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 Post subject: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:47 am 
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A few years ago I bought an '83 Bronco for $1200.

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It has the 4.9L straight 6 and a 4 speed manual transmission. When I bought the thing it barely ran due to a leaky carburetor, worn out cap and rotor, and failed EGR valve. The gas tank also leaked, and the brake rotors were warped. I fixed these things, then life got in the way and I didn't do much else to it. I finally have time to work on the thing again.

The shocks were pretty mushy, so I decided to swap them out:

The manufacturer of the old shocks didn't feel a need to put their name on them.
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The new KYB Monomax shocks are much prettier.

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I wasn't able to find Monomax shocks for the back, so I went with Gas-A-Justs
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KYB GR-2 shocks were previously installed in the back.
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Shiny new shocks in the back. The rusty ratchet came into my possession that way.

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The next thing on the agenda is to overhaul the front end (ball joints, steering stuff, etc).

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:26 am 
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good stuff. a few years back i bought a 1982 bronco and i lovedit. I swapped in a mildly built 460 big block into it. but here is an idea for you. keep your eyes peeled on craigslist and the bronco forums. I swapped all of the seats from a 1994 Eddie Bauer into mine for $200. Beautiful comfortable cloth seats. It was a huge upgrade. I will see if i still have pics of it

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:30 am 
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here you go. again just trying to give you some ideas.


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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:39 am 
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That does look a lot more comfortable than what I have now. Someone did get the original early '80s seats reupholstered relatively recently, but the rest of the interior is pounded.

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:55 pm 
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Oh it's a lot more comfortable than the 80's junk. We even wired the power lumbar to work.

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:14 am 
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I always thought the "Lil Mule" Bronco in Romancing the Stone was pretty cool. Would love to have one from the early 70's.

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:24 am 
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Yeah those early Broncos are sweet. Unfortunately every one I've seen for sale is either in far worse condition than mine was when I got it (not that it's good now), or already fully restored.

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:16 am 
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I helped some friends move two weeks ago, and noticed some symptoms that seemed like a stuck brake. When I got it home I jacked it up and found that the passenger side rear brake was in fact dragging. No amount of messing with the adjuster freed it up, so I made a visit to the friendly neighborhood auto parts store and picked up new drums, shoes, and hardware for both back wheels.

The passenger side went together pretty easily.

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When I tore into the driver's side, it was far, far dirtier than the passenger side had been

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On top of that, part of one of the brake shoes had broken off at some point

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And as if that wasn't enough there is a nice hole punched in the support plate.

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I put the thing back together, but managed to damage the wheel cylinder in the process (it leaks now). I'll be grabbing one of those soon.
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As annoying as this is I'm glad I found out about it now. I was originally planning to drive it across the Cascades out into the desert next weekend, but it looks like I might be getting a ride with someone.

I have a cheapo welder that's been sitting new in the box for over a year. I guess I'll finally be breaking it out and trying to weld that hole in the plate closed after work. I haven't welded anything in over 20 years, so I'm going to mess around with some pieces of scrap metal for a while.

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:06 am 
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i wouldnt worry much about that hole.

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:28 am 
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True, it isn't like it's a stressed part. I just want to keep dirt out. Maybe I should just fill it in with JB Weld and sand it down.

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:51 am 
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that spot really isnt structural

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:13 am 
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Yup. I just want to keep keep sand, little bits of gravel, mud, etc out.

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:16 am 
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I took Zombiesoldier01's advice and didn't worry about the hole for the time being. I made it out to the desert and back.

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Unfortunately on the way back home it started having idling issues. Today it idled fine, but today's high temperature was also about 10 degrees cooler than yesterday's. Later this week I'm going to monkey around with a timing light and vacuum gauge and make sure everything's dialed in right.

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:47 am 
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i would check the condition of the carb. the factory carb's are junk. might need a rebuild. On mine i chose to just do a small holley truck avenger 670. i ended up overfueling out of the box on my 302, so i had to jet it down a bit, but was awesome until i spun a bearing

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:34 pm 
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Toss the stock carb and intake, and put a four barrel on there. You'll make a lot more power from what I hear.

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:32 pm 
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My 1990 Dodge RamCharger approves of this thread.

:clap:

The pics of the shocks installation should be most helpful in the future. When the RamCharger meets some of the bridge's expansion joints around here...holy heck, it feels like an episode of the Dukes of Hazard. It has 97,000 miles on it now, so I assume they are the original shocks/springs.

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:34 pm 
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i forgot to mention I work in a diesel performance shop, but can get a lot of things for your bronco. let me know what you need and i will whip you up the best price i can possibly get for you.

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:54 pm 
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I've managed to find some time to fiddle with it a little bit. The ignition timing was off by a mile, and it's running a great deal stronger with that corrected. I'm going to find time to get the vacuum gauge hooked up and get the idle mixture dialed in soon.
As far as the carb itself goes, it's only two years old, so I hope it doesn't need to be rebuilt yet. I bought a remanufactured one when I got the truck because the carb the truck came with leaked fuel out the butterfly shaft. I don't want to spend money on hotrodding it just yet, the suspension is still beat to piss and I'd like to spend money on that first.
A diesel conversion does seem pretty neat.
The weather forecast calls for more hot weather next week (although not as hot as it was on Sunday), so I guess I'll have a good opportunity to test it soon.

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:42 pm 
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chills1994, about a year ago I saw a Ram Charger out at the coast that someone had removed the roof and tops of the doors from. It looked like a lot of fun.

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 11:39 pm 
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Cool.

I am still kinda jones'ing for an International Scout II.

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:25 am 
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Great project. I'm jealous. I had an 86 Bronco. Miss that truck. One of my favorite vehicles I've owned.

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 4:51 pm 
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I got an opportunity to monkey around with it more. I'm only pulling 5 inches of mercury and no amount of fiddling with the carb got it any higher, although it did get me some really cool fouled spark plugs. I did a compression test and I'm around 150 psi in all six cylinders, so I'm pretty sure my rings and valves are good.

I guess the next step is to look for vacuum leaks. It's also supposed to be hot again next week, so I can see if having the timing set right fixes the not wanting to idle in hot weather problem.

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:53 pm 
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I think I found the leak. If I hose down the part of the intake manifold that's for the #5 cylinder with carb cleaner, it starts bogging down. I guess I'm going to need a lot of PB blaster pretty soon...

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 Post subject: Re: 1983 Bronco Project
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:22 pm 
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where at? where the intake hits the head? If so, sounds like an intake gasket. or is it one of the various vacuum fittings or is it the actual intake manifold being cracked?

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