A Healthy Old Horse
Forrest Moore was 18 years old when he brought this Bronco home-only it wasn't this Bronco, but rather a milder version of this Bronco with a Dana 30 front and a Ford 9-inch rear axle. Then over the years things changed. Forrest grew up, started a metal fabrication shop with some friends, and built a family. Meanwhile that mediocre old horse became a snortin' Clydesdale off-road powerhouse. In fact over the last 24 years Forrest has totally rebuilt this Bronco no less than four times with many minor upgrades along the way as well. But here's the kicker. Though he has built and rebuilt this Bronco, his goal has always been to have a 4x4 that he didn't need to work on. Kind of funny, isn't it?
This current iteration of '66 Ford sheetmetal covers a stretched, linked, and 1-ton'd chassis with healthy V-8 power under the narrowed hood. Though it works great for hauling his family or friends on camping trips amongst the California Sierras, Forrest is already planning and scheming the next rebuild. In fact, a month after we shot these photos, Forrest rolled the old Bronc pretty hard. Luckily only the Bronco's body got hurt, and no major work was needed. We're sure he'll be getting the tools out soon enough, if not to fix it, then to transform it once again.
1966 Ford Bronco
Engine: '89 Mustang 5.0L V-8
Transfer case: Atlas 4.3
Front Axle: Fabworx high-pinion Dana 60, Detroit Locker, 4.56 gears
Rear Axle: High-pinion Dana 60, Detroit Locker, 4.56 gears
Springs & Such: Fabworx triangulated four-link front and rear with Fox coilovers at each corner with Eibach springs and matching air bumpstops
Tires & Wheels: 39.5 Super Swamper Iroks on 17-inch Trail Ready beadlocks
Steering: Howe steering box and reservoir, F-350 pump, forklift ram
Other Stuff: 13/4x0.095-inch-tube rollcage, Corbeau suspension seats, Powertank CO2 tank, Modified Wild Horses fuel tank, front narrowed 10 inches, rear body narrowed 13 inches, Panasonic radio, Auto Meter gauges
It's hard for most guys to justify a trail-only vehicle that requires a trailer every time you want to go somewhere, so Forrest made sure he still had working signals, wipers, and a body that wasn't all jungle-gym tubing. Yes, we know that the tires stick slightly outside the 13-inch narrower-than-stock rear body sides and that picky policemen could find something else wrong with it, but as long as Forrest keeps his wild driving in the dirt, we feel confident the Bronco will get him and his kids to the ice cream stand without red and blue lights.
The front fenders have been dovetailed inwards a total of 10 inches, helping make room for the 39.5-inch Irok tires on 17-inch Trail Ready beadlocks. A high-pinion Dana 60 built by Fabworx Custom Metal Fabrication (Forrest's place of business), is up front doing steering and driving duty with a Howe ram-assist steering box outside and a Detroit Locker with 4.56 gears inside. The front suspension is comprised of Fox 2-inch coilover shocks and air bumpstops along with a triangulated four-link. Though mixing four-links with a steering box often results in bumpsteer, Forrest has found his steering to work great both on- and off-road with only slight bumpsteer when extremely articulated.