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Hopefully this is the right place to post this! :D

I've come across a 1988 Bronco for a fairly cheap price. It's a little rough and does need some work, all of which I'm capable of doing myself. I'm just curious if there's anything I should look for on this one that could be a bad sign, etc.

Specs are...

1988 Bronco XLT, 174k miles
5.0L V8
3-speed auto (C6?)
A/C that works

The things I know for a fact it needs are:

Alternator likely - Not showing a positive charge on the voltmeter, haven't had a chance to verify with a DVOM to see if it's a gauge or charging problem.

Stuck brake caliper - Pulls hard right under braking, noticed a new caliper and brake pads in the center console.

Has an exhaust leak.

The CEL will blink randomly and it does idle a little rough, but not horribly. We don't do smog checks up here so I'm not worried about it failing smog, but I would like it to run as smooth as it can. ;) It starts up on the first crank, too.

There are no major leaks, in fact I think the only source of leaks is some seepage from the valve cover gaskets. The underside of the truck is free of fluids.

As for price, I should be able to pick it up for around $1500. Sound fair?

What should I look out for? The only Ford truck I've owned was a 1996 F-250 4x4 so I'm fairly familiar with them, but that's about it. What rear-end is used in this Bronco? The front is a D44, or should be anyway.

This would end up being my daily driver and weekend toy (I'm an auto technician with access to anything I need, I just don't want to spend all my free time fixing something! :D)

Any insight, suggestions, or words of warning would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

--
Hogan
 

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How many miles on the clock, and why does the CEL come on while driving?
I'd check them codes before I even think about writing a check
 
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well, i figure you have the 8.8" rearend - as most do... which you might want to check the seals and bearings on that...

another thing that is bad about fords is the frontends (kingpins, balljoints, bushings, etc.), so you might want to get up under there and tug on those, check em out...

like you said the brakes were doing that, but if you have the stuff to fix those, i guess theyre ok...

i guess you can put it into gear and see if the tranny shifts nice and smoothly, and also test out the 4 wheel drive, and possibly pull off the tires and check to see if the hubs are properly working...

ugh, i cant think of anything else, hope all goes well, and you end up picking it up... let us know how it goes, and post pics :thumbup

good luck - kenny
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Fireguy50 said:
How many miles on the clock, and why does the CEL come on while driving?


It says "74xxx" so I assume 174k, hard to say since there are only 5 digits. It COULD be 74k well-used miles, I'll have to see what Carfax says, if anything.

As for the CEL, I have no idea yet. I took a look at the truck during my lunch break, going to see if I can take it to my shop for a day and see what I can find. The battery was quite dead when I got there, so if the alt isn't putting the juice out and the battery has just enough juice to keep the engine running I suppose it's possible some sensors are giving false our out-of-spec readings which is causing the CEL to blink. The blink is maybe once every few seconds, sometimes less often, and it stays on for well less than a second.

I'd check them codes before I even think about writing a check
Yeah, I plan on hooking the scan tool up to it and seeing what's going on. Generally speaking, parts for it are frickin cheap compared to my Saab and that would be a welcome change. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
KENNY said:
well, i figure you have the 8.8" rearend - as most do... which you might want to check the seals and bearings on that...

another thing that is bad about fords is the frontends (kingpins, balljoints, bushings, etc.), so you might want to get up under there and tug on those, check em out...


He did say it does need the typical front-end work, but it didn't seem all THAT bad when I drove it. Didn't go freeway speeds, either, though...

Thanks for the heads up on the rear-end.

like you said the brakes were doing that, but if you have the stuff to fix those, i guess theyre ok...
Yeah, the brakes aren't really an issue. Parts are so cheap I could replace the brake system, sans booster, for $200 or thereabouts, assuming the secret caliper doesn't address the problem, but I'm pretty certain it does.

i guess you can put it into gear and see if the tranny shifts nice and smoothly, and also test out the 4 wheel drive, and possibly pull off the tires and check to see if the hubs are properly working...
On the quick drive I took (I didn't want to go too far because of the mostly-dead battery and seemingly dead alternator) the transmission felt fine, though maybe a little TOO firm on the 1-2 shift. There wasn't any clunking like there's play in the driveline and it shifted from reverse to drive and back as it should, no pause due to hardened seals, etc. Since it is the 3-speed am I correct that it's a C6? I have faith in those, it's the AOD that I'm scared of. :D

ugh, i cant think of anything else, hope all goes well, and you end up picking it up... let us know how it goes, and post pics :thumbup

good luck - kenny
Thanks! Would be my first Bronco. I've had tons of 4x4s in the past...1947 Willys with EB drivetrain (2bbl 302 and C5 auto), 1982 Jeep CJ-7, 1964 Scout 80, 1971 Scout 800b, 1996 F-250 4x4, 1998 Jeep Cherokee...so I'm not new to wheelin' at all, but Broncos of this era are a real grey area for me. ;)

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Hogan
 
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as for not being able to go highway speeds - is it real shaky? cause if so, its the front end... mine was the same way, and the front end work solved that up... a good way to check this out is to when your driving on the road somwehere, kinda veer off of it a little (onto an uneven part), and see how bad it jerks or not.. umm, as for the tranny - cant help you there! i mean, if you can pick it up for 1500, and all the problems are there (besides the CEL - i'd be careful about that as ryan said...:shrug ) - I SAY GO FOR IT!

another thing, what he says whats wrong, and what IS wrong isnt always the same! see if maybe you can somehow get ahold of the previous owner and go over things with them as well... maybe see what has majorly been replaced, problems, etc. just my .02.....
 
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