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Project Thunderhorn: Second Generation Bronco Build

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  #16  
Old 11-20-2015, 09:09 AM
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So, I am sure I missed a bunch of small stuff but that is the basic story so far. These last couple of weeks have gotten really cold so my daily driver has switched from my Kawasaki Vulcan to the Bronco. Because of this I have started working on it again. Right away I decided to fix my heater since the last winter without it wasn't very much fun when it came to comfort. I actually pulled out the entire heater housing unit and took the whole thing apart, checked the heater core (looked brand new) and tested my blower motor with a little 12 volt battery. Finding that the blower worked just fine I cleaned everything up and reinstalled it. I then wired it into a toggle switch on the dash (little red one in the picture bellow where the heater controls and radio should be) Now I can get warm air and defrost the windshield a bit in the mornings. However I still don't have any weather stripping and I took out my rear window since I have no way to roll it down. While I was messing with the coolant system, I decided to finally do something about my lack of coolant reservoir. Previously coolant would just spill all over the ground if it got too hot. I know, I really shouldn't have been driving around like that for so long. So I fashioned a Reservoir out of a orange juice bottle and zip tied it in place. Looks pretty ghetto but it does the job.

The biggest development recently is a couple of days ago when I decided to stop throttling through the morning engine warm up and installed a choke cable. after a couple re-adjustments i got it working right, and while i was fiddling with the carb again (and now that it could run choked when cold) I was able to turn down the idle and decided to turn down the fuel mixture while i was at it. Interestingly this is the first time ive messed with the carb in a long time but this time the truck is running better than ever after my latest re-adjustment! I plan on driving up the mountain this weekend so i'll try and cover how it went.

So that about brings me to current time! I hope to keep working on the Thunder and getting more done this winter as I will be moving to Washington in the spring and it'l need to be in top shape to make the trip. I am actually looking at a donor truck that would speed up the project by years (at the current pace) but I cant decide if I should put the money DIRECTLY to The Thunder or divert it to the donor (which in reality would become the new project base and just get the original Thunder engine and all the engine related hardware). The 'donor' Ford Bronco has a better body, the wiring harness isn't spliced all over the place, and it has the 4 speed manual and better transfer case as well. Engine is crap but I can get the whole thing for cheaper than the asking price and save alot of time. However I don't know how I feel about abandoning the original project base as it has developed a soul of its own as these things do. Whichever route I decide to go, I should be able to progress dramatically on the overall project in the near future and am looking forward to it.
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  #17  
Old 12-03-2015, 05:34 PM
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Well the storm was a disappointment so we didn't end up doing much up the hill. Thanksgiving was busy so haven't got much done. However, I HAVE been looking for ideas and thinking up ideas for my bumper build. Today i built a little model of what i want to build for the front.

I want to build the bumper to be relative lightweight and not so strong that I'll bend my frame before the bumper. I haven't decided what size tubing I want to use and this isn't necessarily to scale but here is the tubing skeleton. I changed the model a bit from my sketch too. bottom picture is from the front, top picture is looking down.

Is there a bumper thread i should share this on maybe?
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:55 PM
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That looks pretty cool! I don't think there is a bumper thread here, maybe in the 73-79 section.
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  #19  
Old 12-04-2015, 10:04 AM
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Awesome build bud. Can't wait to see more. I can see it being a hard choice to either spend money on a donor truck or dumping right into your main project. I guess it really depends on how much it would speed the process up and how much money you could save in the long run.
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Old 12-05-2015, 11:39 AM
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Yeah, as far as the possible donor truck goes, I wont be able to buy anything big like that until I get rid of my side project 1986 Nissan D21 Pickup. Landlords don't want another vehicle in the driveway (understandably) and I've got enough projects as it is for now. Anyone in Norcal interested in the other Bronco? or my Nissan?

Anyway, my father-in-law to be has a garrage and a welder down in Placerville so I will hopefully be ordering steel to his house for the bumper when I save a few bucks. Pretty exited to get started I've wanted to do a bumper build for some time now. I figure the steel shouldn't cost more than 2-3 hundred but the winch and lights i want may have to come later because cha-ching!
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  #21  
Old 12-05-2015, 01:55 PM
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So this is what I am thinking for front and rear.
I think I want to use Inch and a half steel tubing for the frame and 1/8th plating.
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Old 12-05-2015, 02:23 PM
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Just read through this. Keep it up, man! I am a "starving student" working on my beloved '73 highboy. Everybody tells me to ditch it and get something else, but their words fall on deaf ears. Folks just don't understand, do they?

I am up in Redding, but go past Placerville on occasion.

Wish I could take ya up on the project truck or bronco, but I too am in need of cash for my money pit.
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  #23  
Old 12-10-2015, 12:52 PM
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Just read this whole story. It's awesome to see you bring this old Bronco to life again. I know a donor is tempting but from my history if you get the donor it then becomes very tempting to have 2 projects. Good luck and keep up the great work.
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  #24  
Old 03-01-2016, 02:39 PM
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Well here goes a non-update because I have come to a complete stand still due to planning and funding my wedding in May. Will also be moving to Oregon after the Honeymoon so got alot of things taking precedence. However I am going to need to make some vehicular decisions soon as to actually make the drive/move to Oregon. Currently I have mixed feelings/level of confidence in using the Bronc to tow a trailer.
...also waiting on a letter form CA Air quality about retiring my Nissan to free up space and money... ah the fiancees car is getting tired so might need to think about another real commuter car. That being said, I am still never giving up and hope to know more soon. Wish me luck, and good luck with you and yours!
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:48 AM
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... I will be moving to Washington in the spring and it'l need to be in top shape to make the trip. ...
Haha Best laid plans... Looks like ill actually be moving to Oregon instead now.
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  #26  
Old 03-10-2016, 01:45 AM
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welcome to oregon buddy .

awesome story man. what part of Oregon will you be moving to. I'm in Woodburn near salem. keep up that great work, congrats on your wedding.
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Old 03-10-2016, 09:59 PM
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She has narrowed down her school choices to the one in Corvallis or the one in Eugene. The final decision comes down to things like real estate, if I can get/which job i can get before we move, and scholarships she can get, and such things.

Looking forward to moving out of California but I am a bit nervous about moving where I cant pump my own gas haha... among other things lol.

On the out of California note, I am about to pull the trigger or drop the notion of the 'donor' truck I mentioned. However it has lots of back fees before i could register it. I have to find out if I can just register it in Oregon and circumvent the backfees here in California. At any rate, things should get interesting here again soon with the bronco.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:09 AM
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Alright, so I did end up buying that other bronco! However I still need to figure out how to pick it up. Really happy with the truck for the price I payed but i broke the rear yoke and some u-joints so that will be the first thing i have to fix after picking it up. I think someone said you almost always end up with two projects when you buy a 'donor' and they were probably right. Since I don't really have time to pull the Engine from Thunderhorn and put it in the new bronco (name coming soon lol) for now at least i will be getting both trucks mobile for either moving to storage or up to Oregon after the wedding coming up soon. It is going to be a circus figuring out what to do with all these vehicles but ill figure something out. Ill try and keep the updates coming as there should be some more to tell of soon.
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Old 03-24-2016, 12:47 AM
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I think someone said you almost always end up with two projects when you buy a 'donor' and they were probably right.
Haha yeah... that almost happened to me. I was very temped to start painting my donor truck and put my old engine and transmission in it.

When I got to thinking of it, the truck was too beat up, doing a gas to diesel swap on my Bronco, then diesel to gas swap on the F250 seemed like a lot of work, and it was a 2x4 frame..... on top of that, my mom wanted the parts truck gone.... so I had to get rid of it after snagging all the parts off it I needed.

Luckily, the guy who bought it is going to use most of it to turn it into a buggy type truck so it's not getting crushed!
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Old 03-24-2016, 01:10 AM
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Haha yeah... that almost happened to me. I was very temped to start painting my donor truck and put my old engine and transmission in it.

When I got to thinking of it, the truck was too beat up, doing a gas to diesel swap on my Bronco, then diesel to gas swap on the F250 seemed like a lot of work, and it was a 2x4 frame..... on top of that, my mom wanted the parts truck gone.... so I had to get rid of it after snagging all the parts off it I needed.

Luckily, the guy who bought it is going to use most of it to turn it into a buggy type truck so it's not getting crushed!
Haha its funny you say that because now that i have two bronco i really want to continue the original project AND put the IDI from this (The blue Bullnose) in the other Bronco but even then I would want to put something else back in the Bullnose XD
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