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Old 02-14-2008, 08:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The budget Bronco Beater

I've had this thing for about a year now and figured I should post up about it instead of lurking.

I always liked budget build-ups and when I came across a complete 85 Bronco for $150 I saw the vision of a super cheep beater so Me and A friend of mine purchased the heap, last spring.



It wasn't running, the fenders were already trimmed and it was equipped with a 6 popper, 4 speed, stock axles, extra axles and doors, 33" tires and plenty of cancer .




After a little tinkering i got it running the plug wires were all out of order but once it fired up it ran great so i left everything go. The gas tank had rust holes in it so I got a boat tank from Wally World for $30.

Next we started stripping it of everything we didn't want, so off went the bumpers, top, tail gate, and interior and began patching the holes.




We then mounted seats donated from an XJ (Free)



Along with patching I also added 8 gauge sliders I got free from a friend



once the body was somewhat solid, we added the cage. Tubing I got a cost for $100 through work.



integrated the tire carrier and hi-lift mount



then we added a skid plate using scrap pieces.

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Old 02-14-2008, 09:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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finally we added front and rear receiver mounts. In the back we cut up the original trailer hitch and slid it into the frame using more scrap pieces ( don't throw anything away )



up front I wanted some D ring mounts but didn't have the 1" thick stock to make them so I tried an idea I had floating in my head for a while.

first I cut several pieces the shape I wanted out of 1/4" plate with one having a long bottom



Then I welded the big piece to the outside of the frame



then welded each piece side by side fully on the bottom and tacked on top



Then I welded the whole thing solid



And ground it smooth



Came out pretty good and probibly stronger that a single piece

the last thing done was welding up the rear axle and slapping on a set of free 33" swampers. Well they cost $40 to have them mounted



believe it or not both of these tires are listed as 33x12.5x15!



After some miscellaneous stuff we spent about $430 total including the price of the truck. Not bad for a trail beater!
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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well after it's first time out I realized it needed some more work and there was some stuff i wanted to add.

first thing i noticed was i ended up catching one of the crossmember bolts and bent the frame a little so i decided to give it some protection.



then I wanted to move the front seat because my short little legs weren't doing so good in it's current position but being that it has no adjustment i needed to drill new holes to move it forward.

another thing i wanted to do was add my spare shafts. the fronts were easy, I just hose clamped them in place



For the rear shafts I added a tab to the cage



and them clamped them in place (i also tucked the spare steering parts under the tire)



I also added a console box and fire extinguisher



and holders for my mag light



Finally I added the Co2 tank I got from my brother



After all the changes I ran it again and had no problems other than a busted motor mount. I'm really impressed at how tough this thing is and the 6 banger just pulls it through anything.

The next thing for the truck is a tranny swap. I scored a t18 T-case combo for $200 a few months ago, and I have a donor truck coming with 4:10's in it. Then i'll actually be able to crawl!
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Looks good. Love the cheap wheelers.

Why didnt you just run the crossmember bolt the other way??

Groove those bald swampers for more tread- a small hand grinder with a fresh wheel will do wonders and not cost a thing.
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Great build!!Subscribed.
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Old 02-15-2008, 04:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I love budget builds, probably more because that's all I can afford,
but Love them still the same.
I have something simular going this spring with my 78 Bronco .
and I want to combine my 76 4x4 Highboy + a 78 F 150 4x4 short bed,
and make a short bed F250 Highboy 4x4
these are on a budget also. so I say " BRAVO!!! I LIKE IT!!! "
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Old 02-15-2008, 07:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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EXCELLENT!! This is my kinda build, low money high enginuity. I just did the same with my 87 150. I like the multi plate shackle mount idea, Im gonna steal it if ya dont mind. Did you weld the rear?
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Old 02-15-2008, 03:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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looks sweet. I love these builds.
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Old 02-15-2008, 04:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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wow impressive!
That thing is pretty pimp for such little money.
looks good keep it up!
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Old 02-15-2008, 04:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Looks good. Seems like you're doing better keeping it in budget than I did on my 'budget build'. Well, they all 'start' as budget builds.
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Old 02-15-2008, 06:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for the positive feed back everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wyldstallyn73 View Post
Looks good. Love the cheap wheelers.

Why didnt you just run the crossmember bolt the other way??

Groove those bald swampers for more tread- a small hand grinder with a fresh wheel will do wonders and not cost a thing.
I did think about flippin the bolts but the heads would still need protected so I figured it was just as easy to do that.

I was going to groove the swampers just like you said but I have another set of tires from another project that i'll be using.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mortis08 View Post
EXCELLENT!! This is my kinda build, low money high enginuity. I just did the same with my 87 150. I like the multi plate shackle mount idea, Im gonna steal it if ya dont mind. Did you weld the rear?
No, go right ahead. That's why I posed it.

Yes the rear is welded and soon I'm planning on welding the front and swapping in a D50 stub shaft while I'm at it.

Here are some action vids for everyones enjoyment

First time out going up Yellow Jacket ridge @ RC in PA. Before I adjusted the timing and the belts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7f626__vEgU

Second time out Coming up Yellow Jacket ridge from the side after helping someone fix a flat tire

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V7_mvq_MqE

Going over a large rock on an unknown trail

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1HqcNn-AJk

Playing in the comp area at the end of the day

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIcVizgH624
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Old 02-16-2008, 06:40 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Does that thing even have shocks? Nice vids, you need to get people to STFU though.
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Old 02-16-2008, 07:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Does that thing even have shocks? Nice vids, you need to get people to STFU though.
Academically speaking, Yes it has shocks. They are cylindrical in shape, move up and down but have long lost the ability to dampen anything. they do make a nice whooshing sound when i hit bumps though! LOL! I do have other ones that I'll be putting on but I'll need to do some modification to make them fit, being the cheep bastard that i am, they are from a Toyota.

As far as the vid, well what are ya going to do. they are a chatty bunch. Maybe next time I'll add some music to cover the blobity blas
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Old 02-16-2008, 07:55 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Oh yah, and here is a couple pics from the first time out on the black line up the pipe line trail. It'll get the tires smokin!






And yes I did make it
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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i see a locker in youre future........
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:40 AM   #16 (permalink)
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i see a locker in youre future........
He's on the cheap. I see a welder.
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Old 02-17-2008, 09:50 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Well, thats what it was intended to come across as... Just didnt word it right. How long you think that front would last if he did front and rear lincolns?
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Old 02-17-2008, 10:00 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 94stepsideford View Post
He's on the cheap. I see a welder.
Hay, i've only been here a little while and already you know me

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrono4 View Post
Well, thats what it was intended to come across as... Just didnt word it right. How long you think that front would last if he did front and rear lincolns?
Well I guess we'll find out! Especially when I add the 36's BTW it's already locked in the rear and I havn't broken anything yet.

Last edited by crashaholic; 02-17-2008 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 02-17-2008, 10:01 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Looks good, budget beaters are always good. I want to go wheeling now
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Old 02-17-2008, 02:49 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Well, thats what it was intended to come across as... Just didnt word it right. How long you think that front would last if he did front and rear lincolns?
Depends on where/how hes wheels etc. I would guess not long. But they're only parst, they make more everyday.
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Old 02-17-2008, 03:11 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Depends on where/how hes wheels etc. I would guess not long. But they're only parst, they make more everyday.
Yah and soon i'll have 2 complete sets of extra shafts so i'll have plenty of stuff to brake! LOL
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Old 02-17-2008, 09:33 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Excellent! Skid plate the entire underside and make a mini tank.
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Old 02-17-2008, 09:43 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Awesome. Killer job gotta love the cheap beaters
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Old 02-17-2008, 09:50 PM   #24 (permalink)
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NICE! i love it! Makes me miss my cheap bronco build. I started off by finding a 78 bronco for 100 bucks! And it ran pretty dang good, threw some 31x11.50R15s i had on it. And it was a great rig. The front seal on the tranny leaked though, but i ended up having to move and lost my garage, so i had to sell it. This makes me want to find a bronco again....great build!
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:52 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Picked up a donor truck yesterday



It's got a rebuilt 351 that has supposedly been wormed over but I need to get a hold of the guy that did the work to find out for sure. also a C6 tranny. I'm going to pull a couple things off and the rest will be up for quick sale than the shell will go to the scrapper. Yay more spare parts!
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