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Old 12-26-2010, 11:43 PM   #1
Scoop
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Scoop's 78 Bronco Custom Build/Restore

I got my 78 Custom about a year and a half ago and have done some work on it but not a whole lot so far. I bought it from the 2nd owner who had owned it for 20 plus years. The best thing about it is that it is 99% original. Here's some pics when I first got it.









Specs:

78 Bronco Custom
351M / C6 / NP203 (converted to part time by original owner)
AC / PS / PB
Front bench seat
Bright Yellow w/ Black & Silver interior, black top, factory pinstripping
White wagon wheels w/black centers

The owner indicated that "it ran OK when I parked it 2 years ago . . ." so my original intent was to get it running and do the relatively minor amount of rust repair (after replacing the hood and tail gate) and drive it a while before really tearing into it. That was before I looked under the rubber mats! The floors - especially right behind the front seat and the rear seat floor boards - were much worse than I expected! Also I did a tune up, changed fluids, belts and hoses, and rebuilt the 2150 and got it running. But it did not run good - 0 compression on #6 and a couple others were pretty low too. Anyway, the more rust than I thought and the fact that it needs engine and tranny work (turns out it leaks really badly!) is prompting me to start in earnest on the rebuild now!

Like I said, I have done some work on it already, like the tune up, complete brake job, removed the outside carrier and installed an interior spare tire mount, but the biggest mod so far is the installation of a 23" Lokar shifter.





My plans are to do a very mild resto mod and build it as a semi daily driver (I office at home) with some towing duty. I am going to keep the color factory and refurb the white spokers for a vintage look. I've already installed a set of used 33" BFG ATs and will be installing a pair of 2" leveling coils and maybe a 1" body lift (I haven't decided yet). I want reciever hitches front and rear for towing and parking a trailer as well as for mounting a winch front or rear. It will not be used as a trail rig - I have an early Bronco for that! (Actually I want the 78 to be capable of towing the trail rig on my 16' + 2' dove tail car trailer.)

As for the engine, I am planning on rebuilding it as a 408 with EFI. I am putting the engine specs together now and hope to be pulling the engine this week. Here is a pic of the Streetmaster intake modified for injectors. Board member bmc69 did the mods for me.



I will have the C6 rebuilt with a mild shift kit and I think I'd like to reverse the part time conversion and go back to the original full time configuration. Not positive about that and I have not yet researched what it would take to go back to full time. I just don't like the idea of having a bastardized transfer case - I may even swap in a 205 to get a true part time system!

The front floor boards and rear fender arch patches just came in last week from LMC and I will be starting on the rust repairs hopefully next week also. Please feel free to comment or provide suggestions as this build proceeds.
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:50 PM   #2
78-7.0
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Sweet another 78!!! It sure is nice to see these still showing up.
Looks like a nice project!! Good luck!
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:24 PM   #3
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Got to do a little work today - just getting it ready for the engine pull. Surprisingly I am having little trouble with rusted bolts. I thought I'd break a few by now but most are coming out pretty easy. Only one I'm having a problem with is the front passenger side body mount bolt. Got it soaking in penetrant so I'll give it another try tomorrow before I break out the sawzall!

I'm pulling the front clip off and removing the core support so I don't have to lift the engine so high to get it out. Should be able to pull it tomorrow - I hope!

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Old 12-28-2010, 10:18 PM   #4
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Looks pretty good. I have a 79 that I rescued from the beach. Looks a little worse than yours. Also, napa sells this spray that freezes the bolts to break them free, can't think of name off top of my head. Before ya start sawing.
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:19 PM   #5
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Looks like a fun build! I've just started mine as well. Maybe I'll see you around Manassas.
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:14 PM   #6
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The penetrant worked and I was able to remove the body mount bolt without the sawzall. Removing the core support realy makes access easy compared to working on an early Bronco. In fact the whole front clip removal was easier than my EB!



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Old 12-29-2010, 06:23 PM   #7
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Looks like you are having some fun now! Mine should start looking like this in the next week or so...
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:29 AM   #8
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Looks Good.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:49 AM   #9
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01/09/11 Update

Some progress this week - got the engine pulled. Wow that was fun!

Took me a while to get everything disconnected - an hour here and a few minutes there . . . but finally got everything disconnected and was ready to pull on Saturday. At first I had trouble with the crossmember. I took a while to figure out just how to get it in the right position to to come out from between the frame rails.

Surprisingly I was able to pull it fairly easily as a unit with engine, tranny and TC all still attached. I was afraid having the tranny and TC attached would make it tail heavy and difficult to pull but it actually balanced pretty well. I used one of the adjustable engine lift devices which allow you to adjust the lift point front and back. In the all-the-way-back position it worked fine. I had a buddy come by to help because it's definately a 2-man job. Or at least a lot easier with 2 people!

Anyways, it's out now. I will tear it down either today or over next week. I'm anxious to see whats causing the no compression on #6. I know, worthless without pics so here's some!







Also I will be taking the C6 and 203 to be rebuilt. Hopefully I can drop them off this week.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:36 PM   #10
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Looking good man, I would love to go EFI on mine.
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:50 PM   #11
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01/15/11 Update

Didn't get much done during the week except getting the engine on the stand. Starting taking it a part today. When I pulled the intake manifold and the valley pan I think I spotted what might be my compression problem!

Take a look.

and . . .


Total of 3 intake push rods bent! I'll take the heads off tomorrow and see what other internal damage it has.

Here's where I left it tonight.
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:14 AM   #12
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I bent some pushrods like that once on my old jeep. Luckily, the pushrods are weak, cheap, and easily replaced. Saved anything else in the engine or heads from being damaged.
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Old 01-16-2011, 03:14 PM   #13
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Well the inside looks relatively good - lots of crude and buildup but the pistons, cylinder bores and the valves look good. I had excpected to see some piston damage from a valve hitting a piston - I was expecting 3 actually - but nothing! Turns out 3 intake valves were froze in the guide in the closed position and the push rods bent before the valves freed up. It had been sitting and never started for 2-3 years before I bought it.

#'s 1-4



#'s 5-8

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Old 01-16-2011, 03:21 PM   #14
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Oh yeah, can this be fixed?? (One of the valve cover bolt holes.)

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Old 01-16-2011, 03:38 PM   #15
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Looks like a great excuse to get new heads
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoop View Post
Oh yeah, can this be fixed?? (One of the valve cover bolt holes.)

Same thing happened on my chevelle's 350, It looks like you have a good portion of the thread remaining that hasn't broken off, have you tried to run a bolt in it and see if it will hold? You could also try to braze it on... also did a quick google search for you and came up with this method

http://www.aa1car.com/library/ar497c.htm

Nice build btw, on the east coast its hard to come by a truck that clean, Im defineatly watching this one!
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:31 PM   #17
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That is way cool. Help a rookie out, Is that 408 based on a 351m/400 or a 351w? I would sure like to do some type of injection on my 400 but VERY green and new to these FSB's.
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THUNDERBUGGY72 View Post
That is way cool. Help a rookie out, Is that 408 based on a 351m/400 or a 351w? I would sure like to do some type of injection on my 400 but VERY green and new to these FSB's.
351M - so I guess my new engine will be a 408M! I am using this thread as the basis for my engine build (thanks jopes) and working with TMeyer for the 408 engine rebuild kit. But there are other ways to get efi like using Price Motorsports adapters and installing 351W lower and upper manifolds.
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:13 PM   #19
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01/21/11 Update

Got the engine completely disassembled last night and got the tranny to the trany shop earlier this week. Trying to check out a couple of machine shops for my engine work. I called a local speed shop to see who they recommended and turns out their Ford guy is less than 3 miles from my house! Haven't talked to him yet but hopefully it works out and he can get to mine pretty quickly!

A couple of pics after disassembly.

The bores look real good (not a good pic here!).





About the only damage is the crack on the head across the valve cover gasket bolt hole shown above.

Probably won't get anything done this weekend - will be going to the MEB Lunch at the Lube meet & greet in Richmond tomorrow then a club meeting on Sunday. No work on the Bronco but it will be a big Bronco weekend none-the-less! Maybe see some of you in Richmond?
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:05 PM   #20
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Got the block and heads to a machine shop today. I was looking for a good machinist and could only find a local NAPA with a machinge shop - and they did more chevy stuff than Ford. So I called a local speed shop for a recommendation and it turns out an old Ford drag racer has a shop about 3 miles from my house! Really nice guy and comes highly recommended. He's backed up a couple of weeks (he's working on an old Boss motor rebuild among other things) but that's OK. It will give me time to clean up and repaint the engine bay and start on the body work. It will probably be a month or so before I get it back with all the machining work and the valve job done.

I've pretty much got everything torn down now so the next work I do may actually show some progress - which is the fun part!
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