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Old 01-03-2017, 05:41 AM   #1
broncoformudv
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Default 1971 Bronco

I bought this Bronco in North Pole in the early 90's. It had an old school Rancho lift, power steering, worn out 302, 3 spd with floor shifter, dana 20 t-case, dana 44, Ford 9" open front tracklock rear with 4.10's. I bought the first set of Boggers in the Fairbanks North Pole area that I know of and put them on it, 35x16x15's. Then built a solid 302 for it and swapped a C4 in then blew the tracklock(whats new) and installed a Detroit locker. I ran it like that for a couple years offroad and racing in the mud bogs.

This is a picture of it the night I installed the Boggers and got it running(it had been parked for years). I was living with Bill Coty at the time.

One broken front axle shaft and one broken rear axle shaft and a tire rolling down the street after a good night of wheeling at South Cushman. Did a rear axle rebuild on the side of Airport Way since a chunk of shaft was stuck in the diff.

Racing in Delta Junction
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco


Playing on 33 Mile Loop in Delta Junction/Fort Greely.




Smallwood Trail off Chena Hotsprings Road
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco

In 1997 I joined the Army and got stationed in Georgia and the Bronco went with us. I decided to make some changes to it at this point. I added a 3" body lift and 38x11x15 Boggers, 4.88 gears, 31 spline cromo rear shafts and another detroit locker, disc brakes up front(yeah I know why did it tale me so long?!), front bumper and winch, did some body work and had it painted. At some point during this time period the 302 started smoking a lot and was lacking power so I picked up a used 351W and installed that.







Recently emptied lake beds are a lot of fun to play in but are super soft in spots!


When you are fan deep in a hole pull the fan belt.


Another lake bed


Leaving Tellico Offroad Park before it got closed down


We then got stationed in Germany so I left the Bronco with some old friends from Fairbanks that now lived outside Knoxville, TN.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:51 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco

While in Germany I ordered some parts and had them sent to my friend in TN. L&L full length headers, aluminum radiator, adapter to install the NP435. We got back stateside and spent a few days in TN while I installed the parts and we purchased a car hauler and a 1997 F250 crewcab. We then headed back to Alaska since we got stationed at Fort Richardson.

We took it on one hunting trip in 2006 and discovered a few issues that needed to be addressed. I was pretty busy with work, family and other hobbies so I put the Bronco in storage in 2006 and sorta ignored it till 2014.








Just because you think you know what that pesky squeak is doesn't mean that's actually what it is

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Old 01-03-2017, 07:04 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco

While it was in storage I acquired a few parts. Updated suspension, one tons(ball joint dana 60 and a 10.25) and some 42" TSL's.

Front springs are sacked out 1st generation Deaver Superflex 6" coils for a fullsize 70's Ford from Jeffs Bronco Graveyard that have had a couple coils cut off.
CAGE extended radius arms.
Wild Horses 5.5 rear springs.

I pulled it out of storage and got it running again. Stripped the axles down and installed 5.13 gears, disc brakes on the rear and welded the diff. I then installed the front axle and suspension. Then did the rear axle and suspension.

My kids had been asking me about racing so I let them try my Bronco out for one race to see what they about racing. We started out with the 42's then another racer graciously let us use his 38 skinny boggers. The girls did good considering they had no idea how to drive a stick prior to that morning.







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Old 01-03-2017, 07:06 AM   #6
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco


Loaded up to head north to Delta Junction


My youngest daughter Madison driving it for the first time in the parade


Middle daughter Hunter having a blast


Madison ready to hit the gas





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Old 01-03-2017, 07:18 AM   #8
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco



Due to me being on a tight timeline and doing the 1 ton install solo I messed up the front pinion angle and had to redo that over the winter.



Fixed the pinion angle but then the caster angle was shot. Still have that to fix

Summer of 2015 I took it on one trail ride and decided it was time to fix some lingering issues. Mainly the fact it overheated just thinking about it, the engine was a little tired and the steering box was locking up.






The K5 is on 35's and that's Brad Swartz buggy on 54" Boggers.





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Old 01-03-2017, 07:24 AM   #9
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco

Over the winter I went through the engine, got a fully enclosed fan shroud, larger fan, overdrive water pump pulley, 3G alternator, rebuilt the steering box, got headers that cleared the axle and clutch linkage and new exhaust. If you need exhaust work done I can't say enough good things about Mickey's muffler and brake!











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Old 01-03-2017, 08:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco

Looking good. Did the you find the over heating issue when you rebuilt the engine?
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:56 AM   #11
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco

It's cool to see a rig with over 20 years of life on the trail!
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:09 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco

So I got the rebuilt engine installed and all the other parts rebuilt and installed. Picked up a set of ags from Gus and installed them as well.

Next up was replacing the front shocks with some longer ones that were vakved to better augment the soft coils.






Went on the first trail ride up Baldy with Chris Gaylard and Peter McDougal. Needless to say my overheating issues reared their head right away. It took it longer to overheat and it cooled off faster but was still giving me problems. We took our time and made it up the trail without any issues. Everything else seemed to be working ok though.







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Old 01-03-2017, 05:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco

So I still had a cooking issue I had to figure out. At this point everything in the cooling system had either been replaced in the past couple months or had very low miles since being installed. I added a digital temp gauge, high flow thermostat and went on another trail ride. This time to Buffalo Mine trail with Ryan Cuculla. We had a good time and each of us even managed to get stuck and I still overheated







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Old 01-03-2017, 05:25 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco

At this point I am beyond pissed about the overheating issue and I have another trail ride coming up for July 4th. The only thing I haven't done is replace my fancy aluminum radiator. So I pull out a stock radiator from a wrecked Bronco that is leaking like a colander and install it with a 7lb cap since most of the leaks are up high. Drove it around the neighborhood and noticed a remarkable decrease in engine temps!!! So I take it on the trail ride. This is the longest one yet spanning about 40 miles in two days. I never once added coolant and it never even came close to overheating!! I got back to town and ordered a stock radiator from Oreillys and said good ridence to overheating.


Sadly this is the only picture I can find from that trip.
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:35 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco

At this point I am feeling pretty froggy and get with Scott to go check out the Chistochina trail. I was free a couple days prior to him being able to go so I went up to the Denali Highway for some fishing. Make it into the lake with no issues but my Bronco dies in a water hole on the way out. It sounded like it ran out of fuel. Do the normal diagnoses and after some denial I accept the fact the fuel pump eccentric fell off the camshaft. I walk out and make some phone calls and a friend in North Pole, Darwin says he can bring the harmonic balancer puller and gasket set down to me. I meet him in Delta Junction and we go back to my truck. This is the most in depth trail repair I have done but it was simple and went smoothly. Needless to say that bolt got a liberal coating of loctite!




Where it died.



Even the dogs threw in the towel and went to sleep.
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:46 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco

Now that that minor issue was taken care of it was time to meet up with Scott and thoroughly test out everything on our rigs. We encountered plenty of muskeg, floating bogs, clay, ruts and anything else having to do with mud and water. PSA do not take a truck or buggy on that trail unless it has 44" tires at a minimum.



















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Old 01-03-2017, 06:07 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco

My youngest daughter Madison and I headed out after caribou and were having a great trip and exploring some net country till her dad ran out of gas. We walked to a hunting camp and stayed the night then walked back to my Bronco the next day and headed back to camp. We spotted another truck off in the woods and went over to check it out and met another group from Wasilla. Right after leaving them I got a flat and was still on the wrong side of the river so ran it on the flat till I got stuck in a bog. We walked from there to camp and started making some phone calls. Found a loaner tire and wheel in North Pole so we went to sleep and walked out the next morning. Made a run to North Pole and got the tire and a buddies Polaris Ranger.










These ramps work great for a variety of uses.



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Old 01-03-2017, 06:19 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco

The next trip was moose season linking up with some old friends up north. Due to me oversleeping they went in on the trail without me and I went solo. Made it halfway to camp and got another fricking flat tire! Walked the rest of the way in the. Made some calls and got that loaner tire lined up again. Picked it up the next morning and had a great moose hunt.













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Old 01-03-2017, 06:32 PM   #19
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco

I learned some things this past summer. When you have checked everything but the one obvious thing check it! Stupid radiator...

I can do a lot of mechanical projects but I can't do exhaust work. I would have been a year ahead and a good bit of money if I had just taken my Bronco to Mickeys from the start.

I need to address my caster issue.

Inner tubes don't fix dry rot.

It sucks when you install a new sending unit to replace a leaking one and the new one doesn't leak but stops working on the first trip.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:34 PM   #20
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak_cowboy View Post
Looking good. Did the you find the over heating issue when you rebuilt the engine?
No I didn't figure it out at that time. In the end it was just a radiator that couldn't handle cooling the engine for some reason. Put a stock one in and it solved all the issues.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:40 PM   #21
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowbear View Post
It's cool to see a rig with over 20 years of life on the trail!
Thanks Scott! It's been a long and slow journey.
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:12 PM   #22
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco

Very cool! Bill's FJ hasn't changed a bit. LOL! My son learned to drive a clutch in Brad's little white Ranger in 4-low. He went in circles around the house while we worked on my truck. Good guys!
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Old 01-03-2017, 11:10 PM   #23
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco

Awesome rig and great write up man! I have to say you have some commitment to this rig! Great to see your kids involved. Did the AG's change your life or what? BTW, am I the only person that thinks you need a freaking spare tire!?!
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Old 01-03-2017, 11:23 PM   #24
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raven View Post
Very cool! Bill's FJ hasn't changed a bit. LOL! My son learned to drive a clutch in Brad's little white Ranger in 4-low. He went in circles around the house while we worked on my truck. Good guys!
Bill and Brad are good people!
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Old 01-03-2017, 11:26 PM   #25
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Default Re: 1971 Bronco

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Originally Posted by Full83size View Post
Awesome rig and great write up man! I have to say you have some commitment to this rig! Great to see your kids involved. Did the AG's change your life or what? BTW, am I the only person that thinks you need a freaking spare tire!?!
Thanks! I have ran about every tire out there and really like the ags. I sold my work out set and am saving up for new ones. I have never had a tire issue before this year so I am blaming dry rot. Heck the first time I was only driving through grass and willows and the second one was muskeg and tundra. If it had been ****** pole spruces or fire killed spruce I would have understood the flats.
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