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2002 Top Truck Challengers 1973 Ford Bronco

Posted in Project Vehicles on October 1, 2002 Comment (0)
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2002 Top Truck Challengers 1973 Ford Bronco
Photographers: Craig Perronne

Here they are, the top 10 Top Truck Challenge vote getters that were chosen by you readers. This year you picked an excellent crop of vehicles. Some of them represent the absolute latest in technology and trickery, while others show what can be done on a budget. One thing they all have in common is they are slated to do battle in Top Truck Challenge. Tune in next month to see them in action.

Even at a quick glance, it's clear that John Reynolds' Bronco is a fine example of a wild trail rig. During the truck's construction, every cutting-edge component was carefully analyzed to ensure that the finished vehicle would be a finely tuned symphony of form and function. Of course, would you expect anything less from a professional musician who specializes in complex classical music?

John, of La Crescenta, California, began his SuperBronco project by selecting the wheels and tires he wished to use-42x15-16.5 Swampers mounted on 16.5x8.25 Humvee bead lock rims. He then built the vehicle from the tires up, beginning with a custom chassis that was fabbed by Fat City in Ventura, California. Under the blue powdercoated chassis went a set of hybrid axles that feature Strange nodular housing centersections with custom axletubes and Unimog portal ends. The rear axle sports a custom pinion-mounted disc brake, and its wheels are steerable using the same engine-driven hydraulic system as the front axle. Both center-sections sport Detroit Lockers and the tubes are stuffed with custom CV-jointed CTM chrome-moly axleshafts. The centersections feature 2.50:1 gears, while the Unimog ends feature 2.13:1 gears. This gives the diffs a final gear ratio of 5.27:1.

John installed a front and rear reverse four-link suspension setup that allows for unimpeded travel of the lower front control arms. Flexy 14-inch King coilover shocks and a Currie Antirock rear antiroll bar round out the suspension mods.

The 426ci V-8 engine spews out 430 hp and 550 lb-ft of torque. The fuel-injected engine turns a Link-Arc alternator and dual hydraulic steering pumps. Bolted to the powerhouse is a Ford C6 transmission, controlled by an Art Carr shifter. The 426ci V-8 engine spews out 430 hp and 550 lb-ft of torque. The fuel-injected engine turns a Link-Arc alternator and dual hydraulic steering pumps. Bolted to the powerhouse is a Ford C6 transmission, controlled by an Art Carr shifter.

Mounted low in the chassis is a wicked 430hp Ford Performance Solutions-built fuel-injected Ford 426ci V-8 engine, which features a laundry list of internal mods including Ross forged pistons and a Retro roller camshaft. FPS stainless steel valves and aluminum roller rockers reside in the Avenger heads, and a 75mm throttle body sits atop a Trick Flow intake manifold. Other underhood mods include two power steering pumps and coolers (one for each axle), an Optima battery, an ACCEL distributor, an MSD ignition and coil, and a Link-Ark alternator. The entire exhaust system is ceramic coated, including the Fat City custom headers, 211/42-inch dual-exhaust system and Flowmaster muffler. Torque flows through a Rancho Transmission-built C6 tranny to an Atlas II transfer case with heavy-duty output shafts and a custom output-shaft-mounted driveline disc brake system for the front axle.

The exterior is clothed in modified, removable '73 Bronco sheetmetal, while the hood is fiberglass. A set of PIAA Pro 80 XT lights reside up front for night 'wheeling, and a Warn 8274 winch is at the ready.

Inside the truck, John is surrounded by an integrated rollcage as he sits on MasterCraft seats and monitors engine functions via Auto Meter tachometer, water temperature, oil pressure and volt gauges.

John says he built his Bronco for rockcrawling. The question is, will this purpose-built truck have what it takes to survive the varied challenges of Top Truck? When it's over, will John still be humming the classics, or will he be singing the blues? Tune in next month to find out.
-Ken Brubaker

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SPECIFICATIONS


GENERAL
Owner John Reynolds, La Crescenta, California
Vehicle/Model 1973 {{{Ford Bronco}}}


ENGINE
Type Ford 426 OHV V-8
Aspiration Fuel injection


DRIVETRAIN
Transmission C6
Transfer Case Atlas II


SUSPENSION
Front Reverse four-link
Rear Reverse four-link
Shocks King coilover


AXLES/DIFFERENTIALS
Front Strange centersection, custom tubes, Unimog ends, Detroit Locker, CTM chrome-moly axleshafts
Rear Strange centersection, custom tubes, Unimog ends, Detroit Locker, CTM chrome-moly axleshafts
Ring-and-Pinion 5.27:1 final


WHEELS/TIRES
Wheels 16.5x8.25 Humvee bead lock
Tires 42x15-16.5 Swampers

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