The Bronc-OH!


The truck you see here is my 1985 Bronco. It was produced back when trucks were trucks, not the SUV imitations you see on today's road. It was special ordered by a friend of my father's so that he could reach his cabin in the Poconos. It was ordered special with all the heavy duty equipment possible. This truck is rare, as it has the 5.8litre engine, limited slip differentials front and rear, snow-plow package (including stiffer springs, dual batteries, and front limited slip differential), and 3.65 gears in an XLT trim package. This makes for a great off-road vehicle, able to crawl over nearly anything. However.. this also makes it a horrible on-road vehicle. It only has a three speed automatic transmission (C-5) and the engine is really screaming if you get it up to 70mph. (Which, coincidentally, is why it doesn't hit that very often!)

I have owned this truck since 1999, but my father owned it before that, so in my mind, I have owned it a long time. (He purchased it from his friend in 1993.) Lucky for me, everything that a 15 year old truck would need to have replaced was done by my father before I took possesion of it. I have not had to do any work to it yet, but the gas tank is starting to leak, so it looks like that will be my first introduction to the pains of Bronco ownership.

I use this truck primarily as my "pulling" vehicle these days. I have pulled all of my belongings from Pennsylvania to Florida, Florida to Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania to Florida, Iowa to Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania to Virginia. I have pulled my father's boat from the southernmost point of the DelMarVa peninsula to Pennsylvania. I have pulled my Miata from Missouri to Virgina. Mostly, I pull my Ninja back and forth to Pennsylvania when I visit my parents. (I also rescue "unloved" motorcycles occasionally, such as my TX500.) It makes a great towing vehicle with plenty of power to pull. The only drawback is that the brakes take a beating.

The truck currently occupies bay #2 of my garage and I intend to keep it this way. This truck is in GREATcontition and I intend to keep it that way as long as possible. with any amount of luck, I'll be able to keep it going for another 15 years.

This trucks WORST feature is the gas mileage. It is horrendous. It sucks down fuel at the rate of 10mpg. Yes, you read that right. That's a ONE followed by a Zero. You have to understand that everything is going against this vehicle when it comes to fuel economy. First it weighs nearly 4800lbs. Second the body was designed by a preschooler by building blocks. Third it has super-low gearing for crawling. Finally it only has a three speed automatic transmission. For these reasons, I attempt to keep it parked as much as I can. (I can't afford to drive it a lot!) It is a great second vehicle and it fulfills this role well. Anytime I have to take more than one other person somewhere, out comes the Bronco, and away we ride.