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Off-Road Reader's Mail

Posted in Features on September 26, 2006
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Bronco Dreamin'My husband has always had a dream of owning a classic Bronco. He's been saving money his whole life to buy one, and he was so close. We got married in August, and I was planning on going to China to teach English to little children. My husband willingly gave all of his money he had saved so that we could go to China for half a year. It was a wonderful time, but neither I nor my husband has forgotten about his dream. I was wondering if there is any way possible that you guys could provide me with some information on classic Broncos. Anything would help me out.Jessica MurdochProvo, Utah

Hi Jessica,It's good to hear that the China trip turned out to be a positive experience. Trust us, you're racking up major points with your husband with your interest in his Bronco dreams.

We like Broncos around here - both the classic Bronco and later models. Our June '06 issue (maybe you already have it?) featured a story called "Bronc-itis" about an immaculate '74 Bronco.

The model years from '66 to '77 are the early Bronco years; that vehicle is much smaller than later versions of the Bronco. It's also a very versatile vehicle and has been used for everything from fishing trips to running the Baja 1000. It can seat four people, so it's friends-and-family friendly. There are many businesses and resources that cater to the early Bronco. The following are just a few:

www.earlybronco.com (this is the Early Bronco Registry. Its members hold an annual early Bronco roundup event in Victorville, California)

www.wildhorses4x4.comwww.broncograveyard.comwww.bcbroncos.comwww.tomsbroncoparts.comwww.westcoastbronco.com.

If you're looking for "for sale" listings, check out Hemming's Motor News in addition to the websites above. You can typically buy Hemming's Motor News at bookstores such as Borders and Barnes & Noble - it should be in the magazine section.

Before you purchase a used vehicle in Utah, you should perform a thorough inspection of the underside. The salt used in that state to melt the snow during winter means that rusted frames and body panels are a major problem on used Utah cars and trucks. Metal can be patched or replaced, but bodywork and frame repairs can add up quickly. You'll want to inspect everything. This simply means that you should pay close attention to the details when you're looking at a used vehicle. Check the areas underneath the vehicle that you don't normally see at eye level - places that water or springtime slushy snow would get splattered into. Think nooks and crannies. Keep an eye out for bubbling paint, which is a sign that there is rust underneath. There is no reason you can't find a good Early Bronco in the state of Utah, but because Utah salts its roads during winter, you should keep an especially watchful eye out for any rust.

The cool thing about the Bronco is that you can get almost anything - even a complete replacement body or a complete replacement frame - from aftermarket companies that cater to the early/classic Bronco. Even if you don't start out with a perfect Bronco, you can bring it closer to perfection as time and money allow.

Intake System -Yes Or No?I want to start out by complimenting you guys on your magazine for all the different articles and info that you pack into each issue - it's helpful and informative.

I purchased a new '05 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCab with a 4.6 V-8 last year, and I'm trying to upgrade it with a few things to help with the looks of my truck and performance as well. I am considering either an aftermarket air filter replacement or a whole filter kit system such as a K&N FIPK or an Airaid system. My biggest question is: Which is going to be better as far as overall performance and bang for the buck? Any information or advice would be appreciated.Jon Carriervia e-mail

Jon,As the OEMs compete for your consumer dollars, they try to invest money in certain areas of the vehicle that they think will win you over and downplay other areas that they hope you won't consider as carefully. Most of the time, this means that you'll get forged aluminum wheels and a marginal air filter element when you take your shiny new truck home from the dealer lot. As such, you'd do well to replace your air filter element with one from a reputable aftermarket filter maker, such as the two you've mentioned, K&N and Airaid. You'll get better filtration and better durability. Most of the aftermarket's air filter elements can be washed and reused over and over. You may or may not get better airflow by just installing an after-market filter element; it depends on whether or not the OEM air filter was overly restrictive.

As to whether or not an aftermarket intake kit is worth the cash, again, it depends. Most of the time, the answer is yes because aftermarket intakes almost always out-flow the factory part they are replacing. The catch is that after you install your new high-flow intake, you may not notice a jump in performance unless you also install a high-flow exhaust. If you get more air into the motor, you've got to give that added air a place to go. Go for the intake kit, but understand that you might not see a big performance gain until you match the intake kit with a higher-flowing exhaust system.

Editor's Note:If you have anything you'd like to say to us or ask us, please feel free to write to:
OFF-ROAD Magazine, Off-Road Mail,
2400 E. Katella Ave. 7th Floor
Anaheim, CA 92806.
You can e-mail us at kevin.blumer@sourceinterlink.com.

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