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  1. #1

    Default I went to the "blue" side....

    I've been looking for a bronco to run as a trail rig, and I finally found one... I'm pasting the thread I made over at here since I'm too lazy to type it over again...

    After lurking for a couple months here and trying to find a decent Bronoco that didn't cost $4K, I snagged me an 82 Bronco XLT for $1250.

    It's rough around all the edges, and I can defintley tell that the previous owner 2 owners ago was a 17 year old ricer... Motor runs but could probably use a tune-up, electrical is a nightmare (I got no headlights), interior is well worn with a water leak coming from the windshield region, and the body is decent, with the exception of the nice gash in the rear drivers quarter. It looks like I've got a Ford 9" under the rear, a 302 under the hood, and the transmission and transfer case have to be a C6 and NP208, although I haven't been able to verify this yet. God knows how many miles it's got on the odometer since it didn't come with a 100,000 mile digit.

    This is going to be a wheeling truck which for starters will probably be driven to wheeling spots. I was planning on keeping the interior intact, but since I've found out I've got a leak, I MIGHT pull the carpet out and herculine the floor. Since the electrical's in major disarray, I'm thinking about redoing all the electrical and swapping out all the gauges for autometers. I'm thinking I'm going to put 35s on it, regearing to 4.56, and either hacking the fenders (like davebmxer did) or putting 6" of lift on it. I'm not sure what all I'm doing, I could really use suggestions. Here's a link of all the pictures of this "wonderful" Bronco:

    I still have the Suburban, and my Saturn, so Im not going anywhere. This is just an off-road beater to me

    1991 Chevy Suburban 1/2 ton 2WD w/ chevy SBC 350-3/4 ton drivetrain upgrade w/4.10 gears 200K miles
    2005 Saturn ION-2 Stock 277K miles
    1982 Bronco, 1993 Bronco (sold), 1971 M35A2 Deuce and a Half

    There are 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary, and those who dont...

    Remember kids, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down- Adam Savage

  2. #2


    Looks like a fun project! Keep us posted on your work on it!
    Hallsville, TX

    2005 Silverado 1500 LS Crew Cab 5.3L 2WD
    Magnaflow Exhaust
    Hypertech Max Energy Programmer
    Suspension Leveling Kit
    Putco Element Window Visors
    Carriage Works Billet Grille
    TruXedo TruXport Tonneau Cover

  3. #3


    From the looks of it, sounds like you got a good deal. I've seen a lot worse for more money. Have fun!

    2010 Z/71 Colorado C/C
    Black 4X4 w/5.3L V8
    2007 Winnebago Adventurer
    w/8.1L Chevy & Allison 6spd.
    Canyon Lake, Texas

  4. #4


    Sounds like a reasonable price for the year and condition. Doesnt look bad. That model has a habit of getting rust in the windshield frame that causes leaks, I'd peel up the windshield frame chrome and look under it.
    Bobs Bronco Grave Yard sells plenty of used parts for that year.
    Painless has a wiring harness to replace the worn existing one, probably cost more than you want to pay but definately worth the money and a good way to kick the project off.
    Duffco/Duff's Broncos has a lot of cool parts, but you pay for the cool factor.
    I say peel up the carpet (you live in LA. theres nothing but mud the carpet will get trashed sooner or later anyways) and do a home liner kit. Shouldnt take more than a weekend and a $100.
    Trim the wheel wells to fit the tire size you decide to use (I'd start with a 33x12.50 and stock gears) and keep trimming as your tire size gets bigger. I wouldnt lift unless its absolutely necessary.
    Run the factory gears a while until you 1. save up enough to do a gear swap. and 2. know how to wheel your truck, i.e. its weeknesses, strengths, and capabilities.
    You've probably got the Dana 44 front axle, both the Ford 9" and Dana 44 are strong medium duty axles, great for a starter off-road play toy. They both have pleny of optional upgrades and reputations for toughness.
    If you take the rear top off be careful they get a little flexible and have been known to break the glass when not bolted to the truck. The seals usually need to be replaced to prevent leaks.

  5. #5


    Tim, do you think if I pull the chrome trim around the windshield up enough I can put some silicone caulk or something in there to stop the leak? I still haven't figured out how to pull the chrome up, though I haven't tried extensivley yet. For now, I'm going to wire up a couple of radioshack relays and some switches to get my headlights and horn working so I can pass inspection. I'm going to probably have to start from nearly the ground up to get the electrical up to snuff, and if I'm doing that, I might as well go all out and replace my gauges and everything. In my mind I can just see it as a bad-ass trail rig, but I keep having to tell myself to take it a step at a time. Hell, I gotta bend up some steel to fix a mount on the drivers seat that broke.

  6. #6


    Looks like a great rig to have some fun in. I've known quite a few guys that have had these Broncos and they never (well, rarely) ever let them down. I actually think the style on these is pretty good, Ford got away from good style after a while and there were a lot of hits and misses, but this one they did right.

    10 Chevy Traverse LT AWD
    02 Chevy Trailblazer LS (110K+ miles - loaded except for 4WD - WRECKED!)
    99 Chevy Cavalier LS (105K+ miles - commuter car)
    78 Chevy Suburban Silverado (454, 3/4 ton)
    62 GMC 3/4 ton Pickup (350 police interceptor)

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  7. #7


    looks like a great platform for a sweet trail rig has many bronco parts that may help u along the way

    2002 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4x4 (the Yellow Jacket)
    4inch suspension 3inch body
    Straight 6 (383 Stroker within a year)
    36inch SuperSwamper TSL.
    Detroit Loccers
    Daily Driver Weekend Wheeler
    much more...

    2004 Sierra crew cab, 2wd, 5.3 V8
    2inch Daystar Leveling kit
    single dumped Flowmaster 40 sieries exaust(removed)
    Mb Blitz Chrome wheels
    Leer Bed Cover(for sale)
    50k miles

  8. #8


    Caulk or RTV should do the trick, clean out any corrosion and prime any bare metal to prevent more corrosion. Por-15 or something similiar would be good for a primer/top coat.
    The windshield trim is held in by slide lock clips every 12" or so, the best way to remove them is to get a trim removal tool from Auto Zone or Pep Boys, this way you can reuse the trim.
    Are you gonna build a custom dash to hold the gauges?
    I saw a cool early 80's ford truck that had the dash face and cover removed and the owner used a waterproof ammo box mounted to the dash structure as a gauge panel. It was notched for the wire harness and had gromets around the harness where it exited the box. The front panel where the gauges were mounted was hinged and opened up to access the wiring and back of the gauges for maintenance.
    Most mods done to a trail truck are due to necessity, ease of maintenance, and repair.
    I built mine by the rule of trim the panels now so I dont have to cut them away on the trail later.

  9. #9


    I'm thinking that I'm going to try to clean up the existing wiring harness as best as possible for now, so that I can get to the mechanical parts that need to be worked on to get it trail ready. This will also give me time to learn about the electrical systems I can't set up myself, (ignition, power locks, and power windows are some that comes to mind) design circuits to replace as much as possible, and plan out routing and other descisions. I'm going to investigate whether I can switch out the manual speedo gear to an electronic sensor so that I can use a digitally fed gauge to make gear and tire changes easier. Otherwise I think I'm going to go mechanical gauges wherever possible because I've heard they're more accurate and reliable. I'm probably going to build a center console area to house additional gauges I can't fit in the old instrument cluster area and some switches. However, like any trail rig project, it's likely to evolve drastically as time goes by.

    The trim removal tool you're referring to, is that like an interior trim tool for removing door panels and such? I wasn't planning on priming the area, but if there's rust, I guess I should. I don't plan on removing the windshield if I can help it, but I think I could successfully mask the area to paint.

    and just as a side do you know so much aboutBroncos Tim? Seems more than just a casual passing with trail riding buddies or something...

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    River Ridge Louisiana-4 miles W of New Orleans-didn't flood-water stopped 800 yards away.


    Hey, pretty good for $1200! Heck you usually can't even get a running vehicle for $1200!

    Don't know much about Fords, but a long time ago a girl I dated had a 1973 Maverick with a 302- it ran pretty for a car with no performance pretentions.

    1998 suburban-
    1/2 ton

    199500 miles

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