Weve got a wheelin trip planned for this weekend, so what better time than to quick cram in an update to the front suspension!
Enter one set of Bilstein 7100s:
We're also swapping from the standard 80-97 F250/350 shock mount, to a set of Rough Country dual shock mounts for a Superduty:
So lets get the old tower removed:
But wait, what's this?
Crack in the frame! It was far worse than it looked. But i got it all ground out from top to bottom, and all welded back up, which meant we could get the upper mount installed:
Barely noticeable, but makes a huge difference on the road. Nice and firm without being stiff. Definitely what this big heavy truck needed, and just in time to test it out this weekend!
Time to deal with these things:
Theyre a little scaly from sitting for so long
all cleaned up:
...and done! new bushings, center pins, and a coat of paint!
added a set of 1" zero rates from ORD as i expect to need the extra inch of lift, and i also need to push the axle back to correct for the loss in wheelbase from the shackle flip we'll be installing.
Coming up next week, the rear suspension and the Sterling 10.25 get installed!
It's a mess under here
One set of tires ill never have a use for:
...and the 8.8 is out!
Surprisingly the wedges werent cracked, so ill probably sand blast em and keep em
Who does this?! Driver side had one bolt holding the front bracket on. Passenger side it was two, both on top. Of course thats hardest to get to with an impact gun
Leaf springs out:
You can tell the truck sat for years, by the condition of the frame:
But, some needle-scaling, wire wheeling and paint, and it looks almost good as new!
Next step is rebuilding the leaf springs and getting brackets on the frame, but its raining, so that'll have to hold off until tomorrow.
Found some wires under there im going to have to fix, im sure there's more.
And here's the money shot- with the rear end jacked up to level it out:
Im in love with this ride height, i think its going to be perfect for a set of 35s.
Threw on an old diff cover i had, RuffStuff maybe? Dont remember anymore. Lube locker gasket as i have them on multiple trucks now with no leaks:
Pretty sure thats the cover i used to run on the D70 in the rear of the 88 as the lower edge is ground down pretty good.
Got that Carolina Squat yo!
Pretty sure its sitting at 4" of lift. i was surprised at how good the the drag link angle looks considering its stock F350 steering with a stock bronco pitman arm. I might try to get my hands on an F350 arm since theyve got ~1" more drop just to level it out a bit more, but i dont think i need to spring for a proper drop pitman arm. I gotta root around in the garage and see what i have. I have parts to build a tracbar but thats coming later. Tires are a junk set of 305/70R16 on stock Ford wheels, because its what i have for rollers. We have a set of 315/70R17 we bought on CL for cheap in the garage ready to go, just dont have a set of wheels for it yet, that one is up to the wife since its her truck.
I have a set of F350 shock towers in the garage that will go on the front eventually. For now my goal is to get the rear lifted and the 10.25 in so i can pause, clean up, take a trip to the scrap yard, and then roll this thing into the garage for the rest of the rebuild. It hasnt run in years so its gonna need a major tuneup at the very least (it also needs a gas tank, fuel pump & skid plate) and who knows if the transmission even shifts. I want to open up the tcase to inspect the pump, the exhaust is rotted out and falling apart.....the list goes on.
Cant leave it like this forever!
Scored a set of leaf springs out of an Excursion pretty cheap a while back, so we're going to use the front set!
the Excursion guys hate these leafs, they think theyre too soft and usually switch to V-codes out of the Superdutys. So hopefully these will be just right for a bronco!
These things are a bit rough though. All the anti-friction pads are shot, and the center pins look rough, so its all getting replaced
New anti-friction material from Speedway, and a set of new pads from Dorman:
Wire wheel, paint, new pads, bushings, center pins and done!
We're using the 2wd version of a 2" shackle reversal for a 85-91 F250/F350 from Sky's Offroad Design, along with quite a few other parts from them that you'll see show up as this project moves along
Sky's low clearance shackle hangars
...and the front hangar installed! The 2wd hangar fits right up on the bronco's frame like it was made for it. The 2wd version comes with plates for the inside of the frame horns to box them up a bit so its nice and stiff once its all bolted together.
...and the leafs installed!
Next up: getting that D60 installed!
This rusty mess needs to go
...yup, thats better:
coil buckets removed:
pivot and radius arm brackets are next on the list
And so, with the frame stripped of all the TTB parts, i want to deal with all this rust and scale
needle scaled, wire wheeled.....
Looks a million times better now! Finally, its time to start bolting parts back on!
Absolutely scored on this deal. Back over the winter i found a 97 Ford D60 still in a truck in a junkyard. Got it pulled and dropped right into the back of my truck for $250! Wasnt easy getting it back out of the truck though....
So lets get this thing cleaned up a bit, shall we?
You could tell it came from a plow truck. Everything rusty, but also new seals and clean grease everywhere
My little helper getting in there and scraping grease and grime off it
Cutting off the sway bar bracketry, along with the retainer for the ubolts and the tracbar
Housing needle-scaled and wire wheeled
...and getting a fresh coat of paint!
Diff out, shaft & pinion seals changed
...and the final reassembly
Found some cool stuff in the junkyard today, hoping i can use some of it on the 96 F250.
Was wandering around the yard with a buddy and stumbled across a 95 Explorer with some super nice seats in them, which we snagged up
Power everything! Lumber, bolsters, seat height & placement adjustments, basically everything you could ask for, and they only use 2 wires for power so they should be very easy to wire into the existing power lumbar wiring. The seat brackets are very very close to what's in the 96 F250, so i think with just some minimal work these will be a great option to replace my very-worn seats.
From the same explorer we got an overhead console along with the entire wiring harness:
and some very nice dual wing visors with dual illuminated mirrors, which i *think* will swap right into the truck, or atleast they will with minimal effort
...and then this i found interesting. I was unaware the 95+ explorers use basically the same steering column as the 92-96 trucks/broncos, right down to the shroud, turn signal switch, shifter, and even the ignition lock cylinder, which is convenient because the key was still there, so i got the lock cylinder as well for a spare;
There were a few broncos in the yard this time too, which is becoming more of a rare sight. Mostly stripped as well, but i still scored with this piece:
Mint! Almost anyways. Someone glued an LED into the panel, but all the tabs on the back are in good shape, so im still calling it a win!
Some of this was done while sorting out the diesel's electrical issue, but now that that's resolved, its time to get serious on the '90 bronco build.
Part one: rebuild the rear axle! We're going to be using a 97 Ford Sterling 10.25 with 4.10s and a trac-lock, partially because its a good rear, and partially because i already had it!
Housing stripped, cleaned, and painted!
Brake drum backing plates sand blasted and painted, and all new brakes and hardware installed:
Hub going back on, using the SKF Scotseal, as its the best one out there
I wish they made these for every FF rear axle. Its a 2-piece design so the seal lip rides on itself, instead of the spindle. Much better design.
Axle all done, just awaiting brake lines once the axle is under the bronco!
So far so good, on the Thunderer Trac Grip MTs im running on the green bronco.
10k miles, and im at 16/32 on tread depth, so still a decent amount of tread. Im guessing ill get 35k out of them which is pretty decent for a cheap MT. Tires are wearing nice and evenly. Typical MT hum, not bad at all considering its my daily driver. Overall happy with their performance up to this point.