Not Quite Restored: 1989 Ford Bronco XLT

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It’s hard to resist a clean Ford Bronco, and while the marketplace tends to favor bone stock survivors, they look so darn good with larger wheels and tires and a modest lift kit. This 1989 Ford Bronco XLT 4×4 has been lightly restored, and while some of the tweaks are reflective of the previous owner’s tastes, most of the enhancements seem to make sense. I’d lose the brush guard ASAP and replace it with a higher quality part painted gloss black, but otherwise, there’s not much I’d change. The paint and interior upholstery are both fresh, and the truck sports a six inch lift kit. Find it here on craigslist for $17,500.

Now, there are some other red flags like the cheesy aftermarket taillights. Those are indeed unfortunate. But the respray in the factory colors looks good, and despite the modifications, the seller at least held true to the factory scheme. The aftermarket wheels and larger tires work well here, even if they may offend any Bronco purists in the roof. The chrome bumpers still shine well, but the driver’s side of the rear bumper looks slightly out of alignment. That’s the overall vibe I get with this Bronco: while there was some smart money spent here, it also seems like it may have been a rush job in places.

What I mean by that is it’s possible the seller is looking to score some quick points with potential buyers with easy dress-up bits like the brush guard, wheels, and taillights. The good news is the parts that are must-haves among Bronco enthusiasts all seem to be accounted for, like a minty blue cloth interior featuring factory bucket seats, full console, and cold air conditioning. Again, the aftermarket steering wheel is another example of cheap dress-up points, but you can easily swap that out. The interior does have some rough spots that I’m curious appear worse up close, such as the cheap aftermarket radio, some extra gauges with loose wiring hanging down, and some stains on the carpet.

The 5.8L V8 powerplant is hooked up to a three-speed automatic, and the seller notes the engine is rebuilt. Aftermarket modifications notwithstanding, numerous mechanical improvements have been made, including the following: rear main seal replaced; new spark plug wires; new blower motor/resistor; fresh brake components; new fan clutch / serpentine belt; and more. The suspension has also been addressed, with updates including new stabilizer bushings and drag bar; new ball joints; new stainless steel brake lines; and other repairs focused on the braking system and driveshaft. Overall, this Bronco features lots of smart improvements, but the asking price seems strong for a truck with some loose ends and cheap modifications.

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  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TNMember

    I’m with Jeff’s analysis of this Bronco. They are attractive and appealing in stock condition, I’d get rid of the brush guard and go back to stock taillights and steering wheel and even radio (there are individuals who refurbish them). I’m not a fan of lift kits but I know lots of people like that look. Overall a nice Bronco which has had lots of work, which could be even better with a bit of additional effort.

    Like 4
    • Erik

      I’m with you…it’s only stock once and stock NEVER goes out of style or demand. Adding a lift kit and oversized tires immediately puts the owner into meathead status that is joining the herd IMHO. Too each their own when it their own vehicle but when customizing a vehicle the owner should always retain the parts to put it back to stock by a future owner.

      Like 3
  2. Connecticut Mark

    Looks like a 302, dump tires and rims too. Too much work for engine , I bet horrible to drive that thing the way it’s.

    Like 3
  3. Harvey HarveyMember

    Modified intake must really roar when you stand on it.Getting rid of the factory cold air intake not a plus.

    Like 1
  4. t-bone BOB

    Located near Sarasota, FL

    Like 0

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