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Hello all,

If any of you have ever been to you may know me from the restoration I did of my '73 Bronco there. I met a good friend of yours J.R.Nice there (he has an EB as well).

My daily driver became a crushed coke can, and that scare (with my two little girls in the Element) was bad enough to make me realize I need a FSB for my DD! I'll be acquiring my FSB over the next week. I have several candidates in the Northern VA area: '96 XLT 5.8L 170k miles, '95 XL 5.0L 180k miles, and '95XLT 5.0L 199k miles. The first two appear, from photos on line, to have no fender rust and small areas on the tail gate. The 95 has typical dollar length spreads of rust on both rear fenders.

I know all about the typical rust (rear/front fenders, dog leg behind door openings, floor pan & tailgates) and some of the drivetrain issues (cracked manifolds, exhausted tranny's, cruise control issues).

Is there anything else to look out for that the colletive brain power here can give me??? I have just begun searching through all the posts here, so please dont assume I'm trying the easy way out. :thumbup

Thanks all & I hope to soon be sharing my tooling experiences with you all!!!


Bill Criss (aka MnkyBiz)

Driving Stuff Henry Built
-90 xlt, 351w, e4od, man 1356, 3.55, sag, warn hubs, 35s. -73, 400, np435, d20j twin, 35s
8,399 Posts
Welcome to the site! I saw your "Voice" thread on CB a few minutes ago. Glad to see that you are all ok after the crash. I'm the owner of a very rough 73 project as well as my 90. I haven't been thru your build thread yet, but will be soon. Good luck with the FSB hunt. :thumbup

Please excuse the cut & paste, but below is my usual reply on what to look for. Not mentioned in that list is the stock power steering pump. If you find an FSB that has need for one, there is a bracket from an E series van that will allow a Saginaw pump to fit in its place, & there are several good write-ups on the swap. Hopefully Miesk5 ( will drop in here, but if he doesn't, it would be well worth finding his list of things to look for in 96ish Broncos.

The body style breaks are 78-79, 80-86, 87-91, & 92-96. If you look thru the Post a Pic of your Bronco 80-96 Thread & Post a Picture of your Bronco 78-79 Thread you can see the different styles. As they get newer, wheel openings seem to get smaller.

1980 had an odd frame with holes in it. In 81 they went back to the solid frame. I think in 92 they went to the accordion style frame horns, so it can be trickier to add recovery points. 87 & some 88s with manual hubs had the top hat hubs which are expensive to replace, & require a lot of additional parts to swap to the more common hubs, avoid those if you can. 87 & 88 auto hubs can be swapped easily like other years. Auto hubs are prone to fail, but changing to manual hubs is pretty simple. Don't let auto hubs deter you from buying an otherwise good truck, just plan on making the switch. There are several good write ups on swapping them if the time comes.

Broncos with 302s had EFI before the 351s. As you move to newer trucks, the electronic systems become more advanced. If it has EFI, you should be able to pull codes from the computer to help with diagnostic issues. 96s (Maybe some 95s) are MAF (Which is more adaptable to intake/cam changes) & are OBDII. 87-92 had rear antilock brakes, 93-96 have 4 wheel ABS.

78-79 are the only years that came stock with solid front axles, which the rock crawlers like. The high speed desert guys seem to prefer the TTB independent front axle which is stock from 80-96.

All full size Broncos had the removable tops, but the newer ones (92+?) have rear seat shoulder belt mounting points & 3rd brake lights, so they aren't supposed to be removed.

The later years come with an E4OD 4 speed overdrive tranny. It's a heavy duty trans, but doesn't like heat & is expensive to rebuild. Make sure it's in good shape. It's a good idea to add an external filter & cooler if you get one (Like this: Trans Filter, Cooler & THERMOSTAT install by Fireguy50 or this VOTE For Sept.'07 FOTM by Sixlitre -Post 173 Trans filter.) They did do some upgrades to the newest E4ODs, & when the older ones are rebuilt, they should include those upgrades. If you are using it primarily offroad, you might prefer an older truck with a C-6 (Non overdrive) trans. There were other trannies used as well & adrianspeeder's Bronco Tranny and T-Case Info thread has a bunch of trans/engine/year combo info.

As for being lifted, you'd rather have extended radius arms than radius arm drop brackets. Blocks are definitely bad in the front, & aren't the best solution for the rear either. Take a look thru the lift section of Baba Looey's Favorite FSB Links for several links on the subject.

Both manual & electric shift t-cases were available in late 80s-96. Most of us think the manual ones are more reliable, but in salt belt trucks sometimes the manual linkage is more trouble. There's a good electronic shift diagnostic routine that kf4amu links regularly, & shadowfax & others have writeups on rebuilds & swaps. Both electric & manual shift thru later years are BW 1356 t-cases, so internally the works are the same, even though shifters won't interchange.

If you're looking for common problems, watch out for rust over the rear wheel well openings & bottom of the tailgate. It usually starts on the inside, so if you see it, it's probably all the way thru. Rain gutter & bottom of the B pillar are also places to look. The rear window will act up on most of these eventually, but the problems usually aren't bad to fix. Don't let a stuck window scare you off, use it as a bargaining chip.

For my use, if I was buying one today, I'd probably be looking at an 89 351w or a 78-79. The 89 is very similar to my 90, (Which I like a lot & have grown familiar with) but the 89 has a C-6 behind the 351. I don't drive mine much on the freeway, so I don't think I'd miss the OD. 78-79s are just cool, simpler (If you learned on carbureted engines anyway :toothless), have larger wheel openings, & have solid axles.

Premium Member
3,944 Posts
welcome to FSB keep an eye on dixie chapter and check out some of the events, lots of fun
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