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1985 Bronco aka "The Dumpster" Project - Pic Heavy

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Old 01-17-2011, 04:17 PM
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1985 Bronco aka "The Dumpster" Project - Pic Heavy

I bought this '85 Bronco a year ago for the worldly sum of $400. I ran her as a winter beater over the winter, but she started falling apart by spring. A lot of bodywork done by the p.o. started coming unglued and the more I dug around the worse it looked. I decided that she would be best used for a project I've been wanting to do for some time. A few years back on eBay I found a Bronco frame with a truck cab on it and some serious lift. I thought it was to cool for school and wanted to build one at some point in my life. Thus began my journey with this project. Initial plans include a 460 swap, Dana 60 front, Sterling 10.25 rear, front and rear lockers, 38's, and lower gears. This will probably be a lifetime project, with a lot of tweaking through the years, but I hope to get a dependable rig to wheel out of it.

I recouped the initial cost of the truck selling the tires and the tailgate. This left me with a brand new set of headers that were included in the sale, misc. parts, and scrap left to fund the project.

On Sept. 14, 2010 I began peeling the body off.

As you can see the p.o. used a lot of fiberglass to repair the floor of the Bronco. The rear sill was also completely rotten and free floating on the rear and the quarter panels he replaced were separating from the rest of the body.

On Sept. 29th, my friend helped me pull the body off. The Bronco still ran and drove at this point. I pulled it up alongside my trailer and using a rope we pulled the body off. It went surprisingly well except for one goof up which was my fault for forgetting to disconnect the gas tank filler hose. The firewall was left on for the time being and believe it or not, it still drove. We used a ratchet strap to hold the firewall forward so the trans linkage worked. A plank of wood was placed across the frame rails and a milk crate seat was used for moving it around the yard.

Two weeks later I had the firewall removed and the frame painted.

It was at this point things stalled trying to find someone to help me get the cab up on the frame. I had people make a lot of promises to let me use their resources, but nothing ever panned out. I was beginning to think I would never get the cab up and that this was the end for my project. Then one night one of my close friends called to let me know he cleared it with his boss so I could get the cab up during his lunch break the next day. The cost? A meal. How can you beat that?

Here's the cab and frame loaded up and ready to the night before.

Waiting for the frame.

Cab and frame meet!

A couple of shots of her on the trailer.

Around this time my '84 F-150 needed some attention and I ended up diving into a complete front end rebuild and installing a lift kit replacing my home brewed lift. So the Dumpster has been pushed to the back burner. I've gotten some little things done, such as laying the in cab wiring harness in, getting the driver's side door back on, installing pieces of the interior, and putting in a temporary bucket seat.

I still have a lot of work ahead of me. As soon as nicer weather gets here, I'll be pulling her out and starting on the D60 swap. Till then I've been gathering parts and doing my homework. Hopefully, I'll have more updates in the near future.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:33 PM
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Cool deal man! I can't wait to see more progress on this thing!
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