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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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11,929 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I have a question for you 78-79 guys.

I've read numerous times over the years that Broncos had the front shocks positioned 'oddly'. This is for single shock setups only. One shockbin front of the coil, and the other side is behind the coil. I'm also aware that the shocks mounted in front of the coil, mounted to the radius arm caps.

Now for my question. I have a 78 f150 ranger 4x4. 351m, np435, np205, single front shocks, LS 3.50 rear 9" axle. I was told many moons ago that it had 3/4 ton rear suspension. The front shocks, are BOTH mounted behind the coil springs and the radius arm caps are smooth, with no shock mounting fin. I've owned it for 20 years, and the whole thing is basically stock.

So what gives? Is it a pickup vs bronco thing? Odd trailer package?
 

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Ford Hoarder
78 & 92
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6,707 Posts
What does the front mount, with the trac bar mount look like? Rather what does the trac bar mount by the steering box look like?
Not saying its not stock, just curious.
 

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
Joined
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11,929 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
What does the front mount, with the trac bar mount look like? Rather what does the trac bar mount by the steering box look like?
Not saying its not stock, just curious.
I was mistaken, the radius arm caps do have the Fins, but they arent drilled.







Mfg in San Jose, for the KC DSO
 

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Ford Hoarder
78 & 92
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6,707 Posts
I am not sure if they made more then 1 trac bar mount. The stock Bronco piece being the one that always was also the shock mount for the drivers front. Is why I was curious. Curious if yours is a feel mount or one that is only the trac bar side.
 

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Premium Member
84 Bronco, 351w, c6, custom doubler, np208, 5.13’s, TTB44, 9”, locked f/r
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830 Posts
The 76 f100 I parted out a few years ago had both shocks behind the coils. Had those fins on the radius arm caps, not drilled or anything either. It was a pretty base model truck, 360, 435, Dana 21, open diffs, 3.50. Was originally a game and fish truck.
More pics and I can try to compare off of memory???
 

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Premium Member
84 Bronco, 351w, c6, custom doubler, np208, 5.13’s, TTB44, 9”, locked f/r
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830 Posts
My 76 trac bar mount was only a trac bar mount, no shock tower. I still have it in the shed somewhere
 

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
Joined
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11,929 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Those are the only useful pics I have. I'll grab some tonight.
 

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
Joined
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11,929 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Track bar bracket looks like a factory piece to me.





And the passenger side for good measure

 

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Premium Member
84 Bronco, 351w, c6, custom doubler, np208, 5.13’s, TTB44, 9”, locked f/r
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830 Posts
Same trac bar bracket my 76 had. Mine had shock mounts welded off the spring buckets though, not separate shock mounts like yours. My shock tabs on the radius arm were odd too. Functioned the same as the one I normally see, but the way the tabs were shaped was different
 

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Ford Hoarder
78 & 92
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6,707 Posts
Agree that all looks stock to me as well. Likely is bronco thing, or change over in 78. Maybe yours is early 78 production in which using up old parts.
 

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Joisey don't smell funny
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1,115 Posts
My 78, when I bought it, had the drivers front shock mounted in front of the axle with the track bar, the passenger side was behind the axle. The passenger doesn't even have the finned beam cap.I figured he lost the beam cap and/or didn't know any better. The traction beam had holes drilled for the lower shock tower on the drivers side also, as did the frame, but no tower. I got the tower from someone on here, and fabbed a lower mount, then moved the shock to behind the axle like the passenger side. I'd like to find another front traction beam cap for the passenger side so I could run 4 shocks. The 79 I had in Florida had all 4.

Edit: I'll get some pics and post up tonight.
 

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248 Posts
My 78, when I bought it, had the drivers front shock mounted in front of the axle with the track bar, the passenger side was behind the axle. The passenger doesn't even have the finned beam cap.
My 79 was the same way
 

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Premium Member
1979 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400m engine, C6 trans
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234 Posts
My 79 was the same way
same setup here - but I try to get the parts for 4 shocks.

is there a different shock length needed for in front or behind the axle?
I had to compress the distance between upper and lower shock mount to replace driver side shock, now there is a lot of "pull-force" on the shock. (Rancho9000XL)
 

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Joisey don't smell funny
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1,115 Posts
is there a different shock length needed for in front or behind the axle?
I had to compress the distance between upper and lower shock mount to replace driver side shock, now there is a lot of "pull-force" on the shock. (Rancho9000XL)
I never looked into that, but there must be because I had the same issue. I ended taking a spare shock tower for behind the axle & cutting it down & rewelding it to the correct height for the shock.

Drivers side vs pass side beam caps. I also just noticed the drivers side tower is rubbing the back of the shock, need to fix that. :rolleyes:

157788
157789
 

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Premium Member
1979 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400m engine, C6 trans
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234 Posts
I still have a 2nd new shock lying here, I will try to install it to driver, maybe i mixed up the 2 boxes - at Rockauto there are definitivly different part numbers for driver/passenger side.
At least for Rancho 9000XL adjustable ones.
 

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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11,929 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
On 80+ the dual shock option indeed has different shocks for in front of or behind the spring. Idk on 78-79s.

My truck is a very late 78, july to be exact.

 

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Ford Hoarder
78 & 92
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6,707 Posts
No clue then on what makes them different, rathe rwhy 78/79 f-150 can have single shock behind the spring on both sides..... Seems it is likely an option code, or lack there of.
Just like lot of Broncos came with a back seat, but it was in-fact an option in 78/79. My 78 has never had one.

Interesting none the less. Maybe just a matter of what line/plant they were made at.

The 78/79's do have different shocks for front and rear of the springs as well. Though I think they are closer to each other then the TTB trucks in overall length.
 

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
Joined
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11,929 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Hmm guess it just is what it is! The 77 f150 I scoured in the yard had quad shocks. Can't remember what the 79 f250 has in the JY.

Lol, early k5 blazers were like that. Base model didnt have a topper or even a passenger seat. Just one seat for the driver.
 
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