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'85/'82 build thread

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Old 01-23-2014, 07:37 PM
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'85/'82 build thread

After I started the build thread on my '85 pickup hat my Dad and I built, there was a lot of interest in our Bronco build as well. On my second project and I'm only 20, but there are plenty of worse things I could spend all my money on! I'm going through college at the moment so Dad and I work at it on weekends when I'm home. Here goes..

For years I'd known about a Bronco sitting behind a barn just off a main highway not far from my hometown. One day I met the guy on the street and asked if it was for sale he said "Yeah, come get the damn thing." So I did It took some arm twisting but I got Dad convinced on it, and Mom? Well, we just kinda left this one as a surprise. It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission! It's an '85 XLT from the US originally, loaded with power windows, locks, A/C, tilt, 351W and a C6. A pretty rare truck in my area. For the price that I got it for, I knew it was worth it just in parts, so if it was too far gone I wouldn't be caught with my pants down. I also knew that the floors were tough, just couldn't tell they were as bad as they were when I looked at it.. Here's when I bought it in August 2013.



It's too bad that I couldn't include smell with the picture because the mice had been busy in this truck. But luckily the upholstery and wiring were all fine.





The truck came on a set of 33s that the tread was like new.



When I bought the truck I just wanted to cosmetically clean it up, get it on the road and drive it. Things have a tendancy to go further than that whenever I start something. So the tear down began.

Seats before



Seats after



Scrubbing out what the mice left behind



The ongoing search for the mousy smell continued. Then we found a HUGE mouse house under the dash pad.



Further into teardown



The further into the truck I got, the worse it got. Mainly the floors. I knew of another 80-86 Bronco that had been in a front end collision but was in reasonable shape. So I went to investigate. Turns out it was a VERY solid '82 XLT. I asked the owner he said I could have it for 300 bucks without the engine and trans. So it came home with me too!





Here's the good side, loaded on behind the Big Bad '02 4.2L!



And the not so good side.. I'm told the PO came over the crest of an icy hill with a bit too much of a mix on. Then wiped it into a few guardrails. They were going to fix it until they noticed a kink in the frame right by the radius arm bracket. It's not unfixable by any means!






Interior in this truck was in decent shape too. I saved most of what was savable, but will be using the blue from the '85.



So, my cosmetic rebuild has turned into something much bigger. Luckily, I've got enough from the two trucks to make one REALLY nice one. The frame is bent on the '82 but the tub is good, and the frame is good on the '85 but the tub is toast. So I think you've assumed by now it's a body-off resto for me!

I knew the driver's side quarter was just mashed up too bad to pull out, but luckily for me the '85 had one that was in good shape. So I swapped them. I'll cover that part shortly as well. By this point I'd made the decision to completely strip the '85s body and prep the frame for the '82 body. Seeing as I don't have room for both, the '85 went to my friend's farm where a bunch of us are working at a couple of projects. and the '82 body is in our shop at home.

Saved the quarter skins from the '85. Note the Flintstone floors.








Last edited by EffunFiddy; 01-23-2014 at 07:47 PM. Reason: Adding detail
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:17 PM
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As you're following this build the thought will likely cross your mind "Man, this kid has some luck" and yeah, pretty much. The entire build has just seemed to work its own way out.
When it came time to take the body off I had the entire shell unhooked from everything and we realized we had no way of getting it off the frame. Till a little hillbilly ingenuity crossed me. "Why don't we just roll it out the door and shove it off the side? There's three of us, how heavy can it be?" Before I get flamed for it, just know that this body had all savable parts removed and the rest was far too rotten to save...



Now it was time to strip down the frame.



It just happened that the friend of mine that was letting me keep the frame at his place has a grandfather with a construction business. And he has a really big sandblaster. So for the price of the sand and two slices of pizza, he sandblasted it for me.



Then we rolled it into the shop and I put some epoxy primer to it.



I keep flipping back and forth between the two. But the next thing I did was strip the '82 down and take the body off. I had no access to a loader tractor, or a hoist so we had to make due. Dad and I made it happen with an engine hoist, some sawhorses and a few choice words.



Then came removing the quarter panel. Note the graffiti from drinking nights. No secret to removing this one, it's toast so an air chisel made quick and fairly tidy work of it.





With the donor quarter skin off the '85 I did some minor rust repair on it.









Then made the first test fit. Not as bad as I'd thought. The outer wheelhouse got bent in the accident pretty bad so I'll be replacing it as well.



A few weeks after I'd got the frame sandblasted a friend of mine sent me a text asking how the Bronco was coming along. "Aren't you gonna lift it?" he asks me, I'd got a 2 inch body lift for it because that was all I could really afford. He said his brother had a lift kit that he'd bought a few years ago. He sold the truck and kept the kit. Turns out it was a 6" Rough Country suspension lift brand new never been out of the box. He made me an offer that I couldn't refuse so I for a few weeks I bought nothing but CHEAP groceries, sold some parts and bought the kit for 400 bucks.



Sorry for the bad lighting, cell phone camera was all I had that night. I'd saved painting the whole frame at once so I could get a good coat of paint in behind everything while I had it apart.



Some altitude to go with the attitude. The camber will hopefully correct somewhat when there's some weight back on the frame again, it's also part of the way I let the jackstands down. Regardless, it'll need an alignment. Maybe a SAS someday!


Last edited by EffunFiddy; 01-23-2014 at 08:22 PM. Reason: adding detail
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:01 PM
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:25 PM
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Subscribed! Love it.
Thanks! There's a lot all at once, but the build is now current

For a driveline I have a snapped up 5.0L from a mustang with AFR heads, Flat Top .030" pistons, COMP cam, Edelbrock intake and a 670 Holley. For a trans I've got a T18 farmer 4 gear as they call it. I want it for strength, not winning races and an old cast iron 4 gear is near bulletproof. For now I'll use the NP208F aluminum T-case but I did get a cast iron 205 with the 4 speed. Someday I'll swap it but I can't afford new driveshafts yet. It's a 9 inch out back and I'm using the stock 3.50 gears. The 4 speed should work nice with those gears and 35s so I'll maybe still get a bit of highway mileage! I'll get pics of all these parts. Here's the basement of our store, stuffed full of Bronco parts.

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Old 01-23-2014, 10:36 PM
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Subscribed! Got any spare parts you want to give away?
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:02 PM
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Subscribed! Got any spare parts you want to give away?


I dunno about giving away but I'll use beer for currency for most things Anything ya need? I'm in Canada, that's the kicker!
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:50 AM
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Nice work combining the Broncos. Subscribed.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:49 PM
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I dunno about giving away but I'll use beer for currency for most things Anything ya need? I'm in Canada, that's the kicker!
I'm only 18, and Canada is a little far to drive when you get 8 mpg
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:16 PM
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EffunFiddy EffunFiddy is offline
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Nice work combining the Broncos. Subscribed.
Thanks! It's gonna be a fun project. I'm still debating whether to install the 2" body lift along with the 6" suspension lift or whether to leave it at a 6 inch lift. I'm storm stayed at school this weekend so unfortunately, no build updates this week


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I'm only 18, and Canada is a little far to drive when you get 8 mpg
I hear ya on the gas budget, I'm gonna try to drive the stroker to school in the spring. I'll get an actual figure on the mileage for it finally haha!
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Old 01-25-2014, 12:18 PM
pat420swed pat420swed is offline
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Hey where are you in Canada? I'm always looking for parts for my 82
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Old 01-25-2014, 12:21 PM
pat420swed pat420swed is offline
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Trucks looking awesome btw wish I had a donor truck to swap tubs when I bought mine but nope hard to find in Canada, thing was pretty much ss bad as your rotted one but we had to rebuild ours, good thing the metal was free I did at my highschool during my graduating year, ( last year)
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:44 AM
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Trucks looking awesome btw wish I had a donor truck to swap tubs when I bought mine but nope hard to find in Canada, thing was pretty much ss bad as your rotted one but we had to rebuild ours, good thing the metal was free I did at my highschool during my graduating year, ( last year)
I'm in Ontario, about an hour and a half north of London. When I went to check out the '82 I was looking to cut the floor out and put it in the '85 but it was too good to cut up. It just happened that I knew where the two of them were at the same time and with the exception of a VERY rotten '83 in a local scrap yard, they're the only two 80-86s I've seen anywhere near me.
It needs a couple of small patches in the floor but that's pretty typical, everything behind the front seats is mint. Somebody had done a bit of a restoration before it got smacked up about 6 years ago and it's sat ever since. I was just lucky to find it. Lemme know what you need and I can check my inventory! haha
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:00 AM
pat420swed pat420swed is offline
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im not too far away from you im down in wasaga beach, sounds like your in the kingcardine area? that's actually where I bought my bronco from. if you still have those brown seats id definitely be interested, would also be interested in the carpet from the 82, same year and model as mine! probly wouldn't be able to head up and pick them up till the spring sometime, let me know what you think!
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Old 01-26-2014, 04:53 PM
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im not too far away from you im down in wasaga beach, sounds like your in the kingcardine area? that's actually where I bought my bronco from. if you still have those brown seats id definitely be interested, would also be interested in the carpet from the 82, same year and model as mine! probly wouldn't be able to head up and pick them up till the spring sometime, let me know what you think!
Yeah I'm only about a half hour from Kincardine! I'm in Lucknow but throughout the week I'm in Owen Sound for school at Georgian. The front seats are actually spoken for and the carpet was pretty much trashed so a buddy took what was left for some project he was working on. The back seat is still there though, near as I can tell it's in great shape. I have the back panels for it in brown as well as some other interior trim pieces. The door panels are gone though. There's likely some other stuff that'd be of use to you, I can't remember what's all down there at the moment!
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:09 PM
pat420swed pat420swed is offline
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A good friend of mine is actually at the owen sound Georgian twice a week for his gas tech course.Shame about the seats I realy need some! My back seat is perfect condition so it shouldn't need replacing anytime soon. One thing I could maybe use is a chrome rear bumper if ya got one in pretty decent shape
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