So, Whaddya Think?

I just got back from looking it over and driving it.

It has some issues of course but it is almost 30 years old too.



The odometer says almost 140,000 miles on it.

It has a high and surging idle problem when it warms up, the check engine light is flashing a code and the charging system gauge doesn’t work

Some asshole broke into it once so the drivers door lock cylinder has been punched out and the sheet metal around the hole is fucked up somewhat and rusty because it never got fixed.

It also has a bit of a stumble when you mash the gas pedal down, that could just be dirty injectors. There is a 351 Windsor in it and an automatic transmission. 351 Windsor being the 5.7 liter engine. It starts right up when it is cold but after it warms up the starter doesn’t want to crank. The guy says it had a new starter put on it but that doesn’t mean shit if it was a rebuilt unit.

There are new parts all over the engine so I see someone has been trying the shotgun method of trying to fix the idle issue.

The 4 wheel drive works but it still has those automatic hubs that everyone replaces for good reason.

It has new tires and shocks and the brakes and cruise control work good.

There is a hitch mount and trailer wiring plug plus some kind of removable luggage rack on top. He said the removable hard top on it has never been taken off either.

The fucking heater works and that is a must, don’t think the A/C works but Winter is just getting started. It still has the factory installed 2-70 cab cooling system anyway.

The rear window works, that just got fixed and was an issue with all of those old Bronco’s eventually.

The power windows and door locks work as do all the lights.

The old chrome spoke wheels are rusty and eventually will get replaced but that doesn’t affect anything except looks which I have never been concerned with too much anyway.

The  plastic left front wheel arch flare is missing but the rest look cheesy anyway so they will come off.

Oh yeah, it doesn’t leak any fucking oil either.

Major bonus points for that.


The guy wants $2,000 for it and I just shook his hand on it.

He is waiting for his Mom to send the title this week, apparently it was hers and she was going to give it to him but after he found out about some of the issues above he doesn’t want to mess with it.


I’m sure the wife is going to throw a few fits about it but I am the one going to be driving it and this fucking thing has Phil written all over it.

27 thoughts on “So, Whaddya Think?

  1. Well, for an older fella with a stiff finger, it should be the cat’s meow. That can safely be called low mileage, but that license plate might cause the local fuzz some concern. . .


  2. I’d call that a good buy, overall, most of the issues are easily fixed, compared to something like a leaking rear main seal. A question about the stumbling, Phil, does this have TBI or a carb? You know why I ask.


  3. If a 351W is not leaking any oil then there is no oil in it. The Bronco’s were also notorious for having open differentials negating true 4×4.

    I had an 89 manual XL Bronco with the 351W (no dope pipe). I ended up putting a spool in the front differential and an Eaton locker in the rear because every time I drove off the asphalt it got stuck. That cleared up that issue. I had power steering and brakes, AC, and not much else. I got it with the radio – delete option. I ended up covering the inside with Dynamat and putting a Pioneer radio in it.

    I put on an after-market intake, holly 700 4-barrel, and headers so it jumped from 11 mpg to 14. I only had it for about 5 years as it was killing me with the fuel mileage as my daily driver.


  4. Check it out for vacuum leaks and misrouted/misconnected vacuum hoses. I think the Idle Air Control (IAC) might need cleaning. That’s another cause of what you’re seeing.

    Always wanted an old Bronco with a 289 in it!


    • That’s the very first thing I am going to do. I saw a bunch of those old colored plastic vacuum lines that Ford was so infamous for unplugged, one of them being colored red. the red color identifies it as being manifold vacuum. A direct manifold vacuum leak will screw up the air fuel mixture, causing the exhaust gas sensor to see it’s running lean and the computer will start dumping more fuel into the engine trying to compensate for it.
      The IAC was one of the new parts on it that I saw also. The vacuum routing diagram sticker is still under the hood so it shouldn’t take me too long to get that mess straightened out.


    • That’s ahhh,….. cute but no thanks.
      It’s not the looks I’m worried about so much other than it’s not beat to shit.
      I was a Ford factory trained technician for ten years and I went to school the same time this Bronco was built.
      I am familiar with how they work and how to fix them. Plus they are a pretty strong rig and in the years since they were introduced there have been countless modifications and upgrades made available and on top of that you can still pretty much get almost any part you need to keep it running at a local parts house.

      I don’t know what make and model that little critter is but I can guarantee you that getting parts for it would be a major challenge.
      I already have that kind of nightmare with my 64 Sprite.


      • Lol, nope.
        This car actually is new and it’s being used mostly by hunters over here in Austria.
        It’s a Lada Niva. Lada Taiga is very nice, too.
        One can buy last years model for about 11.00 Euros (basic version) which is a real nice price tag.


        • The Bronco’s are actually a very short wheel base 1/2 ton truck with a factory canopy on the back. You can take the hard top off and use it like a short bed truck, there just isn’t a front wall on the bed.


  5. If you don’t buy that Bronc, I will, would you send me the contact info? All and all sounds like a stout rig, all the problems are minor ones and can be fixed for a hell of a lot less then a new truck or a newer used one. I think ya did good VC and here’s to many good years with the gal!


    • You think like I do.
      I already shook the guys hand, it’s a done deal as soon as the title shows up.
      I have one brother who just bought a newer Dodge truck and he loves it. He was trying to talk me into going out and buying one but fuck that. I ain’t making payments on one and this Bronco already has too many power goodies on it than I
      don’t need. I have another brother who bought a cherry 67 Ranchero from his father in law built from the ground up out a a wrecking yard find that has been totally restored. He hounded me for over a year trying to hard sell me that fucking thing until I finally had to sic my wife on his ass.

      What I really wanted was about a 55-62 Willys jeep pickup but that ain’t going to happen and I think I will be very happy with this rig after I get it sorted out.


  6. For $2000, it sounds like a good risk to me. You are definitely familiar with the maintenance and issues these have so there is that.

    What is the interior like – vinyl floors, metal headliner ? The old triangular ‘vent’ windows – shit, I miss those !!

    My brother had an ’82 Bronco with 302 in it. Didn’t have much pick-up, especially climbing hills, but the mileage wasn’t too bad, nearly 20 on the highway and the A/C kicked butt. His was the utility finishes, winding windows but nothing went wrong with them – ever ! It was a good vehicle and he had to let it go after 300,000 miles on the odometer. He misses it to this day.


    • The interior is actually in pretty decent shape which surprised me.
      It’s the Eddie Bower Edition so it has velour seats and plastic covers on everything.
      It still has the back seat in it even.


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