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59 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking of joining the Bronco club. I found a '95 w 106k miles. 5 speed. Has a slight lift, new motor sports ultra wheels and new BF Goodrich tires. Frame and body are basically rust free. Interior is really rough, dirty, and smoky but nothing is badly torn. Paint is decent, but some is aftermarket.

Trailer hitch and winch bar (no winch) on the front. Swinging tire mount on the back. LED headlights.

Seems to have been serviced decently, but I can't really tell. Fuel and brake lines look good, maybe new fuel line.

Power windows and ac work. Rear window stuck a bit open.

What do think this thing is worth?

What else should I look for? What big issues might I need to deal with to get this thing reliable for road trips in the mountains? The 5.0 seems reliable by most accounts. Better than stuff from the 2005 era? What engine specific things can I look for?

Steering was super light / loose. Transmission didn't shift that well, but I've never used a truck transmission before, so maybe it's a bronco thing?


Addicted to Junk
10,410 Posts
No rust is the biggest factor for pricing in most locations.

As you describe, here in KS, I'd say about $5000. But pics would help. The manual trans is a plus. The 5.0, while reliable, is kind of doggy. But the manual trans helps with that. The 5.0 is the cheapest Ford engine to rebuild, thanks to the mustang crowd.

Rear window is a common failure point and the fix is well documented here.

You've got to remember it's a 24 year old vehicle. Things need to be replaced. Look at the steering components and ball joints. Jiggle things around to see how tight they are (or aren't). Steering is a common problem too. Jiggle the driveshafts. U-joints are commonly overlooked.

A truck transmission does not shift like a car transmission. Its slower, but more robust. If its factory, your trans is an M5OD. Its not the most robust, but works like it should if maintained. You can directly swap in the stronger ZF5 trans that came in F250 and F350. They are pretty much identical in mounting locations.

59 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Great point on the u joint wiggle. How much is normal? I noticed a fair amount of play rotating the driveshaft, but not sure how much is normal because it's a truck in neutral. 1/2" rotation from lock to lock?

Super Moderator
23,353 Posts
Yo MLC788,

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 since the 78.
Still, we had minor problems that we addressed quickly.

Ask seller if cruise control, if equipped recall work completed by dealership? And call dealer & have VIN ready to confirm or check status @ https://www.safercar.gov
To confirm current status, use this guide by jowens1126 @ https://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/23-technical-write-ups/457065-93-94-96-cruise-control-recalls-repair.html#post6530073
Note that 93 recall is different than the 94-96.

Check Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for Model Year & Engine Type (for example; 5.0, 5.8, 4.9 or 351W CID 5.8 4 BBL Carb, etc.).
VIN Decoder; for 81-86 & 87-96 Bronco & Ford Truck @ Truck Parts and Truck Accessories

Our Navy Federal Credit Union suggests using https://www.nadaguides.com for finding the "value" of a vehicle.
95 Bronco average retail is $5,450.

Order a CarFax. Although not all accident info May not be provided, other important info is provided @ https://www.carfax.com

VINCheck® by National Insurance Crime Bureau is a free service provided to the public to assist in determining if a"... vehicle has been reported as stolen, but not recovered, or has been reported as a salvage vehicle by cooperating NICB member insurance companies. To perform a search, a vehicle identification number (VIN) is required. A maximum of five searches can be conducted within a 24-hour period per IP address." @ https://www.nicb.org/vincheck

While you take a test drive, have someone stay behind or follow and check for leak puddles, exhaust smoke, tire shimmy, etc.
Member dash_cam offers very good advice on having an independent inspection done at sellers location! If you cant inspect it yourself, post Location in the noobie section and ask members for their help or seek out an ASE certified shop in area to inspect it for you. ASE is National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, read about it @ https://www.ase.com/About-ASE.aspx.
Find an ASE shop @ https://www.ase.com/Landing-Pages/Car-Owners/Find-a-Repair-Shop/Shop-Locator.aspx
Google each for reviews especially in Yelp, Facebook, BBB.

Besides the usual visual, driveability and leak checks, look for:
Engine Oil level: If the oil level is low, chances are the engine uses oil or leaks. Beware of water in the oil (there is probably a cracked block or bad head gasket), or thin, dirty oil with a distinct gasoline smell (this may indicate internal engine problems).
- 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 paint by Ford
- tailgate glass issue @ https://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/21-noobie-bronco-tech-questions-flame-free-zone/475145-1982-xlt.html post #2

- 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 in 90 to 96 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.
Pull the transmission dipstick out when the engine is running at normal operating temp. The level should read FULL.
Look for leaks around pan from (front) Pump seal. Observe color and odor of the fluid. It should be red, not brown or black. Dark brown or black fluid that has distinct burnt odor, indicates a transmission in need of repair or overhaul.
Odor may indicate overheating condition, clutch disc or band failure. Use an absorbent white facial tissue and wipe the fluid level indicator. Examine the stain for evidence of solid particles and for engine coolant signs (gum or varnish on fluid level indicator).
If particles are present in the fluid or there is evidence of engine coolant or water, the transmission pan must be removed for further inspection.

- The M5OD is a top shift, fully synchronized, five-speed manual transmission, equipped with an overdrive fifth gear ratio is in 88-96 Broncos. All gear changes including reverse are accomplished with synchronizer sleeves.
"M5OD Preventative Measure; Those of you who own Ford full size or small size trucks with the M5OD Mazda design 5 speed manual transmission should have the rubber shift cover plugs resealed at your earliest possible convenience. A common occurrence with this model transmission is the rubber plugs shrinking over time and allowing lube oil to leak out of the transmission. This occurs while the vehicle is in operation, so there is less of a tendency for a puddle to develop when the vehicle is sitting parked. The result to the transmission is a lack of lubrication and damage to some very expensive gears and bearings." by DRW Transmission Specialties, Inc
- engine rear main/timing chain cover seals, etc.
- rust in radiator core support, bottom of B pillars and rocker panels, tailgate, and rear fender lips due to Ford's flawed spot weld process on the inner (tub) that lets moisture & debris in the seam. A Bronco may need extensive $ patch or full panel replacements ⚠.
- radius arm bushing deterioration (I coated em w/pure silicone, from day 1) but replaced at 80k miles w/Daystar polyurethane bushings
- Programmable Speedometer Odometer Module (PSOM in 92-96, aka speedometer/odometer), make sure it works; look for a slight waver in the needle at highway speeds.
- cracked exhaust manifold/Y, etc.
- cab 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 mount deterioration and frame rust
- transfer case operation - electric push button motor/connector is a prob. area; usually a broken travel stop and/or the motor connector is fouled, etc.

Also in non-carbureted Broncos 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 bulb is burnt-out or loose, socket was damaged by PO or shop, etc. or someone removed it.

Same for:
E4OD Transmission Control Indicator Light (TCIL), it is a LED and overdrive on/off switch at end of the Transmission shifter stalk; flashing OD light is an indication of a transmission related trouble code in the Powertrain Control Module (PCM).
Is it flashing while driving?

For pre 96 with EFI do a SELF TEST for diagnostic trouble codes (DTC)s by my pal BroncoJoe
or have such as Equus 3145 Innova OBD I Code Reader for Ford EEC IV Engines at Walmart & most parts stores.

The 4-wheel anti-lock brake system (4WABS) in 93-96 is self monitoring. When the key 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.
Our module blew it's microprocessors a few years ago and two yard modules were bad. No returns so I'm running without 4WABS, just like the old days.

Suggest you buy the official FORD Powertrain Controls and Emission Diagnosis (PCED), Electrical and Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual (EVTM) on DVD.. be sure your pc, etc will be able to read the DVD, or buy a paper version. Check rockauto.com

Cash is King!!!
"Cashier’s checks can be forged, money orders can be forged, and personal/business checks can be forged. Cash can also be, but it’s harder to make believable and easier to test. Take a powerful magnet with you. Yes a magnet. You see, on top of ID strips and watermarks, the ink the federal reserve uses has iron in it, therefore it will be attracted to a powerful magnet.
"by Froggmann @ https://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/41-broncos-sale-75-posts-required-post/125049-8-steps-protect-yourself-when-selling-vehicle.html
Banks cash fakes, then hold you responsible. ..
As craigslist advises, "Do not extend payment to anyone you have not met in person.
Beware offers involving shipping - deal with locals you can meet in person.
Never wire funds (e.g. Western Union) - anyone who asks you to is a scammer.

Sometimes a seller may "promise" to return a certain amount of money during negotiations..
Transactions are between users only, no third party provides a "guarantee".
Never give out financial info (bank account, social security #, paypal account, etc).

A summary of questions to ask the seller;
"* Do you have the maintenance records?
* Do you have the title in hand and is there a lien on the Bronco?
* How do I get the title?
* Has the vehicle been in any accidents?
* How much tread is left on the tires?
* Are there any scratches or dents on the vehicle?
* Did this car belong to a smoker?
* Was this car used by pet owners?
* Can I receive close-up pictures of a specific area (miesk5 note, such as on 1/4 panels, tailgate, etc)?
* Are there any document or preparation fees?"
* Courtesy of ebay

Post pics here or in Noobie Section.
How to Post Pics @ https://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/19-suggestions-feedback-site-help/6204-how-post-pictures.html

59 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
My bad re: driveshaft. It's actually very tight in rear. Loose was the front drive shaft (While in 2wd)!

Looking forward to reading bthe rest! Gotta get into the mountains now

Addicted to Junk
10,410 Posts
Great point on the u joint wiggle. How much is normal? I noticed a fair amount of play rotating the driveshaft, but not sure how much is normal because it's a truck in neutral. 1/2" rotation from lock to lock?
I meant jiggle side to side. The driveshaft should have very little rotation when in gear. Lock the transfer case or lockouts in to test the front shaft.

Super Moderator
23,353 Posts

As BigBlue 94 advised;
"U-Joint Inspection;

Prior to checking driveline angularity, inspect the universal joints for proper operation.
Place the vehicle on a frame hoist and rotate the driveshaft (4602) by hand. Check for rough operation or seized universal joints. If the universal joint shows signs of seizure, excessive wear or improper seating, scribe alignment marks on the driveshaft and rear axle companion flange. Remove the driveshaft and remove and replace the universal joint. Install the driveshaft in the marked original position." by Ford

"Driveshaft, Rear
The driveshaft (4602) or coupling shaft is composed of the universal joints, connecting shafts, attaching flanges, and slip-yokes. The number of shafts and universal joints used depends on the vehicle application.
The Bronco rear driveshaft is of the double Cardan type which incorporates two universal joints, a driveshaft centering socket yoke (4782), and a driveshaft center yoke (4784) at the transfer case end of each shaft. A single universal joint is used at the axle end of the driveshaft.
All universal joints are of the lubed-for-life needle-bearing type except F-Super Duty Stripped Chassis which have lubrication fittings. Replacement universal joints equipped with grease fittings should be lubricated at the intervals specified in maintenance schedule. The universal joint bearings are retained on the spiders by snap rings and U-bolts on some applications.

The driveshafts are balanced; therefore, if the vehicle is being undercoated, the driveshafts and all open spline areas must be covered to prevent undercoating material from getting on the driveshafts." by Ford

Rear Driveshaft and Coupling Shaft, Bronco depiction is attached .

by Ford via Steve

Also, "...Bound-up outer axle u-joints can cause weird steering non-returnability, pulling, noises, etc. A suggested idea is to reach up and turn the drive axle 90 degrees at the outer u-joint, look for rust bleeding out of the u-joint caps, feel for looseness..."


59 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I bought it! Here's the good, bad, and ugly:

1. Frame has very little rust, but it's not "rust free". Just very good by New England standards.
2. New fuel lines and SS braided hoses between straight lines
3. Worn Brake Pads
4. New brake lines (at least some of them)
5.. Bad ball joints on the steering linkage
6. At least one bad ball joint on front suspension
7. New radiator hose (and radiator?)
8. Oil last changed a year ago and level is at the "Add 1 Qt" mark. Clean.
9. Camoflauge fenders, seat covers, and trim panels
10. Broken rear window (glass itself is broken)
11. AC is really cold. Heat and all venters / blowers work
12. Stereo sucks
13. 4x4 Works
14. Tires are all in great shape except scalloping on the right front due (I think) to the bad ball joint & associated misalignment
15. More rust in the spring coil mounts than on the frame
16. Battery is cheap brand, 2018. 13 V Engine off. 14 V Engine running. Not sure if alternator is new or stock.
17. Smog pump pulley has a wobble. I don't want it to seize and toss the serp belt, so I want to replace or delete
18. Engine looks CLEAN. Really good looking engine. Just a little bit of a greasy spot back left driver's side on the side of the engine (away from the front or back seals. I really should have looked closer to be sure it wasn't a headgasket leak, but I think it was near some BS looking hose, so it didn't bother me. Fingers crossed)
19. Ditto for transmission. But a greasy spot where the rod from clutch pedal goes in. ???
20. LED Headlight Assemblies (and tail lights?). The whole unit, not just the bulbs.
21. ABS Light is on
22. 4HI dash light does not come on, but it def locks into 4x4
23. Body has very little rust in general, but some near the bottom of tailgate
24. Giant steel bumpers back and front.
25. Original, shiny bronco horse emblem on the front grille

That's what I can think of off the top of my head. Lots more to check out after I pick it up, including the drive shaft check posted above.

106k. 1995. 5 speed.
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