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History of the BroncoII (Bronco2 1984-1990)


The Ford Bronco II was a compact SUV sold between 1984 and 1990 as a smaller complement to the full-size Ford Bronco, as well as to compete with the Chevrolet S-10 Blazer and Jeep Cherokee. It was very mechanically similar to the Ford Ranger pickup, but had a 94 in (2,388 mm) wheelbase (similar to a Volkswagen Beetle) and was enclosed in the rear.

The 1984 and 1985 models were equipped with a 2.8 L V6, which was similar to Ford's 2.8 L available in Europe. The 1986 model year introduced a 2.9 L EFI V6. This engine was doomed from the beginning with design flaws, often suffering premature cylinder head failure and loss of valvetrain lubrication if not rigorously maintained. Although these flaws had been fixed by the 1989 model year, the Bronco II was steadily becoming unattractive to potential buyers due to safety concerns.

The Ford Bronco II was known to tip over in some circumstances - as with most SUVs - due to the high center of gravity, and led to a NTSB investigation along with criticism by independent automotive safety groups. The Bronco II underwent a major redesign, and was re-released as the wider and longer Ford Explorer in 1991.

Despite its reputation as an unreliable, unsafe vehicle, the Bronco II is still actively sought-after by those in the market for a cheap, solid, compact SUV. Its similarities to the Ford Ranger make it an easy vehicle to work on as well. Many engine swaps that are popular with the Ranger, such as a Ford Windsor engine, are also easily possible with a Bronco II.

The 1989 and 1990 model years featured a completely redesigned front fascia, which made the Bronco II look much more like the F-Series trucks and the full-sized Bronco. These are known as "second generation" Bronco IIs, even though it is not a true second generation. The 1990 model year and a few late 1989 model year Bronco IIs featured the Dana 35 front axle which replaced the weaker, and more prone to breaking, Dana 28.

Other Bronco History Links

History of the Early Bronco (1966-1977)
History of the Big Bronco (Fullsize 1978-1996)