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RJ's B2 Build

I started building my second RBV, a Bronco ii.

This thread is to post about and document the work done to the car, so it can help others that are building a b2 or ranger based vehicle. This is actually my second build thread about this rig, the first one was accidentally deleted.

I picked up this 1990 bronco ii in august of 2016. It's an automatic, 4x4, Eddie Bauer edition, that was already spray painted green when I bought it. But it had what I wanted, cruise control, factory a/c, electric Windows and locks, (although none that stuff worked, it was there for the fixin') and it was a fair price for a b2 with decent interior..... Almost none of the other ones on Craigslist had a good interior, or they wanted way too much money.

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So why build another 4x4 when i already have a built up explorer/Navajo?
Well this one just has a different vision for it. I don't plan for this one to be big and crazy and an all out dedicated trail rig. At least not for a few years. I want this car to be capable off road, but retain as much road manners as possible. Almost more like an overlanding vehicle. I want to be able to drive it long distances, use it for camping and mountain biking, and for four wheeling, but not something that needs a trailer.

So I want to keep the lift to a minimum, keep things relatively simple. Put some 33's, trim the fenders, some lockers, and just keep fine tuning everything as I go along.
 


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R.J.

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R.J.

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Had the transmission go out. So I swapped in a used on I had. Then I was having a misfire

IMG_20180509_122232.jpg
 








R.J.

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4.0 time:D

The drivetrain is about ready to come out of the Navajo for you.

It's due for a 4.0
If anything major breaks on this 2.9, it's going to get parked until the 4.0 goes in.

It's running fine right now. Hopefully that cylinder with the bad plug is ok.
 




R.J.

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Drove to the Colorado River yesterday .On the way home I noticed a ton of smoke billowing out behind my car. Pulled over to check it out and trans fluid was leaking out from the bell housing. The temp guage for the trans never showed it over heating, but it looks like the front seal went bad. I still drove it home, but had to drive slow and easy to keep the tranny from puking. If I was revving out the car for a few minutes it would start spitting fluid again. Which was difficult with all the head wind on the way home.

Not sure what I want to do with it yet.

IMG_20180609_192832.jpg
 




Stic-o

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Navajo's trans is out and ready to go. Should bolt up. Should not be to hard or long for me to pull the pedal assembly out.
 








R.J.

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Well, that didn't last very long..

I know! And it was working so well! It still shifts and operates fine, other than the smoke show it had..
 




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Navajo's trans is out and ready to go. Should bolt up. Should not be to hard or long for me to pull the pedal assembly out.

It's tempting.

I really want to keep it an automatic trans. But the manual would give more reliability and better gas mileage. But more work to drive. I don't mind stick shifts in small cars with light clutches and small shifters, but not a fan of manual trucks and SUVs.

What I really want is a 700r4. But I don't have the $$ right now. So for reliability's sake maybe I should swap to a stick. I do want to drive this car long distances, and the a4ld is not giving me any peace of mind.
 




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And in thinking about the manual conversion, I would want to swap the 1,2, & 3rd gears in the trans to the lower ratio ones from non 4.0 model trucks. So that's more work too.
 




R.J.

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When I was installing the current trans, I noticed it looked pretty fresh on the inside. Maybe this was a problem the previous owner already tried to fix?

IMG_20180420_170045.jpg
 




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It's tempting.

I really want to keep it an automatic trans. But the manual would give more reliability and better gas mileage. But more work to drive. I don't mind stick shifts in small cars with light clutches and small shifters, but not a fan of manual trucks and SUVs.

What I really want is a 700r4. But I don't have the $$ right now. So for reliability's sake maybe I should swap to a stick. I do want to drive this car long distances, and the a4ld is not giving me any peace of mind.

Hence why I'm putting a auto in the Navajo.
 




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Hence why I'm putting a auto in the Navajo.

I don't want a manual :(
Maybe I should do like 410fortune and swap a v8 4r70w. A4LD trouble was what led him to the swap too.
 




R.J.

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The trans shop that we work with quoted me $800 for a rebuild. Bench job so I'd pull the trans myself. Which is a decent price. And then I don't have to mess with any swapping or clutching or shifting. But I still worry cause I've heard the horror stories of rebuilt a4lds that only last a year or two.
 




Stic-o

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The trans shop that we work with quoted me $800 for a rebuild. Bench job so I'd pull the trans myself. Which is a decent price. And then I don't have to mess with any swapping or clutching or shifting. But I still worry cause I've heard the horror stories of rebuilt a4lds that only last a year or two.

When my 5R55E (based off the A4LD) went out in JP in 2004ish, the Ford dealer told me they could rebuild it and I'll be back in a year or for $700 more they could just order a brand new one. 50k later you can see what choice I made.

This is also why I jumped on one for the Navajo from a wrecked Ranger with only 45k
 




R.J.

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When my 5R55E (based off the A4LD) went out in JP in 2004ish, the Ford dealer told me they could rebuild it and I'll be back in a year or for $700 more they could just order a brand new one. 50k later you can see what choice I made.

This is also why I jumped on one for the Navajo from a wrecked Ranger with only 45k

Yeah that's what I'm worried about.

I think I'll go toward the manual trans. But I want to swap in the lower gear set from the smaller engine units. So I'll start looking for a 4cyl M5OD (or 2.9)
 




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I will tell you a B2 Manual is fun! It's like a go kart. I still kinda regret selling mine, but it would not have stayed stock, and I didn't need a second project at the time
 




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Upgraded tranny the trans cooler today.

I've been running my car untouched since it spewed fluid, but the day it did that was on a 200 mile drive on a very hot day. And I had put 200 miles on it earlier that day (drive out and back to Blythe CA)

So since the trans doesn't give me any troubles around town, I'm gonna delay pulling the trans as long as I can. So I bought a nice, big, B&M super cooler to help it out.

It's not much larger in height and width compared to the factory one (assuming it's factory? Never know with used cars) but it's like three times as thick. And it's a B&M. People seem to say they're good.

IMG_20180710_170222.jpg


IMG_20180710_180458.jpg


Now I'll have to take it for a long drive on a hot day and see how she does.
 




410Fortune

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Nicely done! I am loving this BII!!!

B&M coolers are good, its not the brand its the style, the plate and fin cooler is good for the trans. Also exactly what comes in many Chevy's! I find these coolers NIB on CL all the time.
Keep up the good work!!

BII trail rig for the win!!
 


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410Fortune

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The A4LD front pump seal is a POS, it should be staked in place. That fresh front pump seal is a sure sign of issues with the runout on that input shaft.
A4LD is only good when built right, by Ford or by a pro who knows these trans. It can be upgraded internally with 5r parts....but at the end of the day its still a A4LD
Better off with the M5OD-HD manual or even a C5 3speed auto if you can find one...
 




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