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Discussion Starter #1
Well, here I go again. I made the mistake of searching craigslist a month ago and I ended up leaving work early and going to buy a Bronco. It is in pretty rough shape but I only gave $1k for it, and around here you are looking at $6K plus to get something that is more or less rust free. I can do a lot of work for another $5k.

This is just after I brought it home:







Interior is not in terrible shape compared to the outside of the rig...





When it came to me it had 3 bald 33(ish) tires and one 31 on one corner. Needless to say I needed some tires for it. I stumbled on a guy selling a set of 225/75R16 Wrangler MTR's on dodge 16" wheels. These tires come out about the same as the 29" factory option and he wasn't asking much for the set. When I got there to look at them I found the tires were basically new so I snatched them up. I figured dodge shares the same bolt pattern so even though there is a bit more BS I could bolt them up and run them for a while. Boy was I wrong! Worst case scenario I figured I could find some cheap 16" ford wheels...

Here is the wheel like I got them:



I knew I was going to have to open up the centers for the front hubs, but I thought the backs wouldn't need any work-- I was wrong, the axle flange doesn't clear either. I wasted about an hour trying to open one up with a die grinder and flap wheel and then a carbide burr. I finally broke out my palm router and with a cheapo ryobi router bit it made short work of the job. Fronts I took the sawsall to and then hit them with a flap disk. Not perfect, but once I get the mill up and running I will throw them on it and do a better job at machining them.









And here it is with the new tires. It drives like a new truck too. I'm out of time ATM, but I will reply back in a bit with all my plans for the truck.





Later,
Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Ok, dinner is done... So here is where I hope to go with this thing:

1) Swap on a pair of rust free fenders that I have in my parts stash, they should even match the current paint.

2) New rear quarters, rockers and lower door posts. Fix all the cancer and shoot it with some type of rust encapsulater and undercoating. Inside of tub will get shot with urethane bedliner.

3) New tailgate shell

4) Fab some sweet bumpers up

5) Swap over the set of one tons that are under my old bronco project that I kind of abandoned.

Right now I am concentrating on fixing all the reliability and driveability issues, I plan to take it in for exhaust this week, pretty sure it is open manifolds right now. After that I have to get my shop wired up so I can get the machine shop and fab shop back online.

Later,
Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I got a bit done over the last few days. Swapped on my better looking fenders, found that my front to cab mounts are seriously screwed. This was the best I could get the fenders lined up, I pulled the old ones off and the cab dropped at least two inches.

When I got the front grill off I found that the core support is schmucked in in the center, PO must have hit a deer or something and just bandaided over it. I swapped out the headlight carrier panel and grill with spares I had. I swapped out my headlights for a set of HID projectors.

I still have to reattach the inner fenders, just ran out of time. Here are the pics from today:





Later,
Jason
 

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Jumping right into it. Looking good :thumbup any thoughts on modifying the center console you made for the bricknose? Dashes are different of course..but a man of your skills ..:shrug
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jumping right into it. Looking good :thumbup any thoughts on modifying the center console you made for the bricknose? Dashes are different of course..but a man of your skills ..:shrug
I'm probably going to use the console. I will need to do a bit of repairing on it, a few years ago when I moved it got cracked along the opening for the touchscreen. As for dashes, I had a '94 dash in the '88 so I won't have to modify anything to use it except for figure out something else to put in the manual shifter hole-- maybe a decent floor shifter or something. I expect eventually the ZF out of my old one will go into this one, but I am going to let the E4OD last as long as it will.

Hopefully I am going to get some better pics today in the daylight, but I go back to work on midnights tonight so progress will be slow for a while. Hoping to buy new quarters by the end of the month.

Later,
Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here are some daylight pictures. You can see a bit better what I have ahead of me. I still have not pulled carpet or much interior trim to see how bad the floors are, but I already know the inner wheel arch in the back is rotted out, the seatbelts are for show only right now. I also almost put my foot through the drivers front floor corner. Passenger side looks just as bad. I crawled underneath a few days ago and the majority of the floor looks solid and looks as if it was undercoated with something a while back. Depending on how bad the tub is I may just pull it off this summer and work on it off the truck.









Later,
Jason
 

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So, I have had some time to work on the truck again. Since I bought it I have been unable to get the back window down. Yesterday I broke down and crawled back there to check things out. First thing I find is the access panel is completely rusted out on the lower half. The outside of the tailgate wasn't in horrible shape. There was a hole rusted in the top, which surprised me, but not much along the bottom edge. When I found this access cover this bad off I was instantly worried about the internals of the gate. Well, I power the window motor directly with a cordless battery, and the arms come down, but the window stays up... The bottom slides are broken in half and the guts come down in about 30 pieces. Well, I planned on buying a tailgate anyhow...

While I was in the back I found another really soft spot in the floor. I decided that today I would start gutting the interior to find out how bad the floor is and see what else I have going on. The carpet was soaked and I had no idea where all the water came from. After getting the wheelhouses uncovered, I think I have a better idea. The drivers side was so bad-- there was probably 3 pounds of dirt I scooped out of there. I think that the carpet has just been saturated from all outside coming in through there for so long that it is destroying the tub.

Now I need to decide where to go from here. I almost think my old '88 tub is in better shape. Especially considering I plan on doing rear quarters anyhow. The problem there is that I had already made some significant mods to that tub to extend the wheelbase and that isn't what I want for this rig. I'm loathe to say it, but I think that I will have to pull this tub to adequately repair it, so should I just swap them and put the money into the older tub???

On a good note though, I found a tailgate at a local junkyard and they sold it to me for $75. It has some rusty spots, but nothing anywhere near all the way through. Bonus is it just needs glass, weather stripping and trim changes.

Here are the pics:













Later,
Jason
 

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If you decide to repair it, it is alot of work but it can be done.
Mine wasnt that far but close. What i did was cut a strip out of the very back from corner to corner over the body mounts, put a peice of square tube across the back and welded it to the body and then made fill patches from there to fix the floor.

here are some pics, you can see across the back where i welded in the tube and drilled the holes for the body mounts. it was my first body job its held up so far.


 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks you for that, that i almost exactly what I was thinking for a repair. I've repaired the front floor pans before, but I have never seen the bed this bad. Today I pull the front seats, console, and carpet and see how bad that is. I already know that the drivers corner is completely gone and the body mount point has disappeared as well... More later!

Thanks again,
Jason
 

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My body is in similar condition. My wheel housings aren't as bad, but I have the same large holes at the rear corners of the body, and I have to replace that rear-most crossmember. I'm going to try to fix the body I have.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, I got a bit sidetracked when I started. I have been fighting a issue with the drivers door where it doesn't want to open from the inside sometimes. I thought I had it fixed twice now, and it never really is. I finally realized the door was way out of alignment with the B pillar. The door had blown out bushings in the hinges, so I rebuilt those first and then went through and adjusted it properly. So, in the end the door works perfect, but I now know why it was so far out of true. It appears that when the front cab mount went, the PO adjusted the door to even out the door/fender gap. Now that I have it back to lined up with the B pillar, there is a obvious gap due to the front of the cab sagging down. I got it as good as it will get right now, and until I fix the big issues I would rather have a working door than perfect body lines.

I pulled out the front seats and console. I broke my third and last T50 bit trying to remove the passenger side seat belt so I had to drop everything and run to town before the parts store closed. Anyhow, I got the carpet pulled and vacuumed all the crap up. It looks like the passenger side body mount is almost shelled too. All in all the drivers side is worse than I was thinking and the passenger side is a bit better than I expected.

Here are the pics:


See my wedge shaped fender gap?







Later,
Jason
 

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I'll be watching your build closely, as I have a 94 that has rust also (not as bad as yours) and will hopefully be starting my build this year.
Steve
 

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:popc1: I'm watching close as well. Being from the Pacific Northwest. ..rust is something pretty new to me...man I feel for you rust belt boys.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
wow, you can almost drive that one Flintstone style.
You know, that was my exact thought when I first got the carpet out of there. The drivers side is way worse than it looks in the pictures. All the sound deadening stuff on the garage floor was just lying there in the low spo of the floor. It was covering a lot of the hole. I'll take another picture with better perspective later.

after seeing all the rust damage, would you still buy it if you could go back?
You know, I am disappointed that it is this bad, I thought it was going to be mostly outside stuff I needed to fix. If I could go back, I probably would have offered the guy less if I had known. The overall damage doesn't effect what it's going to cost that incredibly much. It will be costly in time though. The patch panels and cab mounts aren't terribly expensive. I already have a decent fab/weld/machine shop so it is not like I have to go spend a fortune on tools...

All in all, it is motivating me to get the shop in order. I moved to this new place three years ago and it took me more than a year to get my old shop and all the machine tools just moved up here, now it has been a long slow process getting this building just the way I want it. Wiring has been one of the things I was dragging my heels on, and now that I absolutely have to have the welders back up and running, well, suffice it to say it's lit a fire under my big ass :D

Last few days I have been running conduit and pulling wire. Hopefully will get back to BKO soon.

Later,
Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #18
No progress the last few days on the bronco, but I am making a bit of progress on the shop. Always have to juggle this stuff. You know? Anyhow, hopefully after this week I will be able to run welders and machine tools again. Here is a pic of the little bit I have gotten done. Outlets on this (north) wall, ran conduit and pulled wire for the machine shop outlets and the run that is going to feed the south wall after I finish the foam and sheet it. Hopefully I will start the 220 runs tomorrow or Monday.

Here is the picture:



Later,
Jason
 

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Well, no progress today, and probably not going to be a whole lot tomorrow either. A coworker texted me this AM, he's pretty sick and wanted me to cover his midnight shift tonight, so the clock just started for another 12 hours :( The bad part is, working the midnight blows a lot of the next day too, but I will try to get a few hours in tomorrow afternoon.

Later,
Jason
 

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If the seats look as good in person as they do in the picture, you basically got the rest of the vehicle for about $250. :)

That is a ton of work and it looks like you are attacking it nicely! Looking forward to seeing the finished product.
 
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