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Thanks man! Yeah I want him to look over the frame but honestly I THINK (hope) my only significant issue is the front passenger floorboard. Almost seems like something was leaking there because the rest of it looks pretty dang solid. I haven’t taken the carpet out yet but underneath looks pretty healthy. Nooks and crannies I can shine a light on look healthy. Other than that, a few small dents that will show especially w new paint.

I really considered finding another block or getting a long block but I don’t know, I kind of want to keep the original if I can. Sentimental I guess! Honestly if it just needs some seals replaced to get it through another few years that’s fine too. It runs really good if you ignore all the fluids going everywhere! Haha. It’s not that bad, but I can’t justify making her pretty and letting her spit up all that. :)
Having done this before both as a customer, and as the professional doing the work, I suggest going to the shop where you want the work done and sit down with the owner/manager and discuss your plans and budget. Let them keep the rig for a couple of days and let them crawl all over it, in it, and under it looking for problems. Be upfront and tell them you plan on stripping the interior, and ask if they have anything else they would like to have you take off (generally if the customer offers I have the customer take out all the lights, the grill, trim molding, and anything they don’t want painted).
Start buying up replacement parts now, you’re going to need little things like window seals, chrome windshield moldings, door and cap weatherstripping, and stuff like that. Put all the small parts into a box labeled with : Your Name, Bronco, Year, and VIN And leave the box in the back of the Bronco telling the shop that the box is parts you want replaced during final assembly. I wouldn’t just stop at exterior detail pieces, but do the same thing in the engine compartment and undercarriage... anything you can source as an upgrade, source it and put it into a box. There is nothing I hated more than a customer who brought his own parts, but on a job this big I would look away because it was less time for me to be waiting on parts having a rig tying up my bay.

Find out if they will be lifting the frame off the body. If so it might be a good idea to order a set of body bushings with hardware so they can just cut off the old bushings to save time and you money. Is it really worth $100 to remove one rusted $2.50 bolt and a $3.00 bushing?.

One last word of advice. Ask to see their portfolio. as you look through it see if they have done anything similar to what you are wanting done. Judge the shop as you are discussing the build to see if they are generally interested in the build. If they aren’t interested the final quality of the build will show. No matter how much money you throw at them.

Any ways, that’s my $1.99 on the subject.

One last thing before I go. I’m thinking about doing something similar in the nearish future. But I’m striping my 89 down to a roller (bare tub, frame, axles, and wheels with tires) and I’m going to have the body ready to come off the frame so they can lift the body off with a forklift and I can take my frame to another shop to get the chassis blasted, then I will bring the frame back to the body shop for them to-paint And install the frame. Meanwhile my engine is currently at the machine shop waiting to be worked on and I’m waiting to hear back what to order for the engine build. Lastly I have new glass for the shop to install for me when they are done.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Usually 4.11s are recommended for 33s & 4.56s for 35s. It's not 100%, but that's the typical combo. Here's a good gear ratio calculator. You enter your setup, & you can do a side by side comparison with variations.
So I had reviewed the chart, or a similar one awhile back and I guess my thought was "are 4.56's that streetable?" They absolutely could be and I haven't done a lot of digging yet. I had 4.11's on a Dakota RT years ago and they were great but man that was a lot of RPMs sometimes. I know with 35's it makes it a different animal altogether though. This Bronco will likely cruise between 35 and 55 its whole life so it probably wouldn't be that bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Having done this before both as a customer, and as the professional doing the work, I suggest going to the shop where you want the work done and sit down with the owner/manager and discuss your plans and budget. Let them keep the rig for a couple of days and let them crawl all over it, in it, and under it looking for problems. Be upfront and tell them you plan on stripping the interior, and ask if they have anything else they would like to have you take off (generally if the customer offers I have the customer take out all the lights, the grill, trim molding, and anything they don’t want painted).
Start buying up replacement parts now, you’re going to need little things like window seals, chrome windshield moldings, door and cap weatherstripping, and stuff like that. Put all the small parts into a box labeled with : Your Name, Bronco, Year, and VIN And leave the box in the back of the Bronco telling the shop that the box is parts you want replaced during final assembly. I wouldn’t just stop at exterior detail pieces, but do the same thing in the engine compartment and undercarriage... anything you can source as an upgrade, source it and put it into a box. There is nothing I hated more than a customer who brought his own parts, but on a job this big I would look away because it was less time for me to be waiting on parts having a rig tying up my bay.

Find out if they will be lifting the frame off the body. If so it might be a good idea to order a set of body bushings with hardware so they can just cut off the old bushings to save time and you money. Is it really worth $100 to remove one rusted $2.50 bolt and a $3.00 bushing?.

One last word of advice. Ask to see their portfolio. as you look through it see if they have done anything similar to what you are wanting done. Judge the shop as you are discussing the build to see if they are generally interested in the build. If they aren’t interested the final quality of the build will show. No matter how much money you throw at them.

Any ways, that’s my $1.99 on the subject.

One last thing before I go. I’m thinking about doing something similar in the nearish future. But I’m striping my 89 down to a roller (bare tub, frame, axles, and wheels with tires) and I’m going to have the body ready to come off the frame so they can lift the body off with a forklift and I can take my frame to another shop to get the chassis blasted, then I will bring the frame back to the body shop for them to-paint And install the frame. Meanwhile my engine is currently at the machine shop waiting to be worked on and I’m waiting to hear back what to order for the engine build. Lastly I have new glass for the shop to install for me when they are done.
That was a really awesome read, thank you. I think I may be on the same track. I sat with him awhile back and talked to him about what my goal was, but he hadn't been able to look at the Bronco yet (it was stuck in my garage). I actually have started quite the grill, trim, screw, molding, and weatherstripping collection in my garage. Haha. Don't forget carpet and sound deadener. I think this will end up being one of the smaller jobs he's done lately, based on the vehicles he had in the garage in various stages when I visited awhile back. He had eluded to that when I was explaining the Bronco as well. Of course, we will probably find more to take care of as parts come off.

Did you get new glass because the old was broken, or is that something that will need to be replaced regardless of current condition? Any of it hard to find? Mine is in good shape, but if it will be ruined when removed I can start looking.
 

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Driving Stuff Henry Built
-90 xlt, 351w, e4od, man 1356, 3.55, sag, warn hubs, 35s. -73, 400, np435, d20j twin, 35s
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So I had reviewed the chart, or a similar one awhile back and I guess my thought was "are 4.56's that streetable?" They absolutely could be and I haven't done a lot of digging yet. I had 4.11's on a Dakota RT years ago and they were great but man that was a lot of RPMs sometimes. I know with 35's it makes it a different animal altogether though. This Bronco will likely cruise between 35 and 55 its whole life so it probably wouldn't be that bad.
Looks like I forgot the link to the calculator. :brownbag Here ya go.

Changing your tire size makes a difference. That's where that calculator with the side by side comparison comes in handy. If you enter your current gears & tires on one side & your planned gears & tires on the other, you can see the revs at speed & see how they compare. If your current combo feels good, & the new tires & gears get you into a similar rpm at the same speed, it should feel pretty similar. Another good starting place is to enter stock gears & tires. Then you have a factory baseline to compare to. Depending on your usage you might to choose up or down, but having that baseline gives you an idea of where they designed it to run.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Looks like I forgot the link to the calculator. :brownbag Here ya go.

Changing your tire size makes a difference. That's where that calculator with the side by side comparison comes in handy. If you enter your current gears & tires on one side & your planned gears & tires on the other, you can see the revs at speed & see how they compare. If your current combo feels good, & the new tires & gears get you into a similar rpm at the same speed, it should feel pretty similar. Another good starting place is to enter stock gears & tires. Then you have a factory baseline to compare to. Depending on your usage you might to choose up or down, but having that baseline gives you an idea of where they designed it to run.
Thanks man! I'll look, but in case you get bored and feel like answering...if you go 4.56 in the rear, what gear would go in the front (D44)? I thought I read where they aren't supposed to be exact?
 

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Man your Bronco is friggin awesome!

I don’t know how we all got into the whole money discussion other than some back and forth banter but it’s really not about that. Just looking for perspective before I meet w the shop. And again, your Bronco is awesome.:D

I realize you're not concerned about the money that much, neither was I when I started making upgrades. I'm just saying you can end up spending a ton and still look like you have nothing. I guess it just depends on where you're putting it.

If you keep things mostly stock I don't think you'll spend that much, relatively speaking. Body and paint will probably be the big ticket item. That's honestly why I haven't bothered with that on mine right now.
 

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So I had reviewed the chart, or a similar one awhile back and I guess my thought was "are 4.56's that streetable?" They absolutely could be and I haven't done a lot of digging yet. I had 4.11's on a Dakota RT years ago and they were great but man that was a lot of RPMs sometimes. I know with 35's it makes it a different animal altogether though. This Bronco will likely cruise between 35 and 55 its whole life so it probably wouldn't be that bad.
I run 4.56s on 38s, easily streetable there. but that truck has a ZF5, so granny and overdrive, and 600+ horsepower, it had plenty of low end grunt with 4.11s with over 500 cubic inches.

what I'm saying is, you can go bigger without having to regear, you just have to add power to make up for it.
 
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That was a really awesome read, thank you. I think I may be on the same track. I sat with him awhile back and talked to him about what my goal was, but he hadn't been able to look at the Bronco yet (it was stuck in my garage). I actually have started quite the grill, trim, screw, molding, and weatherstripping collection in my garage. Haha. Don't forget carpet and sound deadener. I think this will end up being one of the smaller jobs he's done lately, based on the vehicles he had in the garage in various stages when I visited awhile back. He had eluded to that when I was explaining the Bronco as well. Of course, we will probably find more to take care of as parts come off.

Did you get new glass because the old was broken, or is that something that will need to be replaced regardless of current condition? Any of it hard to find? Mine is in good shape, but if it will be ruined when removed I can start looking.
My windshield is cracked, the driver window was broken out when I bought it so I put a “Junkyard” window in that has aftermarket tint peeling off, the back window has deep scratches. The Glass is easy for me to get locally (I have a glass shop that specializes in the 1980-1996 Ford F-Series Windows) and they have a scource for everything. JBG has all the glass as well. While I’m at it I’m going to have defrost added to my rear window, and factory tint all the way around.

After restoring quite a few old cars, I have noticed that old glass stands out like a sore thumb without a lot of elbow grease to make it look like new, and usually it’s easier and cheaper to replace the glass.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
My windshield is cracked, the driver window was broken out when I bought it so I put a “Junkyard” window in that has aftermarket tint peeling off, the back window has deep scratches. The Glass is easy for me to get locally (I have a glass shop that specializes in the 1980-1996 Ford F-Series Windows) and they have a scource for everything. JBG has all the glass as well. While I’m at it I’m going to have defrost added to my rear window, and factory tint all the way around.

After restoring quite a few old cars, I have noticed that old glass stands out like a sore thumb without a lot of elbow grease to make it look like new, and usually it’s easier and cheaper to replace the glass.
The old glass does show it's age.
 

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Jason2215 I can totally relate to you. I inherited my grandfather's 1983 Bronco XLT and after 8 years of replacing small items here and there I decided I wanted a full restoration. It's in the process now and I hope to have time to start posting pics and description of the progress.
 

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Jason2215 I can totally relate to you. I inherited my grandfather's 1983 Bronco XLT and after 8 years of replacing small items here and there I decided I wanted a full restoration. It's in the process now and I hope to have time to start posting pics and description of the progress.
cant wait to see them! Had a great conversation with the shop owner today. Hoping he’ll have time to start working on it by the end of the year!
 

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My two cents, if you are thinking of getting an estimate, like I have, the response is, we won’t know until we tear it up how bad it is and how much it will cost. Which my wife just would not understand. Maybe, have the Bronco dustless blasted this will identify rust dents etc. and make the paint and body work easier to estimate. Gut the interior, get estimate for this should be easy. new gears only necessary, IMO, if you adding lift and bigger tires. The local show truck circuit, have to decide if staying stock or how custom you want to be. how big is your check book? A freshly painted, new interior stock Bronco will be a show truck in my opinion. Estimate $10k. New running gears, new harness, new ac, new motor, transmission t case, axles, four link, shocks, stereo amps, sub woofer, roll cage, powder coating frame, brakes, shocks, lights, bumpers plus labor $100k plus.
 
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