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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
Tuesday I am going to look at a 1986 Ford Bronco at a pick n pull. I have always wanted a Bronco, and at $1799 (OBO), I feel like this could be a good get. There isn't that much info on the site other than it runs ("fires right up") and that it looks to be complete with a salvage title. It looks to be an automatic from the pictures and definitely has 4WD. Other than the obvious things to look for, what are some trouble areas or common issues that I should look out for? Anything that would disqualify it even at that price? I work on cars pretty regularly as a hobby, but haven't dealt with a ford before.
Thanks in advance,
Jaryd
 

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1984 Bronco, 4.9L, C6, 9", 44 TTB, 3.54 Gears
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I would find out where it was wrecked, and really check that area on it, especially the frame. Can you drive it? Make sure it doesn't shimmy like heck at 55 mph.

Probably plan on redoing everything on it (ball joints, u-joints, bushings, suspension, etcetera) as it probably wasn't maintained.
 

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Salvage title at 1800 obo? It went to the pick-n-pull for a reason, or perhaps several. I think you can find safer bets in that price range. Clean title a must for me, but depending on intended use, salvage may be acceptable. Tread carefully.
 

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Rust, on these Broncos rust or lack of, is what most of your buying money is going towards. A Salvage title with zero rust (I mean zero) would not phase me too much.
This is a little dependent on where you live too though.
 

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Just because it’s in the yard doesn’t mean it has a Salvaged title... we buy and sell through our local yard a lot... in fact my dads current ride is a 2002 Subaru Legacy wagon that he bought for $400 in 2003. The owner had passed and the junkyard purchased it at the estate auction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Rust, on these Broncos rust or lack of, is what most of your buying money is going towards. A Salvage title with zero rust (I mean zero) would not phase me too much.
This is a little dependent on where you live too though.
I live in the bay area, so if this truck was in CA all its life it could be pretty solid. Obviously it could be from anywhere so I'll definitely be on the lookout for rust. The pictures aren't the best quality, but it looks pretty solid around the areas I would expect rust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just because it’s in the yard doesn’t mean it has a Salvaged title... we buy and sell through our local yard a lot... in fact my dads current ride is a 2002 Subaru Legacy wagon that he bought for $400 in 2003. The owner had passed and the junkyard purchased it at the estate auction.
The Pick n Pull has it listed as salvage, apparently I have to get the salvage title from the DMV. I haven't even looked into what sort of can of worms that is. Probably just proving that the wrecked parts are fixed. Other than the hood not being closed all the way in the pictures it doesn't look like it's been in an accident. I'll know better tuesday. I'm skeptical, I think it's been there for a hot second; so it could be a bust.
 

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If not rusty, my next thing on the list is previous work that I would consider "hack" or questionable. Usually the more stock the electrical system appears the better off you are. It can be really hard to track down issues not knowing what someone else has done. Different situation if you have installed all the stuff. Notice I haven't said anything about engine/trans... My thoughts there are just prepare for a rebuild, anything more consider your self luck, especially in that price range.

Random thought, can an 86 be considered salvage there if it cannot pass emissions?
 
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To get your title it will probably require a very in-depth inspection by a certified inspector to insure it's safe for the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If not rusty, my next thing on the list is previous work that I would consider "hack" or questionable. Usually the more stock the electrical system appears the better off you are. It can be really hard to track down issues not knowing what someone else has done. Different situation if you have installed all the stuff. Notice I haven't said anything about engine/trans... My thoughts there are just prepare for a rebuild, anything more consider your self luck, especially in that price range.

Random thought, can an 86 be considered salvage there if it cannot pass emissions?
That make sense. A friend of mine with an 85 basically said that I should buy a new wiring harness right out of the gate, that seems excessive but I don't know.
Salvage in California is only when a car is involved in an accident and the insurance company deems it too costly to repair. With older cars, that can be pretty minor damage. A car can't be deemed salvage for not passing smog, but you can't register it without passing smog.
 

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78 Custom 460 NP435 NP205 Sniper EFI HyperSpark Ignition 4.56 Gears Front/Rear Grizzly Lockers
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For those who don't want to click on the link.






 

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sorry, my computer wasn't letting me save the pictures for some reason.
No problem, it wasn't easy for me to get them to link either. lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm curious what your plans are with the truck?
If it's in good enough shape I might make it my weekend backpacking/camping rig. Otherwise I might just sort it out and sell it. I was actually looking for something closer to a Toyota Rav4 or a Honda CRV, but I've always wanted a Bronco, and life is too short to not get the things you want if you can.
 

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If it's in good enough shape I might make it my weekend backpacking/camping rig. Otherwise I might just sort it out and sell it. I was actually looking for something closer to a Toyota Rav4 or a Honda CRV, but I've always wanted a Bronco, and life is too short to not get the things you want if you can.
It's always a little tough deciding what to buy. I would buy it for that price if it was rust free and not smashed too hard. There's all sorts of cheap parts for these trucks used. I'm in Canada on the west coast where the trucks all have rust. I got a good used motor for 500$ but a couple of new quarter panels would easily be that much. Rust free is the number one concern with a truck like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It's always a little tough deciding what to buy. I would buy it for that price if it was rust free and not smashed too hard. There's all sorts of cheap parts for these trucks used. But I'm in Canada on the west coast so our trucks get a lot of rain/snow. I got a good used motor for 500$ but a couple of new quarter panels would easily be that much. Rust free is the number one concern with a truck like that. If it were me I'd probably go for it.
I think I can get it cheaper, I also think I can get it cheaper because I think it has been there for a while which gives me pause. I'm going with heavy skepticism, but we will see. I squint really hard at those pictures and can't decide if that heart shape on the driver side is rust or a sticker. I really hope it is as clean as most other California cars. I'm also hoping it has all the California smog equipment on it, last thing I need is to have to buy a CARB compliant catalytic converter for this thing.
 

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I think I can get it cheaper, I also think I can get it cheaper because I think it has been there for a while which gives me pause. I'm going with heavy skepticism, but we will see. I squint really hard at those pictures and can't decide if that heart shape on the driver side is rust or a sticker. I really hope it is as clean as most other California cars. I'm also hoping it has all the California smog equipment on it, last thing I need is to have to buy a CARB compliant catalytic converter for this thing.
Yeah that would a problem down there. I can see that it still has it's EGR so that's promising. It does look like rust on the door but you can probably get a can of touch up paint and make that 90% better. You would probably not go wrong wrong replacing the carpet and buying some of that plastic trim paint and painting the passenger side door panel to match everything else in the truck. I guess it depends how much you want to do. It has the potential to cost a lot more to make road worthy than it's worth. I would count on all the body mounts and suspension bushings being shot too. Probably has bad ball joints, and steering gear as well like most old F series trucks. If you can get it cheap enough it might be worth it though.
 
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