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1985 Ford Bronco XLT - RHD
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
G’day!
I have a 1985 XLT all original and have been navigating repairs since early this year. I have a business in the US and before Covid spent a few months a year there, so chose the car knowing I’d be able to pick up parts on my travels easily and bring them back to Australia.
The challenge has been the differences once these cars landed Downunder from the US back in the 1980s. I guess I didn’t expect to encounter so many. For example in the fibreglass roof the windows are split screen instead of single panel - that makes replacing the seals impossible unless I replace the whole panel.
Most recently it’s the steering column. I need a new intermediate section. See attached pics, I recently purchased a new intermediate steering column from Borgeson in the US. What my mechanic found was the grooves go all the way around, whereas in the old one it’s 3/4’s so therefore if I want to use the (US bought) part I’ll have to get it machined to fit. Which carries risks. So what advice would you give guys? Should I machine the part to fit? Or I could also look to a steering upgrade and replace the whole box and column. Thoughts/suggestions appreciated. Broncos are rare in Australia and whilst I would have loved a first gen model They didn’t start importing till 3rd gen here. Thanks again

EDIT: YES my Bronco is RIGHT hand drive. The conversion was done 35 years ago upon import into the US



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Premium 4 Lyfe - Way Back Staff
'95 XLT: 5.8, MAF, E4OD, 4.56's, 6" on 33's
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I'm far from experienced with this particular upgrade but I wonder if you have contacted Borgeson directly? They may have or even be willing to hook you up with what you need. IF they can't or won't... I think you might find it easier to replace the rest and for a couple reasons, the biggest being future repairs/upgrades and parts available. There are a few different gear-box upgrades that many of us have been very happy with but gearbox fitment (left vs. right) might present an issue.

Just as a matter of clarification... is this a right side driver FSB?

Generally... when discussing the steering upgrades for most FSB's, it's all about the "Holy Trinity" = Borgeson shaft, Saginaw pump & Red-Head gearbox... or BlueTop, I think they're called.

I'm sure someone will drop in with more knowledge than I. Since this is your 1st post... Welcome to FSB. 🍻


Also, fwiw... the rear cap slider windows are very sought after. I wouldn't call them "rare" but they're getting much harder to come by as the years roll past. Point being... it's not an Aussie specific change. There are some threads on refurbishing them and I think there's even some type of gasket designed for a different vehicle that can be adapted. I've seen the aftermarket slider widow's for sale but I think they were discontinued due to low demand and crazy high prices but with the recent surge in popularity with the 2021 Mid-size Bronco coming on the market, they might re-appear... but I wouldn't hold my breath.
 

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1985 Ford Bronco XLT - RHD
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Discussion Starter #3
I'm far from experienced with this particular upgrade but I wonder if you have contacted Borgeson directly? They may have or even be willing to hook you up with what you need. IF they can't or won't... I think you might find it easier to replace the rest and for a couple reasons, the biggest being future repairs/upgrades and parts available. There are a few different gear-box upgrades that many of us have been very happy with but gearbox fitment (left vs. right) might present an issue.

Just as a matter of clarification... is this a right side driver FSB?

Generally... when discussing the steering upgrades for most FSB's, it's all about the "Holy Trinity" = Borgeson shaft, Saginaw pump & Red-Head gearbox... or BlueTop, I think they're called.

I'm sure someone will drop in with more knowledge than I. Since this is your 1st post... Welcome to FSB. 🍻
That’s correct - it’s a right hand drive - when they were imported from the US to Australia they were changed from Left to Right as a requirement by law. So they must have changed the boxes and columns back in the 80s when that happened. So say Ford Cortina of the same era fit
 

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1985 Ford Bronco XLT - RHD
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Discussion Starter #4
“Some say” that was meant to say and yes I’ve contacted Borgeson who have offered to take a return. I do like the idea of a steering upgrade. It’s like trying to drive an old metal shopping cart lol!
 

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Premium 4 Lyfe - Way Back Staff
'95 XLT: 5.8, MAF, E4OD, 4.56's, 6" on 33's
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Unfortunately, we recently lost another Aussie member due to politics or I'd refer you to him for possible references "down under". @AussieF100 might see this "mention" if he logs back in anytime soon.

In the meantime... I've also reported your thread to the moderators, so it can be moved to the "Noobie Tech" area where it will get more visibility and assistance.

I have no experience with the "Blue Top" gearbox (assuming I'm even labeling it correctly) but I know "Red Head" refurbishes US gearboxes and I'm sure they could refurb yours and you'd love it. Problem is... as a right hand drive, you might have to ship them your existing one anyway... as it would have to mount on the opposite frame rail from oem. I would imagine they could replace your 3/4 spline shaft with a fully spline one but what that would cost or how long it would take is another matter altogether.

Very few quick and easy answers with the Aussie cross-over but there's a lot of good people around here, happy to help keep your rig on the road... or off-road or outback or whatever ya'll like to say over there. ;)
 

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Yo lotusbelle,
Welcome!
I can't offer any help for your plight, however can provide this 1985 Bronco Dealer Brochure via Gary @ 1985 Bronco - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

1985 Electrical & Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual (partial) via Gary @
1985 EVTM - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

1985 Bronco/F Series Specifications by Gary @ http://www.garysgaragemahal.com/axle-ratios.htm

1985 Lubricant Specifications by Ford via Gary @ Lubricant Specifications

1985-1986 Fuel System Adjustments by Ford via Gary @ 1985-1986 Fuel System Adjustments - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

80-86 Bronco Differences by Gary @ 1980 - 86 Ford Trucks - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

Fasteners & Illustrations by Gary @ Ford 1980-86 Pickup Fasteners - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

Register with VIN to see most Ford dealer maintenance/repairs done @ any dealership nation-wide @ Welcome to Ford Owner | Official Ford Owner Site

For any Bronco questions or to chat about it's planned modifications or build, it's better to post each seperately in Noobie Bronco Tech Questions. Flame free zone. This will get more attention and you can build up your post count to get into other sections such as Bronco and Ford Parts/Accessories which requires at least non-padded 75 posts to buy, sell or trade due to scammers who preyed on our members many times.

Baba Looey's Favorite FSB Links (lots and lots of tech links)including, "how do I get the tailgate glass to...", etc.

To save you time and for better responses, please fill out your 85s info with location, year, engine size, transmission type, transfer case type (manual or electric shift), locking hub type (automatic or manual) info & major mods such as a Lift, etc. .
Bronco info is now able to be put under your user name.
Click your profile button in the top right and go to account settings.


On that first page, named Account Details, scroll down to "Vehicle Info" and type in up to 100 characters.

Now you can simply enter your information in the text editor and click save.

Our Forum faqs @ FAQs includes for example, How to Use Search and see more tips!

Please take time to participate and VOTE in our Full-Size of the Quarter Contest and Full-Size of the Year Contests
You will get ideas by those competing. Also see the prizes. They are awesome as compared to other sites' "contests!
Al
 

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Registered
1985 Ford Bronco XLT - RHD
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Yo lotusbelle,
Welcome!
I can't offer any help for your plight, however can provide this 1985 Bronco Dealer Brochure via Gary @ 1985 Bronco - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

1985 Electrical & Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual (partial) via Gary @
1985 EVTM - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

1985 Bronco/F Series Specifications by Gary @ http://www.garysgaragemahal.com/axle-ratios.htm

1985 Lubricant Specifications by Ford via Gary @ Lubricant Specifications

1985-1986 Fuel System Adjustments by Ford via Gary @ 1985-1986 Fuel System Adjustments - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

80-86 Bronco Differences by Gary @ 1980 - 86 Ford Trucks - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

Fasteners & Illustrations by Gary @ Ford 1980-86 Pickup Fasteners - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

Register with VIN to see most Ford dealer maintenance/repairs done @ any dealership nation-wide @ Welcome to Ford Owner | Official Ford Owner Site

For any Bronco questions or to chat about it's planned modifications or build, it's better to post each seperately in Noobie Bronco Tech Questions. Flame free zone. This will get more attention and you can build up your post count to get into other sections such as Bronco and Ford Parts/Accessories which requires at least non-padded 75 posts to buy, sell or trade due to scammers who preyed on our members many times.

Baba Looey's Favorite FSB Links (lots and lots of tech links)including, "how do I get the tailgate glass to...", etc.

To save you time and for better responses, please fill out your 85s info with location, year, engine size, transmission type, transfer case type (manual or electric shift), locking hub type (automatic or manual) info & major mods such as a Lift, etc. .
Bronco info is now able to be put under your user name.
Click your profile button in the top right and go to account settings.


On that first page, named Account Details, scroll down to "Vehicle Info" and type in up to 100 characters.

Now you can simply enter your information in the text editor and click save.

Our Forum faqs @ FAQs includes for example, How to Use Search and see more tips!

Please take time to participate and VOTE in our Full-Size of the Quarter Contest and Full-Size of the Year Contests
You will get ideas by those competing. Also see the prizes. They are awesome as compared to other sites' "contests!
Al
Thanks so much!
 

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That's the way the Borgeson shafts come - they do not come with the D splines. That is why they recommend you file a flat on the gearbox shaft and run the setscrew in. I chose to slide the shaft fit on the gearbox splines far enough up where the setscrew could land in the necked down portion of the gearbox shaft extension.
 

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Thanks so much!
If the shaft lines up on the 3/4 splines you will be fine with it as the set screw will lock it in place.

I installed the Borgeson shaft and a custom Red-Head gearbox and my truck drives so much better that I recommend this upgrade to anyone who asks. I would call Red Head and tell them your situation and they may be able to work something up for you. It's that kind of company, if you call you may just get the owner on the phone, nonetheless you will get a quality product.

Is your other ride a Lotus?
 

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Premium 4 Lyfe - Way Back Staff
'95 XLT: 5.8, MAF, E4OD, 4.56's, 6" on 33's
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See? I told you smarter people would be along shortly. Cheers! 🍻
 

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1985 Ford Bronco XLT - RHD
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
That’s correct - it’s a right hand drive - when they were imported from the US to Australia they were changed from Left to Right as a requirement by law. So they must have changed the boxes and columns back in the 80s when that happened. So say Ford Cortina of the same era fit
I should also say that Josh at Borgeson has also been useless at helping. The part was shipped and now he's backtracking saying it won't work. Why send it knowing it won't work?! - not impressed.
 

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1985 Ford Bronco XLT - RHD
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Discussion Starter #12
If the shaft lines up on the 3/4 splines you will be fine with it as the set screw will lock it in place.

I installed the Borgeson shaft and a custom Red-Head gearbox and my truck drives so much better that I recommend this upgrade to anyone who asks. I would call Red Head and tell them your situation and they may be able to work something up for you. It's that kind of company, if you call you may just get the owner on the phone, nonetheless you will get a quality product.

Is your other ride a Lotus?
Thanks very much. No I don't drive a Lotus but my company is called Lotus Belle so hence the name
 

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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Machining the steering box shaft to have a flat, then drillling a dimple for the set screw to get extra grip is the best route I see.

The steering box will be the tough thing. It must be for a RHD vehicle. I would think maybe one for the late 70s Falcon X cars would work well, but I cant say for sure.

You might find info on what parts were used at Garys garagemahal website. Gary knows about everything about 80-86 ford trucks.

Someone now makes a new set of topper shell slider window gaskets. As noted, that is a sought after upgrade.
 

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Premium 4 Lyfe - Way Back Staff
'95 XLT: 5.8, MAF, E4OD, 4.56's, 6" on 33's
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Someone now makes a new set of topper shell slider window gaskets. As noted, that is a sought after upgrade.
We just had another thread on that in the '78-'79 section but I'm still unaware of a set for the '80-'96's. Got a link to share for my stash?

Bummer to hear Borgeson is being stingy. Not terribly surprising though.
 

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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We just had another thread on that in the '78-'79 section but I'm still unaware of a set for the '80-'96's. Got a link to share for my stash?

Bummer to hear Borgeson is being stingy. Not terribly surprising though.
(Insert brown bag smiley here)
I didnt even pay attention to that fact. No im not aware of a new set for 80+. But I do know a vehicle that might be made to work... The ford aerostar windows are similar shape, just a bit bigger. Ive heard of them being used but not seen it.
 
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Has the mechanic actually attempted to install the Borgeson on the gearbox? The D shaft shape isn’t an issue if the diameters and spline counts match up. If they don’t, I got nothing.
 

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1985 Ford Bronco XLT - RHD
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Discussion Starter #17
Has the mechanic actually attempted to install the Borgeson on the gearbox? The D shaft shape isn’t an issue if the diameters and spline counts match up. If they don’t, I got nothing.
Yes he's tried and he's a mechanic of 35 years and really respected and a Bronco/F Truck fan (though not owned one). Basically I trust his judgment. I'm ok with replacing the steering system to be honest. I think it would make a big difference to have an upgrade. I just need to know where things in the steering system change from LHD to needing to get RHD parts. I've asked a company that specialises in conversions but no luck (probably because they charge like wounded bulls lol)
 

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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The only part REQUIRED for RHD is a mirror opposite of the LHD gearbox. If it is a perfect mirror, everything else will fit from a LHD.

But it is likely not a mirrored copy. Like i said, I think i would try fitting a system off a late 70s fullsize Falcon X since it should have a fullsize steering gear on it. You may have to get creative and use a shaft end from both.
 
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