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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So as the title suggests, this will be a brief look at the problems my recently bought bronco has. I am looking to get opinions/insight as to whether or not y'all feel like these problems are a big deal. I'm a little intimidated by the restoration, I knew it wouldn't be easy but I want to do it. It just took me a while to save up to buy it and I want to see if y'all think I wasted my money on something not worth saving or not. The guy I bought it from was working on fixing it up with his dad, but was also apparently not so interested in taking good care of it, as he got it stuck while mudriding and as a result, bent the rear bumper badly when being pulled out.

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This is the damage done to the bumper. I may have to take a couple of pics from other angles tomorrow to really show it. I don't think that will need much more than a replacement bumper, though.

The mechanical issues aren't what worry me so much as the cosmetics and undercarriage do. The cosmetics are also what I'm most looking forward to making an attempt at though. Below will be the rest of the images
 

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Shackle pic shows lots of surface rust but I don’t see widespread delamination which is good. Cleaning it up with a power washer or even a wire brush would help show any issues present.

My rust isn’t as bad and I’ve had good experience with Chassis Saver paint. But I’ve not put any road miles on it yet.

Bumper looks like no big deal unless it did some bracket or frame damage which wasn’t evident in the pic.

I have no sheet metal experience so can’t comment on body work.

Great deals only show up after you make a purchase. I don’t spend too much time worrying about it since I think the devil you know is usually better than the one you don’t. Without more detail into your skill set, timeframe, budget, and Bronco goals, it’s about impossible to confirm or argue the sensibility of your purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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As you see here, the undercarriage is filthy and rusty but the rust here doesn't look too bad (as far as I know) and the filth will be fine once I actually get a chance to clean it without work or my nieces getting in the way.

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The areas surrounding the rain gutters are also fairly rusted, which I believe is kinda common. There's also the B pillar seams cracking, which I will need to research how to repair. That last pic is the passenger side door jamb, which I believe may be the biggest rust hole. There is also rust on the driver side door jamb, I'll have to get that pic in the morning, as well as a small rust hole in the bed, which I will also have to get in the morning. Like I said, there are still more pics I'll probably need to show y'all. I feel like for a 1984 vehicle that wasn't given the best care in the last probably 15 years, it isn't in terrible condition. What do y'all think? Would you take it on if it were yours?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Shackle pic shows lots of surface rust but I don’t see widespread delamination which is good. Cleaning it up with a power washer or even a wire brush would help show any issues present.

My rust isn’t as bad and I’ve had good experience with Chassis Saver paint. But I’ve not put any road miles on it yet.

Bumper looks like no big deal unless it did some bracket or frame damage which wasn’t evident in the pic.

I have no sheet metal experience so can’t comment on body work.

Great deals only show up after you make a purchase. I don’t spend too much time worrying about it since I think the devil you know is usually better than the one you don’t. Without more detail into your skill set, timeframe, budget, and Bronco goals, it’s about impossible to confirm or argue the sensibility of your purchase.
Yeah, sorry for the lack of information. Been a long day! I’m not giving myself a timeframe because this is my introduction into the world of vehicle restoration. Skill set is dismal but I have ambition to learn and great friends to help. My budget is probably whatever it takes. I don’t make that much money but I think I make enough to pull it off lol. As for goals, I’ll attach a pic of one I found in a Facebook group.



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hi @Trevorocalypse - congrats on the purchase and welcome to the board.

the image of the damage from the bumper seems to show some healthy body filler layer - so we have a repair from previous damage.

the gutter is a little concerning as is the lower jamb (which you already noted).

as @packagerjr noted, definitely attach the frame rails with some rust inhibitor.

patience and organization will be your most important tools - it'll be an awesome project
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hi @Trevorocalypse - congrats on the purchase and welcome to the board.

the image of the damage from the bumper seems to show some healthy body filler layer - so we have a repair from previous damage.

the gutter is a little concerning as is the lower jamb (which you already noted).

as @packagerjr noted, definitely attach the frame rails with some rust inhibitor.

patience and organization will be your most important tools - it'll be an awesome project
I’m itchin to get after these body repairs but I’m also kinda forcing myself to wait until I get the mechanical components nice and sound. Do you think all of these rust repairs can be done without welding, or should I at least try and weld the gutters and door jamb?
 

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Welcome to the club, and congrats on your Bronco. Most of that rust under the truck looks treatable. The roof channels are more worrisome, but still nothing that can't be fixed (or drastically slowed).

If I were you, I'd spend some time powerwashing the underside of the truck with a heavy degreaser. Then I'd get a flexible wand hose extension and REALLY rinse out every nook, cranny, and pocket under the truck that you can get into. You will get a ton of rocks and mud out, and that's what will cause rust long term.

Once you've very thoroughly cleaned it out, re-assess the rust situation. You might get yourself an air compressor and a needle scaler to get off the bad stuff first. It's dirty but rewarding work.
 
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Gonna be coming back to this for sure! Thanks!
Me too... some day.... I recently tripped while we were repairing our 96s inner door handle and broke my left shoulder “ball” in the “ball and socket” joint.
 

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Normally I’m in the boat house of fox mechanical before cosmetics… but in your case, I see lots of concerns that would have me walking away. First the Drip Rails and A-Pillars… that can be a speedy repair in of itself and isn’t an easy task for someone without some experience cutting and welding window frames. If the A-Pillar looks like that, what does under the cowel look like? Pretty good guess it’s rusted out at the fire wall due to the pictures you show of the door sill.
Further down you show pictures of your bumper touching the rear corner of the Bronco. In this picture there is a crack in the paint. Paint doesn’t crack in a straight line, however thick Bondo does. And the crack wraps around a creased corner, more work to fix properly.

And then there is the frame… so much rust hard to tell what is just surface rust and what is gone. Like others said, hit the frame first to see what you actually have. If the frame is toast it’s not going to matter if the Bronco is mechanically sound.

So if it were me I would be starting with the body to see if it’s repairable… mechanically you can get it running again with several hundred dollars by swapping engine, transmission, t-case and axles. Body work you could be looking at 7-10k without out paint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Normally I’m in the boat house of fox mechanical before cosmetics… but in your case, I see lots of concerns that would have me walking away. First the Drip Rails and A-Pillars… that can be a speedy repair in of itself and isn’t an easy task for someone without some experience cutting and welding window frames. If the A-Pillar looks like that, what does under the cowel look like? Pretty good guess it’s rusted out at the fire wall due to the pictures you show of the door sill.
Further down you show pictures of your bumper touching the rear corner of the Bronco. In this picture there is a crack in the paint. Paint doesn’t crack in a straight line, however thick Bondo does. And the crack wraps around a creased corner, more work to fix properly.

And then there is the frame… so much rust hard to tell what is just surface rust and what is gone. Like others said, hit the frame first to see what you actually have. If the frame is toast it’s not going to matter if the Bronco is mechanically sound.

So if it were me I would be starting with the body to see if it’s repairable… mechanically you can get it running again with several hundred dollars by swapping engine, transmission, t-case and axles. Body work you could be looking at 7-10k without out paint.
I noticed the bondo too. Luckily @BroncMom pointed me to a site that has great patch panels available. If anything, I may have to look there and get some patches. I don't personally have any cutting and welding experience, but my friends do. They're willing to help me with this, and are just as excited about it as I am. One day soon, possibly Sunday, I'll be putting it up on jack stands and washing out the underbody to get a better look.
 

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I dunno...I don't really see much in the body that is horribly deterring... Yeah it's showing it's age, but if the frame (and floorpan imo) are solid, like others have said... Start there. Clean and coat with a good rust converter (not just a sealer but an actual rust converter). I like magnetpaints chassis saver. Comes in a few colors, paint or spray on...
Paint Over Rust to Stop Rust Permanently With Chassis Saver Truck & Auto Underbody Coating super good reviews 👍
Then the rest you just pick at as you can. Every tax return I do a big project (or a lot of little ones, like up to 2k in projects) then the rest of the year I pick at little nickel n dime stuff like bed liner project or painting interior panels, tune ups, fluid changes etc...

The problem is you're looking at it as a whole... And its intimidating as hell... Ya gotta break it down and look at the little pieces.... Body, suspension, brakes, exhaust, interior, dash and sound system, engine and tranny... (Not necessarily in that order)...
As I was once told by some wise soul here when I first started... Small bites or you get overwhelmed and lose interest...

Good luck 😁
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I dunno...I don't really see much in the body that is horribly deterring... Yeah it's showing it's age, but if the frame (and floorpan imo) are solid, like others have said... Start there. Clean and coat with a good rust converter (not just a sealer but an actual rust converter). I like magnetpaints chassis saver. Comes in a few colors, paint or spray on...
Paint Over Rust to Stop Rust Permanently With Chassis Saver Truck & Auto Underbody Coating super good reviews 👍
Then the rest you just pick at as you can. Every tax return I do a big project (or a lot of little ones, like up to 2k in projects) then the rest of the year I pick at little nickel n dime stuff like bed liner project or painting interior panels, tune ups, fluid changes etc...

The problem is you're looking at it as a whole... And its intimidating as hell... Ya gotta break it down and look at the little pieces.... Body, suspension, brakes, exhaust, interior, dash and sound system, engine and tranny... (Not necessarily in that order)...
As I was once told by some wise soul here when I first started... Small bites or you get overwhelmed and lose interest...

Good luck 😁
Many thanks! My brother in law and I inspected the frame today. And besides surface rust, the frame is incredibly solid! A bunch of old undercoat peeling off but I’m gonna replace that eventually. The floor pan from underneath looks okay, but as I clean up some of the rotten flooring inside I can see rust spots. May just be surface rust, may also be pieces I’ll have to patch and replace at some point. I’m feeling a lot better right now knowing that the frame is solid
 

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Many thanks! My brother in law and I inspected the frame today. And besides surface rust, the frame is incredibly solid! A bunch of old undercoat peeling off but I’m gonna replace that eventually. The floor pan from underneath looks okay, but as I clean up some of the rotten flooring inside I can see rust spots. May just be surface rust, may also be pieces I’ll have to patch and replace at some point. I’m feeling a lot better right now knowing that the frame is solid
That's awesome... In the meanwhile until you can get to the chassis saver, there's this product called RustAvert... It's a spray on like fluid film but much much more durable (like 2 winters per application)...I had this put on my rig when it first came up here from Texas 3 years ago and it's finally at where it needs it again for this winter. My rigs p.o put a lot of effort into the undercarriage, it was pristine so I wanted to keep it that way here in NWPA.
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That's awesome... In the meanwhile until you can get to the chassis saver, there's this product called RustAvert... It's a spray on like fluid film but much much more durable (like 2 winters per application)...I had this put on my rig when it first came up here from Texas 3 years ago and it's finally at where it needs it again for this winter. My rigs p.o put a lot of effort into the undercarriage, it was pristine so I wanted to keep it that way here in NWPA.
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Are these pics of when it came from Texas? Or after a few winters up there? Either way, impressive.
 

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Are these pics of when it came from Texas? Or after a few winters up there? Either way, impressive.
These are from after it came up from Texas... Now the underside looks more
like something that's been fluid filmed and driven down 10 miles of dirt road despite cleaning the undercarriage every spring... The life of a daily driver 😒... But... No rust 😊
 
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