I have 2 Bronco IIs. Best thing I ever did is buy one, would like to have 2 more. One of them has 199,864 on it and one has 156,834. I don't know what you are doing with yours, but I have not had to do any work on my two for so long now I don't know what, if anything, has been done to it.
I noticed that your truck had 35,000 miles on it when you got it. It is very possible that your rig was severely abused and/or poorly maintained by the previous owner(s).
I have to disagree with your mechanic about the reliability of the 2.9 liter. I have much experience with the German V-6's and very high trouble free mileage is the norm. The most common complaint is that, like most German engines, they tend to leak when they get some miles on them. My current rig is an '88 with 171,000 on the original running gear (5 speed 4x4) - the wrist pins are rattling a little bit, but it still uses very little oil and runs like a top.
HB in NC
I constantly beat the hell out of my 86 b2 4x4 2.9/auto offroad, and it has 151k...however the transmission is slippin.
Could the problem have been a lack of knowledge of the vehicle and the correct way to drive it???
May 9th 2003 I bought a 89 Bronco 2.9 engine with 80,000 miles on it when the right side head cracked, had it replaced for 926.00, drove it for a week noticed heat gage going up, checked the dipstick, saw water mixed with oil. Bad news, now the left engine head cracked, more repair money. Two cracked heads, repairman told me 2.9 had a lot of problems with cracked heads or gaskets with this motor. Buyer beware!
I have 1989 Bronco II. it runs last at 144,900 miles on 2.9L engine worn out. put new 4.0L engine into bronco II it works great, better, and more power. transmission and chassis are stock. still work hard and stronger. if anyone drive like hell or abused on bronco II, ya or previous owners are putting bomb timer in it and creates more problems occurs. I still love my Bronco II. I have purchased three different of bronco II, only one i have 1989 Brocno II than 1986. the reason is the interior designs and comforts
Well I guess you all have got some messed up B-2's...i have a 89 Bronco II... got it in 92...second owner...203K on everything and still running strong... no rebuilds or anything!
Hey guys. I have an 89 as well with a 2.9L, 5 speed transmission, 239,600 miles and it is still kicking hard. I just came back from taking on Deer Valley in California from South to North and back and I had no problems. It has the original engine. The only “repair” I have done to it was removing the valve covers to put in new gaskets at 150,000. I have rebuilt the transmission and transfer case one time, but that’s because it was due for it (at 200,000 miles and after much abuse on various trails throughout California). Beside the aforementioned, I have only performed expected maintenance typical of any car or SUV. The only modifications I have are—3 inch body lift, 2 inch suspension, Rancho 9000s, and a center-force clutch. I guess it’s just the luck of the pick—every maker has it’s lemons.
I have a 1989 XLT Bronco 2 with 208,000 miles on it and have only had to do other than routine maintenance on it is: change radiator, heater core, and valve cover caskets. Runs great, but is starting to get lower end noise. Maybe time for rebuild.
I have a 1988 Ranger 2WD, 2.9/ Mazda trans. Bought since new. Have taken good care of it. Orig engine & trans. Never overheated. Trans/clutch been rebuilt 3 times. No other problems. Usual replacements: plugs/wires/water pumps/radiators/valve cover gaskets/themostats..the small stuff. Had the pass side exhaust manifold crack & replaced. It now has ---over 330,000 miles on it. BUT here's the problem... getting oil into the crankcase. Did pressure test & it won't hold pressure. Antifreeze being sucked into the crankcase w/in about 20 miles driving.
Are these blocks known to be good blocks? I was was wondering if the heads are cracked or have a bad head gasket. Any thoughts would help. World products makes improved heads. Any other companies making them?
I have a 1989 and its one of the best vehicles I've owned with 285,000 and as much stuff I've put it through I would call it a tank.
I had a 1988 B2, it's a real nice truck. I had major problems with the original engine and the second engine as well. The Cologne engine, 2.9 L had oil issues as well as the heads cracking. My mechanic told me that you can get a B2 that will last over "200K or die at 2K". My first engine died (oil issues) at 115K and my second (rebuilt) at 50K (cracked head).
I was sorry to see it go.
When you said that you had cracked heads and water in your oil, that's the bad part about the 2.9s. Be VERY careful when buying a 2.9, if you overheat the motor, you're sure to have the heads crack leaking antifreeze into the engine, and then you're pretty much screwed.
Got an 86, which I purchased in 1999 for $500 with 212,000 miles. Used it for 13 years and now has 395,000 miles on it with only a water pump, starter, several alternators, one set of valve cover gaskets, several clutches, and a transmission at 330,000 miles.
Mind you, this vehicle is subjected to farm life, and in 2010 had chains on all four wheels for 5 months. The unit does get regular oil changes every 3000 to 3500 miles, and it consumes no oil between changes. Has an occasional puff from a valve guide seal, but that is it.
Recently bought another, since they are one of the simplest and most reliable vehicles out there. Also ran an 83 Ranger over 300,000 miles.