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Big Block FE '83 Bronco Buildup

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  #1  
Old 02-14-2014, 09:18 AM
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Big Block FE '83 Bronco Buildup

I went to the mud jam last summer and after I needed to build a truck for next year so I bought this bronco that was used as a mud truck for the past few years, and sat in a buddies yard for a while. I knew it was rough and needed a ton of work but it ran and has a 6" Skyjacker lift on it. Also has a 360/390 FE two barrel with a C6. Has stock 3.08 gears and dry rotted and thin 39" Mickeys.

Condition when I brought it home.
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I also picked up a '80 Bronco for the fenders, doors, roof, tailgate and interior parts. Don't have pics yet.

I am in the process of rebuilding it into an on/off road driver. Ive got the the FE out and am working on gutting the interior.

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Not sure whethelr its a 360 or 390 yet but Im trading my dad some parts for a 390 four barrel motor.
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Ive pretty much caught up the progress to what it looks like now so the next posts will be shorter.
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1983 Bronco 9" lift, 390 FE
1983 F100 XL awaiting 4x4 conversion
1984 F150 XLT sb, 302, AOD
1985 Bronco XLT 8" lift 351 HO
1986 F150 EFI 302, AOD
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:42 AM
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are you sure its an FE. the motor never came in that year bronco. Now it could be a
351m. sorry i am unable to see your photos, my work blocks photobucket for some reason.
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94 Bronco XLT 357/E4OD/Warn HS9500I,6"ProComp Stage II 35x12.5x15 BFG AT's,4.88 gears/AussieFront/rear open,Edelbrock efi intake,jba headers
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  #3  
Old 02-14-2014, 11:33 AM
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Looks like you spilled a little coolant!

It seems no matter where I put the bucket under my truck, whenever I have to drain my coolant, it always finds a way to poor around it instead of inside!! I make sure to clean it up though because I have tons of animals.

Looks like you've done a ton of work too. I love seeing progress on builds like these. Are you planning on painting it?
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kemicalburns View Post
are you sure its an FE. the motor never came in that year bronco. Now it could be a
351m. sorry i am unable to see your photos, my work blocks photobucket for some reason.
Yeah its a '74 motor someone swapped in some time ago and the intake goes over top the heads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubba Jones View Post
Looks like you spilled a little coolant!

It seems no matter where I put the bucket under my truck, whenever I have to drain my coolant, it always finds a way to poor around it instead of inside!! I make sure to clean it up though because I have tons of animals.

Looks like you've done a ton of work too. I love seeing progress on builds like these. Are you planning on painting it?
Sure does. Its all cleaned up now.
Planning on different doors, quarter, fenders, entire roof, tailgate etc. Pretty much just keeping the basic tub. Going to have stock wheel openings too. Progress has been slow because of the temps in the teens for a while. Cant wait for nice weather.

Definitely planning on painting it. Going to be done up two toned like this one and will match my dads new '92 F250 you can see in the background of some of the pics.
Click the image to open in full size.
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1983 Bronco 9" lift, 390 FE
1983 F100 XL awaiting 4x4 conversion
1984 F150 XLT sb, 302, AOD
1985 Bronco XLT 8" lift 351 HO
1986 F150 EFI 302, AOD
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:13 PM
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That's going to be really nice! The temps here in Arizona have been really nice thankfully. I just got done replacing cyclinder heads/oil pump timing cover gasket and painting all the junk I took out to refresh my motor.

It took a long time because I've never done cylinder heads before but I got it done. The whole time the temperature has been high 60s to low 80s (fluctuated a lot within two weeks).

I don't think I'd be able to handle temperature below 40 for too long.. the mornings here can be like mid 30s.. and that's way too cold.

Will you be taking off the lift and going back with stock tires? I'm sure that would help with mpgs! My truck has a 4" lift with 33s, I think that's about perfect because it's not too ridiculous, but doesn't hurt the mpgs too much. Then again, I have a 302 with 3:55 gearing, so that's not the best setup, but the new cylinder heads on my motor help regain some lost power.
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubba Jones View Post
That's going to be really nice! The temps here in Arizona have been really nice thankfully. I just got done replacing cyclinder heads/oil pump timing cover gasket and painting all the junk I took out to refresh my motor.

It took a long time because I've never done cylinder heads before but I got it done. The whole time the temperature has been high 60s to low 80s (fluctuated a lot within two weeks).

I don't think I'd be able to handle temperature below 40 for too long.. the mornings here can be like mid 30s.. and that's way too cold.

Will you be taking off the lift and going back with stock tires? I'm sure that would help with mpgs! My truck has a 4" lift with 33s, I think that's about perfect because it's not too ridiculous, but doesn't hurt the mpgs too much. Then again, I have a 302 with 3:55 gearing, so that's not the best setup, but the new cylinder heads on my motor help regain some lost power.
Im going to leave the lift but I want to run 35s and 4.11 gears. Going to only really be an around town driver. Adding rear disk brakes too.
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1983 Bronco 9" lift, 390 FE
1983 F100 XL awaiting 4x4 conversion
1984 F150 XLT sb, 302, AOD
1985 Bronco XLT 8" lift 351 HO
1986 F150 EFI 302, AOD
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:37 PM
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Snow in your pole barn, yep you're from Michigan! Project vehicle work comes to a dead crawl during the winter here, unless you have a bucks up work place and are willing and able to keep the heat on in a place you're only using occasionally during the week.

I could tell at a glance it's an FE. INTERESTING swap, why not? 460's bolt in but FE's are smaller and lighter, look better, sound better in near stock form and make plenty of power.

What do the swap motor mounts look like though? I've seen some truly awful motor mount swaps. Are the headers ok?
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:41 PM
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Found these on my camera. The quarters on this are loaded with bondo plus the wheel opening are hacked, so that's the reason for new quarters.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

This will be the most body work Ive done on a vehicle so far, but I want to see what I can do. Plus Im only 22. Ive done a few cab corners, wheel wells, and floor work but nothing this big. Good broncos for a decent price are hard to find in Michigan though. Paid $500 for this one.
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1983 Bronco 9" lift, 390 FE
1983 F100 XL awaiting 4x4 conversion
1984 F150 XLT sb, 302, AOD
1985 Bronco XLT 8" lift 351 HO
1986 F150 EFI 302, AOD
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peganit2 View Post
Snow in your pole barn, yep you're from Michigan! Project vehicle work comes to a dead crawl during the winter here, unless you have a bucks up work place and are willing and able to keep the heat on in a place you're only using occasionally during the week.

I could tell at a glance it's an FE. INTERESTING swap, why not? 460's bolt in but FE's are smaller and lighter, look better, sound better in near stock form and make plenty of power.

What do the swap motor mounts look like though? I've seen some truly awful motor mount swaps. Are the headers ok?
Not really sure why the FE but seems to work ok. Motor mounts were both broke when I bought it. I think they used the perches off a dentside truck and bolted them to TTB cross member. I get some pics next time Im out there. Going to make sure they are strong before the new motor goes in. Headers were in pretty good shape. Going to sandblast them and coat them.
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1983 Bronco 9" lift, 390 FE
1983 F100 XL awaiting 4x4 conversion
1984 F150 XLT sb, 302, AOD
1985 Bronco XLT 8" lift 351 HO
1986 F150 EFI 302, AOD
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:01 PM
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Those headers may be off the shelf items for the "dents".

I modified some 460 headers for an 84 F250 that I put into a 77 Highboy by tucking the passenger side tubes closer to the motor. The driver's side header was untouched going into the Highboy.

That means that the later frames are wider at the motor than my Highboy was, so the narrower "dent" headers may fit without modifications.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:09 PM
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Put aluminum heads and intake on an FE and they're lighter than a sbc!
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:26 PM
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The headers on this weren't modified and fit pretty well. Not going to put aluminum heads and intake on it for a while at least. Going to need the money for tires and trying to keep it lower budget.

Here is the donor bronco. Looks better on the outside but structurally it is shot and has the swiss cheese frame.
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Click the image to open in full size.
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1983 Bronco 9" lift, 390 FE
1983 F100 XL awaiting 4x4 conversion
1984 F150 XLT sb, 302, AOD
1985 Bronco XLT 8" lift 351 HO
1986 F150 EFI 302, AOD
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:00 PM
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Subscribed! Looks pretty good so far
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by '86 F150 View Post
Not really sure why the FE but seems to work ok. Motor mounts were both broke when I bought it. I think they used the perches off a dentside truck and bolted them to TTB cross member. I get some pics next time Im out there. Going to make sure they are strong before the new motor goes in. Headers were in pretty good shape. Going to sandblast them and coat them.
That's a huge bonus.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:05 PM
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Yesterday my brother and I picked up a '89 roller chassis with a 4"rough country lift, 3" body lift, new body mounts and rebuilt axles with 315/75/16x10 dick cepek DC-1 rims and some parts. We had to swap some skinny wheels on it to fit on the trailer and since we dont have enough room inside to store it at the moment, I put his new wheels on my Bronco so they would be out of the weather.
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Here they are on the Bronco. I think this is about the size tire I want to run on it.
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Here is a pic (crappy, it was getting too dark outside) of the motor mounts.
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1983 Bronco 9" lift, 390 FE
1983 F100 XL awaiting 4x4 conversion
1984 F150 XLT sb, 302, AOD
1985 Bronco XLT 8" lift 351 HO
1986 F150 EFI 302, AOD
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