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Episode Transcript

(Marc)>> You're watching Powernation.

(Brandon)>> Today on Music City Trucks.

(Marc)>> Mecum's John Kramen stops by.

(John)>> You're taking a nice job with that vintage Bronco look. You've got thoroughly modern underneath.

(Mike)>> Man look at the mess you guys made here.

(Brandon)>> Then it's time to install our James Duff suspension kit.

(Marc)>> Let's get the innards in. That looks amazing! ♪ ♪ [ engine revving ] ♪ ♪

(Brandon)>> Welcome to Music City Trucks. I'm Brandon Burke.

(Marc)>> And I'm Marc Christ, and as you can you see we're back on our 1974 Bronco project. The last time you saw this thing we had this beautiful body assembled with the help of some nice sheet metal from Dennis Carpenter and also our Car-o-liner CT-9 spot welder. We're really happy how it turned out but we've got to have some components in there to make this thing move and the cat's out of the bag now. You can see we've got a bunch of components here on the floor that we've picked and we're gonna talk about why, and to help us out we've got our friend here John Kramen from Mecum Auctions. We're gonna talk about why we chose some of these parts and the future of our Bronco.

(John)>> You know it's really cool guys coming in here and seeing how you're sketching and planning this out. To me this is all automotive jewelry. I started with Mecum Auctions back in 2006. We went on television in 2008. So it's been over 15 years now.

(Marc)>> So as you probably have imagined supercharged Coyote. I mean Coyote was the bar we even just took it a step further with this one.

(John)>> Well certainly since we first saw the Coyote 5.0 liter all the way back in 2011 it has established itself as the go-to engine for Ford upgrades. What kind of horsepower output are we looking at with this thing?

(Marc)>> It's close to 800 horsepower.

(Brandon)>> In a Bronco!

(John)>> I would say that the Bronco market has reached fever pitch at this time. Let me give you an example. A lot of excitement over the recent sale of Parnelli Jones' 1969 race Bronco known as Big Oly. We knew it would be the most expensive and best known Bronco to ever hit the auction block and it paid off in a big way. It fetched an amazing $1.87 million dollars, which just confirms just how popular, and how cool, and how sought after Broncos are right now.

(Marc)>> Now we're calling this the Beach Cruiser Bronco. Caribbean Turquoise! It's Caribbean Turquoise, Wimbledon White, Seafoam's our sponsor. We've got a partial wrap going on there, and that's kinda what we're going for. At a glance this may look like an original stock Bronco with a lift and wheels and tires.

(John)>> And that's what I was gonna say is you guys have really done a masterful job once again of taking just the overall clean good look of a stock unmodified Bronco and building on that theme, yet beneath all that sheet metal and up underneath all modern state of the art components. Very well done!

(Brandon)>> I think taking the classic design of the Bronco and all the new stuff is really making this project timeless.

(Marc)>> So overall what's your take now that you've seen the body, and you see we have the aftermarket chassis, and all the other supporting components and you kinda get an idea of where we're going with this. What's your take on where this Bronco's gonna land as far as where the market is right now.

(John)>> Well we know a couple of things in regard to the resto mod Bronco market, and that is it's really, really hot right now, but everybody does one completely different. Everybody has their own ideas on how they should be done. What I like about this particular build, it's a little bit different from a lot of the other ones that we see in that it is not adorned with a lot of exterior goodies, and that's what makes this look so great. You're really taking a nice job of that vintage Bronco look yet thoroughly modern underneath. This has really got to be a big deal to you guys after all of the time and effort to create this, and it's all gonna pay off at the auction. First thing I want to hear once I see it at SEMA is what is that exhaust system gonna sound like?

(Marc)>> Well that has yet to be determined but it's gonna sound pretty gnarly I can tell you that.

(John)>> What I really look forward to is having you guys there in person to be able to answer questions about it, talk about it, but also to share in the excitement of what we're all hoping is gonna be a really big hammer price. We'll see you there!

(Marc)>> Up next, we begin fitting our new suspension from James Duff.

(Marc)>> Well we had a really great visit with our friend John Kramen from Mecum Auctions and he gave us some insight on where we're heading with our Bronco but now it's time to get to work.

(Brandon)>> We got the Bronco cut off the fab table and over here on the lift. Now it's time to make this Bronco a roller, and that means mounting and installing our suspension, and we got monster Mike from James Duff here to help us out. Thanks man for coming.

(Mike)>> Hey guys, man, look at the mess you guys made here. It's a good thing I showed up.

(Brandon)>> So when looking for a suspension we wanted something that would go fast, go slow, and go anywhere cause it is a beach cruiser Bronco. So what did you bring us?

(Mike)>> Well Brandon this is the dual sport monster suspension system from James Duff.

(Brandon)>> And what does this kit actually consist of?

(Mike)>> Well this is the high performance package, and it's for a two and a half inch lift for an early Bronco, and the front actually consists of these TRex arms, which are a stand alone product that you can buy as well as the coil springs, shock towers, the high performance shocks, and then from their we've got the adjustable track bar, heim steer system, and a front sway bar.

(Brandon)>> What about the rear setup?

(Mike)>> So for the rear you've got a dual triangulated four link, and that also has high performance shocks, coil springs. It's got upper and lower shock mounts, coil buckets, and of course a universal sway bar system, and you'll actually notice that there is some parts here that are custom color and that was something that you guys wanted for your build and you did it afterwards. And you'll see there's also some bare parts, which of course you guys have a bare frame. So you bent my arm and I let you have them bare, but they normally come black powder coated.

(Brandon)>> And it looks like we're missing the truss.

(Mike)>> That's right we are. We have the truss missing and that's because it's actually welded on to the axle over here.

(Marc)>> Alright let's go take a look at them.

(Mike)>> So what we've got here is two custom crate axles built by Currie for the James Duff high performance package.

(Brandon)>> And it's a nine inch and a 44?

(Mike)>> That's right, and then on the rear you see we actually send the truss to Currie and then they build the whole axle with the truss, and then weld it and powder coat it, and send it to you for bolt on.

(Brandon)>> So all you've got to do is open the box and throw it under the truck?

(Mike)>> That's right!

(Marc)>> Let's look at the front.

(Mike)>> Yeah the front's also great because it comes with the riser bracket, which is part of the bump steer eliminator system inside of this performance package. All welded on, and then of course powder coated, and it also comes with the James Duff brake package on the outside.

(Brandon)>> Sweet!

(Marc)>> Let's get to work. We're gonna start at the front right? So let's get the axle moved and start turning some wrenches.

(Mike)>> Let's do this!

(Marc)>> Well we got the front axle sitting in place underneath the truck where it's gonna live but we've got some things we've got to do here on the table first. What is that exactly?

(Mike)>> Yeah in order to get started you've got to get your head units assembled, which means you're gonna take those bushings and you're gonna put them inside the head units.

(Marc)>> Alright let's do it!

(Mike)>> We're gonna push this in like this if you've got strong fingernails, and then turn it over. It's gonna push out a little bit. Then you come over here and finish it off. Now we have to go and lubricate the C-bushings. It has to be 100 percent lubricated on the inside and out, not the sides, and the reason why we use dish soap is because as it dries out you can just spray it and then the water rehydrates it.

(Marc)>> And then it's easy to clean off when it's done.

(Mike)>> When you wash your truck for the first time it all just disappears.

(Marc)>> Okay so what do we need to do here, what do we start with?

(Mike)>> Alright so we've got our soap and we wanted to go ahead and start coating this part of the axle, and that way there's lubrication on every surface that the C-bushing touched. Now this next point is absolutely critical. There's a top and bottom to the C-bushing and that's how you get the right degree. How it pivots on the axle. So here it says front bottom, and then if you turn it over it says rear bottom. So on yours front bottom is down. Now we take our starter bolt with the washer, and it doesn't matter what hole you start with. Just go ahead and start threading it in. So these are the actual bolts that go in and they come with a lock washer. Now we're not gonna use a lock washer cause the bolts are gonna come back out again and we don't want to damage the powder coat. So you just put one in there and get it started.

(Marc)>> I see why we use those because you wouldn't be able to get these started without both.

(Mike)>> That's right, they're too short.

(Marc)>> So now we can run these in.

(Mike)>> We're gonna actually install a radius arm now, and we'll do the other side as well.

(Brandon)>> I guess these are the TRex arms.

(Mike)>> Wow, that was graceful!

(Brandon)>> Thank you! ♪ ♪

(Marc)>> That looks cool! [ drill humming ]

(Mike)>> There you go. You have to do the other side, and then we start tightening up the C-caps.

(Marc)>> Let's do it! Yep right on it now. Now while that's sitting on the ground is that when you tighten these in?

(Mike)>> That's right, slow and easy is the way. ♪ ♪

(Brandon)>> Alright we've got the radius arms on our crate axle and now it's time to get it on the frame.

(Marc)>> Let's get it up here Brandon. ♪ ♪

(Brandon)>> So these are pretty beefy coil over retainers.

(Mike)>> You know what's really nice about this whole system is that you can use it with an aftermarket frame or a factory frame and everything just bolts in as long as your coil buckets are in the factory location.

(Brandon)>> That's pretty cool! Alright! ♪ ♪ Keep going! Alright stop! ♪ ♪

(Mike)>> I would prefer a little more pre-load.

(Marc)>> Little more?

(Mike)>> Yeah! ♪ ♪ I'll take more.

(Brandon)>> Mine's pretty loaded! Alright I'm gonna torque the radius arms to set the front wheel base. What's left?

(Mike)>> From there we're gonna go ahead and but the track bar installed, and then we're gonna do the steering and head to the back.

(Brandon)>> Up next, our four link is starting to fall into place nicely!

(Marc)>> Well we're making some great headway on our Bronco here. We went ahead and got the wheels and tires on the front and down on the ground, which is very exciting cause you can kinda start to see how this thing's gonna look. We got the adjustable track bar in. so that centered the axle left to right where we want it, and we went ahead and got the steering box and this heavy duty heim steering kit installed, which actually came with a James Duff suspension kit but you can buy it on its own too. It's super easy to install. It's a direct bolt in, but it's adjustable and it's easy to adjust. So if you need to do an alignment or something like that you don't have to hassle with it, and then because of this saddle here it maintains a stock geometry so you don't have bump steer, which is super nice too, So for the most part the front is done. All that's left is gonna be install the shocks in the stock towers and then the sway bar as well, but all that stuff can wait until the end after we get the rear installed, which we're getting ready to do now.

(Brandon)>> Yeah we have stock wheel base set at 92 inches and the first thing we're gonna do is install these lower coil mounts onto the axle.

(Mike)>> Alright so while Brandon installs the lower coil retainers next we're gonna put these coil buckets in place, and these actually get welded onto the frame. We're gonna use this plumb bob here and we're gonna get it perfectly centered over the lower coil retainer and then we're gonna weld it. After that's done then it's time to mount these frame brackets, and that's gonna get your links upper and lower onto your truss, which is already welded onto the axle. You watch it here and center it while I get it tightened.

(Brandon)>> Just kinda throw that C-clamp on there and give me a little bit of pressure. ♪ ♪ Yeah it looks good right there man. Now with the buckets tacked in place we move on to the front link mounts. Now we've just got to tack this bracket in, get the upper on. Got to protect that powder coat. [ welder crackling ]

(Brandon)>> This is why I love four links. The lower links set the wheel base and the upper links determine the pinion angle, and this install is pretty simple because our crate axle was already complete with the truss and mounts. ♪ ♪ Alright got the axle set where we want it. Got the links in, all the brackets tacked into the frame. Now we've just got to get the coils in.

(Marc)>> Let's do it! Up until now our Bronco's been living on a table. So this is a big moment. You good? Alright come on down Brandon. That'll hold it up.

(Mike)>> This installation is super easy.

(Brandon)>> Now that the vehicle's supporting its own weight it's time to mount those shock mounts, shocks, and sway bars, and this thing's gonna be what everyone wants to see, a roller. One thing about being a car guy is I love a really good assortment of tools and especially getting new tools, and we just got in this long reach quarter inch ratchet. It's six inch extended length so you can get into those tight spots. Say engine bays where you've got accessories and bell housing bolts. Even underneath dashes where you've got really tight space. The one thing I like about this is it's battery powered. So you don't have that cumbersome hose following you around, getting tangled, or even scratching some paint which I'm concerned about, and that 16 volt battery is the same battery Matco uses in a lot of their other cordless tools. So you could swap it out for your impact, or you work light. So that makes it a really versatile tool to have in your arsenal, and this is gonna make my life in the shop a lot easier.

(Marc)>> Next just a few more pieces to the puzzle...

(Brandon)>> And our Bronco becomes a roller.

(Marc)>> We're plugging away on the suspension on the rear of our Bronco here. We've got the springs in it. it's time to move on to the shocks and the sway bar. Brandon's working on getting the shock mount installed now. One thing I want to talk about though that we didn't mention earlier is the brake setup on these crate axles. Now when you order these axles they can come with upgraded brakes like ours did. We've got disc brakes all the way around. What's cool that is these are James Duff specific and they're o-e-m style brakes. So they come already installed on the axle and they're easy to service. For instance the rear brake setup here is for '97 to '01 Explorer. So if you get to driving your Bronco and it needs a brake job the parts are super easy to find. Now we took ours even a step further and we upgraded the pads and rotors to the EBC USR rotors and Yellow Stuff pads. Now the USR rotor just looks nice but it's got the grooving in it there to expel all the gases and the dust, but then also the Yellow Stuff pad's a great all around pad. It's okay for daily drivers but then it's also great for spirited driving or if you've got extra horsepower like our Bronco does here. I've also done the same thing on the front. Now it's time to move on to getting the shocks installed since Brandon's done tacking it in over there. These are James Duff shocks that they make. They've got an entire line of shocks. They've got their classic line and their high performance line, and these are the high performance shocks that actually come standard with this high end suspension kit that we ordered. It's valved specifically for early Broncos and specifically for high performance trucks like ours. They're designed to work great on the street and off road as well. Just gonna get these things installed and we're getting close. This kit actually comes standard with two shocks in the rear, but you can upgrade to this quad shock setup, which is what we chose. Let's get the innards. They recommend this upgrade if your Bronco's making 500 horsepower or more. Plus it just looks cool! Alright let's do the other side. Put that bolt in for me. We don't really need to get all the shocks installed now for mock up purposes but we want to show you the install. That made it go. That looks amazing. Got it? That last piece of the puzzle is the anti roll bar, which is actually a really cool piece. Once we get it tacked in we'll put the arms on for the links. ♪ ♪ Look at that! Alright!

(Brandon)>> With the front shocks mounted we can move on to the sway bar. ♪ ♪ You know I'm against roll, body roll, but I can be swayed.

(Marc)>> I really need to stop telling Brandon my suspension jokes.

(Mike)>> Alright so the last of these is sway bar stops but we're not gonna put them in during mock up but they do stop the sway bar from moving left to right.

(Brandon)>> We'll do that when we go to final assembly right?

(Mike)>> Sounds good!

(Brandon)>> What's next, wheels and tires?

(Mike)>> Heck yeah.

(Marc)>> Well you guys probably got a little sneak peak at our wheel and tire earlier but let's talk about exactly what we chose. Now since we went with that nice big lift from James Duff we're able to fit a 35 inch tire under our Bronco, which is pretty cool. For our wheel we went to Custom Wheel Outlet for a set of Methods. Methods are kinda the go to wheel now days. They're the modern version of a classic wheel. This is a cast wheel. This is a 305 NV. So it's actually an off the shelf wheel but it looks really nice. It's got a matte black lip with a machined face, and then for our tires General Grabber X-3. This is the latest version of the mud terrain from General, and it's really great because it's got dirt, mud, and even rock capabilities, but it's also good on the street. because it's got a multi pitch pattern tread it makes it quiet when you drive it on the street, and then also it's got the siping to help remove the water. So it's even fun to drive on wet roads. So it's kind of a tire that does a little bit of everything, and plus it looks really nice. How could we not run those red letters out? I mean this is just a great looking tire. 35/12.50-17, I think this is gonna be a winner. Let's get them on here and get this thing on the ground. So with the wheels and tires finally going on we're calling it a wrap.

(Brandon)>> Well monster Mike thanks for coming out and bringing these two Broncos to get some inspiration and providing us with the suspension we got installed. I know you gave us a lot more other parts to install but I think we're gonna do that during mock up. I just wanted to say thanks again for coming out, donating your time, and effort, and knowledge to get this truck built.

(Mike)>> No problem guys. It's definitely my pleasure. Other than the extended brake lines and the bump stops this suspension is in.

(Marc)>> I love how it turned out. I know it's a little higher now that its gonna sit once we get the truck completely loaded down, and I can't wait to get behind the wheel and see how that thing rides and drives.

(Mike)>> This green Bronco actually has the same front suspension as this Bronco we just built? How about you get in there and give it a drive?

(Marc)>> You can ride Brandon.

(Brandon)>> Shotgun!

(Marc)>> I'll let you drive back if we come back. See you later!

(Brandon)>> Bye! Until next time on Music City Trucks. If you want to know more about our Beach Cruiser Bronco go to Powernation TV dot com and check out our project page.

(Marc)>> We have current build status, before and after picks, links to parts used, and all the episodes are right there on one page.
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