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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

My name's Matt. Im looking for my first FSB in southeast Idaho right now. Im sick of winter kicking my ass every year and had a friend with an 87 in college. It was indestructable. My car was totaled by a sheriff's deputy two weeks ago so now im ready to get my own. Ill be trying to learn as much as i can for the next little while before i buy, so thanks in advance for any help. This looks like a well run forum with a lot of really passionate and knowledgible members. Glad to have found you all.

Matt
 

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welcome to FSB, take your time and find what you really want. theres a ton of them out there.
 

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Hey guys,

My name's Matt. Im looking for my first FSB in southeast Idaho right now. Im sick of winter kicking my ass every year and had a friend with an 87 in college. It was indestructable. My car was totaled by a sheriff's deputy two weeks ago so now im ready to get my own. Ill be trying to learn as much as i can for the next little while before i buy, so thanks in advance for any help. This looks like a well run forum with a lot of really passionate and knowledgible members. Glad to have found you all.

Matt
I found Matilda on Craigslist, I got a pretty great deal on her.. there were tons of Bronco's for sale on there! Also eBay seems to have a pretty good deal.. some are pricey but you can find a rare jewel anywhere! Good luck!
 

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finding a feb

make sure you get the one you want. in the years 92-96 watch out for tranny problems i had one with only 140k and the tranny wouldn't go into drive anymore, had to manually shift through the gears. but other than that they are great trucks very good motors last forever and broncos are a lot of fun. You made a good choice on what you want
 

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Cool get a fuel injected one. Only people that have tranny problems don't change the atf every 30k and don't put on a big trans cooler.
 

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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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Welcome to the site! Good luck with the hunt. Here are some thoughts on choosing Broncos. Please excuse the cut & paste, but I got tired of typing this. :toothless

1- What year Bronco should I buy?
2- What are common problems to watch out for when buying a Bronco?

The body style breaks are 78-79, 80-86, 87-91, & 92-96. If you look thru the Post a Pic of your Bronco 80-96 Thread & Post a Picture of your Bronco 78-79 Thread you can see the different styles. As they get newer, wheel openings seem to get smaller.

1980 had an odd frame with holes in it. In 81 they went back to the solid frame. I think in 92 they went to the accordion style frame horns, so it can be trickier to add recovery points. 87 & some 88s with manual hubs had the top hat hubs which are expensive to replace, & require a lot of additional parts to swap to the more common hubs, avoid those if you can. 87 & 88 auto hubs can be swapped easily like other years. Auto hubs are prone to fail, but changing to manual hubs is pretty simple. Don't let auto hubs deter you from buying an otherwise good truck, just plan on making the switch. There are several good write ups on swapping them if the time comes.

Broncos with 302s had EFI before the 351s. As you move to newer trucks, the electronic systems become more advanced. If it has EFI, you should be able to pull codes from the computer to help with diagnostic issues. 96s (Maybe some 95s) are MAF (Which is more adaptable to intake/cam changes) & are OBDII. 87-92 had rear antilock brakes, 93-96 have 4 wheel ABS.

78-79 are the only years that came stock with solid front axles, which the rock crawlers like. The high speed desert guys seem to prefer the TTB independent front axle which is stock from 80-96.

All full size Broncos had the removable tops, but the newer ones (92+?) have rear seat shoulder belt mounting points & 3rd brake lights, so they aren't supposed to be removed.

The later years come with an E4OD 4 speed overdrive tranny. It's a heavy duty trans, but doesn't like heat & is expensive to rebuild. Make sure it's in good shape. It's a good idea to add an external filter & cooler if you get one (Like this: Trans Filter, Cooler & THERMOSTAT install by Fireguy50 or this VOTE For Sept.'07 FOTM by Sixlitre -Post 173 Trans filter.) They did do some upgrades to the newest E4ODs, & when the older ones are rebuilt, they should include those upgrades. If you are using it primarily offroad, you might prefer an older truck with a C-6 (Non overdrive) trans. There were other trannies used as well & adrianspeeder's Bronco Tranny and T-Case Info thread has a bunch of trans/engine/year combo info.

As for being lifted, you'd rather have extended radius arms than radius arm drop brackets. Blocks are definitely bad in the front, & aren't the best solution for the rear either. Take a look thru the lift section of Baba Looey's Favorite FSB Links for several links on the subject.

Both manual & electric shift t-cases were available in late 80s-96. Most of us think the manual ones are more reliable, but in salt belt trucks sometimes the manual linkage is more trouble. There's a good electronic shift diagnostic routine that kf4amu links regularly, & shadowfax & others have writeups on rebuilds & swaps. Both electric & manual shift thru later years are BW 1356 t-cases, so internally the works are the same, even though shifters won't interchange.

If you're looking for common problems, watch out for rust over the rear wheel well openings & bottom of the tailgate. It usually starts on the inside, so if you see it, it's probably all the way thru. Rain gutter & bottom of the B pillar are also places to look. The rear window will act up on most of these eventually, but the problems usually aren't bad to fix. Don't let a stuck window scare you off, use it as a bargaining chip.

For my use, if I was buying one today, I'd probably be looking at an 89 351w or a 78-79. The 89 is very similar to my 90, (Which I like a lot & have grown familiar with) but the 89 has a C-6 behind the 351. I don't drive mine much on the freeway, so I don't think I'd miss the OD. 78-79s are just cool, simpler (If you learned on carbureted engines anyway :toothless), have larger wheel openings, & have solid axles.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the great advice guys. So far i have my eyes on a 96 with the 351 at around 150xxx. It's got a decent 6'' lift and brand new BFG TKO All Terrains. Interior is pretty thrashed from what i've been told. Also, there is some rust over the rear wheel well, but the back window still works. All things i'll be looking at closely when i go see it this week. Thanks for all the pointers on where to look and what to look out for. i feel much better prepared to deal when the right rig presents itself.
 

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Thanks for all the great advice guys. So far i have my eyes on a 96 with the 351 at around 150xxx. It's got a decent 6'' lift and brand new BFG TKO All Terrains. Interior is pretty thrashed from what i've been told. Also, there is some rust over the rear wheel well, but the back window still works. All things i'll be looking at closely when i go see it this week. Thanks for all the pointers on where to look and what to look out for. i feel much better prepared to deal when the right rig presents itself.
If it hasn't had a tranny rebuild I'd stay away. E4OD rebuilds are ridiculously expensive. Try to find one with an AOD or if you don't care about mileage, a C6. And get the 351, not the 302. Rear window issues aren't hard to fix so if you find one with problems, just use it as a bargaining chip and fix it yourself.
 

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Thanks for the advice guys. Took a look at my first rig today. It was a black and tan 96 eddie bauer with a 351 (150k) and a 6 inch sky jacker with 35'' BFG TKO All Terrains. He's asking 3k. It sounded a bit too good to be true. The body was in real bad shape with serious cancer on both rear wheel wells. The interior was about as beat up as the body. Don't think the tranny had been rebuilt. Think i'm gonna keep looking. Sure drove nice though. It got me excited :)
 

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Sure drove nice though. It got me excited :)
When I rode up To Springfield to look at Matilda, the guy told me she had only been sitting for "2 years" .. we felt it was more like 4-5. She started up so good, we took her for a ride and I thought I was in heaven. It was bouncy and loud and the exhaust was horrible but I fell in love right then and there! I had been look at late 80's models but when I drove her I knew it was the best choice for me!

Be picky and selective! When you get the "feeling" you will know it is the right one for you! I was told she was too rough and it would take to much to fix her but I talked the guy down $600.00 and only paid $1600.00 and so far we've put about $1000.00 into her.. It is the best money I have EVER spent in my life. We have a long way to go but I'll shell out tons of money to keep her going for as long as humanly possible! Good luck on your search!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thought I'd let you guys know I bought a big, red 96 tonight. I'll post pics soon. Too busy geeking out tonight.
 
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