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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1978 Bronco custom that came with quad shocks and front and rear sway bars. It handles very well on pavement, but I want a lot more off-road capability. The front sway bar is already gone, and I've already decided on a 4" lift for 35" or 37" tires. I'm open to extended radius arms, but probably not immediately. I've also used the search function here and elsewhere, but most information is pretty dated. So what is the "go to" setup for a soft ride and lots of articulation in 2020?
 

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78 Custom 460 NP435 NP205 Sniper EFI HyperSpark Ignition 4.56 Gears Front/Rear Grizzly Lockers
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That's a good question! I'm already accumulating parts for my 4"+ lift for my '78. Hopefully I haven't chosen unwisely. I still have a few parts to decide on and I'm kind of in the same boat as you, what's best to use in 2020 and what's best for my intended use.
 

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Best with no budget in mind, Duff arms or similar with custom made mounts for coil overs up front. Deavers or WH leafs in the rear with good at least 2.5" reservoir or bypass shocks, with an under the bed shock mount to get some extra shock length.

Best budget oriented. same as above only with front coils and a good 2" shocks, like FOX, Bilstein, etc... Use 2.5" shocks if gonna pound on it for long period as to avoid shock fade. Think like sand dunes, etc..

Spline style sway bar for the rear, with link bars that go down to the axle. these are also easy to remove for max flex. Best of both worlds, though not cheap.

-My opinion....
 
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78 Custom 460 NP435 NP205 Sniper EFI HyperSpark Ignition 4.56 Gears Front/Rear Grizzly Lockers
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If you were going all out, wouldn't a 4-link be better over a set of leaf springs? I guess with that kind of thinking though, you could keep one-upping it until you have a full custom tube chassis.
 

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Agree on the 4 link.
Was trying to offer a mostly "Off the shelve" solutions. Broncoair has the coil over mounts that will work. I also think a set of ttb era mounts would be easy to make work on 78/79 too.

I forgot to add that you really need an antiwrap bar, or traction bars with the flexy springs in the rear, especially if putting decent power down.
 
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78 Custom 460 NP435 NP205 Sniper EFI HyperSpark Ignition 4.56 Gears Front/Rear Grizzly Lockers
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Wow, those coil over mounts are not cheap. You weren't kidding about "no budget in mind", things add up quickly if you want the good stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
For now, my solution needs to be stock type off-the-shelf stuff.

I hear good things about Deaver springs, the 4" rear are a 10 pack, Wild Horses 4" rear are a 7 pack. I'm not sure who else offers a really good 4" leaf.
 

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I am running a 4" lift with wild horses 4" coils up from with BDS radius arm drop brackets with 4 degree bushing up front. I switched to a rough country Trac Bar drop bracket as from everything I can see it is the toughest bracket on the market that is not custom. I had a BDS bracket and it was weak and bent on me. Out back I decided on Pro Comp 4" springs. I had them on my 1992 and they flexed okay but could handle weight great and offered a good ride. With this setup my flex is good but not amazing. This is all off the shelf parts that I have added over the years and it drives and rides great on the road and wheels good.
That being said though the James Duff arms will help front axle flex a ton on their own. My Wild horses coils are awesome but are let down by the suspension geometry up front. With the bayonet bushing on the drop brackets you don't get ultimate articulation as they always want to return to a straight position. This is especially obvious to me when climbing uphill and flexing out. I often get a lot of front wheel lift and a loss of traction as the suspension bayonet bushing try's to return to their natural position. The duff arms do away with that setup and with the extra length you get incredible flex.
 

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1979 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400m engine, C6 trans, D44 front with Dick Cepek manual hubs
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very interesting parts in Broncoair shop, hell of professional kits.... this paired with DUFF may be an off road Killer setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, with 2020 drawing to a close - here is where I ended up. Wild Horses progressive coils up front, Deaver 10 pack leafs in the back, and Rancho RS9000XL shocks all around. This will at least get me started.
 

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Well, with 2020 drawing to a close - here is where I ended up. Wild Horses progressive coils up front, Deaver 10 pack leafs in the back, and Rancho RS9000XL shocks all around. This will at least get me started.
Should be good all around truck. The adjustment on the 9000's will let you dial it in for street or off-road. I ran same setup but with the Deaver coils up front. They did not offer the WH springs at the time. What you have now should be about the best, stock style lift you can do to there 78/79's.
The next step up gets exponentially more expensive, and starts to get into the 1 off custom race parts
 

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Well, with 2020 drawing to a close - here is where I ended up. Wild Horses progressive coils up front, Deaver 10 pack leafs in the back, and Rancho RS9000XL shocks all around. This will at least get me started.
Total cost? Need to do an upgrade to my stock setup as well


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Canuckistan97,

I'm at $1,940 on the suspension. It was the best money I ever spent on my 77 Bronco and hope this similar setup will perform the same.

CrazyBRONCOguy,

Yeah, that's kind of my goal - best stock type suspension setup. I can see extended radius arms at some point, with longer front shocks, but that's probably as far as I'll ever go. I'm sure there would be some trail somewhere that might require a better suspension, but chances are Ill never see it!
 
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