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86 Eddie Bauer edition, 302 speed density, AOD, 4” pro comp lift- 33” tires
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I’m looking at two different Broncos and plan on buying one of them. However I’m having a hard time deciding which is the better option. one is an 88 with a 351, already has a decent long arm lift and 33’s but the rear diff needs to be rebuilt (the guy says he has the parts for it, but who knows for sure.) and it’s only $1500. The other is a 93 and it’s in really nice condition. The guy swapped a 302 from an 07 mustang into it, the paint is exceptional and it has a freshly built transmission. The 93 is $4000 though, and it’s not lifted or anything. Either way I can fix the rear end of the 88 and be good to go on adventures, or I could save up and lift the 93 and all that later. I’m stuck because I really like both. (Wish I could afford both haha). So what do you think?
 

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Premium Member
1988 5.0L E/B AOD, bone stock+ 1993 5.8L E/B, E4OD, 4"lift with 33's
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1,273 Posts
HAHAHA! Funny guy! Which one should I buy. Turns out my daily driver since 2004 is an 88 E/B, 5.0Lz, AOD, completely stock. In 2014 I picked up a 1993 E/B, 5.8L, E4OD, with a 4" lift, Big tires and wheels. Which do I like better? Well I'll just say the 88 is still the daily driver with 224,000 miles on it. Within the last year it has gotten the AOD rebuilt for the second time, also a complete brake job. I mean complete! Rotors, pads, new rear drums and all ti fixins. A new set of Hankook Dynapros. The body has no dents, but rust and the shitty paint they used back then makes it look a bit dated. All in all after 32 years it don't look that bad.

The 93 came with a few suprizes. After I got it home the trans started going out. I started saving my pennies for a rebuild. Before I could do that, the rear end shit the bed and needed a rebuild. I did the rear end, then the tranny. The body is nice condition and was repainted before I bought it. After I got it, the paint on the hood and roof started chipping off. There was some rust forming behind the rear wheels before the bumper. I had the rust cut out and replaced the metal from patch panels from LMC. I had the hood and roof stripped down to bare metal and repainted. She looks and runs fine now. I don't drive it in rain or snow. It's my weekend driver.

Which one do I like better? I'd have to say the 93 get's it here. I also get a lot of compliments in it. I like the body style better and it's a lot faster than the 88! Not the either one is a race truck!
 

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86 Eddie Bauer edition, 302 speed density, AOD, 4” pro comp lift- 33” tires
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Which one do I like better? I'd have to say the 93 get's it here. I also get a lot of compliments in it. I like the body style better and it's a lot faster than the 88! Not the either one is a race truck!
[/QUOTE]
I like the 93 body style more than the 88, but I will just be happy to finally have a bronco. I’m just not sure if I should go for the already lifted bronco that needs some work, or the stock bronco that I’ll end up lifting on my own. Stupid decisions haha. Also I swear by hankook dynapro tires, I ran them on my old Jeep and currently on my dent side ford. Awesome tires.
 

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82 XLT Lariat 351w, Edelbrock 1406 4bbl ,C6 auto, auto locking hubs ,33x10.5x15
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2,344 Posts
My first love was a bricknose so I might be biased, and not really a fan of the look of the aeros (they're everywhere) but with that said... I'd go with the 93 cause it's in better shape and you can do the lift the way you want with the parts you want instead of living with someone else's possible half assed lift job.
 

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Super Moderator
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24,974 Posts
Yo OdinsBeard,
Welcome!
For the 88 and 93;
Member dash_cam offers very good advice on having an independent inspection done at sellers location! If you cant inspect it yourself, post Location in the noobie section and ask members for their help or seek out an ASE certified shop in area to inspect it for you. ASE is National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, read about it @ About ASE - ASE.
Find an ASE shop @ Shop Locator - ASE
Google each for reviews especially in Yelp, Facebook, BBB.

93; Ask seller if cruise control, if equipped recall work completed by dealership? Call dealer & have VIN ready to confirm or check status @ https://www.safercar.gov
"Summary: ON CERTAIN PICKUP TRUCKS, PASSENGER VEHICLES, SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES, AND MOTOR HOMES CHASSIS, THE SPEED CONTROL DEACTIVATION SWITCH MAY, UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS, LEAK INTERNALLY AND THEN OVERHEAT, SMOKE, OR BURN. THIS COULD RESULT IN AN UNDERHOOD FIRE."
To confirm current status, use this guide by jowens1126 @ 93 & 94-96 Cruise Control Recalls Repair
Note that 93 recall is different than the 94-96.

Check Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for 80-96 Model Year & Engine Type by NHTSA @ Welcome to VIN Decoding :: provided by vPIC

Our Navy Federal Credit Union used to suggest using https://www.nadaguides.com for finding the "value" of a vehicle.

Order a CARFAX™. Although not all accident info May not be provided, other important info is provided @ https://www.carfax.com

VINCheck® by National Insurance Crime Bureau is a free service provided to the public to assist in determining if a"... vehicle has been reported as stolen, but not recovered, or has been reported as a salvage vehicle by cooperating NICB member insurance companies. To perform a search, a vehicle identification number (VIN) is required. A maximum of five searches can be conducted within a 24-hour period per IP address." @ VINCheck® | National Insurance Crime Bureau

While you take a test drive, have someone stay behind or follow and check for leak puddles, exhaust smoke, tire shimmy, etc.

Besides the usual visual, driveability and leak checks, look for:
Engine Oil level: If the oil level is low, chances are the engine uses oil or leaks. Beware of water in the oil (there is probably a cracked block or bad head gasket), or thin, dirty oil with a distinct gasoline smell (this may indicate internal engine problems).
Oil pan rust - our's formed spots @ 62k miles - sand it down and prime/paint it w/Rust Bullet Automotive) & high temp. paint - too time-consuming replacement for such a basic thing as not having better gauge and paint by Ford
Try opening and closing tailgate and moving glass
Radiator plastic side seam leaks, esp. during engine cool-down period/overnight - our's leaked @ 50k miles & again just recently - look for leaks after engine has cooled down, esp overnight
Auto tranny - E4OD in 90 to 96 had a lot of improvements made by 96 so look for good shifts and see the maintenance records; fluids/filter should have been changed every 30k miles and less if used for towing.
Pull the transmission dipstick out when the engine is running at normal operating temp. The level should read FULL.
For the 88 with C6 or AOD, look for leaks around pan from (front) Pump seal. Observe color and odor of the fluid. It should be red, not brown or black. Dark brown or black fluid that has distinct burnt odor, indicates a transmission in need of repair or overhaul.
Odor may indicate overheating condition, clutch disc or band failure. Use an absorbent white facial tissue and wipe the fluid level indicator. Examine the stain for evidence of solid particles and for engine coolant signs (gum or varnish on fluid level indicator).
If particles are present in the fluid or there is evidence of engine coolant or water, the transmission pan must be removed for further inspection.

Also in 88 & 93 Broncos the Check Engine Light (CEL) comes on when the electronic engine control system is not working properly. The check engine warning indicator comes on briefly when the ignition switch lock cylinder is turned to ON, and should turn off when the engine starts. If the check engine warning indicator does not come on when the ignition switch lock cylinder is turned to ON or if it comes on while the vehicle is moving, the system is malfunctioning
If the CEL does not light up at all when starting it; then suspect that bulb is burnt-out or loose, socket was damaged by PO or shop, etc. or someone removed it.

Same for:
93 E4OD Transmission Control Indicator Light (TCIL), it is a LED and overdrive on/off switch at end of the Transmission shifter stalk; flashing OD light is an indication of a transmission related trouble code in the Powertrain Control Module (PCM).
Is it flashing while driving?

For the 88 and 93 do a SELF TEST for diagnostic trouble codes (DTC)s by my pal BroncoJoe
or havei8 and such as Equus 3145 Innova OBD I Code Reader for Ford EEC IV Engines at Walmart & most parts stores.

88 RABS Overview; miesk5 NOTE: "1987 was the year the rear anti-lock brakes (RABS) were standardized on Broncos; "...Rear-wheel ABS is another type of ABS available on some light trucks. It works in a similar fashion to four-wheel ABS, but monitors and operates only the rear wheels, especially important with light trucks, which often carry heavy loads supported primarily by the rear suspension and wheels..."

The 4-wheel anti-lock brake system (4WABS) in 93-96 is self monitoring. When the key is placed in the RUN position, the anti-lock brake electronic control module will perform a preliminary self check on the anti-lock electrical system indicated by a momentary illumination of the amber ABS warning light in the instrument cluster. During vehicle operation, including normal and anti-lock braking, the anti-lock brake electronic control module monitors all electrical anti-lock functions and some hydraulic operations. In most malfunctions of the anti-lock brake system, the amber ABS warning light will be illuminated. However, most malfunctions are recorded as a coded number in the anti-lock brake electronic control module memory and assist in pinpointing the component needing service.
Our module blew it's microprocessors a few years ago and two yard modules were bad. No returns so I'm running without 4WABS, just like the old days.

➡ Cash is King!!!
When Richard Rawling, star of TV show Fast N' Loud was growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, his dad, Raymond Rawlings always had a car or a motorcycle lying around. “It wasn’t the nicest or the best, but it was his,” the younger Rawlings says. Ray wasn’t much of a mechanic, more of a detailer and a tinkerer. On weekends, the guys in the neighborhood would come over, mess around with whatever car Ray had at the time and drink beer in the garage.
One of those guys who came around also taught Rawlings a lesson about negotiating that he still carries with him: “I was around 13. He said, ‘Son, you could buy a $10,000 car all day long for five grand if you have it in your pocket. Always carry cash.’ ”

"Cashier’s checks can be forged, money orders can be forged, and personal/business checks can be forged. Cash can also be, but it’s harder to make believable and easier to test. Take a powerful magnet with you. Yes a magnet. You see, on top of ID strips and watermarks, the ink the federal reserve uses has iron in it, therefore it will be attracted to a powerful magnet.
"by Froggmann @ 8 steps to protect yourself when selling a vehicle.
Banks cash fakes, then hold you responsible. ..
As craigslist advises, "Do not extend payment to anyone you have not met in person.
Beware offers involving shipping - deal with locals you can meet in person.
Never wire funds (e.g. Western Union) - anyone who asks you to is a scammer.

Sometimes a seller may "promise" to return a certain amount of money during negotiations..
Transactions are between users only, no third party provides a "guarantee".
Never give out financial info (bank account, social security #, paypal account, etc).

A summary of questions to ask the seller;
Do you have the maintenance records?
Do you have the title in hand and is there a lien on the Bronco?
How do I get the title?


General Inspection Checklist by Free VIN Check Reports and VIN Check
 

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Premium Member
1996 Bronco XLT, 351W / ZF5 (under construction) 1996 F150 XLT, 351W/E4OD, D44 SAS
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1,248 Posts
I have a 96, so in general I like that style more. But if your plans are to offroad it, I'd opt for the one thats ready for that. Besides it being cheaper (minus the rearend), it probably won't break your heart as much if you damage the body panels while wheeling it. I always liked the idea of having a nice, everyday driver bronco, and an older 'beater' type. Best of both worlds.
 

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86 Eddie Bauer edition, 302 speed density, AOD, 4” pro comp lift- 33” tires
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
My first love was a bricknose so I might be biased, and not really a fan of the look of the aeros (they're everywhere) but with that said... I'd go with the 93 cause it's in better shape and you can do the lift the way you want with the parts you want instead of living with someone else's possible half assed lift job.
That’s kind of what I was thinking. I’ve done several vehicle lifts and I would trust my own work more than someone else’s, plus paint and body work is so expensive and the 93 won’t need any of that at all. Thanks for your advice!
 

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86 Eddie Bauer edition, 302 speed density, AOD, 4” pro comp lift- 33” tires
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I have a 96, so in general I like that style more. But if your plans are to offroad it, I'd opt for the one thats ready for that. Besides it being cheaper (minus the rearend), it probably won't break your heart as much if you damage the body panels while wheeling it. I always liked the idea of having a nice, everyday driver bronco, and an older 'beater' type. Best of both worlds.
Yeah that’s would like to have both as well haha. For me the bronco will be a DD as well as my off-road toy. In the end I’ll have to do some work on either one of them to get it to where I want. Also I don’t mind getting a few dents here and there ;)
 

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86 Eddie Bauer edition, 302 speed density, AOD, 4” pro comp lift- 33” tires
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Yo OdinsBeard,
Welcome!
For the 88 and 93;
Thank you for all the good info! I’ll definitely keep everything in mind when I check it out. I’m trying not to decide with my heart on this one but everyone knows how that goes:LOL:
 

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Super Moderator
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24,974 Posts
Thank you for all the good info! I’ll definitely keep everything in mind when I check it out. I’m trying not to decide with my heart on this one but everyone knows how that goes:LOL:
Yo,
You're most welcome!
I know the situation can be difficult to resolve. Driving it around is key before a purchase.
Good fortune!!
 

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Premium Member
84 Bronco, 351w, c6, custom doubler, np208, 5.13’s, TTB44, 9”, locked f/r
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886 Posts
I could give a bunch of reasons why the 93 is better, on paper at least. But how the truck was cared for will dictate a lot more than the differences between the model years. Kinda building off what BroncoMom said, sometimes it better to start stock instead of having to go back and re-do sketchy, half ass work.
So I would pick which Bronco is less hacked, and gives you the better feeling....
 

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86 Eddie Bauer edition, 302 speed density, AOD, 4” pro comp lift- 33” tires
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I could give a bunch of reasons why the 93 is better, on paper at least. But how the truck was cared for will dictate a lot more than the differences between the model years. Kinda building off what BroncoMom said, sometimes it better to start stock instead of having to go back and re-do sketchy, half ass work.
So I would pick which Bronco is less hacked, and gives you the better feeling....
That’s what my gut feeling is. I have a 77 f250 and it was a ranch truck that they hacked up pretty bad. Definitely don’t want to deal with that shit again. I guess I should’ve added the question of what’s better between the two generations if they were both in good condition.
 

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95 Bronco, 351W, E4OD, 4.56 gears, 35x12.50x15 Patagonia MTs.
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318 Posts
For a daily, I will ALWAYS choose the 92-96 when given the option, unless you are in love with the earlier years. The exception is if you want a 78-79, because those are also cool. 86 is also a good year, some were fuel injected.

I'd go 1994-1996, the later years received a few more updates.

How about this:
If you need to restore, less is more, go 80-86.

If you just want a bronco to drive and find a clean 87-91, thats a good option, but the transmission options varied, some were less stellar. Some had the good n simple C6, others reportedly have a NP435 offered behind the I6, this is your ONLY option for a stock EFI300/NP435. The (EDIT, accidentally said ZF5 previously) M5OD is great contrary to popular opinion, just a pleasure to drive on and off road, first gear is too tall for any type of crawling without clutch work though.

If you want a daily, or a VERY CLEAN example, get a 1992-1996, as these will be by far the most difficult to restore long term. They have potential to appreciate more than the earlier years due to the widening gap between good condition and worn out examples, whereas a tore up 1985 can be fairly easily brought back. The newer ones have a lot more hardware to fail and neglect while the previous owners continue to drive. NOTE: the 92-93 automatics (e4od IIRC) had more transmission issues than the newer years.

9 times out of 10, stock is better than modified. I also avoid buying anything with major soiling or stickers. If the modified rig is EXACTLY what you want AND you know how to verify the work was done right, it could save you money. Modifications add 10% of their cost to value at most, The axle work alone under my Bronco cost almost what I paid for it.
 

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86 Eddie Bauer edition, 302 speed density, AOD, 4” pro comp lift- 33” tires
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
9 times out of 10, stock is better than modified. I also avoid buying anything with major soiling or stickers. If the modified rig is EXACTLY what you want AND you know how to verify the work was done right, it could save you money. Modifications add 10% of their cost to value at most, The axle work alone under my Bronco cost almost what I paid for it.
[/QUOTE]
Hey thanks for all the input, that was what I was looking for. However now my circumstances have changed (of course, why wouldn’t they). The guy sold the 88 and the other guy is being a dick and not answering me. So now I am going to look at a pretty nice 86 which is my favorite body style but I have up on that because they were all rusted to shit. But this one has no rust so I’ll check it out tomorrow. It’s got a 302, 4” lift on 33’s, automatic trans.
 

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84 Bronco, 351w, c6, custom doubler, np208, 5.13’s, TTB44, 9”, locked f/r
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886 Posts
An 86 with a 302 will most likely have an AOD trans. If I had to pick my least favorite engine/trans combo, it would probably be that.... but I do have a buddy with an 86 5.0 AOD built similar to my 84 crawler with a 351w and c6, and his has kept up for the most part, and hasn’t died yet. So if it’s clean and runs good, it will probably be alright
 

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86 Eddie Bauer edition, 302 speed density, AOD, 4” pro comp lift- 33” tires
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Well everyone...
I DID IT! Finally I am a bronco owner. I ended up driving 2 1/2 hours to go look at this 86 bronco and then bing bada boom I bought it. I’m fairly happy with it, there’s nothing major that’s wrong with it (that I can tell so far). It runs good, drove pretty decent too especially since it’s never seen the highway since the guy owned it. A slight wobble at 65 so I’ll probably need to get it aligned or tires re balanced. I’ll be creating a thread in the noob section and document it’s new life. Also I need to name it so drop some ideas!!
161086
161087
161088
 

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95 Bronco, 351W, E4OD, 4.56 gears, 35x12.50x15 Patagonia MTs.
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318 Posts
Very nice! I dig the long radius arms too! A wobble at speed common, and is always caused by something being out of round or out of balance, I'd start with balancing the tires.
 

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86 Eddie Bauer edition, 302 speed density, AOD, 4” pro comp lift- 33” tires
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Very nice! I dig the long radius arms too! A wobble at speed common, and is always caused by something being out of round or out of balance, I'd start with balancing the tires.
Thanks! It definitely felt like an unbalanced tire to me. We will see, and I’ll be replacing the tires anyways so it’s not a big deal
 

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82 XLT Lariat 351w, Edelbrock 1406 4bbl ,C6 auto, auto locking hubs ,33x10.5x15
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2,344 Posts
Well everyone...
I DID IT! Finally I am a bronco owner. I ended up driving 2 1/2 hours to go look at this 86 bronco and then bing bada boom I bought it. I’m fairly happy with it, there’s nothing major that’s wrong with it (that I can tell so far). It runs good, drove pretty decent too especially since it’s never seen the highway since the guy owned it. A slight wobble at 65 so I’ll probably need to get it aligned or tires re balanced. I’ll be creating a thread in the noob section and document it’s new life. Also I need to name it so drop some ideas!! View attachment 161086 View attachment 161087 View attachment 161088
Congrats! Name...The orange bomber 👍
 

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95 Bronco, 351W, E4OD, 4.56 gears, 35x12.50x15 Patagonia MTs.
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318 Posts
Thanks! It definitely felt like an unbalanced tire to me. We will see, and I’ll be replacing the tires anyways so it’s not a big deal
I like my out of round patagonias. Only issue is they came with flat spots, but they HOOK UP everywhere. No sarcasm. I strongly reccomend them for anyone that doesnt live on the freeway like I do, just verify theyre round before accepting them at purchase.
 
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