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Premium Member
1996 EB, 351w, stock-ish.
Joined
·
4,366 Posts
alright, alright....we're running out of time here. we need the goods.

so, one of my initial plans for the bronco has always been to lift it. i have tried to maintain a fair level of quality control on the parts and types of modifications i put on the bronco as well. well, a good lift isn't cheap. i aspired to do a 4" lift with extended radius arms, cut and turn beams, and 4" lift rear leaf springs. that plus 33" tires would be perfect for my needs. i remember telling the PO the plans as we handled the paperwork.

well, over the years i've replaced the shocks but not the springs. but my springs have had it. plus, the added weight of the bumpers and i'm a damn low rider bronco. plus, it makes the front bumper look like it has a crazy underbite, at least according to some. haha

well, ultimately, i decided against waiting any longer. but, i just decided all that was more than i needed. instead, after pouring over countless pages of "show me a 4" lift with 33" tires" and similar threads in the archives, i decided a simple 2.5" lift was what i needed. and while i was at it...it was time to do some upgrades and maintenance as well.

some of the goods





without getting into the details, i decided to piece together a lift kit for myself. it was going to get maximum lift and ride comfort in the 2.5" range as well as be easy to get aligned properly. i wanted a very slight forward rake because i carry heavy loads sometimes and don't want to be dragging ass. there was some trial and error, but the only way i could decide what was best for me was to try it.


with all that said, my eventual lift kit results are:
tuff country 2.5" lift drop brackets for the TTB (camber adjustable) and radius arms
moog oem replacement progressive rate coil springs cc826
adjustable caster bushings
new general spring kc rear leaf spings, oem replacement
2" lift block and new pro comp u-bolts
TRW ball joints
new brake hoses front and back
hawk LTS brake pads in the front (i recently replaced the rotors and pads but didn't like the pads so i replaced them)
every suspension bushing was replaced with polyurethane bushings, including the leaf springs and shackles.

through some internet sleuthing, even though you can't get spicer ball joints anymore, i was able to find trw ball joints from the exact same time period that they were supplying ball joints to spicer. and they look identical. so i was pretty pumped to get what are essentially spicer ball joints in 2020 or 2021.




so here it was before i got started
 

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Premium Member
1996 EB, 351w, stock-ish.
Joined
·
4,366 Posts
i started on the rear end b/c it felt easier...relative to the front. but not necessarily "easy". although, it mostly was.

i won't show you every bit of the details in this thread, but the basic concept of the rust cleanup was as follows:
the beginnings of surface rust on the frame



hit it with a wire wheel very thoroughly



and rustoleum enamel




and, of course, the hardware hit the paint booth, too...



painted and drying




well, i ended up having to wait on parts, so with the rear end disconnected i started on the front
 

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Premium Member
1996 EB, 351w, stock-ish.
Joined
·
4,366 Posts
it wasn't too bad of a starting point


and dropped




radius arms got a coat of paint and new bushings




and drying



and the bushings...
i replaced these with rubber bushings when i first got it.


these were like trying to stuff sausage casings by hand



the knuckles got painted, too along with ball joints


and then i painted the frame and coil spring buckets, too.


and the cross member. it was a good old fashioned painting party...of one.
 

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Premium Member
1996 EB, 351w, stock-ish.
Joined
·
4,366 Posts
then the drop brackets installed



it was a bit of a cluster **** at first, but i ended up getting the drop brackets welded to the oem brackets in one spot instead of using a bolt.



and installed with new hardware


and everything not new was repainted



put it all back together with some "used / good condition" bilstein shocks and viola!
 

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Premium Member
1996 EB, 351w, stock-ish.
Joined
·
4,366 Posts
going back to the rear end...
pressing in the bushings. and yes, that's a metal plate with a cardboard pad held in place with masking tape to protect the freshly repainted shackle as i press the bushing center pin with a quarter. solid mechanic work right here.



ratchet straps make it easier to get the leaf springs aligned


i painted/repainted the fender well in the rear, too


new rear sway bar bushings


and since i forgot to take pics at first, the block looking rough after a few months, but this is just an unflattering picture.




and when it was all said and done, it looked like this



a before and after
 

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Premium Member
1996 EB, 351w, stock-ish.
Joined
·
4,366 Posts
alright, well as you can see above, the lift looks a bit towering over the 31" tires. well, that was fine. it was time to get new ones, anyway.

old tires/wheel were 31x10.5x15 on 15x8 wheels
new tires/wheels are 33x12.5x15 on 15x10 wheels

and here's how it looks today
 

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Premium Member
78 Custom 460 NP435 NP205 Sniper EFI HyperSpark Ignition 4.56 Gears Front/Rear Grizzly Lockers
Joined
·
3,954 Posts
alright, well as you can see above, the lift looks a bit towering over the 31" tires. well, that was fine. it was time to get new ones, anyway.

old tires/wheel were 31x10.5x15 on 15x8 wheels
new tires/wheels are 33x12.5x15 on 15x10 wheels

and here's how it looks today





 

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The Tennessee Warden
96 XL, built 357W, E4OD, BW1356, D44 SAS, 4.56 gears
Joined
·
5,550 Posts
alright, well as you can see above, the lift looks a bit towering over the 31" tires. well, that was fine. it was time to get new ones, anyway.

old tires/wheel were 31x10.5x15 on 15x8 wheels
new tires/wheels are 33x12.5x15 on 15x10 wheels

and here's how it looks today
That looks really good, man. Nice job on the lift - the stance looks dead on.
 

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Premium Member
1996 EB, 351w, stock-ish.
Joined
·
4,366 Posts
aftet having a freshly sealed engine i pretty much immediately began to hoard parts for some engine upgrades. i finally got everything i wanted and set out to do the job.

edelbrock intake
stainless IM bolts
gt40 heads
arp head bolts
bbk ceramic coated shorty headers
magnaflow y-pipe mating to the factory exhaust
*previously installed magnaflow exhaust

also did a new oil pump, pickup, and pump shaft

and at the same time, i did a little bit of a tune-up with
new spark plugs, cap, and rotor
new thermostat

the heads came off a 96 explorer in a local junk yard. around the same time, i pulled two sets. i kept the set that looked better and sold the second set for enough to cover both.

all i spent out of pocket was a couple valve jobs at the machine shop. and a couple mornings at the yard.



everything inside still looks great


this is 268,000 miles of wear



new heads




intake and headers



priming the oil pump at this point




the lower intake manifold, i bought new. for the upper, i found a used upper and lower for a 302. i talked to the guy and bought the upper from him.



repainted




and y'all know what an engine looks like
 

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Premium Member
1996 EB, 351w, stock-ish.
Joined
·
4,366 Posts
i switched from bosch gauges to autometer mechanical engine temp and oil pressure, plus electronic trans temp.



and shortly after i did all these upgrades, my radiator said that it was retiring, and started leaking at the seams.



the intake and heads went in with no resistance. the headers, accessories, and y-pipe were a bit more challenging.

had to notch the coil support bracket




and with the intake being taller, i had to extend the upper IM support bracket and notch it to fit.





the OEM exhaust has three o2 sensors and two catalytic converters. the new exhaust, from an earlier year bronco, had one o2 sensor and one catalytic converter. i used this y-pipe to reduce the cats for the cheapest possible option.



the y-pipe didn't bolt up. turns out it is a known issue that i missed. had to take it to the muffler shop for him to "make it work". he also welded in the o2 bungs for me so i could use the oem three o2 sensors.
 

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Premium Member
1996 EB, 351w, stock-ish.
Joined
·
4,366 Posts
last spring, as ford was rolling out the new bronco, i was able to go to a ford sponsored car show at the dallas cowboys headquarters. naturally, i had to give this a bit of a cleanup






getting a little attention


my son and me. he's still got a little work to do on his pose.




and then, within the same month, there was a car show at my old high school.


i won best 90's truck



 

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Premium Member
1996 EB, 351w, stock-ish.
Joined
·
4,366 Posts
i'm on the third radio i've installed on the bronco. when i first got it, i threw a cheap-o in there. that was barely functional, and i was able to get a FREE used pioneer stereo. i ran that until that died. now i have a JVC head unit.

in addition to that, i have installed four cerwin vega speakers and a cerwin vega powered subwoofer.

i tried to keep the power wire mostly out of sight. at least not being noticeable.



all wiring is under the carpet. and the amp/sub is mounted to the side of my center console.


here is the old speaker, plus the new one and the speaker baffles i used in the four door speakers


all four went about the same:


 

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Premium Member
1996 EB, 351w, stock-ish.
Joined
·
4,366 Posts
photo dump of other things i've done with the bronco....

this was a thanksgiving weekend camping trip with my wife and son a couple years ago


a solo camping trip that i did


hauling more junk


building materials


another trip to the beach


last year for our anniversary, my wife and i went to the ouachita national forest in arkansas.


and we did some cruising around in the national forest


then last year for father's day, i went out to an east texas off-road park and had some fun.




and for christmas 2021, my wife, son, and i went back to the ouachita national forest.


cruising around in the river bed





and then, when my wife's escape finally gave up a couple months ago. so we hauled it off to the junk yard
 

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Registered
93 Bronco, 5.0 4:56 35's 5.5 superflex with fox 2.0
Joined
·
120 Posts
Prior to the Uwharrie trip I added these recovery points to the front.

also made a simple storage shelf to help hold all the gear for the trip
 

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