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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys I’m currently looking into swapping the engine and tranny on my 82 bronco for the engine and tranny on my 97 Ford F-150. Curious to know if anyone has done a swap like this or knows of anyone that can do a swap like this is. I’m based in SoCal. Any advice/tips are greatly appreciated.
thanks guys
 

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I haven't seen a mod motor swap into a Bronco, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been done.

Your 1st challenge will be emissions. My understanding is CA regs require a swap of a later engine to meet all of the emissions requirements of the vehicle from which the engine came. Which means you have to keep ALL of the factory emissions equipment from the '97 in order to have it pass emissions. That's going to include the factory ECU, so you will have lots of wiring in your future.

Compared to the above, swapping in the mechanical parts shouldn't be that difficult. I'm not sure which side the front output shaft for the TC is on for the '97, but if it's on the passenger side, that will be a problem.
 

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Those modular motors are wide, and I seem to remember the bottom end is fat enough that there is some frame clearance issues on the older trucks. For an older non computerized truck I’d go with an LS engine. You’ll get the benefits of fuel injection in a compact package. The 4L80 transmission is plenty solid for the application and the transfer case is drivers side drop so it works in the Bronco. The LS swap is so common that parts and support are plentiful, Autofab makes bolt in LS motor mounts of the Ford.

Check this one out:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
How much can I expect to spend on an ls motor? Sorry for the questions guys I’m fairly new just a college student trying to get all this done
 

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Bronco Master
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I see complete LS setups with trans and transfer case for about $1500-$2500 regularly for 5.3L, 6.0L are higher but not that much more power. The 4.8 motors are cheap and reasonably bulletproof. The harness conversion and programming should be another $1000, less if you want to do the harness yourself. You might need driveshaft work, and some extra cash for power steering and AC. I would figure the project could be safely done for under $5K all inclusive, less if you are resourceful.
 

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I would figure the project could be safely done for under $5K all inclusive, less if you are resourceful.
IMHO it can possibly be done for that, but $5k is a pretty optimistic number, and 'resourseful' means you're good at scrounging junkyard parts, finding good deals on CL/FB, and you're doing all the labor, including any fabrication, yourself.

The internet is full of "$1000 LS swap!!" stories, but for most people that's not realistic. Another member on here did an LS swap and spent a lot closer to $20k, but had a shop do the labor, and also installed a high end transfer case.

All that said, if I had to pick a motor for a swap right now, it would be an LS. I'm holding off because I'm really interested in the new Ford 7.3 gas motor... it would be perfect for a Bronco. I'm hoping they start showing up as dropouts soon.

For the OP, the driving factor will be CA emissions regs. Do some research and find out what you can legally get smogged and registered before making any decisions. Even an aftermarket EFI setup on your current 5.0 may not be legal without a CARB exemption number.
 

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Bronco Master
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IMHO it can possibly be done for that, but $5k is a pretty optimistic number, and 'resourseful' means you're good at scrounging junkyard parts, finding good deals on CL/FB, and you're doing all the labor, including any fabrication, yourself.

The internet is full of "$1000 LS swap!!" stories, but for most people that's not realistic. Another member on here did an LS swap and spent a lot closer to $20k, but had a shop do the labor, and also installed a high end transfer case.

All that said, if I had to pick a motor for a swap right now, it would be an LS. I'm holding off because I'm really interested in the new Ford 7.3 gas motor... it would be perfect for a Bronco. I'm hoping they start showing up as dropouts soon.

For the OP, the driving factor will be CA emissions regs. Do some research and find out what you can legally get smogged and registered before making any decisions. Even an aftermarket EFI setup on your current 5.0 may not be legal without a CARB exemption number.
I agree with everything posted. Blue1551 is the person who spent $18K on his swap, but the engine and trans were rebuilt and the tcase was an Atlas unit. In his thread I had ballparked $10K in parts and $8K in labor, but it was probably more like $12K in parts and $6K labor. I PM’ed him for some info just last night, he’s still happy with the results and gave me some pointers.

Here’s a better look at the $5K figure. I’m looking for an engine right now, I found a complete running and driving 2009 Tahoe 5.3 4x4 with 103K miles and some body damage for $2900 obo, so buy that for $2500 or less, send out the computer for flash and build your own harness ($300) or buy a complete harness ($1000), $300 for Autofab motor mounts, figure $1000 for other parts and it’s right around $5K with you doing all the labor and fabrication. One could still part out the Tahoe recoup some funds if they had the space and time, or sell it whole minus the swap parts for $500.

My biggest issue is time. I wish I’d found an engine 12 weeks ago so I could’ve done the Covid swap while I was home. Unfortunately I work out of town 40 weeks in an average year. I’m looking at the option of paying for a swap at this point. There is a place in Phoenix advertising turn key LS swaps with 2wd transmission for $6K, 4x4 and AC are extra. Mine will be different as I’m keeping a Ford manual trans, so the swap will only be from the clutch forward.
 

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There is a place in Phoenix advertising turn key LS swaps with 2wd transmission for $6K, 4x4 and AC are extra.
Can you post who that is (PM if necessary)? I'd be very interested in talking with them...

Having done an engine swap in another vehicle, there is a lot of value in doing it yourself if you're going to be working on it. I've found that a lot of shops take shortcuts in ways that make it harder to work on down the road. On the car I swapped, I know every nut and bolt, and did all the wiring myself... that makes it a lot easier to maintain.

Time is a huge factor. My last swap took me ~ 18 months, but there was a lot of project creep. The result was well worth the effort, though. Truth is, I probably won't be tackling a project like that on our Bronco until I retire in 3 years.
 

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Can you post who that is (PM if necessary)? I'd be very interested in talking with them...

Having done an engine swap in another vehicle, there is a lot of value in doing it yourself if you're going to be working on it. I've found that a lot of shops take shortcuts in ways that make it harder to work on down the road. On the car I swapped, I know every nut and bolt, and did all the wiring myself... that makes it a lot easier to maintain.

Time is a huge factor. My last swap took me ~ 18 months, but there was a lot of project creep. The result was well worth the effort, though. Truth is, I probably won't be tackling a project like that on our Bronco until I retire in 3 years.
I would certainly rather do the swap myself, and I may still try. I would hit the “easy button” on the wiring and just order a complete harness and reprogram the factory ECM. My current Saginaw power steering pump should bolt up, alternator is straight forward with an external regulator, so I just need to sort out the AC compressor (probably custom hoses). I‘ve got a mechanical speedo and aftermarket gauges already, so I’m not too concerned about integrating the factory gauge set. The fuel system shouldn’t be too bad, I have a new tank, skid plate, and everything for a new 92+ bronco setup that should be adaptable. I will need to run new fuel lines as my old ones are junk. I have an idea of what I need to run for the clutch to line up, but I’m sure something will be weird and require figuring out. I have a ZF5 trans to swap in place of my T-18, but it needs to be gone through. I may just but a rebuilt unit and use mine for core. My transfer case also should be rebuilt. The engine swap could be done with the current trans and I could swap that later, the bellhousing adapter and clutch issues should be the same. If I do send mine to a shop for the swap I’ll at least pull the engine myself, clean everything up, paint the frame, install the motor mounts, etc.

I don’t know this shop, just their ad on Craigslist. Reading it closer, their swap doesn’t include exhaust, AC, or gauges.

LS swap 5.3 - auto parts - by owner - vehicle automotive sale

Blue1551 messaged me the name of the guy who did his, and I have a couple other leads on shops to follow up on. I’ll let you know what I find when I start making calls.
 
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