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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did 78 and 79 broncos come with rollbars from the factory? or was this all aftermarket installations?
 

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The factory offered "GT Bars".They looked like roll bars,but I'm sure Ford's legal department would not allow them to be called "roll bars"...just in case one failed and lawsuits would follow.
 

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It would be interesting to find out if the 78/79 Bronco that rolled over a number of years back,killing a number of members of a Latino family,had any kind of bar.This was a nationally publicized legal battle the family had with Ford,the outcome of which stripped Ford of its entire profits made on the 78/79 Bronco.I dont know the outcome of an appeal Ford promised to file.
Basically,the teenage driver swerved to avoid a van,and the Bronco flipped over and rolled a number of times.The fiberglass shell shattered,hitting occupants with shards,ejecting those without seat belts and the main roof collapsing on those still buckled in (the passenger).Sounds like no bar of any kind,and also a driver that had no idea how a 4x4 truck can handle.
 

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I remember a 90s Bronco rollover nearby here years back,and it all could have been avoided.This early 20s guy was travelling over 100 miles to see his gf when he dozed off driving 65 down the highway.The Bronco veered to the left guardrail,it scraped it,waking him up,he steered HARD to the right and the Bronco darted to the opposite guardrail where it bounded over the Armco,rolling numerous times over the dropoff.The roof shattered,the driver without seatbelt was ejected out the shell eventually being trapped under the truck as it ceased rolling.The guys dog survived,and hampered rescue crews.(the guy was gone upon being ejected anyway though).
The thing that bothered me was that the driver's door and roof area was intact and functional (the door opened and closed normally).If he had wore a seatbelt,he would have survived.In the Latino crash,even belts didnt mean survival.So,I guess some situations just arent survivable,no matter what.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I didnt know that 78/79 had fiberglass. I thought it was all metal?
 

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78-up was all a fiberglass shell.Only the front seat roof area was steel.The 78/79 shell used rounded cornered glass whereas the 80-up used square cornered (Ford was originally afraid that the glass might be weaked by not having rounded corners).I'm no fan of fiberglass,but at least it doesnt rust like the 66-77 roof does,or "tin cans" and flutters.Its just a shame that Ford couldnt have built some sort of steel framework into the fiberglass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for info. Since i'm new to the bronco world and will be making my first purchase very soon, all info is so helpfull in making my desicion.
 

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I guess we should be thankful the Bronco has at least a steel forward section roof....the 69-79 Blazer/Jimmy roof was all fiberglass (or soft top).I cant imagine seeing one of those rolled over.That was one of the things Ford looked at when designing the 78 Bronco...the leak factor of that roof around the front doors.(but being a "truck" they probably didnt fret the rollover situation much).The raised steel "targa" strip style reinforcement looks beefy,but afterall,its just hollow.
 

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Yup, some came with factory GT Bars like was said. I lucked up on one at a junkyard and got it for $25. [Saw one go on eBay for $200.] I need to put it in my Bronco now that it's topless and easy access to install.
 

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I had one in my bronco... and I had the front cage kit welded to it... hmmm, prob should have sold the GT bar and gotten a cage kit since its worth so much.... o well....
 

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Bronco Mels said:
Yup, some came with factory GT Bars like was said. I lucked up on one at a junkyard and got it for $25. [Saw one go on eBay for $200.] I need to put it in my Bronco now that it's topless and easy access to install.
...and then take it to the "California Bronco" guy, bragging about the "factory upgrade" that you restored, and see if you can get the $8000 for it now. :toothless
 

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iolaus said:
...and then take it to the "California Bronco" guy, bragging about the "factory upgrade" that you restored, and see if you can get the $8000 for it now. :toothless
did i miss something....?
 

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the 69-79 Blazer/Jimmy roof was all fiberglass (or soft top).
Huh? I believe that was only offered on a Blazer untill 1972. I don't believe the soft top was available for 73 and up. 73 and up were basically the same as a 78/79 Bronco AFAIK.
 

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1978RANGERXLT said:
I guess we should be thankful the Bronco has at least a steel forward section roof....the 69-79 Blazer/Jimmy roof was all fiberglass (or soft top)
Missed this earlier, but since you mentioned the Blazers. The early Ramchargers [I don't know what years, but a friend of mine has a '76] had a full removeable top that's metal. From the top of the windshield back comes off. He says it takes about 6 men to get that heavy bitch lifted off and his has a factory roll bar, too.


iolaus said:
...and then take it to the "California Bronco" guy, bragging about the "factory upgrade" that you restored, and see if you can get the $8000 for it now.
Haha, yeah.
I'd drive it back down there and show off some more in my California Bronco, but I kinda tore up the transmission. :brownbag
 

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I dunno, it started actin' funny. Won't stay in gear. Dad tries to swear up and down it's the shifter and I'm like, uh NO, the shifter is fine, then he tells me it's hard to move it and it doesn't work. I'm like, for one thing you don't even know how it works, if you do it right it's fine. The position of the shifter has nothing to do with it randomly falling out of gear. [By the way it's a B&M shifter with the ratchet action, so it only moves a certain way, and sometimes you have to pull the t-bar up and what not, he tries to force everything and this shifter is specifically made so it can't be "forced" into something that'll tear up the trans, like accidentally bumping it up into reverse, t-bar has to be pulled up for reverse.]

So I think the detents are worn out. Or something. It's just fux0red.

I didn't post it on here either, so you didn't miss anything. ;)
 
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