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bats 88 Bronco II Build Up

Discussion in 'Bronco II Registry' started by bats, November 2, 2011.

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    1. bats

      bats Active Member

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      Didn't get to do much work this weekend. Checked out the Englishtown swap meet which turned out to be a bust. Absolutely NOTHING useable/worthwhile except for a nice switch panel.

      Still cleaning up miscellaneous wiring. Holy rat's nest batman! There's wires everywhere. My dad figured out how the door harnesses work so I can use the stock Bronco II door/window switches.

      Decided to swap in the Explorer overhead light. Had to cut out a little of the roof panel to make room for the backing plate. Found this nasty brown stuff that looked like a mouse nest. Turned out to be the ford factory sound dampening materials. Over the years they just disintegrated. Tore out the entire ceiling/brown sh!t. Probably had asbestos in it.

      Now it really is a tin can. I'll work on a solution for the roof later. Closer to actually driving it but now I've got a weird electrical bug where only the left signal works and you step on the brakes and the headlights turn on. Ugh. Might just wire all lights on a separate switch.

      There hasn't been anything photo worthy in a while but hang in there folks. Awesomeness approacheth as does warmer weather!
       
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    3. rookieshooter

      rookieshooter Moderator Emeritus

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      Might want to trace wire from the brake switch that's mounted on the brake peddle? Also LMC trucks has a headlight wiring harness that eliminates all the amps going from stock headlight switch to the headlights which utilizes two relays thus only a few amps will pass through the switch...much safer.
       
    4. bats

      bats Active Member

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      I'm baaaaaaccckkkk!

      [​IMG]

      Took the Bronco for it's first road test!! Got it up to 75 and it shifts and goes like a champ! Drove up and down the highway for a bit and all is well! :D

      The ride is just as squirrelly as I remember it and it's more 'screaming metal death trap' than ever. This is definitely not a long distance ride. Still lacks a headliner and there's a bunch of rust holes in the firewall I need to tend too. Whatever dreams it had of being a highway cruiser are gone. Local stops only.

      It has heat but no air (A/C delete). When I get up to highway speeds there's enough breeze through the firewall to blow hot air at you, even though the blower fan is off. That's what windows are for, right?

      Not sure if I mentioned it but I had a problem with the column shifter. I somehow managed to snap TWO shift cables. Probably due to working on so little sleep. My solution? Aftermarket shifter. Many many hours of research later, I decided on the Sidewinder from Winters (aka Art Carr.) It's actually for a 700r4 but the shift pattern is the same. Everything lined up save for some minor fabrication to attache the cable underneath.

      [​IMG]

      Just used the existing xmission access panel. Felt solid enough. Overall, I am incredibly happy with it. A very well built product and shifts solid. (Stock A4LD, NOT manual valve body in case you're wondering.)

      So there you have it. Time to find some stuff to climb on!
       
    5. vroomzoomboom

      vroomzoomboom Elite Canuck STOCK SUCKS! Elite Explorer

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    6. bats

      bats Active Member

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      Not unless I find a trailer. I have a tow vehicle (old E-350 diesel van) but I've never towed anything more than a 4' trailer. Only 39 days to figure it all out. :/
       
    7. rookieshooter

      rookieshooter Moderator Emeritus

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      Hmm, Dual wheely Dana 70 most likely.
       
    8. bats

      bats Active Member

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      First hiccups. Wanted to drive it to work today. Made it to the end of my block and realized it wouldn't shift past second gear. Limped back in shame. I can manually put it in 1,2,D but no driving gear.

      Also have a handful of other noises to take care of. Hoping it's just shi!t I forgot to tie down and nothing major.
       
    9. bats

      bats Active Member

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      Took out about a quart of fluid. Shifts noticeably better.

      On lunch I went to a local spot with my coworker and his jeep. Nothing serious, just a couple of hills and a few mud puddles. I got stuck in the soft sand and just kept digging myself in. Spent the better part of my lunch break being winched up a hill.

      Despite that, I'm overall incredibly pleased with the truck! Even in the heat the engine temp stayed in the OK and trans held up fine. Occasionally I have to back off the gas to make the TQ convertor unlock. (I think that's how that automagic thing works.) It's not slipping though and it shifts great otherwise. Probably still over full and frothy.

      I should also mention that I don't have a front drive shaft either.

      Next thing on my list is some creature comforts because that thing was like an oven in the sun today. My only source of airflow is the vent windows because I haven't quite figured out how to integrate the BII power windows into the Explorer harness. To simplify things, I think I'm just going to tap into keyed power and call it a day.
       
    10. feared100

      feared100 Active Member

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      where was that spot? i saw that "pro tip" on facebook haha
       
    11. bats

      bats Active Member

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      I think it's the spot they're working on. I'll pm you on the Facebooks.

      I knew things were going to smoothly. I sorted out most of my noises. Squeeky coil spring, possibly bad bushing on the TTB eye but everything else is tight. The steering box is a little loose for my liking but it always was. Will be replaced soon.

      Thought I had hub bearing noise so I regreased both sides. Looked ok. It's just the break pads haven't worn down quite yet so they're a little tight. But they stop and whatnot.

      Content with all that, I decided to tackle the two biggest concerns. One was the oil level sensor. It's slinging oil all over the place so it had to be replaced. Have one on order since none of the locals had one. Grrr.

      After doing some research I think my t-case is going. Has a grindy/rumbly noise when I let off the gas. Possibly also attributing to my shift problem? U-joints and drive shaft are tight.

      Went to replace with the manual one I rebuilt. No 4WD. Said f-it and dropped it off to be rebuilt by a professional and took the rest of the weekend off to chill out.
       
    12. bats

      bats Active Member

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      Wow, it's been two months since I've posted and a lot has happened. Can't find my camera cable right now but I have a ton of pics.

      Never made it to Carlisle due to being under the weather/stressed and my tow van was having lift pump issues.

      I've put about 2,000 actual miles on the truck since the swap and now I'm starting to get into some bigger problems.

      That rattle/grinding has been a constant nuisance. Thought it was possibly pinion bearing. Had my gear and axle guy look at it and he said whoever setup my gears (not him, he just did the rebuilt/locker) half assed it. He reset everything and made me a front drive shaft. The rear was indeed making some noise which he fixed.

      The 1354M I sent to be rebuilt ended up having a cracked case so they couldn't rebuilt it. They gave me the option of getting a brand new one for $700. Said thanks but no thanks and picked one up for cheap at a junkyard. Put it in and worked amazing.

      Now I thought all this would resolve my rattle problem. When I'm in OD and hit about 55 MPH and above it sounds like a grinding rattle. Let off the gas and it does it until it drops below 55. The sweet spot where I don't have any noise seems to be 65 MPH at 2500 and steady gas. If I don't use OD the noise starts a little later but it's still as severe. Transmission fluid doesn't smell burnt but it has been slipping when cruising in OD more frequently. Fluid level is spot on and it isn't leaking anywhere. Planning to have some one take a look at it soon.

      Everything else is working great though. My half fuel line clamps are holding up just fine with no leaks. The lower radiator hose clamp wasn't tightened enough and started slipping causing a leak. Drove home slow, tightened it up and we're dry. Oil level sender still spits out a little bit of oil but I it's ok. No noticeable change in fluid level after several hundred miles and a new sensor.

      Last weekend I decided to clean up some more of the cabin wiring harness. I traced out the dash wires, tailights, interior lights and power windows. Maybe a total of 15 wires. I cut off the excess harness and capped the ends to prevent shorting. I went from having a wire loom bigger than my thumb snaking through out the cabin to a few easily managed wires. Eventually I'd like to do away with it entirely and wire up aftermarket headlights/taillights and some nice Autometer gauges for the dash. Someday...
       
    13. bats

      bats Active Member

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      Pictures!

      Aux cooling fan wired up to my aux switch panel. No fancy temp sensing modules here.
      [​IMG]

      'Twin Stick'
      [​IMG]

      Leather seats from the Explorer.
      [​IMG]

      Finally, I took the doors off. Used a mirror from a 64 Buick and mounted it to the fender.
      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: July 7, 2013
    14. bats

      bats Active Member

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      It never just rains...

      Since I finished the engine swap I noticed a grinding from somewhere in the drive train. Starts at about 45 MPH and increases in intensity from there. Almost sounded like ice in a blender. I feared my trans was going. I dropped it off at my mechanic to pin point what it was before committing to a possible unneeded trans rebuilt. Once I got the fluid level correct it's been performing great.

      He takes it for a spin and tells me the problem is my locker. Put it on the lift and the left tire spins freely. Well shit.

      Took it to my local 'offroad shop' which like most establishments here specializes in lifts and other forms of overcompensation. When I told them I daily drove and never trailered the Little Bastard every one looked at me like I just took a sh!t on the counter. They kept trying trying to push a selectable locker on me. One that was more 'street friendly.' It was cute.

      The grinding/ratcheting/whirring noise I heard were the tops of the locker halves rubbing but not actually locking. Unit was not reusable. :mad::mad::mad:

      Long story short, some one installed a POSI carrier in the rear. The truck and axle were tagged as open and acted accordingly. It's plausible that some one swapped in a LS that ceased working. Either way I'm getting an OPEN carrier and lock right installed. I just want this done.
       
    15. janderson4010

      janderson4010 Moderator Emeritus

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      if you change the carrier you need to have the gear setup done, at least reset the backlash. Sucks though, no one wants to have to spend extra money. Some "offroad shops" are pretty lame, the idea that you can't run an automatic locker on the road is laughable, I can drive my BII all day and it certainly isn't the welded rear that causes me trouble. I would maybe recommend not having that shop do the swap for you, sounds like maybe they are a little lacking in the actual technical aspects of 4x4's.
       
    16. bats

      bats Active Member

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      They're all like that. I called a few shops and they had no idea what I was going on about. One shop gave me the run around for 3 days and stopped returning my calls. If I had the time to do it right I would do it myself.
       
    17. bats

      bats Active Member

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      So a few weeks later and more money than I care to admit.... I'm locked again!! It's so nice to chirp my tires when going around corners again! Heehee

      So what was wrong with the original locker? At some point some one installed a limited slip carrier instead of an open. The axle was tagged as an open and acted accordingly. When I bought the locker originally, I bought one for an OPEN rear. All the guts had slid to the passenger side and instead of locking it just ground that half down and chattered like a mfcker. Couldn't salvage it. Soo new locker.

      Went with the newer version of the lockrite. It's a little noisier than the previous one but does the job damn well.

      Tested it on some local 'trails' over the long weekend. I love it!

      The only other major issue was a front end hop/wiggle at high speeds. Felt like it was going to shake itself apart. Checked the usual stuff: ball joints, tie rods, steering. All right. My shocks, however, were worn to shit.

      AdvanceAuto happened to have one in stock. Ordered the other online. Installed and the ride is much better.

      My only complaint about the truck so far is lack of AC. Jeezus it's been a humid summer here.
       
    18. bats

      bats Active Member

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      Time for a snorkel

      Today I decided to go for a ride out to Smith Point. May as well get in my beach time while I still can. Took a ride out to the inlet which is about 3 miles.

      Took a few poser shots. Didn't want to upset the fishermen too much.

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      On the way in, I passed the water trap that nearly killed the Red Explorer.

      [​IMG]

      Me, being the intelligent young man that I am, figured I could finally make it. Long story short, I was wrong. Went over the top of the hill, splash down and BOOM stuck and truck dies. :mad:

      Popped the hood and scrambled out onto the bumper. Everything soaked. I let it sit for a few minutes to let the heat dry it out. Started right up. Sputtered, surged but it ran. Was able to drive it the few miles back to the parking area without it dying on me completely.

      Popped the hood again and opened the air box:

      [​IMG]

      Soaked! Luckily it looks like the air filter absorbed all the water. Intake tube seemed dry otherwise. Replaced once I got home and cleaned the MAF. All better!

      While airing up today, I noticed slice marks on my tires. All four corners were bottoming out and the fenders were slicing so looks like I get to spend some quality time with Mr. Sawzall. :sawzall::sawzall:
       
    19. bats

      bats Active Member

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      I parked the Bronco last weekend after getting stuck. Replaced the air filter and it seemed to run good enough. Spent some time working on it this weekend doing some other stuff. Noticed it was cranking and running really shitty. From what I could tell, an insignificant amount of water might have been sucked through the filter. It ran well as soon as I took the old soggy one out and I haven't thrown a rod so I doubt that's the issue.

      Oil is fine. Pulled plugs and cranked a few times just in case. Air intake clean and dry. After a long afternoon of getting no where, I called in my dad for help. He noticed some arcing on the negative battery terminal. As soon as he wiggled the wires it was like a new truck.

      What I think happened is that a)I didn't tighten the clamp down tight enough when I added another ground and b) the salt water caused some corrosion. Wire brushed and tightened the connections and I'm good again.

      Knock on wood, this is the biggest electrical gremlin I've encountered since the swap.
       
    20. rookieshooter

      rookieshooter Moderator Emeritus

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      Glad you found it. I would definitely check all grounding strap connections also. Like from engine block to firewall. Even better, I'd put new ones on and make sure there are clean connections to bare metal.
       
    21. bats

      bats Active Member

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      Jeezus. It's been almost 3 weeks since I parked the Bronco. The goal was to do a PVC snorkel with a cut air box. Didn't happen due to how I shoved all the wiring harnesses under the hood. It was too crowded to do the go out through the fender method so I settled on the cowl.

      For a 'weekend project' this snorkel build ate up a shit tone of time and money. Multiple trips to the hardware store and Pep Boys (diry word, I know). The plumbing went through many iterations. I tried to do a hybrid PVC/ DIY CAI from pep boys build but the pipes were two diffent sizes. My guess is one uses inner diameter and the other uses outer diameter for measurements.:censored::censored:

      In the end I opted to use all off the shelf Spectre components. They fit together very nicely and form a tight seal. Instead of using a regular cone filter, I used an inline cone which is the big silver tube in the upper left. I was disappointed to find out that the tubes are actually just silver plastic. The inline filter is actually metal though and worth the $$ I feel.

      For now I just terminated the intake in the cowl with a rubber elbow. Put some mesh on it to prevent sucking in leaves. Eventually will extend it to the roof. Sorry for the long rant, this project sucked a lot out of me.

      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: October 19, 2013
    22. bats

      bats Active Member

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      I love how easy it is to pull codes on first gens.

      It's starting to get cold out here on Long Island and the Bastard is having trouble getting started in the morning. Turns over and starts on the first crank but sputters, shudders and dies unless I give it gas. This goes on for the first 10 or so minutes. I can't go make a cup of coffee while it warms up since it almost guaranteed will stall if left unattended. Major pain in the arse when you're already late for work for the 4th time this week....

      But I digress. Used the paper clip method to pull codes. D/S running rich and one or two MAF codes. Cleaned the MAF and no change. Unplug the MAF while running, idle evens out and runs more normal. Looks like that's the first thing I'm replacing.

      Second thing is new wires again. When I pulled the plugs following my swim, I mangled two of the wires and had to use the originals. Guess what side they're on. Yep, drivers side. Thank god I saved the old spares to get me running.
       
    23. bats

      bats Active Member

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      This weekend past I finally got to do some real offroading! The drive out to PA wasn't terrible. Truck drives nice and tracks pretty straight. Plenty of merging power too! The problem is road and engine noise. I screwed some luan to the roof to eliminate the oil canning but it's still a noisy ride.

      Truck ran good most of the time. Before I pulled the engine it was having problems idling in the cold. It would idle and then die unless you hit the gas. Happens mostly when in park and only occasional loss of power when driving like a bad 02 sensor. I'll work on this in the coming weeks.

      On the trails, it kicked ass! Spent most of the time in 2 wheel drive! Climbed over and through everything...except one hill. In which I had a complete oh shit moment and almost rolled it! Lost momentum going up and when I tried backing down my tire caught a rut and I slid sideways. Was on two wheels for a bit but caught myself and made it down alright. Roll cage is definitely on the to do list which is ever growing. And now for some pics:

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      Looking down where I almost rolled:
      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]
       
    24. bats

      bats Active Member

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      Another little treat for you all. The first 50 miles of my return trip I took it easy and listened for any new noises, rattles, behaviors etc. Once it was in the clear, I had some fun:

      Click me!

      Spedo is a little off but GPS read 91. Not bad. Heeheehee.

      Prior to this trip I cut and rolled my front fenders. Made slices and then hammered the edges over. I still rub so actual cutting and fender flares are coming. This was probably the last wheeling trip for the year. When I go next time I'm towing the rig, even though it's streetable.
       
    25. bats

      bats Active Member

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      Now that I had my fun, it's time to take care of some stuff I've been putting off. Over the past year of abuse the bondo job I did when I got the truck started to crumble. It was one of my better jobs and if not for bashing the rockers into stumps and rocks it would probably have held for another while.

      I once again stripped the entire interior in order to asses the rust problem. Bronco II's are almost as bad as 70's Datsuns when it comes to rust. Both rocker panels behind the seats have decayed to a state where I can put my fist into the cabin from the outside. This also explains my road noise since I sealed up the front pretty well.

      Enter Herculiner.

      [​IMG]

      Two heavy coats and only used about half the can. I didn't get any one my hootus but I got it everywhere else. Pure acetone is the answer.

      Went through a quart of Rustoleum touching up rust elsewhere. If I had the means I'd like to take the body off and do some patchwork and undercoating. The frame is still good though. Hopefully I bought some more time.
       
    26. bats

      bats Active Member

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      I've got a solid....axle for you.

      If you recall a few posts back I picked up an EB Dana 44 (more specifically a 71-2 Bronco with 3.54's and a Tracklock.) I've been tossing around the the S word for a while. Couldn't make up my mind to do cut and turn or solid. I almost sold the axle (sorry feared100!) but came to my senses.

      In short, we are go for an SAS!

      Here's the plan
      EB Dana 44 with Chevy disc brake swap
      EB 3.5 Lift Coils
      4.56's, probably skip the locker
      GM TRE's

      Considerations:
      I still plan to daily drive the truck so I want it to maintain streetability. For long hauls like PA or Raush I would probably trailer it. Moderate lift is fine with me.

      Axle will have a going through and get all new seals, bearings, ball joints, TRE's, brakes.

      Since the biggest thing holding this project up is time, I plan to use James Duff stuff to make the swap go faster. Believe me, if I had the time to do a 3 link setup with coil overs I would but alas, I do not.

      Timeline:
      I don't see the actual swap happening until next summer. The winter limits how much time I can work outside and I'm also working on some home renovations. It's safe to say it will happen sometime after Carlisle 2014 which I hope to drive the Bastard to.
       

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