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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #41
Looks like you have been busy! Everything looks great. That color blue is just about what I am going to paint mine at some point.

If I recall correctly, we had his truck painted in early to mid 2015.
Thank you Yukon!
 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #44
Thank you guys. I am really close to posting a big update. I have been struggling to find free time and it is really a ton of work. I have completed many things, this is mainly the stuff I have already finished and installed (some you already know):

-Rebuilt engine. Added RV Camshaft.

-Semi rebuilt transmission and transfer case. Cleaned, took apart and replaced what needed to be replaced.

-Resealed cabin.

-Replaced fender aprons for recoated aftermarket ones.

-Restored (cleaned, re-foamed and resealed) all ac/heating ducts and components.

-Removed old firewall insulation and reinsulated it with two layers of heat and sound insulation.

-Rebuilt steering column.

-Rebuilt gearbox from Redhead.

-Restored dash and dash pad.

-I custom matched a paint for the dash pad that is really close to the original and will attempt to fix and paint my interior rear quarter panels with it.

And so many little things...

I am also making a custom gauge console that will fit right under the dash. 3D printed the shell and will cover with vinyl similar to the dash. The face is aluminum and will be painted to match the dash with a Bronco logo in the middle.


Will have pictures and more details soon!
 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #45
I am happy to inform that I have been driving my Bronco for the last 2 weeks. The break in process went well, I only got about 50 miles on it, so far so good!! It has been a long journey and there have been a lot of hiccups, but we managed to resolve all the challenges. I am going to try to post as much as I can of what has been going on but first I wanted to show a before an after comparison of the engine bay:



And here some detail pictures:







I will start with the steering because it has been the most challenging, all components have been either rebuilt or replaced.


STEERING

UPPER COLUMN
I first rebuilt the upper column because it felt really loose and it was something I could easily do myself compared to the other stuff.

Disassembled all the components and carefully took note of how everything was












This diagram found in the service manual was really helpful:



This was my problem, the notch where the hand shift lever sits was completely worn down and when this happens you have to replace the Shift Collar.



So I did order the steering shift collar, the 2 bearings (there is one at the bottom and one at the top, they are both the same) and some other little hardware that was inexpensive just in case I would need it from LMC Truck.

This was also something to figure out. Originally this piece of plastic retains the bearing in place at the lower end with some plastic pins that were originally melted to hold the washer and bearing but to replace the bearing you have to break the pins. The only solution was to drill holes and install some small nuts and bolts in there. I can’t remember what size I ended up using but it was something I had laying around the house.






This is the new shift collar, you can tell the difference with the old one. I put a bit of silicone grease to lubricate.







The lever spring was also broken so I ordered a replacement from McMaster Carr (could not find it anywhere else). The closest one i could find was this one.



Cleaned it all and painted it Black Metallic. By the way do not for get to but this cover plate first other wise you will have to redo all the assembly afterwards.



When assembling he main challenge is to compress the big spring inside enough and catch the two nuts that hold everything together. I do not have pictures of the process because my hands were full, sorry.


PUMP
I got rid of the old pump with was noisy and was not the original anyways, and I purchased this kit from Wild Horses 4x4 that comes with a Saginaw pump and a bracket.





Eventually it gave me a bit of trouble because one of the brackets they sent was slightly shorter that it should be and was not alining with the hole on the engine block. Because it was a Saturday, we decided to fabricate a new one and contacted WH on Monday. They didn’t apologize for the inconvenience, instead they said that this happened only once before and that they wanted to know what I did to resolve it. That was pretty upsetting, especially when I went to their website and I realize that at least 3 people had had this problem before as it is stated in the reviews of the product. I have to say the bracket system, I a not happy at all, If I am lucky to find an original saginaw one in the future I will replace it. Their customer service sucks, and it would have been nice to receive an apology upfront or even a small discount for future purchases, but instead it was more like: “Oh cool that you make your bracket, so how did you do it?”

You can clearly see here how the bolt can't reach the hole because of the WH bracket:


Here is a comparison of the one they sent with a provisional one we built on the spot, it was 1/4” off:



The provisional bracket we made was too thin, and because it was aluminum it was a bit too weak. You can see here how it was bending.


Ziggy made a stronger one out of steel, same width as the one WH original sent:


I also had a problem with a belt that would fit properly. The one WH recommends (AutoZone #17540 or Gates #6485MC (w/A/C)) did fit but it is too tight, it really needs a bigger one. Otherwise everytime you replace the belt you would have to remove the pump. Another one down for WH, not really happy with them overall.


LOWER COLUMN
I bought a Borgeson lower column. Maybe mine could have been ok replacing some parts, but I just did not want to deal with it. Nothing crazy about installing it. It simply bolts in. You just have to loosen all the nuts really well if you want the coupler sitting on the gearbox shaft properly.


GEARBOX
This one gave me a big scare. As you know I had a rebuilt unit from Redhead that looks amazing, putting it in place was not a big issue especially having an extra hand to help. But the problem was getting all the fluid in the system and flushing out any air. We did the traditional method of leaving cap off and steering side to side with the engine on a bunch of times until the steering was smooth. But when we test drove it it was extremely stiff, even more than a manual steering. But I found a trick online that really helped:

-Jack up the front end
-Remove cap on the pump.
-Turn on the engine
-Turn wheel to one side carefully without reaching the very end.
-Turn off engine
-Wait 5 mins
-Turn on the engine
-Turn the wheel to the other side
-Turn off the engine
-Wait five*minutes again

Repeat this process a bunch of times and it will flush out any air bubbles.

The second issue was that after all this it felt a bit loose, almost too much especially when speeding. So I took it to a steering shop and we could totally see that the pitman arm was loose. They tightened it with an impact wrench but something went wrong and they told me that the nut probably was cross threaded.

The only way to remove the nut was to cut it out, because when something like this happens if you try to remove the nut as is, chances are you will damage more threads.

So I cut it with a Dremel tool and there it was, one thread was gone.




I ordered a new nut and hoped that I could clean it up with a Die. Because otherwise I would have to send back the unit.

I ordered a Die, which by the way is 7/8 14 in.*And carefully rethreaded and cleaned it. I added a bit of oil to help lubricate the die and carefully went back an forth until it went all the way through. After this process the new nut would go in really nice. By the way the nut is 1-5/16”, which is hard to find but a 33mm (more easy to find at an autoparts store) should work too.

I was lucky that the new washer that came with the nut was considerably thinner that the one I previously had, so I figured that if torqued to the right spec the missing thread would be more or less in the middle of the new nut so hopefully it would be ok. And it actually went well this time and torqued to 175ft lb. (the range is 170-220, but I did not want to push my luck).

I test drove it, and finally it felt really nice smooth but tight. What a relieve… I still feel a bit uneasy to know that one of the threads in the sector shaft is gone, but if anything happens well I have AAA.

One thing to notice. I installed a dropped pitman arm because I had read somewhere that if you have a 4 inch lift or higher you need it. Well, I do have a 4 inch lift and I do not need it. Drag link and track bar need to be as much parallel to each other as possible and in my case with the dropped put man arm the drag link would sit too low:



So keep this in mind before you decide replacing yours. With a 4 inch lift you are right at the cut off limit where most likely you can still use the stock pitman arm.


STARTER MOTOR

As you know I replaced the old one for a high torque model from Bronco Graveyard. It is weird how its set up since it has its own solenoid. We actually had a bit of a freak out because the truck wasn’t starting at the beginning, but it all came down to a bad ground connection. There was a lot of paint where the ground cable threads to the engine block and it wasn’t giving a proper ground. Easy fix although it drove us crazy for an hour checking everything in the engine bay.

In terms of this starter unit itself, I am having a weird noise right after the engine has already turned on, as if the starter motor is still spinning for a few seconds, but it does not sound very good. I probably have to check and see if the starter motor needs shims to sit properly on the flywheel.


COOLING

Ziggy found an original radiator at a junkyard and convinced me to recore it. It was more expensive than a new aluminum one but the original radiators are made of brass instead of aluminum and because of that are more reliable and repairable, and according to him they dissipate heat more efficiently. And plus, it is stock.

It went from this:


to this…


I also had the radiator support sandblasted and powder coated:



 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #46
AC & HEATING

HEATING
This was a fun project. I completely disassembled and cleaned every component. I might have had a mice living inside the system at some point because it was pretty disgusting. All the foam was falling apart and needed replacement and all the insulation was either gone or decomposing. I also decided to seal all the ducts with red RTV. Cant find the pictures of how it was originally, but you can imagine.





The front part of the heater assembly was a challenge because the cover originally has some rivet nuts. When removing them by drilling them, the heat eventually made the holes bigger.


So to put it back eventually I decided to use some small bolts with lock nuts. I also put some insulation around the unit the way it originally was.


The other side with new foam all nice and clean:


The inside part of the heat assembly with the blower motor, the heat core (which I replaced for a new one) and the evaporator (which was missing in my truck and had to get it used):






I decided to replace the inside insulation for an aluminum foil one rather than the jute one that was originally there which was all falling apart:


This is something that I am not sure if it will work. An attempt of having a filter for the cabin air system by placing a filter (which I custom cut) in the cabin air inlet (or whatever that is called):




Hope it works. If it does, it will be extremely difficult to replace tho. I was thinking of building a new assembly that could accept a standard filter but I do not have the time for this sort of project.

AC
After placing this poll about the AC I decided to install the kit from Original Air. I haven’t finished the installation yet, but we partially installed the system already. Very nervous about installing those o-rings and not contaminating the system. But everything except for the Evaporator has been replaced so it should be ok. I will report once it is all up and running. I don’t have many pictures of the process:







BODY

INTERIOR
I removed a lot of rust inside the cabin. It wasn’t cancer and I did not have to replace any panel but still it was a pita. I also sealed a few gaps and holes.







I provisionally coated it with rust converter and painted it with rust encapsulator. Eventually I will I take it to a paint shop and they will take care of it. I also put some heat and sound insulation. Sorry I can’t find the pictures of that.


ALIGNMENT OF FRONT END
After putting back the fender aprons, radiator core support and assembling all the brackets it was very difficult aligning it all. I tried my best but it still looks a bit crooked. Putting the hood at the end proved that something is still not properly aligned. You can see that there is a big gap on the passenger’s side and also the hood it sitting a bit higher there.




The driver’s side does not look too bad:


Tried my best compensating it but most likely the passengers side apron bracket needs to be loosened and repositioned.

I also noticed that the grille shell is not sitting right either, the headlight covers won’t go in because of that. My grill shell is by the way really beat up. I am going to try to straighten it up but it is broken in many places.

At this point I feel that I might leave it for a body shop to figure it out.
 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #47 (Edited)
And more interior stuff.

DASH

I also wanted to restore the dash and dash pad. Unfortunately the new blue dash pad I ordered from Dennis Carpenter was not the right color and did not have the metallic shine the original one had. So I went to a paint store and decided to have it custom matched but before I show you the results I thought it would be cool to show you the color samples and codes of the original SEM swatches which even tho they were supposed to match they were not so close to what they should be (sorry some pictures are upside down, they were not like that when I uploaded them at Super Motors):













I am comparing here a sample I got from SMS fabrics and the closest of the SEM samples:



Although it seems like some are really close, in person they did not match at all.

And these are a few samples of the custom match process, the guy kept tweaking it until it came close to the original:


Aside from the color problem this dash pad did not fit properly in my dash either. I had to enlarge the holes for it to sit properly and one of the nuts came loose and had to address it. But after painting it I sure could not return it.

Here are some pictures of the final dash and dash pad all assembled. By the way I used paint from Automotive Touchup, the color is Bright Dark Blue Metallic M5557A. Which is the color I eventually want to paint the truck.







*I edited this post because I realized I never added those last pictures!
 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
Joined
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #48
BREAK IN PROCEDURE

And finally the Break in process. What we did was the following:


PRE WORK A FEW DAYS EARLIER:

-Put oil on filter and install filter.

-Added ZDDP Zinc Additive and conventional oil (I ended up using Pennzoil 10w 30) to the engine.

-Added Coolant 50/50 mix in with the radiator cap off to help purge trapped air.


THE DAY OF:

-Used a prime tool with a drill to engage the pump and lubricate all the motor components with the oil.

-Turned on the engine. Left it on idle for a little bit. Took the time then to adjust the timing.

-Then pressed the gas pedal up to 1,500 rpm for 30 seconds and then back to idle for 2 mins a bunch of times during 30 mins. The way we did this was placing a piece of tape on the rpm gauge so I would have a reference every time.

-While doing all this, we kept checking all the gauges (oil pressure and temperature) and checked for leaks (coolant, oil or vacuum). Everything was fine.

-Then we drove it on the street for a little bit checking all the gauges and for any possible leaks. Making starts from 0 to 35 mph and then stopping to help the vacuum (basically normal driving on the street stopping at traffic lights).

-After a couple of days I drove it on the freeway (on the slow lane) trying not to stay at the same rpm, varying the speed from 50 to 65 to 45 to 60. This helps the rings settle.

-Finally rechecked for leaks.


I am supposed to change the oil after 800 to 1,000 miles at the most. But this is mainly it.
 

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324 Posts
You and Ziggy do great work! Do you have any more pictures of the truck/interior? I think this is the first pic I've seen of the whole thing. I always assumed it looked like the one in your avatar
 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #51
Thank you! I put that avatar because it is how I eventually want to paint it. ;)

This truck originally was light blue, but the PO painted it white. Unfortunately, the white paint is falling apart pretty badly and it just looks like crap right now. The only part of the interior that looks good is the dash and door panels because I restored them. Everything else needs to be restored, which pretty much will be next on my list. There are some minor things that I want to take care of first but I am pretty close to just address the cosmetics.
 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #52
I know it might be a bit counter intuitive to post some pictures of how it looked like before at this point, but I just found them and thought it would be cool to see the difference:

Some pictures of the heater and ducts when I took it all apart:






The Radiator core suport before sandblasting and painting:


Crappy body seal:


The engine bay:


By the way I forgot to mention that I will be replacing the transmission cooler lines and the cooler itself. What I have now has been tinkered way too much and it looks like crap.
 

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Resident Nice Guy
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2,174 Posts
What an epic journey! You and Ziggy have absolutely knocked it out of the park! It's so awesome to see you guys push through so many hurdles. I bet you're enjoying driving it immensely!

Looking forward to the next chapter :)
 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #54
What an epic journey! You and Ziggy have absolutely knocked it out of the park! It's so awesome to see you guys push through so many hurdles. I bet you're enjoying driving it immensely!

Looking forward to the next chapter :)
Thank you so much Jason! It really feels amazing and I am really enjoying driving it.

I really can’t wait to finish it all!
 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #55
This is what is left on my list:

-Replacing Trans Cooler and lines.

-I have a leak on the tank filling hose. I basically would like to pull down the tank, replace the hose, clean the area, fix any wiring accordingly and put it all back up.

-Put the rest of the AC components and take it to an AC shop for a charge.

-I need to address a problem with the brake parking cables. On of them keeps getting caught up in the wrong spot of the spreader bar.

-Do something with the suspension. Either just replace the shocks or replace it all with a kit.

-I also bought an adjustable trac bar that I need to install, I don't like to drive with the front end not centered with the rear.


The rest is really not that critical, some things I am leaving for the body shop in the future:

-I have a big mess of wires in the rear (loose wires, burnt insulations...) nothing that is critical or affecting anything but I do not know if the trailer plug is working.

-Replace the tailgate for the one I bought. (The body shop said a while ago they would do this for me).

-Replace the hinge on the driver's door (for the body shop).

-Align the fenders, hood and grill shell correctly. (That is for the body shop as well).

-Install the racetrack moldings (the body shop said they would do this too).

-All the rest of cosmetical stuff: paint, carpet, reupholster...

-Replacing or reusing the weather stripping and replacing the windshield will be for the body shop too.
 

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Premium Member
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151 Posts
Love your work. Can't wait to get started on mine. I really appreciate your pictures and hope to achieve the same level of quality you did. As you can tell from my sig its not my goal to stay original rather more resto mod.
 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #58
The Bronco looks really good man. You have done a lot to it considering its state when you purchased it.
Thank you, I really appreciate it. It really has been and still is quite a journey.

Love your work. Can't wait to get started on mine. I really appreciate your pictures and hope to achieve the same level of quality you did. As you can tell from my sig its not my goal to stay original rather more resto mod.
Well, mine is not that original anymore. Trying to keep the look as consistent to the original as possible but some parts aren’t available anymore, it’s getting tougher and tougher!
 

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Also, do you have a picture of how you mounted the 90s overflow/washer jug? Did the factory plug work with the newer washer pump?
 
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