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'91 5.0 E4OD, 6" long-arm lift, shackle-flip, 35" Procomp M/Ts, 4.56 gears & lockers
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Discussion Starter #1
My Bronco is a 1991, stock suspension on 33s. I went out this weekend on some desert trails that featured a lot of climbing into and out of steep sand washes and climbing over some rocks. I just got the truck in September and this was really my first time taking her out off-roading. I was running 11-12 psi in the tires. I'm pretty sure I got into some rocks that pushed the tires into the fenders and bent them (and a rock on the drivers' side :duh):







So what would be the most effective while cheapest/easiest way to prevent this in the future: cheap body lift, or cutting and rolling the fenders (like this: http://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=104994). Any other options I'm not considering?
 

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'91 5.0 E4OD, 6" long-arm lift, shackle-flip, 35" Procomp M/Ts, 4.56 gears & lockers
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406 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
:wowcb: With all the scratches I see, I'd just roll with it!! :histerica
Ha, those are just "pinstripes" from getting dusty then driving through brush. They're just dust and will wash off when it rains.
 

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'91 5.0 E4OD, 6" long-arm lift, shackle-flip, 35" Procomp M/Ts, 4.56 gears & lockers
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406 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
No. If obstacles pushed the suspension THAT FAR out of position, the truck would be undriveable. It wouldn't hold alignment.

Your fenders shifted due to frame flex and soft body mounts. If you want to prevent that, replace the mounts with poly. (At the moment, DayStar's kit is superior to Energy's because Energy has a fault in one of their bushing molds that they're supposed to be fixing.) Then align the body tub to the frame, the doors to the tub, the fenders to the doors, and then the hood to the fenders (in that order).

But no matter what; if you mash the fender into a rock, the first thing that will happen every time is that it will foul into the door. :shrug
Doors are fine, open and close with no problems. I also checked the radius arms and TTB, everything looked fine, aside from the fresh grooves on the pumpkin and bent TC skid plate. I can clearly see a rock mark on one fender, although it seems something else was involved, given the creases on either side.

I'm surprised to hear that the body would crease like that just be from frame flex from going over rocks. Not that I'm saying you're wrong, but it just seems pretty weak. I'm also confused because -- wouldn't the soft/worn body mounts actually prevent that from happening? In other words, wouldn't stiffer/new body mounts lock the body more to the frame, causing damage when the frame bends (as it will do)? Again, I'm a noob, but just trying to figure it out.
 

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'91 5.0 E4OD, 6" long-arm lift, shackle-flip, 35" Procomp M/Ts, 4.56 gears & lockers
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406 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Cheapest?

Time to break out the sawzall! :rebelflag
Totally considered it, but thought it might make real rough cuts. I'm thinking small angle grinder with cutoff wheel. But first getting an accurate diagnosis!
 

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Steve....What is the issue with Energy's bushings?
 

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Totally considered it, but thought it might make real rough cuts. I'm thinking small angle grinder with cutoff wheel. But first getting an accurate diagnosis!
Cut off wheel will work too... mask the area of the cut to minimize paint damage...if you care about that.

Pneumatic shears or nibbler would be ideal.

Any cut marks on the tires from fender contact?
 

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'91 5.0 E4OD, 6" long-arm lift, shackle-flip, 35" Procomp M/Ts, 4.56 gears & lockers
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Discussion Starter #9
Cut off wheel will work too... mask the area of the cut to minimize paint damage...if you care about that.

Pneumatic shears or nibbler would be ideal.

Any cut marks on the tires from fender contact?
None I could see on the tires, although we were going over a lot of sharp rocks that scratched them up pretty good. They rubbed smooth spots onto the radius arms and sway bar on sharp turns, but I didn't think they rubbed that much on the fender wells. Unfortunately, truck is in the desert for the next month so I can't go double-check for now.

PO bent a radius arm and replaced one side, along with its bushing (fully disclosed prior to my purchase -- he's a buddy of mine). Could having a bad RA bushing on one side create enough front-axle pivot to move a tire into the fender? Worth replacing both bushings just so I know they're both new?
 

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'91 5.0 E4OD, 6" long-arm lift, shackle-flip, 35" Procomp M/Ts, 4.56 gears & lockers
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406 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Then I think you have some hidden damage &/or loose/missing fasteners between the bottoms of the fenders & the cowl. There are 2 bolts on each side: one that you can see easily from below, and one forward of the lower door hinge.
I checked the fasteners under, and everything seemed fine. Could be you are right that it was not the rocks that did anything, just the frame flex. The rock I rubbed may have been just cosmetic.


It's a common mythconception that the truck's torsional strength (during cross-axle articulation) comes from the frame. It comes from the body tub. Click this & watch the video:
http://www.supermotors.net/registry/media/958868The softer the mounts, the more the frame can twist under the body tub. And as the front of the frame twists back & forth, it uses the core support to jam the fenders back toward the doors, &/or buckle them (like yours are).
That video is crazy, not at all what I expected. And that is outstanding information and explanation. :clap After watching that video and hearing your explanation, I think you're exactly right. Would also explain the popping noises I hear going over bumps, and the fact that the hood appears to have shifted on the passenger side. And, of course, the fact that the body mounts do have the appearance of cracked mushrooms.

Looks like body mounts will be on the short list this winter.

Thanks!
 

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They call me "MR FLAT TIRE"
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4,585 Posts
I see you have auto hubs and hearing popping???or maybe clicking??.... not saying they are bad, but those were the first things to get changed after my first trip with the Bronco when I bought mine. Warn Premium manuals and it went away.
BTW...love the desert pinstripes :)
 

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'91 5.0 E4OD, 6" long-arm lift, shackle-flip, 35" Procomp M/Ts, 4.56 gears & lockers
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Discussion Starter #12
I see you have auto hubs and hearing popping???or maybe clicking??.... not saying they are bad, but those were the first things to get changed after my first trip with the Bronco when I bought mine. Warn Premium manuals and it went away.
BTW...love the desert pinstripes :)
I bought a set of Mile Marker premiums that are sitting in the back of the truck, but the auto hubs still work great so I wasn't planning on changing them until they break. My suspicion on the clicking and popping was sway bar end links, so removing the sway bar altogether before off-roading is in the mix. If that doesn't help, I may swap the hubs.
 

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'91 5.0 E4OD, 6" long-arm lift, shackle-flip, 35" Procomp M/Ts, 4.56 gears & lockers
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406 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Sorry to re-hash my (somewhat) old thread. What are the thoughts on running these without fenders (or, without fenders or hood?). I tried searching and could not find that this had been done. I know the motor gets dirty if you're in mud, but I'm always just in dusty desert conditions. Anyone tried it?
 

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Charlie don't surf..
'92 Ford Bronco XLT
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15,206 Posts
yeah you need to keep your fenders..if it bothers you that much just trim them..


this is what mine looked like after I crumpled it..(the fender was trimmed after the fact)





this was after getting a new fender and trimming it..

 

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if you want to eliminate the sway bar end links as the source of the noise without going through the trouble of removing the sway bar first, you could just disconnect them before your next outing.
 

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'91 5.0 E4OD, 6" long-arm lift, shackle-flip, 35" Procomp M/Ts, 4.56 gears & lockers
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406 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
yeah you need to keep your fenders..if it bothers you that much just trim them..


this is what mine looked like after I crumpled it..(the fender was trimmed after the fact)





this was after getting a new fender and trimming it..

Nice, was that fender a junkyard find?
 

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Charlie don't surf..
'92 Ford Bronco XLT
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15,206 Posts
scored this off a guy on craigslist that was parting out a '94 Bronco..but I do have another spare in my attic that I got from a salvage yard.
 
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