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bats 88 Bronco II Build Up

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

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. bats

    bats Elite Explorer

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    Best laid plans

    So when we last left off I was just starting to tear into everything. I think I was actually further along in February then I led on.

    The front end is mostly done. Coils are in. F250 shock mounts welded to the original coil buckets. Bunch of stuff replaced. But not there yet.

    While I had everything apart I searched to see what upgrades I could do. Decided to try the Dana 44 outters upgrade. Followed happyjack's method of modifying the knuckles (vs reaming the balljoints). Worked out pretty well. Still had to do some figuring and searching for part numbers. One of these days I'll do a write up. I'm lazy and let my Elite membership expire so no pictures today kids.

    Most everything is in place except for brake lines, shocks...and the front diff. Apparently I whacked it harder than I thought and cracked it. I pulled the ham off the spare TTB and planned on swapping gear setups. While removing the 4.56 pinion I was tapping it with a rubber mallet and the had came off resulting in the first two threads getting clobbered. My drive shaft guy has it at the machine shop now to see if it's savable or if I need a new one all together.

    The goal was to have it road worthy, or at least trail worthy for Carlisle but that just ain't happening. Ran out of project funds and patience. The build is on hold for now.

    Yesterday I moved it out of the garage for the first time in 6 months and parked it off in the corner. Little Bastard looks so sad tucked away, especially since one of the spare tires won't hold air. Engine started right up and it drove itself to it's temporary resting place. Had an oh shit moment when the throttle cable got stuck and almost put it through the fence. No front brakes at the moment.

    Part of me wants to yell at it like 'you did this to yourself for fighting me so much!' and part of me wants to roll it back in and sell a kidney or two so I can finish it. (Maybe not both of them. I read on the internet that you need at least one...)

    I'm so close that I can't not finish it. I will, just not in the near future. Some life stuff is getting in the way too.

    I promise you this, though: The Little Bastard WILL return to terrorize the neighborhood.
     
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  3. bats

    bats Elite Explorer

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    I wish I had something more substantial to post but whatever. Just wanted y'all to know I'm still fighting this fight.

    So I may or may not have mentioned a conversion to Dana 44 outers. I might have wanted that to be a surprise but I can't remember in my current state of tiredness.

    The short version is that I modified my Dana 35 TTB knuckles to accept the Dana 44 knuckles to accept the Dana 44 spindles and all running gear outwards. Finally got the correct parts together to put it all together... or so I thought. Literally every step in this mod has been f'cked despite hours (days! weeks! of research!). Ordered and re-ordered practically everything. Oy vey.

    Anyways. I had really hoped to have some iteration of the Lil' Bastard ready to limp to Carlisle but if I get it rolling by August I'll be lucky. Even if I didn't do the upgrades the truck needed some serious TLC. Already mentioned how wiggly the ENTIRE front end was. That aftermarket A/C I knocked myself out for? Despite my best efforts to route/shield the hoses, one of them wore almost completely through. Too much flopping around.

    We'll get there when we get there.
     
  4. bats

    bats Elite Explorer

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    I love it when something big turns out to be something small. Since the last time it was on the road, the truck kept pissing out all the tranny fluid. Don't think I did any damage. Crawled under there and saw it coming from the tail housing of the trans. Further investigated showed that the transfer case bolts had started to work their way out. Some were looser than finger tight!

    Tightened them all up. Topped off the fluid and let it run for a bit. Dripping seems to have ceased. I'm gonna call case closed on that one.
     
  5. bats

    bats Elite Explorer

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    I need to stop being a bum and go Elite so I can post pictures.

    Front disc brake mod complete. Bled the brakes and....they're kind of mushy. I chose to use an early Bronco master to push more fluid. After talking with another member I might switch back to the 94 MC. They had good results using it with a D44. Brakes WILL stop and hold me in place. They just don't kick in until 3/4 the way down.

    Trans tail is still leaking a little. Think I just need to redo the gasket since I'm pretty sure I botched the RTV trying to bench press the manual t-case up there.

    Currently I'm still 2WD. Been trying to hunt down a u-joint for the stock driveshaft but it's on backorder. Hoping to have it in my had sometime next week.

    In honor of America I did some flexing with the Bastard in the yard. Crawled the front end up a stack of two tires. Didn't flip which is good. I'm not happy with the lack of flex in the Skyjacker coils. Super stiff and neither side really flexed. When money comes my way again thinking of trying out some JD progressive rate coils. Otherwise the height is just right. Looks OK with the 31's but 33's would be perfect.
     
  6. bats

    bats Elite Explorer

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    Still not dead, just a little hungover. Snow day today so thought I might check in.

    On last week's episode I had some 2WD action. Glad to say I'm back with all 4 tires spinning. Completed the D44 outer conversion. Need to find part numbers but I used a D44 outer shaft that matched up with the u-joints as the D35 TTB shafts. Fits just right. Redid the front coil springs with full size bronco springs. Ordered the JD coil buckets because why not. Used D44 lower coil retainers I picked up and trimmed them to sit on the TTB. Spent a lot of time figuring how to get things not rubbing but am happy with where it sits. Flexes OK, much better than the Skyjacker springs which barely even compressed

    Currently running Bilstein shocks....which are too short but much better than whatever tired old things I had in there. Also sorted out the steering issues (off center wheel, tie-rods not parallel, leaky steering box) and it tracks so much better. I can hit bumps at higher speeds with minimal bump steer! Front end is 98% complete.

    Still have plans to put the 4" leaves in the rear and then planning to spring for some Fox shocks once I get the height set.

    Mostly down to detail work. Biggest thing right now is I have no overdrive. shifts fine 1-3 but no OD. Last time I had this issue the trans was over full. Pumped out the excess fluid and still no OD. Damn.
     
  7. bats

    bats Elite Explorer

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    Other than the OD issue it's down to detail work.

    Remove that fancy A/C system I spent all last summer installing. Pinched some of the hoses between the body when I landed on a rock.
    EGR delete - No reason other than to clean up the engine bay. Already had CEL but still runs fin.
    Brakes - Switched back to 94 Explorer MC. Pedal has a different feel but it will lock those suckers up!

    And a bunch of other stuff that I can't remember right now. Hopefully the OD issue is something easy because the truck is otherwise ready to hit some trails!
     
  8. bats

    bats Elite Explorer

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    Had a stroke of luck and found the source of my two major problems. The no OD was a completely stretched out kickdown cable. The adjuster was stuck so have a new one on order. While doing mechanics yoga trying to reach my pedals I found a wire that got pinched in the door and exposed. Taped it up for now. That should solve the parasitic drain.
     
  9. bats

    bats Elite Explorer

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    The truck survived a whole 'nother year.....mostly. Had a good time. Got some beach driving action once I got the trans issue resolved. Terrorized a local car show or two. Even tackled the snow the Northeast got last year. TTB is a snow plow but snow-nuts are always a good time. Tidied up some wiring so less chance of catching fire.

    Finally installed the 4 inch leaves in the rear with roughly stock height shackles. Truck sits almost level. The front ended up being Early Bronco springs from Wild Horses using D44 coil seats. They're progressive rate coils and the top is almost compressed at ride height. Mucked up some weight calculations but they're better than the super stiff Skyjackers that I had initially. Flexes well enough. Still on Bilstein shocks but ones that now the right length. Ride is good and truck is pretty manageable at high speeds on rough roads. Can still hold it's own crawling as well.

    Let's fast forward to a few weeks ago. I trailered the Bronco to PA for some offroading. Very very happy with how it did....until it started shifting weird and smoking. Front pump seal blew and pumped out all the tranny juice. Another member towed me to the trailhead and I almost made it back to camp under my own power but lost all gears.

    Topped off the trans fluid when I got home and it had just enough gears to pull itself off the trailer and into the garage. Talk about a smoke show though. Couldn't see across the yard cause of the cloud.

    That A4LD had a good run. Two trucks. Miles of abuse offroad and on. Happy it didn't blow on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.

    The Bastard will rise again, I promise...
     
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  10. bats

    bats Elite Explorer

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    Not even a month later and we've already made some progress. I posted some teaser photos elsewhere so let's officially get it out in the open.

    I'm going manual!

    That's right, kids. It's M5OD swap time!

    But bats, you say, if you're going to be messing with the drive train why not go for a V8 swap?

    Well humble reader, the jump in power would be nice BUT I've got so much time vested in the Explorer setup that I don't want to start fresh. I've pared down the wiring harness to the bare essentials and I'm pretty happy with all of it. Plus, the OHV is just a cozy amount of power for the Bronco. V8 craziness would be nice but I want to button this all up so I can enjoy it and start throwing money at other projects.

    In the past few weeks I picked up a reman M5OD off fleabay. Company had positive reviews so took a gamble. Looks good despite the listing being somewhat incorrect. Was labeled as a 91-94 trans but actually seems like an M5OD HD out of a later model Ranger. Score! Got all my flywheel bits sorted out and bolted up. Trans is officially in the truck. Mounted at least. Now we're down to detail work.

    Needed lots of manual swap bits so I've been working on scouring the internet and junkyards. Just about have everything, just need to put it all back together. Estimating getting it running by early August.

    While doing all this work, I went as far as pulling the motor. Replaced the rods and rocker arms on the driver side cause they were chattery. Was going to go crazy with a bunch of other stuff but decided to not open that can of worms.

    Again, taking my time to do things right and take care of some sh!t that should have been addressed a long time ago. Like my fuel lines....They were a bastardization of Explorer, Bronco, high pressure rubber lines and fuel clamps. With an -AN fitting thrown in. Not sure how they held together so long but they did.

    Today I checked off something I wanted to do for a long time which was a full -AN fuel line conversion. I picked up the supplies a while ago, lost a few fittings and re-ordered everything. I got the flow down for making -AN fittings and can now call that item complete. Pressurized the fuel system today and no leaks! Super happy about that. Will add a shopping list in my next post.
     
  11. bats

    bats Elite Explorer

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    Took a trip down memory lane and re-read my thread. The -AN fuel fittings thread is linked 2 or three pages back. Pretty much followed that EXCEPT the return line actually fit the -AN fitting without the adapter. Just be sure to use some pipe tape and you're golden.

    Got a big ahead of myself and tried to start it up over the weekend. Lo and behold it ran! Despite a few sensors being unplugged it actually idle'd at 800 RPM. Didn't sound bad with open headers. Still no driving yet due to lack of transfer case. Also sorting out the shifter. We're getting there!

    Here's a few helpful tips on the A4LD M5OD swap:

    Wiring - I bypassed the NSS switch by jumping the PINK and Red/LightBlue(?) connectors on the grey harness. As this is a 1994 Explorer drive train, there are a black and grey connector on the driver side fender. Jump the afore mentioned wires. The reverse lights are the same. I re-wired with a pigtail for the M5OD. The 93-94 trans harness also has wires for the oil pressure and temp sensor I believe. Left them as-is.

    The black connector was left completely unplugged.

    Tailshaft extension housing - Reman'd trans didn't come with a tailshaft housing so I picked on up off eblay. There's no part number for a gasket BUT if you mate them up without RTV it WILL weep. (Do this BEFORE you fill up the trans, dummy!) These bolts, like the bellhousing bolts, are metric. M10x1.5x25MM bolts. I tried with the closest SAE bolts and the threads skipped when I tried to tighten them down.

    Copied from yostyexplorer94's swap thread:
    These are grade 10.9 bolts
    • top four bolts : 10-1.5x60mm
    • middle two bolts : 10-1.5x70mm
    • bottom two bolts: 10-1.5x75mm
    Really all that's left now is install the clutch master and swap in the third pedal. I might throw my spare electric tCase in there and run 2WD just to get it moving.

    Victory is so close I can taste it...
     
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  12. bats

    bats Elite Explorer

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    Victory tastes a lot like ATF.

    Today I got everything connected and el Bastard was able to drive itself around the yard a bit. Shifted good through reverse and 1-2. Road test probably won't happen til next weekend since I'm still running open headers. Still need to tidy up the wiring and new fuel lines. Super happy with how this went. I bought all new everything so it wasn't as cheap as I'd hoped BUT all the parts are still off the shelf.

    Temporarily put my 1354e t-case in so I can get it moving. The manual t-case had water, possibly even salt water in it so it's in need of a complete teardown. Only gonna be 2WD for now since I reused the power from the 4WD harness for other things. (Or get under there with a pair of vicegrips.

    Another NB for the swap:
    You don't need to remove the whole pedal assembly to get the third pedal in there. On the right side there's a C-clip which holds the pivot shaft in place. Pop that off and slide the old one out, reverse with the clutch pedal/shaft assembly. Remove your e-brake assembly and drivers seat otherwise it ain't happening. Lay on your back and look up under your steering column. Steering column can stay put.
     
  13. bats

    bats Elite Explorer

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    Adding on to my note above, just take your damn e-brake cable off. Otherwise you will punch yourself in the face repeatedly trying to squeeze your third pedal in. The ride side of my face hasn't stopped throbbing since.

    Anyway, I seem to have an issue with my shifter being too long. (Giggity.) When I fully tighten the seal on the shifter and it pushes the stub shaft all the way down, I can only rock the stick up and down. So third and fourth gears only. No side-to-side movement whatsoever. When I loosen the cap I regain side-side movement and can hit all gears. New cups too.

    If I use a big flathead to move the gates, they move normally. I had a spare stub shaft laying around and went at it with a grinder. Boom. Shifty. I ordered a first gen M5OD stub online which is the exact same as the stub I pulled out of a 97 SOHC ranger. Maybe this was one of those weird transition years or something. Not gonna drive myself nuts tracking down part numbers and raiding junkyards. This should fix it.
     
  14. vroomzoomboom

    vroomzoomboom Elite Canuck STOCK SUCKS! Elite Explorer

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    if not, can you make a spacer plate to go between the trans and shifter housing? or am i thinking the wrong style of shifter?
     
  15. bats

    bats Elite Explorer

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    Essentially that's what I'm going to do. Had an A-HA moment today after I finished up in the garage.

    The M5OD has a stub that goes into the top of the trans, and then a collar with three screws that tightens everything up. When it's all tightened down, it's like it's being pinched but if I pull UP I can then shift without resistance.

    Simple solution? Put some washers in between the top of the trans housing and the collar that holds the stub in place. One washer will probably do it. Doesn't seem to be a clutch problem because when I pull up and then shift, feels like everything disconnects like it should.
     
  16. bats

    bats Elite Explorer

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    Made a spacer out of the old plastic bushing. Holds the shift stub just right. Got up to third gear driving around the yard. Got the exhaust back on so my neighbors will leave me alone. Hoping for a road test this weekend.
     
  17. bats

    bats Elite Explorer

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    So there's good news and bad news...

    Good news is two road tests and the trans works. Still a wee bit tough to get into gear but it freaking works! Heck, even my reverse lights work!

    Now the bad news... I finally fixed my crooked steering wheel and sloppy steering box and tried to go for a drive yesterday. Didn't feel right. Idle'd fine but felt like it was lacking power. Thought it was low fuel pressure from the AN line swap. Fuel pressure is consistent around 30 PSI which I believe is the acceptable range for this engine. Then thought it was because I haven't installed now O2 sensors yet and they're disconnected. While looking at the engine I saw the issue...

    Blew the head gasket.

    No butts about it, leaking AF out the drivers side head. Block was wet and dripping onto the exhaust. I guess that solves my disappearing coolant problem.

    I'm not sure what I'm going to do at this point. The universe has a sick sense of humor.
     
  18. bats

    bats Elite Explorer

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    Got some sleep came to my senses. Head gasket job is a go. Provided I don't find anything show stopping when I dig into it.

    Won't get to it til October probably but I can start ordering parts in the mean time. New goal is to have it up and running before we start getting snow. Woo.
     
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  19. vroomzoomboom

    vroomzoomboom Elite Canuck STOCK SUCKS! Elite Explorer

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    might as well grab pushrods while your at it
     
  20. bats

    bats Elite Explorer

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    Yep. Got a fresh set on the bench. Rocker arms as well.

    Feeling ambitious when I got home from work today. Tore down to the drivers side head. Cylinders look as good so I don't think much if any antifreeze got in there. Thinking the failure was more on the outer water jackets so it just dripped on the exhaust rather than into the cylinder.

    Inspected the head and honestly looks good. No visible cracks or anything but again, this is just me looking at it with a drop light. Lifters look a bit worn so replacing them this go around.

    I'm thinking I may just re-use the heads again. Maybe get them decked and magnafluxed this time though.
     
  21. roscoe 0202

    roscoe 0202 Active Member

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    get them magnafluxed or better yet pressure tested at the very least
    roscoe
     

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