1966 Ford Bronco Pt.II

1966 Ford Bronco Pt.II

In the last post, you got the briefest introduction to the project. I’d like to use this post to expand upon the mission and the build spec so far.

Like all projects of this nature, there is a budget. We would like to keep this build around $15k. But as everyone who has done this sort of thing knows, one thing begets another. “As long as we are replacing X shouldn’t we do Y as well. Would it be easier to just take the frame off since we are this far?” You see how it goes. Dave and I are firmly trying to resist this impulse and stick to the mission and the budget. Dave’s attitude is perfect for this, he views this truck as a lifelong project. The Bronco is something to be improved over time in a series of rebuilds and eventually handed over to the kids when the time is nigh.

Along that vein, I think we would consider this the second rebuild (during Dave’s stewardship.) The first, many years ago, got it drivable. It was short lived before we broke it, severely!

The mission provides for a special purpose vehicle that is able to safely and reliably drive from Dave’s house to our local climbing area (believe it or not there is some fantastic limestone in Iowa), about an hour and half away. Or to be trailered to Colorado (Dave’s home away from home), and do some day trip type stuff with some lite trail work. The Bronco should have reasonable off road capability but by no means are we building an off roader. This should be an all around, no frills, capable classic Bronco.

So, what are we not doing:

  • Body work. Both Dave and I are huge fans of the existing patina and have no plans to do any real bodywork. That said, there are two small areas of rust in the engine bay that we may address while we are in there… Body on frame, no rotisserie build here.
  • High horsepower engine mods, we are upgrading the power plant but not going for max HP
  • Axle upgrades. We are sticking with the spindly Dana 30 front axle. We know, the Dana 44 is a great upgrade for these trucks but that would also make a great weekend upgrade project for the future.

Build Spec (so far):

Drivetrain – When we had the incident that took the Bronco off the road the original 170 CI straight 6 was completely destroyed. The block, 3 on the tree transmission, and transfer case suffered one giant longitudinal crack that dumped their respective fluids, fueling the subsequent fire.

Many years ago, Dave sought out a replacement drivetrain and enlisted the resources of a local gem, Doug’s 4-Wheelers in Pella, IA. Check them out if you are unfamiliar (Link Below). They have a huge selection of used parts and and even larger repository of four wheel drive knowledge which they are happy to share. Dave walked away with the following:

  • 302 ci V-8 Engine w/engine frame mounts
  • C4 Automatic Transmission, Flywheel and Converter w/floor shift setup from a Mustang II
  • Dana Model 20 Transfer Case
  • Front and Rear Driveshafts
  • Chrome Valve Covers, and handful of other bits
The receipt for the drivetrain purchase…
The venerable 302

Engine – The engine is currently with Mike at MAS Automotive and Machine (Link Below) in Iowa City. Mike is “The Best” in the area when it comes to this stuff. He is a fountain of knowledge and has the tools and equipment to do these things right. That being said, as of yesterday, he is behind schedule due to a broken crank grinder. No matter, we have the time. The engine is sitting on an engine stand in the shop right now. We plan to do a stock rebuild of the motor, no special cams, no overbore or stroking. Just Plain Jane reliable. However, we would like to install a fuel injection system and have not yet landed on a specific setup. If you have a recommendation based on your personal experience, please leave a comment letting us know about it.

Mike’s Shop
On a stand…this is a good sign that we are next in queue
Competition for the motor rebuild…this
…going on that!
Can’t wait till the 302 is here!


Dougs 4-Wheelers https://dougs4-wheelers.com/

MAS Machine https://www.facebook.com/masautomotiveia/

Vehicle added!
The vehicle is already in the wishlist!