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Old 05-06-2018, 08:43 PM   #1
JConnor95
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Default 1983 Bronco Long Term Rebuild

I figured I'd go ahead and start this thread to keep track of the progress ill be making on my newest project. Forewarning, this build is going to be SLOW. I am currently starting Graduate School at Texas A&M, so living on a student budget money will be tight. But, I also want this to be a place that if anyone comes across any parts that I might be looking for throughout the build, that they can let me know so I can track down what I need on the cheap.

Background information:

This is actually the first vehicle that I ever drove. My parents purchased this Bronco for me the summer of 2011. I drove it for a few years during high school and then traded up through (numerous) other vehicles. When I stopped driving it, my parents had originally decided to keep it for their fun/weekend vehicle/grocery getter. However, since I am graduating this week, they have gifted it back to me as a graduation present.

This bronco is (in most senses) all original. It has had a few wrecks and some body work done to it (all front end), but for the most part, the paint is original. The entire interior with the exception of the radio is original. It spent its entire life in the same town I grew up in (as far as we can tell) and has not had any major changes done to it. Has a good set of history with it as far as records goes, and even came with the original owners manuals from 1983 and the manufacturers tag with production date. My goal currently is to get it back running (has sat for around a year or so) and then go from there.

I will try to post pictures as I go, but work will be slow.


Thanks and Gig'Em!
Connor
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:58 PM   #2
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Okay, now that Iíve figure out how to use this stupid app, i can post yesterday/todayís update. So since itís been sitting for a while we knew the fuel was bad. Dropped the tank only to find there was ~18 gallons of fuel in it. Smelled like acetone (really bad). So we emptied it out, replaced the inline fuel filter at the carb, and blew out the fuel lines with compressed air. Pressure washed the tank and the skid plate, and ordered a handful of new parts from LMC truck. (Happy Birthday to Me!). Iíll post pics of them when they come in and get them installed.

Pic bait while we wait for the new parts. Iím hoping between this cleanout and cleaning up the carb we can get her running again. Theoretically that should work since everything worked well when parked, and it was stored in a garage.

Thanks and GigíEm!
Connor

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Old 05-06-2018, 10:15 PM   #3
Artos
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...tagged.

To say I have a soft spot is sort of an understatement. I graduated HS in 88 & my first vehicle was an 81 & boy the stories that thing could share!!

But, by far my favorite was the 2nd with the 84 & the 351 H.O. That thing would flat out fly for a big ole set of wheels & was a big improvement over the 2 barrel of the 81.

Good luck & thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-06-2018, 10:21 PM   #4
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I'm a Bronco junkie myself. Had a '72, a '79, an '82, and another '79 for a lease ride. I'm gonna have another before I croak, God willing !
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Old 05-06-2018, 11:38 PM   #5
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My dream vehicle
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:02 PM   #6
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My first vehicle was a 84 bronco, wish I still had it. I'll be following. Gig Em
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Old 05-13-2018, 08:25 PM   #7
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Alright, now that weíre through final exams and graduation, i finally have time to get back on it. Have a bunch of new parts Iíll be installing tonight/tomorrow for the fuel system. Also made a score of a deal on a fender. A girl i used to date wrecked the bronco back in high school, damaging the passenger side fender. I scored one in Houston today off an F150. Body panels line up between these two for the year models, so i went over and grabbed it today. $20 as long as i took it off myself. Has one dent the size of a quarter in it, but i can probably pop that back out/body work it to where it looks good. I figure worst comes to worst, it doesnít work out and i can sell it for more than i paid.

Pics to come more tomorrow with updates and (hopefully) getting it running again.

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Old 05-13-2018, 08:53 PM   #8
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How did I miss this thread? My Bronco is an '84 and I've replaced every mechanical part except the transmission. All bearings and seals have been replaced.

If you have to buy a part, try to get it from O'Reilly's with the lifetime warranty. It's only a few bucks more, but then you never have to buy the part again.

Also buy a second ignition module, starter relay, ignition coil, one spark plug with a wire, and a complete distributor, to build an ignition troubleshooting kit. With these parts you can can troubleshoot a no-spark condition in five minutes. It will pay for itself the first time your engine loses ignition and coasts to a stop or just won't start.

I'm in Austin. Let me know if you need a hand or have a question about your Bronco.

I also have a Bronco fender label that you can have for free if you want it so you can replace the F150 tag.
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Old 05-13-2018, 11:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banzai View Post
How did I miss this thread? My Bronco is an '84 and I've replaced every mechanical part except the transmission. All bearings and seals have been replaced.

If you have to buy a part, try to get it from O'Reilly's with the lifetime warranty. It's only a few bucks more, but then you never have to buy the part again.

Also buy a second ignition module, starter relay, ignition coil, one spark plug with a wire, and a complete distributor, to build an ignition troubleshooting kit. With these parts you can can troubleshoot a no-spark condition in five minutes. It will pay for itself the first time your engine loses ignition and coasts to a stop or just won't start.

I'm in Austin. Let me know if you need a hand or have a question about your Bronco.

I also have a Bronco fender label that you can have for free if you want it so you can replace the F150 tag.
Im already planning on using parts from O'Reilly's for that exact reason. I will definitely let you know if I have any questions on it. And I might take you up on the label if I can't get the one of the current fender in one piece. If it all goes well I should be able to get it off. But that is to be seen. You never know with vehicles as old as this one!
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Old 05-13-2018, 11:53 PM   #10
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You might want to take the warrantee dude at O'Reilly's out to lunch to brown nose him? Why? Ya'll will be seeing a lot of each other for the rest of your life.
F O R D stands for...………………..
Hey man I'm kidding? Am I? Bowtie rules!! Sorry? Am I? Naaaaa
I used to bracket race & I just can't help myself. I'm trying to keep you from going to the dark side. The dark blue oval side. Use the force JConnor95 Chevy, GMC, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, Cadillac.
People put small block Chevy engines in Fords but not vice-versa. BUT People put Ford rear ends in Chevys but not vice-versa. Strange but true?

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Old 05-14-2018, 05:02 PM   #11
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Default 1983 Bronco Long Term Rebuild

After a full day of diagnosing fuel system issues, itís finally back together. Tank has a new sending unit, vent valve, and rubber fuel lines going to it from the metal fuel line. After putting it all back together, we also realized the fuel pump wasnít pulling enough suction. Put the new one in, and got it all started up. It runs, but not well. Feels like i might not be firing on all cylinders just due to the way itís running. Going to do new spark plugs tonight, and adjust the carb because itís running VERY rich.

Iíll post photos later.

Thanks and GigíEm!
Connor


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Old 05-14-2018, 08:48 PM   #12
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I have a drivers side window and vent window if you know anyone interested.
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:49 PM   #13
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Took a different route and decided Iíd try rebuilding the carb first last night, and then adjusting it. Worked like a charm, and the idle was MUCH better. Til i tried tightening down the fuel filter because it had a little drip, which caused me to kink and break the fuel line that runs from the pump to the carb. Oh well.

Pics from the carb rebuild last night. It was pretty gummy/nasty inside and definitely needed it.
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Old 05-15-2018, 03:29 PM   #14
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I had a 1995 Bronco XL, in the OJ white. It was a great rig, but it felt like you were getting rear ended by a semi when it went from 4th to 5th gear.

Best thing I did was replace the old bucket seats with some take offs from a newer F150. I ended up taking the back seat out and running it like a truck anyways. Got a lot of parts from salvage F150s. Great rig on the beach.
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batmaninja View Post
Best thing I did was replace the old bucket seats with some take offs from a newer F150. I ended up taking the back seat out and running it like a truck anyways. Got a lot of parts from salvage F150s. Great rig on the beach.
That is how my Bronco is. No carpet anywhere, no back seat. Driver's seat is nice leather from a Cobra Mustang. Shotgun is a cloth Mustang seat with a bad stain where you sit.
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:09 PM   #16
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Love me some broncos
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:28 AM   #17
JConnor95
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Instead of getting a new fuel line, i ended up getting some help from some family. Cut out the kinked section, flared the ends of where we cut, and installed some rubber fuel injection hose held by hose clamps. The original was metal, and itís harder to find than i was willing to waste time on. Since itís not a show truck, and the line doesnít have significant pressure, this should work beautifully.

Took it for a spin around the block after running for ~20 minutes this evening. Setup my plan for the next few steps.
1) replace or soak all of the belts. Theyíre squealing like a sumbitch. Havenít decided which route to take on that. TBD.
2) Hunt for new/new-ish tires. Currently running 31/10.5/15ís, but itís been on those same shoes since i got it in 2011, and for the last four years they havenít been driven regularly (2 of which it was sitting not moving at all). If anyone knows of a set of new/gently used ones i can get by on for a while, shoot me a PM. Was looking on Discount Tire and i can get a brand new set of Corsa ATís for around $500, so if i canít find a decent used set, thatís likely what Iíll go with.
3) Time to take the dash apart. Partially. One of my main lights for the gauges is out, so i could barely read my speedometer at dusk today. That wonít work very well if itís going to be driven semi-regularly. Also, going to try and figure out why the fuel gauge isnít working. I originally thought it was the float in the tank, but that was replaced along with the sending unit, so Iím not sure what it could be. If anyone has experience with this and may know the problem/solution, let me know.

In an effort to not get too ahead of myself, Iím going to leave my plans at that for now. I think itís all reasonable to get done within the next ~4-6 weeks. Going to be slow since summer classes start next week and work starts back up June 1st. Plus i canít bring it home to cstat til the first week of August. Gotta wait til i move into my new place.


Thatís all for now. Hopefully there will be more updates sooner rather than later.

Thanks and GigíEm!
Connor



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Old 05-21-2018, 03:39 PM   #18
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We have an 80's bronco on my lease that was running a couple of years back. Nothing was wrong with it. One weekend the owner, who is 70, forgot the keys and broke the steering column and it has sat since. Bet someone could get a steal of a deal on it. Just needs a little TLC. I will take pix next lease run and post them up and see what he wants for it.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:53 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txhunter-1 View Post
We have an 80's bronco on my lease that was running a couple of years back. Nothing was wrong with it. One weekend the owner, who is 70, forgot the keys and broke the steering column and it has sat since. Bet someone could get a steal of a deal on it. Just needs a little TLC. I will take pix next lease run and post them up and see what he wants for it.


Sounds good, let me know! Be interested to see what sort of condition the body is in. If not me, someone could probably get a good deal on it.


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Old 05-25-2018, 12:39 PM   #20
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Subscribed. Just picked up an 82 myself that I will be redoing.
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:10 PM   #21
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Update time!
Drove over to Bellmead Tx today because i found a gentleman with a hood and fender for $125. Snagged those up quick. No dents, no rust.

Although i am a man of a few attributes, patience is not one. So on the way home i grabbed some paint stripper and currently the hood is being stripped. This stuff is AWESOME. Iíve never done this before today, but it literally started taking paint off as i was brushing. Going to scrape here in a bit, but from the little i tried on that i first soaked looks like Iím going to have to scrape, recoat, and scrape again. No big deal though since the stripper is relatively inexpensive for how much area it covers.

Sorry for the bad cell phone pics, like i said, patience isnít exactly my thing. Iíll get better pics in the morning when itís all stripped.

Thanks and GigíEm!
Connor
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:13 PM   #22
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Also, if anyone needs parts for broncos, the guy i got these from has a TON. 78-79 models and 80-86. Message me and Iíll send you his number.

He also has an 84 (i think) for sale thatís in ok condition body wise but runs well. Has the 351HO motor with a Holley carb. Newer wheels on it. Also said heíd throw in two new doors for it to replace the dented ones on it. He wants $2k for it. PM me your number if interested and Iíll send you the photos he sent me of it. Would make a decent resto if youíre wanting to go that route, or a great hunting rig.


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Old 05-26-2018, 12:02 AM   #23
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Two coats of the stripper down and itís getting much better. Going to tackle the areas that still need work in the morning with sandpaper and see what happens. Found one area that needs a smidge of body filler, but nothing terrible.

Also, note to anyone using stripper like this: Get full sleeve gloves. I got longer ones that go ~6 inches up the arm and thatís not even close to enough.

Thanks and GigíEm!
Connor

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Old 05-26-2018, 12:19 AM   #24
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I love this thread! It gives me all the joy of working on a bronco without actually doing any work or spending any money.

Keep going!
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Old 05-26-2018, 11:59 AM   #25
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Got some better pictures after i ran the third round of paint stripper this morning. Got them pretty close to cleaned off and smoothed, then shot with a coat of primer. For some reason the hood wouldnít come as clean as the fender. The paint on the fender came off in sheets looking like wet paper, but the hood needed a lot more scraping.

Going to sand, fill a couple small dents, and prime again with a true spray gun next week. Did them with a rattle can this morning to prevent rust due to the high humidity here. Even just from leaving them out last night they had a small bit of rust. Next week will start the test of my body working skills. Going to be a bit of trial and error i think, but whatís the fun if thereís not at least one screw up?

Thanks and GigíEm!
Connor
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Old 05-27-2018, 04:08 PM   #26
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Decided to take her out of the garage today so that i could try and run the stop leak for the rear main through properly. Still gets up and goes like it used to, but **** it leaks oil. Iím hoping by running it a couple days the Blue Devil stuff i put in will work and hopefully not be leaking any more. Donít really have the money to drop close to a grand to get the rear main done, and donít have the shop at my place to do it.

On the chance it doesnít work, Anyone know of a good (and cheap) way to do it yourself so i donít have to spend half of my Broncoís value at a mechanic?

Thanks and GigíEm!
Connor

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Old 05-29-2018, 02:18 PM   #27
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Following. I had an 84 Bronco in high school. Wish I still had it.


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Old 05-29-2018, 03:18 PM   #28
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I did my rear main seal in my driveway. This job is almost all labor and very little parts cost (seal kit = $30 plus replacing spilled fluids).

I left the engine in the truck and removed the automatic transmission and transfer case to access the seal. I had to be stealthy because of rich snooty neighbors and I was just a renter. In between major steps of the job, I would hide all my parts in the garage and no one could tell that the major parts were missing.

Disconnect both drive shafts and tie up out of the way (wrap tape around u-joints to caps the on and avoid spilling needle bearings), remove transfer case, remove transmission, remove and replace rear main seal without scratching the crank shaft (scratch = new seal will leak).

Re-install parts in reverse order.

Be sure that the torque converter is fully seated before you tighten the transmission bolts.

Done.

I already had a Harbor Freight transmission jack adapter, but that's about the only special thing you need. Make some alignment pins to guide the transmission into place on the re-installation. Impact wrench helps with removing the cross member bolts. I did the job by myself and I'm small.

You should replace the transmission input shaft seal because its easy to get to during this job and its cheap. If that leaks, you are doing this job over again.

If you are going to delete your EGR valve, plug the holes on the back of the head while the transmission is out. It's much easier to access.
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Old 06-05-2018, 02:04 PM   #29
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Been a slow last few weeks with not much really going on. All that's been done is two coats of filler primer and sanding on the hood and one of the fenders. Now that I've done that, they're close enough to smooth that I'm pleased with them. I've got the other one half way stripped down, but I ran out of paint stripper before I could finish. Will probably get back on that one this week so that I can body work the one dent it has on it.
Once those are finished, I'm going to spray the exterior of those panels with some sort of primer so that they don't rust in the time between now and when I put them on to get the whole thing repainted. Being in College Station, the humidity is killer and basically everything gets a little surface rust if there is bare metal. Also going to power wash and deep clean the interior of all three panels. All of those will be getting a coat of semi-gloss black, so you'd never even know that they weren't the original panels. Plus, it just makes for a cleaner looking engine bay in my opinion.

Other than that, things are going to be slow between now and when I move it up here around the first of August. Hopefully ill have a few small updates between now and then, but with how busy I've been the last few weeks, the chances of that are slim at best. Stay tuned for a few small updates and hopefully I'll get things ramped up again in a couple months.

-Connor
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Old 06-09-2018, 04:50 PM   #30
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Really got after some sanding today. Hood has had the one small dent fixed now, and has two full coats of self etching primer. As far as Iím concerned, it looks and feels smooth, so itís good to go. I got the second fender all stripped down. Realized it had a couple small dents that werenít fixed properly, so i got them close and finished them off with a little body filler. Sanded and primed it with its first coat of filler primer. Since it had the original paint and was pretty decent minus the couple of small dings, itís only going to get one coat of that before etching primer.

After 6 hours of sanding, Iím covered in dust, and calling it a day. Probably wonít be able to do much this week with first round of tests coming up for my summer class, but hopefully later in the week/next weekend Iíll get some more sanding done. Now itís time for a cold beer and a shower.

Thanks,
Connor




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Old 06-10-2018, 07:18 PM   #31
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Good deal. Following. Making progress.


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Old 08-01-2018, 02:22 PM   #32
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Been a while since I've posted. Starting grad school has taken up most of my time the last couple of months.

Planning to bring the Bronco up to College Station in the next couple of weeks, pending how my schedule works out. Might be a day trip kind of deal not sure yet.

Wanted to post today because I am looking for a specific bumper for the front of the bronco. I want the one that has the plastic bumper guards as well as the push guards. I would prefer to have it in chrome. Pretty specific I know, but I want to get the original look it came with.

Was looking to order it from LMC truck, but they no longer carry it. So, figured Id post up on the green screen and see if anyone knew anywhere else to get one. Reply or shoot me a PM if you know where to get one.

Thanks!
-Connor
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:11 PM   #33
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Good luck with your build. I'll be following along. I've got a 1991 Bronco that I'm going to have to retire or rebuild. It's been a good one.
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Old 08-10-2018, 10:20 AM   #34
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Hunt In: Cisco, San Juan
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One thing I would point out . Is that using paint stripper you need to be 100% sure you have it all rinsed out. Reason being is one little piece of crud will ruin a paint job at a later date if water gets on it .. It will comeback to life and try to remove paint or dis color it . I spent 7 years on my 62 chevy truck and media blasted every panel cab frame and started over its a labor of love for sure .

looks like a great project
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