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Old 11-27-2010, 01:14 PM
robjs111 robjs111 is offline
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1978-79 BRONCO BEST TRAIL OFF ROAD RIG??

Been in the market for a good cost efficient entry level rig that can handle the rocks, trails , etc with minor, if not any, upgrades to start with. Wondering what you guys think of the full size 78-79 Bronco's for use on trails, off roading and the cost of parts , etc??
The 78 - 79 Bronco are not as popular as the earlier 77 and under models but are just as good if not better in my opinion. The np 205 case, dana 44 and 9 inch are great for off roading and a great starting point. Some people say the bodies are too big compared to a early bronco or jeep but I disagree.
As far as the motors are conserned that is still open for discusion but a v8 is still not bad in my opinion and the 351/400 engines seem to run forever.
Also the full size 78-79 Broncos are relatively cheap to upgrade suspension, etc to handle more extreme trails, etc.
What do you guys think???
Thanks.
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:06 PM
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What kind of trails are you talking? There is definetly a mix up between the early years and the 78-79 but it will come down to what exactly you will be wanting to get out of them and the most common offroad terrain you are going to be riding.
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:22 PM
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Well it will be a combination of trails, rocks, desert, etc but nothing insane though... Want to build a all purpose type rig.
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:43 PM
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Other than being a bit wide for some of the more precarious mountain trails I've been on, the 78-79 is quite capable. Try some of the narrow trails in the Smokies or even the Ozarks and you will find out quickly why folks warn about the girth of these trucks. Keep in mind that the 78-79 bodies "hang over" their axles even more than their later model cousins do. I've been on mountain trails where I've had to back up more than a half mile because my full-size 93 (which is comparatively narrower than the 78-9 models) was too wide for a smaller rig coming the other way to get around. I've also spent several minutes with six grown men clinging to the passenger front corner to keep the driver's rear from slipping off a 100' drop. Its precarious... even if you are used to it.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:40 PM
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back about 7 years ago, me and my buddies all had 78-79 broncos. We took them out on the desert trails every weekend, imo they are perfect. we hammered on them pretty good, got lots of attention in town, fit lots of friends and gear, were just the right shape to fit in and out of tight areas where trucks won't fit, and not too small. We had a lot of fun times back then, the broncos unfortunately outlasted most of my friends.
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Old 11-28-2010, 04:00 PM
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I've a 78 Bronco that I have been beating to death on off road stuff. It is wide, and will get some "body adjustments" on narrow stuff that narrower stuff slips through. Still, if you can find one that is mechanically solid and has a ruff body, you can have tons of fun without much investment.

I'm running an original drive train with a 400/c6 and 205 tranfer. The gears are 3:50. I'm only running 31 inch tires, but could probably go 32's or 33's without too much trouble. Much larger, then rubbing and gearing would be an issue for crawling.
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:01 AM
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I have a first year bronco and they are most capable and versitle. And my brother drives the larger 95 Bronco and man it is rugged, other then his throttle bodyed 5.0/302. I know strongly suggest comiing from both views and seeing the way a 78-79 can be thrown around ( My trucking buddies; 78' 315M 4x4 4 on the floor, also has a 77 F250 Highboy) and are able to handle about any of the obsticles with the right configuration and driving skills. I also know that if you get an early I look at mine more as a piece of history so i have trouble getting ***** enough to go rip on it. That what my big dog 79' F350 if for.

So conclusion:
The 78-79 is a wise choice performance (hp and torque) and ruggedability (able to take mechanical and physical abuse). Good luck and hope to see what you come up with and hear about your adventures.
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:32 PM
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I know this a long gone thread but I'll see if I can bring some life back into it... I'm trying to decide whether to get a 78-79 Bronco or a 78-79 F-150.. I'm a trail kinda guy but I want something that I can use on the road too. I'm thinking about doing the same kinda trails as the OP.. There are pros and cons on each one.. Like I wanna go hunting too which you cvan easily do in an F-150 but you need a hitch rack in the Bronco.. So my question to you guys is.... Is the F-150 (short bed of course) a good trail rig or should I just stick with the Bronco?
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:20 PM
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There is probably not a great deal of difference in the off road capabilities of similarly equipped Broncos and short bed 150's. The good Bronco would have a slight advantage in some situations with a shorter wheel base, overhang and turn radius.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by husker View Post
There is probably not a great deal of difference in the off road capabilities of similarly equipped Broncos and short bed 150's. The good Bronco would have a slight advantage in some situations with a shorter wheel base, overhang and turn radius.
I very strongly agree, I would judge your search on what functions the truck/bronco will have already on it that would benefit on and off road. The one perk I see is the ability to use the bronco as a SUV or full functioning truck (back bench removed is over a 6 foor bed).
Verdict is find one the has the motor or lift or packages you want most. Good luck,

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Old 07-25-2012, 08:45 AM
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The only time I would ever use a pickup truck for a trail rig is if I needed to haul large things in the bed. Otherwise, a shorter wheel base is much more desirable. Plus, you can keep your gear inside, and have the option of extra passengers.
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:45 AM
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