410Fortune 1988 Ford Bronco II Eddie Bauer 4x4 | Page 13 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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410Fortune 1988 Ford Bronco II Eddie Bauer 4x4

Have you seen Joe Deitz Ranchero? I am sure its posted out there somewhere..... I saw it for about 20 seconds this summer when I was in CO for 4 days working on trucks at Brett's house, Joe drove past. That thing is so sweet! explorer 5.0 with 4r70w using Baumman /optishift controller now it has a nice paint job....daily driver Ranchero = the 2dr sport trac from the 60's LOL

Autofab has shipped my fender mounting bushings and tabs, Mcneil has my order for bedsides
I am going to begin cutting up my BII
Plan is to open up the bedsides something like this and then build some inner fender filler panels for mud and snow control

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Glad to see the BII getting some updates.

One more thing to add to the Dash/ Doors interchange on the Rangers is 93-94 doors are different then the 95-97 doors. They have different part numbers. My understanding is it externally they are the same. Just the way the interior panels attach is different due to the dash change. I will be finding out in a few months when I pick up a set of spare doors from a 95 ranger and try to put them on my 93. they will be getting cut down into half doors so not real worried about the interior panels.

hey Matt!!! On the ranger forums I see Ranger dudes with the old 93 cabs running 2011 style door panels, I know it can be done! Thanks for the info about the doors.

My Mcneil bedsides came in! Shipped greyhound I had to drive 60 miles to get them
They came out very nice! The gel coat and quality is way up there for fiberglass pieces.

I have LOTS of trimming to do to get these mounted but I had to hold them up and get an idea
I think I am in love with the BII all over again




It appears that I need to subscribe to this thread.
The glass is going to look sharp on there!

How similar is a 1st gen Explorer 5.0 swap to a B2 5.0 swap?

VERY similar The Gen I explorer has a bit more space where the radiator mounts
My 88 Bronco II was basically already converted to a 93 Explorer before I did the 5.0 (I had a 4.0L for like 12 years, used the 93 wiring under hood)

Bronco II is basically a Ranger with a really short rear driveshaft. The only real difference for a Gen I explorer is the explorer leafs go under the rear axle where the ranger stay on top.
The ranger /BII frame gets narrow after the front doors, the explorer frame rails stay wide. The ranger/bii leafs springs are hung off the frame rail, the explorer leafs are under the rails

To stuff a 302/306/327/331/347 into a 83-96 Ranger, 83-90 BII, or 91-94 Explorer you basically have to:
Dual sump oil pan to clear the TTB engine cradle
Re locate oil filter to clear the power steering gear box
Some sort of exhaust manifolds to clear the frame rails, block huggers
Notch the Hvac box (to clear valve cover and or exhaust)
Tuck the radiator underneath the core support to fit a mechanical fan (or hack it all up)
Custom engine mounts (or conv mustang mounts flipped side to side)
After that its all wiring and plumbing

How intense is the wiring? That's really the part I'm concerned about. I hate wiring, I've done it, but I don't have the patience for it like I used to.

is the drivetrain length the same? Do they make block huggers for the Explorer motor other than the Torque Monsters?

Torque Monster, OBX headers or possibly some early 289 shortys I've seen work in the ranger without too much hassle
I have built a few custom y pipes and down pipes now, have done more fabricating, so I'm not as hesitant as I used to be to try out new alternatives, hack into the frame if needed, etc.
Alot of guys are going outside the frame rail with the headers and engine swaps or just modify the frame/ heater box and build your own exhaust so you can use some sort of block huggin SBF shorty
I like the TMH for most builds because we are usually under 400hp, I can keep my heat and AC, the quality of the header is awesome and they fit the factory explorer downpipes so we can justify the price

Started mounting the bedsides today, early stages of bodywork and rust removal
This is going to be awesome!
Bye bye rust....finally!
Looks like I need to move my rear axle back 2", but who doesn't?
Pretty happy with the results thus far, after all of this I will finally be able to build some rock rails




Thanks! Getting there...Right in the middle of my rust repair/fiberglass fit project my trusty Hobart handler 180 quit feeding wire. DAMMIT!!!
Been troubleshooting the friggin welder for hours now....no voltage to drive feed motor appears to be a control board issue, could cost me $15 or $300+...... I'm tempted to go buy a new mig that can spool aluminum. My model is just before the ones where you can get a spool gun..

Right when I need it the most!!!
I have a Harbor freight $99 flux core 120V wire feed, but I do not like the welds it makes for this project.....splatter everywhere.

Before I can properly lay the fiberglass sides and weld the tab mounts to the body first I had to fix my rust with bits of a patch panel...it went great! Until the welder crapped out....
Drivers side mounts 99% done.....working on a plastic panel to close the hole in the side of the truck, and I have some old conveyor belt I use to make simple mud guards, again close more gaps/mud control
I need a welder for this. Of course it turns out the early handler models had wire feed control circuit issues..........just my luck.

I was just about ready to mix up some body filler and coat all of this with chassis saver.
It will be nice to be able to actually treat/service all this metal instead of knowing rust is growing from inside out....if I could have a 100% fiberglass bronco II I would.
I hate rust.
Ford did a good job on these bodies, they do not typically rust out UNLESS your rear windows leak....like mine did..




You can't see it but the metal bodywork has been completed, ground down to bare metal then patch panel welded on Ill get a pic when I have the glass off again.....



That looks very good, and Ford should have made them with a decent flare in all of the fenders.

Well the little Hobart lasted about 15 years give or take. I have welded everything from hitches and suspension beams to sheet metal bodywork. It was a very handy buzz box...240V mig with gas....it needed several repairs over the years including trigger work and O rings in the gas supply. Yesterday it quit pushing wire, I troubleshooted to no avail, possible control board issue = $$$$

I NEED a welder like yesterday, with the amount of welding I do I had little choice........

New Harbor freight mig tig and arc all in one!!
Titanium Unlimited 200 Professional Multiprocess machine

I have wanted a TIG welder for a LOOOOONG time
I have also needed a mig that can take a spool gun for pushing aluminum wire.
Well now I have one....muahahahaha!! These get very good reviews, the new Titanium and Vulcan welders are very good for the $$$
Its tiny!

Cant wait to set it up and finish this bodywork

Interested to see how you like that welder. I want to get a tig eventually as well. Can that one tig aluminum?

It should be able to tig aluminum yes, I do not see why not........it can braze and weld in Tig mode.
It does not have a foot pedal in Tig mode, it is a "scratch start" tig welder with the gas valve being mounted right on the tig torch. I do not see why it would not work with aluminum.
The higher dollar Vulcan multi process machine has a foot pedal activated tig torch, but its also another $250!!!
I am brand new to TIG welding, but hey when I got my Hobart 15 years ago I had only welded once.... with a mig anyone can be a good welder, with this machine its even easier
So far I LOVE this machine, I could hardly sleep last night wanting to get up and finish my BII project with the new neon green box... The hobart weighs about 60# this thing is 24#!! REFRESHING.



Working to close the gap left by cutting open the BII


inner most panel templated

This part will be plastic or rubber, mud / snow control of sorts....inner fender liner



Ah, have to build some inner fender pieces. There's a good bit of space there.

Have you thought of cutting the old interior panel out, and extending the wheel well out to gain space inside the cabin? If you make it out of steel, the pocket behind the inner trim would be much larger than stock. I have a cordless air pump and smaller items in my 98 there, but yours looks like you could double that size of space.

It would be more complicated to make than the straight vertical piece you have patterned so far. But the weld seams will be accessible from both sides, to seal it from any rusting.

I had to R&R the whole quarter panel in my 93, which was a huge part, but it had the stock parts overlapping at the spot welds. It was no trouble to seal all of the seams and welds, just time consuming.

Well I like the way you think.
The inner panel will be riveted, not welded. It may even end up being aluminum or plastic :) Welding here is like asking for rust to return, rivets are the proper repair. I will likely use seam sealer and or silicoln to close the gap and protect the metal. Chassis saver will get slathered over any exposed metal, this will all be hidden by the fiberglass.

What you are talking about it "tubbing" the rear of the BII, create new inner wheel arches, but for more interior space, that is not gonna happen.... I have bigger plans..........I want outboard shocks = same amount of interior space for the back seat.

Eventually I will probably hack the entire roof off and create a new soft top setup...when I do I plan to use the inner bed pieces from a Ranger...so basically a short ranger bed inside with BII fiberglass bedsides and a Ranger tailgate. Why? Because I can make my BII 2-3" longer (push rear axle back, possible 3-4 link)

I am avoiding that until I can do a full frame off on this BII. New 331, fresh trans, atlas t case or doubler..........so for now I am just wanting to use the BII as my daily driver again. It has been 3 years since I drove her daily (thanks to Colorado emissions not testing over 33" tires and selling our house, making the big move North)
I will retain all of the interior plastics, headliner, speaker pockets etc for now.

Kids go back to school next week, I promised myself the BII would be ready for this, to take 2 sometimes 3 kids to school daily even during the nasty North Idaho winters and spring mud season :), lucky for me I lost a day and a half trying to fix the Hobart.
During all of this I am also working on the seat install for the 07 Ranger AND I just cleaned out my entire storage unit yesterday....I had a shelter logic soft garage full of car parts, it needed to be sorted through before winter so the shelter logic can act as a garage for the dozer, excavator and tractor. All part of the big master plan (still unpacking/organizing from the big move)

So I need to finish the bedsides on both sides and install my new to me suzuki samurai fold and tumble back seat.... I need to also fix my front coil buckets. The coil buckets I installed are Winter fab from way back in the day I traded @RangerX (testing his memory here) some parts for them. When I fabricated them (added shock towers) and bolted them to the BII frame....turns out my coils his the bucket on both sides, likely because my TTB beams are pushed forward 1" per side.. So I need to remove them and re angle them on the frame.
So before next week:

finish both bedsides and inner fender mud guards.
install rear seat
Fix coil buckets

Should be done today/tonight into middle of next week.
I will still have to finish up the glass bedsides, to close some gaps at the glass/body lines I will add more glass and resin to make it as close to perfect as I can. I would expect no less for this BII!! no hack jobs here on my personal truck and this is no race truck or rock buggy, so fit and finish is very important to me. Its a fine line we walk.....the McNeil parts as good as they are, do not fit the BII sides very well, not without lots of trimming and in my case putting some material back.....good enough for a desert toy, not good enough for a custom 410 BII. FYI it took me about 3 years before I was 100% happy with the fit of the front Autofab fenders.....
Before I get the grinder out I have put ALOT of thought into this.....stare at it and think for weeks on end, then a few hours of actual fab.

Funny part is I was mocking up my templates yesterday and my stepson comes by and goes "you are using cardboard on the Bronco?!?!?!" I'm like "Yup! Think it'll hold up?" LOL had a good long laugh at that one....
I explained these were just templates...although I guess I could just glass right over them and leave the masking tape!!

Ahh, Jamie, I fail at memory tests!!
I maybe have the slightest glimmer of having buckets from winter. What parts did I get out of the trade with you?
You got me trying to remember all the parts I’ve had that did not ever make it onto the truck, I had a T+M doubler, a full width D44, a BII gas tank...

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......my transwerx built A4LD for your wifes Exploder.
You guys had me over and made bean, beef, and fresh avocado burritos OMG YUM I still talk about those avocados from your back yard!

I got the winter buckets, two tiki's and 4ea 35 mtr's on steelies if I remember correctly.
oh man the doubler drool drool

It's allright they never made it onto the ranger......I was about to chop up my BII and do a full cage bumper to bumper when Polaris came out with the rzr.....and all of that changed.
We got our hands on some rzr's and used those for camping wheeling from then on.. so the BII was a highway princess for a few years in Colorado but
Now we live at the end of a nasty road and I commute children to school

So..... The goal was to get the spare on the back, install a back seat with room for 3 kids and the dog, get her back to daily drive status.
and of course then there is /was the rust....... yuck

I fixed the wifes FJ cruiser this year, lots of front end work, rear end work 210K miles now

I lifted our 7.3 Excursion 4x4 6",


I had been collecting lift parts for 3 years, she finally snapped a leaf spring, so on went the lift
My F350 shop truck is up to par (97 4 door 7.3 5 speed intercooled swaps injection RSK flatbed custom seats)


the plow truck is running and operating as it should (came with the house broke down first winter snow)
I picked up a bulldozer (snow management. road fixin)

and a mini excavator that needed a ton of work (we live in the forest on a river, Im parking it out and making building sites, controlling drainage and fixing up the road),


Went back to Colorado and got our camper

So this summer I fixed all of that stuff up and now finally we are into covered parking, dry firewood storage, and of course get the BII back on the road....here comes winter!!