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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings folks!

I'm new to the site and new to owning or buying a Bronco.

I've got my eye on an '86 Bronco and was wondering what kinds of things I should check before purchasing it? I know to check for rust all over, even use a magnet to see where its solid the whole way through. Also know to check the 4WD and make sure that the lift was done properly.

Also, could anyone link me a maintenance schedule for an '86 Bronco?

Thanks
 

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Look out for those E6 heads! Good luck.
 

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The head gaskets? No, just the heads ...

In 1986, Ford thought it would be fun to experiment with cylinder head design and so they put a poorly designed head on the '86 model Mustangs and trucks. Hence the 85's have E5 castings, and the 87-on have E7's. The E6's just don't flow well, and are considered boat anchors upon rebuild or replacement. The E5 is essentially the same thing as the E7, just they made a new cast of the old design since the E6 got in the way.

Anyhow, if the '86 you are looking at is in great shape, don't let the heads stop you from buying it, just be aware that it possibly could have those heads on it ... I just mentioned it as something to be aware of with buying an '86 model. The heads work, just not as well as the could have.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Got it. It's an easy replacement to the E5 or 7s, though, right? And what kind of issues do the E6s have?
 

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Got it. It's an easy replacement to the E5 or 7s, though, right? And what kind of issues do the E6s have?
Well, to swap heads you need to make sure the pistons in your '86 block have valve reliefs first of all, if you decide to rebuild down the road and put E7's on ... That is, IF it even still has the old E6's on it, or even is still an '86 block??

The E6 was an experiment design based on the E5, but they made "swirl" combustion chambers which were supposed to improve emissions. This design ended up shrouding the valves some which sit up in the combustion chamber, which is heart-shaped. This design reduces the head's efficiency, and is most noticeable higher up in rpm when you need capable flow numbers. Down low you won't notice it, so for a heavy truck it's not that big of a deal, since we live more in the idle-3K rpm range.

But, people do seek to build better flowing engines to help get that mass moving easier, and the E6's are the first stepping stone in that pursuit. The E5 thru E7 heads are all based on a 302's air velocity anyway, so on a larger 351, all of the heads are a bit of a choke; That is if you want to build an engine that moves good air thru it. The E7's can be ported to flow pretty good though for a "stock" head, while still retaining good low end air velocity.

Basically it depends what you want, and as hard as good used trucks are to find, I wouldn't turn away from an '86 because of something as easy to fix as poorly designed heads ... I was just mentioning it because it is known that those heads on a 302 are worth about 25hp and 20ftlbs less at peak. Buzzing around town on a Sunday drive you're not going to really notice the difference.
 

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Thank you

Looks like I have the stock E6T heads on my '86. Oh well, when I get around to rebuilding the engine, I will figure on replacing the heads -- something that I thought I would "like" to do, now something I will plan to do.

The link was very helpful.
 

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Check the radiator and make sure the coolant isnt rusty. If it is than there can be a possibility that you will have to replace parts of the cooling system like the rad, heater core or waterpump. When I got mine, the coolant was a mudy rust color. I ended up replacing all the hose's and the stuff i mentioned.
 
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