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1983 Bronco XLT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After 10 long years without a bronco in the stable, going today to check out and hopefully purchase an 83 XLT. My last 3 were a blast and I have regretted getting rid of them, but life had other plans at the times. So now that I am living in an area that actually requires 4x4 most of the year, I have been hunting for the right project. These things have gotten a lot more expensive than when I last owned one, but found one that has a straight body (although a fair amount of surface rust) for a price I can live with paying. If all goes as planned, I plan to do a full rebuild and bring this back to life.
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1983 Bronco XLT
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone. It may be a little ugly but all part of the fun of restoring. I don't have it yet due to not having a branch for my bank nearby and the co-op credit unions wouldn't allow me to pull out all of the cash needed but have some money down on it and will pick it up tomorrow and start getting a better look at things. Going to definitely need a good sand and paint, have been by it a few times now to check it out as it's right up the street from me, and have yet to find any cancer spots that need patching. The seller did say there is a hole under the drivers seat she found when something rolled under never to be seen again, but the hole was found and blamed as culprit to the missing item. Didn't dig under there to see the hole but hoping its nothing too worrisome. Excited to dig into this thing and see what's all going on, definitely going to need to be doing some PnP runs for interior pieces as everything is pretty trashed inside. Seller says she had the engine rebuilt 10kish ago, but looking in the engine bay find that hard to believe with the years of buildup.

Miesk5 thanks for the info and links, will definitely look through.
 

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1983 Bronco XLT
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks again for all the compliments! All in all it's in pretty great shape. The front fender dent and some surface rust on the roof/rails/hood and a few spots like under the ford oval emblem on the B pillar passenger side is a little pitted and ugly, but no holes. Front seats are toast, back looks salvageable but haven't gotten that deep into it yet. But overall very excited, it is drivable and currently reg'd through to March 2023 in CA. I am in CA as well but in one of the few smog free counties, but do however still need to go get smog to transfer title so crossing my fingers on that. Shows last passed smog in Napa County 2015 on carfax, which also shows clean title and history and no reason to believe it has ever left CA. However, the years up in the high country may not help me out much but for still passing a test 7 years later, but will find out this weekend when I take it down the hill. May just have to swing by a few junkyards that have some recent broncos for parts scavenging. Trying to take some good photos so once I get working on this thing can get a build journal going.
 

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1983 Bronco XLT
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Look to be 17 inch F150 wheels. Not sure they ever came standard on broncos as iirc these were later than 96 and could be found on expeditions and maybe explorers as well(?), would have to look. Seller mentioned something about how the family member that gave it to her said the wheels were "special". Not quite sure of the full history though.
 

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1983 Bronco XLT
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Updated photos following. Stripped the trim, cleaned up some of the rust spots and hit them with some rustoleum to keep it at bay for the time being, pulled off the spare tire carrier (first few snapped bolts there), and then took it down for a quick spray wash. Few other things have been started you may notice, but hopefully get a chance to hit the junkyard tomorrow now that I have given it the once over. About an hour to the nearest one so hopefully find some goodies worth the trip. Saw some nexens mounted on steelies for sale down by the yards as well, but think I will hold off and see what else comes up. But for 300 not too bad a dent in the savings and nice to have a spare set of beaters around for mounting snow tires on (photo below).
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Overall really happy with the overall condition. Besides some damage to the drivers side front fender/hood no big dents or dings. Interior has seen better days overall but nothing too major on top of typical wear for a 40 year old 4x4, not to mention how notorious the plastics are for fading and cracking. Engine and trans feel good enough to get the job done until they can be pulled and gone through. May wait til spring thaw just to not risk running into problems that would delay it before the snow hits, but these 351's and c6's are pretty quick to pull and go through so may get that done sooner. Or may end up finding something more fun in the meantime to swap out. Feels good to be back in a Bronco though. Might even be good enough as it sits to finally ditch my tired S10 and have more money for reviving this thing. But doesn't hurt to have a parts runner just in case this thing is under surgery.


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1983 Bronco XLT
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Definitely agree with you Breezeway. And no matter what anyones opinion on either wheel is, facts are facts that those nexens on the steels are a lot more roadworthy than the race slick looking tires I have. But I do see sets for sale around my area quite often. Although as the saying goes a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. You may have swayed me to see if that steel set is still available at least.
 
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