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Well I've been running Jeeps and Sami's for awhile now and I've been really wanting to get into the full size scene. Just wondering what you guys can tell me about Bronco's, best year, stuff to look out of stuff like that. I've been building rigs and wheeling for awhile so Im not new to the scene just trying to get a good idea of what to look out for a good base.
 

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Look at getting a 95/96 5.8 with Mass Air, wheel it for a while then do a lift and solid axle swap
 

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si vis pacem, para bellum
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id either go with 93+ or go way back to like 86 or later.... when ever they started the shitty era thats ugly as sin
 

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I had a 84 or 85 model a while back. Just after Christmas I'm picking up two 78's. I'm think there probably easier and cheaper to work on. They are nowhere near as comfortable or loaded up with creature comforts, but I like simple.
 

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78-79 are simple, they are beasts. very tuff and easy to build. the 95-96 with mass air great off road cost alittle bit more to build, they all have there pro's and con's. it just like anything else depends on how extreme you want it.
 

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'95 FTW! Lift it, new sound system, and you're set! Cheers man, you'll love having one!
 

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Another vote for the 78-79 (I have one of course). They are stripped down, simple, nothing computerized to fail you.
 

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Another vote for the 78-79 (I have one of course). They are stripped down, simple, nothing computerized to fail you.
I second that... '78,79 or 95,96. I think those are the most coveted years. Either the old style or the most developed and recent, that's what I'd look at.
 

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I came to a Bronco from a CJ7.

It's great having room in the back to carry more than a sleeping bag and a pillow. Not to mention effortlessly towing my boat.

I would say the biggest plus though is that I feel my two sons are much safer in the back of the BKO than they ever were in the Jeep.

As far as which one to get, for myself the only absolute MUST HAVES were EFI and a MANUAL shift transfer case.

Manual transfer cases are kinda rare after about '92.
 

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Figure out what engine/tranny combo you want and go from there.
 

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ate lug
88 + 96 broncos, 96 F250
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Thats what id do. EFI or carb, Auto w/ or w/o OD (or manual), and go from there. The drivetrain didnt change much through the years. I dont see a 78-9 as an absolute-must since its so easy to do a SAS on the 80+ trucks.
 

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I hear the electronic push button 4x4 and locking hubs can be unreliable and are commonly swapped to manual alternatives.
Rust is the biggest thing to watch out for - INSIDE the tail gate, along the bottom of the tailgate, wheel well arches, rain gutter above the front windows.
Right up front get a 351. I have a 302 and love it, but you're going to want more.
Three of the four broncos I test drove when buying had really sloppy steering, like 2"-4" of play. They're not supposed to do that, so it's something to fix.
If the factory plastic vac lines are still on it, expect to replace them eventually.
 

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get a fifth generation (92-96) with a 302, 351 has worse gas mileage and they tend to have transmission problems. If you plan on do a couple of modifications get 33" tires and a 4" lift. I don't know if someone said it but to answer your question 1979 was the last year to have a solid axle. You don't need a axle swap tho. Broncos are not like jeeps they have a dana 44 not a 35. If you are planing on doing some serious offroading than maybe upgrade to a dana 60.
 

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I just left the Jeep scene myself , I now have a 93 5.8 and a 95 5.0 and am not looking back !!!
 

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yo,
We have a 96, bought it new in May 96 and basically, we "over-maintain" it...meaning 3k mile oil/filter changes & lube, all filters changed, etc.. using Ford's severe duty schedule.

One of the most reliable daily drivers and beach run/light off road vehicles we've have ever had (incl the ex 78).
Still, we had minor problems that we addressed quickly.
Besides the usual visual, driveability and leak checks, look for:
- oil pan rust - our's formed spots @ 62k miles - sand it down and prime/paint it w/Rust Bullet® Automotive) & high temp. paint - too time-consuming replacement for such a basic thing as not having better gauge and undercoat/paint by Ford
- radiator plastic side seam leaks, esp. during engine cool-down period/overnight - our's leaked @ 50k miles & again just recently - look for leaks after engine has cooled down, esp overnight
- auto tranny - E4OD had a lot of improvements made by 96 so look for good shifts and see the maintenance records; fluids/filter should have been changed every 30k miles and less if used for towing
- rust in inner rear fender lips, bottom of B pillars and bottom of tailgate (fender lips are rusting due to Ford's flawed spot weld process on the inner (tub) and 1/4 panel that lets moisture & debris in the seam) - A Bronco may need extensive & $$$ patch or full panel replacements...
check tg drains for clogs/rust..check weather seals, esp the outer ws on glass
- radius arm bushing deterioration (I coated em w/pure silicone, from day 1) but replaced at 80k miles w/Daystar polyurethane bushings
- ball joints.. costly if not DIY
- Programmable Speedometer Odometer Module (PSOM) is speedo in 92-96, make sure it works; look for a waver in the needle at highway speeds; most get yard units for DIY
- look for some maint records or contact a dealer to see what maint was done to it a Ford dealership in the past (need VIN)
or on-line dealer service record summaries (Ford is adding entries now), etc. at Ford myford.fordvehicles.com (need VIN) & must register if you haven't already for your other Fords.

Car Fax is ok, but they did NOT list over $5k in single accident damages on 3 of our past vehicles; & our ex-92 Van had less mileage listed than when we sold it according to a CarFax report 2 years later... they did nothing after we contacted them.
- cracked exhaust manifold/Y, etc.
- roof/gutter area cracks (mostly appl. to earlier years)
- emissions air check valve & cat. converter (AIR) tubes tend to rust early; as does the AIR tube; buy locally or from pciinc.com
- radiator core supports, lower, it rusts mainly on passenger side, PIA to replace
- body mounts and fram rust
For a 96 get it checked for codes free at Parts Stores if you don't diy; For pre 96 do a SELF TEST - by Steve83 (Steve, That dirty old truck) at
http://fullsizebronco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=44736
- transfer case operation - electric push button motor/connector is a prob. area; usually usually a broken travel stop or the motor connector is fouled, etc.

Also the Check Engine Light (CEL) comes on when the electronic engine control system is not working properly. The check engine warning indicator comes on briefly when the ignition switch lock cylinder is turned to ON, and should turn off when the engine starts. If the check engine warning indicator does not come on when the ignition switch lock cylinder is turned to ON or if it comes on while the vehicle is moving, the system is malfunctioning
If the CEL does not light up at all when starting it; then suspect that someone removed it.
Same for Amber ABS lamp in Instr Panel.. The 4-wheel anti-lock brake system is self monitoring. When the ignition switch is placed in the RUN position, the anti-lock brake electronic control module will perform a preliminary self check on the anti-lock electrical system indicated by a momentary illumination of the amber ABS warning light in the instrument cluster. During vehicle operation, including normal and anti-lock braking, the anti-lock brake electronic control module monitors all electrical anti-lock functions and some hydraulic operations.

In most malfunctions of the anti-lock brake system, the amber ABS warning light will be illuminated. However, most malfunctions are recorded as a coded number in the anti-lock brake electronic control module memory and assist in pinpointing the component needing service.

Suggest you buy the official FORD Electrical & Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual, Service manual CD from E bay or Steve83 for 92-96 (use the search here for him and use the e mail function to contact him); it is the BEST under $15.00 or so thAng you can get to service and repair your Bronco!
Other years are in print form and vary according to year & type of manual; see Helm On-line Bookstore - Ford's Service Manual source @ http://www.helminc.com
 

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well IMO look for the body style you want, i wouldn't get a 79 just because it has a solid axle, if you're really planning on wheeling it you'll be ditching those half tons real quick, if you're harcore and plan on chopping the body to gain clearance, then look for one with the drivetrain you want to start with because the body style didn't change that much, as with everything... if you dont like electronics... stay away from later models, of course.. most of the later ones will be in better condition. i went with an 86 so i could have the 302 efi, then i picked up the junkyard 4 speed real cheap, and it already had the manual shift t-case in it, it all basically comes down to what you find for the right price
 
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