"1973 Ford Bronco 302 CID engine rebuild project"

I originally brought my Bronco back from the dead back in 1991.  At that time I rebuilt the motor, tranny, transfer case, paint and body and interior, suspension and anything else it needed!  The Bronco has gone through many transitions from street and trail to a capable rock crawler and dune runner!  I love to go slow and fast.  Another great part of rockcrawling is that high speed exit from the trail area! 

The last few years I have noticed the power starting to taper off in the 302.  I had originally bored it .030 over, Edelbrock performer package, and topped it with a Carter AFB.  It has definitely served it's purpose.  It was time for a rebuild.  I was suffering major blow by, oil consumption and low power.

Trying to find a good time to take the Bronco down was a very difficult decision.  There is always fun wheeling going on in Arizona.  I finally got sick of it and just pulled the motor.  At this crossroad you start thinking 302? 351W? Fuel injection? etc?  Finances were really tight, so I needed a plan to pull this off complete for under $2000.  That has to be an all inclusive price.  Not a penny more.  I decided to rebuild the original 302 myself. 

My kids, Vince and my sister came over to help me pull the motor out of the Bronco.  It went relatively quick.  About 3 hours and a borrowed hoist from Rick.  I was worried we would have to let all the air out of the tires to clear, but the hoist went high enough!  No problemo!

Once we got the motor into the garage, we took the flywheel off then mounted it on Vince's awesome homemade engine stand!  I don't know about you, but I really like 4 caster stands!

Another friend of mine, Dave, came over to give his advice on what was happening in the motor and rebuild options.  We found 6 of the 8 cylinders had broken rings.  Probably from high compression from the carbon build up. 

Keith, Dave, Vince, Amber, Dana, Josh, Shelby, Jenna and myself all helped on the disassembly and the organization of the parts.  Very important to keep track of the nuts and bolts, rods and caps, piston order, etc.  I even went out and bought a numbered punch set to mark everything we could think of for ease of reassembly.

The hardest part was to settle on a machine shop that you can trust.  I mean really trust!  I have done alot of business with Don at Sunnyslope Automotive, but he's not the cheapest in town.  So I talked to him in person and agreed on a plan.  Everything was loaded into the Ford to take to the machine shop.

on to Part II......
See all the pics!!! Broke into individual sections

 Removal ... Disassembly ... Assembly ... Installation

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