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1974 Ford Bronco

Posted in Project Vehicles on August 1, 1999
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Photographers: Trenton McGee
p26370 large+1974 Ford Bronco+Front Driver Side
p26371 large+1974 Ford Bronco+Passenger Side
The Wild Horses front prerunner-type bumper replaces the original and provides a mounting point for the Warn winch and roller fairlead. The Wild Horses front prerunner-type bumper replaces the original and provides a mounting point for the Warn winch and roller fairlead.
The rear bumper is also from Wild Horses and provides a mount for the fullsize spare. The license plate tells the tale. The rear bumper is also from Wild Horses and provides a mount for the fullsize spare. The license plate tells the tale.
A custom diamond-plate dash houses Auto Meter and Mallory gauges, which are viewed from Pro-Car seats from behind the Grant steering wheel. The occupants are protected from rollover by a full Smittybilt cage. A custom diamond-plate dash houses Auto Meter and Mallory gauges, which are viewed from Pro-Car seats from behind the Grant steering wheel. The occupants are protected from rollover by a full Smittybilt cage.
The stock 302 V-8 was rebuilt using a few high-performance goodies from Edlebrock, JET, Doug Thorley, and others. The power is then transferred through a Centerforce Dual-Friction clutch to an NP435 mated to the stock Dana 20 transfer case with a Bronco Parts adapter. From there it travels through custom CV-jointed driveshafts, a Ford 9-inch, and a Dana 44. The stock 302 V-8 was rebuilt using a few high-performance goodies from Edlebrock, JET, Doug Thorley, and others. The power is then transferred through a Centerforce Dual-Friction clutch to an NP435 mated to the stock Dana 20 transfer case with a Bronco Parts adapter. From there it travels through custom CV-jointed driveshafts, a Ford 9-inch, and a Dana 44.
The stock Ford 9-inch has been beefed with Currie 31-spline axles with large bearings, a Detroit Softlocker, and 4.56 gears. Also visible are the McCoy leaf springs, soon to be replaced with National 11-pack springs. Rear disc brakes are also on the want list, but the drum units work for now. The stock Ford 9-inch has been beefed with Currie 31-spline axles with large bearings, a Detroit Softlocker, and 4.56 gears. Also visible are the McCoy leaf springs, soon to be replaced with National 11-pack springs. Rear disc brakes are also on the want list, but the drum units work for now.
A Dana 44 resides in the front. It houses a Detroit Softlocker, 4.56 gears and Currie 3/4-ton shafts. For now, drum brakes supply the stopping force, but front disc brakes are planned. A Go Rhino! axle truss/skidplate protects the housing from intrusions by rocks. The National coils rest below Wild Horses extended shock hoops with Rancho 9000 shocks. A Dana 44 resides in the front. It houses a Detroit Softlocker, 4.56 gears and Currie 3/4-ton shafts. For now, drum brakes supply the stopping force, but front disc brakes are planned. A Go Rhino! axle truss/skidplate protects the housing from intrusions by rocks. The National coils rest below Wild Horses extended shock hoops with Rancho 9000 shocks.

The buildup of this 1974 Bronco began as a simple restoration project and got out of hand once Christopher Navarre of Mission Viejo got hooked on rockcrawling. Over the course of the four-year buildup many changes were made to transform the Bronc into a more capable trail vehicle. Through it all, Christopher learned patience, perseverance, and the fact that a project like this is never really finished.

With a few rockcrawling experiences under his belt, Christopher knew he wanted to take the Bronco to greater heights. A 3-1/2-inch suspension lift and a 3-inch Wild Horses body lift seemed to get him there. Finding the right coil rate up front proved to be a problem, so he had the professionals at National Spring build the truck a custom set of coils. McCoy leaf springs bring up the rear, but plans are in the works to install Nationals. Rancho 9000 shocks take care of the damping duties.

Along the way, Christopher developed a need for power steering, lockers, and functional fuel induction. A Nissan Pathfinder box (Nissan built some parts right) was grafted to the framerail of the Bronco to help turn the 36x12.50x15 Super Swampers on 15x8 Centerline Convo HT wheels. Tried and true Detroit Lockers in the front and rear make sure that the 36s keep spinning. A JET Quadrajet carburetor was utilized to keep the Bronco running while in contorted positions.

Perhaps having been stuck or stranded with a flat tire inspired Christopher to install Wild Horses front and rear bumpers. The front carries a winch and the rear a full-size spare tire. Fender flares cover the big meats and the not-so-restorer-friendly trimmed fenders. Performance Red enamel is fogged liberally over the fiberglass hood and the rest of the Bronco’s skin. Rocker guards made from 2-3/16 diamond plate protect the belly. The rest of Christopher’s Bronco reflects his acquired addiction.

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