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View Full Version : F350 Powerstroke 4x4 ZF5 into 4 door Bronco



WillsIH
05-15-2014, 10:38 AM
Alright guys, Im comin home early from my deployment and wont be able to spend 10+k on my engine swap. I have been readin up on many of the builds here and see that things are kinda slow. Thats ok mine will be too.
Im wonderin if I should start lookin at collectin parts and equipment to do a Bronco conversion or if I should wait. I know its ultimately my personal choice but Id like some input on cost and the challenge of the conversion.

What can I expect as far as time frame? Ill have to section the Bronco frame to the truck frame, then combine the bodies.
What would be the most cost effective welder to look into buying? gasless wire feed, tig, mig, stick, oxy-acetylene?
Should I double up the Bronco section of frame to match the truck section or will the Bronco section be strong enough for most types of driving?

Thank you in advance for the help.

WillsIH
05-15-2014, 11:00 AM
Im an idiot. What am I doin postin somethin like this without a pic?
Heres my prospective DT360 powered 4 door Bronco

http://i1325.photobucket.com/albums/u622/WillsIH/Newtruck_zpsb0dafdf5.jpg (http://s1325.photobucket.com/user/WillsIH/media/Newtruck_zpsb0dafdf5.jpg.html)

Traveler
05-15-2014, 04:21 PM
You shouldn't need a torch for anything. Welders, you want gas, make sure it can do 5/16" or larger. Usually a 220 volt welder is required.
You can use a stick on the frame but it is too much heat for the body panels.

Time frame is different for everyone. In a weekend you could have the body pulled and the frames done.
Another weekend have the bodies mated and tacked together.
Fun project.
Would be better off using the F350 frame and shorten it. It will be stronger long term. Ad the bronco body mounts to it.

Polarburg
05-15-2014, 08:32 PM
Just wondering why you wouldn't do it the way centurion did it ? Shorten frame and splice in rear clip. There certainly is enough trucks on here to give you pictures and measurements . Good luck with your project

WillsIH
05-15-2014, 11:29 PM
I agree with Polarburg, Iv read that if you use the truck frame shortened you have to use a body lift and I wont do that. Ive also used oxy-acetylene to weld, but Iv never welded body panels before. Outside of the obvious; Bronco donor, shortened driveshaft, fuel lines, brake lines, what are some of the less thought of aspects to buy before startin the work.
Im lookin at harbor freights $200 welders I can do a 170 amp flux core with MIG capabilities, or a 240 volt TIG. Are these acceptable or do I need to go for the $400 one?
http://www.harborfreight.com/welding/tig-arc-welders/240-volt-inverter-arc-tig-welder-66787.html
http://www.harborfreight.com/welding/mig-flux-welders/170-amp-migflux-wire-welder-22-volts-110-amps-68885.html

Polarburg
05-16-2014, 06:23 AM
I believe you need a body lift you tried to retain the factory floor pan section , centurion used there own flat sheet stock 3/8" maybe? As for welders .. You get what you pay for . Miller is the best and a Hobart is millers economy welder , I bought a Hobart 210 amp years ago from northern tool for under $800 and I think there still about that . It's a life time investment in a tool and get the biggest one you can afford . Anything under 140 amp is pretty much a auto body welder .

Traveler
05-16-2014, 08:01 AM
None of our Shortened F350 centurions have a body lift. They use a factory bushing.

WillsIH
05-20-2014, 06:48 AM
So what your sayin is that I need to wait and save up for the big buck welder? That makes me sad, I was really hopin to start lookin at a nice Bronco to chop up. Traveler I did some lookin on here and google for pics of the frames. All I could come up with are either difficult to understand how it was assembled or from the 78-79 era. How would the floor pans be different exactly? All I wanted to do was weld the portion of the bronco floor that the front seats mount into where the rear seat is in the crew cab body.

Traveler
05-20-2014, 09:26 AM
The bronco and the crew cab bodies mate up just fine.

Centurion cut the crew cab frame and shortened it right behind the front spring hanger for the rear axle.

They added cab mounts to the frame at the correct elevations for the bronco tub. They cut off the extra frame in the rear behind the tub and the rear mount is just a piece of plate welded to the top flange of the frame.

Welders, if you want to get a cheaper wire welder to do the body welding that is perfectly fine, the frame welding you will want a stick or a high dollar wire welder. I have a miller cricket, it is I think 90 amps? 110 volt. Works great for under 1/4" for the big stuff I use a stick welder. Stick welders can be bought cheap off craigslist and rarely go bad. I don't think I would recommend a used wire welder. For body work I think you would want gas shield, rather than a flux core. Much cleaner weld. So make sure your welder has gas capability, for a long time there were some that didn't even have that option.

WillsIH
05-20-2014, 09:50 AM
Thank you Traveler. Now Im thinkin I can get the stick welder and a Bronco. Drive the bronc while I do careful measurements and cut the 350 down. Once Im ready and able to be out a passenger vehicle I can remove and splice bodies. So for the body welding Id want at least the $400 one from harbor or should I look at even more as Polarburg suggested?

Traveler
05-20-2014, 05:04 PM
It looks like this welder would work for body work, but you need to buy all the gas hose, regulator and tank for it.
http://www.harborfreight.com/170-amp-migflux-wire-welder-22-volts-110-amps-68885.html

He is right, you get what you pay for, but this will do the body work job.

WillsIH
05-21-2014, 12:21 AM
Thank you, I had found stick welders in my area on CL from 250 all the way up to the 2k area. I guess that will be a matter of timing and patients. Is there anything little or less thought of when makin this conversion, to watch for? Should I start a stockpile of small parts from the jy and parts store before gettin ahead of myself? Ive done manual swaps into cars that never came with em and engine swaps, and even replaced body panels on my 85 f250. But never have I dove so deep to cut 2 perfectly ok vehicles into one awesome masterpiece.

Traveler
05-21-2014, 07:38 AM
You can collect parts but you will never have them all. There are always nickle and dime items that never seem to stop.

The next consideration is do you have a level place to work where the truck can sit the entire time or will you have to move it?
Then do you have enough jack stands and jacks to get the frame set up properly before welding.
Do you have a cherry picker or how will you move the bodies?

The logistics if where I always have problems. I don't do it at home so I have to trailer everything to the shop and back. That can be a challenge. Especially when swapping axles or bodies.

WillsIH
05-26-2014, 06:04 PM
Once I get my garage cleaned out Ill have a flat area that I can park the truck when the time comes. I appreciate the advice with this. As I think of things or as I progress I will continue posting to this thread. Right now I just got back but I got stuff to handle before I can make any moves. Im aimin for bout 3 months to have tools and parts collected. Also hope by the end of the year Ill have a clean Bronco to sacrifice.