Rusty Bronco Centurion Saved by FTE Member!
Hundreds of hours of bodywork and loads of determination saved this four-door Bronco conversion from the scrap heap.
By now, we’re guessing you’re all aware of the four-door Bronco conversions available back in the ’80s and ’90s. If not, check out our definitive guide first. Good? Now that you know just how rare these things are, it’s worth pointing out that one of our own, 1985 Bronco, is working to save a 1995 C150 Bronco Centurion. And what he started with, sadly, is quite common. A pretty darn rusty shell that needed lots of bodywork and love. So the journey began almost exactly a year ago with an official build thread.
“I have decided to start my build thread now that the rust repair is coming along. It is a 1995 Ford Centurion C150 (4-door Bronco). It has a 351, E4OD, and push button 4×4 with locking hubs. I will be converting it to a Bullnose (80-86). I bought an ’84 F-150 as a donor that provided a front clip for me. Bought new rockers, quarters, and inner wheel wells. I also picked up an ’86 F-150 bed trailer that donated inner tubs and the gas tank area.
You can see my earlier thread here. In that thread I swapped on a new tailgate, sport bumper, and new rims and tires. You can also see the rust we are dealing with.”
You’ve got to give the OP credit, because it takes a brave soul to tackle that kind of rot. But he charged on, undaunted, beginning with cutting the quarters off and even molding some new rockers.
But that was just the beginning. Pretty much everything you might expect to rust on a truck of this vintage was, in fact, rusty. But the donor F-150 bed “trailer” proved to be a big help.
“Patch panel with new floor made, drain hole for rear heater added. Centurions have flat floors vs. Broncos with ribbed floors, which is why the trailer didn’t donate any of that.”
Before long, the Bronco Centurion was beginning to look whole again. Not like some giant piece of Swiss cheese.
“Need to finish up the driver’s side floor, then the quarters will go on for good. Then we will panel bond in the inner wheel wells. Then the front clip will go on.”
Rather than try to repair or replace the ’95 front clip, the OP went with a donor section from an ’84 F-150.
Which, obviously, required more repair. Because the OP lives in Minnesota, he was in a scramble to get things done before the weather turned south.
“Hopefully all the metal work should be done soon. I’d like to get the the front clip on before winter. It will be put in storage then. Next summer I want to finish body work and paint it blue. Long term plans involve swapping the body onto a 1-ton frame, Cummins, Bullnose.
We reinstalled the tailgate, aligned it, then welded part of the quarters back on to hold it in the correct place. Now we just need to finish welding up the floor, and it will be ready for the quarters to finally go on. Got the rocker capped off on the passenger side to match the driver’s side. Also removed a bunch of useless brackets that were under there for the running boards, they were removed by the PO. Poked a hole in the gas tank a little while ago. Ordered a new one on Amazon for $56 with free shipping. Should arrive sometime this week.”
At this point, the OP was roughly 150 hours into the bodywork. But the Bronco Centurion, once likely headed for the scrap heap, was beginning to look whole again. On went the new quarters, and the rear floor was finished. And just like that, before winter struck, the rust was gone.
And with the frozen tundra finally thawing out, the front clip swap was completed in the spring. Which, obviously, took a little bit of fabrication. And work didn’t stop there. The OP has replaced a ton of rusty/worn out parts and done quite a bit of mechanical refreshing. The many hours of work he’s put into this Bronco Centurion is almost as impressive as his bodywork skills.
Sadly, another truck has caught the eye of the OP, which means that this rejuvenated Bronco Centurion is up for sale here at FTE. He’ll obviously never recoup an amount of money equal to the time and effort he put into this thing. But we’re grateful that he saved this rare old beast from the scrap heap. And now we look forward to seeing which member steps up and continues the process!