1988 Ford Bronco II XL 2.9 from North America


4WD never worked.

Water pump went out just over 136,000 miles.

Valve covers had to be replaced for the second time in 2 years.

Oil pan gasket has started to leak.

Interior lights would never turn off, thus having no way to light the cabin at night.

General Comments:

I bought this truck in December, before I got my license because I needed a vehicle and my 1987 Pontiac Sunbird project was going nowhere fast.

The truck started right up in below zero weather at 10 at night with no problems at all.

The heater only works on the highest level which gets to be a pain after awhile, but is not a big problem and I can live with.

The only time it really "broke down" was when the water pump went out, but it was the original and it was nothing to get mad over, parts wear out, it's unavoidable.

The 4 wheel never worked from the time I bought it so I did get it stuck a time or two, once in mud and once in a snowbank. The shifter won't move and I'm not sure if it's a linkage or the transfer case itself.

I have the infamous 2.9 with bad oil pressure, or at least a bad oil pressure gauge. The truck couldn't run at high speeds for long distances or it would knock horribly until oil could better circulate. I just used STP and it helped a little, but would still knock after running long distances.

This truck is great for someone who is looking for a small, but very dependable and useful vehicle. I however, am not one of these people and recently purchased a full size '89 Bronco which is what I've always wanted. The B2 sits for up to two weeks at a time, and always fires right up when I drive it.

I would consider keeping it only it's falling apart too bad. This is mainly due to neglect from the previous owner which is a shame, too many people look at these little trucks as jokes when their one of the best and most reliable domestic vehicles on the market. I would recommend it to anyone. It took a helluva beating from me and my friends and it always started the next morning.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th September, 2006

1988 Ford Bronco II XL 2.9L from North America


Good truck, a lot of repairs


Seats are starting to wear a little.

Water leaks from the back hatch and someplace in the front.

Seats are broken, won't move (drivers side).

Water pump blew up.

Brakes were badly over worn.

Head gasket is leaking.

Heater went out twice.

Radiator had a few leaks.

Clutch doesn't feel all that great, even with a new top of the line clutch.

General Comments:

This truck is great on the trails. I've never been to a spot where I tell my friends that I can't make it. I've put in a 4" lift and 31" tires. I've been able to carry my friends as well as gear to fishing spots that most trucks cannot and will not try to reach.

I'm 6'2 and 280lbs and I fit perfect inside my BII. The back seats don't have much room for anyone bigger than 5'8. Better left for kids.

My truck requires quite a bit of up keep. I've replaced a lot of things in it so far. And probably will have to replace even more.

All in all I say this is a good cheap truck. If you want something that'll get you there without looking all that great... it's perfect.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th May, 2006

7th Aug 2012, 18:53

If you didn't put in new gears after putting on those 31s, that's why the clutch doesn't feel great.

1988 Ford Bronco II XLT from North America




Engine blew, had to replace entire engine.

At a separate point, the head gaskets blew.

Oil sending unit blew and replaced.

Transmission fell apart, needed to be rebuilt.

Replaced heater core.

It was smoking and blew a spark plug, but it wasn't overheating and I now refuse to put any more work into the car.

General Comments:

I was NOT looking for a project car when I bought my Bronco II, but it feels like that's where I am. Perhaps I received the one absolute lemon in a sea of wonderful cars. I like everything about the Bronco II, except that it breaks down every couple months! I've spent at least 6 times what I paid for the car fixing it up, and I expected after a few repairs it'd be reliable. I was wrong; this car is absolutely unreliable. And it gets horrible gas mileage. All I want is for my car to stop and go when I tell it to. I hate this car. I feel cursed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd March, 2006

4th Mar 2006, 08:26

I think you have to be realistic and accept that this is a very old car that sounds like it's worn out.

28th Apr 2006, 17:12

Something tells me you had the 2.9L 6 cyl. engine... they are trouble prone - especially the head gaskets...I've heard that the 2.8L is the better bet. (funny/weird how much difference 1L makes, eh?)

29th Apr 2006, 09:22

The 1988 bronco 2 had the 2.9 engine as the 3.0 appeared in 1990+.

The 2.8 had the same weak oil pressure problems as the 2.9, but just not as bad.

2nd Jul 2006, 16:51

I have had a B II for 8 years, bought with 57k miles, put 100k on it, and more or less just replaced the clutch. It is a hell of a little truck. I believe as in most every vehicle, if regular maintenance is performed, most all of the problems you are talking about don't happen until a few 100k miles.