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that's a lot of oil
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769 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so here we go! This thread is a long time coming but I’m excited to get it going. Much of what will be listed here has been a goal since I joined this forum (can’t believe it was 2004…). I’ll be using this space to document progress both for myself and others. There are tons of amazing threads that have served as inspiration and guidance, so a big thanks to those that have cleared the path.

Quick intro
So I’m lucky enough to have a bronco that has been in my family since it was new. I was with my dad in 1994 when we picked it up from the dealer (it replaced a blue ’88 with a 302), so I know its history 100%. I learned to drive in it (along with a manual civic), drove it in high school, took it to college, and used it as my DD for a few years after college. Since 2008 or so, it’s been driven less and less. As it stands today, it only has 131,100 miles and is driven maybe a few hundred miles each year.

Due to general age, and I think in some ways due to lack of use, its condition has become a little rough.
Again, I’m lucky as this truck has spent a significant portion of its life parked in a garage, which I’m sure is the reason that the rust is not terribly bad. It does have some of the typically bad spots (quarter panel, lower tailgate), but it appears fixable without having to do major surgery, although I could be wrong there. The under carriage and frame are pretty rough looking as well, but I’m hopeful that it’s mostly just surface rust and can be cleaned and coated.

Goal
I of course reserve the right to change my mind as I go along (I’m sure I will), but I think I’ve settled on at least a general goal for where I’m trying to go with this project. In my mind I picture a bit of an OEM+ build. In other words keeping it stock in many forms, but improve areas that are known weak points, or areas where I want different performance/looks. I won’t be doing any serious trails with this vehicle and anticipate it being driven for occasional weekend use around town and for camping trips. I’d love to have the interior look as it did when it was brand new, all the way down to the tape deck. For the most part this seems achievable as carpets are available and seats can be reupholstered. I do worry about finding fresh dash parts that aren’t replicas, but that’s an issue for another day.

For the “+” part, I do want to keep a lift kit on it (full suspension, 4 inches) and 33’s for tires. I like this look and it still fits nicely in my garage. I’m also planning to go with aftermarket bumpers front and rear. I’m not decided on driveline related questions. As I mentioned, I don’t plan to doing any heavy wheeling or towing, so the stock engine and driveline seem to work fine for that purpose, although I would like everything refreshed.
I’d like to do as much of the work on my own as possible, but I imagine I’ll be outsourcing a few tasks. I have no body work experience and that’s something I’d like to look as perfect as possible, so I think that’s probably worth the money. I’m totally comfortable working on suspension, brakes, and most engine items, so I look forward to digging into that. Most of my experience has been with my track car, which in some ways is easier to work on since it’s close to the ground. For the Bronco, I’m going to need to invest in some new tools as well. For starters I know I’ll need a bigger jack (do they even make jacks that can get to the frame and lift?), big stands, and more non-metric tools. I have a link to my other cars journal in my sig if anyone is interested.

I’m sure this will be a looong term project, but I’ll try to keep a record of everything I do here.

Cheers :beer
 

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that's a lot of oil
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769 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
For a start, I’ve put together a quick high level list of the items that need addressed. Some of them are pretty general at this time, for instance with the engine. Aside from some leaking oil and non-working A/C, it seems to run fine, but that could be a big can of worms once I dig into it more. Either way, I’d like it working 100% and cleaned up, which will entail pulling lots of things out which will likely lead to finding more to fix. Here are the broad categories and items thus far.

General To-do list:

Exterior
New front and rear bumpers
Remove side steps – replace with sliders
New lenses for exterior lights
Refinish/paint all trim and grill
New tailgate (rust on the bottom)
New side mirrors
Fix drivers side window - done Aug2019
Fix rust on passenger quarter panel
Re-paint as needed (body panels, roof)

Interior
Remove all carpeting (hope there’s no rust underneath, if so, take care of it)
New Carpets and floor mats
Cut fuel pump access
Seat covers or full reupholster
New steering wheel
Replace radio (speakers were replaced years ago, but should be good) - done Mar2019
Replace dash parts and door cards

Suspension
New 4”lift (full suspension, radius arms)
Bushings as needed
Rebuild stock axles if needed, clean, paint
Fresh brakes all around
Fix parking brake
New wheels and tires (33x12.5) - done Nov2017
Ditch auto-hubs – install manuals

Engine/driveline
Needs a full assessment, maybe a rebuild…
Confirm and fix leak(s) (Rear main for sure, maybe oil pan)
Clean up trans, new pan, fluid, filter
New vacuum lines
New trans cooler and lines
Headers and full exhaust
Fix fuel line leak, new filter - done Oct2017
Fix A/C
New core support install
 

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that's a lot of oil
Joined
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769 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Here's a few of my favorite pictures over the years















 

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that's a lot of oil
Joined
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769 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
In an effort to start making the truck a bit more usable in the short term, I took care of two small items that have been bothering me. First, the passenger door striker had cracked and the door was jiggly, so that got replaced. Next, the cables that hold the tailgate up were totally shot, one had already snapped and the other snapped in my hand after I removed it. Both were replaced along with fresh bolts.











I know, groundbreaking stuff here, let me know if you need a tech write up ;)

Here she is as of today
 

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that's a lot of oil
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769 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
You have an great platform, good luck worth the build.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
Thanks!

are your automatic locking hubs not working? I will take them when you replace them if they still work.
They worked the last time I used them, which was probably 4 years ago. I'm not sure when I'll be pulling them, but I'll try to remember you're interested.
 

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that's a lot of oil
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769 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Ok, so work slowed here over the last few months. I was pretty busy with the BMW during the early to mid part of the track season, and on August 1st my wife and welcomed our first, a healthy baby boy. Valid distraction IMO.

Next up for the bronco will be fuel lines. I have a very small leak which I discovered while doing an oil change, right prior to the fuel filter. I picked up the replacement kit from JBG which seems like an easy solution. I'm positive the filter needs changed anyways, I'm sure it's nasty inside.

It's easy to see the main fuel line and the return line on the drivers side of the truck, but there also appears to be a line on the passenger side. What's up with that?

I'm also looking into new wheels/tires soon. The current set is really old and starting to look dry rotted, not something I'd want to take on the highway. I may paint and reuse the wheels, still undecided.
 

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aka: kemicalburns
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7,641 Posts
the line on the passenger side is the return line. nice bronco
 

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that's a lot of oil
Joined
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769 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
the line on the passenger side is the return line. nice bronco
Interesting, but there seems to be two on the drivers side, one that goes to the filter and one that doesn't.


Edit: So after looking at a few more diagrams, it seems the line on the passenger side is the vapor line

 

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that's a lot of oil
Joined
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769 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Good looking Rig. Looking forward to seeing some more progress.
:thumbup Should be taking care of the fuel line issue in the next week or two.

What bumpers do you plan to install?
Not 100% sure yet. I like the RockSolid and BroncoAir styles a lot. I know I want to ditch the stock spare tire arm and have it as part of the rear, but it seems like there are some good options for that.
 

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Hold my beer...
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124 Posts
Should be taking care of the fuel line issue in the next week or two.



Not 100% sure yet. I like the RockSolid and BroncoAir styles a lot. I know I want to ditch the stock spare tire arm and have it as part of the rear, but it seems like there are some good options for that.
Good lick with the fuel lines. I agree on the tire carrier. Moving it to the rear bumper I think is a good mod. I eventually plan to make a rear bumper/tire carrier.

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
 

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that's a lot of oil
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769 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I was able to make a little more progress over the weekend. I had received the fuel line kit from JBG as well as picked up various fuel line disconnect tools.





The line kit is really nice, much easier to work with than the traditional hard lines and their connectors. The metal disconnect tool is helpful for the connections at the filter and tank, but the multi-colored plastic version was easier for the disconnects at the engine. Both are cheap, so I'd recommend having both. I did need to modify the red plastic one and drill the hole slightly bigger, but that was no big deal.

Here's the nasty old filter


The leak was from the return line just aft of the filter, but I felt like replacing everything was smart. Anyways, here's the new parts



At the tank


Here's all the old stuff that came out. Getting everything out was way harder than the install. The nylon lines go together like Legos, it's great.


Prepping for the next mission - trans filter, pan and fluid.


:thumbup

Edit: forgot to mention that I also replaced the battery during this work. I old one was an older redtop. In fact, I think it was 8+ years old and had been recharged a number of times, not too surprising that it was on it's last leg.
 

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that's a lot of oil
Joined
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769 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
The new wheels and tires came in and I had a chance to throw them on.




Not sure how these pics ended up sideways, but you get the point.

I went with BFG AT's in 33x12.5. The fit is great and I've always like the looked of 33's with a 4 inch lift. Fits nicely into the garage also. This pic is at a strange angle, plus I'd just lowered it off the stand, so it looks a bit off. I'll grab better shots when it's out of the garage.

Our other garage bay was temporarily empty, so I used it for tire storage.


The old tires are totally shot, but that's not surprising since I bought them in 2004. The wheels are just black steels, but I may just clean them up and put them up for sale, they'd still be good for trail wheels or spares. The new Warn hubs came in too, but I'm waiting on a few more items before I tackle that install. I'd like to do it all with the pads and rotors, and since it's all coming off, I'm thinking I'll take care of bearings too.
 

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that's a lot of oil
Joined
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769 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Finally got to get in some real driving and the new wheels and tires made a huge difference. I still need to throw on the front center caps, I had forgot to get the open style when I ordered the wheels.



Next up is some fluid changes (trans and diff) and then I need to tackle the brakes. I'm pretty sure I'm going to do a fairly comprehensive overhaul and just replace a lot of parts. Everything looks to be in pretty rough shape and it's all original, so it's had a good lifespan. With all that work I'll be checking/replacing bearings and seals as needed, and swapping out the auto hubs.

 

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Sayulita Layta!
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6,751 Posts
I was able to make a little more progress over the weekend. I had received the fuel line kit from JBG as well as picked up various fuel line disconnect tools.





The line kit is really nice, much easier to work with than the traditional hard lines and their connectors. The metal disconnect tool is helpful for the connections at the filter and tank, but the multi-colored plastic version was easier for the disconnects at the engine. Both are cheap, so I'd recommend having both. I did need to modify the red plastic one and drill the hole slightly bigger, but that was no big deal.

Here's the nasty old filter


The leak was from the return line just aft of the filter, but I felt like replacing everything was smart. Anyways, here's the new parts



At the tank


Here's all the old stuff that came out. Getting everything out was way harder than the install. The nylon lines go together like Legos, it's great.


Prepping for the next mission - trans filter, pan and fluid.


:thumbup

Edit: forgot to mention that I also replaced the battery during this work. I old one was an older redtop. In fact, I think it was 8+ years old and had been recharged a number of times, not too surprising that it was on it's last leg.
Did you just reach behind the engine to get those fuel lines off? I have the JBG lines in my garage but initial tests on removing the stock lines led me to give up and grab a beer instead. I couldn't quite position my body properly to reach behind and remove the lines.

Also, what trans pan is that with the drain plug?
 
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