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MoabB2 1989 Bronco II XLT 4x4

Discussion in 'Bronco II Registry' started by MoabB2, September 9, 2008.

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    1. MoabB2

      MoabB2 Active Member

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      City, State:
      South Jordan, Utah
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      89 Bronco II (97 Mercury)
      Well I guess its about time I get around to this. More for me than anything, this will be a record of where this truck has been, where it is now, and where it is headed.

      When it was new: Version 1.0
      Brand new in 1989 sold in Fort Worth, Texas.
      2.9L V6, auto trans, BW1350 manual t-case, manual locking hubs, power windows, doors, AC, 60/40 split bench, Dana 28 TTB, 7.5 rear, 3.73 ratio.

      I bought the truck in April, 2004 from the second owner. I flew to Fort Worth, handed over the money, and drove it back to Salt Lake City. It had a few modifications at that time. I was told it had approx 150k miles, but I suspect it was 250k.

      Then it had: Version 2.0
      -Rebuilt 2.9L V6
      -Rebuilt A4LD automatic
      -6" Skyjacker coils and shocks, drop brackets and pitman arm, lift blocks
      -31" BFG All Terrains
      -Flowmaster exhaust
      -Sweet pillar mount spotlight
      -Warn hubs
      -Panasonic CD Head Unit
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      I used the Bronco to commute to college and to work for about a year. I put a lot of miles on it and wheeled it a lot. I towed 4 wheelers often and took the family camping in it. I made a few minor upgrades.

      Once I got through college, I figured I would reward myself and start the V8 swap. Little did I know what I was getting myself into. I figured a 5.0 was a 5.0.... I located a wrecked '97 Mercury Mountaineer and got a great deal on the drivetrain, wiring, and PCM. 3 years later we are still working out the bugs related to the swap, but overall it has been a huge success and has worked VERY well. OBDII proved to be a huge challenge. I then upgraded to 33" Cooper SSR's and 15x10 wheels.
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      I never was too fond of the faded brown paint. And, I wanted to take my truck to another level. I found Ratstang Restoration and Richard was able to help do that. A Frame-off body restoration took about 10 months. Every nut and bolt was removed.
      Restoration: Version 3.0
      Restoration Thread
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      The bronco was then the Cover Bronco/Featured Ride for Bronco Driver magazine. It was the first Bronco II to ever grace the cover. :)
      Magazine Thread
      BroncoDriver.com

      After wheeling for a few years I started to realize what the bronco needed to be able to keep up on more hardcore trails. It had done fine the open diffs and weak axles for years, but I wanted more. SAS time!

      Say bye-bye to everything below the frame: Version 4.0
      SAS Thread
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      Currently the truck serves as a daily driver for about 6 months of the year. Future plans include rock sliders, full roll cage, CAI, xCal3, sound/video system, glass and body modification, and who knows what else...:D

      A current list of the ever changing mods: (I'll try to keep this up to date)
      BODY:
      -Frame Off Restoration, show quality body and two-tone paint.
      -Buckingham Blue Pearl Metallic and Chawton White.(Land Rover)
      -Custom tubed front clip and radiator support.
      -James Duff Polyeurathane Body Mounts.
      -Bushwacker Cut-Out Fender Flares, custom mounted.
      -Custom inner fenders
      -Custom grill.

      DRIVETRAIN:
      -5.0L V8, GT-40p Heads. (donor, 1997 Mercury Mountaineer. 65k)
      -4r70w, AOD-EW transmission.
      -OBD-II PCM and Diagnostic Port.
      -Custom dual exhaust with dual Flowmaster 40 series.
      -Torque Monster Headers.
      -Aluminum Radiator
      -B&M Transmission Supercooler with Temp Guage.
      -Manual BW1354 Transfer Case, 34.4:1 Crawl Ratio
      -Solid Axle Swap: Early Bronco Dana 44
      ----Fully rebuilt
      ----Disc Brakes
      ----Yukon chromoly shafts, 4.88 gears, Superjoints
      ----Warn Premium manual hubs.
      ----ARB locker
      ----Cage Offroad trac-bar mount
      -Rear end swap: Early Bronco big bearing 9"
      ----Fully rebuilt
      ----Drum Brakes
      ----Yukon 31-spline shafts, 4.88 gears
      ----ARB locker
      -Custom heavy duty driveshafts.
      -Custom brake lines, front and rear.
      -Dual sump oil pan
      -Die Hard Gold battery

      SUSPENSION:
      -All new suspension
      ----3.5" Cage Offroad Early Bronco front coil springs
      ----Cage Offroad Early Bronco extended radius arms & mounts.
      ----4 Cage Offroad shocks
      ----James Duff Zinc Plated Coil Buckets
      ----Cage Offroad shock mounts
      ----Skyjacker Bronco II 6" Leaf Springs
      ----96" wheelbase

      WHEELS AND TIRES, Offroad:
      -35x13.50x15 BFG Krawler TA
      -35x12.50x15 BFG Mud Terrain KO spare tire.
      -5 Cragar 15x10 5x5.5 Series 397

      WHEELS AND TIRES, Onroad:
      -35x12.50x15 BFG Mud Terrain on 15x10 Cragar steel wheels.

      BODY PROTECTION/ARMOR:
      -James Duff front and rear receiver bumpers with full size spare tire/Hi-lift Jack swing out.
      -Custom rock sliders in development.

      OTHER:
      -Hella 500 off road lights, Xenon driving lights, rear offroad light.
      -Panasonic CD player with JBL speakers, Midland CB radio with antenna.
      -Yakima Loadwarrior basket with axe/shovel brackets.
      -Hi-Lift Jack
      -Custom FX4 Decals

      My cardomain page: CLICK HERE
       
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    3. SkanlaxJMO

      SkanlaxJMO Well-Known Member

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      City, State:
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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      96 XLT
      daummmm thats a sick truck. You put a ton of work into that thing. Keep it up :eek: :thumbsup:
       
    4. Trckmagik

      Trckmagik Ole Bag Moderator Emeritus

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      City, State:
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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      1996
      Dayum nice rig. Well done and well written.
       
    5. DB_1

      DB_1 Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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      97 SC Ranger xlt
      Yup, awesome Bronc...one one of my favorite RBV's anywhere.
      Got any wheelin' trips under your belt yet since the SAS?
       
    6. mjones97

      mjones97 Active Member

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      I have always loved your truck and its progress!

      I wish it was mine!
       
    7. MoabB2

      MoabB2 Active Member

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      City, State:
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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      89 Bronco II (97 Mercury)
      Thanks guys, much appreciated!:)

      There are a few pictures above of a local trail I did after the SAS. It is the Forest Lake Trail up American Fork Canyon, not too hard, probably rated about a 3. It was a good trail to break it in on though. New suspension, axles, and tires worked flawlessly! I had no need for the lockers except for an optional ledge climb/river crossing. After trying it 4 or 5 times I wasn't able to make it up cuz my rear diff was snagging a rock. On the trail I didn't even spin a tire once...where others were taking a couple of runs at some obstacles.

      The steady climb of the trail did reveal my 'cooling' issues though. I had to stop multiple times to let the truck cool down (it was 96 degrees out that day). I'm hoping to resolve this someday with a higher CFM electric fan than the one I currently have. CEL also appeared that day due to a faulty vapor management valve.
      Here are a few more pics from that day:
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    8. MoabB2

      MoabB2 Active Member

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      City, State:
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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      89 Bronco II (97 Mercury)
      Moab 9-08

      WOW! What a difference the SAS makes! This thing is a completely different beast. I had a chance to wheel in Moab Sept 25-29 and it was a blast! Wheeled hard and long for 4 days and the BII was amazing. No problems whatsoever....and that annoying CEL.....IT IS SQUASHED FOR GOOD!!!:bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce:

      Here are a few pics. Friday, met up with 2 guys from broncoii.org, and about 12 Jeeps from Prescott, Arizona. This was my first trip on Golden Spike. We left at 8am and returned at 8pm. Only a few rigs had minor issues. The BII climbed everything no problem.
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      Last edited: October 7, 2008
    9. MoabB2

      MoabB2 Active Member

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      89 Bronco II (97 Mercury)
      More from Golden Spike:
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    10. MoabB2

      MoabB2 Active Member

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      89 Bronco II (97 Mercury)
      Pics from Long Canyon run Saturday morning: Long Canyon was very scenic and easy. I did put it in low range once as there is a steep section of deep silty dust.
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      Last edited: October 7, 2008
    11. MoabB2

      MoabB2 Active Member

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      Pictures from The Pickle, Saturday Afternoon: This trail was HARD! It is short and sweet, but around every corner there is a new obstacle. I took the winch on the first one. The pickle is a narrow section that tilts you into a wall. I was watching my new paint VERY closely here. For about 20 feet worth, the entire drivers side of the vehicle was 1/2" away from the rock wall. I pulled in the side view mirrors and watched my spotter VEERRRYY closely.
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      Last edited: October 7, 2008
    12. MoabB2

      MoabB2 Active Member

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      89 Bronco II (97 Mercury)
      Pictures from Metal Masher on Sunday: I had run this trail before, so it was intersting to see the difference that the new suspension and lockers made.
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      Last edited: October 7, 2008
    13. mjones97

      mjones97 Active Member

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      WOW!

      Was that one shot (the last of the first picture post from this Moab trip) a straight up hill climb?
       
    14. MoabB2

      MoabB2 Active Member

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      89 Bronco II (97 Mercury)
      Kane Creek on Monday: My brother in the orange bronco busted all the bolts holding is PS box to the frame. With no spare bolts, it made for an interesting night on the trail. Took us about an hour to rig up his winch to hold the power steering box in place sufficient to drive him off the trail. We ended up spending an extra night in moab...:p:
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    15. MoabB2

      MoabB2 Active Member

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      Yeah, that's no trick photography! That is called "the launching pad" on Golden Spike. It is amazing what you can do on slickrock!
       
    16. mjones97

      mjones97 Active Member

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      That is awesome!
       
    17. MoabB2

      MoabB2 Active Member

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      89 Bronco II (97 Mercury)
      CEL was a pain in the butt, but I think it is finally gone. I took it in to my guy for PO708, P1450, and PO460.

      PO460 was deemed to just be a random code for the fuel level sensor. It hasn't returned.
      P1450 was for unable to bleed up fuel tank vacuum. First we thought it was a vaulty hose that had collapsed. Then we replaced the EVAP canister purge valve and it was all good.
      A new driveability issue with jerking and sputtering was then found, a cleaning of the MAF took care of this.
      PO708 has plagued me ever since the V8 conversion took place. I always suspected a faulty Transmission Range Sensor. The TRS was replaced, but the code came back. We then found some chaffing of the wiring harness against the Torque Monster headers. This section of harness was repaired and the PO708 has not returned.
      Again some driveability issues returned and a faulty O2 sensor was replaced.

      I've since put over 200 miles on it, including 4 days in Moab and everything is peachy.

      I put the 35" BFG Muds back on after Moab and they look tiny compared to the Krawlers! I'll be driving the BII daily throughout the winter and the MT's should hold up better to street use. I'll have to get a picture.....it looks weird now without the Krawlers!
       
    18. mjones97

      mjones97 Active Member

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      Pictures!
       
    19. MoabB2

      MoabB2 Active Member

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    20. DB_1

      DB_1 Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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      Great pics...how can they not be, it's Moab:p:
      Are the BFG muds you have 35's? I bet if you put it side by side with your Krawlers it will be a good inch shorter. My 37" KM2's actually measure 35.5":rolleyes:
       
    21. MoabB2

      MoabB2 Active Member

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      Yeah, I have 35" Muds and 35" Krawlers and the Krawlers dwarf the muds in every dimension. I have the muds on now and they look tiny!

      How do you like the KM2's?
       
    22. DB_1

      DB_1 Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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      So far I like them a lot, Id really like to get out to Moab again and see how they do there. I like your Krawlers better though:p:
       
    23. jg09

      jg09 Active Member

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      Damn man, that truck is sex on wheels. I've been thinking of building a Wrangler-killing-B2 and you've just inspired me even more. Very clean, very awesome.
       
    24. MoabB2

      MoabB2 Active Member

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      Finally had the chance, and $, to get a few mods done to the engine! Not much, but a good start. I put her in the hands of the best local tuner in town, he does some great work. After finding 3 burnt up plug wires (no wonder it ran like crap...), he fabbed a custom Cold Air Intake, and dyno tuned the computer on a Mustang Dyno. Unfortunately I didn't get dyno numbers before the CAI....but I do have dyno numbers from after CAI/before custom tune, and final numbers after the tune!

      Before: You can see my A/F was all over the place. Timing was way off too.
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      After custom SCT X3 dyno tune:
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      So, just from the tune I gained 40 ft/lbs and 30hp. Final numbers were 215 rwhp @ 4400 RPM and 273 ft/lb @ 3500 RPM. Not bad for an old BII. Now the 5.0 can really breath through those TM headers with the CAI, it feels like a totally different truck and just flat out screams. Acceleration is super smooth and shifts are much firmer. The X3 is right up there with the best mods I've done so far, I should have done this years ago!

      I've been driving the heck out of the Bronco II this winter, it has been great getting familiar with it again. Daily driving wasn't really in the plans a year or two ago, but now that I got the Mustang, the BII is my winter transport.

      With well over a foot of snow the day after Christmas, the BII was a beast on the road. Slapped in the hubs and 4x4high and away she went. Even had time to make a few runs around and do donuts in the un-plowed parking lot.

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      Also recently took her out to a little offroad site about an hour from here called Little Moab. It is mainly just a big pile of slickrock out in the west desert and is frequented by lots of rockcrawlers. Got to mess around a bit, put in the lockers and shoot the guns.
       
    25. DB_1

      DB_1 Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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      That must have been a night and day difference after getting the motor dialed in, must be a blast to drive now:thumbsup:
       
    26. Rusty

      Rusty Active Member

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      this bronco II is awesome! Very well done!
      I have to send this on to a friend who is in the military and loved his old bII.. we were going to try and restore his old one but no go... maybe we can work on another one when he gets back!?

      Anyways! GREAT JOB!
       

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