It lives again!
What a crazy adventure. So we had the storms from the hurricane that dumped almost two feet of rain on us which definitely delayed me! A poorly installed intake gasket that i re-did, new Ford Racing lifters, had the craziest coolant leak youve ever seen that led to swapping out for a different set of stock heads, but finally, she's a runner once more!
Hopefully there will be no more problems popping up, cuz i am ready to turn some wrenches on the big bronco and finally get her running again!
Ole reliable had to tow her home today. Guessing i blew a head gasket on my way in to work last night. Motor was hydrolocked in the parking lot, guessing it filled up during the shift since it didnt overheat on the way in. Towed it home, its at the garage door now awaiting repairs. Drained a gallon of coolant out of the oil pan! I wont really be able to tear into it next week, but im guessing passenger head gasket. Got all spark plugs out in parking lot at work except #4 as i didnt have a socket that would clear the header. #3 was was sparkly, like it was burning coolant. Guessing #4 will be as well.
Couple months later, the bornco is still handling like a champ! Wish i flipped the steering sooner. Tires are wearing so much better now too.
So ive hard the hard top off since memorial day, and the XL rear cardboard panels are getting a bit rough:
I cant find XLT rear panels anywhere, so i went to the local scrap yard, and found a huge sheet of 1/4" thick black plastic for $20! So i made my own:
Laying out the second panel. The sheet was just barely big enough to make both:
cheapy sound deadener from Amazon:
First panel installed:
I used the rear speaker grills out of my '88 since the cardboard panels didnt use any. I still need to find another pair because sooner or later these are going to end up back in the '88 again!
...and both done!
Im pretty happy with how they came out, altho if i ever find some XLT panels im still gonna get em.
Picked up the bronco this morning. Handles really nice with good tires up front. I was really close on the alignment, and now its perfect. Passed insp with flying colors too, so we're good to go!
aka "Fixing" the Steering.
So ive been chasing alignment issues. Basically, the theory is that the F250 pitman arm doesnt drop enough for the 2.5" lift, and its causing camber in turns. Truck looks good on a rack, but continues to wear the front tires. The obvious solution is a drop pitman arm. But thats too easy! So lets make it more complicated!
Steering angles before we started:
So i bought some Ford tie rod sleeves from Sky Manufacturing
Hole drilled out to 7/8", sleeve going in with some red loctite:
tie rod's new home:
Check those angles, and that ground clearance!
Piece of cake, right? WRONG! Now the tie rods hit the sway bar. So, here we go!
Cut the end links in half. I extended them about 1.5" using 3/4" steel rod; i thought i had a pic but apparently i dont.
Endlink halves reinstalled, but on the opposite side of the bronco. 8" piece of 1" tubing to extend the link. Its crazy, but the way Ford made the bar, it totally fits just fine like this.
Decided to drill/bolt the 3 pieces together:
...and just like that, sway bar disconnects!
New poly bushings....
Bronco needs an inspection, so while its there im going to have them double check my driveway alignment, see how far off i got it. Only went around the block and that was before re-adjusting toe, so i cant give a final opinion on if it handles any better/worse yet.
So the flares interfere with the rubber arches for the running boards. I dont want to hack them up (id rather keep them unmolested), so that means i need to build something else to replace them.
This is a set of steps i built for a buddy years ago, for his quad cab. He no longer has a use for them, so i got them back. They wont work for a short bronco, but the material is salvageable.
Cutting them up:
Ok, now the correct length, and notches cut/boxed to clear the front fender bolt:
The rough idea, same as what everyone else does. You can see i was working on these while fixing the fender
The difference is im going to add a step on the side, to make it easier to get the little guy in/out of his car seat.
I was holding off on this update until i got everything done, because it all kind of ties together. That said.....
After finishing the interior, i decided i might as well deal with the rust on the exterior. Fortunately, there really isnt much, except for this:
Fixing it required doing something that probably everyone was waiting for.....
The running boards are off!
At the same time, i added a set of Bushwacker's Street Flares, which are the smallest of the 3 they offer.
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