$2,500 5-Speed Turbo: 1987 Ford Bronco II 4×4

There isn’t too much information given by the seller of this 1987 Ford Bronco II turbo. Wait, what? Turbo? That’s one bit of information that they give. It’s located in Mundelein, Illinois and can be found on Craigslist with an asking price of $2,500.

This is literally the entire listing: “Recently just bought this 87 Bronco, but unfortunately won’t be able to keep due to having a baby and not being the safest car since it’s doesn’t have airbags. Truck is in good condition and drives good. It’s a stick shift, truck has turbo included. It’s diffidently a fun truck to drive. Come out and take a look!!” At least body-wise it looks like it’s in good condition. Actually, the interior looks really nice, too, as does the never-officially-offered gas-powered diesel.

We all recognize the Bronco II as a being a direct descendant of the Ford Ranger. They were introduced in late-1983 as a 1984 model. Ahh… 1984, it seems like only yesterday (for those of us who were born by then). The nostril’d hood is the only giveaway that something is going on under there as far as I can tell. The Bronco II was available with a 2.3L Mitsubishi turbo diesel in 1986 but it only lasted for two years due to poor performance.

The interior looks good in this l’il 4×4. Red velour is king, as if I even had to say that out loud, we all know that it’s true. Now, where’s my red velvet smoking jacket.. The dash looks great and the back seat looks like it’s never been sat in. The 5-speed manual is nice to see here, too. Sadly, the Bronco II had an ominous reputation as being somewhat unsafe as far as rollover incidents were concerned. It was at least partially due to it having the same wheelbase and height, both at 94 inches, which when combined with a mere 68-inch width made for a very tippy ride. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) looked into the incidents and found that the B-II wasn’t any more prone to tipping over than any other small SUV was. However, the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) found that the Bronco II was three times as likely to tip over as the infamous Suzuki Samurai. Oddly enough, the rear-wheel drive Bronco II had a much worse tip over rate than the 4×4 version did.

One or more of you will know this engine instantly by looking at it. As I mentioned, Ford offered a Mitsubishi 4D55 2.3L turbo diesel but it only lasted for two years. Otherwise, a buyer had two V6 options in the Bronco II. The Ranger was offered with either a 2.2L Perkins diesel or a 2.3L Mitsubishi diesel but I can’t find an instance of a factory gas-powered turbo in either the Ranger or Bronco II. There are kits available to add a turbo and I’m assuming that’s what this Bronco II has. What are your thoughts on this unusual 4×4?

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Comments

  1. Paul D Hudson

    Pretty sure that is the 2.3 Turbo four from a T-birds Turbo coupe. It may have the 1988 inter-cooler too

    14
    • Beatnik Bedouin

      Paul is right. It’s a 2.3 Lima engine.

      While possible looking cool, leaving the timing belt cover off is a sure way to ‘change’ the valve timing when the first bit of road crud finds its way into that part of the engine… ;-)

      6
    • CanuckCarGuy

      Definitely looks like an ’87/’88 Tbird set up…their intercoolers were a bit larger than the one used on the SVOs.

      4
    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Thanks, guys!

      2
  2. RoughDiamond Member

    Listing already taken down.

    1
  3. MikeG

    I like how the turbo was “included”.

    4
  4. CCFisher

    Pretty sure a Bronco II is not 94″ high. That’s 7’10”. Those jacked-up Silverados driven by little guys with small *ahem* “equipment” aren’t even that tall.

    8
    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      CCFisher, I got that info from a Hemmings article: “The Bronco II rode on a short 94-inch wheelbase, and measured just 68 inches wide. At 94 inches tall, that produced a high center of gravity, making the Bronco II susceptible to rollover if driven improperly.”

      That’s my mistake for not following through when the 94-inch number didn’t seem right. In looking at the specs, the Bronco II is actually 68.2-inches tall.

      So, the width and the height are the same at 68-inches and the wheelbase is 94-inches.

      Good eye, sir!

      6
  5. Alex

    Man my 87 Bronco isn’t that cool but that’s what I get for having a full-size Bronco. But i wouldn’t trade it in a million years but amazing find

    2
  6. TMP

    Now if this were a a full size Bronco with a Perkins diesel then we’d really have something.

    3
  7. TinCanSailor

    I bought an 89 Bronco II and drove it for about 7 or 8 years and it was a ball to drive. I put about 200K highway miles on it and it was still going and still had the original clutch when I traded it. It was a blast to drive with the 2.9 V6 and the 5 speed. It had a very tight turning radius with the short wheelbase… where most had to do 3 point turns, I could whip it around easily. It didn’t have 4WD, but I never got stuck in a snowstorm… I had a job that required I drive in (about 50 miles one way) regardless of conditions, and it never let me down. I recently bought a ‘vintage’ Ranger, and that has turned up my nostalgia for my old Bronco II.

    3
  8. Wrong Way

    I kinda like this truck just for the turbo! I am most definitely a Ford fanatic, but I never got the eyes for a Bronco II, but this would be a fun driver!

    2
  9. Spencer Arthur

    I’ve owned 4 of these. They’re a blast to drive and they go like a billy goat. Decent power out of the 2.9 V6. You just have to respect how it handles, it’s not an IROC-Z.

    4
  10. Kenneth Carney

    My nephew had one, took a turn a little
    too sharp, and over it went. He had to
    scrap it due the extensive damage done
    to it when it flipped. Dad and I tried to
    talk him out of buying it but you know
    kids…they think they know everything.
    My kid sister bought a Samurai brand
    new in ’86. When I found out about it,
    I helped her get something safer to drive.
    for the same monthly payment. After
    all, that’s what big brothers do.

    3
  11. Gaspumpchas

    That hydraulic throwout bearing was extremely troublesome unless you got lucky like Tin Can sailor. Getting that tranny and transfer case out and back in was no walk in the park, Plastic throwout bearing and wimpy hoses. What a bad idea.

    Good luck to the new owner. Go ez around the corners….

    1
  12. DAN

    never-officially-offered gas-powered diesel.
    ???????????????

    2
  13. Gay Car Nut

    Lovely looking Bronco II.

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