Under Hood Sorting

Before I can plan the camper top, offroad gear or even body colors, I need to finish the under hood sorting. Not just a tune up, but finishing all plumbing, wiring and accessories for the final time.

This 79 Bronco, originally came with a garbage 400 Ford V8, and those engines sucked. Most sane owners go with the easy 429/460 swap. They are easy to find, reliable, tons of power and more or less bolt in. I’ve actually had a 460 in this Bronco before and it worked well, but I just became bored with it.

But, since I was a boy, I’ve had a dream, a dream to own a 78-79 Bronco, with a 300 inline 6 and a 4spd. But, Ford never built this. So with the help of my Ford lovin’ friend, we made it happen. I went and found a 79 Ford F150 4×4, 300 inline 6 and a 4spd for a donor. Should have been easy, right? But I was wrong, so wrong. I think we started this swap 4 years ago, and do to careers and moves, the bronco ended up in and out of storage. I’ll spare the details, but just know that now it runs and drives but needs a little sorting.

I believe there is no sound sweeter than a properly tuned inline 6, the smooth power and torque they provide is just magic. The longevity they can provide is unmatched, just look at all the semi trucks on the highway, 95% are inline 6 cylinders. Look at the highly sought after Jeep 4 liters and Toyota 6’s in the Landcruisers, everyone loves them because the work good and last long.

Then there’s mine, a nicely built version of the famous 300. The way mine is built, it will reliably provide more horsepower, torque and economy than the stock 400 could have. Plus, a nice little bonus, I can place a bunch of extra stuff under the hood with all the extra room.

A very important point on engine swaps, take good notes when building and try to avoid “one off” custom parts. If your rig breaks a motor mount or custom bracket in the back country, you might be down for a bit. My main focus was to document everything and only use Ford parts, nothing home made. Well, actually, the rear disc brake conversion uses Chevy rotors and calipers. But other than that, I’m certain I can find parts for this Bronco anywhere in North America fairly easy.


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