So, vote it up! I'm doing research onto what my next project truck is going to be. It'll be a DD when it's not taken apart, but I do have a secondary car when I need it. So mainly, it'll be to tear up on the weekends, and to go campin in -
I'm lookin for a low price-range starter-vehicle. I like starting out with something rough.
I've always done Jeeps, so I'm keeping other trucks in mind. In all honesty, I'm leaning towards a Ford Bronco out of the gate - mainly because I've always wanted one since I was in high school and have never gotten around to getting one.
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In all honesty, I'm leaning towards a Ford Bronco out of the gate - mainly because I've always wanted one since I was in high school and have never gotten around to getting one.
I think you have the results of the poll already, if you've always wanted one, are in a position to get one, go for it. I always wanted a jeep since about the mid 70's and finally got a 88' about 4 years ago...and I voted for the Bronco. What ever you decide have fun with it!
I'm an old Ford guy, so my vote isn't hard to figure out. We've got 2 1990 Broncos, a 73 Bronco, & a 76 CJ5 here. Pricing on 78-96s seems to be at a pretty good point right now. You'll like the extra room, but have days where you wish it was narrower. The wide hood limits your view at points, especially cresting a hill, but most seem to adjust to it. Depending on the trail, things can get kinda tight. Here's a thread that shows 2 fullsize Fords on the Rubicon, & some of the issues that they encountered with the big trucks. Since you mention camping, here's Uncle Malcolm's approach (See post 195 for tent pics, 238 for source info).
Please excuse the cut & paste, but this was put together for FSB, & may have some useful info in it as you decide.
1980 had an odd frame with holes in it. In 81 they went back to the solid frame. I think in 92 they went to the accordion style frame horns, so it can be trickier to add recovery points. 87 & some 88s with manual hubs had the top hat hubs which are expensive to replace, & require a lot of additional parts to swap to the more common hubs, avoid those if you can. 87 & 88 auto hubs can be swapped easily like other years. Auto hubs are prone to fail, but changing to manual hubs is pretty simple. Don't let auto hubs deter you from buying an otherwise good truck, just plan on making the switch. There are several good write ups on swapping them if the time comes.
Broncos with 302s had EFI before the 351s. As you move to newer trucks, the electronic systems become more advanced. If it has EFI, you should be able to pull codes from the computer to help with diagnostic issues. 96s (Maybe some 95s) are MAF (Which is more adaptable to intake/cam changes) & are OBDII. 87-92 had rear antilock brakes, 93-96 have 4 wheel ABS.
78-79 are the only years that came stock with front solid axles, which the rock crawlers like. The high speed desert guys seem to prefer the TTB front axle which is stock from 80-96.
All fullsize Broncos had the removable tops, but the newer ones (92+?) have rear seat shoulder belt mounting points & 3rd brake lights, so they aren't supposed to be removed.
The later years come with an E4OD 4 speed overdrive tranny. It's a heavy duty trans, but doesn't like heat & is expensive to rebuild. Make sure it's in good shape. It's a good idea to add an external filter & cooler if you get one (Like this: Trans Filter, Cooler & THERMOSTAT installby Fireguy50 or this VOTE For Sept.'07 FOTMby Sixlitre -Post 173 Trans filter.) They did do some upgrades to the newest E4ODs, & when the older ones are rebuilt, they should include those upgrades. If you are using it primarily offroad, you might prefer an older truck with a C-6 (Non overdrive) trans. There were other trannies used as well & adrianspeeder'sBronco Tranny and T-Case Info thread has a bunch of trans/engine/year combo info.
As for being lifted, you'd rather have extended radius arms than radius arm drop brackets. Blocks are definitely bad in the front, & aren't the best solution for the rear either. Take a look thru the lift section of Baba Looey's Favorite FSB Links for several links on the subject.
Both manual & electric shift t-cases were available in late 80s-96. Most of us think the manual ones are more reliable, but in salt belt trucks sometimes the manual linkage is more trouble. There's a good electronic shift diagnostic routine that kf4amu links regularly, & shadowfax & others have writeups on rebuilds & swaps. Both electric & manual shift thru later years are BW 1356 t-cases, so internally the works are the same, even though shifters won't interchange.
If you're looking for common problems, watch out for rust over the rear wheel well openings & bottom of the tailgate. It usually starts on the inside, so if you see it, it's probably all the way thru. Rain gutter & bottom of the B pillar are also places to look. The rear window will act up on most of these eventually, but the problems usually aren't bad to fix. Don't let a stuck window scare you off, use it as a bargaining chip.
For my use, if I was buying one today, I'd probably be looking at an 89 351w or a 78-79. The 89 is very similar to my 90, (Which I like a lot & have grown familiar with) but the 89 has a C-6 behind the 351. I don't drive mine much on the freeway, so I don't think I'd miss the OD. 78-79s are just cool, simpler (If you learned on carbureted engines anyway ), have larger wheel openings, & have solid axles.
I love CJ7's and am currently building one but after building two CJ's and two YJ's. I would go YJ again. The vintage feel of the CJ just isn't worth it anymore to me for all the problems you have to deal with and all the advantages FI, galvanized frame/tub and other stock items come on the YJ.
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