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1996 Bronco 5.8 Eddie Bauer 181k mi. Rebuilt Engine and Trans
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Took the top off last week and it has been raining ever since. I am ripping the carpet up up tomorrow. Will be keeping it uncovered. Maybe put in a non structural 4 point roll bar behind the back seat.

Are there any locations recommended to drill drain holes in cargo/back seat area?

What compound is recommended to paint the exposed metal in the cargo area?

Other than not keeping it uncovered, are there any other recommendations or ideas regarding limiting rust?
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'92 Custom w/ '95 MAF 5.0 M/T, 33's, 4.10 LSD
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With that much water exposure, you're going to need to pick/chip/grind up all the factory seam sealer -- and I do mean all of it, every semi-horizontal surface -- and address the rust forming underneath it, otherwise any surface work you do will be undermined before long.

There's nowhere in the bed area designed for water drainage, so you're on your own with figuring that out. You definitely don't water pooling by the tailgate, because if that crossmember rusts out, you've got a huge project on your hands. I would probably put holes in the rear corners, to minimize that. It'll still collect in the bed ribs, but there's no avoiding that unless you turn the bed into swiss cheese.

For drains up front, there's a recent thread on pulling up the plates within the base of the b-pillars. That way, any water on the floor pan will run off to the door sills, and then back into the b-pillar openings.

Most people doing a non-carpet/mat interior go with one of the bedliner options, either spray or brush-on varieties.
 

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1986 Eddie Bauer 5.0EFI AOD Full length headers Y pipe into single 3" Magnaflow 3" factory exit
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Your basicly going to turn your fairly nice bronco into a rust bucket in no time, which is a shame.

The bed floor will drain down into the rear passenger footwell, and the water will make its way over to the corner cans & bottom of the B-pillar, filling that area and running down the rocker seal flange, eventually rusting out the entire structure from front to rear.

Just go look at salty rust belt Broncos where the rockers are falling off, and seats falling thru the floor, you'll be there in just a few short years.

I'm repairing mine now...

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A small leak did this to my 95. I agree that the back isn't meant to drain water. It will also trap it along the tailgate and rust out the rear cross seal.

At a minimum, I would get a soft top for it.


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Premium Member
1996 Bronco 5.8 Eddie Bauer 181k mi. Rebuilt Engine and Trans
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
With that much water exposure, you're going to need to pick/chip/grind up all the factory seam sealer -- and I do mean all of it, every semi-horizontal surface -- and address the rust forming underneath it, otherwise any surface work you do will be undermined before long.

There's nowhere in the bed area designed for water drainage, so you're on your own with figuring that out. You definitely don't water pooling by the tailgate, because if that crossmember rusts out, you've got a huge project on your hands. I would probably put holes in the rear corners, to minimize that. It'll still collect in the bed ribs, but there's no avoiding that unless you turn the bed into swiss cheese.

For drains up front, there's a recent thread on pulling up the plates within the base of the b-pillars. That way, any water on the floor pan will run off to the door sills, and then back into the b-pillar openings.

Most people doing a non-carpet/mat interior go with one of the bedliner options, either spray or brush-on varieties.
Thank you for your reply, Fodder!

Perhaps a fresh coat of paint and clear coat (or some rust preventative paint) and just a rubber mat so I can just pick it up and mop up with towels after a rain. But if I did that, would I need to remove the seam sealer? My question is, is the seam sealer painted over or applied after painting?

I have been entertaining the idea of the bulbous fiberglass front and rear quarter panels I have seen on the off-road racing Broncos. Converting to those should give me the opportunity to get in there and coat the substructure?
 

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'92 Custom w/ '95 MAF 5.0 M/T, 33's, 4.10 LSD
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Perhaps a fresh coat of paint and clear coat (or some rust preventative paint) and just a rubber mat so I can just pick it up and mop up with towels after a rain. But if I did that, would I need to remove the seam sealer? My question is, is the seam sealer painted over or applied after painting?
Seam sealer was applied before paint, and it doesn't do a great job of keeping water out despite its name (30 years will do that), so it's basically just keeping water in the nooks and crannies. Let the truck get regularly soaked with the top off, and all those seams are sure to rust out. You'd have to be extremely thorough at mopping stuff up to prevent that.

Take a look through the prep pics in my rust/bodywork gallery:

 

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Charlie don't surf..
'92 Ford Bronco XLT
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why not just get a softtopper and put it down or remove when you want to go topless?? It's your ride to do with what your want, but it seems like a real shame to ruin the inside of it..Keep in mind the moisture doesn't just affect the body panels..it's also going to saturate your seats over time and ruin your headliner..
 

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Agree on the softtopper. Love mine.
Be on my Short list of stuff to do if I was gonna build my 78 again.
 

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Another vote for Softtopper, love mine. It rarely rains where I am but when it does, it takes minutes to protect the interior. Takes minutes to go fully topless too. Nice looking rig!
 

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1990 EB, 5.0
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One more vote for the softopper. Best $1,000 you'll spend on a FSB. I leave it on year round. Makes it super easy to roll up the sides and back (safari style) or just take the whole thing off. 5 min to remove completely, and maybe 15 min to put back up (once you get the hang of it.)
 
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Your basicly going to turn your fairly nice bronco into a rust bucket in no time, which is a shame.
+1. It's not going to last long out in the open like that. Rust is a given, but there are electronics and wiring that are also now exposed to the water and will get corroded in short order. A removable top is the way to go.
 

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'92 Custom w/ '95 MAF 5.0 M/T, 33's, 4.10 LSD
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I'm going to go against the grain on all the soft top suggestions. Not because it's bad advice, but because it doesn't seem to be the direction the OP is headed. Relevant recommendations would be to either aggressively protect against water damage, or leave the hard top on.

Read the room. :)
 

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1995 Bronco XLT 351 W EO4D
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Animal,
Nice rig!
I stripped my interior except door panels and had entire tub etched, cleaned and applied a bed liner.
Yes water will collect in the door sills but I just soak it up with towels before I put it away.
The liner (line-X) is bulletproof and rust is not an issue.
I wrapped the electronics in the passenger kick panel in case I’m in deep water but everything else in the bed area is up high so no issues.
I live in Washington so rain is a fact of life…
I also coated linex on the tailgate top and the rocker panels.
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I plan to get a soft topper but run 9 mos a year with hard top stored.
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1988 Bronco, 351W, C6, 4.88, 35s, Detroit locker, warn hubs, 6in lift, ex-police
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Animal,
Nice rig!
I stripped my interior except door panels and had entire tub etched, cleaned and applied a bed liner.
Yes water will collect in the door sills but I just soak it up with towels before I put it away.
The liner (line-X) is bulletproof and rust is not an issue.
I wrapped the electronics in the passenger kick panel in case I’m in deep water but everything else in the bed area is up high so no issues.
I live in Washington so rain is a fact of life…
I also coated linex on the tailgate top and the rocker panels.
View attachment 188422
I plan to get a soft topper but run 9 mos a year with hard top stored.
Good luck! View attachment 188420 View attachment 188421 View attachment 188422
Hey! What is your lift and tire diameter? It sits how I'd like mine to in the future. Beautiful Bronco.
 
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