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1969 Ford Bronco - The Off-Road Street Rod

Front Passenger Side View
Phillip Dayton | Writer
Posted June 9, 2006

Brett Waddle's trail rig project started in 1991 with the parts from two '69 Ford Broncos. Brett put them together to make one vehicle that was able to handle all of his wheeling needs. It took him a couple of years to finish it, but for the next 11 years after that he had a great trail rig he ran hard and rough. After all those years playing on the trail, he finally decided it was ready for a face-lift, especially since by that time Brett had his own successful, Yuba City, California, automotive shop, BRC Motorsports.

His main goal for this project was to maintain the original '69 Bronco look while also creating a virtual shop with hotel-like amenities for the trail environment. This needed to include onboard air, a welder, and a hot shower. At the same time, the rig needed to be streetable and reliable.

While the exterior of the Bronco retains its factory grille, the front and rear bumpers were custom-fabricated at BRC Motorsports. The rear bumper sports a spare-tire mount and a fold-down table. Other custom bodywork includes the molded front flares, custom half-doors, shaved taillights, shaved door handles, and custom rocker panels - all crafted at BRC Motorsports. For the final paint, Brett had J.D. Champion of Citrus Heights, California, spray the PPG Screaming Yellow on the old Bronco?s exterior.

Brett rebuilt a '69 Ford 351W, 5.8L engine. It was bored 0.030 over with all components balanced and blueprinted. An Edelbrock Performer cam with 0.448/0.472 lift and 0.204 degrees duration was added. Edelbrock hydraulic lifters and Competition Cams roller rockers and double roller timing chain were also used in the engine build. The forged pistons were fit with moly rings for long life and durability. Brett then match-ported the head and installed the Edelbrock intake manifold, an Edelbrock Quadrajet 795 carb with a K&N air cleaner, and BBK headers. The final compression ratio is 9:1, and estimated power output after all that work is about 330 hp.

Additional components under the hood include a 100-amp GM alternator, a 1400-series power-steering pump with remote reservoir, a York compressor for onboard air, and a custom-built heat exchanger for the shower.

An Atlas II 4.3 transfer case was matched to a GM NV4500 transmission, and Dynatrac Pro Rock 60 axles were installed front and rear, both of which use Dutchman axleshafts. Both were also fit with 5:13 gears and ARB Air Lockers. Custom-built CV driveshafts were used to transfer power from the drivetrain to the axles. The brake setup uses Chevy discs in the front and Ford Motorsport discs in the rear.

The suspension consists of rear Skyjacker springs with custom BRC Motorsports blocks and 14-inch Sway-A-Way coilover shocks up front. This suspension system also includes a custom anti-wrap bar, front control arms, shock hoops, and crossmembers all built by BRC Motorsports. American Racing wheels are wrapped with 37x12.50x15 Goodyear MT/R tires.

The interior includes customized front bucket seats with headrest speakers. The seats were upholstered with gray velour by Roseville Upholstery in Roseville, California. The Rhino-lined stock dash sports Auto Meter Sport-Comp gauges. In addition, BRC Motorsports also built the custom rollcage.

After 14 months of building this Bronco, Brett will tell you that the easiest part of building this rig was choosing the color of the paint. We asked him what kind of problems he ran into along the way and his answer was where to put everything and how to make it fit. Any short cuts? Brett couldn't find any... but he's still looking.

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