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Cliff Notes: Building 2 1979 Bronco’s, one prerunner with long travel TTB. The other as a trail rig/daily driver on 1-tons. Both of them with 545ci BBF’s.


This all started back in the late 80’s when my Dad picked up a 1979 Bronco, bone stock. The same Bronco that would take me home from the hospital when I was born, and I would grow up wrenching on.



He caught the 4x4 bug and spent years wrenching on it and building it to the point that I took it over at recently. I grew up there with him, learning how to wrench on it, and enjoyed trips all over the North West wheeling everything from the Oregon dunes, trails at TSF, and rocks in Moab.

At this point (around 2008) it had a strong running 460, an NV4500/Twin-stick Np205, trussed Ford 9” with 35 spline chromo’s, ex-Nascar Nodular 3rd, spool etc, and Cage Radius arms etc up front.















 

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On a trip at Sand Lake Oregon in 2009-ish the oil pump broke at the pedestal and it lost oil pressure, just long enough to scuff up some crank bearings. So the motor got pulled and rebuilt and then due to life, and work, it got put on the backburner and never found its way back in. Fast forward to 2018, he’s looking to sell the Bronco, and I can’t stand to see it go to some stranger, so I offer my 68 F100 I had just picked up on the cheap for a trade. This works for both of us, because I essentially picked up his Bronco on the cheap, and he was left with an F100 he could flip for a good amount of cash and put back into his 68 Fastback project. So I spent a couple weeks of leave back home getting the Bronco unburied from spending 10 years as a storage shelf. Got the front end finished and put back together (was in the process of getting trussed) and shipped it off to Idaho, where I’m currently stationed.






Now it’s here, waiting on the machine shop to finish up the short block for the 545ci BBF I’m assembling for it. I’m working on odds and ends while I wait, like the interior. The plan is ultimately, to take the 1-tons out from under the other Bronco and throw them under this. Then set it up as a daily driver/weekend warrior rig.
 

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Bronco #2

This one I have owned since I was a junior in high school, I bought it as you see in the first pictures. It was your run of the mill mud truck, with a rock hard 6” lift and half tons with a mild 429. I beat on it and learned a lot all through school, wasting every dollar I earned on gas and parts. After I graduated I was waiting around for my date to leave for basic training in the USAF.. I decided to do a 1-ton swap on it after coming across a hell of a deal on a set of superduty axles and some suspension from our good friend Jim Cole. Ended up knocking out the 1-ton swap and enjoyed the Bronco for almost a year before leaving. On my last weekend of leave before I went to my first duty station in Japan I ended up going to TSF/Sand-Lake and wheeling it without any issues… until I went to pull away from the stop sign up the road from my house and BAM… Threw a rod through the pan. So I threw a tarp over it and spent a few years overseas, saving some money to build it when I returned.











When I got back stateside I had a whole stack of parts waiting for me and I spent 30 days of leave throwing a 545ci BBF together for it, and added the glass fenders 40’s etc. At that point I didn’t know I would soon own the other green Bronco so I had envisioned an all around build for it mostly geared towards the go-fast style stuff, but still able to take on some trails and rocks.







 

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Once I got the Green Bronco, I realized I could keep it as a capable 4x4 toy and change direction with the black one towards an all-out prerunner style build. So I’ve been stockpiling parts and slowly piecing together the build. So far I have OhhCho-Fab’s first ever set of fully fabricated TTB beams that are +4.5” wider per side than factory with billet beam ends etc., They turned out killer! I also have a set of RCV shafts for it, and I managed to find a rare D50 differential that has the bolt-in style stub shaft. As for shocks, so far I have a set of 3.5x16 6-tube bypass Kings w/ Finned resi’s and a set of 2.5” King bumps, just missing some 14” coilovers.

I stole the TTB crossmember from a donor bronco and have got it trimmed up to fit the boxed 79 frame. Now I'm locating the suspension under the truck so I can finalize it’s placement and start welding it up.















So that’s pretty much where I’m at now. Slowly working on the TTB swap as I am waiting on parts to finish up the 545 build for the green bronco. Progress won’t be super fast as its just me building these in my garage, while still active duty/in school/raising kiddos.
 

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Wow dude, I came into this thread without much expectations but you're putting together some slick shit! Keep it up!
 

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nice roach.
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Subbed for the upgraded family wheeler and pics of the prerunner in a low earth orbit... :grinpimp:
 

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Bad ass man. I like the background info from the og bronco. excited to see more. :beer:
Appreciate it! Definitely a lot of history in that Bronco, it will be cool to take my kids out camping and wheeling in the same rig I grew up doing that in with my Dad.

Wow dude, I came into this thread without much expectations but you're putting together some slick shit! Keep it up!
Haha Thanks man, keep those expectations low and you'll never be disappointed in this thread.

Subbed for the upgraded family wheeler and pics of the prerunner in a low earth orbit... :grinpimp:
Looking to rack up some frequent flyer miles when its together again

Sweet builds. These fords look so good with glass fenders makes me wanna get one :smokin:
Thanks man! I have to agree it suits these body styles, no wonder the dentsides and bumpsides are gaining so much popularity in the prerunner world.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I made a little progress thanks to the Corona Virus.

Just about finished up the 1-ton swap on the green Bronco while I wait for the engine to get back from the machine shop. Got lucky and it looks like the driveshafts are close enough in length they're going to work even though they were originally meant for a C6 and are now going on a NV4500. Even got the kiddos to pitch in and help mount up the new 39" BFG's on my beadlocks. They really change the look of the Bronco! Might have to play with the stance. right now it has 4'' progressive rate coils up front and Deaver H57's w/ Camburg +1.5" shackles in the rear.















 

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Got a little further into the TTB build as well. Got the crossmember in its permanent home and added some ears to give it a bit more weld surface. Notched the frame and started cycling the suspension, this is where the issues started. From ride height I was only cycling 5.5'' bump travel when I should be pushing 9"+ even with a pretty serious notch. Turns out the later frames have more of a kick in the frame allowing them more bump travel with lower ride height.

this left me with 3 options. option 1: Pie cut the frame and kick it up a few inches. This would mean relocating Engine/Trans/T-case/Core support/Steering etc. Option 2: build drop brackets for the TTB. This leaves me with a taller ride height and more stress on the crossmember, which is a common spot for cracks already. And lastly, Option 3: Body swap onto a later chassis. This is a bit of fab to make new body mounts up front, but gives me a clean sandblasted chassis to start with/off the shelf steering options instead of designing a dual swing steering setup from scratch.

Option 3 was the obvious choice for me, so I reached out to my friend Rob who owns a tow company in town. He has a buddy Mario who he had given a 93 bronco years ago as a donor rig. He still had it and was planning on scrapping it next week, so he gave it to me for free. Can't beat that! Sometimes things just work out. So I got it torn down and cut/pounded 8,000 rivets out of the damn thing getting all the suspension hangers etc knocked off it, and its getting blasted this weekend. Plan is to box the frame and coat it in Steelit and start throwing all the suspension/drivetrain in it and do the clean install it deserves then throw the body on and start the tube work.












 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
some more progress brought to you by Quarantine. Sand blasted the frame and gave it a coat of Steel-It to keep it from rusting. Still planning on boxing the frame and C-notching the rear about 3". Also got the new Engine mounts/TTB pivots on the frame.









 

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Discussion Starter #14
Got the block back from the machine shop a couple days ago so I've been able to make some progress throwing the new 545ci Stroker together, it is about ready to stuff in the Green Bronco.



 

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Nice work. :smokin:

Jack
 
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