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MY build thread...'88 Bronco II Desert Rat Patrol Edition: 1/26/24 update!


lil_Blue_Ford

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Glad to hear you’ve had some progress! I still need to chase some issues with my green Ranger, but I recently adjusted the tire size (OBD2 problems) and that was a huge difference. Keep plugging at it!
 


Peter Griffin

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Glad to hear you’ve had some progress! I still need to chase some issues with my green Ranger, but I recently adjusted the tire size (OBD2 problems) and that was a huge difference. Keep plugging at it!
I'm trying! 🥵 Once I get cut next month (or whenever the surgery is "authorized" by the purses string holders...because my surgeon's opinion on the immediate necessity is secondary to their authority...but anyway!) I'll be down for the better part of the rest of the year so if I want to get anything done it has to be NOW!

Nothing I've done or need to do to this truck is "necessary"...I didn't even need to buy it, I just did as a project and something to do and it's been a blast. I try not to complain when things go wrong/sideways...that's all part of the process, just sometimes feel like I've gotten more than my fair share, but I'm sure some of y'all would disagree, and I would too readying some other build threads! :ROFLMAO:
 

Peter Griffin

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Automatic
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4WD
Although not a big deal, it's been driving me nuts as I'm an attention to detail guy, and having the subwoofer remote volume knob and rear-view camera not mounted/fixed anywhere was unacceptable. Mounting the rear view camera to the windshield is a non-starter as summer temps can peak over 115 and windshield shades aren't optional. The position actually works well; I check the mirrors before shifting into reverse and the screen shows WAY more than I'm seeing with my 3 mirrors...

Having the separate subwoofer volume knob in a handy location makes it easy to go from window rattling on the highway to considerate neighbor quickly! :ROFLMAO:

IMG_4029 - Copy.jpg


Speaking of mirrors, the black ones I got from eBay are going south already (shocking! NOT...). They will NOT stay in position after the first bump no matter how much I tighten the tension screws and the bolts are already rusting...in the desert...😑

The stock chrome mirrors would look SO out of place with everything blacked out...so I'm going to likewise Raptor-line them and trash the eBay garbage.

Pretty sure I mentioned I had problems with the overhead 4WD console. After getting it apart it's amazing how incredibly fragile the mechanism is, using what looks like a clipped-off leg from a paper clip to provide spring tension. The switches require a delicate touch, which is counterintuitive to the off-road environment, and I had the 4WD button mash in and get stuck behind the faceplate, which prompted me to repair/rebuild it. Because one of the switches' pivot pin broke (which I found AFTER I glued/repaired and put everything back together of course!) it's stronger/more stable to push the button biased towards the right side of the switch, near the LED indicator, so to remind myself of that I just took an orange paint pen and put a dot next to LED, telling me, push here! :p

IMG_4030 - Copy.jpg


I had also previously tried to replace the sunvisors and bought new ones from LMC. The problem I was having is that the spring mechanism was worn out and they wouldn't stay put and were flopping all over the place, and when I got the replacements from LMC I was shocked/disappointed to see that they only included the actual visor portion which slides over the mounting mechanism, so I ordered some block-off plates from Etsy. This pic is taken from the driver's side and also shows where the Bluetooth microphone is mounted:

IMG_4031 - Copy.jpg

...and wouldn't you know it, I was JUST casually flipping through my latest LMC catalog (taking a head break while writing yet another novel of a thread response... :rolleyes: ) and saw that they now DO carry the replacement spring/mounting arm, they're cheap enough and my stock visors just need a good cleaning so I might end up ditching these block off plates. I didn't mind not having the sun visors because I have a pretty wide tinted "eyebrow" at the top of my windshield...

It never ends apparently! 🤪
 

Peter Griffin

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I Raptor lined the stock/OEM mirrors yesterday. I cleaned, scuffed, sprayed adhesive promoter, and 2 thin layers of an acid etching primer. Whipped out the spray can of Raptor which was FIFTY dollars 🙀 and went to work. Plan was for two light coats. First coat went on light enough, but I quickly realized that the can was significantly more than half empty. After waiting a bit I started to hit it with a second coat and within seconds it started sputtering and slinging out good sized boogers. I managed to avoid getting most of it on the mirrors, but it left me with less than optimal coverage to say the least. I had some flat black Rustoleum on hand and did a couple of coats of that to fill in, but the cost to benefit ratio was WAY off and in hindsight (of course!) I should have just left them on and had them sprayed along with the bumpers and grill. Between the cost of the eBay garbage and the $70 I'm out for the primer and Raptor liner, I could have bought brand new black OEM mirrors...if they even exist! :ROFLMAO:
 

Uncle Gump

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Glad to see you still plugging at it.
 

Peter Griffin

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4WD
Glad to see you still plugging at it.
With all the help and encouragement everyone here has given me I'm both motivated and do not want to disappoint y'all!

I had a win the other day. When I picked the truck up from the transmission shop they said they had to jump it because it was sitting too long and tested the battery and said it was bad. When I first started working on it, which was a year ago last week (!), I was keeping it on the battery tender and never had to jump start it, but my friend I bought it from told me it was under warranty and we could check to see if it was covered by O'Reilly's...

He's a much busier retired guy than I am but I hounded him enough to finally get it over to O'Reilly's where they could test it. He wasn't even sure if he bought it there but they checked and after some finagling they hooked him up with a new battery, which saved me nearly $200, for which I'm extremely grateful.

Powerwashed it and it cleaned up really nice, it still had some residual transmission fluid which went everywhere, and of course the dust/sand from the desert we live adjacent to stuck to it, so it was nice to get it all cleaned up.

Pretty minor stuff to do, and with my surgery coming up here shortly I have sorts of stuff to get handled between now and then but once I do get cut I won't be driving for a solid 3-4 months anyway...
 

lil_Blue_Ford

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Glad to hear about the progress!

And yeah, for better or worse, when you get into building/modifying/restoring vehicles, there’s always a pile of weird issues and stuff. It’s always frustrating to get to where it’s “done” enough to drive and then you end up chasing your tail for another year or two for all the oddball stuff.
 

Peter Griffin

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With my clogged catalytic converter issue addressed I was hoping to see a couple of things out of my next tank of gas. I didn't set the bar too high; just realistic...

The exhaust note didn't change significantly so that wasn't an issue. It's ever so slightly "louder" than previously but at stoplights it's like an EV; it idles very smoothly and makes almost no noise, save for the famous Ford power steering pump noise. On acceleration it's marginally louder and at freeway/interstate speeds there's no drone, so all around a pretty good deal.

"Acceleration", a term I use VERY loosely with this particular vehicle, it's definitely pretty snappy, and I don't feel like it's a death wish if I pull out if there's any visible oncoming traffic...on the horizon! Since it's arguably a bit heavier since I bought it I can definitely say it's quicker/faster than when I bought it. That's attributable to a multitude of factors, one of the biggest I feel is the whole e-fan/puller + pusher combo with fan controller I went with.

On the interstate (on flat/level ground) it can maintain a speed of 65-70 until it runs out of gas effectively. It can certainly go faster, but so is the engine, and given the short wheelbase and even shorter attention span of snowbirds here this time of year, I'm more than happy to keep to myself in the right/travel lane and stay out of everyone's way. It will do 80-85 and it's glass smooth and driveable with a finger but MAN does that feel like I'm pushing my luck; no need to tempt fate and at 35+ years old the ole goat doesn't need to be needlessly subjected to being beat on.

So with minimal highway/interstate and mostly local stop and go driving the MPGs went up almost a solid 2...which is still pretty horrible and barely into the teens but I'd suspect that on an interstate cruise it would likely gain another 1-2 MPG, which would be decent.

I finally did @gaz Top Secret timing procedure for this next tank of fuel and I'm anxious to see how that changes things...or doesn't. It's clearly running rich so leaning it out should help both power and mileage.

Only setback was the heater core finally gave out and apparently since it was brass it was the original one...? A nice new aluminum one is in it's place and while the heater basically NEVER gets used here, the only reason why I did it was because it was leaking.

It's honest to God leak free as opposed to when I first bought it over a year ago. Now there's not a drop of ANY fluid; oil, coolant, diff/transmission, brake, power steering or even wiper fluid!
 

gaz

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1987
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Ford
Engine Size
87Ranger Endrigo 2.9l, 87BII Endrigo 4.0l
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
Ranger 5" (2" suspension), BII 4" suspension
Total Drop
Ranger 5sp, BII A4LD
Tire Size
Ranger 33"/4:10LS, BII 29"/3:73LS
My credo
Deengineer until it is how Blue Oval should have sold it!!
@Peter Griffin ,
I wouldn't call it top secret, it is simply how I was taught to set the timing on a Bowtie 350...with a vacuum gage. After consulting with my mechanic mentors, they could come up with a reason not to try it on the computer controlled 2.9.

Setting the base timing this way, resulted in the highest fuel economy I'd ever seen from a 2.9l.

NOTE:
I do not recommend trying this procedure without a well turned engine and rock solid cooling system augmented with an engine oil cooler.
 

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