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Shift knob. My Bronco had one of those chrome t handle jobbies. The chrome was starting to flake, it put my hand where my middle finger stuck out down the shift lever when I grabbed it, and was generally unpleasant to the touch. I got a factory knob from a junkyard. It is round, easy to get my hand around, is warmer and colder than the metal t-handle when the weather is cold or hot, and had a generally pleasant texture.

Since it is the thing I interact with second most after the steering wheel, it makes a huge difference in experience even though it is a small thing.
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When I bought mine, it had an 8-ball gear shift knob... when i got it back from resto, the shift know was missing along with my Caroll Shelby Racing license plate ring.... Ugh... I was less than happy as the license ate ring was probably worth as much as I paid for the truck (come to find out). But I went to s local rock shop and bought an inexpensive rock sphere ($50) and drilled it out and inserted a plastic shim, tapped it out and looks and works great....
Shift knob. My Bronco had one of those chrome t handle jobbies. The chrome was starting to flake, it put my hand where my middle finger stuck out down the shift lever when I grabbed it, and was generally unpleasant to the touch. I got a factory knob from a junkyard. It is round, easy to get my hand around, is warmer and colder than the metal t-handle when the weather is cold or hot, and had a generally pleasant texture.

Since it is the thing I interact with second most after the steering wheel, it makes a huge difference in experience even though it is a small thing.
Rebuilding the front end (bushings, etc.) and going through the brakes soup to nuts. Both were long overdue.
I agree with this upgrade... Best thing I did with my '79.... had challenging steering issues, and after, it drove sooo much better.... money & time well spent..... would suggest it for any older rig....
 

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My 1978 Bronco Custom was probably 95% stock when I purchased it, unfortunately it developed a head gasket leak soon afterwards. I rebuilt the whole engine, a 400, at 103,000 miles. Being a gearhead at heart, I had to make some improvements. Compression was increases with pistons from TMeyer, a small hydraulic roller cam from Howards, oiling system modifications, mildly ported heads with Ferrea valves, Edelbrock Performer 400 intake a Holley 670 Street Avenger carburetor and MSD ignition. I've literally doubled the horsepower (not difficult to do!).

That's been my only real expenditure to this point and it has been well worth it. The 78-79 Broncos have always seemed like vehicles that should have MORE POWER, and I haven't been disappointed with the properly built 400.

A 4" lift is next, and it will be interesting to see if a good suspension can unseat the engine as "best mod"!
How much do you think ballpark amount you put into rebuilding that 400? Mine is real tired and I've been toying with a rebuild for more HP or just save up for a coyote swap


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A local engine builder did my upgrade, i added the Classic AC at the same time, along with the Saginaw upgrade, i think it was 6000. It really woke up the anemic 351.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Canuckistan97,

I probably spent $3,500 on my rebuild, but as I stated there are some pretty good parts in it. The roller camshaft is peace of mind for sure. Id spend money on that snd pistons before anything else in the engine. I bought and rebuilt the carburetor, headers and intake manifold were used, I tried to save money where I could.

The Coyote is a fantasic engine for sure!
 

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82 XLT Lariat 351w, Edelbrock 1406 4bbl ,C6 auto, auto locking hubs ,33x10.5x15
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My monstaliner... I dunno if it's the best money spent but it was the most gratifying 😊
 

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2-78 bronco,s-I is a ranger xlt and one is a custom-It has original 4 speed and I put a 390 in it
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2-78 bronco,s-I is a ranger xlt and one is a custom-It has original 4 speed and I put a 390 in it
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73 Posts
To me---after my first 78 bronco got the wiring on fire. I put a RELAY between the ignition switch and solinoid--beside the battery under the hood--others might want to take notice --before and hopefully they don,t have it happen to them. I had to re-do my wiring under the dash. That relay can cost very little--around $5 and could save your bronco or your live in preventing a fire.
 

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To me---after my first 78 bronco got the wiring on fire. I put a RELAY between the ignition switch and solinoid--beside the battery under the hood--others might want to take notice --before and hopefully they don,t have it happen to them. I had to re-do my wiring under the dash. That relay can cost very little--around $5 and could save your bronco or your live in preventing a fire.
Why would you put a relay in series with another relay? (A solenoid is just a higher amp rated relay).
 

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2-78 bronco,s-I is a ranger xlt and one is a custom-It has original 4 speed and I put a 390 in it
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Why would you put a relay in series with another relay? (A solenoid is just a higher amp rated relay).
Read what I just said. It was a weak part in trucks back then and would cause a fire.
 

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So Far less than $75.00 to install a set of Warn Premium front locker hubs. Next so far to date would be the $2.05 I spent for a nut/bolt combo to weld to the transmission oil pan for quicker easier and cleaner transmission services. When I install front and rear LS / locking diffs that will be the best money ever spent on it to date.
 

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My rebuilt and bulletproofed e4od... and rear end locker, now she throws full roost at sand lake!!!
Quick question: what locking rear diffs are you guys using? What do you recommend?

This thread has been great to read. It's got me thinking about adding a few goodies to my Bronco. I'm in the process of adding noise insulation to the whole cab and looking forward to the results. I am also adding a VintageAir kit in the next month.
 

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Quick question: what locking rear diffs are you guys using? What do you recommend?
I think most would like to know more about your trucks primary usage before giving suggestions that could be all wrong for the desired outcome. Without knowing much about you or the normal usage of the truck, it's really hard to say but a lunchbox locker is one of the quickest, easiest and budget conscious carriers that any one can install pretty quick and get it right with out having or creating problems.
 

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I think most would like to know more about your trucks primary usage before giving suggestions that could be all wrong for the desired outcome. Without knowing much about you or the normal usage of the truck, it's really hard to say but a lunchbox locker is one of the quickest, easiest and budget conscious carriers that any one can install pretty quick and get it right with out having or creating problems.
Gotta be careful of the lunchbox locker. I put a lockrite in my 9" a long time ago, but it kept breaking its pins and would lock the rear end like a spool. I was told that type of locker doesn't work right with the carrier I had.
 
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Best upgrades:
#1) 460 (that 351m has no grunt)
#2) saginaw steering pump
#3) 4" lift
#4) 4.11 gears and lockers
#5) 79 F350 brake booster & master cylinder

Worst upgrades:
1) stupid lund moonvisor (eh, I was young and thought it was cool, now it's gone and there are holes everywhere)
2) dark window tint (on its way out)

Future upgrades:
1) 12K badlands winch
2) chromolly front shafts
3) rock sliders
4) skid plating
 
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MSD ready to run Distributor. When I set up the timing curve and went to manifold vacuum the extra low end power could be felt. I have had it for 6 years and its been a good unit. Had to replace the vacuum actuator once as it began to leak.
 

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Hydroboost brakes on the 78, along with all stainless lines, tbird calipers, and rear disc brakes. This combo enables me to drive this truck in today's world (traffic) with confidence. Where I live (near Indianapolis) there is too many people distracted and driving and they all have brakes 50% or better then what the 78/79 does stock (even the cheapest crap box cars build in the last 10 years do). As such good brakes are a must.
Yes I keep a good following distance, but that only goes so far when the majority of people I speak of above, also all seem to use 100% of their brakes 90% of the time, ironically they also use the gas pedal as such.
This is it. Best upgrade for these rigs is as much brake upgrade as you can afford.
Sway bars come in second, for purely a street rig.
 
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