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Survey: What are the best modifications you enjoy the most and what do you wish you had done when you restored your early bronco?

iSense67

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Jr. Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2022
Messages
52
Loc.
Sarasota
I am finalizing mine and would love to hear from your wisdom…equally interested in small and large improvements…mine is a 1967
 

DirtDonk

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Nov 3, 2003
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44,005
Are you going for absolute originality, or common sense driveability?
I think the one, or at least one of the top on any compiled list will be front disc brakes.
 

DirtDonk

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Nov 3, 2003
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44,005
And that counts even for a realistic restoration, since in most cases it’s easily returnable to stock original if that is desired.
 

67sport

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Nov 27, 2010
Messages
201
Loc.
Shawnigan Lake, BC, Canada
I think Paul’s right, (weird, right?).
Power disc brakes, power steering, and axle gears to match chosen tire size.
The other common ones will be EFI and auto transmission with OD.
 
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iSense67

iSense67

Contributor
Jr. Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2022
Messages
52
Loc.
Sarasota
Are you going for absolute originality, or common sense driveability?
I think the one, or at least one of the top on any compiled list will be front disc brakes.
Are you going for absolute originality, or common sense driveability?
I think the one, or at least one of the top on any compiled list will be front disc brakes.
I am first focused on safety, reliability and to use as a driver. I’m not into off reading at all. This will be y legacy ride so I am looking to build it for the long haul.
 

AC932

Full Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
240
Lower door seals made an enormous difference in reducing cabin noise. Second place is a good amp and speaker setup.

I can't speak to mechanical modifications since I never did any :)
 
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iSense67

iSense67

Contributor
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Joined
Feb 18, 2022
Messages
52
Loc.
Sarasota
I think Paul’s right, (weird, right?).
Power disc brakes, power steering, and axle gears to match chosen tire size.
The other common ones will be EFI and auto transmission with OD.
What rim and tire size do you recommend? I am thinking a 2.5 inch lift as I want to keep it to a minimum. Currently I have 15 inch rims. Also curious how lift height influences the normal road drive vs original height? I am not an off-road guy so I will strictly be read driving so wondering if the lift is worth it?
 

DirtDonk

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Bronco Guru
Joined
Nov 3, 2003
Messages
44,005
It’s all about spring rate, shock absorber design, tire rating and aesthetics at that point.
Since you don’t need ground clearance perhaps just a one and a half inch lift would put it in your sweet spot. A 2 1/2 would certainly do it, and give it that more aggressive look, but only do it for the look, or if you want to be sure to fit a certain tire size.
Are the rear fenders still stock, or have they been cut open for bigger tires?

You could probably still run 30 or 31 inch tall tires. The 15 inch rating of the wheel doesn’t mean anything for what we’re talking about here, other than tire choice.
It’s the tire diameter and width that we’re more concerned with. Both for looks and fitment.
 

67sport

Contributor
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Nov 27, 2010
Messages
201
Loc.
Shawnigan Lake, BC, Canada
What rim and tire size do you recommend? I am thinking a 2.5 inch lift as I want to keep it to a minimum. Currently I have 15 inch rims. Also curious how lift height influences the normal road drive vs original height? I am not an off-road guy so I will strictly be read driving so wondering if the lift is worth it?
Well that's a big ol' can of worms. Fortuneatley, there are many threads to read up on. For a quick answer, a bronco with a good 2-1/2 lift will ride and handle better then one that is running 50 year old stock stuff. We are spoiled in that really all the vendors offer very well thought out and complete kits.
For tires and wheels? I'd tip my hat to the advise of guys that have tried more and seen more than I have, I like 15's so I stick with them. I have 32x10/15s on one truck, and 37's on the other. Lots of good tire options at 16, and I think a lot of good wheel options at 17.
Lots of great threads to read to help sort out the kind of bronco you want!
 

DirtDonk

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Bronco Guru
Joined
Nov 3, 2003
Messages
44,005
Using a less aggressive, more street oriented tire design, with a lower rating, will give you the best ride.
Nothing wrong with stock springs that new replacements wouldn’t cure. They were OK at their time but after 50 years the rear springs tend to get kind of stiff and harsh riding.
Front springs only need replacing if they sag.
Either way a variable rate front coil can help the ride a little bit more however.
 

Glass Pony

Contributor
Bronco Guru
Joined
Feb 13, 2012
Messages
1,729
Loc.
Sussex County Delaware
I will say Hydraboost brakes also.
I went down the rabbit hole with vacuum power brakes, T-bird calipers. and different master cylinders. Hydraboost gave me what I was looking for.
ARB rear locker is also one of my favorites.(y)
 
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iSense67

iSense67

Contributor
Jr. Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2022
Messages
52
Loc.
Sarasota
It’s all about spring rate, shock absorber design, tire rating and aesthetics at that point.
Since you don’t need ground clearance perhaps just a one and a half inch lift would put it in your sweet spot. A 2 1/2 would certainly do it, and give it that more aggressive look, but only do it for the look, or if you want to be sure to fit a certain tire size.
Are the rear fenders still stock, or have they been cut open for bigger tires?

You could probably still run 30 or 31 inch tall tires. The 15 inch rating of the wheel doesn’t mean anything for what we’re talking about here, other than tire choice.
It’s the tire diameter and width that we’re more concerned with. Both for looks and fitment.
Thank you for insights. I am planning on having the rear quarters Replaced with ones that match the front fenders like the attached photo So no fiberglass flares. Maybe 1 1/2 is best option for me. 1E88467F-D6D3-46E8-9E52-1275FD8D5BA3.jpeg
 

BGBronco

N A S H V I L L E
Joined
Jun 23, 2017
Messages
1,263
Loc.
Tennessee
Steering / Brakes / Overall Reliability. If your wife / daughter / friend can't get in and drive it without specific instructions, you're not there yet.
 

El Kabong

Contributor
Bronco Guru
Joined
Oct 8, 2009
Messages
1,378
If your wife / daughter / friend can't get in and drive it without specific instructions, you're not there yet.
It seems like that's been the goal on any project I've ever owned. Seldom achieved:

56 F100 -don't use the shifter on the column. There's another one on the floor close to the seat.

64 Falcon -the gears are tall. Be careful to not ride the clutch any more than you have to.

69 F-250 -use the manual choke knob on the dash when starting it cold. Please push it in as it warms up.

70 Cyclone GT -put the notch in the key up for both the door & the ignition. The locks are different. The double sided key is cut for both, but the notch needs to be up.

70 E-350 -the gas gauge is goofy. It reads full until it has about a 1/4 tank, then moves from F to E quickly as that last 1/4 is used. E still means E.

78 Granada -don't let the trunk hit you in the head. There's a stick inside to prop it open.

90 Bronco -let it warm up a little before putting it in gear. Then put it into drive before reverse & it'll hook up just fine.

99 F-250 crew -don't roll down the front driver's window. I'm looking for a replacement switch that will do both up & down.

68 Cougar -As a teenager my sister borrowed it. I thought that car was in perfect shape & needed no special instructions. But I should have told her that if the gauge hit E it meant it needed gas, & if she ran it out of gas to not keep running the a/c because that would drain the battery down too. And it doesn't cool down if the engine isn't running anyway. 😁 "But it was haaawwwt".


As for the real question of this thread, so far it's the low gear of the np435. But I'm looking forward to power steering. Plans include a 4x4x2 box & a saginaw pump. I swapped to a sag pump on my 90 & it turns 35s with ease. I want that for the 73.
 
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Johnnyb

Contributor
Sr. Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2001
Messages
439
Loc.
Flagstaff
I'm going to start with converting from column shift to floor shift (for a manual). I went with an NP435 because it's a monster of a transmission, but now I wish I had a five-speed to make it easier for my wife to drive on the street.

Power disc brakes are the next big improvement. I find the vacuum booster to be just fine, but I'd probably do hydro boost if I was doing it over again.

Replacing the tiny factory tank with a 23 gallon tank was also a huge improvement. Broncos don't get great gas mileage to begin with and with just 12 gallons in the main you'll be stopping every 100 miles for gas.

Any form of fuel injection is a huge improvement over a carburetor. Well worth the investment IMO. I went with a 95 Mustang system 15 years ago, but that's a one-off year and difficult for many reasons. I later converted to a 93 harness and manifold (which now cleared the hood due to a 2 inch body lift), but I'm now considering 96 explorer EFI due to parts availability and distributorless ignition. I wish I'd done the explorer system in the first place.

Along with all of the above, a 2-inch body lift makes it much easier to fit all that stuff, and get it tucked up tightly out of the way. A 23 gallon tank will hang way down if you don't have a 2 in body lift.

I also think a cage and high back seats are necessary for safety. Original seats are recipe for a broken neck if you get rear-ended.

I never had the privilege of driving an EB right off the dealer lot. Mine was well used when I got it in 1983, and was really hard to drive due to PO POS modifications at the time. Nonetheless, I feel each of the modifications I have made has improved drivability and safety both on road and off road.

My EB is presently down, getting regeared to 4:11, a new rear axle housing, ARB, painless harness, I did it tilt column and a few other things. I figure I'm about 40 hours away from hitting the road again. With my schedule I figure that means sometime this fall.

Happy modifications, you won't regret it!
-JB
 

Johnnyb

Contributor
Sr. Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2001
Messages
439
Loc.
Flagstaff
Oh yeah, I started with a canned ham power steering pump and it was always puking power steering fluid. I switched to Explorer front dress on the motor and I really appreciate the explorer pump, even though it is not probably as strong as the canned ham. Even the explorer reservoir clears the hood with the 2-inch body lift!
 
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