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.
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!