Never got to take the 88 for a test drive. I got the headlights all set and roughly aimed, with a plan to drive it to work one night and then adjust the headlights to get a good pattern. But when i went to turn the key, nothing happened.
Well, thats not true. Something happened. The column broke!
Im going to give you the abridged version: the ignition lock cylinder actuator rod broke.
Fortunately, Dorman makes a replacement, which is actually pretty cheap on Amazon. Unfortunately, replacing it requires the complete disassembly of the steering column:
While i was in there i figured its now or never, and i replaced the turn signal/hazard switch mechanism.
i spent a couple days cleaning up parts and slowly disassembling/reassembling the column, but all is now well, and the column is back where it belongs!
I do have around 80 pics of the process, so the plan over the next week or so is to get them all resized so i can put together a full gallery of pics on how to completely rebuild the column.
Got tired of the junky OEM style headlamp housings i have on the 88. Also, the lens fell off the passenger side turn signal housing! So i had to replace those anyway.
Went digging around and some some decent looking replacement housing sets on Amazon so i figured why not? And ordered em.
As expected, theyre typical cheap-ish china made housings. They didnt include the lower adjuster gear box so i had to swap that over, and the yellow zinc coated studs are total junk so i swapped them for the ones off my original housings (black in the pic)
Aside from that, they seem decent enough.
I bought another set of Hikari LED headlights because i have them in every other vehicle i drive, and they work very well.
Finished and installed, they look pretty good:
They look pretty good, and while i havent driven it yet, i was aiming them at night and the light output is much better, as is the beam pattern.
We're back from the Roundup!
All said, it was a good time. We arrived wednesday, set up camp, and just chilled out for the day
Towed the 88 out there with the diesel, and Dawn drove the 96 out. We had a big of an issue with the deisel; during my pre-trip prep, i broke the nozzle for the water-methanol injection!
There was no time to fix it (broke the day before) so we made the trip without it. Parts are on the counter, we'll get this fixed next week. So, the Roundup!
Thursday it rained basically the whole day. People were showing up as the day went on and the campground filled up. Friday was the official start, which consisted of some street cruises and an offroad trip to Rausch Creek. We went for the wheelin trip, but the kiddo isnt quite ready for that stuff yet so we bailed early and went back to go hang out in the pool instead. Friday evening was the SHow N Shine + dinner, and then Saturday was another offroad trip (this one to AOAA) and a street cruise to Pioneer Tunnel, an old coal mine that closed during the great depression. I wont bore you with family pics, but it is actually a very cool place to go if youre ever in the area. Once again followed by a big dinner, along with all the club's raffles and awards. So baring the family photos, we have a collection of pics from the Show N Shine friday night along with a couple misc pics:
There was a really cool EB done up in a Ghostbusters theme and loaded with all sorts of cool little details. A beautiful stock uncut one (orange), a lowered 2wd green one with a mod motor (mustang). A blue one with a black stripe, except it was styled as a topographic map with locations of offroad parks theyve been to. Of course Joe's monster diesel bronco was there. I think the most noteworthy though was a beautiful dark green one complete with custom trail used to haul their son's wheelchair, which was super awesome.
In our case, ti was the little dude's first Roundup and he was a little overwhelmed so we kind of kept a low key and just chilled out for the duration, but next year i imagine we'll be a bit more involved. We're already planning the list of upgrades to get done before then!
Have to make my own collector gaskets, because i dont know the brand of the headers, and i never found a gasket that matched. That said, this time i tried Remflex Gasket Sheet, and im sold. Easiest best stuff i ever worked with.
...and the header reinstalled!
Wrapped part of the y-pipe as well, since its so close to the trans pan. Hopefully this will help with the trans temps some!
First impressions are that it works pretty good, but ive only had it idling in the driveway. We'll see how well it does on the trail soon enough
Already running a 3G alternator in the '88, but its tired and isnt charging properly. Its a 200a unit that i built many years ago, and i dont have time to troubleshoot it before the ECBR next week, so i ordered a new 200a one from Powermaster:
After the Roundup ill put the old one up on the bench, disassemble/clean it, and see if i can fix it for a trail spare.
Also, header wrap!
Wrapped the passenger side header while still installed on the motor, that sucked! I dont recommend it.
i pulled the driver header to wrap that one on the bench:
Tomorrow itll go back in and then hopefully thats the last thing i have to do before the Roundup next week!
The 24th Annual East Coast Bronco Roundup is happening on June 23-25th at Twin Valley Campground. Its been a few years since weve attended (other than being passengers for trail rides), but this year we'll be there for the whole event, with both the 88 & 96 broncos! Hope to see everyone there!
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!
Tomorrow is the big day, the shakedown run at Rausch Creek! Technically we will have the smallest rig there, so it should be a good time!
Now that spring is here and its getting warm outside, it became apparent that the trans cooler i installed just isnt going to cut it.
Not exactly small by any means. This is actually the largest cooler Ford ever put in these old trucks. I use one for the E4OD in the green '96 bronco, but its not quite up to the task that this truck is demanding.
So i did some digging around online, and found this beast:
It is a monster of a cooler, and consumes most of the real estate behind the grill:
...it does fit in there pretty good though:
This thing is a beast. Immediately knocked 30º off of my trans temps compared to the other cooler i was running. So this is going to do the job nicely.