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-   -   86 Bronco recommendations for initial mods for a newb? (https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2688988)

Tenrai 09-19-2019 08:34 PM

86 Bronco recommendations for initial mods for a newb?
 
Just bought an 86 Bronco. Runs great got the 302 under the hood. but I'd like to take it out on trails etc maybe dig up a bit of mud. For someone totally new to 4x4 what do y'all recommend as the first mods anyone should do before hitting the trails? I wanna keep it usable as a daily driver since I (probably) wont be hitting the trails that much.
Also how much rust is TOO much? I only paid $750 for the Bronco so its got a fair amount. I wanna clean it up and make it look better I know chasing rust can be an expensive passtime and if its too much headache I wont but In sure would like to. any advice?

Tried posting a link to an imgur album of it but I cant post links since my post count is too low.

arse_sidewards 09-20-2019 04:53 AM

Initial mods should be rear locker and longer everything.

Throw a lunchbox locker in the rear because more traction = more better. Don't get too attached to the 8.8 since a 10.25 and 10.5 are bolt in swaps. Putting a detroit, arb, etc in a less than 1-ton diff under a full size vehicle is just pissing away money.

The radius arms out of a 99-04 2wd Superduty/Excursion will bolt right up (you need the brackets to go with) and doesn't cost an arm and a leg like the aftermarket stuff.

For longer shocks buy a pair of 90s F250 front shock mounts and graft them onto your coil buckets. Pics can be found online. Explorer Forum has a good reference built.

You need longer leaf springs and shackles (to get the most out of the long springs) out back. Chevy 63s will work. You will need to move the front spring hanger forward whatever you do. You may as well upgrade to the 6-bolt hanger that the F250/350 use at that time.

For longer rear shocks Autofab makes a mount but it's pricey. It'd dirt simple so just find some pics and copy it.

Longer brake lines are trivial and I'm not gonna cover them here.

Depending on how much travel you wind up with you will have rubbing on the center joint in the TTB. That can easily be fixed by opening up the window on the beam.

This will get you a very solid base rig that you can grow into and if you do decide to really build it up later basically none of that needs to be re-done (regardless of whether you keep the TTB or go SAS).

posford 09-20-2019 06:39 AM

Its an 86 Bronco, all you need is

Remove top, chicks don't like tops.
Acquire a Van Halen cassette and stuff it into the 90s Pioneer radio I guarantee it has.
Craigslist 33s mounted on whatever wheels you find for cheap.
Rock out in the woods.

Seriously if you're asking 'how bad is rust" and "mods" on a $750 Bronco and you have no 4x4 experience, avoid pissing away too much into a beat ass truck unless you're ready to go through it completely and build it. Or prove me wrong and build something badass.

How much mechanical experience do you realistically have?

Keep posting here til you have enough posts to post some pics

'84 Bronco II 09-20-2019 06:54 AM

Personally, I would suggest taking it out stock a few times and seeing how it does before you decide on modifying it to get a feel for where improvement needs to be made. How you modify it depends entirely on how you are using it. Building it for mud will be different than building it for trails, which will also be different from building it for dunes or rocks.

Now, not knowing what kind of terrain you will be wheeling in, or how extreme you may plan on going, here is my general "starter" build. I've always thought a lift and tires are probably the best first mod for beginners. On your Bronco, I would probably go with a 4" lift with longer radius arms and 35" tires. Then, if you find you need more traction, add lockers. You will probably want to re-gear your axles if nothing else, to keep decent street performance. I would suggest something in the 4.11-5.13 range depending on how much highway vs. trail driving you plan to do. If you care about the body, you may want to prioritize armor (bumpers, sliders, etc.). A winch is also a good idea at this point since the truck will be capable enough to get in trouble.

If mud and sand will be on the menu, you are going to want more power. Fortunately, there is great aftermarket support for the 302. Although, If close to 500 horsepower or more is in your sights, you would be better off starting with a 351.

Arse_sidewards suggestions aren't bad, but they are oriented towards someone with some fab and wrenching experience.

It would help tremendously if you could tell us what kind of stuff you want to be able to do (i.e. trail names, areas where you plan to wheel, etc.).

landen300 09-20-2019 09:42 AM

I tend to agree more with 84 Bronco 2.
A Basic lift will help a lot and is easy to install.
You could put 33's on it stock with a little rubbing.
If you get fancy with trimming, I bet you could stuff 35's in there.

Once you lock the front TTB, 35's will break things pretty easy in my experience.
Luckily TTB shafts are cheap and easy to stock pile and easy to swap.
If you use Spicer cold forged joints and good hubs, that will help you keep breakage down.

My first vehicle was an 88 full size Bronco, and it stayed stock while I owned it - but thrashed the hell out of it.
My next Bronco was a stock 89 a few years later, and it went thru all kinds of transitions... C6 to manual swap, lift on stock axles, lockers in stock axles, 1 ton swap, lockers in 1 tons, 36's to 40's.... it's an addiction.

Bottom line is, there's lots of things you can do for cheap and easy and you'll go places on the trail.

landen300 09-20-2019 09:45 AM

Also to posford's point, areas of concern for rust are

Rear of truck where floor meets sides (by tailgate hinges)
Lower outer area of foot well in back seat (below where your front seatbelt spools from)
Front cab mounts (under your floor board)

These are structural areas that aren't as easy to fix...
Things like rockers and floor pans can be replaced easy.

ironfist 09-20-2019 09:57 AM

Also, with rust repair check the rear of the drip rails for cracks.
Unless you're just going to trash it, then don't fix any of it.

rattle snake 09-20-2019 10:57 AM

Start with the biggest swamper Thornbirds that will fit, and cut off the muffler.
:homer:
as '84 stated, wheel it stock and see what it needs for how you want to use it.

u2slow 09-20-2019 11:55 AM

I would cram some chunky 33's on there, keep the tire pressure on the low side, and start wheeling.

With some miles and experience, you'll see what breaks and needs help. By then you'll have a better idea if this rusty $750 rig is something you want to continue with.

As for mods... wouldn't put any money into the TTB or 8.8 diff. (If it has the 9" rear, that's worth modding) These trucks have a good upgrade path as far as installing F250/350 parts, solid-axle swaps, etc. Hide the rust as best you can - at least initially - or cut it away for tire clearance.

Here's a solid-axle-swap thread for reference:
https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/8...wap-guide.html

...although it may be more preferable to go 2005+ Superduty nowadays.

arse_sidewards 09-20-2019 12:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by u2slow (Post 44611340)
...although it may be more preferable to go 2005+ Superduty nowadays.

It very much preferable. It's just parts swapping and drilling a couple holes for a trac bar mount and it's an all around better axle.

Black Sheep 09-20-2019 12:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by posford (Post 44610838)
Its an 86 Bronco, all you need is

Remove top, chicks don't like tops.
Acquire a Van Halen cassette and stuff it into the 90s Pioneer radio I guarantee it has.
Craigslist 33s mounted on whatever wheels you find for cheap.
Rock out in the woods.

Seriously if you're asking 'how bad is rust" and "mods" on a $750 Bronco and you have no 4x4 experience, avoid pissing away too much into a beat ass truck unless you're ready to go through it completely and build it. Or prove me wrong and build something badass.

How much mechanical experience do you realistically have?

Keep posting here til you have enough posts to post some pics

Bingo.

Dont waste a dollar "upgrading" anything. Strip it down to every but the seats and tape deck. Then abuse it till it blows up, scrap, rinse, repeat.

It's not exactly the best platform. I've seen dozens of big body Broncos built, only to end up being parted out and melted down. Hone your skills in with a beater, then find anything else to waste money on.

WHITE RHINO 09-20-2019 01:49 PM

Sell it.

Tenrai 09-20-2019 10:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by posford (Post 44610838)
Its an 86 Bronco, all you need is

Remove top, chicks don't like tops.
Acquire a Van Halen cassette and stuff it into the 90s Pioneer radio I guarantee it has.
Craigslist 33s mounted on whatever wheels you find for cheap.
Rock out in the woods.

Seriously if you're asking 'how bad is rust" and "mods" on a $750 Bronco and you have no 4x4 experience, avoid pissing away too much into a beat ass truck unless you're ready to go through it completely and build it. Or prove me wrong and build something badass.

How much mechanical experience do you realistically have?

Keep posting here til you have enough posts to post some pics

I wish it still had the cassette player. Someone replaced it with a CD player (but kept the front plate for the player so i don't even have that rn)
I've got moderate mechanical experience (do all my own maintenance etc) and when something needs to be replaced or repaired I can usually go off youtube videos and get it done. This is my first SUV up till now I've always had Sedans or coupes. I'm gonna keep posting progress will be slow I've gotta get it registered able to pass emissions so my first priority is getting it running better (hopefully that just replacing the transmission kickdown cable). Then every few weeks grab new parts for it and put em on. Looking at throwing a cage on the back so I can ghetto rig a safari top and get rid of the old fiberglass hard top.
Do you recommend buying one prebuilt? or going to a welding shop and getting one? theres a vocational school nearby that I was thinking of trying to get to make one.

Tenrai 09-20-2019 10:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by '84 Bronco II (Post 44610854)
Personally, I would suggest taking it out stock a few times and seeing how it does before you decide on modifying it to get a feel for where improvement needs to be made. How you modify it depends entirely on how you are using it. Building it for mud will be different than building it for trails, which will also be different from building it for dunes or rocks.

Now, not knowing what kind of terrain you will be wheeling in, or how extreme you may plan on going, here is my general "starter" build. I've always thought a lift and tires are probably the best first mod for beginners. On your Bronco, I would probably go with a 4" lift with longer radius arms and 35" tires. Then, if you find you need more traction, add lockers. You will probably want to re-gear your axles if nothing else, to keep decent street performance. I would suggest something in the 4.11-5.13 range depending on how much highway vs. trail driving you plan to do. If you care about the body, you may want to prioritize armor (bumpers, sliders, etc.). A winch is also a good idea at this point since the truck will be capable enough to get in trouble.

If mud and sand will be on the menu, you are going to want more power. Fortunately, there is great aftermarket support for the 302. Although, If close to 500 horsepower or more is in your sights, you would be better off starting with a 351.

Arse_sidewards suggestions aren't bad, but they are oriented towards someone with some fab and wrenching experience.

It would help tremendously if you could tell us what kind of stuff you want to be able to do (i.e. trail names, areas where you plan to wheel, etc.).

Planning on wheeling around the Denver CO area, dont know any trails yet but I've heard the offroading scene out here gets pretty epic. Dont have any friends I know doing it yet (just moved here so no friends at all really besides some work acquaintances and immediate family) I dont wanna mud it too much basically I dont wanna go out with the expectation of getting into super deep mud but I wanna be able to hand some mud. I'm more interested in riding some established trails to beautiful places. And I eventually plan on building a home in Hartsell CO so with all the snow out there 4x4 just seems like a really good idea.

Tenrai 09-20-2019 10:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Black Sheep (Post 44611392)
Bingo.

Dont waste a dollar "upgrading" anything. Strip it down to every but the seats and tape deck. Then abuse it till it blows up, scrap, rinse, repeat.

It's not exactly the best platform. I've seen dozens of big body Broncos built, only to end up being parted out and melted down. Hone your skills in with a beater, then find anything else to waste money on.

Its not a dedicated offroading rig it will also be my daily driver. I'm planning on restoring it making it run and look good then making it capable of handling some shit in case I need it to or wanna take it up some trails. Not looking to blow it up in a mud hole and abandon it.

Tenrai 09-20-2019 10:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ironfist (Post 44611206)
Also, with rust repair check the rear of the drip rails for cracks.
Unless you're just going to trash it, then don't fix any of it.

I wanna restore it to GOOD quality condition again. if I gotta chop off the rusty bits and replace them I'm okay with that but I want it to look decent once i get it running decent.

Tenrai 09-20-2019 10:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WHITE RHINO (Post 44611542)
Sell it.

Why?

Tenrai 09-20-2019 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arse_sidewards (Post 44610786)
Initial mods should be rear locker and longer everything.

Throw a lunchbox locker in the rear because more traction = more better. Don't get too attached to the 8.8 since a 10.25 and 10.5 are bolt in swaps. Putting a detroit, arb, etc in a less than 1-ton diff under a full size vehicle is just pissing away money.

The radius arms out of a 99-04 2wd Superduty/Excursion will bolt right up (you need the brackets to go with) and doesn't cost an arm and a leg like the aftermarket stuff.

For longer shocks buy a pair of 90s F250 front shock mounts and graft them onto your coil buckets. Pics can be found online. Explorer Forum has a good reference built.

You need longer leaf springs and shackles (to get the most out of the long springs) out back. Chevy 63s will work. You will need to move the front spring hanger forward whatever you do. You may as well upgrade to the 6-bolt hanger that the F250/350 use at that time.

For longer rear shocks Autofab makes a mount but it's pricey. It'd dirt simple so just find some pics and copy it.

Longer brake lines are trivial and I'm not gonna cover them here.

Depending on how much travel you wind up with you will have rubbing on the center joint in the TTB. That can easily be fixed by opening up the window on the beam.

This will get you a very solid base rig that you can grow into and if you do decide to really build it up later basically none of that needs to be re-done (regardless of whether you keep the TTB or go SAS).


I understood some of those words. lol looks like I've got some research to do.

Prizefighter 09-23-2019 02:14 PM

Step 1. Weld the rear axle and put used aggressive tires on it.
Step 2. Beat the piss out of it.

That's literally it. Learn on it, don't spend a lot of money. After your finished beating the hell out of it, having fun, learning, buy anything except a Jeep that is worthy to sink money into. This is coming from a guy who spent too much on an 89 Bronco to wheel that I bought for $300.


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