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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
i want to share with you guys (and gals) something i've been working on for the past 4 months. it started out as a buy / repair / flip / profit job. but as it drug on and circumstances changed, my wife and i decided we want to give this to our 20 year old daughter as a surprise gift. i'm on the home stretch and apparently lost a ton of pictures, which i'm sick over. but, like i said, over 4 months of work so far. this is going to take some time to get it all in the thread but i figured i'll start now and update as i go along.

i set out to buy a bronco that needed some work that i could fix up and sell. after looking for a while, i found this 1996 Bronco XL with the 302, E4OD, and manual everything else. the guy said it ran until his daughter was driving it and it made a bang/pop sound, puffed a cloud of smoke, and started knocking. they parked it, towed it home, and put a for sale sign on it. it was definitely rusted and i was hoping to avoid it. but, the interior was very clean, the body was straight, and outside of the fenders the rest of the rust was on suspension parts i could swap out easily.

here are pics from the FS ad...







i put a battery in it, started it, and drove it on the trailer.

and the trip home...

 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
now, let me tell you. this was a budget build from day 1 and i have (until recently deciding to give this to my daughter instead of selling) adhered to a strict policy of only replacing what was needed. buying parts as inexpensively as possible but not putting something on there so cheap i wouldn't want it on my vehicle.


i tested pressure with a mechanical gauge and saw it had zero pressure. stopped there and began with pulling the engine. my original intent was to buy a junk yard engine, reseal it, and stick it in. however, as i tore it down i decided to just take a shot with a reseal and new oil pump.

in the end, i replaced:
melling oil pump
enginetech oil pump shaft
melling oil pump pickup
mahle oil pan gasket
BWD oil pressure switch
dorman pcv grommet
SMP pcv
felpro rear main sleeve
felpro rear main seal
mahle timing cover gaskets
GMB water pump
dorman water pump bolt kit
stant thermostat
mahle intake manifold gaskets
autolite spark plugs
magneti marelli 8mm spark plug wires
accel brass contact distributor cap
SMP brass contact distributor rotor
rebuilt the fuel injectors
removed open "performance" air filter with factory air intake and filter
replaced leaking 1 core radiator with JY 2 core radiator
cleaned up and painted surface rusted brake booster and AC condenser
replaced throttle body coolant line with a JY replacement
and found replacements for the missing bottle jack and lug wrench at the JY
DEA motor mounts (2x)
castrol high mileage 10w-40
motorcraft oil filter
bosch air filter

got the engine out







old oil pump


shiny new oil pump installed


and the oil pump built pressure like a champ with a drill


this is a video but i don't know if it will embed or not
https://www.supermotors.net/getfile/1154135/fullsize/20190601_113812.mp4

spark plugs looked old but in fine shape


...so at this point, i said - yea, i'm going to risk it and just reseal the engine. so i started the tear down...

in an attempt to prevent broken IM bolts, i lightly welded on the heads of the bolts before pulling them. none broke.




there was a little crud but nothing too bad.




timing gears look good


cleaned up the timing cover



installed a new water pump b/c the other one was toasted.


no signs of leaking valve covers, so i left them alone.



then i rebuilt the injectors


and cleaned up the engine compartment








i pulled the rear main seal, put in a repair sleeve, and a new rear main seal. i went with this even though on mine i just used the PTFE seal. but after i did mine i read too many posts from @BikerPepe`and @cobrajoe about the greatness of the sleeve. so i gave it a shot.
old seal

sleeved

and sealed


and painted up with rustoleum




and refurbished engine is reinstalled




cleaned up MAF sensor



and i picked up the "engine cover" at the JY b/c it was missing.


once i had it back together, i started it up and crossed my fingers. that tick was there and faded within a minute or two until it was completely gone. then i drove it around a couple blocks in celebration.

at this point, i knew if i was going to maximize profit, now was the time to sell it. i got it so cheap, spent so little money getting it running...it was the time. however, i didn't want to just get it running and sell it. oh no, that's way too easy. i wanted the full experience. so i decided to press on with my plan.

next stop - interior
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
the interior was really clean. the dash was not cracked. the headliner was perfect. the front bench seat had a small rip in the cover but that's all. the rear seat was removed. my PLAN was to just pull the interior, line it with either bedliner or more rustoleum enamel. then put it back together and move on. oh boy...there's some expression about your "best laid plans" and this was the beginning of the fight with this bronco that is still continuing 4 months later...

these pics are a little out of order, but whatever. and i apologize for the sideways pictures. i know how to fix them, but i have way too many to worry about that.

replaced bench seats with bucket seats and matching center console
wire wheel and paint interior floor
patch a small hole in the cargo area
replaced vinyl floor with ACC custom carpet in the front
replaced vinyl floor with heavy duty outdoor carpet in the back
painted the rear interior panels
pull some kind of wacky aftermarket system wired under the dash
repair the factory radio harness
install proper metra radio installation kit
kenwood front door speakers
JBG (solo motorsports?) door handle repair bracket
replace broken rear view mirror
replace missing door panel reflector
replace broken AC vents

the interior is nice and clean as you can see.



and the useless little levers that do nothing but flap up and down like a flaccid peen.



so i pulled it all out






and i then hit the entire flooring with my angle grinder with a wire wheel attachment. there were a few spots with small rust pits here and there from the vinyl flooring just refusing to let go of moisture. and then a couple pinholes where it actually BARELY rusted through. i welded those up no problem.

then...in the passenger rear panel, i got a little carried away...


woops



i did NOT want to see that happen. but, it was too late now. so i cut it out and welded in a patch.






and proceeded with my plan to paint the inside with rustoleum.







at this point, i made my first deviation from "the plan". i decided to install new carpet instead of reinstalling the moisture trapping vinyl. i did ACC vinyl in the front and heavy duty outdoor carpet in the back. i've had the outdoor carpet in my cargo area for a while now and it's great, so i knew it would work. plus it was SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than new bronco carpeting.

new carpet:



and while i was at the JY pulling parts for other things, i came across a decent (just less than "nice") set of bucket seats and console. deviation #2 but only kind of. i did this in lieu of trying to figure out how to fix that bench seat. i had looked and wasn't sure what was wrong or if i could even fix it. so i pulled the trigger with a little upgrade.
so, while they were a "bolt in" fit i did have to tap a couple spaces for it to actually bolt in. thankfully the parts were all there, i just had to move a couple things around.



and then had to replace the seat belts from the bench seat belts to the bucket seat belts.



and the driver door didn't open from the inside. that's nice.



installed a brace from JBG



the radio wire harness was a huge cluster F from the previous owners.
gross


so i repaired it use the factory harness and i bought an installation kit to make it like it should be.
nice


whenlooking at the bronco to buy it, i found this weird wire running from an injector into the cab. i followed it and found this contraption that looks like either an aftermarket alarm with a kill switch or a remote start or something. i don't know. don't care. it's outta here!



replaced a busted rear view mirror with a JY replacement



one of the door panels was missing a reflector. again, used a JY replacement



and swapped out a couple busted AC vents with functional JY replacments


which reminds me...when i got it running i found out the AC works. NICE!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nice ride! I'm sure once your daughter drives it for a while, she will become a Bronco Convert!:thumbup
thanks...and she drove my bronco from the time she started driving to the time she moved out of state for college. she's already converted! :ford
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
now, moving on to the tailgate, i apparently lost a ton of pictures. i'll take some pics at a later date and post them.

this was expensive. unexpected costs: new window motor and new tailgate window seals

repair the torn sheet metal in the tailgate from the external tire carrier
replace the window motor because it died on me with a dorman motor
install new weather stripping on the tailgate and the end seals from fairchild industries
remove the broken rusted torsion bar with a JY replacement
use a piece of metal to hold torsion bar in place because the factory piece was rusted out
spray rubberized under coating on the inside of the tailgate
wire wheel / paint the bottom of the exterior of the tailgate
grease the tracks
jump the tailgate sensor to make the window motor work if the tailgate is open or closed


the sheet metal wasn't too bad. i was able to get it back in position. then i welded it to reinforce it on the backside of the lip.


and i very lightly welded the broken piece back together as well as riveting a piece on the back of it for additional support.


and i greased up the moving parts
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
then the real fun began...i set out to replace the rusted leaf spring mount brackets. boy did that turn into a job.

replaced the front and rear leaf spring bushings. the front leaf spring bushings were ($30 each!) were somehow specific to 96 and very hard to find.
moog rear leaf spring bushings
automann front leaf spring bushings
dorman front leaf spring mounts
JY rear leaf spring mounts
JY rear leaf spring shackles
gabriel guardian shocks
all new nuts and bolts
cut off the rusted ford receiver hitch
did a little rust cleanup on the body from the under side. those pics seem to be missing.

shout out to @Ford 4x4 for coming over one day and lending a hand

i started with the passenger side. the front leaf spring bolt was seized in the bushing. so i had to carve up the brackets and shackle to get it removed. but you can see the frame looks good.






painted the frame for good measure. and you can see the receiver hitch was still there. i hadn't decided if i was going to keep it or remove it. it was a bit rusty, so i thought about removing it. but i couldn't install the new brackets b/c the bolts were hitting the hitch bolts. so out it came.

then i cleaned up my JY parts with the wire wheel and rustoleum treatment.




grade 8 mounting hardware


pressing in new bushings


some anti-seize on the new bolts to keep them from rusting up again



some more cleanup and mounted








on the driver side, i cut the brackets off the bronco first.


and you see how this is going. clean, paint, reinstall, done.






then i moved on to the shocks. i bought 4 shocks from rock auto. they all came red except for one. i don't know why. i think they must have changed the colors because the part numbers matched.

old and busted





and new hardware. class 10.9 for the metric

 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
so, now i am feeling good like i'm making some headway...even though the rear end took me (i think) 3 weekends to complete. then i moved to the front end. what a chore this has been. but, while i bemoan the work it really hasn't been awful. just that every step of the way something else needs to be replaced. example: i planned to replace the rear brackets but ended up having to replace the bushings. it all adds up, which is why i've been glad to have stuck so diligently to my plan of only fixing what needed fixing.


i don't think i'm going to be able to catalog this one side at a time, but here's the quick and dirty. everything except the brakes are getting replaced. and that was NOT the plan going in. but, like so many of these things, this bronco is a pain in the ass and required more than i had hoped.

JY shock mounts
mevotech TTB bushings
ultra-power radius arms
one dorman and one moog radius arm mount brackets
ultra-power radius arm bushings
dana brand D44 axle seals
wire wheel, primer, and paint the frame and the TTB channel where they mount up
napa proformer inner and outer wheel bearings
JY replacement spindles
spicer spindle bearings and seals
masterpro from oreilly (aka national) 2 piece wheel seals
ac delco advantage ball joints
and a little rust cleanup on the core support

this job is not yet complete. but here's what i've done so far.

old and rusted



hub lock damaged


a little rust


hub locks look good, though.




and someone recently replaced the brakes


but, the inner wheel bearing stuck to the spindle. used a CV axle puller to get it separated.


and the TTB was out


holy worn radius arm and mounts, batman!



and the other side





and driver TTB is out



this side was also ruined but not quite as bad as teh pass side


and the caliper dust boots were trashed


shock mounts



replacing the TTB bushings




the ball joints on the driver and passenger sides didn't match. didn't matter because one ball joint on each side was bad. so i replaced them all


and then primer and paint the rusted spots




stop me if this sounds familiar. clean JY parts, paint, install...





new parts are expensive but some had to be bought


caliper repair kit installed. new boot and o-ring


now, i don't have any pictures, but i do have to tell you...i could not get the radius arms separated from the TTB to save my life. had to take it to shop with heavier equipment than what i have. so $55 and 2 days later they were apart. however, i didn't plan to paint the TTB arms. but since they ran them through the washer after separating them, i had no choice. so, again, wire wheel, primer, paint...
but my sticker made it through the cleaner






the cross member painted



installing



i bought red spray paint to paint the non-matching shock. my brain couldn't handle 1 black shock and 3 red ones. so on a whim i painted the spring red to give it a little pop. i'm actually rethinking it now and will probably re-paint it at least. but still, it looks good.


note to self - don't try to install the pumpkin after the TTB arm is installed. do that first, even though it makes it 100% heavier

doing the seals




now this is where i am with the front end...
turns out the hubs are new and the rotors are also new. so i cleaned them up and am painting them


and the spindles on both sides were bad. they are warped just enough to keep the bearings stuck on them. whoever installed them had to have hammered the hubs onto them.


but i found some online at a JY in idaho. they shipped them down and i'm very pleased


right now i'm waiting on JY replacement ABS shields to come in. should be here tomorrow. then i can finish putting it all back together.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
while going through the process of the front end rebuild was when we decided to give it to my daughter. and when we talked about it my wife asked if i needed to go back and redo anything knowing it was going to her instead of being sold. and thankfully i was able to say,"no." but i have taken extra care going forward to go above and beyond what i would have done anyway. the only thing i might have done differently is put down sound deadener in the interior and gone with KYB gas a just monotube shocks instead of the clearance shelf gabriel twin tubes. but that's about it.

while waiting for the plethora of unexpectedly needed parts to come in i decided to go ahead and tear down the rear end. that is something i had wavered on doing if i was going to sell because everything i've touched since the engine has needed extra.

i planned to do bearings and seals. and of course it needs more.

parts replaced:
new dana SVL axles
new dorman wheel studs
new timken (koyo) wheel bearings
new motorcraft axle seals
new raybestos brake cylinders

note: the timken bearings were reboxed koyo bearings made in the USA. that's also what was in the SKF box i bought for my red bronco. the difference was i got the timken bearings for $10/ea off amazon while the SKF is $30 at napa.

so i went ahead and pulled the drums. the drums and shoes are good to go. thank you! wheel cylinders, not so much. but that's ok they're cheap.



axles...a little worn for my taste. the driver side had a tangible groove from where the axle seal had worn into it. so, new axles arrived today.



and they will pair nicely with the new wheel bearings. luckily for me i had a pair of motorcraft axle seals on hand so those are going in and i didn't even have to pay for it right now.


and that's about where the rear end sits, too. updates to come as i get more work done.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
oh, and as i've gone along i've done a few cosmetic touches, too.

old bumper was dented and they actually cut out a section to clear the tire


picked up this (relative) beauty on 1/2 price weekend at the JY


was missing a license plate light. will need that pass inspection



this was a very small labor of love. i did it as a way to be productive but take a break from wrenching.





the side mirror mount was bent. so a JY replacement did the trick nicely



and then there's this which i will now need to address...the top has a little bit of fiberglass exposed. i'm not sure what i'll do here, though. i'm open to suggestions, but remember - less expensive is best!


 

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Wow! Subscribed...
 

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That looks great, Joe! Your daughter will have basically a new truck by the time you're done - I will have to keep this in mind when my boys get to driving age. Three boys within 19 months of each other (twins and a single) are expensive and will remain that way for a long time!

I'm looking forward to seeing how this project turns out. Maybe a couple coats of spray bedliner on the top?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That looks great, Joe! Your daughter will have basically a new truck by the time you're done - I will have to keep this in mind when my boys get to driving age. Three boys within 19 months of each other (twins and a single) are expensive and will remain that way for a long time!

I'm looking forward to seeing how this project turns out. Maybe a couple coats of spray bedliner on the top?
yea...well...that's part of why we decided to do it. unfortunately or not - i'll have wrenched on most every bolt on this thing outside of body panels by the time i'm done. but, yes, hopefully it'll be a solid bronco for her. which is actually how i came up with the name for it. it's not flashy. it's not ragged out. it's just solid. it should be a good solid vehicle. and it's also solid silver as opposed to two-tone. the solid silver bronco.

You're really cruising along... For the fiberglass top... How about sea hawk epoxy
or rustoleum Marine coating for boats? Fiberglass is fiberglass, right?

http://https://youtu.be/1VTd3R33f3c

maybe? i'll have to look at that when i've had more rest. :)
 

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Oh yea... I''m in for the finish. :popc1: Great work. Lots of effort. Glad you're giving it to the kiddo.
Always nice to know she's in good "hands" and if you need to deal with anything down the road, you already know the rig well.
Good Pappa! :thumbup
 
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