Are you looking for a replacement frame for your Bronco? If so, you have a few options:
- Visit a junkyard and take a frame off an old Bronco
- Buy a used Bronco frame
- Have a custom Bronco frame built
The first two options aren’t great for a couple of reasons:
- There is usually rust inside the frame (not to mention on the outside). More about rust here.
- It’s difficult to tell if the frame is still perfectly true. For instance, the frame could have gotten bent in an accident.
Replacing a frame is a time-consuming job. So you want to make sure that your replacement frame is perfectly true and rust-free. Your best bet is to use a custom-built frame from a reputable company.
We put together this guide to help you differentiate between a well-built custom Bronco frame and a poorly built one. We’ll go over the features of a well built early Bronco frame.
Early Bronco Frames Are Not Interchangeable
Before we start, we’d like to talk a bit about why early Bronco frames are not interchangeable. Many people wonder if they can get a used or custom made early Bronco frame from another Bronco generation. It’s not possible, because the frame sizes and designs are different.
For starters, the Bronco (1966-1977) has a shorter frame than the Bronco II (1984-1990). The Bronco frame is 92″ long, and the Bronco II frame is 94″ long. The length difference is enough to make the early Bronco frames not interchangeable. Beyond that, there are many more differences between the frames.
So if you hire a company to build a custom frame for your Bronco, it’s wise to make sure that they’re following the right specs. (A little bit about replacing and storing in this article.)
If you find a reputable frame builder that understands all the differences between Bronco frames, you’re off to a great start. Next, you want to make sure that they build high-quality Bronco frames with the right dimensions. To do this, look for the following features of a well built early Bronco frame:
1. No Excessive Holes
When Ford designed the early Bronco frames, they put a lot of extra holes into them. All the extra holes allow road grime to build up in the frame. This leads to rust forming from the inside out. You don’t want a replacement frame with all those extra holes. To prevent your replacement frame from rusting out early, go with a frame without any extra holes.
At Throttle Down Kustoms, we recognize how unnecessary these extra holes are. So we designed our early Bronco frames with only the necessary holes. This offers a couple of benefits:
- A stronger frame
- Less chance of the frame rusting out over time
2. Thick Steel
A frame supports the entire vehicle, so you want a custom-built frame that’s made out of thick steel. Ford built its early Bronco frames with 1/8″ thick steel. It’s acceptable, but thicker steel is always better. If you want your new early Bronco frame to be as strong as possible, get one that’s made of steel that’s thicker than 1/8″. It ensures longevity and durability, especially for Broncos that are used for off-roading.
All TDK (Throttle Down Kustoms) frames are thicker than stock frames. We use 3/16″ mandrel-bent A50 steel to build our early Bronco frames. We use 3/16″ and 1/4″ P&O steel for all the brackets on our frames.
3. Tight Tolerances
When it comes to Bronco frames, fitment is everything. A frame is only as useful as its fitment. So it pays to find out how the frame builder makes its frames. The best frames are those that are made with computer-controlled machines. While handmade items are usually considered to be higher quality than manufactured items, this philosophy doesn’t apply to car frames.
Machined frames aren’t prone to human error. Computer-controlled machine tools measure, cut, and bend the steel tubing before it’s made into a frame. When computers control the measuring, there’s little to no chance of human error.
To get a replacement frame that is perfectly true, which all the brackets and mounting points in exactly the right locations, get a frame builder that uses sophisticated equipment to machine build their frames.
At Throttle Down Kustoms, we laser cut and CNC bend all our steel tubing. We also CNC cut all our brackets. As a result, our frames have tighter tolerances than OEM frames. This shouldn’t be surprising, as frame manufacturing in the 60’s was somewhat of a low tech operation.
4. Lifetime Warranty
Replacement frames aren’t cheap. So it says a lot when a frame builder offers a comprehensive lifetime warranty for their frames. It shows that good craftsmanship goes into their frames. It also shows that the company fully stands behind its products. Beware of frame builders that either don’t warranty their frames or offer a bare-bones warranty on their frames.
At Throttle Down Kustoms, we take so much pride in the quality of our early Bronco frames. We offer a comprehensive lifetime warranty against any structural defects. You can see the warranty policy here.
TDK Early Bronco Frames Are The Best On The Market
Throttle Down Kustoms frames meet all the hallmarks of a well-built custom frame. To sum it up, all TDK frames:
- Have no extra holes, which lessens the risk of rust
- Are made with thick steel, which makes them stronger than OEM frames
- Are made with computer-controlled machinery, meaning their tolerances are tighter than OEM frames
- Come with a comprehensive lifetime warranty