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Discussion Starter #1
First, thank you to those that encouraged me to start this thread. I realize now it will probably be beneficial in more ways than one, allowing me to keep all this useful info in one place and keep track of the progress at the same time. As of today I haven't been great at documenting the progress with pictures but will make more of an effort in case it might help someone out in the future!

So first, a recap of how we got to where we are. I spent a few months looking for a 78-79, or Bullnose Bronco to start somewhat of a frame-on restoration with my kids. I was open to a wide range of prices and vehicle condition, but really didn't want any terrible rust. I found this one, probably a little too far away, but I was up for an adventure. I decided it would be a great idea to drive all the way to NW Arkansas from South Mississippi to pick up our first Bronco during the first big week of the corona virus outbreak. Maybe we'll call her Corona? Anyway, aside from taking a nice size rock to the windshield of the F-250 I rented...cheaper to replace than I thought...from Enterprise (awesome truck, btw) the trip went great and got to spend some quality time with my youngest who came along for the ride. Here she is fresh off the trailer (if I can get these pictures to work)
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So with our new 1984 XLT, 351, C6 tranny Bronco at home, we decided we'd tackle the steering and suspension first. I noticed during the test drive I took that the steering was all over the place. Once I got it in the air I noticed a couple bad ball joints, but what the hell, let's just replace nearly everything while we're here. What's the worst that could happen? A few random pictures of the front end while I waited for parts to arrive...
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Once I got into the drivers side, I goofed and tore up a spindle bearing, so that got replaced. Had I known about the bushings here I probably would have given them a shot...


Along the way, had some help from these two, and tried to clean up parts as much as I could and get some rust reformer and chassis paint on there. Eventually I'd like to hit most/all the undercarriage with this.

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Discussion Starter #2
I'm going to need to start getting stuff on the truck, or I'll need to get a bigger garage....

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I decided to throw on some new rotors and calipers. Calipers are still in the boxes for now. Note: make sure you don't order two passenger side calipers, not that I'd ever do that....more than once.

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Now that I have the brake lines off, most of the steering components off (inner/outer tie rods, sleeves, etc) I decided it was probably the most opportune time to tackle the suspension installation. I decided on a Skyjacker 4" lift which seems to have come with everything I'll need. This will be primarily a cruiser vehicle with the possibility of some light off-roading. Since I purchased it I've read quite a few reviews stating the skyjacker sets are pretty stiff, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it if needed.

After removing the passenger side shock/spring, I removed the passenger (located on drivers side) axle pivot bolt. I had some trouble getting enough leverage to break this loose, but ended up fitting this set up in through the front of the Bronco with an 18mm socket...
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Here is the bushing after the bolt was removed....I'll need to get this out once the replacements come in. I asked some questions about this bushing and got some great info in this thread:


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Discussion Starter #3
After my success with the axle pivot bolt, I was feeling pretty good about moving on to the radius arm bolt and getting the passenger side axle assembly on the ground. And then I realized I couldn't move the knuckle far enough forward to drop the radius arm bolt out of the bracket. I will probably just go ahead and detach the radius arm brackets since they're getting removed anyway in order to move them back 15" according to the instructions. Here is my current progress (don't mind the over abundance of ratchet straps, I wasn't about to have that thing fall) and a glamour shot of one of the new radius arms, which at this pace may never make it on the Bronco.
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1989 Bronco XLT 351W with C6, manual locking hubs. 6” suspension lift with 35” Cooper tires
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Subbed for the build!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Nice work so far! Good luck with the rest of the project!

And Go Cougs! I graduated from there in 97.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, we're at a stopping point for today. Got the axle down and I need to spend some time cleaning up some rust with everything out of the way and putting in those new axle pivot bushings when they get here. Beer time!

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Discussion Starter #10
It's been a couple weeks and progress is slow, but progress nonetheless. In between the rivets (curse them) and life, there hasn't been a whole lot to take pictures of. I did finally get the old radius arm brackets and axle pivot brackets off, and after almost knocking myself unconscious (more on that later) the new pivot brackets are installed.

After I got the radius arm brackets off, I did my best to get the rust and dust off so I could paint them. Getting the rivets off, well, let's just say there are some scars left on these brackets that will forever remind me of those days. You can see where I just said screw it and started chiseling away.
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More cleaning and paint prep. I really should have thought to hit the underside with a pressure washer and de-greaser before taking everything apart. The new axle pivot brackets will go here.

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Future home of the new radius arm brackets

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Discussion Starter #11
I stripped away most of the rust and sprayed rust converter and then chassis paint on the portions that I'm working on. I'll work my way back and forth eventually. It would be great to be able to pull the body off and hit everything for real, but it's not in the plans right now.

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Clearly not worried about any over-spray at this point

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Discussion Starter #12
So there are a couple of new holes you have to drill for each new bracket. I left my axle assembly on the floor right under my working space, so there's not a lot of room to navigate under there. I was down to my last hole, laying on my stomach on my creeper, drilling away with confidence with my face next to my hands because it was the best way to grip and apply pressure. Well, my drill bit caught, drill handle flies out of my hand and cracks me right in the jaw. My head flies backward and hits whatever was above me. Whatever it was it wasn't soft. I haven't seen that many stars in a long time and I have no idea how I still have my teeth. BUT....

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So, we'll call it a win.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Next up is removing the radius arms from the axle assembly. I realized I didn't have the right size wrench/deep deep deep socket to remove the top bolt. Do they even make anything that deep?! And yes, I need to clean up my workspace.

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78 Custom 351M NP435 NP205 Sniper EFI Hedman Headers Magnaflow Muffler 4.56 Gears Grizzly lockers
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You can also buy special ratchets and sockets that allow the bolt to pass through them, which would help in that situation. Not sure if the cost would be warranted (no idea what they cost), but it's an option.


 

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Discussion Starter #16
You can also buy special ratchets and sockets that allow the bolt to pass through them, which would help in that situation. Not sure if the cost would be warranted (no idea what they cost), but it's an option.


I actually do have a set of Bostitch like that but I don’t have a socket that size unfortunately. It definitely comes in handy though.
 

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1979 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400m engine, C6 trans, D44 front with Dick Cepek manual locking hubs
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good progress, even you call it slow.
Do you have a point in time when things MUST be finished, or its up to your schedule?

For me its 2nd and I am not really patient. :)

But you are similiar, at least in the way of hurting, since I have the Bronco, my hands and such are scratched, covered with scab, etc.... even my boss in the office remarked and asks me if this or that hurt a lot.... :)

Go on with what you are doing and feed the crowd here with pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
good progress, even you call it slow.
Do you have a point in time when things MUST be finished, or its up to your schedule?

For me its 2nd and I am not really patient. :)

But you are similiar, at least in the way of hurting, since I have the Bronco, my hands and such are scratched, covered with scab, etc.... even my boss in the office remarked and asks me if this or that hurt a lot.... :)

Go on with what you are doing and feed the crowd here with pictures.
thank you! And no timeline, just hoping to make progress so we can actually enjoy driving it at some point.
 

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Great looking Bronco..You definitely have a nice base to build off of. Nice to see the kids involved too!!

Keep up the great work..

oh and I've done the exact same thing with the the drill before..was putting holes in the frame to mount the coil buckets, bit gets stuck and bam right in the chin..

Carry on.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Great looking Bronco..You definitely have a nice base to build off of. Nice to see the kids involved too!!

Keep up the great work..

oh and I've done the exact same thing with the the drill before..was putting holes in the frame to mount the coil buckets, bit gets stuck and bam right in the chin..

Carry on.
Thanks!! And God it hurt. Haha.
 
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