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Discussion Starter #1
Hello to everyone,

Im new to this hitting a mid life need. I want a full size bronco, always wanted one since my High School days 84-88. Got one problem, I dont know where to start looking. Would love to have the ability to remove the top and take the kids for the old sunday drive, with the wind .

I started looking at some the posts and a little scared about getting taken by some seller. Any pointers to look for or stay away from while searching for my BRONCO? Thanks again for all the future guidance love seeing everyones pics, bringing the kid out out again after all these years. I got the itch for a FSB.

Currently live in North Carolina, any suggestions where to look?
 

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Thanks 351w500
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5,446 Posts
Welcome.


Do a search on this, There are hundreds of post with good info on what to look for in a bronco your looking to buy.
 

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CARFAX can be your best friend for vehicle history on ownership, accidents and maintainance...... don't be willing to jump on the very first one you see unless it's exactly what you had in mind so take your time and try to get cleanest one for the best price and hopefully mechanically sound as possible.

Keep in mind you're buying a PO USED, ABUSED OLDER VEHICLE so be prepared to put money into it so it will be a reliable DD for you and not a $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ NIGHTMARE....depending on what state you live in transfer of title could mean the PO is responsible for vehicle smog BEFORE you take ownership.

Obvious things to check are all alignment "gaps" on doors, hood, fenders and tailgate to see if they are the same otherwise the vehicle may have been in an accident. Check all the body panels for any rust or corrosion a sign whether it was garaged or not..Look under the hood and check the overall 1-10 condition of the engine bay to see how well the PO performed regular maintainace..check around the bottom of the master cylinder for leaks, power steering, radiator, hoses and water pump area looking for any tell tale signs.

Crawl underneath and look at the oil pan, transmisison pan and differentials for fluid leaks..check the condition of the exhaust pipe/s and muffler, check the condition of the shocks, tires and spare tire then step back away and look at the vehicle's stance, anything out of the ordinary could mean poor/worn coils, springs or possible damage....

Test drive the vehicle checking shifting patterns, brakes and all functions on the dash. ie. lights ac, heat, radio etc. etc. check to make sure ALL manual or electric windows are working especially the TAILGATE WINDOW....

What's the overall condition of the interior, seats, panels and headliner...?

Look for any frame rail damage from front to back.....any or all of these items listed will help in your NEGOTIATING PROCEESS $$$$

Just a few thoughts!

Good Hunting ~ :thumbup
 

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I think JKossarides covered most of it but having just gone through this process myself here are a few pointers:

-Look at a lot of Broncos, pretty soon you'll be able to spot problem areas like a pro and know what is easy and cheap to fix and what is not. If you look at 50 Broncos before you buy one that's not too many. It took me a year of searching to find the exact condition, year range, engine, 4x4 options, and interior I was after and I'm glad I waited.

-Car Fax is your friend - any of the pre '92 Broncos have 5 digit odometers and shadier sellers will try to pass the mileage off as 100k less than what it really is. Even if you are pretty handy with a wrench have a mechanic check out any truck you are serious about, it is worth the $50 and will work to your advantage. The guy I bought my Bronco from was firm on the price until I had it checked out by a mechanic. The mechanic found a tiny coolant leak from the timing cover (that I hadn't noticed) and estimated $500for the repair. The seller knocked off $500 easily - the repair will cost me half a Saturday and under $50 in gaskets, coolant, and beer - well worth the $50 inspection investment.

-Mint condition, low mileage Broncos go for big bucks so be prepared to pay big or do some wrenching on your own.

-Avoid rusty Broncos unless you know someone who owns a body shop. Rust repair costs are enough to make your head spin. Even a small rust spot can indicate a bigger problem since tailgates, fenders, etc on Broncos tend rust from the inside out. Even though I live in Arizona I ran into quite a few rust buckets that made their way down here from up north.

Good luck and have fun!
 

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How did I get 6 Rigs??
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In addition to the above, check out the different generation body styles, and make sure you know what you want. I jumped right in and bought an '89, and worked like heck to make it into a DD over a couple of months. Luckily, there wasn't much that needed a lot of attention, but still, it needed a little TLC. However, after looking at more and more Broncos, I realized that I wanted an older model, with an "old school" look. I was pretty sure that I wanted and '80-'86. I searched like heck...and made a few offers on fixer uppers. Well....as fate would have it...everyone turned down my offers and I had to keep looking. All of a sudden...it hit me....I HAD (repeat HAD) to have either a '78 or '79 to add to our family. To me there was nothing cooler than the shape of the '78-'79 Bronco and my search was on again.

My only real point is that once you make the decision that you want a FSB, you have to figure out what you really want...or you end up like me...multiple Broncos. Which isn't a bad thing...just makes the hobby more expensive....(and the neighbors start to talk about you!).

There is a lot of great information on here about model years, engines, transmissions, tires....and so on. Make a list based on what your needs are and then go for it.

And when you get one...post pictures!
 

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welcome to FSB, hope you find the perfect bronco, but remember it is all in what you want to use it for. they all have pro's and con's. where in nc are you?????
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys, currently around the Raleigh area in NC ThinBlueline. I really appreciate the guidance and suggestions. Im in no rush so I hope to land a decent one. First going to sell a 2004 Chevy Colorado z71 crew cab with 83,000 shouldnt be too hard. then take that or some of it to buy the BRONCO.
 
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