1986 Ford Bronco Reviews

1986 Ford Bronco XLT 5.0 from North America

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1985
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 5.0 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired173000 miles
Most recent distance190000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Blazer

Summary:

Very rugged and sure footed

Faults:

Fuel pump went out at 175000 miles.

Exhaust manifold on the drivers side cracked.

Rear window motor went out at 175000 miles.

General Comments:

Normal repairs for the amount of miles.

Great off road and camping toy; mine spends a lot of time off road and has always made it home.

A 1986 Bronco makes a good project truck, and with a little work is a outstanding off road platform.

The 5.0 is a little small for the truck, but a few after market parts and it's more than up to the job.

You can rebuild the truck from the ground up from any auto parts store.

Only real down fall is the 10-12 m.p.g.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st July, 2009

1986 Ford Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.7 Hi Po 351 from North America

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1985
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 5.7 Hi Po 351 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired56000 miles
Most recent distance58000 miles
Previous carBuick Riviera

Summary:

I love it, drives anywhere, anytime, I can't wait to add the lift kit and engine rebuild!

Faults:

Ignition switch is tricky and would not connect properly.

Starter solenoid had to be replaced right away.

Gas gauge is way off, which has put me in a few sticky situations.

Exhaust is falling apart and rust has formed on all quarters and bottom of tail gate.

General Comments:

Eats a bit more gas than i'd like, but it handles well on the highway.

4X4 is VERY useful in the winter and muddiness.

Very roomy and comfy, handles great.

I freakin' love my bronco, I have always wanted one of these.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th February, 2005

1986 Ford Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 V8 from North America

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 5.0 V8 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
10.0 / 10
Distance when acquired150000 miles
Most recent distance153000 miles
Previous carNissan 300ZX

Summary:

The best SUV Ford has ever built

Faults:

Power door locks and passenger window motor.

Front left turn signal.

Bottom of tail gate it starting to rust.

General Comments:

This truck is super comfortable and has tons of room. You can even sleep in the back with the rear seats folded forward.

Lots of cargo space. Perfect for camping.

Great for off road adventures and trails.

Reliable. Has never left me stranded.

Could use a better power to weight ratio. Especially to drive over 70mph or up a steep grade.

Bottom line, I love my Bronco. I will be purchasing another!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th September, 2004

1986 Ford Bronco XLT 302 from North America

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 302 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired106900 miles
Most recent distance109200 miles
Previous carBMW 3 Series

Summary:

It's a bronco with the legendary 302.

Faults:

Only major fix:headlight switch.

Seats are in very bad condition.

Needs a paint job, and developing rust.

Possible cracked exhaust manifold.

Oil leaks from oil pan.

The engine will be rebuilt, and a lift kit is the next project.

General Comments:

At 106k I took it 70 miles on a camping trip, and at 70 mph it still felt strong.

I can't wait for tomorrow to come I just want to drive my bronco all day long.

Althuogh, after 18 years you need to tighten all the little screws to get rid of all those annoying cabin noises.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th July, 2004

1986 Ford Bronco XLT 5.0 from North America

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 5.0 Automatic
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.8 / 10
Distance when acquired200000 miles
Most recent distance270000 miles
Previous carFord Bronco

Summary:

Not bad, but cost a lot of money to keep up

Faults:

Every thing has gone wrong.

General Comments:

I like the color (bright orange) but it sucks to gas and has cost me way to much money.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd December, 2003

1986 Ford Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 302ci from North America

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 5.0 302ci Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired150000 miles
Most recent distance155000 miles
Previous carFord Bronco II

Summary:

Best money I have ever spent

Faults:

Rotors warped.

Passenger side power window stopped working.

General Comments:

Off-road monster that outperforms many of todays 4x4 vehicles.

Handles surprisingly well for it's size.

Has a better turning radius than my 91 300zx.

Engine is underpowered for it's weight, I notice this on the freeway going up hill.

Keeps it's passengers very comfortable.

Thirty gallon tank is not cheap to fill and doesn't last as long as I would like.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th August, 2003

1986 Ford Bronco XLT 5.0 from North America

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 5.0 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.5 / 10
Distance when acquired145000 miles
Most recent distance160000 miles
Previous carNissan Sentra

Summary:

Fun, wish it was more reliable!

Faults:

In 1999, two weeks after purchase from a private party, replaced the rear differential. Cost $500.

In 2001, the front and rear brakes were done for about $500.

Mysterious low-speed hesitation began in March 2001:

Complete tune-up, $250.

Replaced all 5 U-joints, $500.

Two sensors, $150.

EGR valve, $150.

Checked the tranny and vacuum lines more than once during the process of elimination regarding hesitation, $0.

The problem persists and is getting worse: now cutting out when going slow, idle bouncing around.

Replaced tailgate window switch. Cost $50.

Front seats lean back too far even in the straightest position.

Engine wire harness is in need of replacing.

Air conditioning needs replacing.

Heater went out recently. Fan blows but no heat. Makes a weird gurgling sound.

Right front speaker quit.

Engine and tranny rebuilt at 100,000 miles.

5.0 engine just a bit small for this heavy vehicle in my opinion.

General Comments:

And after all that I am having a hard time getting rid of it!!

I just wish I could get the hesitation taken care of and the climate control. But the costs are adding up fast, and the downtime is very difficult for me to handle. I am tired of arranging rides and missing work.

What the Ford Bronco is, I really like: a fun-loving 2 door beast that you just point and shoot. It's been perfect for the beach, the hills, the desert, camping, art/craft fairs, you name it!

I like the image of this vehicle: does not say "Family Sedan" like most of the 4 door SUV's. It is less civilized than Explorer Sport, which I also like. Mine has an approximate 3" lift which is perfect.

It's cavernous cargo space has been extremely useful.

My two biggest complaints are the mystery problem (if I keep it we will be investigating the fuel system next) and the fact that the wheelbase is too short to haul horses. I may buy a 1996 Bronco next if I don't buy a Grand Cherokee or truck.

At this point I am torn between spending big bucks to restore this 1986 Bronco and giving up to find something else. I am actually losing sleep on it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 29th October, 2001

29th Jan 2002, 01:43

I understand your pain. I partially own an '86 Ford Bronco on terms my Dad and I set 4 years ago. I have recently spent more than $4,000 on my truck and it still lacks reliability, but I can't say it is the makers fault. I, like yourself, use it for what it is built for, the off road. My problems were from past abuse from the previous owner. Turned out that he had buried it in a creek while trying to cross and hit a hard surface sideways and the seals in the IFS started to leak. 3 years and $3,000 later I have a practically brand new truck. However, I never thought that my oil pump would go bad and that explains itself.

I have an idea for your hesitation problem though. I had an experience where my truck just wouldn't run right after a top end rebuild. For months I battled timing errors and bad fuel economy not to mention cooling problems. Anyway, it ended up that you can actually put that distributor in 180 degrees backwards and still have it run. It just barely makes right time and if you try to adjust in that condition, you will only frustrate yourself further. Don't give up on that truck! That truck alone stands for what true freedom of the road stands for. Nothing stops a truck like the Bronco.

Average review marks: 7.6 / 10, based on 7 reviews