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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?

sprdv1

Contributor
REBEL
Joined
Mar 8, 2007
Messages
80,080
The improvement I enjoy-hood struts. Don’t have to work around the support rod.
Wish I would have-grafted a ‘77 gas door into the side quarter
I also really like my rear slider on the 1/2 cab

those things always seem to be a nice addition too
 

sprdv1

Contributor
REBEL
Joined
Mar 8, 2007
Messages
80,080
They have one function and that is to increase positive caster, which is part of the front end alignment settings.
You probably know, or have at least heard after reading threads here, that Broncos until later in '76 had very low caster numbers. Lower even than they were supposed to have in most cases. It's rare that someone here reports having good caster numbers, especially after a lift.
This was not an issue back in the '60's and '70's with stock height and small tires and manual steering (more positive caster makes it harder to steer) but once we started adding larger tires and suspension lifts, the caster went down even more, often into the negative range.
Usually makes them a bit squirrely on the road.

Basically then even a stock height Bronco can often benefit from some additional caster. One method is to add offset C-bushings to tilt the top of the axle back.
When taller springs are added without dropping the rear radius arm mounts about the same amount, the radius arm design causes the axle to travel in an arc, changing the caster angle.
This is all better for the street and makes no difference for off-roading other than a better handling rig also handles better off road. But rock-crawling and even mud-bogging or dune running does not really feel much in the way of caster changes. Unless you have manual steering still where you'll likely find it harder to steer.

Tilting the axle only. with C-bushings or whatever, makes the pinion/u-joint angle worse. Hence the fact that 7 degrees has long been the most offset you can get in a bushing.
Poly-urethane bushings also clamp the axle tighter, which could be seen as an improvement. The resistance to flex should in theory help with body roll in corners (think of the radius arms as torsion bars) but probably limit suspension travel to a small extent. Not sure if anyone in recent years has bothered to check this difference, but it seems like it would do this to me.

Stock rubber is the better insulator/isolator from vibration. Poly holds in place better, often (but not always) lasts longer, the colors often look cool, and help with caster.
So depends on which of those features is more important
well said
 

tampabronco

Sr. Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Messages
441
Best mods for me were the NV3550, Sniper EFI and the 23 gal fuel tank

Next upgrade will be more comfortable seats
 

bronco italiano

Bronco Guru
Joined
Feb 1, 2004
Messages
1,490
Best mods:
Ford SEFI
AOD
Painless wiring
Complete header/exhaust thermal barrier/ceramic coating.
2 colors of BCB soft top
Crab cage
Rollerblock motor
Hydroboost

Wished I had done originally:
LUBR
4r70w with lock up converter
 

B.ranch

Newbie
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
45
Power steering, 4 speed, gearing, lockers, new suspension, are definitely the best up grades for me. Disc brakes may be in the future but my bronco only sees maybe a few stop lights a year, only one stop sign from my house to woods.
 

Pa PITT

Contributor
Bronco Guru
Joined
Jul 15, 2005
Messages
11,168
Loc.
Stephenville
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
What did you do for the tilt wheel or column ... I've put 3 inmine & None have lasted . Now mine were all stock 78 truck or Bronco std shift columns .Converted over to my Bronco .
 

Pa PITT

Contributor
Bronco Guru
Joined
Jul 15, 2005
Messages
11,168
Loc.
Stephenville
The improvement I enjoy-hood struts. Don’t have to work around the support rod.
Wish I would have-grafted a ‘77 gas door into the side quarter
I also really like my rear slider on the 1/2 cab
Where did you get your rear slider rear window. Are you one of the guys that has built his own.
I HAVE TRIED TO FIND A REAR SLIDER . & i HAD INTENTIONS OF BUYING AN ALUMINUM WELDER . bUT THAT HASN'T HAPPENED YET.
 

Johnnyb

Contributor
Sr. Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2001
Messages
439
Loc.
Flagstaff
What did you do for the tilt wheel or column ... I've put 3 inmine & None have lasted . Now mine were all stock 78 truck or Bronco std shift columns .Converted over to my Bronco .
For years I kept the original column and just pulled the gear shift out. Now I got and I did it tilt column
 

Kbpony

Full Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
351
Where did you get your rear slider rear window. Are you one of the guys that has built his own.
I HAVE TRIED TO FIND A REAR SLIDER . & i HAD INTENTIONS OF BUYING AN ALUMINUM WELDER . bUT THAT HASN'T HAPPENED YET.
Went to the junkyard & found one a bit bigger with a similar crown in the top. Took it all apart, cut it down to size, had new glass cut to fit & tinted. Then put it all back together and glued it in place
 

Pa PITT

Contributor
Bronco Guru
Joined
Jul 15, 2005
Messages
11,168
Loc.
Stephenville
We've had a couple of post like this one. I like to read through & see what's no.1 in today's world ..
Many years ago for the 1st one of these kinds of post I read . I believe the NP435 WON that year. & I believe Power Steering was right there with the Np435.
... I'm not sure which one I liked best But i'm going to say My NP435 no.1
... Saginaw P/S & MY RATIO iS ABOUT 3 TO 1.
... & i'LL SAY DISK BRAKES 3RD .. As my Bronco had really good drum brakes . But I was in town one rainy day & Some Clown buzzed out in front of me I slammed onto my Brakes & Almost spun a circle in the middle of a 4 ways street.. That when my DISK SWAP STARTED.
... I BUILT A Custom over head metal gun rack. .REALLY SWEET. & I PUT IN AN OVER HEAD Light & 4 INCH SPEAKERS in each front corner .
& I'M PROUD of my center trans cover mount . I used a H/D oil case . card board.. I cut it out to the size I wanted then stuck it together with DUCK TAPE then I put Fiberglass resin & Matt on it & let it dry . Next day or 2 with it setting in the sun. I painted it inside & out with more Resin & Matt.
3 COATS .. Then I mounted it to the metal around the transmission hump.
More resin & Matt . & Then Spray painted it with Black spray paint & later covered it with Black Bed Liner ..& Black 3M undercoating spray . This helped cut out noise & Dust. & Then I got some BLACK HOUSEHOLD CARPET & STUCK IT FROM THE UNDER DASH ALL THE WAY BACK TO ALMOST UP TO the rear window on my Half cab. That carpet really helped with noise & Dust control. THIS WAS a Great improvement.
... 1987 Bronco II HIGH BACK SEATS . MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE than the stock BRONCO SEATS.
... I have an inch & a half lift.. Since I'm short I like just an inch lift.
.. I've got one of those $102.00 Aluminum rADIATORS FROM a mass Buy many years ago . Mine has been on 2 motors & it really cools my Diesel 4BT MOTOR GREAT.
... mY 4BT Does get much better Fuel Mileage than my old gasser. gas got about 4.5 mpg. My diesel gets from about 10 to 20 mpg BUT i'M NEVER ON THE HWY . But 10 or 12 makes a tank last over a month. & The 4BT NEVER GETS HOT ..& I don't even run a fan blade.only the serpentine belt .
... I've put in 5 different kinds of 6024H Headlamps & 2 different Upgrade headlight wiring kits .. None have worked . I've never had good lights on my BRONCO. so for the pasture I've added LED overheads & A light bar. With Relays I NOW HAVE GREAT HIGH BEAMS.
MY DEMS SUCK.. & I ALSO HAVE LED's back-ups.about 5 of them SO I can sure see at night .& SINCE I use my Bronco at night a lot ..THE led's are nice.
.... & I built a Gun Rack between my seats pointing the gun toward my back window.. & I added 2 more gun racks in the corner standing up & Barrel attaches to the dash in a clip I wrapped that clip with BLACK TAPE ... OUR Rifles are short enough for the Bronco . Since we're either hunting out of His Bronco or my Bronco.
... Biggest Battery I can find. Now any battery will crank this little 4BT but I like a big battery. & I'm not above putting a 2nd battery in the bed behind the half cab.
... I have 2 prong trailer plugs . TRUCK H/D . WELDING WIRE CABLES FROM MY BATTERY . TO THESE PLUGS one on the front bumper '' Big H/D Bumper '' front & I can Plug in 600 amp Jumper cables .. into the front or the rear of my Bronco .
Also 2 inch square receiver hitch on both front & rear Bumpers. I pulled a 12 x16 small camp house into place with the front 2 inch & the Diesel & low range of the 4X4..
... & I found a flow thru tail gate .. I have no idea of what it org fit . It was new when I got it. But It couldn't have fit much better .
I had to custom refit my gate latches . They work great.
.... OH & I sprayed the top of my metal half cab WITH 3M Spray Adhesive . & then I cut some of that Silver /Chrome sheet 1/2 inch insulation & Stuck it to roof in my Bronco . It has Stayed up & stuck in place for about 6 years now & AGAIN IT's QUIETER & COOLER.
.... My Tilt steering columns have sucked . But my stock column was no better. I used the stock Bronco or ford truck 1978 & 1979 tilt columns .
But the columns tilt breaks 1st time it get too much weight applied .& My Blinker never work properly .
.... & An Electric fan in front of my radiator just for those days When the weather is 100+ or 107. My diesel can get up to 210* & I can turn the fan on & iN 3 Minutes it'll be down to 180 or less.
.... In the back of my BRONCO or in the bed of my Half Cab whichever way you want to say it. I've mounted an Air compressor . It was a 20 gallon air tank 1st one had an electric motor & I had to plug it in at the house . & Then if I needed air in the field for maybe a tractor tire . or a grain drill tire & Could air one up . That 1st electric was used & I burned up & I mounted a gasoline motor in place of the ELECTRIC motor .. IT TOO was very used But it sure pumped up the air fast . It being used it leaked oil at the shaft ....1960's Vintage ..It lasted about a year . SO NOW i HAVE A HARBOR fREIGHT 110V ELECTRIC BACK IN IT FOR ANOTHER couple of years .. & I put one of those 25ft Roll Up Hose reels onto my head ake rack .. It's hooked to the compressor & I HAVE A FARM SERVICE TRUCK/BRONCO .
.... So more for the service truck .. I mounted some canvas tool pouches. In both corners behind my head & the passengers head . & Since the cab top is metal I found some very strong Magnets . I used those Magnet to help hold that insulation onto the top & my entire inside of the cab is lined with tools. & Those magnets are so strong nothing has ever fell off . SO I have a good set of tools with me at all times .
& I mounted 2 tool trays onto the inside rear fender .. Flat & I can carry other items I May need When in the pasture.
... & AT ONE TIme 10 years back I mounted a 3 legged TriPod deer stand in the bed of my BROCNO for that winter deer season. I cold drive my Bronco to the Deer Lease .. Pull into the PLACE IT HAD 3 CENTER PIVOTS FOR Irrigation .. Each center Pivot had a 2 trac road going to the center . & that road was grown Up with 8ft tall weeds . SO SINCE MY BRONCO is covered with a 3 M Plastic CamoClad Camo PATTERN MOSSY OAK SKIN .SO When I got to the center i'd get out & climbup into the back of the Bronco & then climb up into the TRIPOD FRAME WORK. tHIS SET UP REALL WORKED GREAT . As I sat in my stand I could see 360 degree around me in a harvested Peanut field or a new Wheat field . app 100ac.
I could count the circles that the wheel had made so I KNEW if MR PIG or Deer was 85 ft or 170ft or 255ft r 340. r 1020. Farm Built RANGE FINDER

.... & I'm sure I've done a few more Upgrades to my Bronco .. But I can't think of them at this time . But I'll remember a few more & add them in due time .
 
Last edited:

bronkenn

Contributor
Bronco Guru
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Messages
2,433
Loc.
Southeast Ohio
We've had a couple of post like this one. I like to read through & see what's no.1 in today's world ..
Many years ago for the 1st one of these kinds of post I read . I believe the NP435 WON that year. & I believe Power Steering was right there with the Np435.
... I'm not sure which one I liked best But i'm going to say My NP435 no.1
... Saginaw P/S & MY RATIO iS ABOUT 3 TO 1.
... & i'LL SAY DISK BRAKES 3RD .. As my Bronco had really good drum brakes . But I was in town one rainy day & Some Clown buzzed out in front of me I slammed onto my Brakes & Almost spun a circle in the middle of a 4 ways street.. That when my DISK SWAP STARTED.
... I BUILT A Custom over head metal gun rack. .REALLY SWEET. & I PUT IN AN OVER HEAD Light & 4 INCH SPEAKERS in each front corner .
& I'M PROUD of my center trans cover mount . I used a H/D oil case . card board.. I cut it out to the size I wanted then stuck it together with DUCK TAPE then I put Fiberglass resin & Matt on it & let it dry . Next day or 2 with it setting in the sun. I painted it inside & out with more Resin & Matt.
3 COATS .. Then I mounted it to the metal around the transmission hump.
More resin & Matt . & Then Spray painted it with Black spray paint & later covered it with Black Bed Liner ..& Black 3M undercoating spray . This helped cut out noise & Dust. & Then I got some BLACK HOUSEHOLD CARPET & STUCK IT FROM THE UNDER DASH ALL THE WAY BACK TO ALMOST UP TO the rear window on my Half cab. That carpet really helped with noise & Dust control. THIS WAS a Great improvement.
... 1987 Bronco II HIGH BACK SEATS . MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE than the stock BRONCO SEATS.
... I have an inch & a half lift.. Since I'm short I like just an inch lift.
.. I've got one of those $102.00 Aluminum rADIATORS FROM a mass Buy many years ago . Mine has been on 2 motors & it really cools my Diesel 4BT MOTOR GREAT.
... mY 4BT Does get much better Fuel Mileage than my old gasser. gas got about 4.5 mpg. My diesel gets from about 10 to 20 mpg BUT i'M NEVER ON THE HWY . But 10 or 12 makes a tank last over a month. & The 4BT NEVER GETS HOT ..& I don't even run a fan blade.only the serpentine belt .
... I've put in 5 different kinds of 6024H Headlamps & 2 different Upgrade headlight wiring kits .. None have worked . I've never had good lights on my BRONCO. so for the pasture I've added LED overheads & A light bar. With Relays I NOW HAVE GREAT HIGH BEAMS.
MY DEMS SUCK.. & I ALSO HAVE LED's back-ups.about 5 of them SO I can sure see at night .& SINCE I use my Bronco at night a lot ..THE led's are nice.
.... & I built a Gun Rack between my seats pointing the gun toward my back window.. & I added 2 more gun racks in the corner standing up & Barrel attaches to the dash in a clip I wrapped that clip with BLACK TAPE ... OUR Rifles are short enough for the Bronco . Since we're either hunting out of His Bronco or my Bronco.
... Biggest Battery I can find. Now any battery will crank this little 4BT but I like a big battery. & I'm not above putting a 2nd battery in the bed behind the half cab.
... I have 2 prong trailer plugs . TRUCK H/D . WELDING WIRE CABLES FROM MY BATTERY . TO THESE PLUGS one on the front bumper '' Big H/D Bumper '' front & I can Plug in 600 amp Jumper cables .. into the front or the rear of my Bronco .
Also 2 inch square receiver hitch on both front & rear Bumpers. I pulled a 12 x16 small camp house into place with the front 2 inch & the Diesel & low range of the 4X4..
... & I found a flow thru tail gate .. I have no idea of what it org fit . It was new when I got it. But It couldn't have fit much better .
I had to custom refit my gate latches . They work great.
.... OH & I sprayed the top of my metal half cab WITH 3M Spray Adhesive . & then I cut some of that Silver /Chrome sheet 1/2 inch insulation & Stuck it to roof in my Bronco . It has Stayed up & stuck in place for about 6 years now & AGAIN IT's QUIETER & COOLER.
.... My Tilt steering columns have sucked . But my stock column was no better. I used the stock Bronco or ford truck 1978 & 1979 tilt columns .
But the columns tilt breaks 1st time it get too much weight applied .& My Blinker never work properly .
.... & An Electric fan in front of my radiator just for those days When the weather is 100+ or 107. My diesel can get up to 210* & I can turn the fan on & iN 3 Minutes it'll be down to 180 or less.
.... In the back of my BRONCO or in the bed of my Half Cab whichever way you want to say it. I've mounted an Air compressor . It was a 20 gallon air tank 1st one had an electric motor & I had to plug it in at the house . & Then if I needed air in the field for maybe a tractor tire . or a grain drill tire & Could air one up . That 1st electric was used & I burned up & I mounted a gasoline motor in place of the ELECTRIC motor .. IT TOO was very used But it sure pumped up the air fast . It being used it leaked oil at the shaft ....1960's Vintage ..It lasted about a year . SO NOW i HAVE A HARBOR fREIGHT 110V ELECTRIC BACK IN IT FOR ANOTHER couple of years .. & I put one of those 25ft Roll Up Hose reels onto my head ake rack .. It's hooked to the compressor & I HAVE A FARM SERVICE TRUCK/BRONCO .
.... So more for the service truck .. I mounted some canvas tool pouches. In both corners behind my head & the passengers head . & Since the cab top is metal I found some very strong Magnets . I used those Magnet to help hold that insulation onto the top & my entire inside of the cab is lined with tools. & Those magnets are so strong nothing has ever fell off . SO I have a good set of tools with me at all times .
& I mounted 2 tool trays onto the inside rear fender .. Flat & I can carry other items I May need When in the pasture.
... & AT ONE TIme 10 years back I mounted a 3 legged TriPod deer stand in the bed of my BROCNO for that winter deer season. I cold drive my Bronco to the Deer Lease .. Pull into the PLACE IT HAD 3 CENTER PIVOTS FOR Irrigation .. Each center Pivot had a 2 trac road going to the center . & that road was grown Up with 8ft tall weeds . SO SINCE MY BRONCO is covered with a 3 M Plastic CamoClad Camo PATTERN MOSSY OAK SKIN .SO When I got to the center i'd get out & climbup into the back of the Bronco & then climb up into the TRIPOD FRAME WORK. tHIS SET UP REALL WORKED GREAT . As I sat in my stand I could see 360 degree around me in a harvested Peanut field or a new Wheat field . app 100ac.
I could count the circles that the wheel had made so I KNEW if MR PIG or Deer was 85 ft or 170ft or 255ft r 340. r 1020. Farm Built RANGE FINDER

.... & I'm sure I've done a few more Upgrades to my Bronco .. But I can't think of them at this time . But I'll remember a few more & add them in due time .
Do you still call it a Bronco?:)
 

N747JB

Sr. Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
526
If you shop at the big and tall store, there is a guy on here that makes a different seat mount that gives you an inch or two more legroom.
 
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