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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 mostly stock
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody know what the tow rating is for the factory tow bumper on an 86 bronco? I'm really just asking out of curiosity, as i know i won't be hauling anything more than a four wheeler trailer or a small aluminum boat. I just don't know if its worth spending 200 bucks on a frame mounted hitch when i can get one of those that bolts to the bumper for 50.

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'92 Custom w/ '95 MAF 5.0 M/T, 33's, 4.10 LSD
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The hitches for these trucks are common to a wide range of Ford/Dodge years, so there are a lot of them floating about. I see them pop up for $50 and under pretty regularly.
 

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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 mostly stock
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The hitches for these trucks are common to a wide range of Ford/Dodge years, so there are a lot of them floating about. I see them pop up for $50 and under pretty regularly.
I’m assuming that’s for a used one? The cheapest new class 3 I’ve found so far is 160 bucks.


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'92 Custom w/ '95 MAF 5.0 M/T, 33's, 4.10 LSD
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I’m assuming that’s for a used one?
Correct. You can of course buy a new one, but price seemed like a primary consideration, and used ones are about the same price as the sketchy alternative.
 

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The factory bumper (87-96) is rated for 3500 lbs; but really should be less since the brackets bend easy. You can find a used hitch for cheap. Uhaul hitches are relabeled Curt hitches. I bought my new curt hitch off autoanything years ago. Autoanything is a drop shipper so it will come in a thin box almost ripped through. Etrailer is a good company that will repackage their items and they will price match.
 

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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 mostly stock
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Go with a hitch, much safer and will help strengthen the frame at the rear.
Didn’t really consider this, that is a good point, if I was ever in an unfortunate scenario where I got hit hard in the rear quarter area that could possibly help keep my frame from getting damaged back there.

I’ll keep my eyes open, I have been on Etrailer and the cheapest hitch they had was 240 bucks for my application. If one is going to cost me 50 bucks or so second hand and I have to go to a junkyard to get it, I’d just as much assume buy a new one as I would have over an extra 100 in going to get the darn thing and removing it.

Growing up on our farm my dad had an 84 Chevy square body, my uncles had similar trucks, all with those weak but reliable 6.2 liter diesels, and they had those old shock absorbing hitches that mounted to the bumper, I can’t find a pic rod them but they had isolators built in them somehow. I remember racket they would make going down the road when nothing was hooked up. Anyway they pulled everything with those bumper mounted hitches, heaviest was the old cotton trailers, 15 bales of cotton was about 7500 lb but the trailers themselves weighed about 5000 lbs (homemade from old 18 wheeler car haulers, added a cage and a front axle and tongue). No brakes either, had to downshift and hope the one red light stayed green for you.


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Anybody know what the tow rating is for the factory tow bumper on an 86 bronco? I'm really just asking out of curiosity, as i know i won't be hauling anything more than a four wheeler trailer or a small aluminum boat. I just don't know if its worth spending 200 bucks on a frame mounted hitch when i can get one of those that bolts to the bumper for 50.

View attachment 205004
I have one of these on my '93. I have 4'x6' utility trailer, and a fuel trailer. After having really loaded the utility trailer a couple times, it appears to me that the bumper looks tilted down just a bit.
Not sure yet if i'm going to redo the brackets, or just get a frame mounted hitch. Was working a deal with a member here, but haven't heard from him in months.
 
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1989 Ford Bronco XLT, 4x4, 351W, C6
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To the OP, my opinion is to absolutely get a proper fitting, frame-mounted hitch receiver. While the safety aspects alone merit doing this, I'll offer that my dad had a 1990 XLT that he pulled a pop-up camper trailer with the step bumper mount, one time, for an overnight with his brothers. He did this about two weeks after taking delivery. His beautiful truck came back with a hideously bent bumper. I was very saddened by this, please don't do this to your truck! =)
 

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85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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I made one of those "alternative" receivers for my 02 explorer sport. Pulled a 1500lb boat and trailer all over eastern KS with it like that. But i mounted it on top of the ball mount pad on the bumper. With 7/8" grade 8 bolts. Cant even tell it used to tow something.

The biggest issue with bumper towing is tongue weight. Max on the bronco step bumper is 500 lbs.
 

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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 mostly stock
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I made one of those "alternative" receivers for my 02 explorer sport. Pulled a 1500lb boat and trailer all over eastern KS with it like that. But i mounted it on top of the ball mount pad on the bumper. With 7/8" grade 8 bolts. Cant even tell it used to tow something.

The biggest issue with bumper towing is tongue weight. Max on the bronco step bumper is 500 lbs.
That's the number i needed. I currently can't think of anything id ever hook up to this that i couldnt lift up off the ground myself to hitch it up.

There is what i believe to be a 94 f150 sitting in the backyard of a home near here, it hasnt moved in several years. I i don't know whats under the hood but I might ease by there a little slower today to see if i can see if it has a hitch on it. I might can score a lot of parts i will need in the future. (Hitch, serpentine setup, roller motor, 4r70w transmission) may be time to go knock on a door.

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85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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That's the number i needed. I currently can't think of anything id ever hook up to this that i couldnt lift up off the ground myself to hitch it up.

There is what i believe to be a 94 f150 sitting in the backyard of a home near here, it hasnt moved in several years. I i don't know whats under the hood but I might ease by there a little slower today to see if i can see if it has a hitch on it. I might can score a lot of parts i will need in the future. (Hitch, serpentine setup, roller motor, 4r70w transmission) may be time to go knock on a door.

View attachment 205048


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Hello parts truck lol!

Yeah i can pick that boat trailer up easy and move it to hitch it up.

The most i ever pulled by a bumper was with my 99 e250, with that same wannabe receiver. That was a 1000 lb trailer with a 2 seat JD 825 Gator on it, so maybe close to 2500 lbs total.
 

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1988 Bronco, 351w, aod
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I got lucky. I just got a Ford hitch receiver at the swap meet in Moultrie for $35. Used ones are out there, just measure your frame rails and take a measuring tape with you. The guy I got mine from did not know what is fit. Joel
 

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1996 EB, 351w, stock-ish.
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the thing for me about buying a used hitch is that you gotta get your hardware yourself and stuff.

if i'm really hunting a deal like this, i'd get every part number from every manufacturer available. and then i'd put every one of them in a wishlist on amazon and watch for one to pop up. and i'd also have an ebay search saved.
from there, i'd start searching individually online.

you'll find something if you're patient.
 

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'92 Custom w/ '95 MAF 5.0 M/T, 33's, 4.10 LSD
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the thing for me about buying a used hitch is that you gotta get your hardware yourself and stuff.
I pulled one at the JY -- with bent ears from frame damage, but I was cutting it up for building into my front bumper / winch plate -- and the only other parts are the bolts and big rectangular threaded blocks that the frame rail keeps from spinning. So, if you find a used hitch without those blocks, you could just use nuts and bolts, with room above to get a wrench on them. You'll probably need to drop the tank, regardless.
 

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1996 EB, 351w, stock-ish.
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I pulled one at the JY -- with bent ears from frame damage, but I was cutting it up for building into my front bumper / winch plate -- and the only other parts are the bolts and big rectangular threaded blocks that the frame rail keeps from spinning. So, if you find a used hitch without those blocks, you could just use nuts and bolts, with room above to get a wrench on them. You'll probably need to drop the tank, regardless.

haha yea, but i have to be properly motivated for all that. i like the idea of catching one "used" on amazon or some NOS on ebay.
 

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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 mostly stock
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
haha yea, but i have to be properly motivated for all that. i like the idea of catching one "used" on amazon or some NOS on ebay.
I get a lot of stuff off of ebay, if you see something you want but don't necessarily "need" you can tap the heart and put it on your watchlist and often times within a day or two you will get a discounted offer on that item. I recently got some new hogtunes speakers for my bike, they were new old stock asking 75 bucks for them (new models were 125) i clicked the heart and within a day got a 20% off offer from the seller...snagged them on up.

Or i make offers on used stuff, generally start really low...worst they can say is no.
 

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The biggest problem, aside from the lad rating of those bumper style recievers is that they are a mile high in the air and require a huge drop reciever to level the pull on the trailer
 
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