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Discussion Starter #1
I need some opinions on what to do. No right or wrong, just like bouncing ideas off other folks. Especially ones that have worked on these trucks before. I can do some things, but I'm no good with body work (just never tried it). I'm open to either 4-spd or autos, but lean towards the 4-spd. I wanted a decent interior and GT Bar. Bronco 1 is $700 more than Bronco 2. I can make that up in wheels and tires pretty quick, but the different motor and tranny set-up is swaying me as well. What to do....:banghead

Bronco 1 =
1978 Ranger XLT, 351M, C-6, Carter 4-brl. Motor rebuilt at some point with mild cam. Rebuilt rear end. 15-18 gallon fuel cell instead of a stock tank. New power steering box. Appears to have newer c-bushings. Column shift replaced with a Hurst shifter. 4” lift. Good tread on 35’s (not Swampers!!). Alum wheels. Nerf bars for my short legs. Newer carpet. Needs seat covers for front. All inside panels intact. Factory GT bar and sunroof (I think its factory??). Front fenders good. Bottom inside of door panels showing rust. Passenger read fender replaced (80% complete). No trim. Driver rear fender included with deal. Rear window works but slow. Drivers side back window cracked. Maroon primer right now. Black bumpers & grill.

Bronco 2 =
1979 XLT, 400, 4spd, reworked heads. 4” lift. Stock tires and wheels in deal. All body panels replaced from cab back and top down, including tailgate. Front trim still intact. Back trim included. Interior is ok. Carpet worn where “gas heel” hits it. Highback seats from a van installed. Bottom inside of door panels showing rust. Back end is primer black. Front still has paint. Chrome bumpers and grill.
 

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yo,
I like the 78; had a 78 w/4sp 351M and it was great!

1978-1979 Bronco Custom, Ranger, Ranger XLT, & Lariat Differences
Source: by Ranger429 (Trailer Special)
Here are the differences between these models. I also have found out that for the 78/79 Bronco it was available as a Custom or Ranger XLT model only. They did not offer the Ranger package only on the Bronco.

Custom:
Pretty much your stripped down version although it could have been ordered with just about any individual option you wanted to put on it. A Custom model included: low back bucket seats, vinyl floormat for the front only, 25 gallon gas tank, manual steering, 4 speed trans with the 351 motor and the 205 case.
Exterior features were:
hub caps, black painted bumpers and the stainless mirrors.

Ranger:
Not offered on the Bronco, only available in the F-series lineup. Those upgrades were:
The bench seat had a chain mail vinyl seat upholstery, it also included a color matching vinyl floormat, sunvisors, seat back covers in the regular cab model and white headliner with chrome trim.

Ranger XLT:
The front seat used a combination of cloth and vinyl, insulated woodgrain door panels, carpeted flooring, woodgrain around instrument cluster, passenger dash and the glove box, woodtone on the steering wheel horn button, chrome trim around taillights and halogen headlights. The XLT also got the body side trim.

Exterior:
Chrome bumpers, chrome molding around the windshield and side windows in the top, chrome molding around the drip rail by door, chrome wheel well lip molding, rear T-gate chrome pieces, and the body side trim.

Lariat:
Not offered on the Bronco, only available in the F-series lineup. Those upgrades were:
Full cloth seat trimmed in super soft vinyl, door trim panels that included padded inserts, map pockets on the lower door, button quilted padded headliner and extra insulation.


Options available:
These are the only options that I have prices on. Below are some additional options.

400 engine............................................ .....................$165.00
included 12 inch diameter clutch and 53 amp/hr battery
Traction lock front axle.............................................. ...$175.00
Traction lock rear axle.............................................. ....$175.00
Automatic trans............................................. .............$197.00
came with oil cooler and 53 amp/hr battery
Power steering.......................................... ..................$211.00
Heavy duty suspension........................................ .........$104.50
Forged aluminum wheels............................................ ... $218.30
Forged aluminum polished wheels....................................$304.30
When combined with the free wheeling package................$129.10
White painted styled steel wheels...................................$175.20
when combined with the free wheeling package.................$43.20
Rear seat.............................................. .....................$287.20
Quad front shocks............................................ ............$74.00
Swing away tire carrier Ranger XLT..................................$60.60
Swing away tire carrier Custom.......................................$81.6 0
Skid plates............................................ ......................$123.10
Rear stabilzer bar............................................... ...........$25.00
Tilt steering.......................................... ........................$72.00
Free Wheeling pacakge on a Custom................................$558.45
Free Wheeling Package XLT...........................................$385 .05
Ranger XLT package........................................... ...........$668.90

Additional options:

Appearance:

Chrome bumpers

Wheel well molding

Body side trim

GT bar with foam padding

Grilles. There were 3 different options for the front grille. Black, Silver or Argent with chrome accent. I have seen Black on an XLT and the Argent with chrome on an XLT. I am not sure how they decided what grille to put on what truck.

Audio:

AM radio

AM/FM mono radio (1 speaker in dash)

AM/FM stereo (speakers in door panels)

AM/digital clock radio

40 channel CB radio with antenna. This was available on all radio options. A simple way to tell if it had a CB originally if all wiring is gone look for an ash tray on the driver side cargo panel. If there is no ash tray it originally had a CB.

Comfort/convenience:

A/C

Comfort vent heater ( I think this was also the HI-LO option)

Insulation package

Rear floor mat (Custom only)

Front captain chairs (available in 79 only)

Front bench seat

Rear seat

Center console ( only available with buckets)

Convenience group ( intermittent wipers, map paockets and 12 inch day/night mirror)

Lighted visor mirror passenger side only

Privacy glass for top

sliding windows for top

tinted glass all

Western mirror, low mount(normal folding style mirror)

Recreation mirrors (towing mirrors)

GT sport steering wheel with simulated leather wrap ( not available with cruise)

Simulated leather wrapped steering wheel

Cruise control

Light group (ash tray, glovebox, underhood, instrument panel courtesy lights and dome light with map lights)

Swing away spare tire carrier ( stock when ordered with (5) 10x15 tires) with vinly tire cover

Performance:

Quad shocks (gas filled)

Handling package (rear sway bar, quad shocks up front and dual gas filled rear shocks)

Automatic trans

600 watt engine heater

Heavy duty suspension (HD front springs, HD rear springs and front sway bar)

Rear sway bar

Gauges (oil and amp)

32 gallon gas tank with skid plate

Skid plates for 25 gallon tank and T-case

Trailer towing package

Protection:

Tow hooks (front)

Locking hood release

Exterior protection group. Consists of door edge guards, front bumper guards and front bumper rubber strip.

Security lock group. Consisted of locking gas cap, locking hood release, spare tire lock and locking glove box.

Free Wheelin:


Standard features were:

Black bumpers front and rear, Dual black low mount western style mirrors, (5) 15x6 painted steel wheels in either white or chrome yellow with L78x15 raised white letter tires and of course the custom chromatic tape stripe found on the black Bronco. There were also 2 other stripe color combinations, Orange/Tan/Creme or Blue/White/Green.

Trailer Special:

Now according to my book the 1st year for the Trailer Special was 79. I have seen a few members here that have 78 Trailer Special's. There were 2 categories for the Trailer Special.

Light duty trailer towing package:
Good for towing up to 2,000lbs.
This package included a heavy duty radiator, external oil cooler, seven lead trailer harness, heavy duty turn signal flasher and the Trailer Special emblem on the T-gate.

Heavy duty trailer towing package:
Good for towing up to 6,000lbs.
This package included a heavy duty alternator,heavy duty battery, HD rear shocks, bigger radiator, rear sway bar, swing out recreational mirrors, amp meter, oil pressure gauge, HD front springs, external oil cooler and the Trailer Special emblem on the T-gate.


Transfer Cases

The T-case on an NP 203 (full time case) will have a shift pattern like this.

4 low lock
-
N
-
4 high lock

The NP 205 (part time case) will have this shift pattern

4 low
N
2 high
4 high


Almost all of this information was taken from various books and brochures. If you find an error somewhere post up and I will correct it. I am only human.:thumbup

VIN number location on the frame rail. Picture thanks to InfoFord.

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1978-1979 Emission Differences Discussion; incl. CA vs 49 State Emission by Paul and Ranger429


"1978

1978 Bronco Customs came standard with round headlights up to March of 1978 , square lights were an option.
Most 1978 Broncos used flexible tubing for AC ducts
78 Broncos had a different brake booster with a straight rod going into the firewall
78 used a mechanical throttle linkage
49-state 78 Broncos were exempt from most emission equipment. They only had an EGR valve and a PCV valve California 78 Broncos had the same emissions as 79 models.
78 Broncos can run both leaded and unleaded gasoline, no restriction in filler neck
49-state 78 Broncos had a standard fuel gauge.
78 Bronco gas tanks have the filler vent aft of the gas tank, also no emissions hole in the top of the tank.
78 models used a vented gas cap.
Emission sticker was placed on the valve cover for 78 models
78 Broncos used the old style rod and grommet for the key lock cylinder in the doors.
78 CB was located behind the seat
78 Broncos used the smaller 1310 differential universal joint.
78 passenger bucket seat had a small chrome latch.
78 used small 1 ½-13 rear bumper bolts, with smaller square hole in bumper.
78 door panels used the old style metal (copper) retaining clips.
78 power steering pump & hose used the early style "direct screw-in" pressure hose.

1979

All 79 Broncos came with square lights.
79 Broncos use molded plastic AC ducts
79 Broncos have a revised fulcrum brake booster.
79 used a throttle cable.
All 79 Broncos sold in the US had full, non HD emission, including a catalytic converter, EVAP system, and an AIR pump. Canadian Broncos were exempt, just like 78 models.
79 Broncos can only run on unleaded gasoline, had a restriction in the filler neck.
All 79 Broncos sold in the US had an "Unleaded Fuel Only" fuel gauge.
79 Bronco gas tanks had the filler vent tube forward of the filler tube, also had emissions hole in top of thank.
79 models used sealed, non-vented gas caps.
Emissions sticker was placed on the hood for 79 models.
79 Broncos used the 80-up style rod & sleeve for the key lock cylinder in the doors.
79 CB was located behind the driver’s side cargo panel, no ashtray was available in that panel.
79 Broncos use the larger 1330 universal joint.
79 passenger bucket used a larger black latch with a plastic handle. Captain chairs used an even larger handle.
79 used larger 9/16-12 rear bumper bolts.
79 door panels used plastic retaining clips.
79 used a new style power steering pump and pressure hose with a "floating" pressure hose & O ring.

Options & Accessory Differences

Tilt steering w/ a 4-speed trans was only available in 79
The upper door seal weather stripping was only installed on 79 Broncos with the Ranger XLT package. It was not available any other year.
Muffler skid plate was only available in 79
Only 79 Broncos had heat shields above the muffler and cat.
Captain chairs were only available in 79
Transfer case skid plate was standard in 79, optional in 78
The oil bath air cleaner could not be ordered in 79 with a CB radio
GT steering wheel was no longer standard on the 79 free-wheeler
Power steering was standard in 79, optional in 78
XLT wood grain door and cargo panels could be ordered on the 78 Custom even w/o
AC.
4-speed transmissions were not offered on 78 Broncos with a 400 engine in California.


Color changes

Maroon Metallic -- 79 only
Coral -- 79 only
Light Med. Blue -- 79 only
Midnight Jaje -- 79 only
Gold Metallic -- 79 only
Light Sand -- 79 only
Medium Copper Metallic -- 79 only
Medium Blue Glow -- 79 only
Walnut Glow -- 79 only
Castillo red -- 78 only
Medium Copper -- 78 only
Light Blue -- 78 only
Bahama Blue -- 78 only
Chrome Yellow -- 78 only
Tan -- 78 only
Cream -- 78 only
Jade Glow -- 78 only
Dark Ciniman Glow -- 78 only
Sand was an optional top color in 79
78 & 79 trucks have different color red interiors. 78 was bright red, 79 was dark red.
Saddle interior was only available in 1978
Sand interior was only available in 1979
Chrome yellow wagon wheels were only available in 79 with the freewheeling package. They were not offered in 78.
Chromatic free-wheeler stripe kit was only offered in 79.
Full body air brush option was only offered in 79.
78 wing window latches were chrome, 79 latches were black.
Silver 78 intrument clusters still had a black background on the virtical face of the cluster, where as 79 clusters were completely silver"

The 78 Ranger XLT's had square headlights as part of the package I believe. I have 1 now and I owned another. 79 did have only square.
79 Broncos were required to have Smog in CA and probably some other states.
79 had the larger yoke and U-Joint vs. 78 Trailer Special and HD option? most 78's have the smaller yoke and U-joint.
Gas tank Vent tube 79 to the front side of fill, 78 to the right side?
I'm not a stickler for originality on my trucks because none of mine would ever be considered collectable due to restoration, high mileage etc., but this is what I have noticed so far. By the way I'm down to one 78 and four 79 broncos so I probably should find another 78 don't yah think?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
:banghead Ok, so Bronco 2 is out. But Bronco 3 is in....Final decision time.

Still haven't been able to drive #1. Will be doing that this Tuesday. Worried about gas mileage and performance from 351M. Interested in trying to do some body work myself. Have to get new seats and fix some electrical items....That is IF I like the way it drives Tuesday.

Bronco-3 is a totally different beast. 1988 Bronco Eddie Bauer. 351W, 4'ish inch lift (thinking its an old 6" that settled), new 35's, decent interior with fixable issues. Has bodywork on the front fender, both doors, and back rocker panel. Above fenders are rusted, but haven't broken through yet. Kicker is he has all the parts. New trim, light covers, grille, front fender, two doors, vent window assemble, every freaking manual ever made including the ford shop manuals, new door panels, window switches. Soft top first on my list of to gets.
Downside #1 - Wondering steering. He's replaced the steering gear box, rag joint is solid, replaced one draglink. Still wonders pretty bad. I'm worried that I won't be able to fix this and my wife won't drive something that doesn't handle well. And I wouldn't want her to.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Forgot....with the 2 replacement doors, that means I can butcher my original doors into quarter doors.
 

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i would hold out for a rust free truck, but thats just me.
 

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Forgot to mention I'm a cheap SOB :thumbup
yep me too, i'm waiting for that perfect truck with a blown motor to present itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Finally drove the 78. :cry She has a brand new gear box and new power steering pump and turns like a crap. Feels like no power steering at all. Pump whines barely, but there definitely isn't any assistance coming from it. He said something about maybe having air in the lines :shrug. Took it for a drive. Good thing I don't tailgate. I'm not looking to lock up 35's, but dang. Atleast slow me down to a stop when I'm standing on the pedal. Body was a lot rougher that I noticed while it was in the garage. Door panels are falling apart. Motor sounded SWEET! though. :whiteflag

I'm seriously thinking about Bronco #3 which sux because I wanted a 78-79.
 

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To bad you guys aren't out here in California, There are tons of Broncos For sale in L.A. Area all fixed up for super cheap! I ended up getting my Baby a couple months ago for 2,000, and it is CLEAN! Craigslist Baby!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Dang if there ain't. Wonder what shipping would be? I can't spare the time for a cross country trip in a truck I don't know about.
 

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Hellz yeah. If you have time and don't mind I would greatly appreciate it. Finders fees are paid in beer if that's ok. ;)
 

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There is a little spring inside my steering shaft that stops slippage of the 2 shafts, that causes wander. If you could find a replacement spring, you might stop the wander. I am thinking the spring loses tension over time. It looks almost like an s, but not as exaggerated at the ends. I think it is called a flat spring.
 

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1978 Bronco w/ 429

Here is the Bronco I told you about. It has a bench seat up front that has either been reupholstered or a good seat cover. Dash is carpeted and rest of interior looks good from what I could tell with tinted windows. Has a sunroof that looks to be installed quite well. Anyways enough of me yapping. Oh and most importantly he wants 9500 for it. Did not see motor but heard from a friend its professionally built. Also has eaton gears phone is 7575531161.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for looking into it for me. Little too expensive for me right now.

Ended up getting this beasty instead. :chili: So at least I'm back in the saddle again. Might not be the exact horse I wanted, but she'll do for now. And its a good platform well in my price range. Came with 4" Superlift suspension, new 35's, list of new other stuff already installed, i.e. alternator, distributor, plugs, steering box, etc.... and to be installed: 2 doors without rust, new front fender, every manual known to mankind, front grille, headlights and emblems. Gives me a solid truck to drive, with some little things for me to work on when I have time.

Only thing that popped out after an inspection from my local mechanic was needing to replace the steering column. Any good how-to's on here about doing that? Also, do most Bronco's squat this much in the back? It has blocks that I'd like to replace with new Deavers if possible.

The good sides...



And the bad side...
 
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