86' Chop top ground-up rebuild ideas/advice/help

untilvalhalla

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Hello! New owner of an 86' Bronco II with a 2.9L V6.
Heres the deal, my friends and I can only come up with so many ideas about how and what we are going to do to this Bronco II to make it the sweetest ride on the planet.
As of now, the top is chopped off and we've removed all the panelling from the interior as well as the seats.
There are 3 of us working on the vehicle as we speak and one of the crew is a very skilled an intelligent mechanic and fabricator so we have access to all the tools and equipment of a full shop from engine work all the way to fabrication.
I want to know/see any ideas ya'll have for what you would do to it if it was yours.
I'll post weekly updates with the progress as we work as well as a summary of the ideas we've brainstormed with sketches/visual aids and any trial and error information we come across.
All suggestions and recommendations will be discussed amongst our working-crew and debated over so nothing is outside the realm of reality with this build. 
Money isn't too much of a problem but more expensive modifications will take more time to save for.

As I am not very mechanically inclined and am quite stubborn, I would appreciate greatly step by step instruction with suggestions and would love to communicate with contributors off line via phone/email for more help if necessary so that I can learn as much as possible with this build and become better capable of working on this vehicle myself.

Please, spam this thread with any and all suggestions of what Bronco II experiences/ideas ya'll have.
Thanks!

    -Luke
 

IMG_2397.JPG

 

Bully Bob

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Hi Luke.., welcome..! 

Sounds like a fun project.  What you left out is what you intend to do with this rig.  Is it going to be a "down-n-dirty"

trail rig -OR- a "hangar queen" ..?  :huh:    (makes a big difference)

Do fill-in your updatable info/profile pages as it will definitely help you get quality help here as you go along.

(see mine below & left.)

 

Rons beast

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Hey Luke,  welcome.

You said you wanted to make "...the sweetest ride on the planet."  That is all a matter of opinion and taste.  As for me I would want the most unique Bronc. So here is my idea:

A lowered road burner.    I'm not much into off road or rock climbing, as these are more suited for.  I prefer cars that can handle and are quick. Not necessarily 1/4 mile fast but quick acceleration.   

It would no longer be a truck (so to speak) but a sports car with a truck (Bronco) body.

Here are some of the mod I would do:

2wd only with Ford 9" in the back

Small block  (non stroker motor)  302 or 351

6 speed close ratio trans

Get it light...light as possible  and lowered  Think Mustang on a bronco frame

get the weight balance as close to 50/50 as possible moving the battery, washer reservoir, expansion tank and any other system that can be moved to the back ( but not behind the rear axel.)

Finish it off with unique paint, ( matte black has been done to death)  Maybe something in a Lamborghini color.

NOW you have something unique for any car or truck show.

Just my ideas....but you asked.

Good Luck

 
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untilvalhalla

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Clarifications for the intended direction:

I live in Northern Idaho/Eastern Washington so it's less pavement more dirt that i'm looking to be driving on.
It's going to be made into a truck that doesn't have limitations in the type of terrain it can handle.

A mixture of Mud Truck, without going full blown frankensteined rock crawler.
As of now, we've chopped the top off of it, and completely finished welding/fabricating the cab into it's finished product (No roll bar yet).
In about 2-3 weeks we're going to drop a 302 in it w/ a new transmission.
Outside of that, I'm trying to stick to pulling parts from donor cars instead of just throwing endless amounts of cash at it buying all new things.
From cosmetic modification to suspension and engine work, I figured i'd approach the collective of this forum first before I don't sleep for the next 2 months going through endless forums looking for 1 or 2 useful suggestions.
 

Hope this cleared things up a bit!

 

Bully Bob

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Stronger front/rear axles may be in order.  And, some suspension upgrades.

"....going through endless forums looking for 1 or 2 useful suggestions." 

Hmmmm.., doesn't sound like you have much faith in these forums... :eek: /emoticons/[email protected] 2x" width="20" height="20" />  B)   >:D< <'>

 
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untilvalhalla

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Stronger front/rear axles may be in order.  And, some suspension upgrades.

"....going through endless forums looking for 1 or 2 useful suggestions." 

Hmmmm.., doesn't sound like you have much faith in these forums... :eek: /emoticons/[email protected] 2x" width="20" height="20" />  B)   > :D /emoticons/[email protected] 2x" width="20" height="20" /><
I have faith in the forums its just... I am in no way a car guy at all, until I moved in with a couple of them and now they've finally brainwashed me into learning. They've already got me addicted to learning about all this new stuff via forums and it's killing me. A lot of them are old posts, or there wasn't much followup with what work was done after the discussion so it's a lot of talk about the ideas. I'll keep grinding away at it though. if you know any other members on here that could help me, send them my way! I could use the assistance. 

Thanks though,

for the axles what would type of vehicle would I look to strip them off of to make the swap?

 

untilvalhalla

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I would go with a Ford 9" large bearing in the rear & a D-44 in the front. Strong units & easy to modify. Dozens of options.

Both may need the tubes shortened to fit under the B2.
Alright, right on. Well how much would I be looking to shorten them? is it do-able to keep them the length they are? I'd kind of like to give the bronco a little more stance and widen it out a bit so its not so prone to rolling over.

As for mounting the 302, im getting mixed reviews on it being a "bolt-in swap".

Do I need to purchase new mounts to install the engine or can I use ones off the donor vehicle? Most of the sites i've come across say I'm supposed to but they also conveniently sell their own mounts at the bottom of the page so I don't know how much to believe from it.

 

Bully Bob

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"As for mounting the 302, im getting mixed reviews on it being a "bolt-in swap"." 

Naw.., I would think there would be mods from the radiator back to the transfer case//&crossmember.

(being you have a V6 now)  A bigger/heavier eng. would req. a stronger drive-train & suspension, more cooling, etc.

"is it do-able to keep them the length they are?"   

Possibly, if you get some from an EB ('66-'77) 

ALSO.., Curie Enterprises builds axles to order.

 
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untilvalhalla

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Figured I'd post an update with how it looks so far. Haven't started or done the engine swap yet but this is its transformation as far as aesthetics goes. Not done with it but we're pretty close to being done with this little part

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