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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone!
I am new to the Ford Bronco craze and thinking about jumping in! I would like to get a little advice from some of you that have been wheeling in Broncos over the years.

I am looking to buy a play toy for myself and have about $5000 to spend. I need to to be able to tow a 4500lb boat to the lake in the summer, head up to the mountains (driving on the freeways and highways) and also be able to 4x4 on medium to hard trails in Arizona.

My choices:
1998-2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited (4.7L V8)
1989-1998 Toyota 4 runner (V6)
1988-1996 Ford Bronco (302 or 351 V8)

Any thoughts would be appreciated!! I have my eye on a few vehicles in every category, just having a hard time making a final decision about which direction to go...

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
A few examples of what I am looking at here in Arizona:

88 Ford Bronco: (Less than 20K miles on motor and trans)
http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/cto/2670001143.html

86 Ford Bronco Lifted:
http://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/cto/2716916515.html

Year? Ford Bronco Eddie Bauer
http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/cto/2734638075.html

1995 Bronco Lifted
http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/cto/2731892864.html

1995 Bronco
http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/cto/2728741720.html

1989 Ford Bronco
http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/cto/2709910255.html
 

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FSB's Dirty Jersian
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Your best bet is a 91 or prior bronco with a 351. It will tow that 4500 lb boat, and it'll be able to run 35's safely all day even with lockers if you choose. Also, the other 2 smaller vehicles I wouldn't recommend towing anything much larger than that boat of yours if that.

Moreover, the 351 motors in the 91' and prior's come with the C6 transmission (I'd venture to say fords toughest transmission besides stick shifts) and with that combo you have a truck that'll last 200-250k+ miles if maintained.

Those first 2 bronco's would be my top choices. The 86 is beautiful, but the blue one would suffice as well. And the 302 is mod friendly, and there is more aftermarket support than a lot of other motors.

**edit**
And even though the guy says there is only 20k on motor and trans, make sure you request paperwork or thoroughly inspect it. A lot of Craigslist ads are BS.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Your best bet is a 91 or prior bronco with a 351. It will tow that 4500 lb boat, and it'll be able to run 35's safely all day even with lockers if you choose. Also, the other 2 smaller vehicles I wouldn't recommend towing anything much larger than that boat of yours if that.

Moreover, the 351 motors in the 91' and prior's come with the C6 transmission (I'd venture to say fords toughest transmission besides stick shifts) and with that combo you have a truck that'll last 200-250k+ miles if maintained.

Those first 2 bronco's would be my top choices. The 86 is beautiful, but the blue one would suffice as well. And the 302 is mod friendly, and there is more aftermarket support than a lot of other motors.
THANKS!! SO you are saying that Bronco is better than the Grand Cherokee? :):rockon
 

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FSB's Dirty Jersian
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THANKS!! SO you are saying that Bronco is better than the Grand Cherokee? :):rockon
Yea. The jeep guys may not agree, but trust me from a pure enthusiast (someone who likes all vehicles) I would go with the bronco. Plus the comfortable chairs make highway driving a breeze. I've slept in my bronco in front seat and rear and never minded. It's like driving a comfortable recliner down the road.

**edit**
Yes as far as issues ---

RUST - make sure to check how it drives down the road. The steering boxes are known to be loose and it'll wander left or right at 60+mph. Also, I would obviously check for leaks and uneven wear on the tires. Use the search function or check google, there are a ton of threads for new buyers of bronco's. I can't remember everything, but it has been covered many times.
 

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Yea. The jeep guys may not agree, but trust me from a pure enthusiast (someone who likes all vehicles) I would go with the bronco. Plus the comfortable chairs make highway driving a breeze. I've slept in my bronco in front seat and rear and never minded. It's like driving a comfortable recliner down the road.
I am 6'8"! I like the fact that the top comes off too! I am sure the only place lacking is MPG (around 8-12?) but that is expected in a TOY. :goodfinge
 

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FSB's Dirty Jersian
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I am 6'8"! I like the fact that the top comes off too! I am sure the only place lacking is MPG (around 8-12?) but that is expected in a TOY. :goodfinge

Yes the MPG's aren't great, but you won't be much higher with the G-Cherokee. The toyota I wouldn't tow your boat with.

Check these threads out for some useful advice on your bronco purchase:

http://www.broncofix.com/glove/buying.htm
http://broncozone.com/topic/21734-buying-my-first-bronco/
and here
http://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=202096
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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You might want to make sure the older A/C systems will keep up with your desert heat (if that's important to you.) My '96 would, but I can't speak to the older Broncos.
 

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I like the 86 since it's so classic looking and unmolested. I would try to negotiate the price. Vehicles that won't pass inspection are generally harder to sell. If not that one I'd look at the 95 lifted. Use the seats as bargaining power. Make sure the transfluid looks good and shifts good. It should of been changed every 30k, but many people fail to do that.
 

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I agree with buying the bronco with the 351. The 302 is great too and there's a ton of aftermarket parts for 5.0's. Also I u were to find one with the 300 ci 4.9l inline 6 I wouldn't overlook those. I've know people to beat the hell outta those motors and they still lasted over 200k miles! They also have a ton of torque
 

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If your not looking for speed I say get yourself an Inline 6. My EFI I-6 gets 17 mpg all day. An inline is the best motor to pull a boat with also. it will get out of its own way but I wouldn't try passing unless you got some room :toothless
 

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i tow a 19' wakeboard boat in my 93 with ease. i had horrible mpg before a complete sixlitre tune up + SOME headers and elec fan upgrade. i rock a 10" lift on 36's and worst tow mpg ive got is 12.9 now.
 

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*** with 4:56's
 

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yo,
For HOT LINKS to all below, see my Post @ http://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/...d.php?t=196232

We have a 96, bought it new in May 96 and basically, we "over-maintain" it...meaning 3k mile oil/filter changes & lube, all filters changed, etc.. using Ford's severe duty schedule; see a Link at end of reply

One of the most reliable daily drivers and beach run/light off road vehicles we've have ever had (incl the ex 78).
Still, we had minor problems that we addressed quickly.

Besides the usual visual, driveability and leak checks, look for:
- oil pan rust - our's formed spots @ 62k miles - sand it down and prime/paint it w/Rust Bullet® Automotive) & high temp. paint - too time-consuming replacement for such a basic thing as not having better gauge and undercoat/paint by Ford
- radiator plastic side seam leaks, esp. during engine cool-down period/overnight - our's leaked @ 50k miles & again just recently - look for leaks after engine has cooled down, esp overnight
- auto tranny - E4OD had a lot of improvements made by 96 so look for good shifts and see the maintenance records; fluids/filter should have been changed every 30k miles and less if used for towing
- rust in inner rear fender lips, bottom of B pillars and bottom of tailgate (fender lips are rusting due to Ford's flawed spot weld process on the inner (tub) and 1/4 panel that lets moisture & debris in the seam) - A Bronco may need extensive & $$$ patch or full panel replacements...
check tg drains for clogs/rust..check weather seals, esp the outer ws on glass
- radius arm bushing deterioration (I coated em w/pure silicone, from day 1) but replaced at 80k miles w/Daystar polyurethane bushings
- ball joints.. costly if not DIY
- Programmable Speedometer Odometer Module (PSOM in 92-96), make sure it works; look for a waver in the needle at highway speeds; most get yard units for DIY

- look for some maint records or contact a dealer to see what maint was done to it a Ford dealership in the past (need VIN)
or on-line dealer service record summaries (Ford is adding entries now), etc. at Ford myford.fordvehicles.com (need VIN) & must register if you haven't already for your other Fords.
If no maint records are avail; check and replace if needed all filters and fluids.
Esp if it is an Auto tranny; fluid level; when at norm op temp; after running thru all gears & reverse; no burnt toast or whitish (water) deposits on dip stick.


Car Fax is ok, but they did NOT list over $5k in single accident damages on 3 of our past vehicles; & our ex-92 Van had less mileage listed than when we sold it according to a CarFax report 2 years later... they did nothing after we contacted them.
- cracked exhaust manifold/Y, etc.
- roof/gutter area cracks (mostly appl. to earlier years)
- emissions air check valve & cat. converter (AIR) tubes tend to rust early; as does the AIR tube; buy locally or from pciinc.com
- radiator core supports, lower, it rusts mainly on passenger side, PIA to replace
- body mounts and fram rust
a Self Test by BroncoJoe19 do the KOEO = Key On Engine Off portion first & Remember to have engine @ Normal Operating Temperature before doing the KEY ON ENGINE RUNNING (KOER) portion
miesk5 NOTE, The self-test plugs were mounted on the passenger side fender on 1985-86 EFI trucks; miesk5 NOTE, The self-test plugs were mounted on the passenger side fender on 1985-86 EFI trucks. Self-Test Output (STO) is the Pin in the Lt gray Connector and Signal Return Ground (SIGRET) is Pin E in black Connector; The engine temperature must be greater than 50°F (10°C) to pass the KOEO Self-Test and greater than 180°F (82°C) to pass the KOER Self-Test. Run it around to heat the engine up and shift thru all gears incl Reverse. then; turn off all accesories/lights, etc. Make sure A/C is off and transmission is in Park (automatic) or Neutral (manual), release clutch. Do Key On Engine Off (KOEO) portion first. For Key On Engine Running (KOER) portion, the engine has to be @ normal operating temp. Look Codes up in my broncolinks.com site using the new Search function.

- transfer case operation - electric push button motor/connector is a prob. area; usually usually a broken travel stop or the motor connector is fouled, etc.

Also the Check Engine Light (CEL) comes on when the electronic engine control system is not working properly. The check engine warning indicator comes on briefly when the ignition switch lock cylinder is turned to ON, and should turn off when the engine starts. If the check engine warning indicator does not come on when the ignition switch lock cylinder is turned to ON or if it comes on while the vehicle is moving, the system is malfunctioning
If the CEL does not light up at all when starting it; then suspect that someone removed it.
Same for Amber ABS lamp in Instr Panel.. The 4-wheel anti-lock brake system is self monitoring. When the ignition switch is placed in the RUN position, the anti-lock brake electronic control module will perform a preliminary self check on the anti-lock electrical system indicated by a momentary illumination of the amber ABS warning light in the instrument cluster. During vehicle operation, including normal and anti-lock braking, the anti-lock brake electronic control module monitors all electrical anti-lock functions and some hydraulic operations.

In most malfunctions of the anti-lock brake system, the amber ABS warning light will be illuminated. However, most malfunctions are recorded as a coded number in the anti-lock brake electronic control module memory and assist in pinpointing the component needing service. Our module blew the micropprcessors two years ago and two yard modules were bad..No returns so I'm running without 4WABS, just like the old days.

Suggest you buy the official FORD EVTM, Service manual CD from E bay or Steve83 (use the search here for him and use the e mail function to contact him); it is the BEST under $15.00 or so thAng you can get to service and repair your Bronco!

The 96 Owner's Manual is availfor free from
http://www.hillerford.com/resource_l...d/96bronco.pdf
good for many other years too, esp 92-96
FORD; from same addy as above; myford.fordvehicles.com (need VIN) & must register if you haven't already for your other Fords.
or
We here can help you on most if not all Smog issues.
GL!
 

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Registered
Joined
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Discussion Starter #18
yo,
For HOT LINKS to all below, see my Post @ http://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/...d.php?t=196232

We have a 96, bought it new in May 96 and basically, we "over-maintain" it...meaning 3k mile oil/filter changes & lube, all filters changed, etc.. using Ford's severe duty schedule; see a Link at end of reply

One of the most reliable daily drivers and beach run/light off road vehicles we've have ever had (incl the ex 78).
Still, we had minor problems that we addressed quickly.

Besides the usual visual, driveability and leak checks, look for:
- oil pan rust - our's formed spots @ 62k miles - sand it down and prime/paint it w/Rust Bullet® Automotive) & high temp. paint - too time-consuming replacement for such a basic thing as not having better gauge and undercoat/paint by Ford
- radiator plastic side seam leaks, esp. during engine cool-down period/overnight - our's leaked @ 50k miles & again just recently - look for leaks after engine has cooled down, esp overnight
- auto tranny - E4OD had a lot of improvements made by 96 so look for good shifts and see the maintenance records; fluids/filter should have been changed every 30k miles and less if used for towing
- rust in inner rear fender lips, bottom of B pillars and bottom of tailgate (fender lips are rusting due to Ford's flawed spot weld process on the inner (tub) and 1/4 panel that lets moisture & debris in the seam) - A Bronco may need extensive & $$$ patch or full panel replacements...
check tg drains for clogs/rust..check weather seals, esp the outer ws on glass
- radius arm bushing deterioration (I coated em w/pure silicone, from day 1) but replaced at 80k miles w/Daystar polyurethane bushings
- ball joints.. costly if not DIY
- Programmable Speedometer Odometer Module (PSOM in 92-96), make sure it works; look for a waver in the needle at highway speeds; most get yard units for DIY

- look for some maint records or contact a dealer to see what maint was done to it a Ford dealership in the past (need VIN)
or on-line dealer service record summaries (Ford is adding entries now), etc. at Ford myford.fordvehicles.com (need VIN) & must register if you haven't already for your other Fords.
If no maint records are avail; check and replace if needed all filters and fluids.
Esp if it is an Auto tranny; fluid level; when at norm op temp; after running thru all gears & reverse; no burnt toast or whitish (water) deposits on dip stick.


Car Fax is ok, but they did NOT list over $5k in single accident damages on 3 of our past vehicles; & our ex-92 Van had less mileage listed than when we sold it according to a CarFax report 2 years later... they did nothing after we contacted them.
- cracked exhaust manifold/Y, etc.
- roof/gutter area cracks (mostly appl. to earlier years)
- emissions air check valve & cat. converter (AIR) tubes tend to rust early; as does the AIR tube; buy locally or from pciinc.com
- radiator core supports, lower, it rusts mainly on passenger side, PIA to replace
- body mounts and fram rust
a Self Test by BroncoJoe19 do the KOEO = Key On Engine Off portion first & Remember to have engine @ Normal Operating Temperature before doing the KEY ON ENGINE RUNNING (KOER) portion
miesk5 NOTE, The self-test plugs were mounted on the passenger side fender on 1985-86 EFI trucks; miesk5 NOTE, The self-test plugs were mounted on the passenger side fender on 1985-86 EFI trucks. Self-Test Output (STO) is the Pin in the Lt gray Connector and Signal Return Ground (SIGRET) is Pin E in black Connector; The engine temperature must be greater than 50°F (10°C) to pass the KOEO Self-Test and greater than 180°F (82°C) to pass the KOER Self-Test. Run it around to heat the engine up and shift thru all gears incl Reverse. then; turn off all accesories/lights, etc. Make sure A/C is off and transmission is in Park (automatic) or Neutral (manual), release clutch. Do Key On Engine Off (KOEO) portion first. For Key On Engine Running (KOER) portion, the engine has to be @ normal operating temp. Look Codes up in my broncolinks.com site using the new Search function.

- transfer case operation - electric push button motor/connector is a prob. area; usually usually a broken travel stop or the motor connector is fouled, etc.

Also the Check Engine Light (CEL) comes on when the electronic engine control system is not working properly. The check engine warning indicator comes on briefly when the ignition switch lock cylinder is turned to ON, and should turn off when the engine starts. If the check engine warning indicator does not come on when the ignition switch lock cylinder is turned to ON or if it comes on while the vehicle is moving, the system is malfunctioning
If the CEL does not light up at all when starting it; then suspect that someone removed it.
Same for Amber ABS lamp in Instr Panel.. The 4-wheel anti-lock brake system is self monitoring. When the ignition switch is placed in the RUN position, the anti-lock brake electronic control module will perform a preliminary self check on the anti-lock electrical system indicated by a momentary illumination of the amber ABS warning light in the instrument cluster. During vehicle operation, including normal and anti-lock braking, the anti-lock brake electronic control module monitors all electrical anti-lock functions and some hydraulic operations.

In most malfunctions of the anti-lock brake system, the amber ABS warning light will be illuminated. However, most malfunctions are recorded as a coded number in the anti-lock brake electronic control module memory and assist in pinpointing the component needing service. Our module blew the micropprcessors two years ago and two yard modules were bad..No returns so I'm running without 4WABS, just like the old days.

Suggest you buy the official FORD EVTM, Service manual CD from E bay or Steve83 (use the search here for him and use the e mail function to contact him); it is the BEST under $15.00 or so thAng you can get to service and repair your Bronco!

The 96 Owner's Manual is availfor free from
http://www.hillerford.com/resource_l...d/96bronco.pdf
good for many other years too, esp 92-96
FORD; from same addy as above; myford.fordvehicles.com (need VIN) & must register if you haven't already for your other Fords.
or
We here can help you on most if not all Smog issues.
GL!
This post is a little intimidating!! Hope I am not jumping into a big mess. Sounds like they can have ALOT of problems. Thanks for info though.
 
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