ok you asked for it, the non jeep build thread.

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Jun 13, 2016
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for some reason I do not get email alerts that anyone commented on this site, so I did not see that people had asked me to start a build thread for my Bronco. anyway I just checked up to see what was going on here and saw that people had ok'd/ requested I post up a build thread on my bronco. so here it is.

I am a Ford guy in case that wasn't obvious from my user name. I have always loved the early broncos and always wanted one, but I never found one I could afford when I was looking. so after I had basically finished what I wanted to do to the joopacabra I was kind of bored and looking for a new project. I found this one on craigslist about an hour from where I lived. I had just sold my 94 convertible and so I had cash in hand and space in the garage so I went to look at it and almost said forget it. it was way to bad to be restored. but having been dreaming about it for a week before I could get over to see it I had already found that every part on it was available in reproduction so with my wifes blessing I paid way too much for it and brought it home.

this was the only picture I saw on craigslist. it looks way worse in person.

so here are some, what the heck did i just buy pictures.
this is the only time I have driven it. I backed it out of my trailer. drove it over to the dumpster and started unloading all the crap from inside it.


then I took some pictures

so at that point it was obvious, this thing was a mess and needed a complete restoration. before I even saw it I had researched options for rust repair because these things are notorious for rust damage so after seeing this mess I decided I would just replace the whole body. I contacted Delco Nick from Northeast classic ford products and put in an order for a complete body. then I started tearing it apart.

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I stripped it all the way down to the bare frame. every nut and bolt. the frame was also fairly badly damaged so I shipped it to a company that blasted it, replaced and repaired part of it and then had it all powder coated.

in the meantime I started working on the axles. I had 2 sets of axles that came with the truck, the set that was in it that had 4.11 gears, and a second set with 3.50 gears. the bad part was the second set had the correct and stronger dana 44 front axle, and the one in the truck had a dana 30, so I decided to rebuild the dana 44 and the 9 inch so I would have a 4.11 gear ratio. so I stripped both axles and did the kbs coatings 3 step process to rust proof them. then the rear diff was good so I just put in new seals and brakes and it was good to go.
the front axle was a whole nother sack of snakes. I had to regear it, and that required changing the carrier. so I got a limited slip carrier with new gears and a master install kit. now I have never set up gears myself before and my Dad is in the nursing home now so I worked pretty hard to get this all done, and finally when I had it all set up I got dad out of the nursing home to come over and check the pattern before I buttoned it up for good. I am proud to say that he thought I did a pretty good job. I only screwed things up several times. had to buy a second master install kit and ended up destroying my cheapie harbor freight hydraulic press in the process, but hey I got it done. and I got some new tools in the process, including a much bigger and stronger hydraulic press.








then I powder coated the knuckles and had the fun experience of replacing the ball joints which was when I bent my press. you know trying to press those ball joints out the wrong way doesn't work well at all lol. but again I got it done eventually. then I put on a nice disk brake conversion, and new warn locking hubs, and my axles were complete.

after my frame got back from powder coating I got word that a guy that was supposed to pick up his bronco body from northeast had decided he couldn't do it yet and so they asked me if I wanted this body. so I loaded up the truck and I went to beverly, or actually to Delaware. It was nice I had several days off about that time, I just went myself with my truck and had a nice road trip.

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and we made it back safe and sound. there was already some flash rust occuring around the spot welds so the first thing I did was to sand it all down with a scotchbright on a 3 inch grinder and prime it with epoxy primer.
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after that I decided I liked the original stance that the truck had, but the old leaf springs were broken, and it had a budget lift block installed. I always preferred the look of the bronco with fender flares. that uncut look in back is just not my forte'. since I was going to cut it and I needed a 1 inch body lift to accommodate a 5 speed transmission, and since I did not want too big of tires as this was going to be a primarily street driven/ show truck I decided on a wild horses 1.5 inch premium lift with bilstein shocks. I got new coil spring mounting buckets and retainers and all new hardware to go with it. this was in December, and My daughter Sarah was just about to leave for her 18 month mission to Paraguay. so we said good bye to my number one helper.

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so in February I was on a continuing education/vacation trip. I tell you it was horrible, 10 days in Hawaii. no snow, no garage, just my laptop, my catalog, my credit card and a lot of time to contemplate. a very dangerous combination.

I also got my tax return about that time and so, you know things happened. I bring dinner to my Dad every Sunday in the nursing home, and we sit and chat about the bronco and what I want to do next. i found this dual quad efi system from fitech and just fell in love with it. I have always wanted a dual quad engine, I just think they are so cool. so I decided I wanted that. then I decided that to support that much induction I needed an engine to match. I decided the 302 I had would just not cut it so I decided on a 351 as I was looking at options of buying a 351 engine and having it machined. buying all the parts for it, etc. I decided to look into crate engines. as it turns out I have a relative. actually my cousins husband works as the chief technical engineer for blueprint engines. I found a 408 stroker motor with aluminum heads on summits website that cost pretty close to what it would cost to buy a good core and have it built. so I ordered one from summit, and less than a week later my new engine shows up. it has already been broken in on the dyno, and dynos at 460 hp 493 ft/pounds of torque. I think that ought to motivate this beast. and I bought some nice valve covers and a billet industries low profile air cleaner.

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I have built several engines before, I have rebuilt transmissions before, but I have never rebuilt a transfer case before so I decided rather than buying a new atlas transfer case I would rebuild the dana 20 that came in the truck. yeah the atlas is better, but I wanted the experience of rebuilding the t-case myself. so I bought some good parts for it, including wild horses extreme duty rear output shaft which is supposedly the main weak point of the dana 20. then I set to work rebuilding it.I used a wild horses billet cover plate also.

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in the mean time I also selected a 23 gallon gas tank with an in tank fitech efi pump, kbs coated, and mounted it. and I cleaned and powdercoated a bunch of stuff.

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well, that's enough for now. I will come back later and finish updating this thread to where I am at currently. thanks for letting me post this up here.
ok, I had some lunch. now time to post up a few more pictures. when we last met I had finished the transfer case. at that point I started looking at transmission options. I wanted a manual. I am not sure why really, but I did. so I had a few options. the icon broncos, and a lot of the other high end bronco building companies have been using the ax 15 transmission. it is probably a bit understrength for this engine, but they have been running them behind the coyote engines which have pretty much the same horsepower and torque ratings. the advantage is they shift nicer than a full size truck transmission, they are about the same size as the original 3 speed transmission and they have kits you can buy that have everything you need to make it work. so that is the way I decided to go. I went with the wild horses kit that had the twin stick shifter for the dana 20 which is required when using a j shift dana 20, the centerforce clutch, and everything else I needed. I did also have to buy the adapter plate for using the stock clutch bell crank on an engine without the correct mounting boss. but it all went together pretty well. oh and i got another new tool to help me drill nice straight holes in that powdercoated frame. a dewalt magnetic drill press. I used my portapower to stretch the frame just a smidge while getting the crossmember in place so I didn't have to scratch it all up. and I am lazy so I used my engine hoist to lift the transmission so I didn't have to do it by hand.
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I ran the brake lines before I put the engine in, but after I had that in place I had to start thinking about how I was going to run the fuel lines. in order to do that I need to figure out where the exhaust was going to run. with a 351w running the ford explorer serpentine belt system and the ax 15 transmission I had a lot of things to sort out as far as fitment. in doing my research on the subject I considered several vendors and several options, I finally emailed monster Mike at Duff Bronco and laid out my concerns and what I wanted to accomplish. he recommended using their long tube headers and true dual exhaust. they would fit best with what I was dealing with. since heat is a known issue with broncos and especially long tube headers I ordered the ceramic coated headers, that were just beautiful btw, and everything fit very nicely. unfortunately, I wanted the stainless steel magnaflow mufflers that were not part of the kit they offered, and the headers were on back order so I told them I was in no hurry. when everything finally arrived it looked and fit great.

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