No, they didn't have that much slack when new. And there are things that can be done to fix them, like upgrading the steering box to a 4 bolt or redhead, replacing the rag joint, and swapping the steering shaft for a borgeson solid shaft, but 25 years of abuse have probably worn out a lot of parts. I just meant that with any bronco I expect it to have a lot of slop in the steering. As always though, check parts before replacing. And even new these trucks had a kinda vague steering with very little road feel compared to a rack and pinion setup. It's just part of the design. They are setup more for suspension articulation and use an older design. I just wanted you to know that what you are experiencing is normal wear for a 25 year old bronco.Man, I'm glad you posted that. I would have been researching steering and suspension stuff the rest of the week... When you posted, I had the Bronco out for a short drive to meet up with a friend. I only took it up to 30-35 mph and boy was it a handful, veering all over the lane, with lots of play in the steering. (I thought I had lined up the "new" steering wheel pretty close when stationary, but it's actually like 15 degrees off once the truck is moving.) They were that loose new?? No wonder they're so much more popular as off-roaders than around-towners. On a smooth, straight road, I actually felt like I was driving on soft gravel.
And I didn't mean to offend you by saying your expectations were probably too high, I just knew you had mentioned you were more used to small, lightweight cars that are setup for better road handling and probably have a higher power to weight ratio than the bronco. But it sounds like you have a good handle on things.
As far as the throttle response, it sounds like maybe a stumble or something. Not really sure what's going on there, maybe test the tps?
Once you get a few of the kinks worked out and get used to driving it you'll enjoy driving it more. As always, keep up the good work!