In my quest for improved handling, I bought these:
Holy crap, what a difference. This is exactly what the bronco needed!
They are p/n # 24-065283. They are a tad long; I think ive only got 3" of up-travel with them, but that's plenty for what ill be using this truck for. Theyd be perfect for a bronco with a 4" lift. The valving is 398/94, which calmed the front-end right down. Way better ride now.
As for the B-Code rear leafs; I decided to use the bronco to bring home a whole bunch of flooring for the house the other day, and as expected it handled it like a champ. The B-codes, even when loaded down with cargo, ride awesome in a bronco.
Yesterday around 3pm I got home with the bronco! Tuesday morning I dropped it off an an exhaust shop, where they built me a full stainless exhaust
Once that was done, I dropped it off at a pretty good alignment shop, which just so happened to be about 1 mile south on the same road. They had it until Thursday afternoon, doing an alignment and inspection. As soon as they called me, I hitched up the trailer and ran down there to pick her up!
The bronco aced its inspection, no problems whatsoever!
By the time I got home and got it off the trailer it was already pretty late for me (I work nightshift), so my maiden voyage was my trip to work last night! It did great!
A few things I noticed.
This morning after work I realigned the door, and then put the sway bar back on the front, which obviously made a big difference. I also replaced the broken tailgate support cables. There is still more work to be done, but its all minor now. I want a tach cluster, and a pre-airbag horn pad with the cruise controls. I need to replace the blown rear speakers, modify the tire carrier, and, now that I know the trans shifts fine, I can install my Punisher valve body sitting in the garage. After that its basically 'done'. For now!
Ok, made some progress on the dash & column.
Airbag Code 32 + no horn both point towards clock spring. So I pulled the airbag & steering wheel off
Close-up of clock spring p/n for a '96
Ign lock cyl is toast, key comes out in any position
Swapped in the lock cyl from the parts truck (97 F250)
non-airbag wheel from same F250
Harness for the wheel
Airbag trucks use a black plug, non-airbag uses gray. They are pinned the same and even shaped the same, the difference is the gray one has a thicker pin so they wont fit together, altho they still will with a little effort. Either swap the plugs, or sand the side down a little.
Harness installed on column. Aside from the plug (mentioned above) it swaps right onto the column
Remove airbag computer
and install your new steering wheel! I still need to locate a non-airbag hornpad with the cruise buttons.
Don't forget to remove the bulb for the airbag while youre in there.
While I was under there I found some wires to fix:
I also took the time to remove the factory radio for a new one. Youd think if it still has the original radio in it the wires would be fine, but youd be wrong!
Everything is all fixed up now, and the new head unit is in. I have speakers to put in, just didn't get that far.
Windshield done, hood back on, new fuel lines installed. The bronco lives!! Once the fuel lines were purged it fired right up. I was only off-time by 1º. So I had it driving around the yard a little bit, it seems to be ok. I still need to recalibrate the speedo; ill do that Monday. Ive got an apt for a new exhaust system set up for Tuesday morning, then it gets an alignment & inspection Thursday. So if all goes well, ill be driving it in another week!!!
Went to the junkyard Monday and scored!!
One fan shroud, under hood light harness, cruise recall harness, power steering cooler off of an E-series, and a pretty sweet rear cargo mat, all for a whopping $12.50!
Tuesday I ripped out the stock cooling loop, and swapped in the cooler
And then finished up the engine bay!
So this morning I went to change the fuel filter, and found the line between the filter and the fuel rail is all bitched up :banghead previous owner must have broke the fitting at the fuel filter, and then half-assed a solution to make it work. It was rigged pretty bad. So after not finding anyone who could even get one, I ended up ordering the line from the dealer. Wont have it till Monday, which SUCKS, cuz I could have had it running this morning :duh
With that plan busted, I decided to pull the fuel pump relay, throw a battery in it and see what would happen!
So the rear window wasn't moving too well, but some lithium grease fixed that; she works great now. First time ive put the tailgate down; it would seem both tailgate cables are broke so ill have to get a pair. As youd expect, the defroster tabs are busted off the window.
Turned the key on and found out that all the indicator lights work except the left turn signal. So I swapped the bulb from the ABS light into there and presto! Fixed!
Only other problems i saw were the horn doesn't work, and the airbag light is blinking 32, so im guessing the clock spring is bad. Not sure if its worth fixing?? I figure I either get a new clock spring, or ditch it and use the non-airbag steering wheel off the parts truck (97 F250). I know the airbag light blinks out the error codes, but I don't know if a bad airbag system pops a CEL or any other DTCs. Is it possible to just unplug every module for the airbag system and never look back? Or will the PCM know its not there and throw a code? I have to research that.
I have to make another trip to the junkyard as when I removed the bezel from the dash, I noticed that several of the mounting tabs are broken. I figure while its off I might as well replace it.
The list of things that change continues
The TPS sensor, while being physically identical, had a different plug for the SD trucks vs the Mass Air ones, so that must be changed.
SD on left, Mass Air on right
If you look closely, youll notice the 97 SD throttle body has two extra vacuum ports, where the CANP tied in. However the 96 Mass Air doesn't use a CANP, it uses a VMV, so those ports don't exist. Im still using the 351's TB, mainly because its in way better shape, so ive simply capped off those ports
The 96 trucks use a DPFE instead of an EVR for the EGR. On the 302s, the sensor is mounted on a bracket on the left side of the motor, right on the plenum.
The 351 has the DPFE hanging off a bracket directly next to the EGR, on the other side of the TB. So, only 2 threaded bosses:
While at first glance the 302 & 351 EGRs look the same, youll notice the threads on the bottom are quite bigger on the 351's EGR.
Homefab DPFE bracket, which puts the DPFE roughly where it would be from the factory. Ford had it maybe ½" lower than this, but close enough for me. On the 302 with the DPFE on the other side, the pigtail for it is loomed up with the IAC. So I simply split those two up and re-loomed them separately. This is the only change ive made to the harness, to go from a 302 to a 351.
Junkyard trans cooler out of an F250, biggest ive ever seen from the factory
Started laying out all the vacuum lines. Since this motor doesn't use a smog pump or TAD/TAB, this went fairly smoothly. I did find lots of dry rotted plastic lines, so the whole system has been replaced with new rubber hose
She's almost a runner!
I got the rear shaft back from the driveline shop. Shortened 1", and fully rebuilt with Spicer parts.
Things left to do: