Majestic EagleRead your article concerning ugly 4x4s and I get that comment concerning my ’83 AMC Eagle from time to time. I won my car in a raffle in 2010 and it wasn’t perfect then. Original paint, interior, driveline, etc. Paint has a spot or two of surface rust, but after all, it’s the original paint. Over the last eight years I’ve kept it running and it appears in local car shows and cruise-ins. Sometimes I’ll win something like a people’s choice award or top 20/30 car in show. It still has the original 258 AMC six-cylinder, transmission has been rebuilt, and I’ve put back on a few parts that were missing when I got the car. It doesn’t see off-road use but as it’s a daily driver, the four-wheel drive gets used in the snow. It just went over 112,000 miles and is still serving me well. Not bad for a $5 raffle car.
Birthday BroncoFor my birthday this year I decided to buy myself a new 4x4. I have had a few XJs and ZJs so I knew I wanted something bigger, but I wanted to keep OBDII and fuel injection. I found my ’96 Bronco XL on May 2, 2018. It did run, but barely. The test drive was only in the neighborhood and the guy told me to drive home at my own risk. It had been sitting the better part of 13 years with only short trips to different fishing spots all through the foothills. The owner never registered it after he bought it as it was for his property. He also told me that in its former life it was an Eldorado County vehicle. So, after some negotiation from $3,200 to $1,500, money was paid, and smiles were had on both sides. When I got her home, we discovered that it needed a gas tank, fuel pump, sending unit, fuel filter, air filter, spark plugs, and wires. I cleaned the throttle body, changed the oil, installed Rough Country 1.5-inch leveling springs, six new KYB shocks, 31x10.50R15 Radar Renegade R5s, gave it a real alignment, a Rough Country steering stabilizer, new windshield, and serviced both the diffs. The previous owner had done some hillbilly fixes that didn’t work, the best one being the fishing lure and float he tried to use on the sending unit.
After all that I have a complete daily driver and my new backwoods explorer for under $5K. In the seven weeks I have had it finished we have gone exploring at least once a week and it takes me to work every day. Definitely take a chance on an old 4x4 as it will at least be damn fun. Next upgrades are 4.10s to get rid of the factory 3.55s and new seats and console. Oh, and I have been following the “Eddie” Bronco build. Have gotten some good ideas from you guys.
Would like to add that it is a stripper model with rubber floors and crank-up windows as well as front and rear factory limited slips (pretty cool I thought.) And the fact that my girlfriend and our three dogs love the truck. The dogs so much so if I touch the keys they line up and wait.
Scout StoryI bought this ’76 Scout II in February and finally got it running this spring. When I drive it around I get a lot of looks and finger pointing. Just this Monday after work we took her to Silver Falls Park for dinner and had a family ask me if I cut the top off. I had to explain that its removable. They asked about the mileage and the year and all kinds of stuff. Eventually I’ll get her painted, but for now she’s fun to drive.
Bronco StuckJust read Firing Order in the September 2018 issue and I have for sure had an easy stuck. I was 17 and took my high school girlfriend to the beach for the day in my ’90 Ford Bronco. It was white with a 5.0L and it lost drag races to minivans, but I was confident in its off-road ability. When we were ready to leave I saw a modified Jeep Wrangler across the parking lot playing in a sandy area. I parked next to the sandy area and thought, Why not run through it on my way out? Well it turns out it was a planter of sorts and had concrete curb surrounding it. As soon as I was fully in it my front tires hit the concrete on the other side. I immediately started to sink. Threw it in 4-Lo and I just got deeper. Now up to the frame in sand, I got out and tried digging sand out of the way. Nothing worked so I waved down the Jeep. I hooked up my towstrap and the Jeep began to tug but I didn’t budge. He was spinning all four of his 35-inch tires on asphalt and my OJ Mobile wasn’t moving. He went and got his friend who came over with a Dodge 2500 with a V-10. That did the trick and I was on my way with a laughing girlfriend and a bruised ego. I learned two important lessons that day: 1.) Never underestimate the terrain and 2.) Don’t date a girl that isn’t willing to help you out of a sticky situation.
By the way, love the magazine. I have been a subscriber since 1995.
Dale’s BroncoI got this Bronco about two years ago for $2,000. Some guy from Arizona moved to south Missouri and wanted it gone. Me and my girlfriend’s dad hopped into his ’97 F-150 that hadn’t been started in three years and drove 4.5 hours one way to pick it up. It originally came with a 300ci six, but the guy claims he locked it up and replaced it with a 351W. The whole truck was pretty much apart when I got it and it took me a week to put it back together. I have learned just about everything I know on this truck and wouldn’t trade it for the world.