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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy folks -

I've been looking for a Bronco for several months now and I found one that I'm really interested in in Southern California. The issue is that I'm in Texas..... I've talked with the owner and am getting a bunch more pictures, but I'm wondering if there is anyone close out there that could stop by and put some eyes on it. It is basically everything I want and has had a lot of work done to it, but it has a lot of miles on the frame and I want to make sure that it isn't all ragged out (pics look good, but you can't see the little things until you crawl all over it).

Let me know if anyone is nearby and willing to lend a hand.

Thanks!!

- Steve
 

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Yo Steve,
What year is it?
For 93-96, ask seller if cruise control, if equipped recall work completed by dealership? Call dealer & have VIN ready.
"Summary: ON CERTAIN PICKUP TRUCKS, PASSENGER VEHICLES, SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES, AND MOTOR HOMES CHASSIS, THE SPEED CONTROL DEACTIVATION SWITCH MAY, UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS, LEAK INTERNALLY AND THEN OVERHEAT, SMOKE, OR BURN. THIS COULD RESULT IN AN UNDERHOOD FIRE."
To confirm current status, use this guide by jowens1126 @ https://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/23-technical-write-ups/457065-93-94-96-cruise-control-recalls-repair.html#post6530073
Note that 93 recall is different than the 94-96.

Check Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for Model Year & Engine Type (for example; 5.0, 5.8, 4.9 or 351W CID 5.8 4 BBL Carb, etc.).
VIN Decoder; for 81-86 & 87-96 Bronco & Ford Truck @ Truck Parts and Truck Accessories

VIN Decoder; for 80 Bronco & Ford Trucks @ Truck Parts and Truck Accessories

VIN Decoder for 73-79 Bronco & Ford Trucks @ Truck Parts and Truck Accessories

Order a CarFax. Although not all accident info is provided other important info is provided @ https://www.carfax.com

While you take a test drive, have someone stay behind or follow and check for leak puddles, exhaust smoke, tire shimmy, etc.
☆Member dash_cam offers very good advice on having an independent inspection done at sellers location! If you cant inspect it yourself, post Location in the noobie section and ask members for their help or seek out an ASE certified shop in area to inspect it for you. Google each for reviews especially in Yelp, Facebook, BBB.

Besides the usual visual, driveability and leak checks, look for:
- oil pan rust - our's formed spots @ 62k miles - sand it down and prime/paint it w/Rust Bullet Automotive) & high temp. paint - too time-consuming replacement for such a basic thing as not having better gauge and paint by Ford
- try opening and closing tailgate and moving glass
- radiator plastic side seam leaks, esp. during engine cool-down period/overnight - our's leaked @ 50k miles & again just recently - look for leaks after engine has cooled down, esp overnight
- auto tranny - E4OD in 90 to 96 had a lot of improvements made by 96 so look for good shifts and see the maintenance records; fluids/filter should have been changed every 30k miles and less if used for towing.
For it and C6 or AOD, look for leaks around pan from (front) Pump seal. Observe color and odor of the fluid. It should be red, not brown or black. Odor may indicate overheating condition, clutch disc or band failure. Use an absorbent white facial tissue and wipe the fluid level indicator. Examine the stain for evidence of solid particles and for engine coolant signs (gum or varnish on fluid level indicator).
If particles are present in the fluid or there is evidence of engine coolant or water, the transmission pan must be removed for further inspection.
- engine rear main/timing chain cover seals, etc.
- rust in inner rear fender lips, bottom of B pillars and bottom of tailgate (fender lips are rusting due to Ford's flawed spot weld process on the inner (tub) and 1/4 panel that lets moisture & debris in the seam) - A Bronco may need extensive $ patch or full panel replacements at a body shop.
- radius arm bushing deterioration (I coated em w/pure silicone, from day 1) but replaced at 80k miles w/Daystar polyurethane bushings
- Programmable Speedometer Odometer Module (PSOM in 92-96, aka speedometer/odometer), make sure it works; look for a slight waver in the needle at highway speeds.
- cracked exhaust manifold/Y, etc.
- cab roof/gutter area cracks (mostly appl. to earlier years)
- emissions air check valve & cat. converter (AIR) tubes tend to rust early; as does the AIR tube; buy locally or from pciinc.com
- radiator core supports, lower, it rusts mainly on passenger side, PIA to replace
- body mount deterioration and frame rust
- transfer case operation - electric push button motor/connector is a prob. area; usually a broken travel stop and/or the motor connector is fouled, etc.

Also in non-carbureted Broncos the Check Engine Light (CEL) comes on when the electronic engine control system is not working properly. The check engine warning indicator comes on briefly when the ignition switch lock cylinder is turned to ON, and should turn off when the engine starts. If the check engine warning indicator does not come on when the ignition switch lock cylinder is turned to ON or if it comes on while the vehicle is moving, the system is malfunctioning
If the CEL does not light up at all when starting it; then suspect that bulb is burnt-out or loose, socket was damaged by PO or shop, etc. or someone removed it.

Same for:
E4OD Transmission Control Indicator Light (TCIL), it is a LED and overdrive on/off switch at end of the Transmission shifter stalk; flashing OD light is an indication of a transmission related trouble code in the Powertrain Control Module (PCM).
Is it flashing while driving?

For pre 96 with EFI do a SELF TEST for diagnostic trouble codes (DTC)s by my pal BroncoJoe
or have such as Equus 3145 Innova OBD I Code Reader for Ford EEC IV Engines at Walmart & most parts stores.

For a 96 get a free code scan @ Parts Stores if you don't diy with a scanner.

1987 was the year the rear anti-lock brakes (RABS) were standardized on Broncos; "...Rear-wheel ABS is another type of ABS available on some light trucks. It operates only the rear wheels, especially important with light trucks, which often carry heavy loads supported primarily by the rear suspension and wheels. The RABS module monitor the electromechanical components of the systems. Malfunction of the system will cause the Anti-lock brake electronic control module to shut off or inhibit the system. However, normal power assisted braking remains. Malfunctions are indicated by the amber ABS warning light inside the vehicle.

The 4-wheel anti-lock brake system (4WABS) in 93-96 is self monitoring. When the key is placed in the RUN position, the anti-lock brake electronic control module will perform a preliminary self check on the anti-lock electrical system indicated by a momentary illumination of the amber ABS warning light in the instrument cluster. During vehicle operation, including normal and anti-lock braking, the anti-lock brake electronic control module monitors all electrical anti-lock functions and some hydraulic operations. In most malfunctions of the anti-lock brake system, the amber ABS warning light will be illuminated. However, most malfunctions are recorded as a coded number in the anti-lock brake electronic control module memory and assist in pinpointing the component needing service.
Our module blew it's microprocessors a few years ago and two yard modules were bad. No returns so I'm running without 4WABS, just like the old days.

Suggest you buy the official FORD Powertrain Controls and Emission Diagnosis (PCED), Electrical and Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual (EVTM) on DVD.. be sure your pc, etc will be able to read the DVD, or buy a paper version. Check rockauto.com

Cash is King!!!
"Cashier’s checks can be forged, money orders can be forged, and personal/business checks can be forged. Cash can also be, but it’s harder to make believable and easier to test. Take a powerful magnet with you. Yes a magnet. You see, on top of ID strips and watermarks, the ink the federal reserve uses has iron in it, therefore it will be attracted to a powerful magnet.
"by Froggmann @ https://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/41-broncos-sale-75-posts-required-post/125049-8-steps-protect-yourself-when-selling-vehicle.html
Banks cash fakes, then hold you responsible. ..
As craigslist advises, "Do not extend payment to anyone you have not met in person.
Beware offers involving shipping - deal with locals you can meet in person.
Never wire funds (e.g. Western Union) - anyone who asks you to is a scammer.

Sometimes a seller may "promise" to return a certain amount of money during negotiations..
Transactions are between users only, no third party provides a "guarantee".
Never give out financial info (bank account, social security #, paypal account, etc).

A summary of questions to ask the seller;
"* Do you have the maintenance records?
* Do you have the title in hand and is there a lien on the Bronco?
* How do I get the title?
* Has the vehicle been in any accidents?
* How much tread is left on the tires?
* Are there any scratches or dents on the vehicle?
* Did this car belong to a smoker?
* Was this car used by pet owners?
* Can I receive close-up pictures of a specific area (miesk5 note, such as on 1/4 panels, tailgate, etc)?
* Are there any document or preparation fees?"
* Courtesy of ebay

Post pics here.
How to Post Pics @ https://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/19-suggestions-feedback-site-help/6204-how-post-pictures.html
GL!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's a 96 with lots of goodies... lift, axle gears, rebuilt engine (351)/trans, manual tcase, pretty much everything I would be adding to any Bronco that I end up with.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks. My concern is that it has ~350k miles on the frame and body. Owner says that pretty much everything has been replaced (all bushings, hinges, weather stripping, etc, etc, etc), and the pictures look great, but it's hard to tell the condition without opening and closing the doors, driving it, and touching everything.
 

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Yo,
Remember, dash_cam offers very good advice on having an independent inspection done at sellers location! If you cant inspect it yourself, post Location in the noobie section and ask members for their help or seek out an ASE certified shop in area to inspect it for you. Google each for reviews especially in Yelp, Facebook, BBB.
ASE is National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, read about it @ https://www.ase.com/About-ASE.aspx.

Find an ASE shop @ https://www.ase.com/Landing-Pages/Car-Owners/Find-a-Repair-Shop/Shop-Locator.aspx
Blue Seal Shop Locator
In order to search and locate shops, simply enter a specific address, city, or zip/postal code near you.
Map Legend: Public - offers services for car owners
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you cant inspect it yourself, post Location in the noobie section and ask members for their help
That's why I was posting here! :)

Should I request the help in the noobie section instead?

Is anyone close enough to go take a look for me?
 

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Yo Steve,
This is a very good section for your post. My previous suggestion for the Noobie section was a mistake on my part..
 

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Sorry, I'm in Northern California so I wouldn't be able to help you directly but Southern California is a big place. I think it would help if you listed the city or even county the truck resides in.

At 350K on a Southern California vehicle you should be OK. The only wear items I can think of are body bushings, suspension bushings Door strikers and the like. 96 already had the body structure bracing so you shouldn't have any gutter cracks but take a look at the tailgate. My 93 has some cracking around the spare tire bracket due to a flat super swamper being on the tire carrier.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think it would help if you listed the city or even county the truck resides in.
The subject of the thread says Orange County... :) The CL ad says Palm Desert.

Apparently all of the bushings (body, suspension, steerting, etc) have been replaced in the last couple of years. I've been told the doors don't sag and they open and close without issue. I'll check the tailgate for issues, but I don't think a spare tire has been on there in quite a while since the carrier was removed a long time ago.

I'll keep asking questions until I decide if it's worth flying out or not. At this point, my schedule is a limiting factor, but maybe some stars will align and I'll finally be a Bronco owner!
 

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Yea those are two very different regions. If you can pin down where this Bronco is located and if it is in OC I could send my brother in law out to put eyes on the truck for you. He doesn't know much about Broncos but I could walk him through the basics.
 
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