Even at 162,374 miles, this particular Bronco is unlike any I’ve seen to date. It is completely unrestored boasting its original Dark Chestnut Metallic finish with Light Saddle accents on the lower rockers and double pinstriping. The 10 hole, factory alloy wheels are also in remarkable shape with only minor oxidation.
The exterior of this fourth generation Bronco is free from rust; there are no rust concerns with the body whatsoever. All chrome is present and in nice shape. The paint is still in very acceptable condition, but there are some rock chips on the hood, lower portions of the fenders and miscellaneous scuffs, subtle impressions and areas where the previous owner used a touch-up pen to address scratches that appear to have compromised the base coat. Small segments of cracking base paint below the clear coat can also be found around the edges of the doors, hood vents where the wipers are attached and along the top-side of the tailgate. The clear finish is still intact.
The windows are free from cracks and pits and all appear to be original Ford glass. The doors open and close very well with no misalignments. All body panels are straight and have proper spacing, including the hood when closed. The rear tire carrier swings and latches with ease and the tailgate and roll-down window operate as intended with both key-operation and push button switch located on the console.
I have not removed the original fiberglass top, but all seals are intact and do not let in any moisture. Currently there are no leaks and there are also no signs of water damage from the past. The Light Saddle matte finish on the top is in very nice shape with no cracking or peeling.
The interior is definitely what I’d consider a timepiece - a nearly perfect preservation of a mid-80s to early-90s vintage American interior. Most instruments are analog and original except the aftermarket CD/MP3 head unit. The wood grain accents, seating, carpeting and headliner are in excellent condition with no signs of staining, sagging, holes, rips or tears. The most notable imperfections are a slight crack at the top of the dash where it appears a screw was over-tightened, hairline cracking on the lower driver’s plastic door pocket, and small hairline cracks on the passenger side lower dash where someone’s knee can easily strike when climbing in and out.
All interior gauges and electronics function as they should and dash lights illuminate nicely at night. The A/C is cold and the heat is toasty. The push on/off overdrive works well and the push-button high and low transfer case engages without issue. Turn signals, high beams, low beams, brake lights and marker lights all function as well as the horn, multi-function wipers, tilt steering, power windows and locks as well as the rear window defrost.
The chassis preservation is right inline with the rest of the Bronco. There are no structural issues, soft spots and nearly every segment still has the factory black paint with residual dirt/grime from over 25 years of driving. There is slight superficial corrosion on the front coil springs, leaf springs and front, independent CV-style axles. That is another item to note - this front end does look like a straight axle by design, but it is actually a split, independent set-up offering a little more comfort compared to it’s GM and Dodge counterparts.
Mechanically, this Bronco runs very well from start to idle to cruising. The fuel injected, 5.8L 351 Windsor fires up without hesitation. The heavy duty 4-speed E4OD automatic transmission operates smoothly as does the transfer case. This Bronco also has a newer pair of manual locking Warn Hubs, which turn with ease.
In terms of other imperfections to note - I have noticed moisture at the rear-main seal. It isn’t leaking bad and very little actually spills to the ground, but I need to note my observation. It has been sitting in my garage for a couple weeks and there isn’t anything dripping at the moment. Other than that leak and addressing the aftermarket T-Split in the heater lines, there are signs of seepage or leaking from any other component.
I’ve driven it approximately 550 miles and it has run flawlessly; both oil pressure and temperature have stayed at normal operating specifications. The A/C still blows cold as I did drive this on a couple humid 90+ degree days.
Recent work performed within the last 2000 miles:
This Bronco just passed the State of Maine Safety Inspection and that is valid through July 2019.
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