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Hoss Bronco Build - 1972 Modern Wheeler

hossbronco

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This is the build thread for my 1972 Bronco Sport Explorer. The goal is to make this into a modernized offroading machine. In summary, here are the build specs:

7.3L Megazilla (homebuilt, 640 lb-ft @ 3,800 RPM, 615 HP @ 5,800 RPM), 6R80, Atlas Pro 3.0, 609 Front Axle (Kingpin, 40 Spline Big Bell RCVs, HP10, ARB, 5.14 Gears), 14 Bolt Rear Axle (40 Spline, ARB, 5.13 Gears), 40 Inch MT Baja Boss M/T

I apologize in advance as progress is going to be slow on this, and I’ll probably worry about the body last, at least where I can.

Here’s what I’m planning. I’ve marked the things I already have with a dash. The rest is either on order or still being considered.

Engine:
-7.3L Godzilla
OBR Controller (Controls Oil Pressure)
-Ford Performance (Megazilla) Low Profile Intake Manifold
-Ford Performance GT500 (Megazilla) 92 mm Throttle Body
Ford Performance (Megazilla) Camshaft with VCT Lockout
Johnson Short Travel Lifters
Manton Pushrods
Ford Performance (Megazilla) CNC Ported and Polished Heads
PAC Springs
BTR Spring Guides, Retainers, and Keepers
Swiftek Billet Valve Covers and Coil Covers
Indy Billet Fuel Rails (Mast Cross Over)
53 LB/HR Injectors
Callies Heat Treated Billet 4140 Main Caps (Future)
ARP 2000 Studs (Future)
Mahle Bearings (Future)
Callie’s Forged Ultra H-Beam Connecting Rods (Future)
Mahle 2618 Forged Pistons (Future)
Callies Head Studs
Indy Timing Chain Cover
Custom Indy Front Accessory Drive
-Innovators West Crankshaft Damper
-Dailey Dry Sump Oil Pan and 5 Stage Pump
-FlowKooler 94-95 Mustang Water Pump
Upgraded Ignition Wires (Version C)
K&N Air Filter Wrap
Oil Catch Can
-DC Power Billet 270 Amp Alternator
-Optima Yellow Top DH6 Battery (Future: Dual Odyssey Extreme Batteries)

Transmission:
-Gen 2 6R80 Transmission
-GPZ Frictions and PBH Steels
-Modified Center Support
-Billet 300M Intermediate Shaft
-Billet 300M Forward Shaft
-Billet Forward Planetary
-Gen 3 Billet One Way Low Reverse Clutch
-Upgraded Pump Bearings
-Superior STL009 Sure-Cool Cooler Flow Control Valve
B&M 7 Qt. Transmission Pan
-Lokar Shifter (Future: Modified for Quick Reverse)

Transfer Case:
-Atlas Pro 3.0 Transfer Case (Clocked Horizontal)
-Long Input Shaft
-Short Tailhousing with 300M Output Shaft
-1300 Series Flange Front and Rear
-JB Custom Fabrication Twin Stick Cable Shifter
JE Reel 1410 CV Canyon Crawler Driveshafts

Front Axle (Stretched)
Spidertrax 609 4” 4130 Chromoly (69.25” Wide)
Gearworks HP10 3rd Member (3.812” Case)
5.14 US Gear Shot Peened, REM Polished 10” 9310 Ring and Pinion
ARB RD249CE Competition Air Locker
Billet 1480 Drive Shaft Yoke
40 Spline Gun Drilled Big Bell RCV Shafts
Stub Shafts Splined to Direct-Fit Super-60 Unit Bearings
8 on 6-1/2” Bolt Pattern
Reid Racing Super Kingpin Knuckles
Artec Ram Mount
Artec Upper Truss

Rear Axle (Stretched):
14 Bolt
5.13 Gears
Billet 1480 Yoke
40 Spline Gun Drilled 300M Shafts
Super-60 Unit Bearings
8 on 6-1/2” Bolt Pattern


Steering:
-PSC High-Flow CBR Power Steering Pump
PSC 6061T6 Aluminum Remote Reservoir (with PSC Anti-Splash Valve?)
PSC Hydraulic Assist
4x4x2 Power Steering Conversion
Busted Knuckle 7075-T6 Aluminum Drag Link and Tie Rod (RPM Steering? Weak Ends? Rock Krawler? Busted Knuckle?)
-Ididit Tilt Column Black Powder Coated
-WH Custom Lower Steering Shaft
-WH Mark 9 GT Black Steering Wheel with Leather Wrap

Brakes:
-Wild Horses MOAB Hydroboost System
-Wilwood Master Cylinder
Wilwood or Camburg Cutting Brake
Wilwood 6 Piston Disc Front and Rear
Wilwood Electric Parking Brake

Fluids / Cooling:
-Ron Davis Radiator
-SPAL 19” Brushless Fan, IP68
-Lingenfelter Fan Controller
-Derale Fanned Transmission Cooler
Custom Peterson 3 Gal. Dry Sump Tank
-Peterson Vacuum Regulator
Peterson Pop-Off Valve
Setrab Fanned ProLine Oil Cooler with Susa Temperature Regulator
Power Steering Fluid Cooler
PSC RV00 Vented Catch Cans with Rollover Valves (ARA1?)
-M1A1 Stainless Steel Fuel Tank
Discriminator Valve (Gasoline Evap System)

Exhaust:
Custom 304 SS Ceramic Fenderwell Headers (3/8” Flange, 2” Primaries, 3” Collectors)
Borla ProXS 304 Stainless Steel Mufflers
3” 304 SS Exhaust
Exhaust Cutouts (QTP?)

Suspension:
4-Link Front with 16” King Coilovers 2.5 with SDi E-CLIK Remote Reservoirs
Double Triangulated 4-Link Rear with 16” King Coilovers 2.5 with SDi E-CLIK Remote Reservoirs
Busted Knuckle 7075-T6 Aluminum Link Bars
-2” Body Lift
Spidertrax Sway Bars (7075-T6 Arms, 300M Shafts)

Tires and Wheels:
37x12.50-17LT Mickey Thompson Baja Boss M/T (Future: 40x13.50-17LT)
17”x10” Forged Aluminum Beadlock Wheels

Exterior:
Metallic Pearl Blue Paint
Custom Full Roll Cage (Behind Dash)
Custom Prerunner Bumpers
Custom Sliders (Trimmed Rocker Panels)
Aluminum Skid Plates with UHMW
-Heavy Duty Wipers
-HID Projectors Halo Black Series Switchback Headlights
Warn Suckdown Winch
-Rear Quarter Panel Guards
-Upper Quarter Panel Guards
-SS Quick Remove Door Hinges
Door Checks
Optional Tube Doors
Hyperformance Tough Windshield
-Black Diamond Rampage Soft Top
Mike’s Metal Worx Wing Vent Window Delete
Extended Wheel Wells
Baja Designs Lights
Tailgate Assist

Interior:
Black Leather Corbeau Baja XRS Suspension Seats with Heaters and Lumbar Support (Future: Perforated Full Grain Brown Leather with Seat Coolers)
Black Leather Corbeau 40” Baja Bench with Head Rests & Heater (Future: Perforated Full Grain Brown Leather with Seat Coolers)
Retractable Seat Belts (Future: Optional 5-Point Harnesses Front & 4-Point Harnesses Rear)
-BC Broncos Console
Fuel Pump Access Panel
-Rosen Aircraft Sun Visors

Electronics:
-Painless Performance Wiring Harness
-Custom Dakota Digital HDX-2014 Gauges
Dakota Digital Cruise Control
-Dakota Digital GPS with Remote Antenna and Ambient Air Temperature
-Vintage Air A/C Front and Rear
-Dakota Digital Climate Control
-iPad Mini 6 Dash
Digital Signal Processor
Backup Camera
-Dual Switch Pros SP-9100
Custom Digital Guard Dawg Keyless System
Speakers (JL Audio C2-650X?)
Two 12” Subwoofers
CB Radio
GMRS Radio
110V Inverter
-Heavy-Duty Synchronized Electric Wipers
ARB On-Board Twin High Performance Air Compressor
-Power Locks and Windows

Other Equipment:
AGM Jack
 
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hossbronco

hossbronco

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Here are some early photos.
 

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hossbronco

hossbronco

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Key Decisions:

7.3L Godzilla
I started this build looking at Coyotes, but decided on the 427W Stroker because I wanted more low-end torque. Mating it with the 6R80 presented some challenges, but the new Speed Gems adapter was promising. At the time, the 7.3L was just becoming available and was not much of a realistic option. It had not been put in any builds yet, lacked a controller, lacked aftermarket support, and little was known about its actual performance. Due to the lack of availability of parts in 2021, especially with regards to the Dart blocks, I had to wait a year and 3 months to receive the long block I had ordered. At that time, the prospects for a Godzilla build were looking much better. Controllers were available, with more coming out, enough aftermarket support was there to show the performance improvements that could be made with minor modifications, and the engine was actually cheaper than trying to build the 427W Stroker. I therefore sold the 427W long block and bought a base model 7.3L Godzilla. I'll be making the modifications myself. The Godzilla offers even more low-end torque, higher horsepower (with even a Whipple option), and modern diagnostics and reliability in a simple pushrod design. It will also bolt directly to my 6R80, eliminating the Speed Gems adapter and the 30 hp reduction caused by the 13 lb torque converter spacer.

Atlas Pro 3.0
I originally put money on an Atlas Pro 4 Speed 3.8 transfer case because I wanted to have something in the 80:1 range and something in the 65:1 range, in addition to being suitable for every terrain. I was very excited about the case but at some point realized that the planetary gears would multiply the input torque and potentially overpower the input shaft to the helical gears. At the encouragement of several experienced people I changed to the Atlas Pro 3.0 instead.
 
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ared77

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Sounds impressive! Good luck with your build.

Norm
 
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hossbronco

hossbronco

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Thanks, y’all! I definitely value the input and will certainly make my fair share of mistakes. Nobody will learn more than me on this one, of course. If you think I’m making a mistake somewhere, tell me. I love the discussion and I have no problem being wrong, though I’ll certainly ask questions, and I’m sure there will be times I double down on a bad idea that we can all learn from.

Currently, the engine, transmission, transfer case, and fuel tank are all out. I’m going to pull the frame and have it blasted and painted while I wait for my engine to arrive. It’s been on order since April. Dart only recently started shipping blocks again.
 

JB Fab

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My 2c... carefully calculate where your front driveline will be happy prior to "stretching" your front housing. Atlas clocked flat, 6R80 and a high-pinion front, you going to be threading a needle with your front driveline. Being able to position the the front pinion a couple inches one way or the other might save a whole bunch of hassle once your 3/4 of the way through the build......

Shown here is not flat, low pinion 4R100. Clearancing the tranny pan was necessary .

It complicated things since the front housing was pretty bulky, we had limited room to move it over (Note: cross-member was relocated forward during the next step).
 

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JB Fab

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Oh yeah... The Dart 427, being a tall deck block you are going to have clearance issues with the firewall and possibly the brake MC.
We modified the valve cover for clearance.

We relocated the MC all the way to the fender for additional clearance.

For reference: photo taken with 1.5" body spacers installed
 

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hossbronco

hossbronco

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It looks like you’ve got a pretty nice build there. I’ll be happy when RuffStuff starts making axle housings again.

The Dart block I’m getting is the 351 block bored to 4.125” with a 4” stroke. I don’t anticipate any firewall or MC clearance issues there. The Speed Gems adapter off the back of the engine might be a different issue, but BruiserOutdoors just test fit his with a 2” body lift and it cleared.

Driveshaft clearance is one of my bigger concerns, and the deeper pan and the added thickness of the Speed Gems adapter could only make the problem worse. I’m going to buy the axle tubes a little long so I can test fit and cut where I need to. I’m still on the fence about clocking the Atlas flat, as I’m a little nervous about cutting into the frame and possibly making it weaker there.
 

Yeller

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As for cutting into the frame….. are you tying the cage and rockers to the frame? Thoughtfully done those items very effectively truss the frame to the point you could cut a section almost completely out without compromising anything.
 
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hossbronco

hossbronco

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Good point. Yes, I’m tying the cage and rock sliders to the frame, and I’ll certainly add some steel plating in the area as well. I was a little concerned with the 4-links connecting to the frame in the vicinity, not to mention the support for the transmission and transfer case, but I’m sure I can beef that area up enough to counter those forces. If only I still had access to SOLIDWORKS; I’d love to perform an FMEA on it.
 

JB Fab

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Another note about the Dart block, you cant use any of the extreme-duty aftermarket engine mounts, you will need to use a stock mount that is modified, and you will need to do a bit of clearancing on the block webbing above the mount bolt bosses. really weird that you cant just bolt a stock mount on the block.
 
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hossbronco

hossbronco

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That’s disappointing. I already have a set of the WH Extreme Motor Mounts. I’d be curious to see what modifications I should make to stock mounts.
 
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hossbronco

hossbronco

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This isn’t a great photo, but I made the decision to use TBP’s Heavy Duty Wiper Arms (passenger side in photo). It took a while for the look to grow on me, but the springs are much stronger than other replacements I’ve tried, including the Cherokee wiper conversion. Also, I bought the WH Synchronized Electric Windshield Wiper Kit, and the Cherokee arms didn’t fit (they did fit on the original wiper linkage). I don’t think the driver’s side wiper, also from TBP, fit either, so my options were limited.
 

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DirtDonk

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I'm not exactly excited about the look of my new beam style 15" blades either. Looks kind of our of place on my old skinny arms, but I sure can't argue with how they work! Very happy about that.

That arm is pretty beefy looking. If it can hold any old blade hard against the window, it's a winner.
How long of a blade can you use with it?

paul
 
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hossbronco

hossbronco

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The blades are 12” and I don’t think they could be any longer. The arms are adjustable, but I have to have them all the way in to fit. if they were shorter I could probably get longer blades and better coverage. They’re the same width as the wiper arms on my wife’s former Expedition. The things I like are the springs are very heavy duty, they flip up, I think the blades could be replaced at any auto store, and the set screw makes them easy to remove. The down side to that is that if the set screw backs out the wipers will go flying. Here’s a photo with both installed with the blades. I wouldn’t be surprised if I switched back at some point.
 

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hossbronco

hossbronco

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This discussion has been good. I’m realizing I’m missing out on an additional 6” of wipers with these. The strong spring is nice, but not worth the trade off. I’ll have to figure out how to get other wiper arms to fit the splines on these motors.
 

DirtDonk

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Are the arms adjustable for angle and length? They look to be, but also look like they're sucked in as far as they can go. Maybe like my original attempt the arms were just a bit too long. That's why I opted for the shortest version that Anco sold at the time. The longer ones were just too long.
Not sure which arms are on the '68, but they seem to be at least similar to the short Ancos and work out well.

Here's a pic of how they are currently sitting. I'm still working on the angle of the passenger side. I do like my blades angled down slightly when parked, rather than tucked up flat and tight against the top. But this one is hanging down farther than I like. However it sure does a full sweep!

The driver's side is better but because of the design of the system (custom electric linkage on early style frame) I do not get a full sweep of the driver's side. However, even with the slightly shortened sweep, the visibility is good and the wipe-ability of the blades is excellent!

IMG_8991 sm.jpg
Paul
 

DirtDonk

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Sorry, you did mention adjustable and I just didn't remember. Been meaning to go look at Tom's description too but have not gotten 'roundtoityet.
I keep mentioning "Anco" in my posts, but though that's the brand on my '71, and these look almost identical, I really don't know what they are. But I can take measurements and look underneath at some point for any possible identifying numbers.
My older ones actually had smaller tips that required adapters to fit the standard blades. But these have the normal full width tips that snap right into a plethora of blade choices.
The "stems" or pivot points should be standard late model Bronco because that's the linkage that is in there to take the place of the original vacuum wipers.

I'll keep looking for a receipt for them in the stack to see if that will narrow it down. And I'm still going to experiment with angles and such.

Paul
 

nvrstuk

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Great sounding build Hoss! I am familiar with a lot on your build and Jon was correct on watching out for clearance issues on the rear DS corner of the trans. I offset the center of the pinion closer to the DS frame rail than originally anticipated and it's tight.

The SpeedGems adapter should help you some with frt pinion angle if you're trying to go perfectly flat.

What adapter are you using btw the 6r & Procase?
 
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