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blksn8k2

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blksn8k2 last won the day on November 29 2020

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  1. blksn8k2

    Doing some updates to my '75

    New subject. I started looking at an issue I'm having with the track bar (panhard bar) on the front suspension of the Bronco. That's the yellow bar in the photos. I was kinda planning to buy a new one because I noticed that the old one was at the minimum length of it's adjustment and the axle was still not centered under the frame. It is shifted almost 3/8" toward the passenger side. Back when I first bought the truck it had 5 1/2" of suspension lift plus a 2" body lift which was pretty ridiculous. Not long after I bought it I replaced the 1/2 ton truck snowplow front springs with 2" shorter progressive rate units and removed the 2" lift blocks from the rear axle. I also replaced the old what I assume were Rough Country brand shocks with the correct length remote reservoir Bilsteins for the now 3 1/2" of suspension lift. As I said, the problem now is that the front axle is no longer centered under the truck. When I lowered the truck 2" it moved the axle that 3/8" toward the passenger side. Because of the suspension design, as the suspension compresses or extends, the axle actually shifts from side to side as the suspension moves up and down. That is because it is pivoting on the ends of the track bar. You can't prevent it but you can minimize the effect it has on the steering, known as "bump steer", by trying to keep the track bar as parallel to the intermediate link bar of the tie rod as possible throughout its travel. The way they did that on the older designed Bronco lift kits was to add a drop bracket to the driver side frame rail to mount that end of the track bar. By lowering the upper end it brought it closer to the angle of the link bar. However, they discovered that wasn't such a great idea because it put a lot of extra stress on the frame rail. On some of the newer kits they use a taller bracket that attaches to the passenger side of the axle that instead raises the lower end of the track bar to accomplish the same thing. BTW, the original factory installed track bars were not adjustable. Whoever installed the lift kit on my truck did the right thing by including the adjustable track bar. They just went a little too high for my taste. Being an older kit, my truck naturally has the frame bracket. If you look at the first photo, you can see that the upper end of the track bar is now a bit too low. I'm going to try removing the lowering bracket from the frame rail. By doing that I can go back to the hole in the original bracket which will raise that end of the track bar and effectively shorten it thus pulling the axle toward the driver side. I doubt it will be perfect and I'm hoping it actually moves the axle too far in which case I would then be able to adjust the track bar by lengthening it to center the axle. As I said before, the track bar is at its shortest possible length right now which means I am out of adjustment with the current setup. The center-to-center length between the track bar bushings right now is 28". I checked the length of all the currently available adjustable track bars I could buy and they were all the same as the one I have now. In other words, I can't buy one that will adjust to a shorter length than what I already have. The way I see it I have no choice but to remove the lowering bracket from the frame rail. If the angle of the track bar is then too far off in the opposite direction I could buy one of the newer lowering brackets that has multiple hole locations. However, that might not be the best solution since it would put me right back to the frame stress issue although it would be lessened by the fact that the bending arm would be shortened by using a higher mounting point. I did look at the possibility of drilling an extra set of holes in the existing lowering bracket but the sides are tapered in the area where I would need to add holes so that probably wouldn't work very well. I could also try adding the newer style lifting bracket to the axle but the way it mounts would interfere with a u-bolt that attaches the front sway bar. One thing I will say about the suspension modifications that were on this thing when I bought it is that whoever did it apparently just threw every possible big, beefy part under there that they could buy at the time. I guess they were going for the monster truck look that was popular back then. It has override traction bars on the rear leaf springs, axle trusses and huge anti-sway bars on both axles and giant polyurethane bump stops on the front axle. It also had a set of link bars tying the rear axle to the center of the frame rails but I removed those because I believed they were restricting the movement of the rear axle too much. I still have not removed the front mounting plates for those but I plan to as they serve no other purpose now than to reduce ground clearance. I'm not exactly sure what they were trying to achieve with all that but it certainly made it ride like crap and took away most of the suspension articulation, or wheel travel. The only purpose the springs seemed to serve was to get it as high as possible because all the other crap wouldn't let them do anything else. Suspension technology sure has changed for the better since this one was built.
  2. blksn8k2

    Doing some updates to my '75

    Thanks for the opinions guys. I'm obviously on the fence. Older vehicles aren't known for good lighting so anything that improves that is a good thing. But I agree the pushbar can also detract from the "old school" styling. Having said that I could show you some photos of some of the aftermarket plate type bumpers/pushbars that are sold for early Broncos that are anything but "nostalgic". To each their own. I think I mentioned before that the deer hunting is really good here but that also means that hitting a deer on the highway is a very real possibility and the pushbar does add a little extra protection. I replaced the front bumper cover twice on my old Sport Trac due to hitting deer. If I do decide to add the Duff's rock sliders to the rocker panels I think the pushbar would compliment those and add to the off-road look.
  3. blksn8k2

    Doing some updates to my '75

    I just happen to have an extra push bar that is the same as the one I have on my F-150. There is an LED light bar that mounts in it as well. All I would need to mount it on the Bronco are some brackets to attach it to the frame rails, which I can make. Yes, no?
  4. blksn8k2

    Doing some updates to my '75

    While searching the forums on classicbroncos.com I came across multiple threads where members were complaining about the same issues with the aftermarket fuel tanks and the piss-poor accuracy of the fuel tank sending units. One of the members has a connection to a sending unit manufacturer and started a group buy for the type of sending unit I mentioned earlier. The unit is longer so it gets the float closer to the bottom of the tank at low fuel levels and because the float is mounted to and slides on a vertical stainless steel post it also has a more lineal travel which should also make for a more accurate signal to the gauge. I placed my order today. Pretty sure it would make a lot of people's lives easier but I'm not sure if I want to suffer from the slings and arrows I would get by posting the pictures of my floor opening over there. You wouldn't believe the skepticism I got from one guy after posting pictures of my door stops. I guess he likes getting hit in the ass by his doors. LOL
  5. blksn8k2

    Doing some updates to my '75

    I tried running the separate ground wire but it made no difference. When I checked the resistance in the wire from the hot side of the sending unit at the gauge it read about 34 OHMs which is not surprising (33.7 + .4 = 34.1). I suppose having a nearly ten gallon reserve when the gauge reads "E" is better than the opposite.
  6. blksn8k2

    Doing some updates to my '75

    Back to a more on-topic subject. I've been messing around with the fuel level gauge the past couple of days. The problems I'm having are mostly related to the vehicle sitting in storage for the past however many years, which is typical for most of the other issues with this project. After getting the gauge mounted and wired, which was an adventure in itself, it didn't work. For a 12V power source I went to a Bronco wiring diagram I found online and found the wire that originally sent power from the ignition switch to the voltage regulator on the back of the original instrument cluster. That cluster has been pretty much gutted with the only remaining "gauge" being the speedometer. It also still has the indicator lights for the high beams and turn/hazard lights but that's it. A previous owner had already mounted Autometer oil pressure and engine water temp gauges under the dash as well as a matching tachometer on the steering column. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am adding a matching voltmeter and a fuel level gauge, also under the dash. Once I wired the voltmeter using the old voltage regulator feed for 12V switched power it works fine in both the ACC and RUN ignition key positions. Not so much for the fuel gauge. The first thing I found was that when I pulled on the wire leading from the main harness to the fuel tank sending unit it almost fell on floor. It was frayed and looking like it had been chewed off. Rats! Literally! After replacing that the gauge still didn't work. Using my Actron multi-meter I was able to trace the next problem to the fuel tank sending unit which was a bit surprising since it was pre-installed in the tank when I bought it new in about 2004. The tank came from BC Broncos in Texas and holds 24 gallons. The original tank held 16 gallons, I think. The new tank has an elaborate mounting system that connects to the frame rails and is adjustable for height. It also has a 1/4" thick skid plate which was something the old tank didn't have. That's all great but it's a real pain in the ass to remove and then reinstall the tank. Unfortunately, BC put the sending unit in the top of tank which also means you can't get to it. The original tank had the sending unit mounted on the front of the old tank facing the rear axle which also means there was no need for an access opening in the floor. Needless to say, now there is. I suppose some Bronco purists would cringe at the fact that I cut a hole in a perfectly good original floor but whatever. There's a bunch of other mods on this truck I'm sure they hate as well. Anyway, after getting access to the sending unit, I put the meter on it and it didn't have any reading, zero. So I pulled it out of the tank and the first thing that jumped out at me was the amount of yellowish crud on it. I assume that was a combination of evaporated gas and condensation. Once I had it cleaned it still registered zero OHMs of resistance. I then disassembled it and in the process found a plastic insulator that was too thick and not allowing the body of the sending unit to make contact with the top mounting flange which meant it wasn't getting a proper ground. That also probably explains why it never worked with the original gauge. After trimming the plastic piece and reassembling the unit it was now reading between 77 (full) and 13 (empty) OHMs of resistance out of the tank and it is rated for 77-10. Probably close enough. The Autometer gauge is rated for 73-10 OHMs. Again, should be close enough. After reinstalling the sending unit in the tank the sending unit now reads 33.7 OHMs with about 11.5 gallons of gas in the tank. Again, pretty close. However, after reconnecting the wires to the sending unit and the gauge, when I check the gauge it is now reading less than 1/4 tank. Not cool. The "hot" wire to the sending unit reads .4 OHMs from end to end, unconnected, which means there is no break in the wire. The sending unit appears to be reading the proper amount of resistance for the amount of gas in the tank which means that is no longer the issue and neither is the wire from the sending unit to the gauge so the problem would appear to now be with the gauge itself. If I ground across the gauge connectors it pegs past full so it appears to be functioning properly. I plan to try running a separate ground wire directly from the gauge to the ground lead on the sending unit. Right now the sending unit is grounded to the frame which is good but the gauge is grounded to the body. Shouldn't be an issue but it won't hurt anything to try something different. BTW, those white wires hanging under the new gauges are just the power leads for the background lighting inside the gauges and haven't been connected yet. If I can't get an accurate reading I can buy a gauge synchronizing box which connects between the sending unit and the gauge. Autometer makes one that also includes a digital readout and a low fuel level warning. I'm also not real impressed with the design of the BC Broncos sending unit. Besides the fact that it didn't even work as built it also uses the old school toilet tank swing arm setup. I know there is a replacement sending unit available that uses a float that slides up and down on a vertical post so that might be worth the change if only from a reliability and accuracy perspective.
  7. blksn8k2

    Doing some updates to my '75

    Neither does any of the illegal alien BS that's bound to happen. Probably as we speak.
  8. blksn8k2

    Doing some updates to my '75

    Wow! Be safe fuzzy. You're gonna hate me when I tell you this but I bought a 91 acre property that borders on the property my parents had when I was a kid. One of my sisters and her husband now own the old house. I grew up hunting on the land I now own. At last count I am up to 20 ladder tree stands, seven of which were here when I bought the place. The deer and turkey hunting is awesome! I also added a couple of small ponds and food plots and the previous owner added a small orchard. The property also has a natural gas well and I get free gas. There is also a stocked trout stream which also has native small mouth bass within walking distance.
  9. blksn8k2

    Doing some updates to my '75

    I know exactly what you guys are saying, especially about having the time and space. Most of my projects started years ago in an unheated 2 1/2 car garage behind my house in Ohio. Before I retired I bought this property near my old hometown in PA and then added the 40x50 shop so first and foremost I would have a place to keep all my junk under roof and out of the weather. That didn't happen overnight which meant that I spent more time putting up the building, moving everything from Ohio, getting the house in Ohio ready to sell and then improving the attached garage here than I did working on any of my car projects. Most people downsize when they retire. I guess I'm not most people. 😲
  10. blksn8k2

    Doing some updates to my '75

    Speaking of inspections, my nephew who is a Pennsylvania State Trooper stopped by today. When I was showing him the progress on the Bronco I mentioned that I was just about ready to get it registered and inspected. He told me that if I register it as an antique vehicle it does not need to be inspected. There are some restrictions on usage of antique vehicles but nothing I couldn't live with. I'm not totally convinced that is the best choice but it is something to consider. I could also register it as a classic since it is more than fifteen years old. That would still require an annual inspection but would not have the same driving restrictions as the antique option. The advantage of either of those two options is a one-time registration fee that never needs to be renewed and classics can be converted to antiques once they reach the twenty-five year age category. The Bronco obviously qualifies for either option.
  11. blksn8k2

    Doing some updates to my '75

    I find it interesting and entertaining to watch some of the auto related "reality shows" on TV but I hope everyone realizes that is far from the real world. Not everyone can afford what those shops charge and a lot of what you see is made for TV ratings drama. And it would be great to have the Garage Squad show up at your doorstep ready to finish your neglected project in three days but odds are that's not going to happen either. When you don't have a ten man professional crew things take a lot longer to finish and the results will probably not be as good. But for me there is a real sense of accomplishment in learning how to do this stuff myself. And if the results aren't what I expected then I have no one to blame but myself. Putting it out here for everyone to see can be intimidating but it has also kept me on track and was definitely an incentive to do it as well as I could. I also appreciate the fact that BOF is more civilized than the typical anti-social media. With all the other issues going on these days I just hope this has given others an incentive to do something similar and maybe provided a little distraction from some of the more unpleasant things we all have to deal with.
  12. blksn8k2

    Doing some updates to my '75

    Thanks tbone. I need all the encouragement I can get. And thank God for small victories. After fooling around with the doggone horn off and on for days I finally got it working again. As I mentioned before, I had ordered a new horn button for the steering wheel. I did that because I was able to get the horn to blow at least once by touching the two wires inside the steering column together which told me the horn itself was not the problem, or so I thought. The new horn button came today so I installed it and .......nothing. WTH? I took the wheel back off and touched those same two wires together again and....silence. So I ran a jumper wire from the battery to the hot side of the horn and, again, nothing. Next I grabbed a new horn that I bought for the '70 Mach 1 that was still in the box and checked the resistance across both horns with a multi-meter. BINGO! The old horn showed zero resistance while new one read about 14 OHMs. After installing the new horn and the steering wheel with the new button the horn works like it's supposed to. That should be the final item I need for PA state inspection, although I do plan to disassemble both front hubs and re-grease the wheel bearings.
  13. blksn8k2

    Doing some updates to my '75

    I got sidetracked for a few days while I installed a new garage heater. This one is a Mr Heater 50k BTU ceiling mounted natural gas unit. Works great! The old heater was one of those wall mounted, unvented, open flame CO generators. In other words, a death trap. Anyway, I finally got around to pressure washing the engine bay and wiring the back-up lights. I had to buy a pigtail for the back-up light switch on the NV3550 5-speed transmission. Then I had to figure out where the old wires were and how to tap into them. What I discovered was that when a previous owner converted the original 3-speed to a floor shifter they also replaced the steering column with one out of another Ford vehicle that had a floor shifter which meant they got rid of all the shift linkage that would have been on the old column. That was a good thing except for the fact that they also got rid of the column mounted back-up light switch which explains why the back-up lights have never worked since I bought it. Not a big deal with the NV3550 other than finding the old wires and connecting them to the new back-up switch located on the side of the NV3550. Other than some more grounding issues in the taillight housings it was actually easier than I thought. They only come on when the shifter is in reverse and the ignition is in the RUN position which is exactly the way it should be. I have also been fooling around with the horn. What I discovered was that whoever installed the aftermarket steering wheel didn't wire the horn button correctly which resulted in lots of sparks and a melted connection on the horn button. I have a new button ordered.
  14. blksn8k2

    2022 Ranger speculation

    I would love to see a V6 in the Ranger too but the skeptic in me says Ford has never used an F-150 powertrain of any sort in the Ranger before and I don't see that changing now, especially with the B team back in charge. History has an ugly habit of repeating itself and fuel prices will be going up substantially. It's inevitable...
  15. blksn8k2

    Doing some updates to my '75

    It's alive! I drained the gas tank today and then added 12 gallons of Sunoco 93. I actually drove it around the lot before taking this short video of it idling in front of the garage. It's actually a lot louder than I remembered. LOL
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