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Inherited '88 BII

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:48 pm
by kaidenshi
Hi folks!

So my dad passed away back in February, and my mom gave me his 1988 BII XL 4x4. It has a 5-speed with manual hubs.

The Bronco actually has a lot of history in our family. It started out as mine back in 2002, I had gotten it in trade with a friend for a tired old 1988 Honda Prelude. He wanted to build a "ricer" and I wanted a 4x4. When my dad saw it, he went nuts! He finally talked me out of it after a few months, trading me his '84 Ford F150 for it. He drove it for several years, upgrading and fixing it but keeping it mostly stock. He had replaced the original CV driveshaft with a U-joint version, and also replaced the front brake calipers. About three years ago, right after he put new tires on it, it developed a bottom end knock and lost power. He parked it with the intention of one day rebuilding or replacing the engine, but he never got around to it since they had just bought a new car and couldn't afford it. For years I had told him that if he ever got rid of it to sell it back to me, and he promised he would if he decided to. After he passed my mom kept his promise and gave it to me.

So after messing around with it, I determined it does have a rod knock, so I bought a low mileage used 1986 2.9L engine from and got to work on it. Right now I'm still trying to get the rusted exhaust manifolds off the "new" engine, but I've gone through the heads and block and it looks nearly brand new! It was labeled as coming out of a 1986 and I confirmed that with the engine code, and it has the larger intake which I consider a plus.

I don't have any pics of the new engine yet but I'll post those when I do. This is the truck as it sits right now, unwashed and fading paint but fairly solid and the interior is in great shape (my dad was always meticulous about that). The only thing wrong with the body is the driver's side fender is a different color (replacement for front end damage from before we first got it) and the tailgate is starting to crack near the tire carrier catch.

I'm not planning on anything extreme; at most it will get a mild body lift if I decide I want that. I like the stance as it is though.

As I proceed with the engine swap I'll continue to post pics and updates. Thanks for looking!

Re: Inherited '88 BII

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:28 pm
by broncofan
Very nice. Cool that it's been in the family for a while. Good luck and post here and TRS if you need help or advice.

Sent from my Alcatel9007T using Tapatalk

Re: Inherited '88 BII

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:10 pm
by kaidenshi
Thanks! I've read nearly every relevant forum post at all the RBV websites over the past several weeks, so I feel I'm well prepared. I have both the Haynes and Chilton's manuals, and I'm a competent shadetree mechanic, though this will be my first solo engine swap (I've assisted with swaps in the past). Given I'm swapping in almost the exact same engine and carrying over all the good bolt-on parts from the old engine, I think it should go smoothly.

As for I said, probably not going to lift it or if I do it will be a body kit only. I want it to stay as close to stock as possible, though I may throw on some accessories like a roof cage, hi-lift jack, and some lights, as we plan to use it as our camping vehicle. Since I'm also going to use it as a DD to keep miles off our newer cars, I'll keep those road tires on it for now. They're just rugged enough for dirt roads and bad weather which is fine. When they bite the dust I'll likely put some good A/Ts on there so I can feel better about taking it on trails. I may also fix the A/C one day, but that would involve buying a new compressor and converting to r134, and it's not a necessity. It does get hot in the summer here in Georgia but I've always been a fan of 55mph air conditioning. :redneck:

Once the engine's in and running properly, I'm going to tackle the front brakes and start working on that shoddy paint. I may just clean up the dings myself and let Maaco have at it; it would cost the same, probably look better than what I could do, and be less work.

Re: Inherited '88 BII

Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:13 pm
by tekatlarge
That is a right fine looking BII. I still love the stance of a nearly stock BII. I will get a replacement BII for my project 2.9 eventually. in the meantime I just plug away on the current projects.

BTW: Did you guys have flood problems this last spring?

Re: Inherited '88 BII

Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:00 am
by kaidenshi
Thanks! It's a decent looking truck from 10 feet, it definitely needs a bath though. The appearance stuff will take a back seat to just getting her running. Right now I've got the hood off and all the wires and hoses labeled and pulled, and hopefully this weekend I can pull the engine and start swapping over stuff to the "new" block. The guy who rebuilt the engine in my C10 truck said I should be fine with swapping heads to avoid drilling out the exhaust manifold bolts on the "new" block, since I've only been able to get one of them out successfully. He said unless the heads on the old engine are warped or cracked, or there's excessive cam wear, it will work fine. The old engine was never overheated to my knowledge, and the oil and coolant are clean with no signs of water or exhaust respectively.

No significant flooding this year in our area (Paulding County, GA), certainly nothing like the flood of 2009 that pretty much destroyed the town next to us (Austell).

Re: Inherited '88 BII

Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 4:03 pm
by kaidenshi
Sorry for the long absence, I've been working overtime and spending all my free time wrenching on the Bronco. BUT! I finally cranked it up with the new engine last week, and today I drove it home! It drives pretty much like new, except I've found the steering to be a bit loose. There is some noise from the power steering pump too, so it looks like the front suspension and steering will be the next part to tackle. But it runs great, and I'm still amazed I pulled it off.

I'll follow up in a bit with some pics of the progress.

Re: Inherited '88 BII

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:10 am
by tekatlarge
Congrats on the engine swap. It is a great feeling to acomplish that. Keep plugging away and you will have everything back to where it should be in no time.