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1984 Bronco II resurrection


JRR1285

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Hi everyone,

I have been coming here forever collecting info for my Bronco II and deciding on a plan for it. My father bought it used back in 1994 and it was exciting for him because it was his first 4x4 and first truck as well. It was nice for a little while until it became a maintenance nightmare and eventually screwed him over at every turn. At the time he was mechanically inclined but not as knowledgeable as we both are now. It smoked like a fiend and never seemed to run right. The a/c system let go while he was waiting at an intersection and left him shrouded in white smoke/mist. It wasn't until he heard the noisy 2.8 that he realized the engine didn't blow. The rear end then self destructed and he had to remove the rear driveshaft and drive it home in four wheel drive. He hated this truck but I loved it for some reason.

He eventually gave it to my uncle in exchange for some work around the house that never happened. We got the truck back in late '99 with a blown clutch and it sat in the garage until right before I got my '71 Mach 1 (2007), it was then rolled outside and left to rot. It was no longer running so I tried a few basic things like a new a fuel pump and ignition system components before realizing the pickup in the tank was bad and the tank itself was also shot. We had it running off of a gas tank before deciding it was a project that we just could not devote any resources to at the time.

I have been getting crap about it sitting at the house and that I should just junk it. Around 2005 I had also bought an '88 Bronco II. I drove that daily for a couple of years before the front engine seal let go and it got parked in the back yard. To appease them I agreed to junk the '88 which I now regret but not before ripping important parts off of it.

Fast forward to now and I have finally commenced working on the '84. The engine is pulled and I am going to take it apart and redo the gaskets as well as the valve stem seals. It leaked so much oil that everything is/was thoroughly coated in sludge. Doing a Duraspark conversion is also in the plans. The engine will be getting dressed up nicely and I will be cleaning and painting the engine bay as well. I was thinking of doing a rebuild but I would rather put those resources into a 4.0 swap. I just want a decent secondary vehicle to use in the winter.

Here are some pics:

That terrible day we junked the Bronco II and our '78 F-150. I really regret not pulling more of the interior but it was pretty moldy.




The 2.8 pull



You can see the thick sludge from the dirt and oil



Starting to see casting numbers again





Truck shot


'71 Mach 1 That gets most of the time and money
 
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JRR1285

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Little update:

Engine has been thoroughly cleaned and I am assessing it's condition. It looks pretty good but the cam gear is coming apart. The fiber ring gear is no longer attached to the steal cog and can "walk" back and forth. I have also read that these gears can suddenly shear into pieces so I just grabbed a new Melling timing set for $45. Not too bad.

The oil pan had a fair amount of sludge and was hacked onto the engine using insane amounts of blue rtv. Valve train looks pretty good as well so I'll be putting in the new timing set, putting new seals/gaskets on everything, and buttoning it back up. The plan is to get a few years with light use out of the truck while I hunt for an Explorer that can accommodate a 4.0 swap.

Is it dumb to not throw a new oil pump in right now? The cost is a little more than I want to spend especially since this is more of project/learning experience and will be getting very light use. The pickup and screen is also quite expensive. That being said I am putting a decent amount of time and money into this so I don't want that to go to waste.

The main goal was to just eliminate the huge oil leaks and get a new clutch in along with a Duraspark swap. I am ignoring checking things like crank shaft endplay and other things along those lines. The truck ran good when parked forever ago so I am not too concerned. It just burned/leaked a lot of oil. I don't want to keep tearing it further apart and dumping more and more money/time into an engine I don't plan on keeping forever.

Sorry for the wall of text.
 

kimcrwbr1

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http://www.autozone.com/autozone/parts/1983-Ford-Ranger-2WD/Oil-Pump/_/N-ikqm8Z8zn8y
Change the oil pump, valve guide seals and rear main seal. clean the front and back of the intake manifold with gas and then squish somepermatex in the valleys where the head and block meet and put a new oring on the distributor. At least you can stop the leaks. You can change the valve seals using a compression tester put the piston on TDC and put around 30 lbs pressure in the cylinder to hold the valves up. Makes it alot easier to adjust the valve lash while the engine is out also. Just be careful you dont drop a keeper for thwe valve springs down a drain hole in the head.
 

JRR1285

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Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I agree that replacing it is for the best. I did notice however that they make an oil pump kit which looks to me like a few parts meant to refresh my oil pump for 20 bucks. I will probably just buy the pump and be done with it though.

I have a complete gasket set that will be getting fully used on the engine. Nothing left undone. I'm planning on doing the valve stem seals on a bench since the engine is out already and I will be doing the head gaskets anyway.
 

JRR1285

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I've run into my first serious snag.

I am missing the complete set of power steering brackets as well as the power steering pump itself. I am also missing the alternator adjuster bracket. I have no idea where they could be since I had been putting all of my parts into the truck cab and back after removing them. I reorganized once a few months ago and I can not remember coming across them.

Going to head over to the for sale/wanted section and hopefully I'll find something.
 

JRR1285

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Thankfully I was able to locate the missing parts and everything will keep moving along as planned. Just lost the majority of the day looking for them.
 

kimcrwbr1

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You know why you allways find stuff the last place you look?
Because then you stop looking for what you found :)
Hell I do that stuff all the time and its usually right under my nose. Just remember they allways give you at least a few parts you didnt need anyways.
 

JRR1285

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That's pretty much the way it went haha. I already had two sets of replacements from other members ready to be purchased when I found them. It was right in plain sight on a shelf in a box of other junk. The "extra" parts are missing (smog pump and related stuff) but I'm not as upset about that. I was able to figure out what belt I need to delete it anyway. I have a couple of shops that won't hassle me about not having them on the truck.

Back on track, anybody have a method they liked for plugging the back of the exhaust manifold where the pipes ran from? I am thinking of using copper pipe and a copper cap or maybe using a pipe plug and threading the hole, I'm just worried about cracking the manifold doing that.
 

JRR1285

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Continuing my work, I managed to clean up the engine bay. I had already removed all of the vacuum lines and coffee can and I'm down to just the wires for the A/C and the sending units among the other essentials.

Going to finish cleaning it up and then paint it semi-gloss black.

Mostly complete computer and engine bay harness



Nice uncluttered engine bay

 
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JRR1285

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My progress had slowed down due to waiting on a few miscellaneous things and bad weather. Then, this passed Sunday while coming home from the store in my wife's car, we were waiting to turn off the road and were rear ended buy an '05 Durango. He was going about 30-40 MPH and her car was totaled. We are a little sore but OK. Shopping for her replacement has become a bit of a priority right now. We have a rental car for a month so we can take our time.

I have collected most of the parts I need, now I just need to get it all done and get the engine back in. Last few things to buy are a fuel tank as well as the sending unit and straps.
 

jhammel85

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The truck has a good story. It'll be nice to see it all put back together and nice. Who knows, your dad might want it back!

Glad you guys are OK after the accident.
 

wildbill23c

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Well if you lived closer I would say to stop by and grab a bunch of parts, I was given quite a few 84B2/Ranger parts earlier this year and have yet to even sort through most of it as I just grabbed what I really needed. Got an engine block, radiator, and some misc parts oil pan, valve cover gaskets. Engine block is empty but would make an awesome paperweight LOL.
 

MastuhWaffles

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My credo
I need more sleep.
I love the old F-150s, I wanna buy one eventually.
 

JRR1285

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The truck has a good story. It'll be nice to see it all put back together and nice. Who knows, your dad might want it back!

Glad you guys are OK after the accident.
Thanks. He can't have it back but he's welcome to use it!

Yeah everything is back to normal after the accident. She got a nice new Honda Civic and we didn't have any fault in the accident so it's kind of a good thing. I was planning on dropping the oil pan on the car that got totaled because it was leaking. All worked out in the end.

Well if you lived closer I would say to stop by and grab a bunch of parts, I was given quite a few 84B2/Ranger parts earlier this year and have yet to even sort through most of it as I just grabbed what I really needed. Got an engine block, radiator, and some misc parts oil pan, valve cover gaskets. Engine block is empty but would make an awesome paperweight LOL.
Too bad I don't live closer I would take you up on the kind offer.

I love the old F-150s, I wanna buy one eventually.
We really miss it. It just wasn't safe anymore though.
 

JRR1285

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Little update:

I finally got around to taking the intake and heads off and I found some rust in one of the cylinder bores from being upside down temporarily and water apparently making its way in. I have no intention of taking this block that far apart so I just used brass brushes and some cleaners to smooth it out. I know I probably removed material and I could be looking at some blow by but I'm willing to live with that. It looks pretty good now.

I am just planning on using this engine for a couple years anyway. Low mileage, maybe 2-3k a year before doing a 4.0 swap. I just wanted to deal with the oil leaks anyway. My goal was not a perfectly performing engine, just something that runs, and I'm quite certain it will run the best it ever has after all of this. Feel free to tear into me if this isn't going to work. :)
 

JRR1285

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After nearly a year since starting this project, work on it has commenced again!

I am in the process of further cleaning of the engine bay and addressing some of the rust issues on the passenger fender area.

Here are a couple pics for now.





Tomorrow I plan on degreasing the engine bay one more time before painting it this week. I wanted to be as clean and thorough as possible. Engine is still in the garage sitting with it's heads and intake off waiting for new gaskets.
 

JRR1285

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Made some more progress. Managed to redo all of the valve stem seals today and I painted the valve covers and oil pan with gold duplicolor.

Gold covers and pan. I plan on painting the engine block/heads black and intake a gray color. Air cleaner will probably be gold too.


You can see the new ones installed.


Disintegrating valve steam seals. Most of them crumbled when I tried to get them off.
 

JRR1285

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After years of being idle this project will finally begin again.

I have had a lot of life changing events and the Bronco has been the least of my worries. Since I last posted we have purchased a house, welcomed our daughter into the world and I started a new job in about an 8 month span between 2014 and 2015. The truck has not been touched much aside for a couple of days last summer. Despite being outside in the elements it is in remarkable shape.

I plan to drop the engine back into it this month and hopefully get it back on the road by July or August. Will update with pictures along the way.

On the list is complete replacement of the brake system along with new tires and all of the new engine components I already had.
 

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Congrats on the new home, and child!!
 

JRR1285

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Pic before putting the water pump back on.

I wish I painted the carb spacer but I am running low on time. I am almost done putting it all back together and it will hopefully be running by this weekend.

Had a very annoying issue with the Brake MC leaking out the back. This was a brand new unit from Dorman. Not sure what happened but I wasted a couple of hours on it last weekend. I bought a rebuild kit for 5 bucks on Amazon and will try rebuilding the original which looked good.


 
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