I am looking for a large vehicle to travel with my family this summer.
We will be on the road for at least a few months, so I need something
reliable and large enough to carry our things; this will be for my wife
and our two toddlers. We will be sleeping in hotels, so a motor home
or camper won't be necessary.
I was originally looking for a crew cab pickup, but lately I have been
seeing a lot of Broncos show up at the used car lots around my home
here near Chicago. These Broncos seem to be in decent shape with the
usual body rot around the wheels. I'm guessing that these are coming
off the road since they are big, old gas guzzlers. They seem to sit on
the lots for a long time before getting moved or auctioned. The
Broncos are usually priced very low compared compared to the other SUVs
I used google groups to search for Broncos and I was surprised at how
few posts came up. Just about every car model has at least one unique
problem that plagues it, but I couldn't see any pattern to the reports
in the group.
So here's my questions:
Would the Bronco be a good choice for traveling in for months on end?
What should I look for when shopping for one?
What should I expect if I owned one?
Thanks for any help,
On 4 Jan 2007 11:24:20 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
My sister owned 3 of them and put well over 100K on all of them back
in Rochester. And she pulled a two horse trailer with them regularly.
She had very very few problems, never an engine problem and never a
transmission problem while she owned them, typically about 5 years and
125K. The downsides to what you want to do are..
- they don't ride all that well due to them being basically a short
truck. And expect there to be some vibration/shake that comes and
goes at higher speeds. If you do look at any be sure and test drive
them at high speed on a typical freeway.
- As you know, gas mileage will be terrible
- since there are only 2 doors, getting your little ones in and out of
the back will be a pain in the butt. When my kids were little I had a
Big Blazer and one reason for selling it was the hassle of getting the
baby seats in it, etc.
- As much as I liked my Blazer and my sister liked her Bronco(S) I
don't think either of us would want to go back to them again if we had
a lot of long trips in our future.
My suggestion is this, instead of the Bronco, take a look at the older
Ford Explorers. The gas mileage won't be great but it will be better,
and with 4 doors it's a lot easier to live with. Also, unless you
have one with the shakes (be sure and test drive at high speed), they
are very quiet and comfortable on long trips. I have a 92 I bought
new and it's my preferred long trip vehicle, the seats are comfy,
sound system decent, ride and handling good as long as you keep in
mind it's a high center of gravity vehicle, and lots of room in the
back. The weak points tend to be the radius arm bushings and the
transmission is not the longest lasting ford ever made, mine only
lasted 127K before needing a rebuild.
Of course you should buy one. (And I know, the Bronco groups are dead.
http://bbs.off-road.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php is BY FAR the best Bronco
board in existence.)
I have had two (1987 and current 1980). Yes, they get about 13mpg in the
city, maybe 15mpg on the highway. Depends on the year though. If you can get
a 3spd with O/D that will significantly improve your mileage. But the C6
tranny in the 3spd is probaby tougher than the EAOD O/D tranny.
My 1987 had a 302 and the 1980 has a 351M. Both have lots of power but I
would look for one with fuel injection (1985 and up era).
My 1980 has quad front shocks, extra leafs in the back, a roll bar, two skid
plates, 3:50 9" rear, posi, duals, it's one tough truck. It'll tow about
8,500lbs I believe, stock, and has tons and tons of room. I can carry five
people in it with two dogs and luggage no problem. It'll haul anything - I
Personally, I love this truck and if it goes south, I will get another. The
only grip I have is the rear electronic window. They are expensive to
replace and the motors and gears seem to go south - make sure yours works
well. Rust is standard in these things, but adds character. Past that, put a
4" lift in it, some 35" tires, and go to town. But if you want something
more 'civilized' yeah, get an SUV, these are trucks after all - and they
drive, ride and work like them.
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