More Bronco Bustin’!

Yeah I’m still thrashing on the sonofabitch.

I’m making some progress too

For example,

One of these two sensors is a proven liar.

The other one is shady as fuck too.


So I replaced ’em both.

The temperature gauge in that thing has never really worked right but after my little excursion across the river the other day in 85 degree weather and the temp gauge barley moved, it was time for that sensor to go.

Cured that problem right away. A quick trip up to the store earlier confirmed that the temp gauge is working like it should now. I found that oil pressure sensor up in front of the oil filter, right behind the lower radiator hose. I bought both of them yesterday. After getting the nasty thing out with barely enough room for the special socket I bought just for those Ford sensors twenty five years ago, I immediately discovered the one they sold me was way too big around to get back in the hole. Yet another return trip to the parts house. This is a perfect example of why having at least two rigs is a must for me.

I jumped in the Caballero and ran up there.

A few minutes after I got back it was in.

I also figured out why it seemed so gutless and was having trouble getting started. I suspected it but decided to try pulling the distributor just enough to back it up one tooth. I marked that bastard in two places clear back when I had to pull it to change the ignition module when it stranded me a few months ago. I marked it again in two places when I pulled it to do those intake bolts. Both times I made damn sure I put it back in the same place. This last time though I noticed I had to crank the distributor way over to get it to run half decent. Moving it one tooth centered it again and now it runs better than ever. I should have checked that a long time ago apparently. Even more *STBD that I am still running into.

After that I had to unplug the idle control solenoid and crank the set screw way in to set the hard idle.

While I was messing with that, I remembered the damn throttle cable was messed up. A big chunk of the plastic tube that it slides in and out of had broken off and some little pieces of it were stuck inside the return spring. I called to check price and availability and the Wifely Unit caught the conversation . She jumped my shit and told me I didn’t have any money.

Payday is tomorrow.

She didn’t remember that I had this other account and got bent out of shape about it.

I keep just enough money in it for exactly this kind of thing, for when she tries to tell me I don’t have any money.

So yeah, I had enough for it in this other account so I went and grabbed that too.



Winter is coming and that is the entire reason I bought this thing in the first place.

Five years of scaring myself silly driving back and forth to work up and down the hills around here in the ice and snow in that fucking Caballero was enough.

So after this round of thrashing on it again, I know the oil pressure is still a bit of an issue but I am comfortable enough that it will be OK for what I need and I am going to quit worrying about it.

I need to put some rear brake shoes on it in a bad way and that is going to be the next big project, probably mid September when I have a little money again after the bills get paid.

Somewhere out in the garage I have a new rear brake anti lock sensor too.

Then the muffler. There basically isn’t one on it right now, it looks more like a big round cheese grater than a muffler. Not that I much give a shit how loud it is, I just don’t want to run over it and have the tail pipe get wrapped around the axle housing when it decides to come completely apart.

Been there, done that.

But for now, all of the dash gauges work, except the volt meter which I suspect the previous Bubba fried, fucking around installing every cheap electrical gizmo known to man on the fucker and after I removed all that shit plus the extra wiring I fixed the charging system and wired up a separate volt meter and mounted it up on the dash next to the door. I even wired it to the lights.

The heater works good, the lights work, the 4 Wheel Drive works and it has good rubber on it. The battery is new, the alternator is new, the belts and hoses are new and I put a new thermostat in it not too long ago.

The back brakes get done and I should be ready for Old Man Winter.

I am really, really, hoping that the light at the end of the tunnel I am seeing isn’t one of these this time.




*Shit That Bubba Did.


12 thoughts on “More Bronco Bustin’!

  1. Keep On Truckin’, dude!

    I didn’t know your reasons for buying the Bronco, but now I do. I had a 1972 El Camino SS back in the Chicago area during my hot-rod days, and I wound up carrying several bags of sand in the winter so the damn thing had some traction! Big tires on the back and a Posi rear end didn’t matters much, and I got stuck in a friends driveway more than once.

    Fun car in the summer, but GAWD, what a Pain In The ASS in the winter!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The voice of experience right there folks!
      It got so bad I went and got cable chains to put on it and they do work for going forward. Trying to get stopped is a whole ‘nuther kettle of fish and that’s what kept scaring me. Once the back brakes lock up it’s pretty much hold on because you are going for a ride. Pumping the brakes does you no good at that point.
      There are some pretty damn steep hills around here and once you start sliding you won’t stop until you get to the bottom in an El Camino.
      Stop light or no Stop light in the middle of it.
      Yet another reason I need to get the rear shoes replaced and that anti lock sensor replaced.


      • Without the bags of sand in the bed, it would go sideways on level ground as soon as you went off-idle.

        And yeah, even *tapping* the brake pedal could lock up the rears and send you sideways.


  2. Cheapest and longest lasting muffler I ever used was for a Farmall tractor.
    Get em at Tractor Supply and weld em in.
    Sound kind of like the old Cherry Bombs


  3. It’s beginning to sound like your “deferred maintenance” by the previous owners have become a case of jack the VIN up and slide a new truck under that fucker… I can sympathize, at a certain point it becomes grudge repair. Glad yer makin’ progress, 2 wheel drive BLOWS in the snow, especially when it’s the rear wheels.


  4. Sure you actually have FOUR wheel drive? First time I tried to cross my sister’s river, my ’86 Bronco couldn’t get up the far bank, which had a lip. Her Ranger? No problem. Had to back out of the river, at the smooth entry side. Some time later, while doing a full brake job, I discovered a prior owner had reversed the two springs in the manual locking hub on that one wheel that I had to use to approach the far bank. Didn’t matter how the knob was set, the heavier spring over-rode the switch.
    A couple days after the river event, I discovered that 7 of the injectors on the 302 were spraying fuel on the outside of the motor. Lovely…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now that you mention it, I should probably put 4 wheel drive in quotation marks.
      I don’t think it has a limited slip rear end in it. I took a picture of the tag on it while I was under there changing the ABS sensor but haven’t gotten around to looking it up.
      This thing also still has those “Fabulous” automatic hubs up front.
      7 injectors spraying?
      Damn you would think that thing would be stinking like gas something fierce!
      Bad O rings?
      That is one thing I did do when I had the manifold off, change all those .


      • The original ones were a bad design, and would leak at a seam in the body, IIRC. Bought an 8-pack. NOT cheap! Wish I had bought an ECU. Sucker was bad, but never threw a code, or gave any indication. Killed several catalytics and probably the engine, which was toast at 100k miles, which is why the PO sold it. Got 10 mpg. Came with a low mileage replacement 302 that I installed. Replaced the ecu with a junkyard model from a pickup, and the damn thing got >>20 MPG<< across country TOWING a supercab Ranger! Drove it for 5 years before the ecu swap…
        Wish I still had it. Think it went to Mexico.


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