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1995 Ford Bronco: Making Our Point

Posted in Features on October 17, 2017
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A few months ago, we asked the question if a built mid-’90s Bronco was the best adventure vehicle available for us real-world off-roaders. One look at Kevin Kilpatrick’s ’95 Ford Bronco, and we have the answer. Yes. Yes, it is.

Built to take on the Tetons and be comfortable doing it, this Bronco is what off-roading can be truly all about.

Kilpatrick, a 59 year-old Industrial Electrician from Upland, California, is ready for retirement and has the vehicle he needs for he and his wife to travel the country one dirt road at a time. His Ford is ready too. He has prerunner suspension, a full cage, and boxes full of parts and tools.

Solo Motorsports built the suspension that adorns the Ford. It’s their Stage 4 system and gives the Bronco plenty of ability for the moderate speeds that Kilpatrick plans to achieve. Way more than moderate is actually no problem for the system, as King shocks and Deaver springs attach to the Solo long-travel system. Up front, the King’s used are 2.5 coilover and triple bypass units and the Solo system includes a cool I-beam differential. The system widens out the Bronco an additional 4.5 inches over stock.

The Solo Motorsport Stage 4 front suspension is 4.5 inches wider than stock.

The Solo Stage 4 rear features Deaver springs and trailing arms along with all the hardware. The shocks used are King 2.5 bypass units. Wheel travel is enough that Solo considers this system perfect for either prerunning or hard-core chase duties, so it’ll do everything this Bronco owner is looking to be driving on. The rearend that the suspension controls is a Ford 9-inch that Quick Performance worked on so it’s as rugged as the rest of the truck. They used 4.88 gears and widened it out to match the front end.

The 2.5 King coilovers and triple bypass shocks provide plenty of action for the Bronco.
Solo Motorsports Stage 4 rear system features Deaver springs and King 2.5 triple bypass shocks.

Solo also completely caged the vehicle and tied the suspension system into it. The braking system is the factory Ford discs, so obtaining pads wont be a problem when on the road.

The rolling hardware won’t be a problem either as 35-inch BFG KO2’s (35x12.5x17) are the rubber that meets the off-road. Baja proven, the BFG’s are mounted to equally Baja-winning 17-inch Method “Hole” wheels. This combination is as tough as they come — just what Kilpatrick is counting on when he’s out wheeling the backcountry.

The race capable combination of 17x9 Method Hole wheels and BFGoodrich KO2 T/A (35x12.5x17) tires will climb any mountain with tough to spare.

One area where Kilpatrick figured stock is better is with the Ford 5.0 engine. Sure, he had Wayne’s Engine in Riverside, California, rebuild it, and he added a K&N air cleaner, some JB Headers and a MagnaFlow muffler/exhaust system, but it’s not some temperamental, high-horsepower powerplant. It provides around 190 reliable horses to get him up and over obstacles, but it’ll also get him to the next town wherever that may be, and not guzzle a lot of fuel while doing it. The Ford E4OD transmission is cooled with a Flex-a-lite trans cooler.

For adventure driving, a stock engine means reliability. This 5.0-liter has been enhanced with a K&N air filter, set of JBA headers, and MagnaFlow exhaust though.

Kilpatrick knew that the Bronco had to be comfortable with long miles on and off road, and by that we mean he and his wife needed to be comfortable, so he went with a Grant steering wheel, custom PRP seats, along with sets of Assault UTV ive-point harnesses so he could be safe too.

Long rides require comfort, so a set of PRP seats have replaced the stock bench. Assault harnesses make sure the occupants are safely entrenched.

With a long road ahead, he added some more things he knew he’d need, such as a Lowrance GPS unit, a Rugged Radio intercom and radio system, and Auto Meter instruments. He didn’t think he’d need a fresh air system per se, as there is air-conditioning, which we think is even better!

A Grant steering wheel, Auto Meter gauges and a Lowrance GPS unit aids in the driver getting to where the trail takes them.
The Rugged Radios communication system is housed in the Tuffy center console.

The Bronco still looks like a Bronco, only better. The stock Ford body has been enhanced with a McNeil Racing fiberglass hood and front fenders as well as bedsides. With the long-travel suspension, they give the wheels plenty of room to articulate. The entire thing has been painted white so the hot desert sun won’t be a problem. When that sun goes down, there are twin Lifetime LED lightbars to provide plenty of artificial light.

Lifetime LEDs have been added to the roof rack and front bar. The winch can be mounted either to the rear receiver or to the one that’s been added to the front bar.
The roof rack and rear rack features everything that may be needed to get out of trouble, along with many boxes containing items that may be needed on the trail. A Trasharoo garbage bag ensures that the only things left behind are tire impressions and good times.
In the back, there are dual batteries, fire extinguishers, more boxes of tools and parts, and another jack — you can’t be too careful when miles from nowhere.

Kilpatrick also mounted a roof rack that in addition to an ARB roll out cover, there’s plenty of room for all the things he carries when out with his Bronco. There are boxes, tools, jacks, and a probably a kitchen sink up there too. But he won’t be left out in the cold when trouble comes. There’s another rack mounted to the back hatch with more items such as a quartet of traction ramps, a spare tire, a pair of fuel jugs and even a Trasharoo garbage bag, because Kilpatrick knows that you should take out everything you took in.

Doing most of the mods himself, Kilpatrick is confident that when he leaves his Upland, California, home for the wild open road, he has the vehicle that will take him anywhere, and the ability to ensure if something does go wrong, he has the know-how to get his Bronco going again.

We again go on record as thinking the mid-’90s Ford Bronco can be the best off-road/adventure platform available, and this one is a prime example of how nice and how capable they can be.

We want one to do the Continental Divide trail. Maybe someday …

McNeil fiberglass front and rear fenders give plenty of room for the wheels and look great too.
Yeah, this sticker is a year old, but the history of the Bronco is one that is timeless.
PhotosView Slideshow

Sources

Auto Meter
Sycamore, IL 60178
866-248-6356
www.autometer.com
Flex-A-Lite
Fife, WA 98424
800-851-1510
http://www.flex-a-lite.com
K&N Engineering
Riverside, CA 92507
800-858-3333
www.knfilters.com
BFGoodrich
877-788-8899
www.bfgoodrichtires.com
King
Garden Grove, CA 92840
714-530-8701
www.kingshocks.com
JBA
909-599-5955
www.jbaheaders.com
Lowrance
Tulsa, OK
800-324-1356
www.lowrance.com
Deaver Suspension
Santa Ana, CA 92701
714-542-3703
www.deaverspring.com
Mcneil Racing Inc.
n/a, CA
619-463-1361
http://www.mcneilracinginc.com
Method Race Wheels
866-779-8604
http://www.methodracewheels.com
ARB USA
Renton, WA 98057
425-264-1391
http://www.arbusa.com
PRP Seats
Murrieta, CA
800-317-6253
www.prpseats.com
Rugged Radios
888-541-7223
www.ruggedradios.com
Quick Performance
515-232-0126
www.quickperformance.com
Grant Steering Wheels
Glendale, CA
www.grantproducts.com
MaganaFlow Performance Exhaust
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
800-990-0905
www.magnaflow.com
Solo Motorsports
626-966-7656
http://www.solomotorsports.com
Lifetime LED Lights
http://www.lifetimeledlights.com
Assault Industries
714-799-6711
www.assaultind.com

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