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Discussion Starter #1
Well, yeasterday, I took my Bronco out on the road for the first time. I uncovered a few more problems, which include the following:

-First off, the steering. I noticed that while driving down the road, I could turn the wheel 6-8" to either side, and it wouldn't turn. I'm pretty sure it shouldn't be that mushy. There is WAY too much play in the wheel, and it was kind of scary. My Dad said I could fix it one of two ways. Either get new tie-rod ends, or something like that( I can remember), or I can adjust the steering box? Also, the wheel isn't centered on the shaft, which I know is an easy fix. Input please lol.

-Second, I found that the brakes were awefully soft, and you could hear what sounds like a leak when you push the pedal down. I had to pretty much slam on the pedal before it would start to slow down. It may also be the pads/shoes. I have a brand new master cylinder and booster I can put in it, which may help. Any other thoughts?

-Next, It sounds like I have an exhaust leak somewhere near the engine compartment. It sounds kinda like a tst-tst-tst-tst whenever I put on the gas. Also, another reason I would say its an exhaust leak, is that there was some exhaust fumes possibly leaking in through the ventilation system. Then again, I'm a noob, so I need your opinions on what the cause may be.

Anyways, If I think of any other problems, I'll let you guys know. i had a rough night last night, so my memory isn't the best. Also, junking this truck is NOT an option. I want to either fix it to sell it, or if I can afford it, drive it.

Thanks as always,
Nitro
 

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As far as the brakes go I'd say put on the MC and booster and see what you get. I replaced those and the rear shoes and wheel cylinders and my pedal firmed right up. Since you are changing the MC anyway go ahead and flush the old brake fluid out so you have completely new fluid.

As far as the steering goes others can probably give you better advice but the steering box adjuster is only suppose to be adjusted so much. I had a similar problem and adjusting the steering box helped but it is still sloppier than I'd like it to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I figured the MC and Booster might help, and flushing the system might help as well. I think I have some good Pads/Shoes on my Dad's old '80 F-150, so I could rob those as well.
Also, the reason I think its an exhaust leak, is because i could physically see some smoke (very light at that) entering from the vents for the heater/AC.
Anybody have any other ideas? I need to know what to work on in my mechanics class. Also, my poor truck has not been treated right in its 23 years on this earth. The damn flourescent lighting in my shop makes it look terrible, but also shows me what body work I need to do.

-Nitro
 

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Exhaust leak is probably a cracked manifold or bad manifold gasket. If you hear the noise when you first start it up and it gets a little better once it is warmed up you probably have a cracked exhaust manifold.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Exhaust leak is probably a cracked manifold or bad manifold gasket. If you hear the noise when you first start it up and it gets a little better once it is warmed up you probably have a cracked exhaust manifold.
well, as far as i can tell, there's no visible crack. the gasket may be bad, but i dont see anything really coming off when its idleing. yet, for some reason, when we were driving downtown, i saw smoke coming from the vents.
idk, i could have my mechanics teacher take a look. he has 20+ years of experience, so maybe he's encountered something of this nature.
 

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If your hearing a hissing leak noise when you hit the brakes it's gonna be your brake booster. The seal on the shaft that comes through the firewall likes to go bad. If your gonna do one and you have the master already it would be a good idea to do them both at the same time. Pull your drums and check to see if there are any wheel cylinder leaks and to make sure they are adjusted too. Unadjusted drum brakes can cause a long pedal but not a mushy one. Last when you are doing a master and booster anyway, flush out the old fluid. If nothing else put the new master on (bench bleed it) and crack your bleeder valves on your calipers and wheel cylinders and let drain till the fluid clears up(make sure you don't run the master out of fluid during this). Then Bleed em.
On your exhaust leak let the truck cool down then start it. If you have a probe (like a stethascope but with earpieces and a long metal rod) you can go around your manifolds and such and pinpoint your leak that way. Cold is good cause the metal isn't expanded yet and it will be more apperent.
 

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have your dad turn the steering wheel slowly with the engine running. Look under the hood at the steering shaft. Its either the joint under the boot or the steering box. I think pre 87s are known to have loose steering due to the the joint on the boot going bad. Its good to replace them with the 87+ design. Steve has pics in his supermotors. It might be tierods, etc, but I doubt it.


My 90 has 1/4 of turn of maybe more of slack. I drive it everyday, I consider my self a "professional". :toothless
 

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Discussion Starter #10
have your dad turn the steering wheel slowly with the engine running. Look under the hood at the steering shaft. Its either the joint under the boot or the steering box. I think pre 87s are known to have loose steering due to the the joint on the boot going bad. Its good to replace them with the 87+ design. Steve has pics in his supermotors. It might be tierods, etc, but I doubt it.


My 90 has 1/4 of turn of maybe more of slack. I drive it everyday, I consider my self a "professional". :toothless
so, how much would the '87+ steering shaft be? im 16, and dont really have alot of cash to play around with.
 

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have someone push a rag into the tailpipe then you can clearly see/hear exhaust leaks.


On the brakes Im guessing its the brake booster or master cyclinder... someone else can narrow it down better than that.
 

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I have noticed on my older bronco that the tie rod ends can get sloppy. watch under the front end and have someone turn the wheel back and forth about 8 inches. if the pitman arm is moving and the tires aren't then look for the joint where it is moving and not causing what its attached to to move. It will either be loose or wearing out. Probably going to be steering box play (no linkage movement when the wheel is moved or ball joints (tie rod ends) ). Or the drag link (the rod that hooks to the pitman arm) ball joint is wearing or loose.
 

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there are a few things you can do for the steering eaither titan the steering box with the bolt on the top of the box or replace it i have a 95 and just had to replace mine because the gears will wear out do to the lager tires but do to the age of yours it could happen and with the exhaust leak is probly a rusted out header it shoud not have a gasket all you can do is replace it
 

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Discussion Starter #17
i could pretty much weld any exhaust problem. its just a matter of finding where it is.
 

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Unless it's on the manifold. Cast iron doesn't weld well. lol. What year is your bronco again?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Unless it's on the manifold. Cast iron doesn't weld well. lol. What year is your bronco again?
'85 with stock manifolds. if it is the manifolds, i could prolly get that putty stuff. cheap, cheasy, yet easy. but, i was told this motor isn't the stock one. the PO told me is originally had a 302, but my vin say 351.
 

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What motor is in it now? As far as a manifold I'm sure you can get one from a junkyard for cheap. Lets hope it's just a gasket. No broken bolts or studs. Those suck to remove and put in. But we could speculate all day. Once you find the leak it will be easier to find the remedy. lol
 
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