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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 bone stock
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just purchased a nice 86 5.0 Eddie Bauer, the Odometer says 23k and im assuming its on its second trip around, so 123k miles. Everything else is too original and in too good of shape to be 223k miles. I am currently doing a little piddle work to it, making stuff work again like window regulator adjustments, glitchy window switches etc. The thing runs good (as good as a stock mid 80's bronco would run) but this thing say for a LONG time not moving and so the seals dried out and it leaks really bad, thinking about naming it Valdez...anyway, i can't abide a leaky engine for long or transmission for that matter and over my years i have finally developed a way to build them leak proof for years. Having never worked on one of these, i wanted to know if it was a pretty straightforward process? Just remove fluids, hoses, wires, radiator, hood, unbolt and lift out? Any special bronco issues i need to expect or look out for?
Next, while im in there, what other items should i consider fixing or replacing? The truck drives pretty good, im sure while im in there ill probably check out for any loose steering items or worn bushings. The front diff is covered in oil, but i think its engine oil and dirt. The steering is still nice and quiet and fairly effortless. The rubber on the vacuum hoses is still soft (mostly) and the wires are still flexible and not baked (mostly).
While i have the engine out, i can't help myself but to do a little exploratory peek to make sure my bottom end is in good shape, bearings, bores, etc. I have planned on doing a few performance upgrades and from what ive read a set of GT40 heads and maybe a roller RV cam might be the cure to wake up this old 5.0. I don't have any specifics yet, but as ive always done on things is get free horsepower by port matching intake runners to intake. Would i need to get any computer work done if i do these upgrades? IM not looking for a fire breathing hot rod, i just want it to go up a hill without me having to put it to the floor. 225hp would be a lot better than 180hp.
I like exhaust manifolds because they are pretty much maintenance free, are there any better flowing manifolds out there? I don't mind doing headers, but i've always had gasket issues and loose header bolt problems that i don't particularly want to deal with.
Any tips on removal of the smog system, now someone has already taken the pulley off the pump, but while im in there i want to take it all off, get all those hoses and such out of the way, a full removal.
Finally, the transmission, it does ok, it has that low RPM shudder every now and then, but i just put in a tube of that LubeGard to hopefully resolve that issue for now. Should i go ahead and spend the money on a rebuild while i have it out, or just drain it, put new filter, gasket, front, rear, and selector seals in it and stick it back in? In all my working on cars and such, i have never had the nerve to go into the guts of an automatic transmission.

Well, i know thats a lot, but I just like to know what to expect when i start a big project. I do all the work myself, and for the most part just want to stop some leaks, and willing to spend a little money for some more power that still utilizes my stock EFI setup, just squeeze whatever i can out of it without having to upgrade everything else.

Thanks
 

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Upgrade steering with brackets and pump from e series van. Much better than stock whine. I would look at twin traction beam bushings, too. Also there is a minor upgrade/ mod to transfer case to prevent future problems, can't recall what it's called, but a search will locate it

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you should have the AOD transmission, from my understanding, stock it doesn't hold up too well to much in the way of power, but aftermarket work can get it capable of handling 500 horses. and a 351W is a direct bolt in for you and a fairly simple power increase.

TTB bushings should be looked at, otherwise it'll be impossible to maintain alignment.

check your rear axle, it could be an 8.8 or 9" Ford, if you can swap to a 9" that is beneficial.

if you want to keep EFI (I think the 86 5.0 had an early EFI, right?) you may want to look into changing to a MAF instead of Speed Density system, more accurate, more efficient, more powah.
 

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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 bone stock
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
you should have the AOD transmission, from my understanding, stock it doesn't hold up too well to much in the way of power, but aftermarket work can get it capable of handling 500 horses. and a 351W is a direct bolt in for you and a fairly simple power increase. - I am considering rebuild, just because the fact ill have it out and i doubt its ever been rebuilt, but not planning on putting 500 horses to it, heck not even 300 horses so, maybe a new valve body to get a little more line pressure but that might be it. Not interested in a 351 swap, its just not enough bang for the buck, unless my engine was trashed which its not. I can get what i want by doing a little head work and a cam.

TTB bushings should be looked at, otherwise it'll be impossible to maintain alignment. - check

check your rear axle, it could be an 8.8 or 9" Ford, if you can swap to a 9" that is beneficial. - Its an 8.8 and that is plenty of rear axle for my needs, no rocks to crawl on here in Louisiana, this Bronco is going to have a fairly easy retirement, it will be in 2wd 98% of the time. Its also an expense i dont need to incur.

if you want to keep EFI (I think the 86 5.0 had an early EFI, right?) you may want to look into changing to a MAF instead of Speed Density system, more accurate, more efficient, more powah. -Correct it is Speed Density, but i don't want to mess with the computer if i dont have to, from what i understand my setup should easily handle up to 300 HP without an upgrade
I appreciate the suggestions, probably should have added to my original post, that im not looking to hot rod this thing, or to go rock crawling, or go bury it every weekend in a gumbo hole. This is going to be Paw Paw'd everywhere it goes for the most part. Im going to show my son how to fix on cars, and when he turns 16 if he wants to have it, then he can (so thats another thing to keep in mind, needs to be dependable and nothing so hot he ends up in a ditch) No plans for a lift or anything either, just want it to have a little more pep in its step and not leak.
 

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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 bone stock
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow, just called my local transmission shop to ask them how much to rebuild the transmission if i brought it to them....1100 bucks! Friggin rebuild kit is 150 bucks (300 for a deluxe). I just don't see where the other 800 dollars comes into play here, 200 dollars an hour for labor? I was thinking 5-600 bucks with me pulling it and reinstalling it. Looks like ill be watching some youtube how-to tonight!
 

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easiest way to pull it is drop the transfer case out the bottom, then trans crossmember. pull the fenders and core suppport. then pull engine and trans in one unit. ive got to the point i can pull my whole power pack ( engine to xfer case) in roughly 45 min with help and about a hour and 45 by myself. as stated above, its a good time to replace the twin beam bushings,just general servicing while to motor is out is easy aswell.
 

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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 bone stock
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
easiest way to pull it is drop the transfer case out the bottom, then trans crossmember. pull the fenders and core suppport. then pull engine and trans in one unit. ive got to the point i can pull my whole power pack ( engine to xfer case) in roughly 45 min with help and about a hour and 45 by myself. as stated above, its a good time to replace the twin beam bushings,just general servicing while to motor is out is easy aswell.
Nice, i planned on replacing the front fenders anyway, this would be a good opportunity to do so. Also contemplating a color change on paint, so would be looking at needing access to firewall and stuff too. Thank you
 

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85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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Also there is a minor upgrade/ mod to transfer case to prevent future problems, can't recall what it's called, but a search will locate it
Thats the BW1356 and its oil pump. He should have an NP208 which doesnt have that same issue.
 

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85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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16,355 Posts
Thanks for clarification. I knew I'd get it wrong lol

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No worries, that is an important thing to check for on the 87+.
 
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