View Full Version : Scratch built four door Bronco

06-01-2014, 08:47 PM
Now that I have all my sheet metal it's time for a build thread. It will be a slow process but I wanted a place to document as I go and ask questions.

Since Centurions are a bit over priced around here and they almost always need roof repair or worse, and I would end up changing much of the truck anyway, I decided I'd rather build one from scratch.

The truck will be titled as a 96 F350 PSD, as that is what my frame and front half of the cab is. The rear is a 95 Bronco.

Drive train will be a as of yet undecided diesel mated to a ZF6. My preference is a 5.2L Isuzu if I can find one at a fair price.

Now that I have both halves of the body I started taking measurements and see the frame will be tricky. I wonder if I wouldn't be better off just building it custom from mid-door on back.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v290/damarble/4%20Door%20Bronco/PicsArt_1401672675266_zpsspfpbfo6.jpg (http://s.photobucket.com/user/damarble/media/4%20Door%20Bronco/PicsArt_1401672675266_zpsspfpbfo6.jpg.html)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v290/damarble/4%20Door%20Bronco/photo_zpssibtgetp.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/damarble/media/4%20Door%20Bronco/photo_zpssibtgetp.jpg.html)

06-02-2014, 11:53 AM
Well that's annoying. I edited the post and now it's gone.

After comparing frames last night it seem the best course of action is to graft the back half of the Bronco frame onto the F350 frame. I think it's lighter gauge but if I fully box it, it should be just as strong.

06-02-2014, 03:41 PM
As your post count goes up your posts will not automatically que the spam filter. Sorry, not something we can control without letting all the spammers post.

06-02-2014, 05:14 PM
I see it's back, no harm no foul. Spammers are bad enough I fully understand.

06-03-2014, 06:24 PM
I measured the frames and they are both the same height and width but the Bronco is 3/16" thick and the F350 is 1/4". After some consulting I believe boxing the Bronco section will make it as strong or stronger than the F350 section. If the boxing is extended past the splice it should make that joint extremely strong.

06-03-2014, 09:39 PM
I would also weld a plate inside at the splice before you box the frame

Bronco Biff
06-04-2014, 08:33 AM
Let the fun begin!! FYI, my 350 the section of frame was taken out by making the rear cut right in the middle of where the front rear spring hanger is and the reconnecting and having the spring hanger on both sides of the joint. A plate was added inside the "c" for strength it seems this way would allow any flex to be at an equal rate instead of having a stiff boxed back section putting additional stress where the joint is made. Also seems to lend itself to easily using the 1ton springs. I don't know what the difference in the length and width of the 1 tons vs the bronco is........

06-04-2014, 09:52 AM
Do you have a pic of that Biff?

06-04-2014, 11:34 AM
Inside of frame.

Outside of frame behind spring hanger

06-04-2014, 11:58 AM
Thanks. If that was good enough for them my plan is overkill.

06-06-2014, 10:01 AM
We pulled a fuel tank last night so I thought I would snap some body mount pics for reference.

The first picture is the Passenger side rear body mount. You can see the reciever hitch bolted to the frame in the bottom of the pic.
Centurion welded a flat plate to widen the top flange of the frame rail to allow room for the body mount. Kind of crude, but it works.

The next pic is the body mount ahead of that one. It is on top of where the crossmember meets the frame rail.
This crossmemeber is in front of the fuel tank, in fact the fuel tank straps bolt to it. It is above and slightly behind the rear axle.

Last pic. The mount is in the top frame flange, slightly ahead of the shock mount. In this picture you can also see the frame splice ahead of that.

The other frame splice pictures I posted were from a 1995, these are from a 1988, so not much has changed over the years.
They also just used a torch to make a hole for the body mounts.
All standard bushings, no lift. If you are replacing them all though, 1" of lift does come in handy without weakening the integrity of the body.

06-06-2014, 04:52 PM
Thanks again. I was considering a 1-2" body lift just for drivetrain clearance. It's nice to have a little room to work and If I end up with a 6BT/ZF6 it's a bulky package.

06-10-2014, 01:23 AM
I've been thinking, the goal is to have a diesel and 6spd but what if I built it in stages? The 302 and 5spd in the Bronco are just fine, I could run that for a while. It would be a little underpowered but still let me drive it.

I also have a 351 tucked away, I could run that but I'm not sure how well the M5R2 would live being it. I have a T19 4spd as well but the lack of OD would be hard to live with. Although maybe not so much with 37" tires and the 3.55 axles in it now.

06-10-2014, 03:07 AM
why not just use an original 7.3 PSD with that ZF6spd? 7.3 PSD is one reliable beast if maintained, and easy/cheap to tweak.
When I restore my 91 C350 I will switch to a 7.3 PSD and probably a 4r100 from a 2002/2003. using Ford parts sure saved the fabrication time , gets the truck on the road sooner :biggthumpup:

just a little brainfodder :drkbd:

06-10-2014, 07:43 AM
It is perfectly normal to run what you got. Many of us have plans to swap someday. Better to drive it and enjoy what you can rather than waiting on someday.

06-10-2014, 08:38 AM
I heard Someday comes after Sunday and before Monday, but I can't seem to find it on a calendar. Yep, Someday I'm gonna get a roundtoit and do a diesel swap, till then I'm running the 460 and loving driving it.

06-10-2014, 09:41 AM
why not just use an original 7.3 PSD with that ZF6spd?

I'm perfectly OK with this. The problem is I've found 7.3s to be rare as hen's teeth around here with a price to match. I haven't seen one under $3000 in ages and they're usually incomplete too.

In comparison my local wrecker has 5 running 6BTs for under $2k.

06-15-2014, 06:36 PM
Im not sure where you are but Id trade my PSD for a DT360 HAHA :pke:. Anyway, nice lookin pair you have and good luck

06-15-2014, 11:28 PM
I still like the idea of a DT360, if I can find one. But I hear that you can either make a little power or a lot of power with them, with no middle ground.

I scored some rear doors and am picking them up tomorrow, from a 96 and full power, near mint condition, $150 for the set and happy to pay it, the best price I've seen before this $100 each for bare shells. Silver unfortunately. Also may be grabbing a full 85 front clip in excellent condition for a whopping $70. I was going to put the Bronco clip on my F250 and take it's bullnose clip for the FDB. Will still put the Bronco clip on the F250 but this other clip is nicer and will save some body work.

06-16-2014, 10:26 PM
One piece at a time.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v290/damarble/4%20Door%20Bronco/photo1_zpsf8ebb6a3.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/damarble/media/4%20Door%20Bronco/photo1_zpsf8ebb6a3.jpg.html)