What year bronco do I avoid? - 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 04-19-2000, 06:27 PM
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What year bronco do I avoid?

I have been looking for a 1980 and up Bronco. I have heared from a few different people to avoid 1980 to 1982 because they have weak frames. From what I understand from the 4 people I have heard this from they all had frames that broke around the power steering pump. Any help in this matter you can give me will same me some money down the road. Also I have an 5.8L engine/E4OD trans/rearend/computer ect out of a 1997 F-350, is there going to be a problem fitting this combination into a Bronco? The rear axle is a full floater 10.25" but I have been told to stick with a 9", Will I loose much durability? I have also been looking at lift kits and I think I have settled on an AutoFab 4" lift with 16 inches of wheel travel, does anyone out there have one installed? Thanks in advance for all your help.

Randy

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-19-2000, 08:04 PM
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Re: What year bronco do I avoid?

That Autofab kit is great. I just cannot afford it. $2700 for the front and another $2000 for the rear. That does not include shocks or front coil springs and that setup takes up to 14 shocks. I wouldn'tput that many on, though I don't know about week frames, but these were bad years for all domestics. A lot of experimentation went on in the first couple of years of this model Bronco. I would stick with 84 and up. 87 and 88 years were good. Good luck on that suspension kit and let me know if you pick it up.

If it ain't broke, I can probably still fix it.
post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-19-2000, 10:10 PM
 
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Re: What year bronco do I avoid?

Your right, you should avoid 80-82 Broncos. Not only do they have weak frames, they also have weak crossmembers. My Superlift instructions require welding drop brackets to crossmember on 80-82 Broncos, because they have extra light and weak crossmembers. Doesn't mean they are horrible, but I'm sure you would rather have the strongest Bronco possible.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-20-2000, 03:23 PM
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Re: What year bronco do I avoid?

Randy,

I'd be sure to take a careful look at the emissions laws where you live before going full tilt on the engine swap. In CA you have to keep all of the smog for the engine if the engine is newer than the truck. If you have all of the related parts off the engine you should be OK.

The EFI 351W is a great motor. It showed up in Broncos in 88.

As far as the monster rear end, Its probably 8 lug, not a 5 lug and wouldn't match the front. Unless you planned on a similar monster front axle, its probably not worth it. btw, my 88 doesn't have the 9 inch rear, its an 8.8. I don't know when this changed. My 78 had a 9 inch rear.

Also, on the engine tranny combo? was the F350 a 4x4? if not make sure it all will tie in with the existing transfer case. I think the 4spd autos arrived behind 351s in 90. Prior years were C6 3spds.

Also, inspect the front end very carefully. Brakes and spindles and hubs and bearings and 1/2 shafts can add up in a hurry if not maintained.

Cheers,

- Dan


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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-20-2000, 05:30 PM
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Re: What year bronco do I avoid?

HEY SHOVEL:
What is this about the superlift kit and welding the drop brackets in place? I have a 82 Bronc and I have been looking into the Superlift kit for mine, so any info on that would help me alot. Where do they recomend the welding and what is the purpose behind it? Is this due to the height of the lift or is this all Superlift kits for those years?

[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif[/img]If it's stuck, force it! If it break's,it needed replacing anyway!!!
One of Murphy's laws.
post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-20-2000, 07:39 PM
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Re: What year bronco do I avoid?

Do not get a 92 to 96 Bronco in your situation. I have a 93 and can tell you that everything is electrically tied together. For example, if you swapped the stock 8.8 rearend for that 1ton you have, your transmission wouldn't shift right and the odometer and speedometers won't work. ABS would probably be messed up too. Plus, my electrically shifted transfer case has it's bad days...can't even get into 4wd without beating on it. I'd take a stick shifted one any day. Also, I'd definitely keep that rearend you have, since it's full floating and badass. You can run 44" tires on it or fly 6 ft in the air without a problem..I wish I could do that myself, but I'd have to find one out of a 92-97 f350..not really easy to do. I think the 92-96 models are the best looking, but I'm slightly biased. To me, the optimum setup would be to take and f350, take the body off, shorten it to bronco length, and put a 92-96 frame back on it...but that could be slightly expensive. Good luck...sorry for rambling

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-20-2000, 08:34 PM
 
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Re: What year bronco do I avoid?

On any 4-6 inch Superlift kit you have to skip weld one of the brackets to the crossmember. On 83 up you just bolt it on. Not really a big deal, but it is a thought to consider. I would call Superlift if you have any questions.

Superlift

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-20-2000, 08:54 PM
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Re: What year bronco do I avoid?

The F-350 Was a 2wd So I Think I'll have to swap the tail shaft. From What I understand Advanced Adapters makes Kits so you can Swap in any T-case you want. I was thinking of a NP205 from a late 70's ford truck. Acording to the article in 4x4 Power the 9" was only available 80-82, which from the replys I've gotten are the ones to avoid.

Thanks again
Randy H

post #9 of (permalink) Old 04-20-2000, 09:24 PM
 
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Re: What year bronco do I avoid?

The 9 inch was optional on the bronco 83-86. I had an 86 with one. As far as the frame goes, I have an 81 that I have owned for 8 years and never had any problems. I think people think the broncos have the same frame as the f series of that era and come with the swiss cheese type frame. The pick up frames had all sorts of holes in it. I have beat my truck pretty bad, ride 35's, had it airborn, abused it well and had problems with everything but the frame. My 2 cents anyway.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 04-20-2000, 10:07 PM
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Re: What year bronco do I avoid?

Any problems that come up with the 80-82 Bronco's aren't due to the Ford 9" rear end. They are actually very good. Everybody makes performance parts for them and newer ones had bigger bearings which added strength. They can be beefed up pretty good, almost to a 1 Ton rating. That all costs money, though.

As for what Bronco to get, I couldn't tell you. I own an 85 and it was a good year. It had a bad carb on it (Electronic Fuel Feedback). That was my only problem with it. Each Bronco is going to be quite individual. So many subtle changes make problems with one a non-issue with another. If you find one and like it, go for it.

If it ain't broke, I can probably still fix it.
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