lookin to buy a horse!! - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
Ford Early Bronco, 66-77 All discussion of Early Ford Bronco's to 1977

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-11-2000, 01:32 AM
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lookin to buy a horse!!

hey folks. Im a late model bronco guy, but ive been thinking about purchasing an early bronc to build up. I guess I just want some info about them. Is there anything I should stay away from? what year(s) had the best setups? were auto trannys offered? how bout engines? any particular year or drivetrain combo i should watch out for? (good or bad) any info would be greatly appreciated.


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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-11-2000, 09:37 PM
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Re: lookin to buy a horse!!

The best set-ups?? Any model! Actually they were all pretty good. The early models up to 71 or 72 (I think) had Dana 30 front ends, after that they used Dana 44's. They all had 9" rear axles. They all had 3 speed on the column trans until 73 or 74 when the C4 was available. Manual steering and manual drum brakes until then too! All of then used the Dana 20 Transfer case, gear on gear, very strong, 2.0 low range. They were offered with both 6 cyl and V8's. Early ones had 289's and later the 302. Regular gas until 75 when it went unleaded.
What to look for? I would try to find a 73-74, V8, Power steering and brakes and an automatic. Watch out for anything that has been changed. The 6cyl 3 speeds are not the same as the V8's and do not hold up very well. The power brakes and steering were special and different then anything else.
These trucks are rust buckets in some areas. So look them over well! Tailgates, front floor-pans and the door pillars are very common places.
I sold my 77 some years ago but I want another. There is a lot of info available on these trucks on the internet so do a little searching and you will find it!
Good luck

post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-12-2000, 07:47 AM
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Re: lookin to buy a horse!!

Most Bronco's I have encountered have been modified slightly from original. You may want to find one that someone else has dumped their life savings into.
71 was the first year for the Dana 44. 74 was the first year for the calatytic converter and power steering. You may want something in between. The first upgrade you will need to look for is power steering. 31 spline axles are also nice to have. Some broncos have 28 spline and 2 spider gears which aren't nearly as strong. You may want to upgrade to power brakes, Disk brakes, etc. 76 and 77 had disk brakes.
I bought my 71 and since then have changed gear ratio, new NP435 trans, Power Steering, a lift kit, and a few other minor mods. I still have the drum brakes and no power brakes though.

There are 2 different 3-speed manual transmissions to look for. Tag numbers will either say RAN or RAT. Stay away from the RAT, It is an inferior transmission. If you are looking for an auto trans, they come with a C-4 in 74'. I have seen some modified broncos with C-6's. A C-4 will work fine with a slightly modified 302.

As for the engine, either a 289 or a 302 will do. You could swap in a 351 windsor later, but you will have trouble fitting it under the hood without minor modifications. The 302 is much more efficient and will push the pony just fine.

The in-line shifting Dana 20 transfer case is indestructable! There is a "U" shift Dana 20 transfer case that has problems slipping out of gear.

Hope this helps,

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