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just picked up a 79 bronco the other day with 94k on the original motor! truck was fairly well taken care of, the guy i bought it from said he was the 3rd owner and the previous owner pretty much had it garaged for 15 of the 21 yrs he owned it. def needs some work though. so for all you gurus out there i have some dumb questions.

pretty sure the motor could use a good rebuild, im a decent mechanic and i am sure i could stumble through most of it, just not checking cylinder limits and stuff like that.

trying to get a line on a 351m in good shape with possibly a recent rebuild and just swap em and put the one currently in on a stand and work on it as i have time.

pretty sure the rear main seal in the current motor is done for or close to anyway. decent amount of oil leaking, put some rear main seal stop leak bs in with the oil change i did so maybe that will buy me some time.

eventually want to lift it 2-4in, and with that replace all the crappy dry rotten bushing with new poly ones.

aside from that, just little things here and there.

i have been looking around for a soft top or bikini top for 78-79 broncos and i cannot find any. do they not make them for this year? i live in california and its nice most of the time where i am but does ran on occasion so i would like to have the soft top for that.

note to self: regular cap weighs more than you think and is damn near impossible to get off alone without damaging seats or scraping paint...lesson learned.

any advice you guys could give me would be great regarding engine stuff or cosmetic stuff as well. recommendations for lift kits, engines, drivetrain etc.

thanks guys,

andrew
 

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to get a good 351 i think you actually want to get one that was kinda mixed together. the clevelands or the 351c had either a better topend and the windsors had a better oiling. or the other way around. but if you crossed them together you'll have a great motor.

i have a 95 f150 with a 302 and 4x4. it has a 4r70w automatic tranny with a borg warner 1356 transfer case and its got manual locking hubs. i love the setup and thats a factory setup.

the 302 is danm near bullet proof if you keep it maintained.

the tranny was also used in mustang applications and i think its supposed to be rated for up to 500 hp. granted that means you can have up to like 300-350 before you'd wanna upgrade the tranny. the transfer case is damn near bullet proof and i like to say its maintenance free. but i know you have to change fluid in it and maintain the proper level. the manual hubs are indestructible.

it has an 8.8 rear axle and a dana 44 irs front axle. both are really strong. rumor has it that the beams out of an 81 f100 are the better beams because there equal length and there stamped steel instead of cast iron if your truck is 2 wheel drive. and a guy i talked to said he pulled a set of beams out of an 81 and extended them 6 inches on either side and he likes the 81 beams cuz they are stamped and easier to weld then cast. and you can reinforce them easier also because of the stamped steel you can weld to it easier.

for a lift. im running a pro comp 4 inch lift. aluminum 15 inch rims and 33x12.50 bfg all terrains. i like it. alot of people dont like bfgs. i havent had a reason to not like those tires. they track fine and i have had zero issues with them. the lift is really tough. ive jumped the crap out of my truck and had no problems. allignment hasnt messed up. nothings broke. all good. ive had the front tires off the ground totally and then come down hard from 3 feet in the air and run them into full compression bottomed out. no problems. there is one bug though- at full compression with a dual shock front setup, the way the coil bucket is tapered at the rear to accomodate the rear shock isnt exactly designed to house a shock body at full compression, so when the shock body is forced up that high, it gets crushed between the coil bucket and the coil itself. i know because i now have 2 crushed shocks on the front of my truck.

i would highly recommend getting extended radius arms and heim joints. the poly bushings crack apart when exposed to the extreme angles that full compression and full droop produces just tear the bushings apart. and if you dont go extended arms and use the poly bushings, make sure you put the heat shield on becasue the heat from the cats will destroy the bushing as well.

i recommend the six litre tune up that alot of members on the forum talk about. ive done it and it works great. granted on a 79 you wont have the SPOUT connector to worry about but the principles still apply. i also recommend a full exhaust setup. i recommend that you DO NOT replace your stock manifolds, rather i would run a custom y pipe, to a hi flow cat, to either no muffler or a flowmaster/magnaflow. i dont recommend going to a larger size exhaust because that reduces torque. and i believe that the factory chose that certain size for a reason. unless your planning serious engine mods and racing that truck or planning on getting 500 hp out of that engine, keep the stock size. intake i think the best type is the one that offers the least restriction. the easier your motor can inhale, the less work it'll have to do. think of this example- trying to breathe through a full face covering gas mask. not easy. thats what your engines trying to do with a stock intake. i think if you open up with a full intake with little to no restriction, and a stock size yet little to no restriction exhaust is the best.

sorry for the lengthy reply but im trying to cover you with any questions that may pop up
 

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Congrads on the Bronco score. Love the '79 look with the rectangular headlights. I have a '79 lariat pickup. The 351m is a "medium" sized motor that has alot of power potential if ya wanna spend the bucks. You can scource a 400 or a 460 if ya want big power without changing your transmission. The 300I6, 302, 351w, or 351c will not bolt up to your transmission.

I have the 302 (totally wore out) but I scourced a 351c with aussie heads that I have on my engine stand that's waiting for the $$$ fairy to drop so I can do the rebuild. I have an AOD tranny in mine. What tranny do you have?
I'm assuming it's a c-6 auto.(pretty much bullet-proof)
Good luck and let us know what you decide. In a truck that heavy, bigger is better, especially if you're gonna play with her!:rockon
 

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Congrats on your new purchase, go out and buy the Chilton's or Haynes (or both) manuals for your truck, read and ask questions here, we've all been down the road you're about to embark on.

As for your engine, pull a compression check and see what your cylinders and valves are pumping, this will give you a good clue as to how healthy your engine is. A good tune up and fresh oil change should be in order and possibly a carb rebuild in the future. People have mixed feelings about the 351M, I'm happy with mine but I did have it rebuilt and it has never given me any trouble, just don't expect good gas milage out of it. Rear main seal can be replaced without too much work (this is where the manuals come in handy) but you will need a torque wrench to retorque the main bearing caps. Might as well change the oil pan seal while you're in there since it will be trashed when you drop the oil pan. If you decide to keep the 351, look at putting a mild cam and a performance intake on it to improve your performance.

I'm running a 3" Rancho lift on 33's, I did change out the rear springs (Superlift 4" rear springs) to eliminate the lift blocks and level out the truck, springs were shot anyway. I run Rancho 9000's all the way around and I like the fact that I can adjust the stiffness of the shocks, this also helps with roll in corners since I took off the sway bars.

Check all your bushings and body mounts, they will probably be dry rotted and need replaced, can't beat urithane ones but they tend to squeak and that can be fixed with a shot of silicone.

Do a good inspection, make a list of things that need fixed, repaired, replaced and start working your way through it a little at a time and keep asking questions, we'er here to help.
 

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i recommend that you DO NOT replace your stock manifolds, rather i would run a custom y pipe,
I was wondering why you say to leave the stock manifolds.. I assume you mean the exhaust manifolds... I would disagree.. both my originals broke clean threw between cylinders 5-7 and 6-8. Got me a set of passeters headers on there now... runs like a champ....

Thanks
 

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Pretty much a "dont replace them unless the stock ones are busted" kinda deal. Improvement isn't worth the money unless stock manifolds are making it worse haha
 

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Congrats on your new purchase, go out and buy the Chilton's or Haynes (or both) manuals for your truck, read and ask questions here, we've all been down the road you're about to embark on.
Wished I could find a Bentley manual for mine. I tried looking for his 79. I like the Bentleys better. Much more thorough. I just keeping coming up with a mustang on the cover for the Broncos.
 

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I'm not saying it doesn't exsist but I've never seen a Bentley's manual for the 79', the search begins.
 

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I would not waste time or money rebuilding or throwing parts at a 351; for the dough you will spend trying to make it like a 460, you could have bought 3 460's. Just bite the bullet and do the swap when the time comes; best upgrade you can ever make.
 
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