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86 Eddie Bauer edition, 302 speed density, AOD, 4” pro comp lift- 33” tires
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was planning on making my build thread later on when I started doing more major things, but heck it. I’m gonna start by introducing you guys to my 86 bronco. I’ve been wanting one ever since 8th grade when my best friend got one for his first vehicle. I’ve been searching for my own for many years now and almost gave up, but three days ago I was scrolling through craigslist and saw a fresh post from two hours ago. No way! I immediately emailed the guy and the next day I drove home my very own bronco.
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14,885 Posts
Great looking Bronco..Seems pretty clean for a Montana rig of that vintage..saw a little rust on the tailgate, but the corners all look good...Enjoy.
 

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86 Eddie Bauer edition, 302 speed density, AOD, 4” pro comp lift- 33” tires
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
looks like you have 2 nice cars now.
like the f150 and the bronco is not too bad either.

What's your plan with it?
I’ve been slowly working on the 77 f250 for a couple years now. It was in awful condition when I got it. The bronco is going to be my DD/adventure rig to fill the void that my Jeep used to fill haha
 

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86 Eddie Bauer edition, 302 speed density, AOD, 4” pro comp lift- 33” tires
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Great looking Bronco..Seems pretty clean for a Montana rig of that vintage..saw a little rust on the tailgate, but the corners all look good...Enjoy.
There’s just the tiniest bit of rust in the usual places, the worst is the drip rail which I need to fix before that becomes a disaster. This bronco has been repainted in its life. It used to be burgundy according to the vin codes (wish it still was, my Jeep was maroon).
 

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86 Eddie Bauer edition, 302 speed density, AOD, 4” pro comp lift- 33” tires
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Alrighty I’ve already dived into tweaking with things and it’s been 4 days :LOL: I’ve noticed that the AOD seemed to shift pretty hard and later than I would expect, after some light research on the forum here I decided it might just be old and that’s how it was gonna be. Then I ran into a thread about the TV cable, and there was a link to a video from the 80’s in adjusting it. So I hauled ass out to the bronco with my phone in my hand to fix the problem. You’re not gonna believe what I saw next! The previous owner zip tied a small plastic spacer to make the tv cable tighter. Idk why someone would want it to shift hard like that, maybe he wanted the feeling of having a punisher VB without buying one?
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I didn’t think to take a picture before I removed the strange contraption, but that was probably the easiest possible outcome for my situation. I was expecting a full on trans rebuild. YEESH! Bullet dodged
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This was the hero of the day!
 

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Premium Member
1979 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400m engine, C6 trans, D44 front with Dick Cepek manual locking hubs
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447 Posts
Nice easy find

i always think must be some kind of stupid to do „repairs“ like this.
Same for cables and electrical, just peeling of the insulation to connect another cable may work, but is far from keeping well over time, found a lot of those hacking results whilst my rebuild.
 

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86 Eddie Bauer edition, 302 speed density, AOD, 4” pro comp lift- 33” tires
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Nice easy find

i always think must be some kind of stupid to do „repairs“ like this.
Same for cables and electrical, just peeling of the insulation to connect another cable may work, but is far from keeping well over time, found a lot of those hacking results whilst my rebuild.
I hate it when people don’t do it right the first time. When I got the pickup it had been a ranch truck and they beat it up bad. Then I discovered they welded washers on the rear driveshaft to keep the u-joint from falling out:rolleyes:
 

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86 Eddie Bauer edition, 302 speed density, AOD, 4” pro comp lift- 33” tires
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
OMG
Good that you saved it.
The front of the F250 looks such nice.
keep it on :)
Thanks! I just replaced the whole grill shell and painted the inserts about a month ago, looks so much better than it used to
 

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1979 Ranger XLT 400m T18
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166 Posts
If you need to hit a JY, just come up to Helena and say hi! One of the local junkyards was owned by a guy who liked Fords so it has an unusally high amount of bumpsides, dentsides, and even bull/bricknose models. I don't pay the most attention to ones newer than '79 but I'd guess there are at least 10 post '79 broncos in there.
 

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86 Eddie Bauer edition, 302 speed density, AOD, 4” pro comp lift- 33” tires
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
If you need to hit a JY, just come up to Helena and say hi! One of the local junkyards was owned by a guy who liked Fords so it has an unusally high amount of bumpsides, dentsides, and even bull/bricknose models. I don't pay the most attention to ones newer than '79 but I'd guess there are at least 10 post '79 broncos in there.
Awesome! That might be good, I’d like to find some different seats. Plus I could find parts for the truck. Thanks!
 

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86 Eddie Bauer edition, 302 speed density, AOD, 4” pro comp lift- 33” tires
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
The past few days I took the bronco out on a small camping trip at Marshall lake. We ended up tying a tarp to the back of the bronco for a little canopy since it was pretty rainy. Overall the bronco did great, however I learned I’d like to upgrade the shocks as it was a bit bumpy haha
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So to get to Marshall lake from Dillon was somewhere around a 3-3 1/2 hour drive and I decided I’m not happy with the stock 3.55 gearing. I’m heavily debating between 4.10’s or 4.56’s. I’m leaning towards the 4.56’s because of the 302, but I’m not sure. I don’t know which would be better for the AOD. What do you guys think? I’ve read as much as I can but need some real opinions
 

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1979 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400m engine, C6 trans, D44 front with Dick Cepek manual locking hubs
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447 Posts
sounds like a nice trip, and you use the car to its area!! Very good!

in terms of gearing, I would guess - however I am not an offroad expert - 4,56 may be a bit short for normal driving, but sure better for (heavier) offroading.
I would go with the middle selection 4,10 - as this seems to be a good compromise and potentially as an addition tune/free up some horses in the 302.
 

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1979 Ranger XLT 400m T18
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166 Posts
I can't find the pictures right now but I'm pretty sure I've camped in that exact spot!

As to the getting. I don't know. With my 400 and T18 and 35s I think the stock 3.50 is pretty close to what I want. I'm going to try 33s and see if that makes it right. But I'm not comfortable revving out my engine and as you know speed limits can be 85mph around here. Without overdrive that is tough. With overdrive if be looking at 4.10 gears or higher for a rev happy engine.
 

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i spy extended radius arms. nice!



as soon as you do any research on gears you'll find this calculator

and for shocks, i always vote for monotubes!
 

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86 Eddie Bauer edition, 302 speed density, AOD, 4” pro comp lift- 33” tires
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I can't find the pictures right now but I'm pretty sure I've camped in that exact spot!

As to the getting. I don't know. With my 400 and T18 and 35s I think the stock 3.50 is pretty close to what I want. I'm going to try 33s and see if that makes it right. But I'm not comfortable revving out my engine and as you know speed limits can be 85mph around here. Without overdrive that is tough. With overdrive if be looking at 4.10 gears or higher for a rev happy engine.
Yeah I feel that. My 77 f250 has the 400 and I get uncomfortable revving to 3k, however the 302 is definitely a high rpm engine. Plus it has OD. I was reading some other threads and people say that 4.10 with 33” tires is almost stock gearing and that 4.56 gives you that extra feeling of torque. I would like to be able to spin the tires but I can’t make up my mindo_O
 

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86 Eddie Bauer edition, 302 speed density, AOD, 4” pro comp lift- 33” tires
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Today we made a trip to Clark canyon reservoir to test out my girlfriends new paddle board. Every time we go we try and find a different spot, although none of them are good for fishing from shore yet.
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I should’ve taken more pictures of the paddle board...oops
 
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