2-Door Bronco Previewed to Dealers with Retro Styling, Removable Top and Doors

  1. 007-FJC

    007-FJC Member

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    I test drove a JLU Sahara when they first came out and I can tell you its a chore. For $50,000, you get to rub shoulder to shoulder with the salesman in the passenger seat in a stripped down interior that doesn't have $50,000 worth of sound deadening. Over rough pavement, the front solid axle gets skittish and thats lively on its own. The fact that they can get away with selling one of those rigs for $50k large is baffling and the people that buy Wranglers and 4Runners are mostly posers who want cool looking trucks that want to look the part and this is the same for people that buy pickups.

    Ford does just fine with their F series trucks with solid axles so I think they can pull it off just fine. How hard is it to make a rigid axle move worund with some control arms holding it? In the end it costs a ton of money to get a quality lift with great characteristics in both a Solid or Independant axle setup. If someone really wanted a SFA Bronco, instead of dumping money in a IFS, they can go to a reputable shop and have a SFA swap done for a few pennies more.

    Here's pictures from a trip I did with a friend and his family in their new Jeep Wrangler and we switched trucks often. The first thing they said after jumping out of my truck is how beautifully it rides off-road. I can second that because getting tossed around in a Wrangler does get pretty old. Its pretty funny when you have someone get out of a Jeep to envy your Toyota and he sure as hell loved it.

    HECTOhq.jpg

    The little jeep lifted tires and dragged its undercarriage over everything as we worked to throw rocks to fill holes.

    IeyMmv0.jpg

    RGkEbfo.jpg

    And of course the obligatory cool Bronco pic. Look how tiny the JKU looks as its dwarfed by the big trucks lol.

    zKJtX2g.jpg

    In the end, the stock JKU with SFA didn't keep up with a 3" lifted FJ with IFS and my friend decided to abort as he was discouraged by his $45,000 purchase getting beat up, dragged and bucked around off-road. So if you must go wheeling with any rig, you reach its limitations quickly stock when following modded rigs through obstacles.
     
  2. BroncoRevital

    BroncoRevital Active Member

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    And all I’m saying is that a solid axle gets more from less.
    I’m not trying to shit on TTB’s. I’m well aware of what they can do and I’m a die hard Bronco fan of ones that have it.

    You calling my axles “lackluster” proves my point though. Out the box a solid axle is just better and easier when it comes to off-road.

    I’m all for Ford surprising me with a great IFS. Like I said it’s no deal breaker for me. I have one now and like others have just shown Toyota’s IFS are very capable.
     
  3. NMBronco

    NMBronco Member

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    #48 Mar 30, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
    I personally own two TTB vehicles but drive/drove several others on a regular basis (family farm trucks). One is a '84 Bronco II and the other is an '84 F250. The F250 rides like a brick (horribly stiff negative arch springs), but ride quality aside, handles fine and doesn't wear tires funny at all. I have owned it for about 10 years and I have never had it aligned in the time I have owned it.

    The Bronco II has had several iterations in the time I have owned it. I ran it with stock suspension and 31" mud tires the first year I owned it and had no strange tire wear or unpredictable handling. It rode about as well as any other near stock short wheel base 4x4 at the time.

    I put a 4" lift on it and ran with 35s for several years without sway bars (The lift springs were really stiff) and it drove just fine with years of offroad use. The alignment never really went out, but the crappy lift kit coils began to sag pretty bad and I had some negative camber on the front that couldn't be adjusted out. I ended up replacing the lift kit springs with some XJ springs which were a great improvement in ride quality and suspension travel. With the new coils, my camber and ride height is back where it should be and it still handles acceptably even without the sway bars. I don't have to continually keep aligning it, but I have aligned it after each major suspension/steering change. It holds its alignment just fine.

    I agree with you; I too definitely prefer a solid axle over a TTB setup. I just get tired of people talking down TTB when it is actually probably the best bang for your buck offroad IFS system and behaves very similarly to a solid axle. I am not sure why you kept having to make adjustments to your alignment unless you were compensating for damaged or worn out parts. As stated above, I don't have issues with my alignment going out.

    Perhaps I should have emphasized that I wasn't talking about Toyotas in general, just the current models. Toyota mini trucks and first gen 4Runners are quite commonplace on the trails. I have also seen quite a few FJ40s and FJ80s out on the trails as well. Again I was providing my anecdotal experience. I am aware that there are indeed people out there wheeling new 4Runners, Tacos, and FJCruisers. Now based off my anecdotal experiences, my point was not that nobody takes them offroad on real trails, but very few do compared to the large number of Jeep owners who take their Wranglers offroad. Everywhere I go, the trails and offroad events are dominated by JKs, and very soon, JLs as well. My point is that other late model 4x4s are few and between on the trails and at these events.

    Now, Tacos and 4Runners are extremely popular with the "overlanding" crowd, which is why I specifically mentioned that I was excluding campground roads from what I considered offroad. If I can do it in two wheel drive, it is not really "offroad."

    The videos you posted are certainly good trail action, but again, far from the majority of rigs running those trails. You can find videos people wheeling just about anything on real trails, but that doesn't mean it is common place. I have seen videos of Crown Vics, and Subarus on trails in Moab. Does that mean those vehicles are good trail vehicles and everyone is running those trails in Crown Vics and Subarus? No it doesn't.

    I have personally wheeled Moab many times, I have been to Sand Hollow, and I have done the Hole in the Rock trail a few times. I have also done most of the trails in the San Juans (I am aware of the FJ summit they do out there, but haven't been at the same time). I have been out to the Hammers several times. I have been to every major trail system in New Mexico. The only state you mentioned that I haven't wheeled in is Nevada which I'd like to make it to someday. Where are all the late model non-Jeep 4x4s hiding? I know they're out there. I have seen pictures and video evidence, but I have only seen a handful of them in person. This leads me to conclude that there just must not be that many of them out there relative to Jeeps.

    As for Australia, they have very stringent vehicle modification laws, and basically can't modify their vehicles past putting on a set of mud tires or putting in a locker or two. Also, I don't believe they sell Wranglers in Australia. You may not have noticed, but Australia is also very flat. It is basically a country made for overlanding. Outside of some competition footage, I have not really seen evidence of technical trails in Australia.

    Now, to your final point that solid axles aren't necessary, I have never seen an IFS make it through these trails (all my pictures by the way):
    Xm8uoG8.jpg
    ZXvOQpG.jpg
    ziZzZHf.jpg
    4u4XAe1.jpg
    hkacGSh.jpg

    I invite you or anyone else with an IFS to come run these trails and I will personally guide you. And yes, if you know someone with a 4400 car, they are welcome to take a crack at it as well. Do you see people competing in W.E. Rock with IFS? I know these are very extreme examples that only a fraction of a fraction of people who go offroad, but my point is that in the end, solid axle is king of technical trails, and while IFS can meet many people's needs, it is still a limitation, so I would prefer the new Bronco come with a solid axle from the get go.

    Seriously? A JL is a "chore" to drive, but a Superduty "does just fine." Dude, you are blinded by your Jeep hate. A JL definitely rides and drives better than a Superduty.

    From what I have seen, solid axle lift kits are typically cheaper than IFS liftkits of the same quality. Having done quite a bit of suspension work myself, I would rather work with a solid axle. You are insane if you think the average wheeler would consider paying a shop to swap in a solid axle is a viable option. That is a lot of labor hours to pay for, especially if there isn't a commercial kit to simplify the process.

    So basically, your comparison is that a modified FJ Cruiser out performed a bone stock 4 door Jeep with open diffs and street tires, and your conclusion is that the Jeep must be inferior because it has a solid axle? Granted the 4 doors are long pigs, but try your comparison again with a Jeep that has a similar amount of modification and a skilled driver and tell me how superior your FJ Cruiser performs.,
     
  4. BroncoMike

    BroncoMike Well-Known Member

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    My observation exactly. A low-optioned previous generation Jeep with no modifications...

    Hey, maybe I don't expect a lot due to all the well-used trucks I've had. I drive a 250k mile Excursion daily. Explorer, Sierra 1500 regularly. But I've had a broad array of luxury cars over the years, and can appreciate superb ride quality. Because I would like to see the Bronco beat the Wrangler at what has been ceded by the industry to become it's own game, I would like to see it more than competitive in all aspects - hard wheeling included. To do that, it will require similar hardware. A small degree of diminished ride quality isn't going to affect sales to a huge degree - Wrangler is the unrefutable proof of that.

    I fear I'm going to be disappointed, as even Ford has indicated that rock crawling is not their target. It will still sell by the truckloads, but the blue oval will be as rare as any brand other than Jeep on the hardcore wheeling trails - and that image is what makes Jeep people the rabid, brand-loyal repeat buyers they are.
     
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  5. Stampede.Offroad

    Stampede.Offroad Well-Known Member

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    It has been a few years since I've driven a Jeep, but it is my understanding that the JL redesign made major strides in comfort and handling performance compared to the JK and earlier series. Even 10+ year old SFA heavy duty trucks don't ride like the old lumber wagons they used to, manufacturer's have figured out how to implement these better. Ford isn't going to be comparing their newly designed newly released 2021 Bronco to a 10, 20, or 30 year old discontinued competitor. Right now Jeep and Toyota are both experiencing record sales numbers for their most off road capable models.

    With the resurgence of interest in midsize trucks, and increased competition and variety of choices, even the long unrivaled Taco has seen increases in its sales numbers as the whole market segment expands. I hope to see something similar with the re-introduction of the Bronco. All the manufacturers will have to work harder to be the 'best' at whatever market segment they're trying to capture, and if consumers don't think X is better than Y, even if they aren't using 10% of its capability, they'll vote with their dollars.

    Rumor from the 2020 Escape preview is that the Maverick/"Baby Bronco" built on the Escape platform is going to target the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk (Cherokee is Jeep's second best seller). We will need more info from Ford before we can understand how far above that the Bronco is supposed to slot in capability, but I think it would be foolish not to compete directly with a SFA unless they have some magical moon buggy IFS planned.

    .
    http://carsalesbase.com/us-car-sales-data/jeep/jeep-wrangler/
    Wrangler sales figures.png
    .
    4Runner sales figures.png
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    Cherokee sales figures.png

    .
     
  6. 007-FJC

    007-FJC Member

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    My response for the Super Duty was to the person who stated if Ford can pull off a solid axle as good as Jeep. BTW, I own and daily drive a vehicle with 3 solid axles and its called a Peterbilt. That same Peterbilt is buying me a new Bronco which you have came on here to heavily criticize a vehicle you haven't even seen yet. As for comparing a modded FJ to a stock jeep, it wasn't offroad capability, it was how shitty a JKU rides. If you've ever driven a stock JKU and Stock FJ/4R, you'd know how archaic a Jeep drives. I'm not even hating on the Jeep as I respect it for what it is, I just don't think its respectable for FORTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. Heck, the new Gladiator will sell for over $60,000 fully loaded!

    As for Australia, it's as flat as the earth is. The modification laws are strict but not impossible. Here's some OZ action for you to enjoy:



    Your pictures of CJs, XJ and TJ extremely modified so regardless of what vehicle you buy, it's going to go under the scalpel to do some crazy trails like that. Thats beater status 4wheeling. I'm not on here to bash the SFA, I'm here arguing against the IFS ignorance. Last year I almost ordered a base 2 door JL with a 6 speed MT but I decided to hold off until I see what Ford was going to offer. There's the black Sahara I test drove on the left. So no, I'm not a Toyota or Ford fan boy as I'm in the market for a SWB 4x4 and currently Toyota offers me nothing to add to my fleet which is why I went to Jeep in the first place.

    Ip5a0vX.jpg

    And yes, they sell Jeeps in Australia.

     
  7. NMBronco

    NMBronco Member

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    #52 Mar 30, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
    What does a tractor have to do with four wheeling or the new Bronco?

    I am pretty sure I haven't written a single negative opinion on the new Bronco. I have voiced my opinion pretty adamantly that it needs to have a solid axle to be a consideration for me, but seeing how that is probably the biggest unknown at the moment, I don't see how you take that as criticism. As a matter of fact, everything that we know for sure I am pretty happy about; there's a 2 door version, removable top and doors, the silhouette/tarped teaser have pleasing profiles, similar width to the Ranger, Manual transmission. The only thing I am not so hot on are the Ecoboost engines, but those certainly are not a deal breaker for me. I would just prefer a more simple and traditional power train such as the 3.7L V6 (or the 3.3L and 3.5L versions) and a 5.0L V8 even though the Ecoboost engines have comparable power ratings.

    You assume too much. I have as a matter of fact driven 2 and 4 door JKs, an FJ Cruiser, and a current generation 4Runner. The Jeeps and 4Runner were stock, but the FJ Cruiser had an Old Man Emu lift and 33" Toyo M/Ts. I thought they all rode fairly well. I drove them all years apart from one another, so direct comparisons are difficult, but none of them were harsh. I have pictures of all of them if you don't believe me.

    I am not going to argue about value because I believe all new vehicles are overpriced, and the Wrangler being as unique as it is can basically set the price wherever they want. I will remind you though that I remember pricing JKs and FJ Cruisers back around 2010/2011 and the FJ Cruiser was $2-3,000 more expensive than the equivalent non-Rubicon models. The TRD FJ Cruiser cost about the same a Rubicon at the time.

    Frankly I am not impressed by a picture of a guy taking a bad line in a vehicle with no flex through a small washout. I haven't been to Australia, so maybe there is some really cool terrain there I simply don't know about, but most everything I have seen from Australia looks pretty mild.

    As to the pictures I posted, yes those vehicles are all heavily modified, but the point is that I have never seen anyone with an IFS of any kind, even completely custom, attempt any of those trails. Also, the only rig in any of those pictures that is a "beater" would be the XJ in the last picture. The rest of those rigs are pretty darn clean, especially the Scrambler which has a really nice custom paint job.

    I honestly did not realize they sold Wranglers in Australia, so that's news to me. Regardless, it doesn't change my opinion about the type of wheeling that is prevalent in Australia.

    I am not an IFS hater, in fact one of my rigs is IFS, but I am at the point with that rig that it has become a limitation. It does great on moderate trails, but on hard trails it is a hinderance. Since we're showing off our junk, here are the rigs that I have wheeled over the years:

    1975 Ford Bronco, 35" tires, 302, NP435, 3.5" lift, locked rear
    4X2u4GX.jpg

    1984 Ford Bronco II, 37" tires, locked front & rear, 4" lift, TTB, doubler (125:1 crawl ratio)
    tH1dTzS.jpg

    2005 Jeep Wrangler unlimited (LJ), 35" tires, locked front & rear, 4.5" short arm lift
    6zSnTds.jpg

    1985 Ford Bronco II, 38" tires, 5.0L, NP435, 3/4 ton axles, 5" front stretch, welded front & rear
    uvs61i9.jpg
     
  8. OX1

    OX1 Well-Known Member

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    #53 Mar 31, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
    Prove what? How easy it would be to use those videos to treat Insomnia?
    I guess you have to practice maximum survivability if you need to drive several hours
    to a trail, or between them (and home again). But if I have to wheel like that, I'd rather
    stay home and play Chess.

    This is my typical wheeling speed (many times you HAVE to get into way harder than this)

    http://luxjo.supermotors.net/RAUSCH CREEK/22 MAR 09/MOV02070.MPG


    I've never seen any IFS rigs, on 35-38's, getting after it on moss, mud, and
    wet leave covered, slippery east coast rocks. This is a stock narrowed 60 front, but
    that's the only drivetrain mod (still 5 lug rear). This guy is a nut job, but he sure is fun
    to watch, and didn't break anything wheeling like that all day long (he did roll a second
    time though).

    http://luxjo.supermotors.net/RAUSCH CREEK/29 NOV 08/MOV02004.MPG

    Well, you are one of the lucky one's. There is a reason there are over a million posts here.

    https://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/29-solid-axle-swaps/

    I don't see any IFS swap sections/posts in either of these places, wonder why??

    https://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/6-1978-79-bronco-tech/
    https://classicbroncos.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=42

    My brand new 88 Bronco II pulled on the highway since day 1.
    3 different dealers, and no one could fix it, they just made it worse.
    I wrote this article (back in 90, not sure why it says 98) out of having
    to learn how to do alignments, from necessity.

    http://www.off-road.com/trucks-4x4/how-to-bronco-ttb-front-end-alignment-18406.html

    I finally did get it to go mostly straight, but not every day. As I mentioned, toss a bunch of
    gear/people in the rear, and now your toe and camber are all out. Made it wander all over
    @ highway speeds. I did finally go body lift and 31's (and 4.56's), extremely mild
    combo on even for an EB D30 solid axle front. That just made it drive way worse and
    never did go down the road consistently straight.

    scan0013.jpg


    TTB was always better for ride quality and extreme jumps, but that's about it, onroad or off.........
     
  9. NMBronco

    NMBronco Member

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    #54 Mar 31, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
    I am not lucky. Any TTB can drive fine if maintained properly. The biggest reasons TTB gets a bad rap is old trucks with worn out parts and improperly modified suspensions.

    One of the biggest issues is that the factory steering geometry is terrible, and most people make it much worse when they lift their trucks. There is not a single bolt on suspension lift kit for TTB rigs I am aware of that properly corrects steering geometry, which in turn amplifies the deficiencies of the already poor factory steering geometry. Your big box lift companies (Skyjacker, Superlift, Rough Country, etc.) have all done an absolute piss poor job of designing their kits and are responsible for many of the perceived "issues" with TTB setups. With proper steering geometry, your toe should change little if at all through the suspension travel. There are several designs that work pretty well with varying levels of complexity (single/double swingset, crossover, K-link, and "Stone Crusher" Y-link)

    Here is a picture of the "Stone Crusher" Y-link style steering I built for my rig for about $250 close to full compression:
    sIudmoV.jpg

    Also for reference, here is the amount of travel I am getting with just a spring and shock swap on a Skyjacker kit before I swapped out the stock steering linkage. Currently I have the droop limited because my brake lines are too short, but the driver side droop was limited by the factory steering linkage binding in this photo:
    Qj47m5a.jpg

    Now the other part of the equation is that for a full size, without going with some super expensive custom shafts and other high dollar parts, going to a solid axle is about the only way to upgrade the strength of the front axle. Also as mentioned previously, a solid axle is just better for technical wheeling than an IFS system, but to counter your point, I have as a matter of fact seen TTB swapped into several vehicles that were originally solid axle. A 1st gen blazer, YJ, and XJ come to mind and I am sure there are probably others. Is it common? Absolutely not, but if high speed desert usage is the intended application, it makes sense.

    However, all that said, I am a solid axle guy. If I were to start over again on my '84 Bronco II I would definitely build it with a solid front. It does fine for the level of wheeling the vast majority of people will ever do, but I am using it on much harder trails than was the original build intent. If you read my prior post, you would see that I own a TTB vehicle that has been swapped to a solid front axle.
     
  10. 007-FJC

    007-FJC Member

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    Wait, so you guys are saying you've never ever seen an IFS truck with tires bigger than 37s and bashing through boulders? 3rd gen Taco with 40x13.5s. I'm pretty sure the only limiting factor to those crazy videos of yours is the wheelbase of this taco. But of course even if this taco crawled over those boulders in your video, it'd be super boring because he's taking forever.




    If you're going to do those kinds of "trails," you guys are going to be modifying the hell out of the rig doing it. So if the Bronco doesn't have a solid axle, then whats stopping you from torching the IFS crap off and installing one tons front and rear? A stock Wrangler or Bronco of any vintage will not be able to drive through any of those hard core rock walls. You guys proving what exactly by posting heavily modded rigs and trying to discredit an IFS truck? Let me guess, you guys are the minority of 4 wheelers who have a different standard of what a 4x4 should be able to do? The proof to my videos is IFS isn't a weak link, its a limiting factor to major flex but lockers front and rear tends to keep progress rolling. I personally would never beat the crap out of my rig crawling over a maze of boulders no matter what I drive so while I do admire the cool rigs bouncing over house sized boulders, your idea of 4wheeling differs than the majority who want a reliable and capable system to make it from point a to point b and not just go race and bounce over competition rock walls at an event then come home and attack the badly beaten rig with welders and replacement parts.
     
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  11. BroncoMike

    BroncoMike Well-Known Member

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    I think this discussion comes down to compromise on either end, for either configuration: IFS can be less than ideal for the most demanding offroading, and solid axle can leave something to be desired in road handling qualities. To do serious offroading, either will require substantial upgrades. And chances are good that any poor road manners can be tamed to a certain degree with aftermarket applications, though the market for them will be minimal and few will brag about having to correct the OEM suspenion on their tough new truck so it handles better on the weekly pilgrammage to the Golden Corral, so it's a difficult space to market in.

    The bottom line is, where has Ford decided to make the compromise? If they have an IFS, a small segment of the customer base who actually uses an offroad vehicle to its limits will be disappointed, and the brand won't benefit from the "Trail Rated" image upon which the entire Jeep lineup has capitalized. Worse, it will always be derided as a "nice try", second fiddle to the Wrangler, which it appears Ford has in their crosshairs. The downside of a solid axle is some bashing on handling/ride quality which, justified or not, will be largely dismissed in the outdoor community as whining from sissies that shouldn't have bought a "real truck". Solid front axle Broncos may go on to sell as many or more units as the Wrangler regardless of on-road mannerisms enroute to Dillards.

    Until adapted in the later years, Broncos were not cushy luxury machines designed for a trip to the opera - they were work and play trucks that left a lot of creature comforts in the design and engineering shredder bins in favor of ruggedness and performance. A customer who wants an urban limosine with tough looks has a sea of options; and while the truth is that a few have actual credible off-road capability, facts and sensibility aren't what sells cars in the American market - it's passion.

    The origins of passion frequently elude logic, definition, or description; but for many, passion unashamedly flaunts a solid front axle.
     
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  12. Dirty Bronco

    Dirty Bronco Member

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    Hey guys, just wanted to throw in my own personal experiences on this topic. I owned a JK Rubicon in Arizona and trailed with it often. I now own a Ford Explorer and live in Cleveland Ohio. I drive ford pickups every other day at work and my girlfriend and I heavily test drove Wrangler JLs when they first came out.

    1. Going from the 2 door JK to the Ford Explorer was a let down at first. I liked the ride height of the JK and the quickness I felt I had with the 2 door.
    2. It was no comparison though on ride quality. I was going from a 2 door JK in Arizona where the roads are nice and smooth to Cleveland where the roads are pot hole/patched every 10 feet.
    3. There was a noticeable upgrade in ride quality form the JK to the JL but the JL is still no where near the Explorer. I could feel the vehicle pulling and so could my girlfriend.
    4. My company has all Ford pickups for our line of work. I've driven F-150s from the year 13-18. I enjoy them but still the ride quality of solid axles compared to the Ford Explorer is just "different". They will never be the same and that's fine!
     
  13. BroncoMike

    BroncoMike Well-Known Member

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    Are you saying that the 13-18 F-150s have a lower quality ride compared to the Explorer due to solid axles?
     
  14. Dirty Bronco

    Dirty Bronco Member

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    Sorry, meant to say F-250**. We have F-150s but only the 250 heavy duty's are the solid axle ones. We have a full fleet of Ford vehicles.
     
  15. BroncoMike

    BroncoMike Well-Known Member

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    '71 Bronco, '02 Excursion
    Okay, glad you corrected that. Still, you're comparing a car to a truck.

    I would expect a difference in ride quality between a front wheel-drive unibody family car and that of a body-on-frame commercial-duty truck capable of towing 12000+ pounds and capable of hauling 40 or more bags of Sakrete safely in the bed. Since they are two entirely different animals, I'm not certain I would place ALL the blame on the differences in the axle design. If you downsized the F250 and its components to Explorer-like towing (less than half that of the F250) and payload while maintaining the same suspension type, adding cushy shocks and load range C all-season tires at 32psi, I don't think one would notice as much of a difference.

    Like you, I'm okay with a different ride from a vehicle with different capabilities. Some people aren't okay with that, and they are forced to make a compromise somewhere else.
     

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