Project Bronco - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
Ford 67-96 F-Series, 78-96 Bronco All discussions of 67-96 F-Series Trucks and 78-96 Broncos

 
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-20-1999, 06:30 AM
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Project Bronco

Here's the deal, the lease on my 96 Ram ends in about a year(it's going back). I plan on replacing it with a 78 or 79 Bronco and I have some questions and need some advise! First, what's the difference between the 351C, M, & W is one really better than the other two. This rig has got to be reliable, it's going to be my daily ride. I'm looking for a modest upgrade as far as power, nothing radical so in regards to money and reliability what's the best way to go in upgrading the motor, rebuild the one in it, buying a newer one or what? How much lift will I need to put 33x12.50 under it, I have about 4grand to get this project up and running.......how far can I get?

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-20-1999, 12:19 PM
TEX
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Re: Project Bronco

<font color=purple> The M, C, & W stand for Moline, Cleveland, and Windsor - where they were built. None are bad motors at all. Probably more performance goodies out there for the W since it's most common, but the C is probably the best performer with stock parts. The M is the one you'll find in a '78 or '79 Bronco. As a die-hard Chevy fan, it pains me to admit that the '78-'79 Bronco is in my opinion probably about the best place to start if you want a budget play vehicle (as long as size isn't an issue and power is). And if you get the 351 or 400M, swapping in a 429/460 is a possibility down the road. And while high performance parts aren't as common for the M motors, you should find plenty for a mild upgrade. Not being a Ford expert, I'll leave it at that & let someone with more knowledge talk about the nitty-gritty nuances. </font color=purple>

TEX

[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif[/img] Got Mud?
G.U.M.B.O. Mud Racing

post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-20-1999, 11:37 PM
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Re: Project Bronco

Its been a while so I could be mistaken but I believe that the only engines available were the M models. The 78 & 79 models only got the 351 &400 engines. Look for a part-time 4-wheel drive system as the full-time systems had NP203 chain driven transfer cases. The part-time got NP205's. The trans were fairly stout with the autos (C6) and the manuals (NP435 I think) with granny 1st gear. 9" rear & Dana 44 front axles were plenty strong. As far as the tires go, some people squeeze 33's under a stock truck, but for ANY off roading a 4" lift will clear & 6"better.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-22-1999, 09:36 AM
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Re: Project Bronco

The 351C motor was high performance, but the bearing size was small and not considered adequate for trucks, thats why they never appeared in Broncos or F-150s.

When you say you need a reliable vehicle, remember that a 78 Bronco is basically a play truck and will not be as reliable as
your late model dodge ram. Everything gets old on these - especially wiring and electric motors and fuel systems.
The carbs don't conpare to FI trucks. I bought a new truck for reliable, kept the old one for off-roading.


MarkT
post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-25-1999, 12:08 AM
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Re: Project Bronco

Although I love it to death, I would not like to drive my '79 Bronco every day. It's completely restored (sheetmetal, paint, suspension) but, like MarkT noted, little things (window regulators, heater/blower motor, rear window wiring, aux circuits, etc.) will wear you out and sour you on the deal if it is your daily driver. However, I have only seen "convenience"-type failures (associated with a 20-yr old vehicle, same as Chev/Dodge or any other make of the same year); the 351M/400 and NP205/T-18 (yes, granny 1st/reverse) drivetrain is bulletproof, and has never let me down. Great truck motor, never would consider a C or W for this truck. At 150K on the original motor, the only problem is a slight oil leak on the rear main seal. For 4K, you can get a '79 with rust in the usual spots (tailgate and rear wells), slap on an Edelbrock intake and Holley 600, and have lots of fun. Just make sure it is not your primary driver.

Dave
'79 Bronco
'89 Trooper
'86 Trooper II
post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-25-1999, 12:41 AM
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Re: Project Bronco

oh, yeah, and 33X12.50 tires (I run Mud Terrains) fit under the '79 with quad suspension stock. Recommend 15X10 wheels for best tire profile (especially at reduced psi) and wear performance. My current Muds have 80K on them, and still have half tread (though the sidewalls are getting tired). 15X8's will work, although the tire will stand taller, which actually reduces the chance of front body rub on full suspension compression on opposite corners, which is important if you are a rocker. I run beaches so it really doesn't come into play.

Dave
'79 Bronco
'89 Trooper
'86 Trooper II
post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-25-1999, 04:59 PM
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Re: Project Bronco

re's the deal, the lease on my 96 Ram ends in about a year(it's going back). I plan on replacing it with a 78 or 79 Bronco

Good choice!!! I have 4 (well 3 and a parts truck).

and I have some questions and need some advise! First, what's the difference between the 351C, M, & W is one really better
than the other two.

Many theories on the "M", but it is most commonly referred to as modified (if your askin a parts guy for parts). Reason being is the Ford 400 motor came out first and the 351M is a destroked version of the 400.

This rig has got to be reliable, it's going to be my daily ride.

They are pretty good in that respect, but finding a really nice one is getting harder. Expect to pay 3-4000$ for a very nice restored or original one.

I'm looking for a modest upgrade as far as
power, nothing radical so in regards to money and reliability what's the best way to go in upgrading the motor, rebuild the one
in it, buying a newer one or what?

Try to find one with a 400. Then put a cam, 4bbl and dual exh on it. It will be more than adequate then for 33" tires. If you want more power, get new pistons and up the compr to at least 9.0:1. stock was only 8.4:1

How much lift will I need to put 33x12.50 under it,

None, not even offroad, unless springs are totally beat.

>I have about 4grand to get this project
>up and running.......how far can I get?

I bought this one for 2000$.

http://www.thewowfactor.com/bigbronc...m?detailid=556

It needs a rear and eventually a tranny. It runs/drives fine, but needs some TLC.

OX



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