1986 Ford Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 302ci from North America


Best money I have ever spent


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


Fun, wish it was more reliable!


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.