If you like this site...

Well, here we are, at the After-Market Page.

This is where I list all the goodies that have been installed on the Bronco, and not necessarily sanctioned by Ford.

However, that is no major problem, since Ford only warrants their products for 3-years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first, and dependant upon however the dealer feels that day!

I have been assured by all the after-market manufacturers that the installation of their products will in no way invalidate Ford's warranty.

Meanwhile all the below listed links have life-time warranties, and one has a limited warranty of only 1-million miles (which ain't all that bad!)


From Deflect-A-Shield I installed one of their wrap-around bug and stone deflectors. Quite honestly, it doesn't do a damn thing to keep bugs off the windshield, but it does a fantastic job at eliminating stone chips on the hood.


From Draw-Tite I installed a frame mounted 10,000-pound class "C" hitch. Although I never tow anything with the Bronco, several years ago I found a fantastic item called a "Game Carrier". The carrier will support 500 pounds, and is a God-send during hunting season. (I haven't listed Game Carrier because I have been unable to find a Webpage for them.)


From Gibson I installed their stainless steel, 3-inch, CAT-BACK free flow exhaust system. Installation was a breeze, it bolted right in place to the factory pinning's. And after 17 years, there hasn't been a single leak!


Tires were a rough choice! The Bronco came from Ford with Goodyear rubber, the miserable RT/S in a P-Metric size. They weren't worth a damn in snow, mud or on ice. And they hydroplaned like crazy in just a morning dew. I had some really great luck with some Kelly-Springfield AWR All-Terrain tires, but Kelly has changed the tread design to be more "humane". I had decided that I was going to get Goodrich AT or MT, however, I couldn't find anyone up here who would order them for me. I saw an ad for Goodyear Wrangler AT/S tires. I also saw several trucks and SUVs on the road wearing this rubber. I asked the owners about them. Without a single negative reply they all swore by them. So now the Bronco has Goodyear Wrangler AT/S tires running on the ground. The size is 31X10.50RX15C. They are a little noisy, but after six winters up here, I didn't get stopped, stuck, or slowed-down by anything. However, these fantastic AT/S tires will be saying goodbye this fall. The tread has finally reached a point where they will not be serviceable in mud and snow.

They will last me through the spring and summer months (I hope), but come fall, it is time to put some new shoes on the Bronco.

What will I use next? Who knows ... but I have been looking at the Bridgestones Dueler A/T REVO with UNI-T AQ II. All the reports I have read indicate that this IS it tire to own today. Unfortunately, I have not found anyone up here who has them. So, if you have them, what do you think of them?

GUESS WHAT! The Bronco will be wearing 4 brand new Bridgestone Dueler A/T REVO with UNI-T AQ II tires this week! (This week being the week of September 14, 2003.)

I tried pricing them locally, but the turkeys here in Glasgow, Montana, wanted $668 for a set of four, and the best price I could find on the Internet was $562! Then I checked E-Bay, and luckily there was a guy there who had four brand new Bridgestone Dueler A/T REVO with UNI-T AQ II tires in 31x10.50x15C up for bid. I got them for $455 for all four!

Like I said earlier, all the reports I have read on these tires have been excellent. I'll let you know after the first snow falls and after hunting season (when I take them off-road)!

Well, here it is, 2 days before antelope season opens (October 12, 2003) and I can't give any sort of evaluation on the new Bridgestone tires. We have had no rain and no snow, therefore we have had no gumbo or mud. I did take them off-road into my favorite antelope hunting area yesterday. All I can say is that they performed flawlessly on small rocks, mild sand and heavy cactus. There had to be thousands of cactus needles in the tread and sidewalls of all four tires, and not one has a leak.

When the tires were mounted it was suggested that I run 45 PSI in front and rear. After a week I examined the wear and found that 45 PSI was too much, the tires were riding on the centers. I lowered pressure to 40 PSI, ran for another week and found the same results. I lowered pressure to 36 PSI and have been running them at that pressure for the past two weeks and it looks like this is the right pressure for these tires on my Bronco. (I had been running 34 PSI with the Goodyear tires.)

Once again, when Montana decides to have winter, I'll post more information.

If you are interested in dry paved performance ... well, they are a damn quiet tire and I have experienced no squirm, shimmy or wandering from speeds of 1 MPH to 119 MPH.

Road conditions ran from dry and clean, dry and sandy, icy, snowy, and a combine of any and all of the conditions. The roads ranged from 2-lane rural roads to 6 lane interstate.

Outside temperatures ranged from a little below zero degrees (F) to a warm and wonderful 60-degrees (F).


Well, the first real world tests (November 1, 2003) are done, and they are NOT inspiring at all!

The first test came on dry ground with small rocks and cactus. Within a few miles one of the tires went flat on me. The cause of the flat was something the old Goodyear AT/S tires would have taken in stride.

The second test came a couple of weeks later when we had a little rain. The Bridgestone tires hydroplaned as bad, if not worse, than any tire I have ever had on any of my Broncos, other than possibly the original Goodyear RT/S tires that came from Ford.

The rest of the tests came just this week...

We had some snow, some rain, and some freezing.

Let's talk about ice ... and how the Bridgestone tires handled on it ... or should I say didn't handle on it!

There is absolutely no control or stability on ice. Period. You step on the gas, and the rear end comes around to meet you. You step on the brake and the tires have no traction at all. You go around a corner, and if you are lucky, you will go around the corner you intended on going around, and in the direction you intended to be going in. But that doesn't happen often!

One to two inches of snow ... they are no better than any el cheapo road tire on the market.

Two to three inches of snow ... they are no better than the average "all weather" tire that comes from the factory.

Three to four inches of snow ... they are no better than the average "all terrain" tire.

Mud ...

They slip and slide on Bentonite gumbo just like every other tire I have ever owned.

The tread picks-up and packs-in mud and gumbo so badly there is no rubber on the ground after only a couple of hundred feet.

So I gotta wonder just this...

Exactly how much did Bridgestone/Firestone pay all those reviewers who ranted and raved about these tires and claimed they are the best that money can buy?

Am I satisfied? No!

Would I buy another set? Hell no!!

As a matter of fact, I would gladly trade them off for a new set of Goodyear AT/S tires any day...

(I guess it is true ... "Don't ask for what you wish for ... you just might get it!")


Update on the Bridgestone tires...

The temperature was above freezing, and the sun is warm ... so the ice and snow has started to melt on the roads.

I drove down one unpaved road to get a better count on one of the bands of antelope. I got exactly 25 feet down the road, and the Bronco started slipping and sliding all over the place. No steering, no braking!

Those Bridgestone tires immediately filled the tread with gumbo, and then it started to build up around the tire. It got so thick that the tires couldn't turn in the wheel wells!

I chipped away at the gunk on the tires, freed them up in the wheel wells, and headed back to paved road!

When I got to the pavement I pushed the "loud" pedal, and I was throwing mud around 50 feet in the air, and for around 25 feet in all directions around the Bronco!

I don't like the Bridgestone tires ... but I guess I'll have to learn to live with them...


Another update on the Bridgestone tires...

I claimed when I first got the Revo tires that they were quieter than any other AT tire I have tried. Well, that was true until winter got here!

At around 20 degrees they start getting very loud on paved roads.

At around 0 degrees the are extremely loud on paved roads and develop flat spots that take around 40 miles of driving to "round-out".

At around 20 below they are unbearable loud, and the flat spot NEVER "round-out".

At around 35 below I feel as if I am in a military tank! Absolutely unbearable noise and the Bronco rides as if it were on square wheels!


Springtime has finally come to Montana! (June 29, 2004) No more snow, no more ice, and the temperatures are remaining above zero!

One again the Revo tires are a joy to be riding on. Quiet, smooth and good dry road traction.

We'll see what this coming fall and hunting season bring...


Winter has finally come to Montana! (January 12, 2005)

Actually winter arrived here a couple of months ago. But for the past several weeks the temperatures have been hanging around 20 below zero (F), and we have some snow on the ground.

Once again I am riding on square tires ... but I am riding ... right through all the drifts and snow piles the "street department" has decided to place across my driveway and on the roads.

(I still swear that if these tires EVER wear-out I am going to replace them with Goodyears ...)


Another update on the Bridgestone tires...

Well, you see, it's like this.

I was on my way back from antelope hunting on the 26th of October, 2005, and the right rear Revo blew!

It didn't just go flat, it BLEW!

Sure am glad I had a Goodyear as a spare.

Changed the tire and went into Glasgow. There is a dealer there who now carries the Bridgestone tires, and he just happened to have a 31x10.50x15 Bridgestone Dueler A/T REVO with UNI-T AQ II in stock ... for $163.00!

I had no choice ... so I had to buy it. When we checked the old tire it appears that the bead gave out.

I couldn't believe $163 for one tire ... hell I only paid $445 for all four when I bought them!

Once again, when these finally wear out, I'm going back to Goodyear!!!


Another update on the Bridgestone tires...

Well, here it is, February 9, 2012 ... AND THOSE damn Bridgestone tires haven't worn out yet!!

Kind of looks like I'll have to stick with them until the first snowfall this coming autumn.


March 1, 2014 ... Another update on tires.

February is over ... February, 2014, that is!

Time to put four new tires on the Bronco.

I tried to get the Bridgestones again, but no one in Glasgow had any.

Then I tried to get Goodyears, and no one in Glasgow had any.

Then I tried to get Goodrich ... yup, you guessed it, no one had any.

I ended-up getting what was available ... Cooper Discoverer AT3.

I have seen a lot of Discoverer tires on rigs around Glasgow, but none were the AT3 variety. So, either the AT3 tires are a new design, or they are so bad that no one bought them!

Time will tell for me, but I found them really noisy compared to the any other tire I have ever set my Broncos on! They are so damn noisy that I just shut-down the premium sound system because I couldn't hear a damn thing over the tire noise! Plus there is the problem that they pull to the right.

Yes, I went back to the seller and they switched the front left and right tires, and then took it out for a "test drive". Their report came back as the problem is cleared ... no more pulling to the right.

I believed them until I was on my way home ... at 35 MPH the pulled slightly to the right; at 65 MPH they pulled noticeably to the right, and at 85 MPH to 105 MPH they pulled severely to the right!! (No, I didn't go all-out with the Bronco, since at 105 it took a lot to keep the Bronco going straight, and I'll be damned if I was going to try 142 MPH!)

I know damn good and well that the dealer is going to tell me that I need another front end alignment ... but that just can't be true, since the Bridgestones I gave up kept the Bronco straight as an arrow all the way to the Bronco's top end.

What hurt the most about this purchase is what I got charged for these tires ... $200.00 each for a totally of $800.00 and when I asked about that much the dealer told me that it included the removal of the old tires and balancing the new! (I still have been able to figure out how the hell he would have mounted the new tires without removing the old ones ... but I'm not a tire expert!)

At any rate, back to the tires...

Road condition ranged from clean and dry, icy, sandy, slushy, snowy, and any combination of those conditions.

Temperatures ranged from a low of just below zero-degrees (F ) to 60-degrees (F) and visibility ran from I can almost see the bug deflector on the front of the Bronco to unlimited.

The ride was rough ... you could tell if it was heads-up or heads-down on a dime. Seems the installer thought that 42 PSI was a good number for the Discoverer tires on the Bronco. On my first (and only) stop for gasoline (91-octane) I dropped the tire pressure down to 36 PSI. This didn't do anything to lower the level of the tire noise, but is sure as hell made a good change in the ride. It also did nothing about the pulling to the right.

Inside the Bronco it was a solid 70-degrees (F) with no fan noise ... or at least the fan noise was drowned-out by the tire noise.

The trip was 842 miles from Saint Marie, Montana, to Helena, Montana. My driving speed ranged from 25 MPH in the many little "towns" on highway 2 to a little over 95 MPH and grading ranged from +8-degrees to -8-degrees.

I averaged 16.8 MPG heading west and 16.7 MPG heading east.

All-in-all I would say the Discover AT3 tires are a good deal, except for that damn noise!

I stopped by the tire dealer as soon as I got back, and you guessed it again ... I am scheduled for another front-end alignment, at $80 plus parts. (Will probably end-up somewhere around the $120 area.)

While I was in the Big City of Helena I managed to squeeze-in an oil change (6-1/2 quarts of Valvoline 10W-30), a new oil filter (Fram is all they had and I wanted a Purolator Pure-One), and a good lube job. Another $38 down the drain.

What really hurt is when I got home I checked the prices on the Internet for these tires and they ranged from $145 to $155, shipping included.


Since the Go-Rhino bar had tabs for driving lights, I went shopping again. I found some lights manufactured by Hella. They are combination lamps. Each unit has a 130-watt clear halogen lamp and a 130-watt yellow halogen lamp. The yellow lamps are fluted so they work just dandy as fog lamps, and the clear ones are great for lighting-up the road way ahead of the Ford high beams.


Okay, so the Hella lamps finally had to go! Stone chips, cracked lenses and years of weather really made them look miserable, plus, the reflectors rusted!

Now, I thought I was going to get away easy ... just order another left and right lamp assembly from Hella. Bull! They no longer make that product and have no replacement parts.

I decided that PIAA was the way to go ... unfortunately paying over $300 for a pair of driving lamps is not what I consider a priority!

I went shopping ... I spent days on the Internet and finally found a lamp I could live with. It is made by Pilot.

The model number is "DUAL SERIES PL-602". It is again a combination driving/fog lamp. Fluted yellow for fog and clear for driving. It is a decent lamp, and the price was right, $130 for the pair (and the wiring harness that I didn't want).

The only problem is that they come with 4 H-3 55 watt lamps. So I immediately installed the 4 H-3 130 watt bulbs from the Hella lamps . We'll see how well they work, since Pilot boldly states that if I install anything hotter than an 85 watt bulb my warranty is voided ... (I know ... 130 is more than 85 ...) I will probably pull out the old 130 watt bulbs and install some new 100 watt bulbs.


The next modification to the Bronco was going to be ignition work. Although the Ford ignition system worked just fine, I had read several reports about new "computer modules", so I read some specification sheets, and ordered the Hypertech Power Module, the Hypertech Power-Stat, and the Hypertech Modified Octane Bar for the distributor. I'm really not too sure this was such a great idea. I noticed no improvement in power, speed, acceleration or anything... except for the gas pump. No I didn't get more MPG, I had to switch from 87-octane gasoline to 91-octane. (The Bronco doesn't run worth a damn when I use 87-octane!) As for the Power-Stat, hell, it's just a plain old thermostat that opens about 40-degrees sooner than the factory job. What it does is make the Bronco run richer and cooler, fooling the Ford computer. WHOOP-EE!!


Not being one to quit easily, I did some more ignition research, and tossed two different units around in my head. The MSD and the Jacobs. Jacobs won the contest, and I installed their Jacobs Ultra-Team package. It is a special high voltage coil and a big blue box that senses the feed-back of the spark plugs, adjust firing voltage, timing, duration, and all kinds of other stuff. I also ordered their special 8mm plug wires, their copper rotor and copper cap. Now...the Jacobs package did make a difference! Better response, more power, and during those cold -85 degree winter nights that we love up here so much, the Bronco didn't fail to fire-up even once. All without the benefit of plugging-in the block heater.


With the ignition system up to par, I decided it was time to help out the Gibson cat-back exhaust system. So it was time to add a set of JBA headers. If Ford engineers had any brains...well...let's just say that this was one of the easiest modifications to make, if it weren't for all the really unnecessary crap that Ford throws in the engine compartment! The headers bolted on nicely, hooked right up to the converter, and the pretty nickel plating really brightened-up the engine compartment. Now, 5 years later they have lost the chrome look, but have acquired a fantastic deep polished blue hue. Did they make a difference? Sure did!


The Bronco so far had a great heart system (the ignition) and the lungs were okay, except it couldn't breathe in as well as it could breathe out. And then along came K&N! Sure, it's an expensive air filter, but the K&N Filter-Charger worked wonders for the intake side of the Bronco!


I haven't done much lately to the Bronco. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! However, something finally broke (August of 2001).

What was it?

The Premium Sound System and CD player!

I did quite a bit of shopping around for new music. I wasn't about to spend $5,000 for an audio system, since it could not be appreciated in the Bronco. So, I finally decided on Pioneer TSA-6865 6x8" three-way speakers for the rear, and a pair of Sony XS-V1631 6-1/2" three-way speakers for the front. It isn't fully installed yet, so I have no idea how it is going to sound in the Bronco. But it sounds just great on my dining room table. If it isn't loud enough once installed in the Bronco, I'll probably throw in a Kenwood KAC-749S amplifier .. but honestly, I ain't even looking forward to that!

(Stereo Update) The new system is installed, and it sounds so much better than what Ford had classified as their "Premium Sound System"! There is one little problem, however ... TOO DAMN MANY BUTTONS!!! (And they are entirely too small.)


Fluids ... Synthetic fluids...

At the beginning of October, 2005, I decided to have all the fluids drained and refilled, as well as all the filters (except the K&N Filter Charger) and the belt replaced.

I checked around the local area and not one of them was familiar with Royal Purple.

So I checked on prices of Mobil 1 synthetics...

WAS THAT A FARCE!

The cheapest price I got was $1,000.00 just for the fluids! Seems like EVERYTHING was either $27 per pint, $27 per quart and $27 per gallon!

"Labor" was going to run me another $300!

I just couldn't justify $1,300.00 for a fluid swap, so I settled on regular old oil products.

Using good old Ford fluids and belts and filters it cost me $600.


(June, 2009) Well, the old Bronco is coming up on it's 15th birthday, and I decided that I would do something special for the occasion.

I figured it would be nice to "refresh" the finish. No, I wasn't going to repaint it, just do some serious elbow-wax treatment.

So, I ordered a whole bunch of Mother's products.

Now, the first wax I used on an auto was good old Simonize paste. It was a job putting it on, and a bigger job buffing it off. But the finished shine was nice.

A few years later a friend introduced me to Blue Coral. It was a little easier in both applying and removing and the shine was actually better than the Simonize!

A couple of years later I found Turtle Wax. Easy to apply. Easy to remove. The shine was better than Blue Coral. so I stayed with Turtle Wax up until recently.

But for the 15th birthday I wanted something special. I wanted to remove all the old wax, bring the finish to a smooth surface, and then seal it and wax it. I decided that if Chip Foose could settle for Mother's, so could I!

I contacted Autogeek and ordered:
Mother's California Gold Pre-Wax Cleaner;
Mother's California Gold Pure Carnauba Liquid Car Wax;
Mother's California Gold Sealer & Glaze;
Mother's California Gold Showtime Instant Detailer;
Mother's Leather Conditioner;
Mother's Protectant for Rubber, Vinyl & Plastic;
Mother's Reflections Advanced Tire Care;
Mother's Tire & Rubber Cleaner;
and
Mother's Wheel Mist All Wheel Cleaner.

I started with Mother's California Gold Pre-Wax Cleaner and the white pad on my buffer. What a mess!

There was white dust all over the finish and when I finally got it dusted-off there were hundreds of white specs stuck to the paint finish! Needless to say, I was pissed!

But I decided that I would try again, only this time I would use an orange pad. When I finished the second round with the cleaner, the white spots were all gone, and the finish felt smooth. No shine, just smooth.

Next came the Mother's California Gold Sealer & Glaze. I again used the orange pad for this. It went on like a dream, and produced a nice shine when removed. Not a "flowing water" shine, but a nice shine. The real benefit was that the colors of the Bronco seemed more "alive".

The next step was Mother's California Gold Pure Carnauba Liquid Car Wax applied with the gray pad.

Now, every wax I had ever used always left a very obvious haze when it dried. The instructions on the Mother's container said there would be a haze. But there was none!

I buffed anyway, and the shine became deeper, and the colors more "alive"! It was so encouraging that I applied a second coat of the wax, using a blue pad.

Again, no haze, but the finish was glass smooth, and the shine a little deeper. I was happy!

Oh? I didn't mention what buffer I was using? It is a Porter Cable 7424HD. And I kept the speed at "4" for all applications.

I must admit, I am very pleased with the first three Mother's products I tried.

Too bad I didn't much care for the last five! Save your money ... there are better products!!

The Instant Detailer didn't show me a thing. I had thought it would be good for removing dust from the finish. It was no better than a damp cloth being followed by a good old soft terrycloth bath towel.

The Leather Conditioner is no better than the cheap $1.98 conditioner I had purchased at WalMart ages ago.

And all the tire, rubber and wheel cleaners and goodies were a total waste! A stiff-bristled brush and almost any detergent on the market do just as good a job (I use to use Dawn dish detergent, and will go back to it whenever I use-up all the Mother's products!).

And, the final insult is, I used some of the old Turtle Wax for all the external chrome, stainless and hot-forged Alcoa aluminum wheels!

My final opinion? For the paint, Mother's is great (although I have no idea how long it will be when it has to be re-done). For everything else, there are better and cheaper products on the market!

HOWEVER, there is a positive aspect to these Mother's products. They do not leave that greasy-looking, slimy appearance to the dash, tires and steering wheel, or the plastic trim. The finish is a smooth, satin look and thoroughly clean.


So, now you ask yourself, "What did he gain by all this?"

Hell, I don't know!

There isn't a chassis dyno anywhere in the area so I really don't have firm numbers regarding the changes in torque and horsepower. There is a Bear Engine Analyzer, and if you link here the engine specs are charted. I can say that my top-end is up about 30 MPH, my gas mileage is up about 2 MPG in town and 4 MPG on the highway, passing times are a lot quicker, and it sounds just meaner-than-hell (but not obnoxious).

I'll just bet there are three questions on your mind right now...
1) How much did it cost?
2) How long did it all take?
3) Why no "super spark plugs"?

Well, it cost about $2,400 for all the stuff I added, and it took about two days to install everything. As for the spark plugs, I was going to buy some "Split-Fire" plugs, but according to Jacobs and Hypertech, the best plug was the stock Ford plug! No fancy tipped plug, no exotic metal plug...just plain old Autolite plugs. Just gap them and extra .010-inch over factory specifications, and set the timing ahead an additional 2 degrees.

Below you are going to see links to all the manufacturers of the after-market stuff I have installed on the Bronco. I've also included the Webpage links to several 4x4 and off-road magazines, as well as a couple of places where you can order this stuff, just in case you get "bitten".

I guess it is only proper to list the major component first...

(WHY? I HAVE NO IDEA SINCE THEY DON'T LINK BACK!!)

Ford Motor Company Bridgestone Tires Deflect-A-Shield Bug Guards Gibson Exhaust Go-Rhino Brush Guards Hypertech Power Modules JBA Headers Kenwood CD Player K&N Filters National Tires Pioneer Speakers Sony Speakers Turtlewax Tyres International


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