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Old 04-24-2013, 04:15 AM
RJRPC RJRPC is offline
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Wiring harness?'s for 1978 Bronco 460 Swap

Hi. I'm fairly new to this site but I know enough to do a search before I start asking questions. I couldn't find any real answers so here goes...

I have a 1978 Ford Bronco that had a 351m engine which blew up. I took it as an opportunity to install a 460. I have decent mechanical skills, but no space to do the extensive work needed to do an engine swap. So I found a good mechanic who is doing it for me. I found a parts truck, a 1978 Ford F250 that has a 460. Engine runs strong and is currently being installed in the Bronco. I recently asked my mechanic about the wiring harness. I asked if the existing wiring harness will hook up correctly to the 460 or if I should pull the wiring harness from the F250. He seemed unsure of the correct answer but said pull the harness because we would probably need it.

Side note: my goal with this project is to make a smog legal 460 in this Bronco. I live in California and I already spoke to a smog referee about what was necessary to make this Bronco legal with a 460 and small compliant. The F250 parts truck had a completely original 460 with all of the necessary smog components.

So I guess my questions are:
Will I be able to use the existing wiring harness in the 78 Bronco with the 460 swapped in?
If not, will the wiring harness pulled from the 78 F250 parts truck install without any problems in the Bronco? - I don't see why it wouldn't work because the engine bay and the dash are identical. However, I have read in other posts that the rear window wiring will be in issue-
Lastly and most importantly, what should I expect to pay in order for the wiring to be done correctly on my 78 Bronco? My mechanic has a friend who owns a business wiring vehicles. This friend of my mechanic offered to wire my Bronco in trade for a car trailer I own. Labor costs only. The trailer is valued at probably around $1000 in its current condition. I do not have much knowledge about wiring vehicles, but $1000 soley in labor cost to wire a late model truck with minimal accessories seem really high to me.
Any and all comments suggestions are much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:23 AM
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udsuth78 udsuth78 is offline
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if your wiring in the bronco is good than i think your ok. since both engines are the same year then im pretty sure everything is the same. i looked at jeffs bronco graveyard and there complete harness is for '73-'79 f100-f350 and doen't specify an engine, so i think it should be the same.
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:27 AM
Fordman96 Fordman96 is offline
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That's because I don't think there is much of a wiring harness under the hood. You have a few gauges and lights then a radio and a tailgate with tail lights. Right?
1996 Bronco 351W 307k original 4.10s
2002 Excursion Limited, v10, 220k
1997 F350 CCLB 127k miles 4.10s 7.3 PSD
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:15 AM
ranger429 ranger429 is offline
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Harness is the same either way. It would be worth it if it is a parts truck to pull the harness and keep it as a spare.

_____79 F-250 429 36" Cepeks____79 Bronco 400 35" Cepeks_____
79 wiring schematics
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:42 AM
RJRPC RJRPC is offline
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Ok. Great! Thanks for the input. So I take it the existing harness in the 78 Bronco will be completely operational with the 460 installed from the 78 F250.....? This is my first time pulling a wiring harness and is seem like a lot of disconnecting and various components, but I suppose it is what you said Fordman96. Radio, lights, gauges, taillights, ect. It is still a pain in the a$$ to pull the harness. I will pull the harness from the F250 as a spare like what ranger429 suggested.
Unless I am completely mistaken, the labor costs that I am paying my mechanic to install the 460 should include connecting the existing wiring harness and smog equipment correct? Not just setting the engine on the mounts and bolting it to the trans....? I know this is a conversation I should have with my mechanic and get on the same page first before there are any surprises. I just want to know what is the industry norm and what is a realistic expectation for this kind of engine swap and install. Thanks again to all that contributed.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:42 AM

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