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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, first post here. Looking at buying an '89 or newer Bronco with the following uses planned:
*12k miles/year tow vehicle for a lightweight race car on an open trailer (est. 4500lbs. total)
*transport for snowboarding trips
*desert camping trips
*car stereo project

My budget is only about $4000. I figure I'm looking for a 5.8 with the tow package, preferably with automatic and AC, and a 92 or newer if I get really lucky. Since the primary use will be towing to faraway places, reliability is my largest concern.

Couldn't find any sort of "used Bronco buyer's guide" or FAQ in what common things to look for. I'm in So. Cal so rust isn't likely to be an issue, but I have concerns about the transmissions. Is there any way to tell in a test drive if it's okay? The motors and other systems seem to be pretty reliable, any other "gotchas" to pay special attention to? I'm getting ready to start calling on some ads.

Thanks in advance for the input, and if anybody knows of a suitable vehicle for sale in Southern California, feel free to let me know!
:thumbup
 

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At a budget of 4 grand you will find alot of Broncos. being in SoCal doesn't mean you are safe from rust, i just bought one that has small patches on the tailgate and above the doors. The newer Broncos will most likely have the a4od which isn't a very good tranny, with the 5.8 you will have plenty of towing power, but i'm not sure of the max that you could tow, but 4,500 lbs doesnt seem out of line. The first place i would look is in the recycler, or at recycler.com, there are lots of nice rigs out there.

Good luck, i probably made things clear as mud lol! btw, where in SoCal are ya?
 

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Gamble Til We Die
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The newer Broncos will most likely have the a4od which isn't a very good tranny
i completely disagree with that. If taken care of the E4OD is an excellent transmission. Mine has 147,000 on it with no problems at all.
 

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Easy killer! I'm just stating my opinion based on my experience, and things i've heard from others. Remember, he is buyig a used rig, so how can you tell if it was taken care of?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm in San Diego, just updated my profile. Going to go look at this guy this afternoon. It's got 146k and the tranny was replaced by the previous owner, so hopefully this one's got a lot of life left in it.

I'll take a look-see and report back.
 

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Gamble Til We Die
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i wasnt trying to bite you but just flat out telling him the tranny is junk is wrong.
 

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I agree with fordman, 162k on the original with no rebuild. Although there have been a few out there that bit the dust prematurely I think for the most part it is a very reliable tranny.

What V8 is in this rig you are looking at? I would stick with the plans for the 5.8, I owned an '89 with the 5.0 and when I decided to look for another Bronco test drove the 5.8 and man what a difference.

Good luck on your search!

(P.S. what type of stereo install you going to do? Click on my stereo install link and see if it has any plans you can use.) :rockon
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Okay, so I took 'er out for a test drive.

The good:
*Body and paint in great shape
*5.8 motor, pulled well
*interior immaculate
*everything appears stock, except for the 33" tires and what looked like some polyurethane radius arm bushings. It was getting dark and I'm not too familiar with these things so there could've been more.

The bad:
*Exhaust leak(s). There was one coming from around the resonator underneath the passenger floorboard area that was pretty loud. Also I could hear something under the hood when it was idling to warm up, maybe a cracked passenger side manifold?
*The AC worked great, but the heater didn't work at all - just blew cold air.
*The tach sat at 2100rpm at idle cold and warm, though it didn't sound like that was ever the actual idle speed. It would move up as the truck accelerated, but even under full throttle it would shift at an indicated 4000rpm.
*The stock stereo was only sending sound to the left front speaker
*Driver's side lock wouldn't go down with the power lock switch, had to turn the key with a little force to get it to lock.
*Steering was a bit vague.

The exhaust I'm not too worried about, but fear the tach, heater, and stereo problems might all be part of an underlying electrical issue. Has anybody experienced these sorts of things before and know their cause/remedy?

UnderH20, in researching Broncos I came across your install and have looked at it in detail. Very nice! :thumbup
I've got some gear left over from previous installs (Sony C90 head unit, DSP proc., and CD changer with fiber interconnects, 2 JL 8W6 subs and a 12" Eclipse) that I'd like to use, but the rest of it - amps and speakers, have all been sold or are being used in other vehicles. Actually I've been out of the car stereo loop for a while and could use some input there. My last system used Infinity Kappa Perfects and I resused my good old RF amps - a Punch 4080 and a Punch 200. I've heard that the Rockfords have since gone to crap - any ideas on a good replacement? How about a front stage that'll fit decently in the Bronco's doors?

Well, I think I'm about at my new-member's quota for questions. Thanks for the input everyone!
:rockon
 

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The bad:
*Exhaust leak(s). There was one coming from around the resonator underneath the passenger floorboard area that was pretty loud. Also I could hear something under the hood when it was idling to warm up, maybe a cracked passenger side manifold?
*The AC worked great, but the heater didn't work at all - just blew cold air.
*The tach sat at 2100rpm at idle cold and warm, though it didn't sound like that was ever the actual idle speed. It would move up as the truck accelerated, but even under full throttle it would shift at an indicated 4000rpm.
*The stock stereo was only sending sound to the left front speaker
*Driver's side lock wouldn't go down with the power lock switch, had to turn the key with a little force to get it to lock.
*Steering was a bit vague.
Okay,

-exhaust leak is fairly easy fix, also a known problem on ford manifolds is to crack. I had same problem on my '89 & '95 and replace with JBA headers.
-AC and heat are both vacuum controlled, there should be a vacuum junction under hood on the passenger side in front of heater core that would be worth looking at.
-idle should be around 700-800 rpm at idle, could be the timing plug is removed from harness causing this or a sensor (shadetree guess on this one!)
-lock mechanism is also easy fix, especially if you go in the door to replace those bad speakers!
Does this have a key less entry and if so, does it operate the drivers lock? If not it may be a bad lock cylinder.

Someone else chime in if I am incorrect on any of this!

Good luck! :thumbup
 

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negative creep
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*tranny = if you get an 89 or earlier with the 5.8 you will get a C-6 tranny which is bulletproof. something to think about if you're looking for a good tranny. the E4OD is an OK tranny. if taken care of they work fine, but can be tempermental. they are also all electronic so they cost a shitload to replace. the 90-91 E4ODs were much more problematic than the later ones.

*exhaust manifold = typical problem with most exhaust manifolds in any car. mine has been that way for over a year, no problems except annoying. new manifold or headers would fix it.

*shifting @ 4000rpm = my C-6 shifts at around 4400-4500rpm going into second, 4000rpm going into third. so thats about normal. from my experience the 5.0 in my parents van revs a lot higher and quicker than my 5.8. ford tachometers are supposed to not be that accurate from what i've heard. mine seems to work fine tho.

*stereo = if you know about car stereos, then i don't think you'll have any problems with this one. the factory stereos suck so just replace the head unit and speakers. i have polk es 6 1/2" in the door and they are killer. not comp level or anything, but very good sound.
 

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if a C-6 is bulletproof, than a NP-435 is bombproof.

AUTOS suck arse no matter how you look @ it.


ThereI stated my 2 cents.
 
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