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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 bone stock
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Decided to start a thread, to help document my build. I purchased this 86 a few weeks ago with the original plan to just patch it up and enjoy it for a while, but i am really terrible at just patching something, it eats at me. My last patch job turned into a 2 year bumper to bumper restoration of a 67 mustang. I have this "while im in there" attitude that wins over every time and i just cant help but make something look new before i put it back on. So, after some digging through forums, catalogs, discussions with the wife (she is the mental tie breaker when i cant decide if i want to do one thing or the other) and my son (who the bronco is ultimately for) here is the plan, as it sits today.

- I want the bronco to remain as stock as possible in terms of looks. I just know i don't want it to be the original Brown on tan. I initially wanted to keep it factory-ish and paint it with the dark blue on tan EB paint scheme, but my son didn't really like the dark blue (no matter how much i tried to sell him on it). My wife liked red and immediately i saw a red / white / red paint scheme in my head and was charging forth with that idea...but my son again, struck that down. We decided on a Bronco color, just not the correct year, Medium Blue Metallic 3P. Solid, and adding the XLT trim, that was my condition if we was painting it that color and not Eddie Bauer scheme.

- The interior is in really tidy shape, i think this thing has 122k original miles and the seats aside from one small puncture in the drivers seat look amazing, the carpet will clean up nice, the door panels and interior plastics are going to get a fresh coat of SEM to bring them back to life. The wiring is still in good shape, the metal is in good shape, no rusted floors or anything like that, just a bashed in door and fender that will get replaced. Going to update the electronics a bit, bluetooth radio, backup camera in the rear view mirror, but not much else beyond that.

- Mechanical- engine runs as good as an 86 is expected to, it leaks like crazy. I plan on pulling it out and just inspecting it, resealing it, and maybe do some mild port work on the exhaust and maybe bevel that darned ledge on the inside of the combustion chambers, then delete the AIR system, put some headers and free flowing Y pipe and exhaust on it and be done with the engine, don't want a hot rod just a dependable engine. The transmission (AOD) works, but it hasnt been rebuilt in 35 years, plan on sending it off for an overhaul for good measure.

-This thing still has the original shocks under it, OR they were replaced with original shocks, but they look original. I just plan on replacing any worn bushings (still drives pretty dang good honestly), tidying up the undercarriage a bit and not getting too carried away, maybe replace springs and shocks, maybe give it a 1-2" lift while im at it, havent decided on that yet.

Anyway, i plan on doing all this work myself (aside from the transmission and debating doing the final paint job), going to get my son to help me (he's 10) maybe he can learn a thing or two and be one step ahead in this world.

Here is what it looks like right now:
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This is my first big bronco, i have ZERO experience with these or any other ford of this era, I grew up a Chevy guy, have restored a couple of old Camaros, and the mustang i mentioned earlier, and actually a couple of tractors. I welcome any sage advice you may have to offer on these beauties. I am nearly finished with a 74 Ford 5000 tractor, i made a promise to myself to finish it and get it out of my shop before i start working on anything else, and if all goes to plan ill be done with it in about 2 weeks. Then i plan to just start tearing this thing down, pulling the interior out, pulling the engine, trans, removing the fenders, hood, doors, roof and going to work.
 

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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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I vote for the blue & tan EB scheme, but I am biased!! I think I am gonna change the shade of blue also. I bought mine 6 months ago as something driveable as i finish another restoration, been tinkering ever since & got it running great, steering good, A/C working. Bodywork/paint will come soon. Its my 4th Bronco over the years. One was an 85 XLT years ago that was tan in the middle & dark brown on the top & bottom. I too suffer from the car restoration bug...

My 86EB is in for an exhaust right now. It had all emissions deleted & a previous owners obnoxiously loud set up of headers into flowmasters, right into turndowns dumping before the rear axle, it was way too loud.

I am having them make me a 2 1/2 Y pipe off of the headers that has a 3" exit (everything flanged V groove connectors) from there it goes into a 3" cat, then a 3" magnaflow, then V- grooves again, into the tailpipe section, sending it over the axle & exiting in a single 3" pipe behind the passenger side tire as it was stock.

I'll let you know how this system sounds.
 

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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 bone stock
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361 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hah nice, I like the blue on tan, but I got to change the color anyway so it don’t irk me as much as it would if I wanted to keep it dookie brown. I see you have the 5.0 as well have you done anything to the engine or is it stock? I’m curious as to how much some shorty headers and a open exhaust (through mufflers) will make help with seat of the pants feel.
one thing I have reeeaallly enjoyed is peeling up the carpet in the front and the floor pan not coming up with it! This thing is SOLID aside from the front fender that rotted out from the antenna hole and the tailgate from non existent window sweeps.
 

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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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That's great that the body is solid, mine needs some help, like quarters, doors fenders, hood, tailgate... Lol but i like doing that stuff. That's why I bought it. My motor is all stock as far as i know. Just the headers & hillbilly exhaust I am correcting...

The guy i bought it from had receipts for a new longblock, & a new AOD, & it was all shiny new. You could tell it wasnt a quicky paint job rebuild. Unfortunately he put all the filthy old EFI stuff back on it without cleaning it up when it was off!!!

Back to your question of the "seat of the pants feel", the 302EFI is no powerhouse, but its not bad, it keeps up with traffic just fine. Its a big heavy truck, not a sports car, so I dont expext it to perform like a sports car.

I am doing the exhaust system the way I am because that seems to be the general concensus of best sound from the many exhaust posts I have read, headers, into a Y pipe, ending in a 3" out the back. I am adding the catalytic converter to try to get the exhaust to be less stinky, but i know its mostly because its got the dumps, and with the top off or back window down, it circulates back in the vehicle. The cat is more of a why not thing, even the guy at the exhaust shop said he wouldn't put one on, but i wanted it anyway. No emissions requirements here in Michigan.

I had a 351 4V & C6 trans in my 85 & there wasn't much difference in power, it had a little more grunt, but it got 10-11 mpg vs my 15-16 now, not that I care about mpg much, but... both felt like big heavy lumbering trucks. You may as well open the exhaust up, it wont give you much in a 0-60 time before/after, but maybe you'll feel better about it with it making a bunch of noise!!

As far as how it runs, go read about pulling codes on the EEC-IV system, thats the old school computer controlled EFI. I never pulled codes, cuz I replaced all of the sensors on mine just to start fresh & it runs great now. They were all loaded with crud. I replaced the EGR valve, replaced a few leaky vacuum lines, replaced the TPS, MAP, AIC sensors. All in, it was about $150-200, so if yours isn't running right, don't be intimidated, its all cheap, simple stuff & a little persistence. Do some searches, ask the questions, this site has lots of good info and knoledgeable people that know a lot more than me.
 

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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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And since you have the same 86 302EFI Bronco as me, I started a build thread on mine, you can see the items I have addressed.

 

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1996 Eddie Bauer Bronco with 5.8 V8 Automatic, with roll cage. Taylor, Michigan
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88 Posts
Looking forward to following along on this one.
 

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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 bone stock
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
All good stuff, thank you for all that. Id be more concerned about that fred flintstone sized hole in the fender than the trash in the AC (in Michigan). My AC blows nice, hard, and cool...but i do plan on cleaning it all out for good measure. Not sure where my bronco lived most of its life, but it appears to have been kept under a shed, possibly under the edge of a shed or under a Tarp maybe. The PO bought it from the original owner, and he didnt have it for 6 months. Put bedliner on the dang roof i gotta peel off (not on the rear shell, on the steel roof).

Funny you mentioned the tilt steering. I drove this thing home from Jackson MS where i bought it...its about 90 miles and i was fiddling with things while driving even though i couldnt hear myself think because of the missing window felts. I just KNEW that steering wheel tilted, took me about 20 miles to figure out you have to PUSH the stalk forward.

I had to do a little work on the tailgate glass, but it goes up and down now. Aside from the cruise control, everything else works like it should, even the annoying ignition switch buzzer. If the engine didnt sling so much oil i would probably drive it around more As-is, but man this thing slobbers it everywhere. The PO put a new alternator in it, and the top side of it looks new, but the bottom side that faces the engine is well lubricated, its just covered in oil slinging from the front. I guess the plus side is, its acting as a great rust inhibitor!

I did order a new radio from crutchfield, they had a sale going on, i couldnt help myself. The speakers came in and i went ahead and installed them, got me some new speaker grilles for the rear as mine had disintegrated. Top tip, the speaker grilles from the early 80's mustangs or the E series vans are NOT a perfect replacement, but they are an option if you're in a pinch. I was told they were the same, so i pulled the trigger and spent the 15 bucks. Im not unhappy with it, but it will eventually eat at me and ill have to find ones that fit properly. Also, all i could find was gray, so ill give them a shot of color when i do the rest of the interior.

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1996 Eddie Bauer Bronco with 5.8 V8 Automatic, with roll cage. Taylor, Michigan
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They bedlinered the cab roof top? And nothing else? Huh, I've used Raptor liner on by bottom quarter, and on my hard top, but on the cab roof top just seems like an odd place to put it.
 

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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 bone stock
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
They bedlinered the cab roof top? And nothing else? Huh, I've used Raptor liner on by bottom quarter, and on my hard top, but on the cab roof top just seems like an odd place to put it.
I’m assuming the top was faded, they took a can of that roll on stuff and splattered it on there, it’s very uneven and fairly thin, I think I can get it off fairly easy.
 

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Nice to see another 86. Looks like a pretty nice truck to start restoring/building.
Headers and exhaust is a good mod on these engines. Single 3 inch as mentioned is generally the easiest/cheapest option.
Duals can be done though, my 86 has 2.5 inch duals from longtubes with an H pipe and exit behind the rear tires.

If you lift 1-2 inches probably want to go to a 33 inch tire. 35s will fit but will rub the radius arm. I have 35s with just leveling coils in the front.

What rear-end does your bronco have? 8.8 or 9? I am curious as it seems most 86s are 8.8s but mine came with a factory 9.
 

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1996 Eddie Bauer Bronco with 5.8 V8 Automatic, with roll cage. Taylor, Michigan
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I’m assuming the top was faded, they took a can of that roll on stuff and splattered it on there, it’s very uneven and fairly thin, I think I can get it off fairly easy.
Good luck!! I'm looking forward to hearing how it comes off.
 

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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 bone stock
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah, I’m gonna do a single Y but probably do a dual outlet turbo muffin under it and turn it out behind the wheels with some nice small chrome tips, want a little noise but nothing obnoxious.
I am in noooo way wanting to run 35’s, 33 would be the biggest, but probably going to do 32’s. I want it to still drive good and not be a rollover waiting to happen, plus the more rubber you have to sling around the slower these already anemic engines run.
And yes it has the 8.8, which is totally fine for what I’m doing. Heck the Chevy 12 bolt rear is 8.875” so plenty strong for this. Maybe they used 9” on the 5.8’s?
I already had someone make a suggestion to go ahead and put a 9” under here and I was like why?? The only advantage (For me) would be you can swap gears out on a table instead of being under the truck. Plus I like the gearing I have so, imma spend that money elsewhere.
As for the roof I’m fairly confident I can use a wire brush and some paint stripper and get this mess off, just going to be icky.
 

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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 bone stock
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Keep the eddie bauer it was the top optioned bronco from 85-96. (well except the 91 silver anniversary)
Yeah, I know, but it’s about my son more than me, it’ll just be a paint job away from being back original EB. Heck there’s still time to change his mind. I wish I knew someone nearby who had an 80’s In blue that I could let him see in person, maybe that would change his mind, but this medium blue metallic he likes is a pretty darn sharp color.
166796
 

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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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That's a good color! I plan on switching the shade of blue as well, and keeping color break lines of the EB bottom & hardtop, but in a much richer shade of tan, that more closely matches the interior. The factory tan paint color leans way too much towards yellow to me. Looking at it, it looks very yellow compared to the inside of the vehicle, & the two should match in my mind.
 

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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 bone stock
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Keep in mind your tan is reeeeallly faded, compare it to my picture above, however I do agree it’s a very light tan especially when compared to the interior. The interior when it was new was pretty dark I’m very surprised how much it fades over the years, even the plastic that looks good still is only half as dark as it’s supposed to be. Take a door panel and turn it around and compare the non sun bleached back to the front or any of the better looking panels, it’s several shades darker.
i had SEM mix me up a quart of the original chestnut paint to spray my interior pieces with. When I got it home I looked and this can is DARK, I just knew it was wrong, but i took some and dabbed it on the backside and it’s almost a perfect match, I couldn’t believe it.
Same thing for the carpet, my carpet looks amazing and is original but underneath the door sills where it was protected it’s way darker.
 

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If you go with 32 or 33s you will probably no longer be happy with your gearing with the aod. I'm guessing 3.55 stock gears?
Aods don't have a very low first gear and with a mostly stock engine turning a 32 or 33 you'll probably want to go to 4.10s.
If it has already had gears changed then that's perfect.

The problem with the 8.8 is not the ring gear. It's the fact the 8.8 is a c clip axle. If you break a clip, the whole wheel/axle assembly can come out. That being said, for a mostly stock engine with 33s and no hard off roading, the 8.8 will be just fine. Its still a good axle and can handle a lot.
 

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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 bone stock
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If you go with 32 or 33s you will probably no longer be happy with your gearing with the aod. I'm guessing 3.55 stock gears?
Aods don't have a very low first gear and with a mostly stock engine turning a 32 or 33 you'll probably want to go to 4.10s.
If it has already had gears changed then that's perfect.

The problem with the 8.8 is not the ring gear. It's the fact the 8.8 is a c clip axle. If you break a clip, the whole wheel/axle assembly can come out. That being said, for a mostly stock engine with 33s and no hard off roading, the 8.8 will be just fine. Its still a good axle and can handle a lot.
Yup, its all stock, and i appreciate the input, but like you said its going to be on the road 98% of its life. Its going to have an easy life of being pretty most of where it goes. If i need to go into someplace hard to get to, ill just take one of the old beaters we have on the farm. I drag raced an 11 second street car for 10 years with a c-clip rear end, this car left HARD, would lift both wheels just a bit off the ground every launch and never broke a c-clip. Although i did (on two occasions) shear all the lug bolts off of one side and my wheel went flying down the road ahead of me! That being said, if you go faster than 11.00 they require you to run c-clip eliminators, but i never went that fast.

Not too many rocks to climb around here in northeast Louisiana, just a lot of Mud if you choose to do so. Another thing is the width of the tire that has a lot to do with performance maybe just as much as diameter, more contact patch = more resistance. I am strongly considering running a 16" wheel and running a metric size tire that is closer to a 32 x 10 than a 32 x11.5. A little less sidewall, a little less squishyness in my tires, better handling.
 

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8.8 should be great for your use.
If you're rebuilding the AOD consider having the 4r70w gearset installed. Its a wider ratio gearset with a much lower first that'll help acceleration. Ford switched to this gearset for the explorer and then f150s to make the AOD ratios better for heavy vehicles. 4r70w is just an updated electronic AOD.

265/75r16 or tall skinny 235/85r16?
Or a 285/75r16 that is a essentially a 33x11?
 
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