New Member looking for Advice on 79 Bronco

Melmac39

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Hi everyone, I live in PA and am the proud owner of a totally stock 1979 Bronco. I actually purchased it recently and it’s been very well taken care of. Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed a few things that I’m sure all of you would be able to provide advice on.
First question- what would you all recommend I do to the 351M to “pep” it up a bit? It seems like I’m stepping on a sponge as I climb any hill. Do to this truck literally being completely stock, I wanted to keep the original engine and just maybe add an intake for a 4 barrel, timing belt, cam, headers. Since I’m already tearing the top off, are there any other suggestions or advice you would be willing to provide?
2- one of the COOLEST aspects of these machines is the top able to be removed. Since the Gen II we’re only 78-79 it seems that a soft top kit is rather difficult to find. Does anyone have any suggestions on a manufacture of after market softtops for the 78-79? They’re are literally dozens of sites for each and every other year but I’ve been striking out on my years.
Finally- I love old cars and I love the camaraderie that comes from talking to folks who know way more than me about any subject. I’m a very curious person and anytime I can get someone’s ear, I’m listening. So I am really looking forward to being a member here and learning from all of you. Thank you very much
 

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miesk5

96 Bronco 5.0
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Yo Melmac39,
Welcome to our Bronco site with your outstanding 79!

See M-Block 351M/400 Performance in Bubba's M-Block Ford V8 Workshop by Dave Resch

Softopper® SUV Soft Top for Ford Bronco
$979.00 - $1,039.00
@ https://softopper.com/products/categories/suv-tops/?make=ford
Handmade in Colorado for your Generation 2 Ford Bronco (1978-1979), the Softopper is legendary for its no-compromise practicality,...
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110 reviews
Softopper Corporate Office
4750 Nautilus Court South, Unit B
Boulder, CO 80301
1-800-810-7227

Camper Frame Fabrication & Installation w/STC (Specialty Top Company) Top in a 79 by Ranger429 @ https://www.fullsizebronco.com/threads/hard-top-to-soft-top-conversion-pics.130758/
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°
See some Tonneau pics made by a local boat shop in a 78 by eastla78bronco (tcover) @ https://www.supermotors.net/registry/20707/70299-2
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One pic for example.


Here's the 1979 Bronco/F Series Electrical & Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual by Ford via Ziggy @
1979 Ford Bronco Wiring Manual pictures, videos, and sounds | SuperMotors.net
It shows Electrical component location, operation, troubleshooting, with wiring and vacuum diagrams.

1979 Ford Bronco Wiring Schematics, Connector Pin-outs, etc by Ranger429 @ 79 wiring schematics

1979 Bronco Brochure @ https://www.xr793.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/1979-Ford-Bronco.pdf via Dezo's Garage
O
1979 Ford Bronco vs. Blazer Article by Ford via Indybronco @ 1978 Ford Bronco Bronco vs. Blazer (79) pictures, videos, and sounds | SuperMotors.net

Ford Shop Manual Diagrams: 1978-1979 Full Size Shop Manuals, partial @ Technical Diagrams Archives
My Tablet takes hours to download, so try the first in this list as long as you have Adobe Acrobat 9 or later installed.
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, Tiltwheel Diagram, Tire Rack
Let me know if the downloads are worth the effort.

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

Melmac39

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Miesk5, thank you for the warm welcome! The information you provided and forum threads will be very helpful. As I said in my introduction, I love old vehicles and am always wanting to learn from those in the know. The soft top info is really fantastic as well. My goal with this bronco is to keep it as original as possible. The man I bought it from is the original owner and literally did no customization to it. I feel i need to keep the spirit of that care all these years moving forward. Therefore, upgrading the 351M is something im really curious about for options. Thank you again, as I look forward to learning all I can from everyone here. Cheers!!
 

miesk5

96 Bronco 5.0
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Miesk5, thank you for the warm welcome! The information you provided and forum threads will be very helpful. As I said in my introduction, I love old vehicles and am always wanting to learn from those in the know. The soft top info is really fantastic as well. My goal with this bronco is to keep it as original as possible. The man I bought it from is the original owner and literally did no customization to it. I feel i need to keep the spirit of that care all these years moving forward. Therefore, upgrading the 351M is something im really curious about for options. Thank you again, as I look forward to learning all I can from everyone here. Cheers!!
Yo,
YW!
Enjoy your Bronco for many years to come.
 

7879Bronc

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i rebuilt my motor way back. A month or two afterwards I added a MSD ignition system. The MSD made 3x as much noticeable difference than the rebuild. So, add a MSD system!!!
 

Melmac39

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Thanks for all the information. The more I drive it and realize regardless of what i do to it, it wasn’t ever meant to win races. So my goal is to build it so the 351M stays in it and I have enough power to pull a steep hill at 55 with power to spare. Right now, as you all surely know, a 3/4 mile semi steep incline peters out the stock 351 quickly and you quickly become the slow guy in front of someone. Based on the research I’ve done so far, prior to the MSD ignition info, I was leaning towards:
1. Switching to a new intake the bolts up a 4barrel carb
2. New cam, lifters
3. New timing system
4. Headers.

what are your thoughts on what I’m thinking?
 

OX1

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If you can find a used 400, it looks identical and the extra 50 cubes with a 4bbl is a very nice upgrade.
I have a stock 400, 4bbl, towing cam, timing chain, and completely stock exh. No issue towing 6000lb-ish boat
and that is with 35's (AT's, so not true 35" dia). I did do 4.10's to put overall ratio back to stock.

I also might be biased, but I think the paint colors/scheme you have is the best of all FSB's. :D

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Melmac39

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That’s a sharp lookin bronco OX1. I love the paint scheme. Growing up my neighbor always had a sharp F150 and he had a similar acumen on one of his. Always loved the blue. Thanks for all your advice guys
I’m having a **** of a time finding an intake and carb combo. Edelbrok has their power kits but they’re not available until end of November. Holley has some but all for the 351W. So I think I just need to wait it out and consider it a winter project. That’s fine though, I get cabin fever early up here in NWPA and it’ll keep me occupied
 

OX1

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That’s a sharp lookin bronco OX1. I love the paint scheme. Growing up my neighbor always had a sharp F150 and he had a similar acumen on one of his. Always loved the blue. Thanks for all your advice guys
I’m having a **** of a time finding an intake and carb combo. Edelbrok has their power kits but they’re not available until end of November. Holley has some but all for the 351W. So I think I just need to wait it out and consider it a winter project. That’s fine though, I get cabin fever early up here in NWPA and it’ll keep me occupied

Thanks!! Sent you a return PM just now about my lift/tire setup.
 

johnnyreb

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Hi everyone, I live in PA and am the proud owner of a totally stock 1979 Bronco. I actually purchased it recently and it’s been very well taken care of. Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed a few things that I’m sure all of you would be able to provide advice on.
First question- what would you all recommend I do to the 351M to “pep” it up a bit? It seems like I’m stepping on a sponge as I climb any hill. Do to this truck literally being completely stock, I wanted to keep the original engine and just maybe add an intake for a 4 barrel, timing belt, cam, headers. Since I’m already tearing the top off, are there any other suggestions or advice you would be willing to provide?
2- one of the COOLEST aspects of these machines is the top able to be removed. Since the Gen II we’re only 78-79 it seems that a soft top kit is rather difficult to find. Does anyone have any suggestions on a manufacture of after market softtops for the 78-79? They’re are literally dozens of sites for each and every other year but I’ve been striking out on my years.
Finally- I love old cars and I love the camaraderie that comes from talking to folks who know way more than me about any subject. I’m a very curious person and anytime I can get someone’s ear, I’m listening. So I am really looking forward to being a member here and learning from all of you. Thank you very much
Welcome to the club. You,ll find alot of people will to help you hear Good looking bronco you have..
 

johnnyreb

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You might want to focus on some things to prevent problems in the future and save yourself time and money. Like rusted out floors and where the rain comes in that causes it. Good luck. Lift the carpet or rubber mat up on the front. Check under the carpet around and below the dimmer switch and on the other side below the vent area on both sides. The rain (especially during down pours) if the small drain holes are stopped up. Rain will come in. The drain holes can be opened up and solve that problem. I have pictures to show how I solved it on hear.
 
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johnnyreb

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Thanks for all the information. The more I drive it and realize regardless of what i do to it, it wasn’t ever meant to win races. So my goal is to build it so the 351M stays in it and I have enough power to pull a steep hill at 55 with power to spare. Right now, as you all surely know, a 3/4 mile semi steep incline peters out the stock 351 quickly and you quickly become the slow guy in front of someone. Based on the research I’ve done so far, prior to the MSD ignition info, I was leaning towards:
1. Switching to a new intake the bolts up a 4barrel carb
2. New cam, lifters
3. New timing system
4. Headers.

what are your thoughts on what I’m thinking?
Well also consider the weight of the bronco too. They were made to race . Like alot of cars. They have a really nice confortable ride too.
 

johnnyreb

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Miesk5, thank you for the warm welcome! The information you provided and forum threads will be very helpful. As I said in my introduction, I love old vehicles and am always wanting to learn from those in the know. The soft top info is really fantastic as well. My goal with this bronco is to keep it as original as possible. The man I bought it from is the original owner and literally did no customization to it. I feel i need to keep the spirit of that care all these years moving forward. Therefore, upgrading the 351M is something im really curious about for options. Thank you again, as I look forward to learning all I can from everyone here. Cheers!!
You can change the timing gears. It would help power and mileage a good bit.
 

johnnyreb

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Hi everyone, I live in PA and am the proud owner of a totally stock 1979 Bronco. I actually purchased it recently and it’s been very well taken care of. Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed a few things that I’m sure all of you would be able to provide advice on.
First question- what would you all recommend I do to the 351M to “pep” it up a bit? It seems like I’m stepping on a sponge as I climb any hill. Do to this truck literally being completely stock, I wanted to keep the original engine and just maybe add an intake for a 4 barrel, timing belt, cam, headers. Since I’m already tearing the top off, are there any other suggestions or advice you would be willing to provide?
2- one of the COOLEST aspects of these machines is the top able to be removed. Since the Gen II we’re only 78-79 it seems that a soft top kit is rather difficult to find. Does anyone have any suggestions on a manufacture of after market softtops for the 78-79? They’re are literally dozens of sites for each and every other year but I’ve been striking out on my years.
Finally- I love old cars and I love the camaraderie that comes from talking to folks who know way more than me about any subject. I’m a very curious person and anytime I can get someone’s ear, I’m listening. So I am really looking forward to being a member here and learning from all of you. Thank you very much
You have a very sharp looking bronco their.
 

wobbly-pop

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nw tennessee
Hi everyone, I live in PA and am the proud owner of a totally stock 1979 Bronco. I actually purchased it recently and it’s been very well taken care of. Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed a few things that I’m sure all of you would be able to provide advice on.
First question- what would you all recommend I do to the 351M to “pep” it up a bit? It seems like I’m stepping on a sponge as I climb any hill. Do to this truck literally being completely stock, I wanted to keep the original engine and just maybe add an intake for a 4 barrel, timing belt, cam, headers. Since I’m already tearing the top off, are there any other suggestions or advice you would be willing to provide?
2- one of the COOLEST aspects of these machines is the top able to be removed. Since the Gen II we’re only 78-79 it seems that a soft top kit is rather difficult to find. Does anyone have any suggestions on a manufacture of after market softtops for the 78-79? They’re are literally dozens of sites for each and every other year but I’ve been striking out on my years.
Finally- I love old cars and I love the camaraderie that comes from talking to folks who know way more than me about any subject. I’m a very curious person and anytime I can get someone’s ear, I’m listening. So I am really looking forward to being a member here and learning from all of you. Thank you very much
why would you want a softtop? 2nd gen broncos unlike 69-72 blazers are rellitively light. one person on one side another on the other side. the chevy on the other hand needs 4 guys with strong backs. i know i have both in my shop.
 

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