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I am trying to buy a bronco. I have found two options, please tell me which sounds better and if they are worth it.

The first bronco is a 94 Eddie Bower edition. Its got a new jasper motor with 19k on it. Everything works and its blue and tan. Some rust on the rear weel wells. He is asking 2800.

The other option is a 1978 with everything runing. It has a 351 cleaveland in it and is running 350 hp. It has a new 5 inch lift kit but could use some new tires. Also has some rust problems. He is asking 3800.

Please give me your opinion on which is the better buy and what you think they are worth. Thanks!
 

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what are you using it for?
 

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94 for drivability and for all around better comfort. Make sure you get receipts proving engine work.
 

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hold out until one pops up with no rust issues. looking for one myself right now
 

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I have two 89's, a Custom and an 89' Eddie Bauer. Originally purchased the custom for $2000, had 80k on clock. Then, I saw a guy in my neighborhood with the EB, broken transfer case. Got it for $500. Then...I see a 90' (craigslist), not running. For $600. My son and I stripped this one and saved as much as we could, warm dry storage is a problem. We cut up what was left and took the scrap to the re-cycler. Out of all this...I have two that run, and it's great to have the spare parts you need - in the garage. Not too much left over, but parts are like "money in the bank" if you ask me.
 

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Driving Stuff Henry Built
-90 xlt, 351w, e4od, man 1356, 3.55, sag, warn hubs, 35s. -73, 400, np435, d20j twin, 35s
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A 351 Cleveland would not be typical in a 78. I think they quit making them in 74. The 351m is a more likely motor, & is often confused with the 351c. Here's some info on the differences from this thread.

I've been trying to find external differences between 351c & 351m motors. I have read that on an M engine there is a vertical ridge on top of the block, next to the distributor, behind the water pump, that is not supposed to be there on a Cleveland. Some describe it as a fin. I don't have a Cleveland to compare it to, but can see it plain as day on my 351m. Does your engine have this ridge?

You can see it below the distributor in this pic.






And here's my 2 cents on choosing a Bronco (Please excuse the cut & paste).
1- What year Bronco should I buy?
2- What are common problems to watch out for when buying a Bronco?

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's several good write ups on swapping them if the time comes.

I think 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. I think 96 (Maybe 95?) is MAF (Which is more adaptable to intake/cam changes) & OBDII. 87-92 had rear antilock brakes, 93-96 have 4 wheel ABS.

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

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I had a '79 over 20 feet off the ground once (by accident), I dont think I would survive doing that with '88. Frame is half the size. If the '79 has a Cleveland in it, it would be interesting, and likely get well less than 10mpg. So expensive to drive, but probably a lot of fun. The '94 will be more comfortable and get a lot better gas mileage. If you just go to the beach, i would say '94, if you want to wheel on weekends, I would go '79. All just my opinion though.
 

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I would have to go 94 on this one.

D.D. and weekend warrior, body work is rapidly going to become less and less a priority. There is something to be said about comfort fo drive, drivability, and a rig that soothes a worn out body from a hard day at work.

The 79 gains points in Coolness facors, but unless I ofund one with no or a bad motor begging for a Cumstain, 4bt, or an IDI transplant, I would pass.

Although a 6.0 5r110 would be interesting in a 79....

anyway, the newer one would be the one I bought.
 

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yo!
We have a 96, bought it new in May 96 and basically, we "over-maintain" it...meaning 3k mile oil/filter changes & lube, all filters changed, etc.. using Ford's severe duty schedule.

One of the most reliable daily drivers and beach run/light off road vehicles we've have ever had (incl the ex 78).
Still, we had minor problems that we addressed quickly.
Besides the usual visual, driveability and leak checks, look for:
- 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 undercoat/paint by Ford
- 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 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 15k miles and less if used for towing ("...For 1995, Ford Motor Company has reduced the mileage interval of automatic transmission fluid changes to 30,000 miles. This applies to all transmissions except the E40D transmission used in Ford trucks. The E40D change interval is 15,000 miles. Ford engineers stated that the intervals were reduced due to fluid degradation especially in humid climates. As you all know, the above-mentioned service intervals are for "normal driving" conditions, severe duty conditions (fleet, city driving, short trips, dusty conditions, hilly areas, towing, snowplowing) require more frequent service. Always change the transmission filter when you change the fluid...")
- rust in inner rear fender lips, bottom of B pillars and bottom of tailgate (fender lips are rusting due to Ford's flawed spot weld process on the inner (tub) and 1/4 panel that lets moisture & debris in the seam) ...
check tg drains for clogs/rust..check weather seals, esp the outer ws on glass
- radius arm bushing deterioration (I coated em w/pure silicone, from day 1) but replaced at 80k miles w/Daystar polyurethane bushings
- ball joints.. costly if not DIY
- Programmable Speedometer Odometer Module (PSOM), make sure it works; look for a waver in the needle at highway speeds; most get yard units for DIY
- look for some maint records or contact a dealer to see what maint was done to it a Ford dealership in the past (need VIN)
or on-line dealer service record summaries (Ford is adding entries now), etc. at Ford myford.fordvehicles.com (need VIN) & must register if you haven't already for your other Fords.

Car Fax is ok, but they did NOT list over $5k in single accident damages on 3 of our past vehicles; & our ex-92 Van had less mileage listed than when we sold it according to a CarFax report 2 years later... they did nothing after we contacted them.
- cracked exhaust manifold/Y, etc.
- roof/gutter area cracks (mostly appl. to earlier years)
- emissions air check valve & cat. converter (AIR) tubes tend to rust early; as does the AIR tube; buy locally or from pciinc.com
- radiator core supports, lower, it rusts mainly on passenger side, PIA to replace


GL!
 

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94 unless you own your own gas station... although 78-9's are my favorite lookin... and as Ive just learned, the 351M is a cleveland block with a windsor crank... good for low end power

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Bronco
I will never own another vehicle with a 351m in it. Only motor in my life to let go on me, 50mph in an ice storm in Fort Wayne, 18 hours into a trip.
 
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