How good OR Bad, will the base Bronco be off-road without Sas and lockers?

MadMan4BamaNATL

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Love all of the optimism here, but not sure it's realistic to think a base Bronco can do much off road beyond light, dry trails that are relatively flat.

That said, the purpose of the base isn't to "do any off road", The base is a platform to build.

I see in the thread the mention of a winch, etc. A decent winch costs money and requires a plate and a steel bumper and the OP said he doesn't have the money (bless you and a prayer for a turn around of your fortunes)

Here's the thing; off roading is relative to perspective. I know some guys who don't think you're doing anything unless you're out west in Johnson Valley or Baja, whereas to me, that's extreme.

If you just want to go wheel to a campsite (when dry), there's only a few upgrades necessary to that base Bronco and none are cosmetic to make one's sack look bigger.

Upgrading those terrible base level tires to a true off road rubber set up will instantly improve your traction. As long as you stay off the rocks, you should be fine. Small rocks are ok, but nothing serious, remember there are no sliders under the base.

If you want, you can upgrade the wheels also and go up a size or two. 35s are not necessary, but 33s are within reach and will be very capable on a 17" wheel when you air down.

No matter what you do, you WILL need to invest in recovery gear. A shovel, straps (tow and kinetic), bow shackles are cheap, a bottle jack, fire extinguisher, cheap tool set and bag, GMRS radio, first aid kit) All in, this is likely $600, but money spent that can save your life and yes your life is worth $600 and much more, so buy this shit now, bit by bit.

In a couple of years when the OP is back on his feet, he can build up that base into whatever type of rig he wants. Lockers can be added, steal bumpers also, armor, a winch, bigger tires, a lifted quality off road suspension set up can all come later and in phases.

Start from the ground up with suspension before bigger tires and wheels, then continue until you're happy.





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DonM

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I know for what I might go out an do the base Base would work just fine. Mine won't be a daily driver for another 2 years so I went with Base Sasquatch. It was either that or move up to a Big Bend to get the rear locker. Priced out close to the same so I went with the better overall factory components.

But.....back to your question.....plenty of fun can be had with open diffs and four wheel drive.
 

jimbo92

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Keep in mind open diffs today, are not what they were years ago. They are not truly open.
 

UncleBuck

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How good OR Bad, will the base Bronco be off-road without Sas and lockers?
I don't have the money I did last year when thinking to get a new Truck and now thinking to get a base, base. I'm sure Ford will have some system to brake a wheel from spinning and with open diffs send power to the opposite wheel but would a system like that be anything more then a Ridgeline off-road ? I also think getting a locker in the back would be serious cash later down the road?

My Reservation is a first night and would hate to give up on it now.
My 2011 ranger is pretty good off road. No lockers, 31 inch BFGS, regular 4x4. I’m guessing the base bronco with the newer tech 4x4 systems vs the 20 year old tech in my ranger will be just fine for most off road. Granted, I try not to put my Ranger anywhere I think I’d need a locker so as long as you don’t try to out drive the vehicle’s capability you will be ok I think.
 

onetong8r

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How good OR Bad, will the base Bronco be off-road without Sas and lockers?
I don't have the money I did last year when thinking to get a new Truck and now thinking to get a base, base. I'm sure Ford will have some system to brake a wheel from spinning and with open diffs send power to the opposite wheel but would a system like that be anything more then a Ridgeline off-road ? I also think getting a locker in the back would be serious cash later down the road?

My Reservation is a first night and would hate to give up on it now.
Based on your info it looks like you may live in FL. If so, the base will probably do everything you want it to do if you know its limitations. As others have said, maybe a cheap 1-2" lift and better tires if you want. You can take a bone stock Jeep Wrangler anywhere you want to go in the Ocala forest and you're not going to get stuck in the sand on the beach unless you really want to. With a 30" street tire you won't be tearing up any big mud holes but you can still have a good time if you stay out of the deep stuff. The only real rock crawling that I know of in FL is the rock garden at Hardrock in Ocala and the Stavola limestone pits north of Ocala (as long you don't get caught). Also, I have zero idea if the Bronco will work like this but with the traction control on the JK/JL Wranglers they act like they have lockers. That may not be true in a real rock crawling scenario but they will apply the brakes when a wheel starts to spin so if you watch one running up a hill (in FL) you will see the wheels spinning and stopping and that allows them to climb things you can't typically climb without a locker or good LSD. As a side note, it used to make me laugh when I'd go ride with guys from the Ocala Jeep Club. You would see a POS TJ with a body lift and 35's going over the same thing as a $60k+ JK with every Poison Spyder accessory they could bolt on. If your budget is a base non-Sasquatch, get one and drive the hell out of it with a smile on your face. BTW, if you want to add a rear locker down the road, without a gear change if you have a shop do the work you're probably looking at $1,400 out the door.
 

jonwithanelcamino

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How good OR Bad, will the base Bronco be off-road without Sas and lockers?
I don't have the money I did last year when thinking to get a new Truck and now thinking to get a base, base. I'm sure Ford will have some system to brake a wheel from spinning and with open diffs send power to the opposite wheel but would a system like that be anything more then a Ridgeline off-road ? I also think getting a locker in the back would be serious cash later down the road?

My Reservation is a first night and would hate to give up on it now.
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Heymking

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I’d imagine it’d be similar to the system and results of my ‘15 Wrangler Sahara, without lockers. Very surprised by what it can do, definitely more than flat trails and light off-roading....
 

dgorsett

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I've done: Poison Spider, Pritchett Canyon (downhill), Elephant Hill, Black Bear, Poughkeepsie Gulch, the Doll House and countless other named and nameless trails in stock open diff 4x4's with 30" or smaller tires. Any of the major 4x4 passes in SW Colorado are doable in any 4x4 with a low range. Lockers and bigger tires make it less demanding on route selection and driving ability but also give a degree of over confidence that can get you in trouble. With time these trails are getting tougher, torn up by high performance vehicles that like to demonstrate that performance.

Buy what you can afford and enjoy it, all Bronco's will be capable of a good time.
 

colintrax

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A base bronco will blow away the Ridgeline. The Ridgeline doesn't even have low range last I checked, nor does it truly lock in 4wd. The 4wd clutch will burn up if you take a Ridgeline offroading. Approach, breakover, and deproach angles on the Ridgeline are awful. Suspension travel is shit. Its unibody so good luck adding after market parts to even try to make a capable vehicle.

Let's look at the other competition. Sure the base "only" has 30" tires. But a 31" tire was big on jeeps back in the day. Look at the stock tire size on a full size bronco. Chevy zr2? Yeah 31-32" tires on the premium offroad truck. Most full size trucks are rolling around on 32" tires.
The base model doesn't have as much suspension travel as the badlands. But its still more than many full size trucks.

I could keep going but end of the day the base is still more capable than most road legal vehicles. Biggest things holding it back is the plastic bumpers and open diffs. Aftermarket will take care of you as you get the money saved.
 

dgorsett

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A base bronco will blow away the Ridgeline. The Ridgeline doesn't even have low range last I checked, nor does it truly lock in 4wd. The 4wd clutch will burn up if you take a Ridgeline offroading. Approach, breakover, and deproach angles on the Ridgeline are awful. Suspension travel is shit. Its unibody so good luck adding after market parts to even try to make a capable vehicle.

Let's look at the other competition. Sure the base "only" has 30" tires. But a 31" tire was big on jeeps back in the day. Look at the stock tire size on a full size bronco. Chevy zr2? Yeah 31-32" tires on the premium offroad truck. Most full size trucks are rolling around on 32" tires.
The base model doesn't have as much suspension travel as the badlands. But its still more than many full size trucks.

I could keep going but end of the day the base is still more capable than most road legal vehicles. Biggest things holding it back is the plastic bumpers and open diffs. Aftermarket will take care of you as you get the money saved.
Damn it I'm getting old...I'm saying 'Back in my day way too often'...Most 4x4's I've had had 28" tires, I'd go crazy and upgrade to 29's or 30's..wow.

Modern 4x4's (read Jeep and Bronco) are limited a bit by low center of gravity designs, keeping heavy drive train and fuel tank low, to prevent stability/roll over issues. Therefore, bigger tires are more important to gain clearance. But I'm shooting for 32's or 33's as a good compromise.
 

MaverickMan

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Also a base base with 33x14r16 Super Swamper Boggers will go 99% of the places a wildtrack or badlands would with their all terrain tires. Serious tires make thing serious. Hell just buy an extra set to slap on for wheeling trips and daily drive your stockers.
 

ramblinwreck

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Imho, the limiting factor on a base bronco will be the tires. Those stock tires are small and basically street tires. Just changing out the tires for a good 32" A/T should be a massive improvement.
 

Brianstrange

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I would not compare a new Bronco (without a locker) to an early 4wd with open axles. The traction control system on modern cars improve the vehicles traction performance, possibly beyond factory limited slip diff's of the past. My daughter inherited a 2006 Mercedes E350 RWD (non 4matic), and I couldn't believe how well that drove in the snow. It wasn't far off from my A6 Quattro. I think people are going to be shocked with the functionality of the open axles with traction control.
 

Stampede.Offroad

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How good OR Bad, will the base Bronco be off-road without Sas and lockers?...
It depends more on you and your willingness to apply force than it does on most of those parts.

I've taken my 2wd car through snow, water etc. that people in big trucks and suvs turned away from. It will be no different between your base Bronco and a decked out Rubicon street queen.
 

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