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Who will be your January 2018 F.O.T.M. ???

  • cstrike

    Votes: 23 46.0%
  • Njbronco74

    Votes: 3 6.0%
  • JCG74

    Votes: 8 16.0%
  • mtnmotoadv

    Votes: 11 22.0%
  • 96bronco

    Votes: 5 10.0%

  • Total voters
    50
  • Poll closed .
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81 - 100 of 161 Posts

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Ford-a-Holic
1996 EB w/5.8 TOO much lift, 44" Mudders & 5:43-5:38's
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4,283 Posts

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Ford-a-Holic
1996 EB w/5.8 TOO much lift, 44" Mudders & 5:43-5:38's
Joined
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4,283 Posts
Day 16

I have no idea why I even felt the need to swap these 1 ton axles in. The truth is that the Bronco was fine the way it was, the half ton axles were 4.56 with a rear locker and performed beautifully. My wife has accused me of enjoying working on the Bronco and spending money on it far more than I enjoy driving it. Apparently I just always need to have an active project.

Here we go, out with the D44. Another huge regret was selling the half tons… never again.


To get the D60 to work with my radius arm set up I welded on C wedges and built a lower track bar mount out of a Ballistic Fab bracket I had left over.






Everything mocked up with ratchet straps. Working alone all the time you get creative with straps and jacks!



I ran into a problem at this point. The front driveshaft was contacting the transmission cross member at droop.



I wasn’t exactly sure what to do so I kept cutting until it cleared. Some thick pipe was used to put the cross member back together.



With that done, all I needed to do to the rear was to grind off the old shock mounts for clearance. Thick quarter wall shock mounts were added halfway up the tube to keep me off the rocks.



And back on its feet:
Nice fab skills, looks awesome! :thumbup:thumbup:thumbup
 

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471 Posts
Thanks I do love the bumper. Only thing that angers me with it, they emailed after I had it all welded up and painted to tell me that if I videoed the whole process it would have been a $100 credit.
 

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218 Posts
Just a brief update on the upgrades. The rear bumper/tire carrier has been removed for better access of cage install.




Here you can see some of the cage install at A pillar. Note how the dash is notched. Tight fit. I was told their cage is laser measured.



:popc1:

Patience...Patience...I keep reminding myself.
 

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218 Posts
This was the first time ever using the W12000. Beast of a winch I must say. Camera angle doesn't reflect, but behind front tires is off camber and I had to hook up to pull to the right and keep the body off that darn tree that wanted to eat it so bad.

 

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218 Posts
Nothing funner than a jeep club out on the trail watching the big boys squeezing through their lines on water falls like this. I really don't understand the one sided animosity, but it does exist. Is it a Cali thing, or do you folks in other states experience it as well? I just laugh.

 

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1,250 Posts
Its everywhere. Even if they did have a winch strong enough to pull you they wouldn't risk it. Better to make them watch you video yourself laughing while pulling them out.
 

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JULY '16 F.O.T.M.
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836 Posts
Turn on the LED'S!

Day 16
Turn on the LED'S!
We decided it was time to change the interior lights and headlights in the bronco to the new LED’s on the market. We actually wanted to be able to see inside the truck when we opened the door or tailgate and thought this might aid us.
Before any work….






Beginning to pull out every light out

Yes, every last light…



The dash as anyone can imagine was a little tricky, we had to remove the shift linkage to remove the cover to gain access.

Something you don’t see very often. This is the backside of the instrument cluster. I honestly didn’t really want to touch anything because it looked way too fragile for my burly hands haha!


The headlight connection bracket required some modification to fit our LED bulb. For some reason the aftermarket bulb didn’t just slip in! (typical right??) We cut it down to spec and it fit like a glove in the housing.



After it was all in





After a year or two of having these in, we have noticed that the lights stay put for the most part. The one problem are we have is in the dash, some of the bulbs have in fact worked themselves out. One day we will go back in and probably put a small dab of superglue to help secure them (or if anyone has a better idea??)
These lights are awesome though, completely changes the look of the interior at night especially and helps keep the truck looking new and unaged!
 

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Wow, lots of win on this page already!

If it gets too chatty here we can take the responses to PM but I have some questions. @JCG74, is the dash notched such that the tube was able to slide in with the door open? Or did you have to remove the dash to put the tube in place? Looks awesome! @96bronco, are the dash lights 'too bright' at night? Does the dimmer still work well enough to fix that?

As for the fullsize vs. Jeep thing. It exists here but in my experience only in the form of good natured ribbing. I love to give them crap about their catalog built JKs and they like to talk crap about our aged, inefficient and antiquated behemoths. But, it have been my experience that the shared love of the hobby is stronger than the divide.

On to Day 17

This next project is a journey of love and hate. I am very proud of how my fender trimming came out but it was a miserable experience and I’m not sure I’d have the energy to do this again.

Knowing this truck is meant for the rocks and needing more room for the tires, my goal was to open up the wheel wells and maintain a low center of gravity. I’ve see many trucks with cut fenders that are clearly sawzall jobs done in 10 mins. I was hoping for a solution that looked and felt more finished.

The early 80’s trucks have crisp body lines along the wheel well and thus offer options to cut and maintain a factory look. I bought this junkyard fender to try my method.

The first cut was along the lowest factory line. I simply removed everything below that line.



My next step was to cut vertical tabs every so often along the radius of the opening. I had no idea how wide to make them but here is where I ended up.



Since the fender is made of an inner and outer skin, I had to relieve the inside.




Then began the folding. This was a learn as you go event and I used pliers at times and there was a lot of massaging with a ballpien.





Finally, welding each and every tab back onto the fender. I would weld then hammer then weld again trying to maintain a smooth radius.




The new fender came out great in my opinion. With a skim coat of Bondo and some paint the finished product accomplished all the goals of the project. If you reach underneath these fenders you’ll find them to be relatively free of rough edges but very, very strong. The cutting and welding yielded more structural strength than the factory ever had.

But, that was the easy part. Working on a bench was a much different experience than crouched in the rear wheel well. I bought a full face shield for the cutting and grinding and eventually pulled the fuel tank when it was time to weld. I know lots of shops have no fear of welding around a fuel tank but I had a family friend killed building a trailer from a truck frame. That sad and disturbing story has stuck with me since childhood.









Here is how it ended up:





And testing it out:

 

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JULY '16 F.O.T.M.
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836 Posts
I CANT HEAR YOU!

Before I start, @cstrike, to answer your question, yes the lights are in fact dimmable, not recommended I believe but they still dim. Personally I have found that the lights are not unbearable during the night, I never have thought that they were distracting or unsafe at night. I believe this is because there really is no part of the led that shines directly at the driver, it has to pass through either a clear or green film to light up the dash first. Hope this helps!

Day 17
I CANT HEAR YOU!

Its time for a big one for me, a sound system! About a year and a half ago we decided it was time for some fun rather than an upgrade. A sound system was always something I wanted in the truck, especially when we bought the Durango, which has a quality system to make me jealous. Not anymore!!
Due to many, many pictures, I will make this a two-part post over today and tomorrow.

Tearing the truck down to nothing but the dash…
Old speaker


Cleaning everything to a shine, something my dad spent hours on while I took care of the head unit wiring for our new one. We tend to tag team everything now to help expedite the process. Great work!



Modeling the panel so we know what to cut. This was very difficult and took my dad many tries

Sound deadening! This stuff is one of the most sticky and unforgiving adhesives we've ever used, where ever it touches it sticks. And it won't let go, ever, that is without ruining it.

Installed with the new shiny speakers


Working our way to the rear panels


The new speakers were slightly bigger and the new mount needed to be “adjusted”

Fits like a glove

Cleared out. And for a solid two weeks while we were working on it we kept taking the driver’s seat in and out. I still had to take it to school, which was so bizarre hopping in and seeing nothing but the steering wheel.

Clean the carpets while they are out!

After ordering more and more of the sound deadening we worked our way up to the dash

$$$


Just a little hint of what’s to come…
 

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Last President's Day 2017. Myself and some buddies took off for 3 days of "Roll Camping" out in Death Valley. I had never been there before and wasn't quite sure what to expect. It was going to be the Bronco's first real trip anywhere with at least 5 hours of highway each way and wheelin' for 3 days. I knew it would be a good test to find out just exactly what kind of shape this thing was really in. With 3 adults, two kids, firewood, and supplies. Every square inch of it was packed to the max. I was a little nervous, I must admit. However, once we hit the dirt, aired down, and grabbed a cold one while stretching out our legs. The nerves went away and while the suspension definitely had it's work cut out for it. Everything else mechanically did great and stayed nice and cool on the drive up, wheelin', and the drive home. It rained all day friday and sat morning which created some awesome conditions for us. No dust and that clean desert air I love so much. The trails this trip were mostly easy to moderate, but the exploring was a blast. I never knew there was so much to see in this place. I do not have a GoPro yet, but figured out to flip my phone in it's Otterbox and clip it to mirrors to capture some of the views we were getting to enjoy.





The first thing we did upon arrival was set out to find some of the old miner's cabins out there which are part of the Adopt-A-Cabin program. Pretty cool program and worth looking up to read about. Our efforts led us here where we stayed a night while waiting for the rains to let up. Almost all the amenities of home.



As I was saying... nothing too crazy while on the trails, but fun to say the least.





All in all... me and the wife were very satisfied with our new toy and the trip gave me a good idea of the direction I wanted to head with the build of this Bronco.
 

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Day 18

Today is just a smattering of pictures from just before and after the fender trimming.

This struck me as a nice photo op with the San Francisco Peaks looking beautiful in the back ground.



Still at the old place and just got new Swampers installed. I found an ad on Craigslist of a guy who wanted to trade brand new 38.5x14.5x15 Swampers for something smaller. He had a lifted CJ5 but they were too much for the Jeep. This was right after my 1 ton swap so I traded off nearly new 35” MTRs straight across. I thought the chunky butt was worth a pic.



Out rescuing a stuck Xterra in the Cinder Hills OHV Park just next to my neighborhood. My buddy was having too much fun and got buried in loose, deep cinders. My front driveshaft happened to be out at the time so I pulled just off the main road, put my stinger against a tree and tried out the Warn M12000 for the first time. Easy….





In the garage, admiring my handiwork.



More shots in the back yard and on the ramp. This was after my fresh coat of Herculiner and the truck seemed especially photogenic.




@jfourdyce wanted to take his Bronco to Sedona and I hadn’t run the 86 in a while so we took Shenebly Hill road from just south of Flagstaff to Sedona to get beer and wings. This beautiful but mild dirt road twists and turns from the Pines at 7000’ down to the middle desert at 4000’ and has some unique views of the Sedona red rocks you can’t get from any other road.







 

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JULY '16 F.O.T.M.
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836 Posts
Part 2 of Sound

Day 19
Installation of the sound system
Starting with the battery power

The front amp for the primary speakers, it’s a 4x200 amp I believe. Plenty powerful for what we need

Shiny new head unit, I spent a solid 2 days trying to rewire the old FoMoCo wiring harness to the new one, it was painful and very perplexing, I asked my sound guru neighbor and he was puzzled himself, but after some trial and error, and a lot of testing to see what wires had power we got it working.

Along with the mic it has Bluetooth, Pandora, sirus xm, etc. I just wanted the Bluetooth and so my dad did the research for the best one.

The rear connection power for the subwoofer amp. This was designed to be removable for our hikes and rear bed to still have a functional truck. These are designed for a forklift

Original box plugged in

Decided to put the CB radio speaker in the back here, because the center console was out so it was a good time to wire it up as well.

Cleaned up

First support we made for the center console, as it came off an expedition

Things get messy here. The box that came with our speakers turned out not being anywhere close the necessary dimensions, let along they were open air. This was not good for those speakers so we had to make a new box. Never easy

Brackets for the box

Good progress. My dad did a ton of research and probably asked some of you guys on the forum about how to make a proper box, the work shows.






Wrapping it up with the nice padding that comes on these types of boxes





Getting the amp wired up! Getting close after weeks of work and no sound!


In the truck!!

You can see here how it is completely removable

The subwoofer level knob was put near the driver just in case it had to be toned down near police ;)

And finally the location of the CB radio, you can pull out the toggle mic for it and close the cover just fine, makes for easy use that is hidden away.


Tomorrow, assuming I can get my video to upload, I can show you just how crazy the sound system is. I have yet to go full volume and probably never will because I am concerned about breaking the glass! What an awesome project
 

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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11,151 Posts
Two twelves with moderate power won't break the glass, I know from experience. They will however set of car alarms lol
 

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Missing my boys and my Bronco this morning. Rained all night last night and I know the mountain trails are in prime wheelin' condition today. My grandmother say's all good things come to those who wait, but waiting on them to come home on leave, and the Bronco to be done is driving me bat sh$t crazy! We used to take off at 5:30 am, wheel all day, and get home at 9:00 pm all the time. Well... 1-2 weekends a month anyways. Quality time folks...quality father & son's time.

Here's a shot up behind Big Bear after a good rain and before the beadlocks. Mud and snow were the ingredients that day which made for a couple solid hours of cleaning when we got home.



This was a pretty steep climb in the snow/ice viewed from passenger seat. Also the first time I drove the Bronco in such conditions. "Momentum is your friend" I had to keep reminding myself.



This is my youngest son, posing without his Brad Pitt mask, on top of Cleghorn Road the day before he left for basic.



He told me later that I had the "ultimate selling point" if I ever decided to sell it, because how many people could say that Brad Pitt wheeled their truck? Idiot.:rofl:




I was the proud new owner of an old 89'.



Have a great weekend folks!
 

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Day 20

Everyone loves being subjected to wedding photos, right? No? Alright then, I’ll keep this update brief. My Wife any I were Married in March of 2016 and we did it at the house with only immediate family. Because we did the photos on our property, we have a bunch with our animals and vehicles. Here are the best of the photos featuring the Bronco.

I was given my orders that I would participate (and even smile) in as many photos as requested. I was not to complain or question…. Most of these I think are cool even if a little cheesy. My only frustration was that the photographer wanted to stage a photo of my wife handing me a wrench and insisted on using one of a giant set she noticed in my garage. I tried to protest it was too big and didn’t fit anything but was told to do as instructed. :shrug








 

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JULY '16 F.O.T.M.
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Results...



Scares the cats out from under the truck every morning :thumbup
 
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