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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, name's Jared. I'm looking at buying a '90 Bronco Eddie Bauer edition, but, as the title says, it's had an engine fire.

So, it's a 302 auto, 4x4. Undercarriage is immaculate, hubs rebuilt, trans rebuilt, new brakes, slight lift installed. All electronics did work, windows, rear glass etc. Interior is in better shape than many others I've seen of that age.

It was a grandfather/grandson project, and the grandson had a friend install an alarm system. Drove it home where shortly after the engine bay caught fire. The grandfather owns it and is only asking for the cost of the trans rebuild, roughly $700. This brings me to the important question: is it worth the effort to make drive-able?

I have all the tools and equipment to work on the vehicle, but I'm more worried about the electrical side of it. The wiring harnesses. I haven't been able to find a site that sells complete engine harnesses. I've read that some of the F-150 harnesses work, but that there are some wiring connectors that are different.

The hood and at least one fender will have to be replaced, which is not a big deal at all. Just wanted some opinions/ideas on the project, cost, and maybe some info on where to find odd and end parts.

I've always wanted a Bronco and this looks like a good starting point. I settled on a 4Runner (2wd) in college.. Don't think I've forgiven myself for it lol. Anyway, my idea is to make it a reliable vehicle, on or off road. I'm not into mudding much as I don't have the time to constantly fix things. I only get 1 weekend off a month as it is..

Thanks in advance!

Jakal
 

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With as many quality units that are out there under the $1500-2000 range, it wouldn't be worth the headache to me. Figure you'll be in it a couple hundred in parts if you go with junkyard parts, probably close to a grand if you go with new parts...plus whatever other materials you'll need for paint (or pay someone to paint). For me, my time is worth something, so that's usually a factor as well. And the final kiss of death for me is, I hate any form of electrical work.
 

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It should be worth $700 for a parts truck. As far as wiring you should be able to find a complete harness in a junkyard or someone scrapping a Bronco. I would get it.
 

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If you can post some pictures up that would be helpful. Does sound like a headache but if the body and everything in good shape you could get a junk rig and swap everything out. All depends if you are willing and want to take the time and money to put into it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
With as many quality units that are out there under the $1500-2000 range, it wouldn't be worth the headache to me
I live in South Mississippi. Broncos are almost worth their weight in gold, and most are rotted out by now. I'm excited about this one because of how good a shape the frame and body is.

slw210 said:
It should be worth $700 for a parts truck.
That's my dilemma. It's right there on the border of being too expensive to fix, but possibly cheaper then buying a running one and fixing what's wrong with it.

Saltlife85 said:
If you can post some pictures up that would be helpful.
I'll have some up this weekend. Going to talk to the owner some more and get a better idea of what's wrong. Girlfriend is the one who found it. I have the pictures she took with her phone but they're not great. She's a gear head too, so I trust her judgement on the shape of the vehicle.

I'm not scared of the electrical bits. Wiring isn't hard, but I'd rather have a full harness than try to fab one myself.

Thanks for the info guys. I can understand where each of you are coming from.
 

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I would buy a running bronco to begin with and enjoy learning the vehicle and its systems. ANY Bronco will need enough work in the first year to keep you busy. Once you can take it apart and put it back together in your sleep, consider buying one to rebuild; and, you'll have your running bronco to use as a reference.
 

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It should be worth $700 for a parts truck.
I agree with that.

Also you could buy that one, then another one thats running but the body and interior is POS, then take two and make one nice one. lol
 

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Junked out worthless Bronco and F-150 run over $1000 in the Memphis and South Florida area, that's why I am still looking for a parts vehicle myself.
 

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I live in South Mississippi. Broncos are almost worth their weight in gold, and most are rotted out by now. I'm excited about this one because of how good a shape the frame and body is
Up here in Chicago, finding anything rust free is hard (also read as expensive). For the money the seller is asking for it, you could pick it up, part most of it out and then scrap it and be far ahead.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just did a quick Craigslist search and found a 302 out of a Cougar with 63k miles. Asking 300$. This project might turn out better than I expected. I asked if they still had the car as I could pull the a/c parts, reservoirs etc. Getting excited.
 

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You did not say whether this is a nice rust free example or not but if you want a Bronco and this one is rust free then with having the newly rebuilt transmission I would say that it would be worthwhile at that price. Remember you at least have a fresh trans also included for that price and a nice interior as well.

Find another stock Bronco on Craigslist with a bad trans or rusty frame or body and use the Craigslist truck as your parts vehicle to fix this one or vice a versa. Non running Bronco's or Bronco's that need a lot of work and if they are cosmetically challenged as well can be bought for 4-500.00 if you are diligent in your search.

Biggest thing will be swapping the wiring harness and maybe parts off the top of the engine that were damaged in the fire.

Most wiring fire damages usually look visably worse than they actually are from all the black soot deposited on everything. I have seen them where they looked fried and once you started cleaning off all the mess the paint on the valve covers was not even damaged.
 

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If the older bodystyle is what you want then buy it as a parts truck, you will thank yourself many times over to have a personal JY in your yard.
 

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I'd get it. Good excuse to drop a 351 in. Check rjminjectiontech.com for a complete harness, he does plenty of electrical stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
vfourmax said:
You did not say whether this is a nice rust free example or not
My girlfriend did the initial inspection of the vehicle. She lives an hour away, and the vehicle even further. Anyway, she crawled under the truck and looked it over well. Said there was very little rust on the underside, that the body was in great condition and that, other than the hood and fender, it looked fantastic. Interior is in pretty good shape as well.

I spent today after work in the junkyard. Found a '90 F-150 with the 5.0 and pulled the entire engine, trans, and dash wiring harnesses. Only missing connector is to the fuel tank, but that's an easy splice. Found an ecu from a '90 Econoline with the 5.0 and AOD. The only vehicle with the 5.0 that had an ecu out of the 40 some odd one's we looked at.

The intake plenum, air box, etc will have to be replaced as they swapped it to carb from EFI. Along with all the plastics of course. There are a lot of 5.0 donor vehicles in the yard. I found a few 351's but none complete.

Just out of curiosity, is there a way to test the ecu without plugging it into someone else's vehicle? I'd hate for it to be faulty and screw up a vehicle I don't own.

Edit: Thanks for the tip Phobos. I looked them over before hitting the junkyard. I think financially today worked out better lol.
 

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It is very unlikely a bad ecu could damage anything on the engine. If it were mine I would plug it in as is and run codes prior to the first start up.
 

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My girlfriend did the initial inspection of the vehicle. She lives an hour away, and the vehicle even further. Anyway, she crawled under the truck and looked it over well. Said there was very little rust on the underside, that the body was in great condition and that, other than the hood and fender, it looked fantastic. Interior is in pretty good shape as well.

The intake plenum, air box, etc will have to be replaced as they swapped it to carb from EFI. Along with all the plastics of course. There are a lot of 5.0 donor vehicles in the yard.


You may have just discovered the source or actual cause of the fire. If it was switched to a carb from the efi and using the original in tank fuel pump for the efi without a good quality regulator installed in line before the carb the fuel pressures will be much to high for the carb to handle.

Not to mention that any rubber fuel hose installed before the regulator would need to be fuel injection hose as well to handle the pressure. Same with if rubber hose were used before the regulator just sticking on a hose clamp is not going to cut it.

If the Bronco is nice I would try to pick up the top end (fuel injection) off a comparable model truck in the pick -n-pull off a bad engine and put the fuel injection set up back on. The carb set up will not give you the fuel mileage you can get with the fuel injection.

Sounds like a nice truck and worth the efforts to get back in service.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You may have missed this from my first post: It was a grandfather/grandson project, and the grandson had a friend install an alarm system. Drove it home where shortly after the engine bay caught fire.

I have no doubts that the swap to carb may have not been done right. I can just go with what I've been told thus far, and that it did run/drive with the carb.

My intentions are to go back to EFI. There's plenty of intake plenums and throttle body parts/pieces, whole engines even, to choose from.
 

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theres alot of variables it sounds like with what caused the fire. Friends that think they know what there doing/ A carb swap with maybe shotty plumbing. Who knows what other gremlins ull find and also thats alot of work for $700 although thats the fun of it. Im guessing by the time ur done messing with it ull be at least another grand or more in the hole plus ur time. It all really comes down to how bad the fire was asfar as damage done, If it were me im not that ambitious and id keep looking cause theres always another good deal around the corner. these trucks pop up all the time and id say be patient.
 

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If it were me im not that ambitious and id keep looking cause theres always another good deal around the corner. these trucks pop up all the time and id say be patient.
i've been looking for a long while myself, but if i found a late model with a flamed motor i would pick it up real quick and use my rig for parts.
 
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