Cleaned 'em off a bit. Tried again.

Let's just say it's a good thing no one was there watching me. I almost jumped three feet in the air. It fired right up and idled like nobody's business, albeit loud since it's got virtually no exhaust past the mid pipe.... No rattles, no squeals, no knocking. I shut it off, checked fluids (all good) and fired it up again. Hell, the AC even blows cold!!!! :ford

So I get a notification on Facebook marketplace about a Bronco - since I'd looked at several before buying this one.

1993 EB - no engine. No rust. Went and checked it out and pulled the trigger. For the price I couldn't NOT buy it.

Again, super clean wheel wells.

Story on this truck was pretty simple. Current owner (had several project Fords at this place) bought it to swap an engine into. Previous owner had it in a barn. Engine went bad, they pulled the engine and were going to replace it. It sat.

Last inspected in '03.

Undercarriage of this one is actually cleaner than the '96. Interior is dirty but surprisingly in GREAT shape. Power buckets aren't even ripped. Does need the armrests fixed though.

When I called him he had several offers, no one had showed up with the cash. Drove there that night, looked it over, handed him the cash and got the title. Showed up two days later with my buddy's F150 and a Uhaul car trailer (my '84 GMC was down with a busted rear brake line). So of course no engine and no winch, my son was wondering how we were going to get it on the trailer. I decided to go old school.

Backed trailer up to the Bronco and lined the ramps up. Unhooked trailer, tied a tow strap to the F150 and the front crossmember of the Bronco and pulled it up on the trailer. Haven't tried this in years, and it worked a lot easier than I remember.

Maybe 3 miles from where the Bronco was, one of the trailer tires decided to blow out. Luckily these were backroads and I was going maybe 30mph when it went. Luckily found a large pull off, called UHaul and waited.

Hour and half and one new tire / wheel later, we were on our way again. @ 60 mile trip to the house was uneventful.

The 1993 (Number Two)

Where it was sitting when we picked it up:



Got it back to the house - of course this one busted a brake line too getting it off the trailer:







So the plan was to use the drive train from the '96 in the '93. Then it would get a 6" lift, 35's, go through everything etc.

Then life got in the way. Getting my old house ready to sell, work, working on new house and other more important things getting in the way of wrenching.

Then I got a notification text from an app I had on my phone for Craigslist. When I was still looking for Bronco's.

1995 EB. ZERO Rust. (most are rusted here in VA). 6" Lift. Recent 35" BFGs, Mickey Thompson wheels.

Yeah - I bought another one.

1995 EB - No rust. Guy I bought it from was keeping it at his shop where he works (not the best part of town - especially after dark) and a while back someone decided they needed it more than he did. They broke the passenger window, and butchered the steering column, stole the face to the stereo - but couldn't manage to actually steal it.

6" lift. He just did all new shocks. 35" BFG's, M/T wheels. Interior is actually mint with both seats being power. Paperwork in a folder on the truck show where the previous owner paid over $5K in 2011 for a crate engine, and a rebuilt E4OD. Not to mention locker and gears. From the way it goes - I'm assuming they ditched the 3.55's for 4.56's - but won't know for sure until I get inside the pumpkins for a check and fluid change.

The current owner just installed new Ball Joints, all new tie rods and steering linkage and new exhaust.D

Thing runs really well for having a monster exhaust leak (Cracked manifold I'm betting)

Got it for a good deal. Let's just say I paid less than half what someone paid to put in an engine / trans and other work a few years ago.



 

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Discussion Starter #2
Ended up robbing the door glass and column from the '93. Nothing at the local junkyards. Starts and runs / yard drives nicely.

Previous "professional" install of an alarm was a nightmare..








Remnants and evidence of a pretty hefty stereo installed at one time. Still has some nice Memphis Audio speakers in the doors.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Combed another junkyard - think I found a Saginaw steering conversion to rob. 302 / 351 E150 - early to mid 90's.

It looks right I think

 

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Discussion Starter #4
1st round of parts ordered:

BBK headers
Spark Plug Wires
OEM style battery cables
Gaskets
Hoses
Water Pump
Thermostat
Water Oulet that will accommodate a mechanical temp gauge (I've got a set of Autometer sitting around)
 

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Didn't see that receipt from PO before. That seems like a pretty good deal to me. Glad you're benefiting from it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Didn't see that receipt from PO before. That seems like a pretty good deal to me. Glad you're benefiting from it.

Actually there are more receipts.
Inspection receipt from 2 years ago where someone dropped $500 on 'steering' - I'm guessing the pump was whining and they replaced with another ....that's now whining again.
Also had a sheet from the same owner (who replaced the engine / transmission ) who wrote down mileage when oil was changed, transmission fluid changed, radiator placed etc.

In the morning I'm heading to a local place that specializes in lifted trucks - to get it aligned. The ball joints are brand new, I need to look to see if they used the adjustable camber bushings or factory. Either way, won't cost much to have the caster / camber fixed since the main expense is labor getting those things out of the old ball joints.

Same trip I'll get the tags for it.

After that engine tear down starts.

Looks like it's got a small seepage of oil coming from either the lower intake or the distributor gasket. Regardless it's coming apart. I don't like taking things apart twice if I can help it.

So I'll clean it off and start pulling stuff off. Might even clean / paint the intakes / valve covers etc.

Depending on what kind of shape the EGR system is in, it'll be coming off too. For all those giving the speech about losing MPG, setting codes, etc etc...save your fingers the trouble. I've had more than my share of engines taken down to the block over the years. The carbon that builds up in the intake tract because of crappy old technology and the EPA's 80's and 90's efforts at meeting smog standards is consistent across the board. No thanks. Likely also adding the air / smog pump delete pulley too. The cat converter on this truck is not very old. Newer replacement converters have no use for AIR injection. That need stopped more than a decade ago. It's simply parasitic drag at this point.

The alternator looks to be an Autozone brand (DuraLast) replacement. I'm not thrilled with that. But it tests okay so it can stay for now. Replace the starter / battery cables, fix any pooched up wiring, clean the throttle body, etc etc.

What I like to call a spray can rebuild. Might even throw the compression tester on it while it's taken down for grins.

I'll throw up pics as I go.
 

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I've got to do my timing cover. It's seeping coolant. I am definitely not looking forward to that. I've got all the parts just not the initiative. Again, looking forward to following your journey.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I got underneath and crawled all over the '95.

Not in bad shape overall. Really impressed by the lack of rust on this truck, considering it spent time on the East Coast.

There was a brand new fan clutch in the box in the back of the truck, tested the one installed and it was definitely on its way out. So I went ahead and replaced that. Gauges are a bit wonky. Really need to try transferring the circuit board over to the donor cluster - may try to just bolt the used cluster in - but it's earlier than a '94 (first year of SRS / Air bag) and the circuit panels are definitely wired differently as our the main harnesses going into the cluster itself.

I'm going to order a replacement mid-pipe / cat tonight to go with the new BBK headers that are on the way. The exhaust leak at idle is worse when cold, and revving the truck - I can hear something isn't right either with the exhaust manifold itself or the AIR / EGR System. Haven't even bothered pulling codes yet. Will do that after I tear it all down and go from there.

Rear shocks are brand new Skyjacker shocks. Brand new steering stabilizer. New tie rods, new ball joints.

There is a decent leak from the transmission. Looks like it's coming from somewhere higher up on the Passenger side of the transmission.

Some of the wiring is suspect - normal lazy / ignorant Previous owner stuff. Radius arm bushings etc actually look in very good shape.

Chasing down the number stamped on the radius arm drop brackets - looks like it's a Superlift brand lift.

Also going to order (4) shocks for the front, apparently they weren't replaced.























 

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Discussion Starter #9
Also - appears I need to troubleshoot the push button 4WD. Tried the switch that came with it (would be thieves pried it off) and tried the one from the '93 EB donor. Nothing - no light no indication the motor is doing anything. Guess I'll add it to the list and get the multimeter out and start tracing.......
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Took it the alignment shop this morning. It was a bit of adventure driving it on the back roads near my house.



They were able to set the toe of course. But instead of them taking out the current bushings, seeing what they were, then checking to see if they had the right ones, I decided to just add the adjustable camber bushings to my next Rock Auto order coming up shortly. They told me they'd install the bushings / set caster and camber, then reset toe without charging full price.

Alignment after toe adjustment



Truck rides and drives pretty damn good. Lots of rattles from loose interior panels etc - I'll get those sorted.

But it's pretty damn twitchy going down the road. I've been digging through and researching alignment specs and especially how they affect lifted TTB setups.

So right now my specs are:

Camber:
Left = -.5
Right =+.9

Ideally I'd want the following for Camber:

Left = .0
Right = -.5

Right now my Caster is:

Left = 2.4
Right = 2.7

Ideally it should be:

Left = 4.0
Right = 4.5

I think I'm going to order two of these:

ACDELCO 45K0136 : Front; Cogged Head; Original Equipment Type; Plus or Minus 2-3/4 Degree

That should allow the adjustment I need
Right = 4.5

At 250K, I'm sure the OEM steering box is not exactly operating at peak performance. I know I'm doing the Saginaw pump swap and I'm debating on doing the Redhead steering box upgrade.

Just ordered a new Sag Pump, cap, and van pressure hose as well.
 

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So the gauge cluster in the '95 EB (tach cluster) works okay, but the white plastic housing which holds the instrument cluster is busted all up, apparently from previous owners forcing things apart. So I found a cheap tach cluster from a 2WD F150 (pre air bag for 92-93) at the local junkyard. I tore it apart last night and removed everything, including the printed circuit panel from the housing. The plan tonight is to take the '95 cluster and transplant over everything to the new housing. I'll do my best to remember to take pictures in case anyone else ever needs to try this.

Word to the wise - after a LOT of research and comparing Ford EVTM diagrams, the PRE SRS / Airbag clusters (92-93) are wired totally different than the '94+ clusters. The newer clusters have about 10 more wires coming into the harness than the older ones.

Need to order some front sway bar drop brackets. Apparently one of the previous owners made their own. It doesn't drop the bar down low enough and the bolts from the links have actually "self-clearanced" themselves against the lowest part of the front most shocks (quad shock option).

So front shocks will be on order soon as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The door panels in the '95 are trash.
I've got one really nice panel in the '93 - but the driver's side is almost as bad as the one in the '95.
After seeing $450 for a set of repros - and not able to find ANY decent panels of ANY color locally that were priced halfway decently, I hit up car-part.com and scored a very nice set from a '96, even in tan. That and a 4wd switch, $190 shipped from WI to VA for all of it.

I'll take it. Odds are I'll be pulling ALL the interior panels out and using SEM to dye them anyway.

And it's looking more and more like I'll be pulling the dash out of the '93 and transplanting it. The '95 dash is in GREAT shape - except for butchered and busted attachment points. God I love previous owners.

The second round of parts start hitting today. I'll take pics tonight.

Hope to start engine tear down tonight or tomorrow. I'll be cleaning as I go - it won't be @jowens1126 level of detail (this truck WILL see mud and dirt on a routine basis) but I'll try to make it presentable.
 

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Got tied up - no progress. But more parts rolling in.

Received:

- BBK headers
- Jegs off road Y pipe to replace the Frankenstein monstrosity on there now
- Ford Performance spark plug wires
- Cap and Rotor
- Water pump
- All hoses
- Thermostat
- Water outlet

On the way:

- Door panels
- Another 4wd dash switch for testing
- Air pump delete bracket / pulley
- AC delete bracket / pulley (will eventually refresh the entire AC system but don't have time to deal with it right now)
- Adjustable camber bushings


I'm debating on ordering extended brake lines - since it looks the OEM lines are still installed - they aren't stretched bad or anything but they are 24 years old and I plan on a complete brake flush / going through.

Also may end up replacing the hodge podge transmission cooler lines (nice braided lines with good fittings from the trans but spliced into the OEM stuff near the radiator) and adding a stand along trans cooler.
 

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hate to see those first two broncos parted out as both are still savable..
They won't get totally parted out. Odds are the 96 will be a yard driver when I sell it. I even found a mint rust free driver's 1/4 for a good price locally. It was cut off a rust free truck. Clean title. Cranks up and runs fine. It needs new brake hard lines (I have a brand new Inline Tube full replacement kit). It might end up missing a few pieces of trim at most.

The 93 will be a rust free body with clean title including a transmission (Condition unknown).
If I swap dashes , it will be missing the dash, some rear trim, the passenger glass and the column. I've seen rusted out bronco's here with high miles, running and "Driving" go for $2000. I'll end up selling here first - but I can guarantee someone wanting one or two RUST FREE, clean title trucks will be happy.

Hell who knows, I might keep the 96 as a side project.
 

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Parts arriving and lining up



The BBK headers - I'm disappointed. Shopping for new ones right now, they are going back. They don't match up with the bolt in JEGS off road y pipe - and the pipe matches up with a stock manifold just fine. I've used BBK stuff in the past and recently on my Mustang and been pleased.



The Jegs off road y pipe is nice for sub $200.



So what's the verdict on headers? I may post a thread now. Pacesetter coated? Bassani? JBA? It's a 302 - so there is that. Searching some more now.
 

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Have to juggle working on the Bronco with maintenance on two Mustangs (the daily drivers) the '12 F150 and a ton of house / land projects so there is that.

But I did score a Saginaw conversion setup. Tried a local pick a part place that isn't as far away as the other yard I saw one. Walked in, 2nd row, several E series vans. Found one. $18 with tax for bracket, bolts, pump etc. Can't beat that.

Cleaned the engine / trans with degreaser getting ready to start taking stuff off and realized a previous owner removed the cruise control servo and cable from the truck. Lovely. Harness is there. So I need to add that to the junkyard list, searching the interchanges, at least it looks like there's a wide year / model range that should bolt in.

Going to go install the sway bar drop kit I got the other day, see if it helps with the steering at all. It's not play (although I'm sure the stock 250K mile steering gear needs to go) so much as wandering and some decent bump steer. Need to go back to square one and verify everything previous owner who installed the lift actually did.

Front steering geometry looks pretty good - but it could be better. Ball joints, tie rods, steering linkage all look new. They added an aftermarket steering stabilizer and it does have a drop pitman arm - so there is that.
 

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I also ran into trouble with the BBK headers. They didnt match up to my Y pipe not even close. The muffler shop had to cut and weld in new flanges because the Y pipe flanges were too small. Also, I used Stage 8 locking fasteners and on one position I had to heat and beat the pipe to get enough clearance for the retainer ring to fit. Very disappointing. BY the time I was done modifying it I could have gotten a Bassani Y pipe and headers.
 
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