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· Registered
85 ford Bronc XLT eddie bauer 5.0 302
23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello I recently got a rebuilt engine and transmission on my 85 ford bronco and I want to take it offroading. I just had a question about what can possibly break or what I need to get new, before going out because I dont want anything breaking when im out there.

Im mostly gonna do some light offroading and trails.

· Registered
1986 Eddie Bauer 5.0EFI AOD Full length headers Y pipe into single 3" Magnaflow 3" factory exit
1,933 Posts
Basicly everything. You're testing things & the weak link is what breaks first. Check your u joints, front shock towers to make sure they aren't rotted out, & how the rubber bushings look in relation with the connections to steel, same with the rear spring shackles, then look at all of your body mounts cuz they rust out & you dont want your body & chasis moving separately. Hubs, shocks, bushings, upper/lwr ball joints, & exhaust hangers, all that stuff loves to break when bounced around off road. Remember it's a 36 year old truck, steel structures & bolts are rusted & rubbed thinner from wear since they were new, so they can break much easier. Make sure your radiator cooling fins are clean and clear of mud/dirt before and after, same for the air cleaner as well.

One thing is for sure, if something is wrong, it will present itself while offroading. A liesure cruise down trails at a leisure pace is one thing, & isn't going to hurt much, but if you go flying down trails, jumping stuff thinking your in a tuff truck competition, good chance you'll break stuff & have a heck of a recovery bill at the end of the trip.

You'll hear creaks and groans you never heard before, so make sure your situational awareness is keeping an ear on those too, so you know what the truck doesn't like.

· Super Moderator
33,976 Posts
Yo Cody,
I'll move this thread to Noobie section for better visibility.
Off roading:
As Rob advised, also consider;

In NJ for examplem along with a valid permit, if you want to drive on the beach to go fishing you are required to have the following equipment in your vehicle:
1) Fishing equipment and bait and tackle for each person over 12 years of age;
2) Tire gauge;
3) Spare tire;
4) Workable jack and board/support for jack in sand (3/4 in. x 12 x 12 in. plywood square minimum size)
5) Tow chain or snatch line;
6) Shovel;
7) Flashlight;
8) Fire extinguisher;
9) Auto first aid kit;
10) Litter/trash bag;
11) Minimum of 1/4 tank of fuel.
A current tide chart is highly recommended. Jumper cables for the vehicle's specific battery type are also recommended.
U.S. Army FM 21-305 Manual for the Wheeled Vehicle Driver @ FM 21-305 MANUAL WHEELED VEHICLE DRIVER

1985 Bronco Dealer Brochure via Gary @ 1985 Bronco - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

1985 Bronco Electrical & Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual (partial) via Gary @
1985 EVTM - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

1985 Bronco Owners Guide via Gary @ 1985 Owner Guide

1985 Bronco/F Series Specifications via Gary @ Specifications

1985 Lubricant Specifications by Ford via Gary @ Lubricant Specifications

1985-1986 Fuel System Adjustments by Ford via Gary @ 1985-1986 Fuel System Adjustments - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

80-86 Bronco Differences by Gary @ 1980 - 86 Ford Trucks - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

Fasteners & Illustrations by Gary @ Ford 1980-86 Pickup Fasteners - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

1985 Bronco Exterior Paint Colors and Codes via a Gary @ 1985 Exterior Colors

Haynes Red Manual for 80-95 Bronco & F Series @ Hanes guide 80-96 bko f series.pdf via BroncMom

For any Bronco questions or to chat about it's planned modifications or build, it's better to post each seperately in Noobie Bronco Tech Questions. Flame free zone. This will get more attention and you can build up your post count to get into other sections such as Bronco and Ford Parts/Accessories which requires at least non-padded 50 posts to buy, sell or trade due to scammers who preyed on our members many times.

Baba Looey's Favorite FSB Links (lots and lots of tech links) including, "how do I get the tailgate glass to...", etc.
Our Forum faqs @ FAQs includes for example:
How To Upload Images To Posts & How to Use Search
See more tips!

Try to find time to participate and vote in our Full-Size of the Month Contest & later in the year, Full-Size of the Year Contest @ Voting
You will get ideas by those competing.
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· Driving Stuff Henry Built
*90xlt,351w,e4od,1356m*79,400,C6,205,19donors*73,400,np435,d20j twin
12,328 Posts
Your best bet is to go with a group. Yes, you try to prepare your rig, but you can find issues out there. It's always wise to run with others. Add good recovery points, bring proper straps, & study up on recovery techniques in case you get stuck. Learn what your rig can do amongst folks who are familiar with it.

It looks like you're in CA. Check out FSB's West Coast Chapter . See if anyone has a trip coming up, or start a thread to get a group going. Since CA is such a spread out place, you probably want to nail down the region somewhat.

Dustin prepared a pretty thorough list several years ago: REQUIRED TRAIL EQUIPMENT (az guys listen up), & there's more info in that thread.

Mainly Im doing this for the AZ guys but this is a good list for anyone. This stuff is going to be REQUIRED for any run that I lead from this day forward. I cant tell you how frustrating and annoying when you cant even hook up to a rig pull it out of a tough spot. Of course not everyone is going to have every single thing on this list but there is no excuse not to have tools,straps, spares etc. If you dont there is no reason to be on the trail in the middle of the desert unprepared.

Drinking Water
Fullsize spare tire that FITS your rig
Hi-Lift Jack
Bottle Jack
Tow straps
recovery points(hooks, shackles, D-rings etc)
Winching kit (if you have a winch)
First Aid Kit
fire extinguisher
CB radio
Jumper cables
Well equipped tool kit(and anything specific to your rig)
Spindle nut socket

Spare Parts:
Fuses, electrical connectors, electrical tape, 2 spare sparkplugs, spare plug wire, spare relay for air locker, spare airlocker solenoids and airline.
Spare belts and hoses
Extra fluids, oil , transmission fluid, gear oil
Spare hub, wheel bearings, seals and spindle.
Front and rear driveshafts
Assortment of hardware, nuts, bolts, brass fittings
Teflon tape, blue silicon sealer, locktite, JB Weld,
Tire plug kit
Duct Tape
Zipties/bailing wire
Anything thats specific or custom on your rig

Optional but good idea:
Photo gear
Waterless hand cleaner
Shop towels

Feel post up what Ive missed and Ill add it.
I think it's wise to carry The 10 Essentials whenever you're out in the wilderness. It's more of a backpacker's list, but hey, I come from a backpacking background. 😁 It will help you think about what to have along just in case. Some of this is a lot easier to do in a vehicle, which can serve as shelter, & can carry extra food & water without much effort. Quoted from: What Are The Ten Essentials?

  1. Navigation: map, altimeter, compass, [GPS device], [PLB, satellite communicator, or satellite phone], [extra batteries or battery pack]
  2. Headlamp: plus extra batteries
  3. Sun protection: sunglasses, sun-protective clothes, and sunscreen
  4. First aid: including foot care and insect repellent (if required)
  5. Knife: plus repair kit
  6. Fire: matches, lighter and tinder, or stove as appropriate
  7. Shelter: carried at all times (can be a lightweight emergency bivy)
  8. Extra food: beyond minimum expectation
  9. Extra water: beyond expectation, or the means to purify
  10. Extra clothes: sufficient to survive an emergency overnight

I almost forgot. If you have auto hubs, swap them out for manuals. They are more reliable.

"Auto hubs have yams in them" - @Gacknar

· Registered
1,080 Posts
I dont think anyone mentioned airing down. Reduce tire pres to 15 psi (some go lower but you run the risk of the rim separating from the tire = flat tire)
When you air down to contact patch of the tire nearly doubles and is especially good in sand and mud
Airing down manually takes a long time, it can be assisted by these:
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