Please teach me how to Bronco

Roofus

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Hi, Bronco fans! I’m a long time grease monkey, but have spent the last 25 years tooling on mostly BMW M3‘s for cruising in the mountains, local auto shows, or amateur track days. I am completely new to building a truck and have spent the last two weeks perusing the forums looking to learn more about how to customize my Bronco. The passion shared here is familiar, but the vehicle type is very new to me and I have many questions. Can y’all teach me to Bronco?

My build:
‘22 2.7 OBX (Shadow Black)
Build date: Jan 24th

For now, I’m mostly looking to learn more about approaches/types of lifts and issues I need to watch out for with aftermarket wheels and tires.
1) Is a leveling kit safe? Will it be necessary if I get a lift?
2) If I’m looking for a 2 inch lift, some have said blocks, others lift kits, others say full suspension overhaul. What is the difference?
3) Will I need modified crash bars for 33 inch or 35 inch tires? (IIRC OBX is 32s stock)
4) What offset do I need to avoid rubbing issues and maintain full turning radius?
5) Will 35 inch tires be incredibly noisy, especially during long period highway travel? (Looking at BFG K02S)
6) Can you point me to any further reading material to learn more?

Thank you!
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MaverickMan

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Welcome. Sounds life you want a lift and tires. Cheap lifts use spacers, levels are just the front end(so folks can get their tip just a lil higher than the other guy). Spacer lifts are fine for moderate wheeling. But if you plan to go pounding around you will want to get some squatch or badlands take offs or a nice coilover kit. If you go a few inches more than squatch and you need control arm upgrades, front and rear. 35s are louder, however tread pattern matters as much as size. I like the sound of tires myself. Most dont, but most arent car nuts.
 

MaverickMan

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Did you order the Sasquatch package? Some think it's just about big tires, but in reality, it is a bargain for the upgraded drive train alone, you're starting out with a more robust configuration...
For real. If you plan on doing alot of wheeling, squatch or badlands. Break out your piggy bank.
 

jhenson81

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1 - Safe in what way? I think most 2" lift kits for the Bronco incorporate levelling. You probably won't need to combine the two.

2 - For a 2" lift, spacer kit is good if you want to keep the stock ride quality, and a coilover kit would most likely give a stiffer ride, IMO.

3 - From what I've read, you only need to remove the crash bars when going with a tire larger than 33". They just bolt in, so not a drastic mod if you need to put them back.

4 - Offset will vary by wheel width, but the Sasquatch package uses an 8.5" wide wheel with +35 offset, I believe. And I think the tire width on that package is less than 12". From what I've gathered here, I'll be choosing a 17x8.5 wheel with +18 offset and 295/70/17 tires (33.5x11.5x17 roughly).

5 - I don't have much experience with noisy tires, but most all-terrains will be more quiet than a mud tire. Not sure how much of a factor size would be.

6 - I used to read 4 Wheel and Off-road magazine back when paper still existed. :LOL: I'm sure there are some off-roading blogs out there with build articles. This may be blasphemy *puts on fire suit*, but you could take pointers from Jeep builds. YouTube is a good resource, too, as more people get their Broncos.
 
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RoLyMa27

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I would suggest you go to an Off-Roadeo and see what a Badlands/Squatched Bronco will do bone stock! The capabilities of the Bronco are incredible. Once you have a baseline and knowing what you want to do with the Bronco, start building from there. In my opinion, a stock Badlands/Squatched Bronco is going to be more than capable for almost everyone except the hard core off-roader!
 
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Jdyount

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Hi, Bronco fans! I’m a long time grease monkey, but have spent the last 25 years tooling on mostly BMW M3‘s for cruising in the mountains, local auto shows, or amateur track days. I am completely new to building a truck and have spent the last two weeks perusing the forums looking to learn more about how to customize my Bronco. The passion shared here is familiar, but the vehicle type is very new to me and I have many questions. Can y’all teach me to Bronco?

My build:
‘22 2.7 OBX (Shadow Black)
Build date: Jan 24th

For now, I’m mostly looking to learn more about approaches/types of lifts and issues I need to watch out for with aftermarket wheels and tires.
1) Is a leveling kit safe? Will it be necessary if I get a lift?
2) If I’m looking for a 2 inch lift, some have said blocks, others lift kits, others say full suspension overhaul. What is the difference?
3) Will I need modified crash bars for 33 inch or 35 inch tires? (IIRC OBX is 32s stock)
4) What offset do I need to avoid rubbing issues and maintain full turning radius?
5) Will 35 inch tires be incredibly noisy, especially during long period highway travel? (Looking at BFG K02S)
6) Can you point me to any further reading material to learn more?

Thank you!
It all depends on what you want to do. If your primary focus is off road then you're going to need to take a different approach than you would it you're just going for the looks.

1), 2) Each type of lift has it's own place. Blocks/leveling kits/basic lift kits do give you higher ride heights but don't correct suspension geometries. Typically these are used (correctly) if you're only doing a small lift and/or you're not planning on doing a lot of off-roading. Typically these options are much less expensive and much easier to install.

A full suspension lift will give you the desired lift while correcting geometries. This is the best solution because you won't have to worry (as much) about breaking things (cv shafts, tie rods,...). The con for a full suspension lift is cost and complexity. Typically they are much more expensive and a lot more involved to install.

3) The Sasquatch package removes the crash bars anyway.

4) The Bronco wheel well/frame is designed to run 35's (in the Sasquatch package) so as long as you have enough lift you shouldn't have to worry about rubbing (with 35's or less). 37's do rub but there are easy mods to fix that.

5) The stock Sasquatch tires are very quiet on road (but they're not great in muddy off-road situations). It all depends on the tire tread pattern.

6) Google "full suspension lift vs blocks" or "lift vs leveling". You'll find a ton of videos to watch that talk about all of it. I'd also look for a local off-road club (for me that's Midwest Crawlers in the KC area), tons of people out there that you can hook-up with on trails, ask questions and see examples IRL.
 

Silver-Bolt

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What do you want to do with it? Just like an M3 the harder you want to run it (track days) the more it will cost. An off the shelf M3 it a fantastic road car and decent track car. To go faster on the track to start you are looking at tires, brake pads, and possibly rotors. That covers the majority of the track day drivers. The next step is usually swaybars, suspension, full brake upgrade, track specific wheels/tires, etc.

The same steps apply to a Bronco. Daily driving and light wheeling don't require any mods. Heavier wheeling will take some mods. A leveling kit only lifts the front to make it level with the rear. Basically takes the rake out. A lift will raise both the front and the rear. The cheap way is to use a spacer lift. Think of the spacer lift like cutting the springs on an M3. Cutting the springs will lower it, but it is not the proper way to do it. A spacer lift is cheap and easy but I would not run one myself. I would go full suspension. New adjustable coilovers all around. Most are adjustable from stock height up to 3.0" of lift. In the offroad world tire height is important. The taller the tire the easier it will roll over obstacles. The trade off is taller tires weigh more and will impact on road performance. Taller tires also may require a gearing change which is not cheap. Lots to consider.

My suggestion, if you plan to wheel it get the Sasquatch package. If you are not sure how much off roading you will do, leave it stock. As you wheel it it you will learn what needs to be upgraded.
 

Hossfire

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1 - Safe in what way? I think most 2" lift kits for the Bronco incorporate levelling. You probably won't need to combine the two.

2 - For a 2" lift, spacer kit is good if you want to keep the stock ride quality, and a coilover kit would most likely give a stiffer ride, IMO.

3 - From what I've read, you only need to remove the crash bars when going with a tire larger than 33". They just bolt in, so not a drastic mod if you need to put them back.

4 - Offset will vary by wheel width, but the Sasquatch package uses an 8.5" wide wheel with +35 offset, I believe. And I think the tire width on that package is less than 12". From what I've gathered here, I'll be choosing a 17x8.5 wheel with +18 offset and 295/70/17 tires (33.5x11.5x17 roughly).

5 - I don't have much experience with noisy tires, but most all-terrains will be more quiet than a mud tire. Not sure how much of a factor size would be.

6 - I used to read 4 Wheel and Off-road magazine back when paper still existed. :LOL: I'm sure there are some off-roading blogs out there with build articles. This may be blasphemy *puts on fire suit*, but you could take pointers from Jeep builds. YouTube is a good resource, too, as more people get their Broncos.
SAS tires are 12.4"
 

goatman2

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Yep, like has been said how do you want to use it? The type of lift will depend on why you want the lift. Pretty much, the main reason for a lift for most people is for clearance to fit bigger tires. So, the real question is what tires size and why. If greater off road performance is the goal, then it could mean more suspension travel. More travel means control arms and CV axle shaft movement range will have to be considered. Back to the why.

Bigger tires aren't really more noisy, it's the more aggressive tread pattern where most of the noise comes from. Really the only concern is a mud tire against an all terrain tire, the muds will be louder.
 
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Roofus

Roofus

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Thank you all for the excellent insight! This really provided me some great direction as I continue my education.
As for wheeling, I would be looking at some hobby time a few trips a year on some of our light and medium trails in the Appalachian public parks. Outside of that, just some good grip during skiing season and having a nice aesthetic. I’d prefer not to get out over my skis, as it were, and maybe go to some events and learn from there to see if I’m interested in doing more.
 

contented

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Just ordered ours on Black Friday, Outer Banks, hardtop, non Sas, etc. Saw this topic and was interested.

I learned a lesson when I put coilovers on my 2017 mini cooper at 20k miles. When I lowered it more than 3/4" I got a vibration when turning under certain situations. Turned out the issue was the CV joints had a certain wear pattern and when lowered it changed the angle of the joint and wear pattern resulting in vibration.

So if one mildly lifts a bronco (say 2" or less) at 10k or 15k miles, would the above issue manifest it's self?

Thanks. Contented
 
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