1970 Ford Bronco is a Cool Winter Project
Bronco needs some basic repairs, but it is going to be a great daily driver and weekend toy.
While owners from other model years are likely to argue, the original Bronco that was available from 1966 through 1977 is the coolest sport utility vehicle that Ford Motor Company has offered. The first generation SUVs have become hot collector’s items, but in many cases, Broncos in areas that get a real winter have been eaten away by a combination of road salt and Mother Nature’s fury.
However, “grinnergetter” located a surprisingly clean 1970 Bronco in Wyoming and after a few years of working on the previous owner, the OP was able to buy the classic SUV. That was this past summer and since then, he has been keeping the forum updated on the progress of his winter projects, even though winter hasn’t arrived.
So far, this 1970 Bronco has all of the makings of a great ride and based on what the OP has planned, it should end up being a cool daily driver and weekend off-road toy.
When the OP first introduced the forum to his 1970 Bronco, he offered some details on the vehicle’s history, along with what he has planned for the future.
My new Bronco arrived from Wyoming Monday. Gave the interior a bath and dug through the glovebox. It does have a bit of rust in the door area and tailgate but frame and the rest is super solid. Has some 70’s diamond tuck panels and seats, even the steering wheel got the treatment. Has D44, manual trans and 302 (tired) but starts on the first spin.
Plans are (first winter) PS, PB, serpentine conversion and front discs. The wife wants an auto trans but that’s if I just can’t teach her to drive a manual trans. Hope to get the door areas fixed up with some new metal also. Most likely will be stock suspension because it already sits pretty dang nice IMO.
Worked on acquiring this for 2 years and in this case I just used patience….and more patience.
It so weird to bring home a vehicle that runs let alone isn’t a total basket case. LOL
He also included a few pictures of the classic Ford SUV inside and out, showing that it is remarkably clean for a 48-year-old SUV. In fact, all of the exterior pictures shown here portray how the vehicle looked when it arrived and as you can see, there is hardly any body damage or rust.
During the first two dozen posts in this thread, the OP and a few other members who are experienced with the first generation Bronco discussed the plans for this vehicle. Some members provided input from their own projects while others questioned the OP as to why he was going certain directions with the project. The OP updated the thread with the following information, answering many of the early questions.
Yea, whoever put the floors in is a challenged individual. I will be removing his work at some point for sure.
I’ve been researching the 5.0 Explorer Serp swap and I’d like to use it to run the PS and A/C that is planned for this winter. Seemed to be the right thing to do for future EFI.
I can’t decide between running a regular brake booster or just going all the way and do a hydroboost setup. Not too sure the hydro is really necessary , I put one in my 73 F250 and I’m not one who would say it’s all that and a bag of chips. Anyone have any suggestions on that?
Looks like $400.00 so far just getting the doors functioning with new glass on the driver side. Tried to get the locks and latches working properly today. Once they were removed it was obvious the PO made some repairs with “that which is available”. LOL Good ole elec tape and wire. Gets you out of a jam every time. The rear track inside the driver door was flat out missing.
Gonna give the underneath one heck of a power washing this weekend.
The first update with real progress came with the OP adding some MasterCraft Baja seats, which required him to fabricate custom seat brackets. The results are very clean, almost looking like a stock setup under the aftermarket seats. During these early steps, he was also surprised at how smoothly everything was going.
So, I really don’t want to jinx myself but…..the bolts on this bronc come off………..sooooo easy……it’s freakin’ absurd.
Got new door glass, latches etc installed, both seats are in now. WH stock suspension is on the way. I loosened all the leaf spring bolts today so it’s ready. Not even one was rusted to the sleeves. I didn’t even need a Sawzall or a torch…..weird.
The first functional upgrades being made to this 1970 Bronco focused on the suspension. The OP installed new rear springs and shackles without any issue, but when he got to the front suspension, he started running into problems in getting things apart.
Found that one bolt……trac bar bolts were rusted very, very firmly to sleeves. Sawzall and torch came out of hiding.
Got most of the suspension buttoned up and disc brake swap is just about there. Had a moment today when torqueing the ball joints. When I torqued the top joint the knuckle got fairly loose as far as effort to move back and forth. Before it was torqued all felt nice and tight. When I tried to back off the adjusting sleeve it was tighter than heck. Had to impact it loose. Did that 3 times and thought better of setting the torque again as the nut was getting beat up pretty good. Left it loose and moved on to axle U joints.
Researched the heck out of that ball joint problem and I’m going to just torque it and be done.
Does a disc brake swap HAVE to have a prop valve? I’m thinking I’m gonna run with the h block as the bronc won’t be on the road for a while. Watcha think?
As he mentioned, in addition to new stock-spec suspension components, the OP also added front disc brakes to his Bronco. He also sandblasted and painted things like the brake calipers, the differential housing and other chassis bits that didn’t look so great.
Finally, after getting all of the parts needed to rebuild the front differential and complete the suspension, the OP buttoned up the front end, complete with new different center sections and the disc brakes. In addition to dealing with a crimped driveshaft, it sounds as though the suspension and braking system is ready for road use right in time to head into winter.
The last update from the OP didn’t include any information on the truck, but he did share some pictures of wildlife captured during a trip to West Virginia. However, this winter-long project is off to a great start and we expect that in the end, this 1970 Bronco will be an excellent driver.