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Old December 4th, 2008, 08:42 PM   #1
KTM Mike
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Considering buying 89 Bronco - need some info - things to look for etc.

Hey guys - I dont know squat about Fords (actually, I dont know squat about anything except motorcycles!) - anyhow, I am going to look at a 89 Bronco tomorrow as a possible replacement for my current plow truck. The guy I will be dealing with is selling it for a buddy downstate and unfortunately doesnot know much other than a handful of scratchy notes the owner left him. He didnt even know what engine is in it - thought it was a V8.

I can easily tell if its the 300 6....but if its a v8 - whats the easiest way at a glance to know if this is a 302 or 351? It is an auto - did they all come with a C6? or how can I tell what tranny it is easily? Are there common trouble spots to watch out for on Broncos of this year? It has 185,000 miles on - supposedly runs well - has a western plow. Doors replaced due to rot - some rot over wheel wells...had a bunch of brake work done (rotors, calipers lines etc) recently.

Any help much appreciated.
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Old December 4th, 2008, 09:41 PM   #2
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Rot, rot and more rot. Them years rotted out bad. It will say 5.0 or 5.8 on the intake if it is a v8. Ill bet the floors are nasty under the carpet.
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Old December 4th, 2008, 10:16 PM   #3
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This is the quickest way to tell a 302 from a 351:

quick ID tip: The lower thermostat housing bolt on the 302 will be below the top of the water pump and you won't be able to put a socket on it. On the 351W you can remove the bolt with a socket.

Other issues is the electric transfer case motor, if it has one. They suck, I mean suck really bad. Put a new one on before going off road, and keep a spare in the truck. Yeah they rust, but fords are normally limited to floor board rot, and body rot around the wheel wells. Floor boards are easy to patch with flat steel. Chances are it's been patched once, or needs patched.
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Old December 4th, 2008, 10:24 PM   #4
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Thanks - exactly the kinds of heads up I was looking for. I will be peering under the carpets for sure. HOw will I tell if it has an electric tcase motor?

Would you think the engine and tranny still be OK at 185k? Are they known to go much longer, or not?

My needs for this is strictly as a plow truck that rarely ever leaves my driveway except to fill the tank - I would be quite suprised if I were to put on more than 1,000 miles in a year, but nearly all of that will be pushing snow.

I have been doing some more poking around online (craigslist etc) looking at broncos - I am thinking this one may be over priced. He wants $2500. That does include a 8' Western plow though. I will know more tomorrow, and will likely come back with more dumb questions!

Mike
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Old December 5th, 2008, 01:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KTM Mike View Post
How will I tell if it has an electric tcase motor?

Would you think the engine and tranny still be OK at 185k? Are they known to go much longer, or not?
1st: If it's electric, it will have a knob or button somewhere on the dashboard. Manual t-case will have a good 'ol fashioned lever on the floor tunnel.

2nd: Thats a BIG "if". If the engine has been well maintained then it should be fine, I wouldn't expect it to be tip top. Ford automatic trannies generally sucked across the board. If it fires up easily enough, sounds decent (no ticks or bangs), and isn't obviously low on power, you'll probably be pretty good. it's still very good insurance that one a new vehicle is acquired give it a full round of fluid changes, check and examine the spark plugs CLICK HERE FOR CHART (could even do that before purchasing).

As far as the tranny, if they let you test drive it, find a not too populated straight spot of road and give it some good throttle, nothing fancy or dangerous, but enough to make sure the shifts are reasonably crisp and nothing feels like it's slipping or if the engine is running faster but you're not going any faster. And obviously noises/vibrations.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 03:27 PM   #6
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Floor boards, my 89s floor board is rusted through and the rocker came apart from the body and my door deosn't cloe anymore.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 03:35 PM   #7
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Check tire wear, sloppy front end, tie-rods, ball joints? Rot, switches not working for window motors or rear tailgate motor, tailgate rot.......

Just take it somewhere first and have it checked over if your really interested to know what it's gonna need.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 08:23 PM   #8
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I looked at that Bronco. It was an absolute POS! Major Rot (seller said "just a little over the wheel wells". Engine sounded horrible - ran rough, exhaust manifold leak. Brakes shot...the list goes on and on. Needless to say - it did not follow me home. thanks all for the info.
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