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MoabB2 1989 Bronco II XLT 4x4


MoabB2

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City, State
South Jordan, Utah
Year, Model & Trim Level
89 Bronco II (97 Mercury)
A few updates as of 1/23/2020 shown below:

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

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.

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 in signature

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 in signature
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 in signature.

Chop Chop: Version 5.0
It's a never ending quest to be bigger, badder, lighter and better. As the bronco has slowly relinquished daily driver duties, it has transformed over time into more and more of a trail rig. Version 5.0 includes:
-Custom built, frame mounted, internal family roll cage.
-We gutted the entire interior, cut through the floor and tied into the custom rock sliders.
-Redesigned custom front and rear bumpers, with angled rear tire carrier.
-Goal was to gain better approach and departure angles and clear 37" tires.
-Removed front valance, mounted superwinch behind the grill / inside the frame rails.
-Front bumper tabbed for light bar, fog lights, and dual D-Loop mounts.
-Rear bumper with 2" receiver, centered/angled tire mount to accept 37" tire that swings either direction, integrated hi-lift mount, integrated removable mud flaps.
-Fenders cut (again) to accommodate 37" tires
-Custom metal 'flat fender' flares
-37x12.50x17 Kevlar MTR's, mounted on 17" beadlocks with custom red painted rings.
-Removed front inner fenders. She can finally BREATH!
-Custom frame mounted rock sliders with kick-out side steps
-Removed the rear side glass windows. Installed removable snap-in vinyl windows. By far the best modification I've made! (Step on 37" tire, enter back seat through window opening = AMAZING!)
-New headliner
-Dynamat sound deadening throughout entire cabin.
-New to me, junkyard 60/40 split bench from '90 ranger.
-JVC headunit with bluetooth, aux/usb front ports, hands-free phone integration, SiriusXM satellite radio with antenna mounted above the rear hatch.
-New front speakers

Depending on the weather the truck still occasionally gets me to work and runs errands. daily driver for about 6 months of the year. Future plans include updated CAI and routine maintenance :).

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.
-Custom metal 'Flat Fender' flares, significant trimming.
-Deleted inner fenders
-Custom grill.
-Custom vinyl snap-in/out rear windows
-Deleted front valance under grill

DRIVETRAIN:
-5.0L V8, GT-40p Heads. (donor, 1997 Mercury Mountaineer. 65k)
-4r70w, AOD-EW transmission.
-OBD-II PCM and Diagnostic Port.
-Custom dyno-tune via xCal3: 215 RWHP / 273 RWTQ
-Custom dual exhaust with dual Flowmaster 40 series, rear exit.
-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
-Optima yellow top battery

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

WHEELS AND TIRES
-37x12.50x17 Goodyear Kevlar MTRs with full size spare
-5 17x10 5x5.5 Allied Rock-a-Thon Beadlocks with custom red painted rings

BODY PROTECTION/ARMOR:
-Custom front and rear bumpers with full size spare tire/Hi-lift Jack swing out.
-Custom frame mounted rock sliders with kick-out steps.
-Custom internal frame mounted family roll cage.

OTHER:
-30" front LED light bar, 2 front LED pods
-JVC Head Unit with integrated Bluetooth, USB/AUX, handsfree calling and SiriusXM
-Midland CB radio with antenna.
-Yakima Loadwarrior basket with axe/shovel brackets.
-Rear bumper mounted Hi-Lift Jack
-Custom FX4 Decals
-5.0 badges
 


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SkanlaxJMO

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City, State
Syracuse, New York
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:
 




Trckmagik

Ole Bag
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Celina, Texas
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1996
Dayum nice rig. Well done and well written.
 




DB_1

Elite Ranger
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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?
 




mjones97

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I have always loved your truck and its progress!

I wish it was mine!
 




MoabB2

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

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

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:


 




MoabB2

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City, State
South Jordan, Utah
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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MoabB2

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

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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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MoabB2

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89 Bronco II (97 Mercury)
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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MoabB2

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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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mjones97

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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?
 




MoabB2

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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:





 




MoabB2

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89 Bronco II (97 Mercury)
WOW!

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

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




mjones97

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That is awesome!
 




MoabB2

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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!
 




mjones97

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Pictures!
 








DB_1

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97 SC Ranger xlt
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:
 


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MoabB2

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South Jordan, Utah
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89 Bronco II (97 Mercury)
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?
 




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