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Resident Nice Guy
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Discussion Starter #1
Meet Bog:



Not named for it's capability in mud, but for the amount of body filler that surrounds the back end.

Here's the deal. I own an 87 XLT, not because it's my favorite body style, but because it was the only Bronco I could find whose owner was willing to trade for a 97 F150. My favorite body style in the whole wide world is the 78-79. It makes me feel tingly inside. So I keep an eye out.

My wife spotted Bog on FB local yardsale and pointed it out to me. Asking $3,500 but I asked and he agreed to accept $3k if I purchased so we went and took a look at it. It's got a 351m and a standard 4 speed has been put in with an ultra granny first. It's got a lift with 36's that have about 25% tread left. The engine sounded and pulled strong but he said it's got a tap on cold startup until the lifters are wet and then it sounds fine. There was no oil press gauge so I don't know the status of it other than no death noises when driving. I've been told that one hub is frozen unlocked and he had welded some metal into into the quarters before filling but it's pretty obvious that it's going to need some quarter panel love in the very near future. It's just your typical 30-something year old utility vehicle.

My 87 is not in bad shape. The body is great, with one rust spot on the TG. The driver's window shit the bed two days ago, but the other windows work. Interior is pretty great and there's really no down sides. The motor, however, is a different story. It's got an undefined knock on mid-range RPM when not under load. I think it's a wrist pin. Add to that the fact that the oil pressure bottoms out with 10-40 when warm. It shows right above "you have no oil pressure" at idle and goes up a bit when at speed. I'm taking it easy but the writing is on the wall that it's going to need an engine soon.

I just need a sanity check. If I pick up the 79 for the agreed upon price, I will have tapped my funds completely and will be in a pickle in the event of a mechanical issue, as it's my DD. On the other hand, it's a 79 and I need to issue points, even if a large part of it's shape is done in bondo. The 87 just doesn't provide the warm fuzzy(and I dread the engine swap bill).

I know that opinions are like assholes, but to be clear, I don't want to hear about your asshole but would appreciate your thoughts on the matter. What would you do if you found yourself in the same boat?

Thanks a bunch!
 

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You know you will kick yourself forever if you don't buy it. You still have some value in the 87 so you can recoup some funds by selling it.
 

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gone fish'n
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23,564 Posts
3k for a base rig seems aweful expensive when your looking at doing rear quarters then a full paint job and new tires in the near future. The tick in the engine could mean nothing or could be a shitty fram oil filter.
 

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Buy the damn bronco, offer $2500, but prepare to pay $3000. That's a whole lot more truck than I started out with for my project truck, and you are not paying much more.
 

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Premium Member
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674 Posts
Buy it. If the 87 doesn't do it for you, then it's just a waste of your time. Sell it now before you put any money in it, which will be awfully hard to get back. Any time/money put into the 78 is an investment, if it's the Bronco you see yourself driving long-term.
 

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Look at it this way:

The engine seems to be healthy in the '78, the engine in the '87 is tired. The '78 has a 4 speed instead of an auto. The '78 is simpler and easier to work on, with fewer electrical or computer components to have fail. It also already has a solid front axle, so the money you would spend doing a SAS on your '87 can go into bodywork on the '78. If you work on that '78 and make it nice, you will really increase the value.
 

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Look at it this way:

The engine seems to be healthy in the '78, the engine in the '87 is tired. The '78 has a 4 speed instead of an auto. The '78 is simpler and easier to work on, with fewer electrical or computer components to have fail. It also already has a solid front axle, so the money you would spend doing a SAS on your '87 can go into bodywork on the '78. If you work on that '78 and make it nice, you will really increase the value.
+1 and then some!!!
 

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Forward Some Money
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5,025 Posts
Here's my opinion based on my experience:
I restored my '89, starting in late 2005 and "ending" in early 2008 (so about 2 years). I rebuilt almost every major component and 85% of the sheetmetal . Minor improvements continued for the next year, but I was driving it. In 2011 I made it my daily driver. In the last 5 years, I have still been faced with unexpected repairs and replacing parts already replaced. Stuff (aftermarket) today is just crap, so I opted for OEM / NOS. Some of that stuff has been sitting on shelves so long, that it's life expectancy is diminished.

Point being, making a 25+ year old truck is maybe not the smartest move. In spite of how much has been repaired/replaced/restored...stuff always breaks. I only have 20k miles on the restoration and I've already replaced the brakes once, a tie rod end, power window motor and door lock actuator. An NOS HVAC unit crapped out. A wiper motor and switch became problematic.

Bottom line......no matter how much money you spend, you can never make it "new" again, especially if it ends up being a daily driver.
Imagine spending the cost of a new truck to restore an old one and end up having, not one, but 2 coils go out and sideline the thing.


That said.....there is nothing that will scratch your itch if you really want that '78. Been there - done that. Just be prepared (expect) to be frustrated when things crap out....it is, after all, almost 40 years old, and you'll be driving it daily. So...go for it.
 

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Just buy the dang bronco. You'll be pissed at yourself forever if you don't.
 

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House of Windsor 4ever!
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Much as my life's and heart's desire is a '78, I just could not justify buying THAT one. I ended up with a real lesson in just how much a problem truck will eat your soul when I volunteered on Stinky. Don't get me wrong, I had fun, I like the challenge of fixing something mechanical, but when Pepe, myself and others got the engine ready to run, only to find out a soft plug had popped. That kind of deflated me. There's nothing more aggravating then, as j.r. said, that you'll always fix things on them (and it's far more apparent now with Babe, my '79 Ranchero in the backyard). For the price asked, no. Do not buy it. Just because it's local does not make it special. Keep looking, and just pop in another engine if the '87 doesn't have any other mechanical problems.
 

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agree with all

if truck us pretty clean underneath and only rear quarters are rusty,then it may be worth something ,but, how much are you paying for the lift and other modifications
if tires are almost done, factor new tires into the budget real soon and big tires aren't cheap


check it over really good for rust

mechanical work is always easier than repairing rust any day

I hear ya on the 78-79 itch,i currently have 2 sitting in my driveway
 

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Definetly need to get you a 78-79. Especially as no one ever refers to them as an OJ Bronco, it's just a classic SUV.

Anyway, I looked for a good while and passed on many before I pulled the trigger on mine....at $3k. Straight, small spot of rust under bottom of tire carrier, 400 and everything worked/works as it should. The R-12 AC still even blows cold. All this too say that waiting for the right one is worth it.

That said, if this one feels like a lost family member, then go for it!!!
 

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Resident Nice Guy
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Discussion Starter #17
Hi there guys!

I can't tell you how much I appreciated your collective thoughts on the matter. My wife and I also got a couple laughs at my cheering for every "buy the damned Bronco" :) I also understand the comments to stay away from it.

To clarify, my needs as a daily driver are minimal. I'm medically retired so I don't have a work commute. I pick up my daughter from school, take her to soccer practice and drive to trailheads in the woods a couple times a week. I do about 300 miles in two weeks or so. I also have a spare vehicle (until my daughter turns 16) that I can use in the event of a mechanical issue. The 87 would definitely get sold but that money would be used to repay all the savings I'd be wiping out to purchase the 79. So I've offered him $2,500 and he's considering it. If he accepts, I'll have enough to do the initial belt, hoses and fluid changes (it's been sitting a year and they are rotten) and start saving for tires and rear driveshaft(it's got a vibration at 20-25 mph and he said the reason was it was welded at home and not balanced).

So we will see what he says and go from there. I'm of the mindset that 2,5 is a fair price for a 79 that runs and drives well. I can live with the bog and spraypaint body for the foreseeable future and would just really focus on the mechanical aspect of it.

Fingers crossed :)
 

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I would say buy it.

I remember going to look at one and wanting it but stalling. I stalled too long. Luckily something much better showed up.

I must say it looks good in the picture.
 

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Resident Nice Guy
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Discussion Starter #20
I don't want to jinx it but I talked to the owner today and he said he would sell it to me for $2,500. I'm crazy excited. I know without a doubt it's going to cause some serious heartache but I've got a good feeling about it's mechanical state and the body doesn't worry me. The front half seems solid and I've accepted that the back half will eventually get a lot of new metal.

He's not getting back into town until Thurs/Fri, so I will have to pace impatiently until then. Once it's in my driveway, I'll update the thread with more pics so you all can see what a hopeless fool/optimist I really am at heart.
 
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