Any advice for reviving 78 Bronco Ranger XLT

jimko

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I am helping my daughter with her newly acquired (for free!) '78 Bronco. Odometer shows 3k miles (103k likely and hopefully). Don't know if its a 351 or a 400. It has sat for 8 years due to not passing smog. At this point we are just going to try and get it to turn over but before doing that I was advised to squirt ATF in the cylinders before rotating the crank to help loosen the rings. The oil looks clean and full on the dipstick, the coolant is full and not dirty, and the trans fluid is a nice reddish color. I am not sure whether it would be better to go to a 4 barrel carb and intake if that will jeopardize passing smog, the old 2 barrel was rusty corroded junk so thinking of 2 barrel replacement for starters and upgrade later. Also there was a rats nest on top of the motor so the ignition wires are chewed up. Starting with new plug wires, the plugs all looked ok with some black carbon so I just cleaned, re-gapped, and re-installed them.
So that's where things are at the moment, I would appreciate any advice before we try and get things rotating.

Thanks in advance!
 

miesk5

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Yo jimko,
Welcome!
We had a great 78 Bronco bonding project too!!
The 351M and almost all 400's have the large bell housing pattern like the 429/460. The only 100% positive way to tell if you have a 351M or 400 is to drop the oil pan and check the casting numbers on the crank. They should be on the side of the first counterweight. A 400 crank will have 5M, 5MA or 5MAB casting code. Read more @ https://www.fordification.com/tech/... 351M and almost all,5MA or 5MAB casting code.


Here is some 78 Bronco info for you:

1978 Bronco Dealer Brochure via member Indybronco

MANY 78 Parts Break-Out Diagrams by member Indybronco (Lula Mae) @ pictures, videos, and sounds | SuperMotors.net

1978 Bronco Emission Component Location Diagrams via 78brncoxlt

1978 Ford Bronco & Truck Wiring Diagrams by Ford via member BroncMom @ Demo78 wiring diagram.pdf

1979 Bronco/F Series Electrical & Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual via member Ziggy; similar to 78.

1979 Wiring Schematics, Connector Pin-outs, etc by member Ranger429 @ 79 wiring schematics
Similar to 78

See Bubba's M-Block Ford V8 Workshop by Dave Resch @ Bubba's M-Block Ford V8 Workshop. 8
includes 2150

78 351M/400 Engine Exhaust Emission Control Information Decal & Timing by member grovermyson @ Timing - Do I need to do anything ?

Partial Chilton Manual for 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981 Bronco. Scanned by broncocity.com @ Bronco City

Ford Shop Manual Diagrams: 1978-1979 Full Size Shop Manuals, partial @ Technical Diagrams Archives
My Tablet takes too long to download, so try the first in this list as long as you have Adobe Acrobat 9 installed. Let me know if the downloads are worth the effort.
Includes:
Wiring Manuals & Diagrams Download PDF
This complete manual for the 1972-1979 Ford Bronco Includes Rear Lights Diagram
Motor Manuals & Diagrams Download PDF
This complete manual for the 1972-1979 Ford Bronco Includes Air Cleaner Diagram
Chassis Manuals & Diagrams Download PDF
This complete manual for the 1972-1979 Ford Bronco Includes '78 Brakes Diagram, Gas Tank Setup Diagram
Body Manuals & Diagrams Download PDF This complete manual for the 1972-1979 Ford Bronco Includes; Upper Body Diagram, Front Clip Diagram, heater Ducts Diagram, Tailgate Diagram, Console Diagram, Front Clip Diagram, Grill Setup Diagram, Heater Controls Diagram, Interior Trip Diagram, Rear Sheetmetal Diagram, Tilt wheel Diagram, Tire Rack.

Al
 

jimko

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Yo jimko,
Welcome!
We had a great 78 Bronco bonding project too!!
The 351M and almost all 400's have the large bell housing pattern like the 429/460. The only 100% positive way to tell if you have a 351M or 400 is to drop the oil pan and check the casting numbers on the crank. They should be on the side of the first counterweight. A 400 crank will have 5M, 5MA or 5MAB casting code. Read more @ https://www.fordification.com/tech/engineID-V8.htm#:~:text=The 351M and almost all,5MA or 5MAB casting code.


Here is some 78 Bronco info for you:

1978 Bronco Dealer Brochure via member Indybronco

MANY 78 Parts Break-Out Diagrams by member Indybronco (Lula Mae) @ pictures, videos, and sounds | SuperMotors.net

1978 Bronco Emission Component Location Diagrams via 78brncoxlt

1978 Ford Bronco & Truck Wiring Diagrams by Ford via member BroncMom @ Demo78 wiring diagram.pdf

1979 Bronco/F Series Electrical & Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual via member Ziggy; similar to 78.

1979 Wiring Schematics, Connector Pin-outs, etc by member Ranger429 @ 79 wiring schematics
Similar to 78

See Bubba's M-Block Ford V8 Workshop by Dave Resch @ Bubba's M-Block Ford V8 Workshop. 8
includes 2150

78 351M/400 Engine Exhaust Emission Control Information Decal & Timing by member grovermyson @ Timing - Do I need to do anything ?

Partial Chilton Manual for 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981 Bronco. Scanned by broncocity.com @ Bronco City

Ford Shop Manual Diagrams: 1978-1979 Full Size Shop Manuals, partial @ Technical Diagrams Archives
My Tablet takes too long to download, so try the first in this list as long as you have Adobe Acrobat 9 installed. Let me know if the downloads are worth the effort.
Includes:
Wiring Manuals & Diagrams Download PDF
This complete manual for the 1972-1979 Ford Bronco Includes Rear Lights Diagram
Motor Manuals & Diagrams Download PDF
This complete manual for the 1972-1979 Ford Bronco Includes Air Cleaner Diagram
Chassis Manuals & Diagrams Download PDF
This complete manual for the 1972-1979 Ford Bronco Includes '78 Brakes Diagram, Gas Tank Setup Diagram
Body Manuals & Diagrams Download PDF This complete manual for the 1972-1979 Ford Bronco Includes; Upper Body Diagram, Front Clip Diagram, heater Ducts Diagram, Tailgate Diagram, Console Diagram, Front Clip Diagram, Grill Setup Diagram, Heater Controls Diagram, Interior Trip Diagram, Rear Sheetmetal Diagram, Tilt wheel Diagram, Tire Rack.

Al
That's very helpful and I appreciate the reply! As it is my daughter's I am just passing the info along. She wants to create her own vision.
 

jimko

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Thanks and much appreciated! The way I see it I want to help her but allow her to make her own choices (within reason). If she wants to bang on rocks then I might advise her that she should get a Jeep!
 

johnnyreb

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The shocks on the front. Pay attention to them. One is longer on one side then the other. I have 2-78 that I have been fighting with for along -long time. Its like a love hate understanding.hahaha They ride good,but ******* gas. I think because they only came out with 2 different gear ratios and they are low. If you go to rebuild the motor or replace the timing chain. Go with the straight up and down one. Where the two dots alighn. up. The factory has a before and it can also cause it to be ******* gas and not have as much power. Good luck.
 

johnnyreb

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Another thing you might want to have checked before firing up the motor .Is the fuel pressure on the fuel pump. Manual pump is suppose to have between 4.5--5.6. Anything over could cause the carbeurator to leak and cause a fire. I found out the hard way.
 

NotaVegetarian

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Flush the radiator and block if it has sat for years all the sediment has collected in the bottom of the radiator and in the lower Water jacket.
 

johnnyreb

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Behind the front tires. You will see a bulg come out about 4 inches. The bottom drain on it is small and will clog up and fill up with leaves and dirt. Afte it fills up.During heavy rain.It will come through the vent and cause the floor to rot out. My cure for it was . I cut a nice hole in the bottom of the bulge . Now when leaves fill in front of the wiper section and it rains.It does not over flow into my floor. You can take a 5 gallon bucket of water and dump it into with wiper are and nothing stays in it and nothing gets in my floor. Another area to look for leaks into the floor .Is around the windshield. I have read they will leak and cause the metal rust out behind the windshield. I,ll find out later.
 

Carnutt73

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If the engine still has the decal on the valve cover this might help.
You must be registered for see images attach
The 400 will have a code of 619 so it would be something like UL619AA as an example. But as miesk5 said the only way that's a for sure method is to drop the oil pan and check casting numbers.
 
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johnnyreb

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Check the rain drip rail. The chaulking will dry out and case it to leak behind the door frame and damage the passenger doorleg and behind the door jam on the driverside and overhead the door on the drivers side.
 

johnnyreb

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I am helping my daughter with her newly acquired (for free!) '78 Bronco. Odometer shows 3k miles (103k likely and hopefully). Don't know if its a 351 or a 400. It has sat for 8 years due to not passing smog. At this point we are just going to try and get it to turn over but before doing that I was advised to squirt ATF in the cylinders before rotating the crank to help loosen the rings. The oil looks clean and full on the dipstick, the coolant is full and not dirty, and the trans fluid is a nice reddish color. I am not sure whether it would be better to go to a 4 barrel carb and intake if that will jeopardize passing smog, the old 2 barrel was rusty corroded junk so thinking of 2 barrel replacement for starters and upgrade later. Also there was a rats nest on top of the motor so the ignition wires are chewed up. Starting with new plug wires, the plugs all looked ok with some black carbon so I just cleaned, re-gapped, and re-installed them.
So that's where things are at the moment, I would appreciate any advice before we try and get things rotating.

Thanks in advance!
Take the valve covers off and put some transmission fluid on all the moving pauts. Then if and thing is stuck. It will help loosen up everything. Un hook the fuel pump from the tank and get a jug or can of good clean gas. If its been sitting a littel while. The gas will start gumming up and IF you can get 100% gasoline--Get it. That ETHANOL GAS ---will mess up and eat up parts--including the gas sending arm that holds the float. It done mine.Stay away from ethanol gas if you can. Pour a little in a pop bottle and let it set for 2 weeks--then look at the tar stuff in the bottom of the bottle.
 

jimko

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Appreciate the comments!
I'll pull the valve covers and see if there is gunk or sludge build up. The oil pan was pretty clean with no sludge so after looking for stamping on crank I put on a new gasket and painted before re-installing. Crank turns no problem. I'll also remove the AC compressor and pull the fuel pump. I think the starter is bad so will have it checked out.

Also I need to fix a rust spot on the top of the side rail but otherwise she is pretty solid! I'm just doing some small stuff till we can work on it together when she comes up.
 

jimko

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It will be a while till the motor is up and running, I'm just doing some cosmetic and diagnostic on it right now. I just cleaned out the rats nest remnants and will flush the radiator. Oil recommendations? Gas tank and sending unit are new but the rest of the fuel system needs cleaning and rubber lines replaced.
 

johnnyreb

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It will be a while till the motor is up and running, I'm just doing some cosmetic and diagnostic on it right now. I just cleaned out the rats nest remnants and will flush the radiator. Oil recommendations? Gas tank and sending unit are new but the rest of the fuel system needs cleaning and rubber lines replaced.
Is it a automatic or standard shift?
 

OX1

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You won't pass smog in Cali with 4bbl, unless you are exempt somehow. Used to be able to get an edebrock
4 bbl EGR intake with 2 bbl adapter, which was smog approved. You could then get a 500 CFM 2 bbl, might pass if they
don't look at carb too close, at least it is still a 2bbl.

 
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johnnyreb

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It will be a while till the motor is up and running, I'm just doing some cosmetic and diagnostic on it right now. I just cleaned out the rats nest remnants and will flush the radiator. Oil recommendations? Gas tank and sending unit are new but the rest of the fuel system needs cleaning and rubber lines replaced.
Tyr NOT to use ethanol gas. It will eat the float arm up and other parts,. Plus if it sits for a week or two. It looks like tar in the bottom. Put some in a pop bottle and you see. Its useless and harmful on any engine.
 

jimko

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I don't know the current fuel formula in Ca but right now fuel isn't part of the plan. I'm just prepping the engine as far as oil and coolant goes, then electrical, then gas. New fuel lines are likely as all the rest of the fuel system as been purged. Taking it step by step. I'm glad that what I have seen so far looks positive. Soaking internal oily parts and cleaning gunk off the exterior.
 

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