Bronco Frame Restoration Questions Answered

Are you replacing a Bronco frame or restoring a Bronco? You might have a few questions about Bronco frames. A solid frame is key to having a solid Bronco. But trying to find a new frame for your Bronco can be a bit challenging. Due to generation changes that didn't quite match up with the F-150, and somewhat confusing name choices, making sure you're getting the right frame for your classic is harder than you might think.

We'll help you nail the project. We gathered together a few of the most frequently asked questions Bronco owners and restorers have about old Bronco frames.

Are 1979 And 1980 Bronco Frames The Same Width?

The 1979 Bronco is the last model year of the second generation. The 1980 Bronco is the first model year of the third generation. Ford made some changes to the Bronco for the third generation, but the second and third generations were very similar in size. So a lot of Bronco fans wonder if Ford changed the frame for the 1980 Bronco. Are the 1979 and 1980 Bronco frames the same width?

The answer to this question is: no. The 1979 and 1980 Bronco frames are not the same widths. (See a picture and get to know the anatomy of a Bronco frame in this TDK blog post.)

Ford Bronco types

Image credit: 1979 Bronco: Tomas Del Coro via Creative Commons | 1980 Bronco: Alden Jewell via Creative Commons

Ford updated the frame for two reasons:

  1. The Bronco frame is based on the F-150 frame, which was also updated.
  2. Ford ditched the solid front axle for the third generation. They replaced the solid front axle with an independent front suspension.

Is The Bronco II Frame The Same As The ’72 Bronco Frame?

72 Bronco

No. Ford produced the Bronco between 1966 and 1977. The Bronco II didn’t come out until 7 years later, in 1984. Both Broncos are very similar in size, but the frames are completely different. For starters:

  • Ford used the F-series as its base for the original Bronco frame.
  • Ford used the Ford Ranger as its base for the Bronco II frame.

Here are a few notable differences between the two frames:

  • The Bronco II frame has a few more crossmembers than the Bronco frame.
  • The shock mounts on a Bronco II frame are higher than those on a Bronco frame.
  • The holes and brackets are in different places.

Both types of frames have too many small differences for them to be interchangeable. That means you can't install a Bronco II frame on a Bronco, or vice versa.

Is Bronco Or Bronco II Bigger?

Ford Bronco 2

This is actually a trick question. It’s hard to tell, but the Bronco II is bigger. The Bronco II is similar in height and width to the first-generation Bronco, but it’s about 10 inches longer.

While Ford was producing the Bronco II, they were also manufacturing the third and fourth generations. Ford based these generations on the F-150 chassis. Ford called them full-size Broncos. They were much larger than the Bronco II.

Get The Right Replacement Frame For Your Bronco

Each Bronco generation has its own frame design. So the frame isn’t interchangeable between Bronco generations. If you have a Bronco with a frame that needs replacing or if you’re building a Bronco, you have two options:

  1. Get a used frame off another Bronco from the same generation
  2. Have a custom frame built to match your Bronco’s specs

The second option (having a custom frame built) is the safer one. Taking a used frame off another Bronco comes with its own risks. For example:

  • There may be rust hidden inside the frame
  • The frame may have gotten bent in an accident

Throttle Down Kustoms Builds Quality Bronco Frames

Bronco frame

When you need a custom-built frame, it's important to order one from a reputable company. A poorly built frame will mess up the rest of the Bronco and jeopardize your safety on the road.

A lot of Bronco owners trust Throttle Down Kustoms to build their frames the right way. Here's why:

  • We use 3/16" A50 steel, which is stronger than the steel Ford used in its frames back in the day.
  • All steel tubing is laser cut and CNC bent. This creates tighter tolerances than OEM frames.
  • We have all the correct dimensions, and we follow them to a tee.
  • We put all our frames through rigorous quality control checks before sending them to our customers.
  • We offer a lifetime warranty against any structural defects on all our frames.

Learn more about our custom-built Bronco frames today!