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Discussion Starter #1
Since I can't go to the bars I thought I've been tackling some projects on the Bronco. Plans are to get the rad support replacement finished, bolt in the winch, tackle some of the rust in the tailgate area, strip and paint the frame and maybe build some sliders for it. I don't have a huge budget so I decided to go with a winch over lockers because that makes more sense to me for now. I usually build/repair things the cheapest way I can so be prepared for that.

Gathering some parts for a stock winch bumper build.


Some of the teardown from today.


With my high dollar custom exhaust you can actually remove the entire exhaust if you remove the transmission crossmember like I did. I booger welded up all the leaks until it looked good to me.



That's it for today.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Made some progress today. I had this old rad support laying around from when I did the ZF5 swap so I patched a couple holes and painted it.


Made some access holes to get at the rad support bushing bolts and managed to break both of them. I ended up beating the broken stud with a hammer until I bent the body mount but got it out.


New support mostly installed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Some more progress today. Got the support mostly bolted down and the fenders fairly aligned again. I picked up a 40 inch wide piece of C channel for the winch install and some bolts. Decided to paint the grille today since I wanted to see something visual getting done.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have been doing some work on the truck but have been less motivated since acquiring a daily driver. The winch mount is pretty well done. Just need to bolt it up once the paint dries and wire it up.


I bought a cheap air sprayer off amazon and sprayed the front frame rails and the new winch tray.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Pretty much done with the winch install today. I learnt a couple of things.

  • Don't buy 10 inch wide C channel, buy 8 .
  • A smittybilt 12k winch will not fit between the frame rails with the solenoid box installed.
  • To install the solenoid box I had to clock the motor and stuff it high up inside the grille.


I tried out a heatgun on the frame rails to get some of the tar off and it stripped half the frame in about 15 minutes. Don't have pics but will take some once I start prepping the frame for paint.

I'm still waiting on the remote so I can't try it out but it should be useable once that arrives.
 

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1979 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400m engine, C6 trans, D44 front with Dick Cepek manual hubs
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Looking forward to frame actions.
Until now I can not image how to do it properly with all the car being installed on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Looking forward to frame actions.
Until now I can not image how to do it properly with all the car being installed on it.
The reality is that I won't be doing it properly. Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly or so I've heard
 

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1979 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400m engine, C6 trans, D44 front with Dick Cepek manual hubs
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well, at least you do something to stop corosion, thats a starter.
I am impatiend, want to have the entire frames coated, but I am not sure when this can happen, so I may start same way as you do.... part by part with chassis paint
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The reason I'm spraying the frame is more for aesthetic reasons. Somebody sprayed asphalt undercoating on this truck about a quarter of an inch thick and it's just the absolute worst. Peeling everywhere and it gets on you the second you touch it and smears all over everything. I just want everything to look sort of clean underneath and not cover me in tar every time I work on the truck.
 

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1979 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400m engine, C6 trans, D44 front with Dick Cepek manual hubs
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this is fully understandable.
would it make sense to ice spray the car?

This is a potential way to get away old rust and paint and much "nicer" to materials compared to sand blasting.

I plan to do it on mine and then coat it with chassis paint.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I wouldn't say Ice Spraying your car is a bad idea but it's not really in keeping with the theme of this build. I'm already mad that I bought a gallon of paint for 50$ so the chances of me spending another dollar are near zero.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Did the spraying. Looks a bit better since it started drying.





Welded on an exhaust hanger before my last one completely rots off. Still need to get some spots with a roller.
My check engine light is now going on and off randomly along with an erratic idle. My turn signals also stopped working so that's cool. Probably going to tackle the rust in the bed next.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I haven't done too much to the truck since my last post. I thought that before summer ends I would quick patch the holes in the truck/bed area of the truck. . . . How wrong I was about that being quick. There is hardly any structure left on the rear most crossmember.




I really don't like how this is starting to snowball on me so I'm going to settle for not really fixing the problem and just sort of making it so when it rains water doesn't soak the inside of the truck.


That's as far as I've got for today. I'm probably just going to make an oversized piece for the fuel pump access and use 4 spot welds and some seam sealer since it will stay covered in carpet anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have been using this cheap flux core welder from Canadian Tire for all my welding and it has been pretty hard to make any nice welds but I've been trying. I don't have any doubts about the welds failing but they are kind of ugly. I got it on sale for 180$ with a three year warranty. If I was going to do quarter panels or highly visible body work I think that I would use it to tack everything in place then just rent a high quality mig unit for the day. I would definitely recommend getting one if you're on a budget like me though.






I finished the patch job project for now and used some brushable seam sealer to seal the welds up on both sides of the patch. I will have to disconnect the body at some point and either build a new crossmember or put one in. The body mounts on the rear are collapsed. That's a project for another day though.

I decided to just use four sheet metal screws and a pile of seam sealer for the gas tank access panel since I'm putting the carpet back in.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Alright. We have some news. . . .
I found a pair of F250s for sale that I convinced my friend to purchase. Two 7.3 Idi 4x4, 5 Speed trucks for 1900$. There's a red one which barely starts due to no glow plugs and a bad injector and the grey one which is for parts. I'm going to fix the red one for my friend and I get to keep the parts truck which means . . .

Diesel Bronco! I'd been looking for at least a year for a ZF5/7.3 combo. I'm going to get the grey one to start at least before I yank the 7.3 out to stab in my Bronco. Anyways we just put down a deposit on the both of em and should have em home by the end of the week. Pics to come later.
 

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1979 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400m engine, C6 trans, D44 front with Dick Cepek manual hubs
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very nice decision. keep us posted with pictures.
I was thinking that direction as well, as it will be torque monsters.

but as I ordered the 460, I am suited.

by the way what axcles the 250 has?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The F250 has junk axles with missing parts that I'm not using. I'm keeping my axles so I don't have to get new driveshafts. I'm keeping my transfer case too since I believe the 250 has one of those slip yoke mounts on the rear.

Main reason I've been looking for a 7.3 is for the fuel economy. My bronco hasn't done better than 10 mpg or 24L/100km since the swap so I'm hoping a 7.3 with a roughly 5000 lb bronco would do closer to 20. I have no plans for a turbo or any power adders. I just want to drive around again on the cheap.I pay around $1.30 for gas around here and diesel is usually 20-30% cheaper so even if the truck only gets 15-16mpg I'd still be looking at around half the cost to drive the truck. I'd be able to do around 400 miles to a tank instead of 250 which would be huge. I've got basically zero dollars into this 7.3 drive train and should be able to get it in the truck and make whatever repairs are needed with the money I get from selling my 351/ZF5 combo. I also will be selling my Mass Air wiring harness and computer/Maf if anybody wants that.

I got a hold of the original owner of my F250 parts rig and apparently it was running great when parked but the body just rusted to pieces around it. Even if the motor is Junk I'll make money parting out the ZF5, Motor parts and other stuff. The parts truck even has AC! Very pleased with this find, the ad was up for a few hours when I jumped on it. 20+ other people messaged about it but I got there first.
 

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1979 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400m engine, C6 trans, D44 front with Dick Cepek manual hubs
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perfect find, and you are absolutely right, that will pay off, and at least you have a complete engine, trans, drivetrain combo and you can decide what to swap and such. Great !!

in terms of fuel consumption this will be a great upgrade as well, if I would not look for the historic car certification, I would look for a G Class 3 liter diesel drivetrain and swap that, but this would mean even lots of electronic work, etc etc.

Anyhow, lets see your updates when available!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Picked up the running truck which is my buddies truck. It fired up right easy since it had been plugged in for days. We drove it around for a bit and pulled into the line for the ferry off the island.

Wouldn't start when it was time to go. By the time we hosed her down with ether and got her going about 50 cars had passed and we missed the boat. We didn't make that mistake again and had the ether ready for the hosing when we got ready for the next ferry.

Anyways the truck starts real hard and pours grey/white smoke that reeks like fuel out the exhaust. It didn't stop smoking all the way home. Lots of sputtering/bucking/backfiring all the way back. I pulled the fuel filter off about 10 minutes after the highway run and the filter was maybe 1/3 full so we're now thinking massive air leaks rather than glow plugs/injectors. Tested the glow plugs and only 1 tested bad. So I think we're going to do an injector service kit and replace the fuel filter and some of the low pressure and return lines hopefully solving the problem
 

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1979 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400m engine, C6 trans, D44 front with Dick Cepek manual hubs
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That sounds like an adventure. Must be lots of trouble but fun in the end.
Glad you made it!! + even have better idea about the problem.
 
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