My 1969 Bronco rebuild

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by indulf, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. indulf

    indulf Member

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    By a stroke of luck I learned that an old friend was taking bids on his old 69 bronco. Sure it's a little beat, sure it's a little old, sure it's seen better days, but the bones were still good - and very valuable.

    I put in a bid and ended up winning.

    My 11yo son and I made an epic road trip from Western NC to Colorado over the 4th of July weekend to pick it up. We drove to Columbia, MO, spent the night, then on to CO, spent the night, picked it up the next morning, drove back to Columbia, spent the night, and headed home the next day.

    A few asides..

    - We had an amazing trip. It was much needed "guy time". Lots of bonding, discussion, and we listened to some audiobooks to pass the time.
    - Out and back we hit 9 states. My son is well traveled, but not by car. He now has a better understanding of just how big this country really is.
    - A truly good friend let me borrow his 2016 f350 King Ranch dually AND a trailer for the journey. I still don't know what I did to get so far onto this guy's good side, but what a friend!

    Specs on the Bronco:
    - 1969 model. It's well used (in other words, the body is BEAT!)
    - 351w, fuel injected
    - np435 with custom hydraulic clutch
    - T-shift Dana 20, cryo'd input shaft
    - custom hydroboost brakes
    - f150 steering conversion
    - dana 60 front, ARB, 35 spline stubs, full time hubs, 1 ton brakes
    - dana 60ff rear, moser 35 spline shafts, 1 ton brakes
    - custom long radius arm rear suspension on airbags. allows for forced articulation
    - long radius arm front suspension
    - full cage
    - premier power welder
    - Set up for 38s on stock H1 rims - came with a set of recentered H1s which I'll use in order to step up to 42s.
    - 8274 with custom 15" drum
    - an entire truck bed full of all sorts of spare parts. Example - a complete second fuel injection system.. A 750 demon carb with a pile of AN fittings to hook it up.. All sorts of great stuff.

    The air source was an old CNG tank which the PO would pressurize to 3000psi. I'm dumping that and going with something else - likely a CO2 setup, but maybe a viair and small storage tank. Looking for simplicity.

    Plans:
    - Fix the front end.. Needs a new core support, inner fenders, fenders, grille, and hood
    - Fix the minor wiring issues with the injection setup. I can make it run, but something's up with one of the fuel pump relays.
    - Discover and chase down any other electrical demons
    - Install a new air source - CO2 or compressor / tank
    - Replumb the air system - it's leaky after all these years. Will likely use electric solenoids and momentary switches instead of manual valves.
    - Add gussets and rock rings to the recentered H1 wheels, blast, paint
    - Cut and trim to fit 42s
    - New harnesses, maybe reupholster the seats, clean up the interior
    - Lighting
    - Radios
    - Wheel the heck out of it :)

    Here are some pics :)

    From left to right - Toby (the previous owner / my old friend), my son, Me
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    How it was when we picked it up.
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    On the way home.. Nice setup, even better friend who let me borrow it :) Somewhere in Nebraska.
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    How it's sitting right now.
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    Seats and tank removed for access to clean everything up.
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    Some of the parts we've yanked. Believe me, the grille is way, way worse than it looks in this photo :D
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    Here's how it looked when Toby finished the second build years ago.. Found these on his old website along with a TON of details on the custom work. Priceless info about the hydroboost, hydraulic clutch, and suspension setup. I'm glad the internet never forgets :)
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    And here are a few from the last ride it ever took before he parked it.. Moab with the our old 4wd club.
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    One of the reasons the body is thrashed :D
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    Looking forward to a great build with my son and many more years of fun. I'm not going to pretty it up too much, but it does need to be somewhat respectable. More to come as I amass parts and continue stripping it down and cleaning it up. Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
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  2. indulf

    indulf Member

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    here's a quick update.

    i recently decided to replace the old FI system with something newer / simpler.

    while the 351 runs great, i have noted some wiring issues that prevent it from being perfect. on top of that, the pro-jection control box is mounted to the dash and a bunch of wires are hanging loose. i want to clean it up and get something a little more modern.

    i planned out the fuel system and here's what i'm planning to go with:

    - RCI 2191A fuel cell
    - artec mount
    - liquid iron pickup system
    - fitech 600 FI system

    in the pickup bed full of parts i found two brand new (!) SX Performance high flow in line fuel pumps, an SX Performance fuel pressure regulator, an SX Performance in line fuel filter, and a bunch of Earl's AN fittings. i need to make sure it's all in working order, but i plan on using those parts for the delivery along with some more fittings and new lines to plumb it up.

    this will get me in the digital FI realm, clean up the wiring (the system only requires 4 or 5 wires, and the controller is mounted on the throttle body), and give me a touch screen programmer / gauge for the dash. plus, it's self-tuning, so it should make things more predictable.

    i'm going to work out the air system first, then focus on the fueling, get it running (on the stands in my garage), and then focus on the body to prepare for getting it back on the road.

    the fitech systems get good reviews from what i have read. anyone here have experience with them? the price point is fantastic, and with the addition of a CDI box it'll even control spark for me. the truck already has a Mallory distributor, so it should be easy enough to add a CDI box. still need to do a little research to see which box is most appropriate for this application.

    i'll be reworking the fan as well, moving to an all electric setup controlled by the Fitech as well. this will require some custom mounts and i'll likely replace the radiator while i'm doing the core support and setting up the electric fan also.
     
  3. indulf

    indulf Member

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    got the rear wheels off before vacation 2 weeks ago and promptly threw my back out :(

    found the source of my air system woes. one of the airbags is trashed. i'm going to go ahead and replace them both. i'm having a bit of trouble finding a direct replacement, but i was able to get the stamping on the top / bottom plates as well as the bag style which is embossed on the rubber. one of the techs at www.truckspring.com helped me figure out the part number so i can get a new set.

    this pic shows how the rear suspension works. it's a buggy spring / radius arm hybrid with a panhard bar and rancho 9000 shocks that appear to work just like they should. the airbags allow for level adjustment, and i plan to set it up like the PO had it except i'm going to use solenoid valves for push button control. up, down, side to side. just like Dr. Dre :D

    the original design was set up for 14" of vertical travel in the rear. while it's a little bit old school, i don't see a need to do anything different. one day i might go to a 4 link, but i'm going to wheel it like this for a while.

    re: my earlier post on the fuel system, once i got the wheels off and was able to climb under it i was able to give the pumps and filter a good visual inspection. they're in good shape, but i don't like where they are mounted and i still plan on a complete re-do. the tank is a custom job, and it's a bit hammered. still going with a cell, and will likely abandon the idea of doing the Artec mount and instead fab up a flush / recessed mount in the bed with a remote fill. will likely mount the pumps and filter underneath to retain space and keep the noise down, as i imagine those SX pumps are pretty loud based on their monster size. i'll post some pics of all that stuff soon.

    here's the rear suspension minus the airbag you can see the radius arm attaching to the axle as well as the "buggy spring" swing arm that's folded down and laying on top of the airbag perch. you can also see the shock configuration and the panhard bar just behind the axle.

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    while inspecting i saw that the ARB lines are poly down from a bulkhead fitting through the floor, transitioning to hard pipe (looks like brake line tubing) running down the swingarm and then to a braided stainless hose before it hits the diff. same setup for the front, pretty bulletproof. no need to change that, though I will probably replace the poly as a maintenance item.

    here's an interesting pic from the original build that shows the initial suspension setup. you can see the airbags, "buggy spring" swing arms, and an upper triangulated link that's no longer there. at some point the PO went to a panhard bar instead.

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    another detail shot from the build

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    and one more mid-build shot.. pretty neat to have this history.

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  4. IW17

    IW17 Member

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    I'll be checking in on this thread. I love broncos, especially the old ones.
     
  5. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Moderator of the Century Staff Member

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    Is it coincidence that OJ was just released as well.... ;)

    Great thread mate !
     
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  6. LMF Joe

    LMF Joe Member

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    Dang that started out looking rough. Thankfully you can buy every part for those. Can't wait for more update pics.
     
  7. jafo

    jafo Member

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    those are good looking vehicles.
     
  8. DYSPHORIC JOY

    DYSPHORIC JOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep. One step closer to creating the east TN A-Team. When are you getting that mohawk @indulf ?

    I wonder if @Mike Perrin can fly a plane?
     
  9. indulf

    indulf Member

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    i'll need to pull a reverse michael jackson prior to a mohawk shave..
     
  10. indulf

    indulf Member

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    outside looked like a raisin, but the bones are good. i'm not going to pretty it up too much, but all of the metal on the front end needs to be replaced so it can be roadworthy. probably not going to do much with the bedsides and corners, they'll just get bashed up again. it has some extremely nice running gear and it all works - that's the expensive stuff.

    i'm going to order up the fuel system components in the next few weeks and buckle down on that. airbags will be ordered next week, picking up tires this week, and i think i found some local sheet metal. i'll buy a new core support and new inner fenders so it's nice and fresh.
     
  11. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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  12. indulf

    indulf Member

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    just ordered the replacement airbags. google alerts is pretty great - clued me into a place blowing them out, and i got both bags for less than the cost of one on the other sites out there. picking up some tires next week, so it'll be back on its feet soon.
     

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