Archive for 2009

Safety items like brakes should always be at the top of your upgrades list. Most Broncos came stock with manual drum brakes since they weren’t offered as an option until 1976. But technology has come a long way since then and there’s really no excuse for not upgrading your original Bronco brakes. Read the rest of this entry »

Early Bronco Engine Options

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Engine upgrades really are fairly subjective. So much is dependent on how you plan to use the Bronco. If you go mud bogging or dune running then flat out horsepower and high RPM’s fit the bill. If you like to crawl through boulder fields you’re probably more interested in low end torque. And if you spend all your time on the street and want pure reliability, then a stock 289/302 or fuel injected 5.0 could be for you. Even the stock Bronco 6 cylinder has it’s place, offering good gas mileage and rock solid reliability. With all that said the guide below should help give you an idea of the more popular engine swaps and what they might be worth to you. Again, the info is given in general terms and how you drive your Bronco will change which engine is most valuable for your needs. Read the rest of this entry »

Early Bronco Lifts – Suspension & Body

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Lifts for early Broncos come in two flavors; body lifts and suspension lifts.

Body Lift – A body lift simply raises the body further off the chassis. The entire body of a Bronco, including everything from the floor pans and bed up is attached to the frame with 8 bolts. A body lift adds a spacer (1″, 2″ or 3″) between these 8 attachment points to raise the body. Just remember that only the body (and anything attached to it) raises. The engine, transmission, drive shaft angles, suspension, steering geometry, axles and tires stay exactly where they are. A body lift won’t affect the way your Bronco handles or tracks down the road, with the minor exception that your center of gravity is slightly higher. Body lifts are good for getting a couple more inches of tires clearance, more space under the hood for taller engines or more room to work for certain transmission swaps like the NP435. Read the rest of this entry »

Early Bronco Power Steering

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Power steering is certainly high on the list of desirable options for early Broncos. Regardless of whether you’re looking for a hard core rock crawler or mild daily driver, power steering makes driving your Bronco so much nicer. Read the rest of this entry »

Early Bronco Roll Cages and Roll Bars

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The last major safety item that should be at the top of any Bronco wish list is a roll cage. Some may argue that the factory steel top is sufficient and a roll cage isn’t needed. But if you’ve ever seen what’s left of that hard top after a severe roll you would see the light. the Bronco hard top will give some protection and might be OK is a slow roll on the trail, but it simply doesn’t have the structural integrity of newer vehicles. Adding taller tires and a lift increases your center of gravity and your chances of flipping on the street or highway. A high speed flip or multiple roll down a hill with simply flatten or shear off a factory hard top. Read the rest of this entry »

big-oly-bronco-01Big Oly and Parnelli Jones

The early Bronco was certainly no stranger to the rigors and excitement of off road desert racing in the 60’s and 70’s. And one of the most famous race trucks (Bronco or otherwise) to come from that era was “Big Oly”. An Indy racing legend already, Parnelli Jones worked with Bill Stroppe and Dick Russell to create the purpose built desert racer. Nick named “Big Oly” because of it’s Olympia Beer sponsorship, it’s immediately recognizable by the huge aluminum wing and distinct gold and white paint job. This famous Bronco still makes the show circuit and attracts a crowd every time it’s showed. Read the rest of this entry »

1967 Ford Bronco Literature

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1966 Ford Bronco Literature

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What’s a Bronco worth?

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Trying to determine the value of an early Bronco can be tricky. It’s not like other classic cars. With an old Mustang or Corvette you can look up the estimated average value on any number of published Price Guides. You determine what condition the car fits into on the chart, then add or subtract a percentage for variables like engine size and options.

Unfortunately Broncos don’t fit into this pricing model because most of the time their value is dependent on aftermarket upgrades and modifications. Certainly there are Broncos out there that are fully restored and their value comes from how close they are to original condition as they rolled off the assembly line. An uncut 1966 Roadster or Baja Stroppe would be two good examples of this.  But more often then not the value of a Bronco lies in how well it’s been built up for the trail or street. The Bronco is unique because unlike other collector cars, a highly modified Bronco will usually outsell it’s factory original counterpart. Read the rest of this entry »

One of the most often asked questions when looking at Early Broncos for sale is, “what year should I look for?” As you might expect the answer is… “it depends.” At first glance the Early Bronco doesn’t seem like it changed much over it’s 11 year history from 1966 to 1977. But while the sheet metal may look the same, there were definite changes in options, trim packages, axles, engines and transmissions.

The best year(s) for you will depend  a lot on how you plan on driving your new Bronco. Will it be a daily driver or a restored show queen? Do you want it for scenic camping trails or hardcore rock crawling? The breakdown below should help narrow down your choices based on the changes from year to year. Read the rest of this entry »