How to Restore a Classic Ford Bronco

 Restored Orange 1967 Ford Bronco

Learn What Parts You Need and the Best Place to Start

The Ford Bronco is a certified classic. This American SUV has been in production since 1966, and thanks to its ruggedness and reliable off-road capabilities, its fan appeal has endured for decades. If you’re the lucky owner of a classic Bronco, you should consider restoring it.

Restoring a Bronco means bringing it back to its original quality. You can restore its glory from decades past. This process requires intense hard work and attention to detail. It's also intensely rewarding. Here are some tips on how to restore a Ford Bronco or truck.

Do Your Research

Classic Bronco restoration is a complicated process that requires careful planning. Before starting any work, research classic Broncos as much as possible. There are five generations of Bronco from 1966 to 1996; each generation has unique features, quirks, and standard problems they may experience. Take time to understand your Bronco generation.

Get familiar with the terminology enthusiasts use as well. Bronco and Ford truck fans have their own language. For example, all Ford trucks from 1980-1995 and select trucks in 1996 and 1997 are referred to as OBS trucks or Old Body Style Fords. These Broncos and F-Series trucks are broken down into 3 subcategories by generation. A Bronco or F-Series truck from 1980-1986 is called a Bull Nose Ford. 1987-1991 Ford truck models are Brick Nose Fords. Then the 1992-1997 Broncos and F-Series trucks are Aero Nose Ford trucks. Knowing these terms may help you find valuable resources. 

Set A Budget

Restoring a Bronco can be expensive, so set a budget for your restoration project. A detailed budget helps your project stay on track and prevents overspending.

Source Your Classic Ford Truck Parts

Red Aero Nose Ford Lightning Restored

Once you have a budget, you'll need to source your parts. When looking for restoration parts, there are several sources to buy parts: online, at swapmeets, or through Bronco clubs. You can find new and used parts at any of these places. The gamble here, is that you don’t know how reputable these sources are. Many of them are probably fine but there’s been an increase in online fraud through auction sites, yardsale groups, and privately managed marketplaces. 

Start with the Basics

Start simple! Classic Bronco restoration should begin with basic repairs. Start by changing the fluids, repairing rust damage, and replacing worn-out parts.

Don’t Be Afraid to Get Creative

Part of the fun in restoration is being able to give your Bronco your signature touch. There are countless ways you can customize your Bronco! Some of the most popular customizations are changing the paint color, new tires or rims, accents, or interior upgrades.

Take Your Time

Don’t rush your new project. Restoring your classic Bronco is a labor of love! Taking time means making sure you’re doing the work correctly. Cutting corners during the restoration process will only lead to problems later on.

Enjoy The Process

Restoring a classic Bronco is a lot of work, but never forget: it’s also a lot of fun! Enjoy the process. After all your hard work, you’ll be able to appreciate the effort it took to bring your classic Bronco back to life.

Additional Tips

Sure, classic Bronco restoration requires a lot of hard work and dedication, but if you follow all the steps above, you’ll have an easier and more enjoyable experience. Your hard work will be rewarded with a Bronco or truck you can enjoy for years.

Here are some additional tips we recommend for classic Bronco restoration:

  • Take plenty of pictures. Documenting the restoration process will make it easier to identify any potential problems. When troubleshooting, refer back to these photos for help.
  • Join a Bronco club. A Bronco club connects you with enthusiasts who share your excitement. These fans are also a great source of help for your restoration project.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you get stuck, there are plenty of resources available to you. YouTube channels like Broncos and Parts Garage offer excellent support. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a qualified mechanic or Bronco restoration experts either.

Bricknose Ford Bronco Burgundy