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Old 05-06-2018, 07:43 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, 08:58 PM   #2
JConnor95
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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, 09:15 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, 09:21 PM   #4
Drycreek3189
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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, 10:38 PM   #5
pure lefty
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My dream vehicle
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Old 05-07-2018, 06:02 PM   #6
James
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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, 07:25 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, 07:53 PM   #8
banzai
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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, 10:26 PM   #9
JConnor95
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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, 10:53 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?

Last edited by texaspacker; 05-13-2018 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 05-14-2018, 04:02 PM   #11
JConnor95
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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, 07:48 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, 01:49 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, 02:29 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, 06:46 PM   #15
banzai
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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, 09:09 PM   #16
James
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Love me some broncos
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:28 PM   #17
JConnor95
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Default 1983 Bronco Long Term Rebuild

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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