So the time has come. The Kid Trax bronco looks cool, but the 12v conversion leabes a little to be desired. Sure, cruising around in the driveway it goes good enough, but out in the yard it just doesnt have the torque to truly propel around a 4y/o. Enter MLToys' Level 3, 18v conversion:
Normally this kit would come with a second gearbox, but since we already had the 2wd conversion they omitted those parts. Anyways, here we go!
The kit comes with larger 550 motors, so the geart boxes need to come out so we can swap them in
The new motors with their new pinion gears. Of note is the pinion depth is not set 'from the factory', you need to adjust the gear on the motor shaft to get proper engagement of the gearbox. If you dont, you will definitely strip the gears out!
One done, one to go. Yes its that simple.
New motor installed on the gearbox! Note the new motors come with Wagos which make reconnecting them to the Bronco's harness super easy
...and back together we go!
Since the conversion to 18v means we now have 2 batteries, i made a new battery hold-down so they cant go anywhere:
From there all thats left to do is to reconnect the wires for the motors and the batteries, same way it came apart.
The most important thing to do though, is to break in the motors:
ML Toys recommends running them for 15 minutes with no load to seat the brushes. I ended up running it for about 20 which is fine as well, the important part is just to run it with the tires in the air so theres no real load on them.
The end result? This thing is a beast now! It zips around the yard without a care in the world, and the battery life has improved as well! This is the way it should have always run. Here's hoping it holds up to the abuse....
Lots and lots of parts
Talk about a big order! This is basically everything to rebuild both a Dana 60, and a Sterling 10.25.
We also have this:
...which is all sorts of suspension parts from Sky's Offroad Design. Just about everything we need to slap a D60 & 10.25 into the '90 Bronco!
I have also acquired a set of leafs for the front, out of a Superduty. I know most people like to use V codes, but in our case we're not building a one-ton truck with a diesel, its a bronco with a 351. So i got a set of T code leafs instead:
From my research the Superdutys came with S,T,U,V,W,X, & Z code leafs. I have the X code (which is the heaviest) in the front of the 96 F250 and it rides ok, but it also has a heavy 7.3 under the hood. Ideally though i think i would prefer the V code. Knowing that, i think the V code would probably be a bit heavy for a small block, so we're going to try these, and see how it goes. We'll keep you posted!
I bet you thought we forgot about this thing!
Well.....we havent! The priority was getting the '88 done and ready for the ECBR this summer. With that project basically done (is any project ever done??) it is time to turn our attention to the '90.
Dawn got the interior all cleaned up and looking like new:
The arm pads for the doors are shot but it just so happens i have a spare set so theyll go on whenever we tear into the doors. Its also missing the wiper knob, but aside from that, its in very good shape!
I on the other hand, turned my attention to the fuel system, or what's left of it:
Rotted out tank and skid plate removed; both are going to need replaced:
The fuel pump is shot as well; the brass float is corroded and full of fuel, and the pump sock has rotted from sitting in old gas for many years:
Ill need to replace the tank and skid, and ill have to see what a new pump & float will cost, or if its more cost effective to just replace the whole assembly.
So, the gas tank is clean, no water or dirt got in it. I have a new fuel filter sitting on the bench so im gonna swap that tomorrow anyway.
I have a replacement filler neck for a F-series. Everyone lists a different neck for a bronco vs a truck, but i sure dont see the difference, unless its in the plastic tube inside. Fortunately, i run a gas tank from an F-series anyway. Also: i forgot to get a new gas cap.
The rubber filler hose didnt show up so i cant complete this today. Amazon sells Motorcraft gas caps with the little retaining clip on them, and theyre cheap so ive got one on order. Hopefully have this fixed by the end of the week!
We made it back alive! It started raining sometime Thursday night, and didnt stop until very early this morning. It turned yesterday's Rausch Creek trip into the wettest muddiest trip ive ever been on there!
We were joined by Ox in the mogster, and Joe with his beast of a 7.3 PSD powered bronco, both on 43s:
Despite the abysmal weather and it raining non-stop the whole day, we ran a pretty decent amount of miles, close to 10 if im not mistaken. Honestly did not get a ton of pics as it was pouring all day long, and we really didnt stop very much at all.
We took the typical pathway into the East side, taking B to C to O. We detoured and ran CV trail while we were there
I absolutely walloped the driver rock rail! It took quite a hit, but it did its job well, the rocker & door remain unscathed
From there we went down and ran Topless for Tatas, and then made our way via B/E over to the west side, where we went down J, across 11 and then into Rock Creek we went!
Here we stopped for a soggy lunch break
...and then further into the creek we went
Finally at the other end we decided to keep going and run Death Trap, which was completely under water
Out the other end we picked up 19 and took it up to 11. At this point Joe's transmission was overheating so we escorted him back out 11 to H and up to Tower Road, were the front pump seal gave out and he started puking (extremely burnt) ATF. so his copilot stayed behind with the truck, and we brought him back to the parking lot to get his truck & trailer since it was clear the bronco wasnt going to make it back on its own at this point.
After all that me & Ox went back out into the park and went down into the South side to run Cemetary, Boot Hill & Tomb Stone
From ther we went further in yet and ran down S1-4 over to Snake Bite and Camel Back, which is probably the tightest trail you could run a full bodied rig down! That one was a snug fit for my wide rig, but we made it thru w/o and body damage thankfully. However, we did manage to get a log up underneath the body, where it smashed my gas filler neck!
crumpled the steel neck, tore the rubber hose and popped it off the gas tank entirely, so im pretty sure my tank is full of water & mud now. From here we headed back to the parking lot and called it a day!
So, first impressions are that the bronco did really good on its shakedown run. I have some minor issues with the engine tune that i have to correct before the next trail ride, and of course im going to have to drop my gas tank to clean it, and replace that filler neck!
The trepadors appeared to work very well; it was a rainy slippery muddy mess and they seemed to hook well, and the tread pattern stayed nice and clean despite how muddy the trails were. Sidewalls are stiffer than the iroks and the tires seem to work better on a heavy rig as a result. Very curious to see how well they hook on dry rock!