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Front End / Clip Swap unbelievably long



It's time...I don't think anyone has Tech Wrote this yet. I've have recently been laid off (Ultimate Electronics) so I have alot of down time.

This is my first Tech write up so bear with me.

Tools you'll need:
  • 1/4" 3/8" 1/2" ratchets
  • 4" & 12" 3/8" extensions
  • 1/4" 7/32" socket
  • 1/4" 7mm socket
  • 1/4" 8mm socket
  • 1/4" & 3/8" 10mm socket & deep socket
  • 1/4" 11mm deep socket
  • 3/8" 13mm socket
  • 1/2" 18mm deep socket
  • 8mm gearwrench
  • 10mm gearwrench
  • 11mm gearwrench
  • 12mm wrench
  • 13mm wrench
  • 18mm wrench
  • hammer
  • side cutters
  • knipex channellocks
  • medium phillips screwdriver
  • small screwdriver
  • penetrating oil
  • prybars(not a have to)
  • plastic body clip removal tool
  • friend (for hood and new clip install)

I Picked the clip (complete), bumper, and doors(complete) up for $350 bucks. The wiper cowl for $25, and I have to get bumper brackets yet but their $15 a side. So, the price of this mod (less paint) is relatively cheap. You can use basic hand tools (I did) and get it done in 14 hours or so. You could use air, it would be nice on a few things(rad. support frame mounts) but alot of the stuff would have just broken the heads off and created more problems. I live in Iowa land of salt :wacko




So, first soak the nuts on the rad support that connect it to the frame.



First things first, Use a 7mm to unbolt the groundstrap from your hood. Unplug the under hood light, and unbolt the 8 10mm bolts holding the hood on.



I didn't know about that thin spot on the back of my head 'till my wife took this picture. Any ways remove the 7 or 8 tiny(I used a 7/32" socket) on each side's inner fender. Remove the front two 8mm bolts from the inner fender on both sides. On the left side there are two 8mm bolts toward the top of the inner and one 8mm on the right, remove them. Leave the 10mm attached to the frame rail.



Next, remove the washer/coolant tanks. Use an 11mm socket on the nut holding the tanks down, slide it out and unplug the washer pump. Set it aside. Remove the 2 10mm bolts on air box bracket that attaches to the rad support, remove 3 8mm bolts holding the bracket to the fender, pop the clips out that hold the duct to the rad support and remove inlet duct. Remove all clips holding wiring harness to fender. Leave the little bracket behind the air box. Leave airbox sitting on inner fender.

Get the otherside ready. Use an 8mm socket and remove the battery hold down, remove terminals from battery and pull it out. Unbolt charcoal canister from battery tray bracket with 8mm socket, let hang, remove 10mm bolt attaching bracket to inner fender, remove 2 10mm bolts attaching bat. bracket to rad. support, remove 2 10mm bolts holding fender to bracket, remove 1 8mm bolt on bat support bracket. Remove the 2 8mm bolts holding the solenoid on, and of course pop all the stays for the wiring harness out.





Remember how I said the prybars were not necessary? Using brute force (they're broken anyway) remove the corner lamps for easy access to fender
bolts.



Now you can get rid of the grill, four screws on top and three in the front. Remove the lower trim piece by taking out the 2 screws on each side with a 8mm socket or gearwrench.







Alright, this is the same for both sides. Take out the bottom bolt with a 13mm socket, open the door and look behind the lower hinge, using a 10mm with a 12" extension remove it as well. Back at the front there will be two bolts to take out on top of the rad support use an 10mm socket you may want to take out the hood adjuster also. Remove the little screws behind what's left of the corner lights with a 7mm socket. Lastly take the two 13mm bolts out of the top of the fender and SAVE THE SHIMS that are underneath. Also a good time to clean out the drains on either side.



Remove the 4 bolts on the waterpump pulley with an 11mm gearwrench, be careful not to ding up the radiator. Remove the top bolts on the shroud with a 10mm socket. pull up the fan/clutch and shroud together. this is a little tricky but I got mine out.



Pretend that frontend is the old one. Remove the two bolt on the top of the radiator with a 10mm socket and move it back. remove the top 2 10mm bolts holding the condenser in, remove all clips holding the harness in and unplug the light, remove the three bolts holding the tranny cooler with a 10mm socket, remove the hood latch with two bolts both 10mm socket, leave the latch support, unclip the ground strap, go to town on the nuts holding the rad. support to the frame with a 18mm whatever ya got ...good luck, now you can CAREFULLY move the condenser up off the bottom mounts and back a little to clear the rad. support. pull straight up and off the tranny cooler.
Should look like this.

Think of the tire clearance

checkout the sweet 1/0 gauge going to my amps






Remove the bumper right at the frame 2 bolts each side 18mm deep socket.




Remove your cowl. Phillips screwdriver is all you need here. There should be 7 or 8 on the front edge, 5 across the top, pop the little cover off the antenna base and take those four screws out. The pic actually has the new cowl on. To vindicate sixlitre...cause some people seemed hesitant to heed his advice about needing a different one,-for the record I bought one BEFORE I started...you can see that it is about an inch shorter than the old one from the top pic.



If your yard (or garage-my rental has 61/2' garage doors WTF!) looks like this your doing something right.





OK, use all your new knowledge to make the above look like the below.






Put the newer wiper cowl on with the screws. You'll have to do some creative work to attach the washer hose. On mine I slid the newer plastic hose in side the rubber hose



Reinstall the antenna, don't forget to plug the antenna lead back in.




Now you can pick the clip up and set it on the truck. Be sure to go back over the tranny cooler and be careful you don't ding up the condenser. On the top of each fender put the shims and the bolts back in (loosely) you took out earlier.

http://www.supermotors.org/getfile/216040/fullsize/clipped3.JPG

Match the gaps on the doors the best you can (I didn't get too crazy with this since I've got doors to do also). See the plastic filler spreaders on the cowl??? Use those to space out the gap to where you need it. If additional adjustment is required (it probably will be, it took about 45 minutes to fit mine) LOOSEN the two bolts at the front of the fender just under the top of the rad support with a 10mm socket, LOOSEN the two bolts on the front of the fender in the corner marker area with a 8mm and loosen the last two bolts that hold the trim piece from the lower front inside of the fender with a 8mm. Also measure (assuming you're on a flat surface) two identical points on either side of the front from the ground. If their different you will have to add shims under the rad support. Once this is all done tighten anything you loosened put the bolt in on the bottom rear of the fender, as well as inside the door jamb, put the nuts back on the bolts (don't forget the big washers)to hold the rad support to the frame. If you find after doing this that the center of the fender bows slightly more than the curve of the door, add more shims under the top of the fender or maybe the bolts up there are too tight. Set the condenser on the brackets in the rad support, bolt on the tranny cooler, pop the wiring harness back in, bolt the top of the condenser in, put the ground strap at the bottom back on and put the hood latch back on loosely.



Make sure the rubbers for the bottom of the radiator are in your new clip and set the radiator back in. Secure it with the two bolts at the top.



Start the shroud going in then stuff the fan in with it, remember to not damage your radiator fins. Put the lower shroud in the clips at the bottom and attach the top with two bolts. Reinstall the fan, try to use a cross pattern when tightening, loctite on these bolts wouldn't hurt.



Use the three bolts to hold the airbox back on the fender, reattach the support bracket to the rad support, you'll have to use a bolt and nut X2 because the new rad support is slightly different(no drilling required, there's already holes there). Leave the tanks out for now. Re install both sides' inner fenders. Two bolts up front on each 7 or 8 little ones and 2 up top on the left and one up in the right.

Now you can reattach the starting solenoid, 2 bolts. Put the jack back in if you took it off, attach the battery tray three bolt to fender one to inner fender and two bolts to hold it to the rad support. Reinstall the charcoal canister by slipping it in the bracket and putting the bolt in the top.


Ok, now you have to modify the wire loom for the different corner lights, and switch the pins in the headlight bulb pigtail.

After you strip away the loom, be careful not to slice any wires, you get this. you need to save the black wires going to the turn lamps and one extra wire to ground them, the brown wire after they all join down the loom, and depending on the side the (R)Wht-LT Blu (L)Lt Grn-Blk.


As above remove the tape half way down the original turnsignal, pull back the loom to expose the wires.


I like to stagger the wires when I do stuff like this, it reduces bulk. Believe it or not it's as simple as matching colors. Solder them together or use weathertight butt connectors.


rewrap the loom in tape. That takes care of the signals.



This pic shows the difference between the 9007 and 9004. It's hard to see but basically it's the tangs on the top of the plastic base.


Now we need to make the original bulb(9004) pigtails look like this one(9007) you could cut the wires and splice them, but we're professionals here so I will show you the right way. This would also be a good time to replace broken ones.


We will need to swap the black and red wires. Start by pulling back the plug.


slide the little clip out, there's an indent in the top you can snag with a screwdriver.


Use a small screwdriver or the appropriate tool, they're $3 dollars, to release the red and black pins. Swap them and push back in, make sure they bottom out when you get them back in.


Push the clip back in.


Restuff plug.


Double check everything and plug it into the bulb.



Now you can put the right headlight bucket back in. Two nuts with an 11mm socket and two screws. Also you can put the grill on 5 screws.


There's an existing bolt where you can reinstall your horn on the driver,s side behind the trim piece under the headlight. A little tricky but it can be done. After that's installed and plugged back in install the headlight bucket for that side. You can now reinstall the tanks after you connect the washer pump by sliding them into the airbox bracket and putting the nut back on. Also pop the air box duct back on.



Put the hood back on with the eight bolts from before. Don't forget to re install the groundstrap. Plug the under hood light in. Only tighten down one bolt on each side until you get the gaps correct. Be careful here and take your time. Use the little snubbers to adjust where the hood stops, adjust the latch so it doesn't take the incredible hulk to pop the hood every time, and use the four bolts on the top of the read support at each end to move the front of the fender in or out, a ratchet strap is a good method I found to move a fender in.



I don't know what I'm doing for a bumper yet...I have one but not the brackets but installing the bumper should only entail four bolts and a few shims.


And that's all folks!!


Here are some miscellaneous pics.


old


new, the newer harness will not work.


WTF Ford... who needs hood snubbers this long???
 

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This is an awesome write up but I have some questions as I am considering doing this. It seems that the majority of these mods are 87-91 with a newer clip, but can a newer front fit on an 80-86 (85 to be exact). Reason is, there is an F-150 at the gas station near my house I believe it's 87-91. Hasn't moved in nearly a year, lists badly to one side, pissed most of its fluids onto the ground... but the body and paint are strait and shiny. But I recall reading that there's a difference in the fender mounting. So... are the F-150 front end and doors fully interchangable with the Bronco? Will the years retro-fit? If not directly, can it be made to work? Or not worth the hassle?
 

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Discussion Starter #3


As finished as it's going to et....Unless of course I win the lottery.

And as for the tool list you'll need a t50 to adjust the door strickers.:goodfinge
 

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Bronkin' 'Round!
88 351/AOD/4” ProComp 94 351/E4OD/4” Superlift
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A 92-98 F-250/350 didn't have the accordian frame. Those trucks have the same frame horns we do.
 

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It's BTW Not AKA!
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it looks like the front fender body lines dont work with the door body lines
What you mean? All 90-96 doors are the same...maybe it is becuase the trim isnt on the fender?
 

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how did you wire up the doors? I know the switches are different. are the pigtails in the door for the power windows and locks the same? do you have pics of the door swap? I got access to a free front clip off of a 94 f150 and im going to be doing the conversion do to the fact of getting layed off as well
 

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very good write up, im considering this for my F350, especially after seeing all these completed projects.
 

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a.k.a.: BigDumbFord
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Heres mine... not a BK but the truck version of the clip swap (Among other things)

Before buggification


...And after buggification...



Yours turned out great by the way... :beer
 

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would this work taking a 87-91 and changing it to look like a 80-86? i like the older look better.
 
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would this work taking a 87-91 and changing it to look like a 80-86? i like the older look better.
If you don't mind the front and rear fenderwells not matching then yes. You could always weld in 80-86 patch panels in your rear quarters... or change them out completely... so they'd match

Dave
 

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I'm almost done with my conversion....I can't seem to get a hold of the frame horn brackets.....it seems the later years had them welded on for these bumpers....

Anyone have a template of the brackets so I can fab some up?
 

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Chillin on the Gulf Coast
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A 92-98 F-250/350 didn't have the accordian frame. Those trucks have the same frame horns we do.
You might find the brackets you need from one of these trucks. If you had posted this last friday I would have cut the brackets off the 96 150 that I just scrapped or atleast got you measurements as to how to fab up a bracket.
 

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This will come in handy.Are there any special things needed to do to fit this front clip to a 80 - 86?
 

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Would it be possible to keep my 88 doors on and just switch the fenders, grill, ect.? I don't really want to get rid of my original doors but I'd rather have the 92-96 grill and lights. Thanks. :thumbup
 

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2nd mouse gets the cheese
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yes the doors have the same body lines from 80-96
 
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