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Discussion Starter #1
Hello FSB people.
I am a mechanical engineer who enjoys the outdoors. I hunt, fish, camp, and explore the mountains every weekend. We have a rzr that has been our go to off-road vehicle but we have outgrown it. So I have been looking for a full size rig for a camping/hunting/fishing vehicle that can handle anything I throw at it.

I was dead set on a K5 blazer as an all around trail and mountain rig, for the past 6 months with plans of an LS swap, 52/56 spring lift, lockers, 35” tires, full cage, recovery gear. I have been holding off due to covid and some uncertainty around my job. A few weeks ago browsing YouTube I came across a video on a pre runner bronco build that opened a rabbit hole and led me here.

My ideal vehicle:
1. Built to go just about anywhere as the terrain where I live changes so 30% street, 30% desert, 30% Rocky Mountain trails, 10% snow/mud
2. comfortable ride. See #3 and #4
3. Decent MPG and street manners, I drive all over the north west hunting and fishing.
4. Family camping rig so needs to be comfortable for wife and kiddos
5. Heat, a/c and creature comforts
6. Project to work on. I want to build this. Break and upgrade.
7. Not a DD.

Now, what do you recommend? A built blazer or a prerunner style bronco. Can a pre-runner be a good all around vehicle? I like the looks of a blazer, the engine and transmission options, and the idea of a straight axle rig, but I am not a fan of slow rock crawling. The idea of a smooth riding rig that could soak up bumpy trails and get me to my fishing spots lickety split, and I could launch on occasion would be awesome, almost like a big rzr. I don’t want this to end up as an opinionated thread, Really just want to hear from someone that has had a prerunner and a capable straight axle and what they like and dislike about each, and what you recommend for my scenario above as I continue to research. I know either vehicle will be fully capable, my stock rig has done 90% of what I want, but I want a vehicle that will do the other 10%.

Thanks and glad to be here.
 

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Yo Teton,
Welcome to our Bronco site!
I recommend you go with a Full Size Bronco (78-96) of course!
Yo help you decide, see Section BroncoSpeed (PreRunner, Long travel ttb tech, Desert racing news etc). @ BroncoSpeed

Look at the 95 Pre Run/Chase Build by JBfab @ 95 Pre Run/Chase Build

Al
 

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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! I think you might enjoy seeing @stan the man 's build. He also took a multipurpose approach. Here's his build thread: Stan's AEV Bronco Build
Good luck with your decision. (y)

Of course, here on a Bronco site we'll recommend a Bronco (named after a wild horse), just like the Chevy guys will recommend a Blazer (named after a prep school jacket). 😁



 

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Hello FSB people.
I am a mechanical engineer who enjoys the outdoors. I hunt, fish, camp, and explore the mountains every weekend. We have a rzr that has been our go to off-road vehicle but we have outgrown it. So I have been looking for a full size rig for a camping/hunting/fishing vehicle that can handle anything I throw at it.

I was dead set on a K5 blazer as an all around trail and mountain rig, for the past 6 months with plans of an LS swap, 52/56 spring lift, lockers, 35” tires, full cage, recovery gear. I have been holding off due to covid and some uncertainty around my job. A few weeks ago browsing YouTube I came across a video on a pre runner bronco build that opened a rabbit hole and led me here.

My ideal vehicle:
1. Built to go just about anywhere as the terrain where I live changes so 30% street, 30% desert, 30% Rocky Mountain trails, 10% snow/mud
2. comfortable ride. See #3 and #4
3. Decent MPG and street manners, I drive all over the north west hunting and fishing.
4. Family camping rig so needs to be comfortable for wife and kiddos
5. Heat, a/c and creature comforts
6. Project to work on. I want to build this. Break and upgrade.
7. Not a DD.

Now, what do you recommend? A built blazer or a prerunner style bronco. Can a pre-runner be a good all around vehicle? I like the looks of a blazer, the engine and transmission options, and the idea of a straight axle rig, but I am not a fan of slow rock crawling. The idea of a smooth riding rig that could soak up bumpy trails and get me to my fishing spots lickety split, and I could launch on occasion would be awesome, almost like a big rzr. I don’t want this to end up as an opinionated thread, Really just want to hear from someone that has had a prerunner and a capable straight axle and what they like and dislike about each, and what you recommend for my scenario above as I continue to research. I know either vehicle will be fully capable, my stock rig has done 90% of what I want, but I want a vehicle that will do the other 10%.

Thanks and glad to be here.
Another alternative is to do a solid axle swap using the desolate Motorsports kit. It is a very stout setup and uses 05+ super duty axles. Could run 37s with no issues aside from some trimming. In my opinion, independent front suspension is great for a prerunner but not for mountains and off roading. Depending on the year of blazer/2 door Tahoe, you would need to do a solid axle swap. I too love those trucks and wanted one until I found deals on both broncos I have owned. I wanted a pre 74 blazer that had the full removable room but those are unaffordable now days.

I moved back to the Midwest from Seattle recently. My goal was to build the bronco to hit some rough terrain in the plethora of national parks in the northwest and Canada. Solid axle swap is what was recommended after talking to desolate and solo motor sports. These two companies offer extended ttb systems. Desolate sells an almost bolt in kit. You only have to weld one thing in the front and then for the sterling 10.5 rear off a super duty you need new spring perches welded on.

I would go with a bronco over the blazer personally. To me, the bronco is cooler and looks better (with the exception of the bricknose bronco). If you get a bronco, make sure it has the 351w/5.8 motor. Way more potential to build with. Ideally you can find a 96 because it is kind of the unicorn bronco. It is the only year that had a OBD2 computer. Makes it easier to work on and diagnose issues.

The bronco is very comfortable in factory form. You can do a front seat swap and have a front 40/20/40 split bench seat and it adds tons of functionality. I did this. If you do, get seats off an extended cab only truck. Shares the same bolt location as the bronco.

The 351w motor is a strong motor that can honestly hang with a LS motor if built right. My biggest complaint is it uses a distributor vs the modern coil ignition on LS motors. I say this having owned ls1 and ls2 GTOs.

My only other complaint is the 4 speed auto. Comparable to the 4l60e that GM used. Just outdated because it's a 4 speed. I'm looking at doing a 6r80 from a newer truck using adapters and a stand alone computer for the transmission.

If you want fuel economy, no old school suv is going to fit the bill unless you do a diesel swap. Can be done in a bronco using a 4bt or 2.8r Cummins. I got 17mpg at best during from Seattle to Kansas City at 65. At 85 it went to 13.
 

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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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Either will suit your needs well. But broncos are better...!

Ideally you want a 92-96 bronco due to the greatest aftermarket support and extra creature comforts.

Keep the TTB front axle. Its great for all around use and rides much better than a solid axle. Theres a reason all the desert go fast guys use a TTB of some form or another.
 

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1984, 300 L6, smogless, manual 3speed with overdrive.
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Real trucks don’t wear bow ties!!! Get a bronco but yes a newer one then my 84 as it’s nowhere near creature comfort but suits my hunting kayak fishing and off road needs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the very positive, funny, and thorough replies, I do appreciate it.

Just relocated to Wyoming and have been exploring a lot. We went out driving today looking for a high mountain lake. Probably drove 60 miles on shitty washboard and potted dirt roads. Still undecided, but definitely leaning towards a prerunner build, I think these types of trails will be the majority of my driving and I like to get places quick.

I’m supposed to go fishing with my neighbor tomorrow. He has a raptor so I imagine it might seal the deal.

Either way, I won’t be committing until covid blows over or I get a little more job security (I do contract work), figure out living arrangements, sell the rzr, and find a rig. If it works out I would like to build it over the winter.

Until then more reading, research, planning, and hopefully a build thread.
 

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I will bite.
You do know that are producing a brand new Bronco? Most of US here are the die hard Ford guys who love tinkering with our 25+ year old rigs. If you want to tinker, and do most of the work yourself, sure leap in the Fullsize Bronco boat with US. If you want a Turn key, reliable, daily driver that can also get 25mpg, is turbo charged, and can squeeze 35" tires stock, then get a new Bronco. If you get 15MPG out of one of Rigs it is cause to cheer... and as I stated earlier they are at best 25 years old.

You busted your ass to get a Engineering degree. Bite the bullet on a 600$ a month car note and get a bad ass new Bronco. I can guarantee that it will get everywhere the Fullsize can get you...… and it will have that new car smell.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Duly noted. I might consider one after I clear out my BMW or Lexus from my garage. I like to leave every other spot in my 5 car garage open for wine tastings. You’re right, full size broncos are for the peasants.
 

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1984, 300 L6, smogless, manual 3speed with overdrive.
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Duly noted. I might consider one after I clear out my BMW or Lexus from my garage. I like to leave every other spot in my 5 car garage open for wine tastings. You’re right, full size broncos are for the peasants.
He jark arse, ;) I’m a redneck not a peasant, of course the only difference is I got guns!! :ROFLMAO:
 
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1984, 300 L6, smogless, manual 3speed with overdrive.
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I will bite.
You do know that are producing a brand new Bronco? Most of US here are the die hard Ford guys who love tinkering with our 25+ year old rigs. If you want to tinker, and do most of the work yourself, sure leap in the Fullsize Bronco boat with US. If you want a Turn key, reliable, daily driver that can also get 25mpg, is turbo charged, and can squeeze 35" tires stock, then get a new Bronco. If you get 15MPG out of one of Rigs it is cause to cheer... and as I stated earlier they are at best 25 years old.

You busted your ass to get a Engineering degree. Bite the bullet on a 600$ a month car note and get a bad ass new Bronco. I can guarantee that it will get everywhere the Fullsize can get you...… and it will have that new car smell.
@paul rondelli ....I’ll bet ya with a $600 car note you wouldn’t follow my FSB with the new 2021 Ford “Jeepo”or ”CJ-O” (You decide what to call it) You’d be afraid to scratch the paint or dent the panels, we drive it down quad trails bouncing off brush and small trees.
 

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No disrespect meant

Time is the only thing of value. Some of us have been put into a situation where our time is very valuable. A hour of a Doctors time is worth more than an hour of a McDonalds employees time. This is just basic economics.

Why do you think landscaping is a multi-billion dollar industry? Most Americans feel it is a waste of their time to mow their own lawn and gladly fork out 50$ for someone else to complete the job. I work with a dozen or so mechanical engineers and a few PHD's …… none of whom mow their own lawn. If you do not Mow your own lawn... then buy a new Bronco. If you Mow your own lawn buy a Fullsize.

Unless you are just in Love with Broncos... which your first post kind of leans toward the Bow tie.... then working on a fullsize will be a necessary task and not an act of enjoyment. Then you tend to look toward paying some else to complete the repairs (ie mow your lawn)… and you can either pay the mechanic $600 a month... or pay Ford the $600 directly for a trouble free off roading experience.
 

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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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your first post kind of leans toward the Bow tie.... then working on a fullsize will be a necessary task and not an act of enjoyment.
I didn't read it thay way. In these 2 quotes it sounds to me like that's where he started, but has seen a prerunner Bronco in action that has him asking genuine questions. With his interest in going fast over rough terrain the 80-96 FSB ttb front axle design is what the go fast desert guys seem to prefer.

I was dead set on a K5 blazer as an all around trail and mountain rig, for the past 6 months
I came across a video on a pre runner bronco build that opened a rabbit hole and led me here.
And here he sounds like a man who wants to build his own for the enjoyment of it.
6. Project to work on. I want to build this. Break and upgrade.
 

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1984, 300 L6, smogless, manual 3speed with overdrive.
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No disrespect meant

Time is the only thing of value. Some of us have been put into a situation where our time is very valuable. A hour of a Doctors time is worth more than an hour of a McDonalds employees time. This is just basic economics.

Why do you think landscaping is a multi-billion dollar industry? Most Americans feel it is a waste of their time to mow their own lawn and gladly fork out 50$ for someone else to complete the job. I work with a dozen or so mechanical engineers and a few PHD's …… none of whom mow their own lawn. If you do not Mow your own lawn... then buy a new Bronco. If you Mow your own lawn buy a Fullsize.

Unless you are just in Love with Broncos... which your first post kind of leans toward the Bow tie.... then working on a fullsize will be a necessary task and not an act of enjoyment. Then you tend to look toward paying some else to complete the repairs (ie mow your lawn)… and you can either pay the mechanic $600 a month... or pay Ford the $600 directly for a trouble free off roading experience.
Hey, I was just kidding around. I’m really hard to offend, I’m a redneck after all. :cool:
 
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