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  1. #31
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    I know a guy that put preorder money on a silver 4-door Bronco. So far it looks like a cool truck but, history has shown that prototypes coming out of Detroit are rarely the same vehicle after getting tweaked for production.

    All the same...congrats to Ford for giving us wheelers an option to the Wrangler (yawn).

    Xterra - gone
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    Hummer -gone
    GM- still clueless

  2. #32
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    There is always the extremely over priced Mercedes G class 4^2. Yhe portal axels on those look great!

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    06 H3, Birch White, Lux , Cooper AT3 35s, Borla Performance Cat-back, Bilsteins front w/ 1/2" extended stops, Hunner sleeve, Air Doc w/ K&N filter, Oem Roof lights, 55W HID Headlights and 35W Fog lights.

    09 H3 V8, Arctic Silver, LS376/480 Conversion, 3000 stall, Custom E-fans, 37" KM3 tires, XD Rockstar Wheels 17x9, OEM Sliders, 40K External Trans Cooler, Bilstein 5160s front 5100 rear, O.D. Steering Bracket, 2" Body Lift, Custom Exhaust, Custom intake pipe & K&N filter, Custom PCM tune, Pioneer DVD unit, Aurora 40" LED Light Bar, 50 W HID Headlights

  3. #33
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    Doubtful.

    Did you see the photos of the damage after running the Rubicon?
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    I am sorry that everyone cannot own a Hummer; some folks have to drive a Jeep or a Toyota.

  4. #34
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    Been watching these for awhile. After all the initial hubub dies down I am picking up a base 2dr to play with. I think Ford hit a homerun on this one.
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  5. #35
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    I test drove a Bronco today. Ran it through it's paces. The one I drove had the soft top. I've looked at the removable hard top (panels) version too.

    My impressions compared to the H3:
    1) Ford did a real nice job. Frame heavy duty, the front header surround assembly in front of the engine is a 'tough' hydro-formed beam assembly which should make it nice and stiff. Engine lay-out seems clean and easy to get at the main maintenance items. Alternator was down low and kind of stuffed in which might be a challenge, so was the ac compressor. This one had the DOHC 4-cyl. A nice lattice-work formed steel support beneath the hood looks like it could hold the weight of a tire on the hood (probably the intent). Why oh why did Ford pinch pennies and provide a flimsy hood prop rod instead of real hood support struts!!? Hood struts oooz a sense of 'quality' when you open a hood that just 'pops' open and stays there. My experience is prop rods kind of suck when you need to do work on your rig. I guess you can't have it all ...I'm sure gas strut mounts could be easily fabbed up.

    2) Suspension looks good. Rear trailing arms could be longer. Would have been nice if they were like 10" longer for larger tire articulation. They seem robust enough. Upper control arms are a lot like the aluminum H3's BUT the ball joints are REMOVABLE!! Kudo's to Ford on that detail!

    3) Exterior: Ford kind of copied the upright design of the H3's A-pillars. So there's some commonality there between the two vehicles. View over the Ford's 'aircraft carrier flat' long hood isn't nearly as good as the H3. You really get an appreciation of the fundamentally short front end design of the H3 after you sit in the Bronco. It's not a deal-breaker but that's one nice thing I like about the H3 driving experience. IDK the seating height is as tall either. I personally don't care for the design of the Bronco's fender tops and those plastic hooks, I'd probably take them off if I owned one. But I can see where they might come in handy for securing a canoe/kayaks or for keeping branches out of the way. Visibility out the rear of the Bronco is quite good (better than the H3). It's shorter and my lasting impression is the rear window is lower. The rear door isn't as robust as the H3, but it was nice to see Ford used cast iron hinges which should do the job long term, and not wear themselves out too quick from bobbing on the trail.

    4) Tops I thought the Bronco's soft top would make the driving experience noisy, but it wasn't. And I was going 65mph down the highway. And this Bronco didn't have the optional insulating pad which would dampen things even more. A bikini top would be neat with the doors off. Another bronco I looked at had the remoable panels. For long-term ownership, they're going to be a water-leak nightmare. I'd get the open soft-top and I'm sure there will be a hard top one can install in place of the soft top for winter or non-trail DD usage. But if you live in the city, the soft top could be a thief's delight, whereas the glass tops would be more secure.

    5) Interior. They did a good job. Nice layout. My H3 has nice leather seats, so it's hard to compare to the Bronco's cloth seats. Manual radio controls, manual HVAC controls and kind of a neat toggle-up/down fan control button. I didn't care for some of the nuisance LCD screen notifications (like volume number every TIME you change the volume), and a few other nonsense notifications.

    6) Rear Locker: I finally answered a couple of my questions: You CAN engage the rear locker and drive in 4-hi (Thanks Ford!!!), and, also in 2wd (double-thanks Ford!!). At least around town, I went up to about 30mph, which is all I attempted, so I don't know if there's a speed limit on the locker. That's one complaint about the H3 (only works in 4low). You get into some deep snow and you don't want to stop and go to 4 low and lose momentum to engage the locker.

    7) Driveability: The Bronco drives nice. I found myself easily and unexpectedly hitting 65 mph (on a 55 hwy) and repeatedly having to back off. Had no problem on some long hills. So it goes down the road nice. The one I drove had 32" tires, it tracked nice and straight. Acceleration is good. On paper the Bronco has more power. But with the twin turbo and 10-spd automatic transmission there was a lot of shifting and buzzing around. What's nice about the 3.7L H3 is it's no-nonsense and just goes and does what I need w/o a bunch of hunting and revving. Of course in the mountains a v8 is nicer. An annoyance is the engine auto start/stop feature. But fortunately Ford put a disengage button on the dash! Nice. I didn't get a chance to try passing anyone, but the H3 with the 3.7 isn't strong on passing either.

    8) Misc: The standard or upgraded stereo on the Bronco is so-so. I guess it's fine for the standard radio. My H3 has the Monsoon system which blows the Bronco's out of the water. I would personally want the Harman Kardon system, but with the Bronco they only offer that on the most expensive package. I guess that's how GM did it too with the Monsoon system. I hope Ford eventually allows the H/K system to be fitted on more mainstream pkgs. Wheels: I really don't like any of the wheels Ford offers for the Bronco. Sure a guy can buy new aftermarket wheels, but hopefully in yrs 2-3 they'll offer a wheel that appeals to me more (in looks). Chrome/aluminum or a polished aluminum. Again I might be nitpicking ...but just tossing it out there.

    Summary: Overall, Ford has a real nice vehicle ...and a 'hit' on their hands. They did a great job checking most of the key boxes to make what should be a nice DD with good off-road (stock) capability. And a lot of room to customize. And the base packages are pretty affordable when you look at similar style vehicles. But personally, I really like the driving experience of the H3, the ergonomics, the up-turned steering wheel, ...it's a basic vehicle (the H3) that does what I ask (and doesn't give a nuisance notification when I adjust normal things). Other than being new and the doors easily removable, I can't see any real advantage for ME to spend good coin on a new Bronco anytime soon. At least with the pkgs they have now. But that's mostly on me, not anything wrong with the Bronco. After driving away and driving in my H3 I'm thinking, "Man, this is a really SWEEET rig GM designed!" However, for a lot of guys who don't like maintaining their aged H3 that much, and want something newer or different, the Bronco is going to make a very nice option. It's got the goods. There's going to be a lot of aftermarket support for it too. .....and it's available in 2-dr!
    Last edited by Jeepwalker; 09-30-2021 at 09:51 PM.
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  7. #36
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    I have looked at them. Will not be buying one.
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  8. #37
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    I'm not in the market for any of the new off-road rigs, they are just too damn expensive. Having said that, I applaud Ford for picking a fight with Jeep on Jeep's home turf. The consumer is likely to benefit from the increased competition.

    The price aside, I do like the Bronco quite a bit. I like the way it looks, and I like that they make models which are very well equipped right from the factory. I'm not too worried about reliability of the drivetrain, as far as I can tell they are running the same 2.7 Ecoboost and 10 speed transmission which they have been putting in MANY F150's for a while now. If there were any lingering issues with the drivetrain, it would be well known by now.

    I think some of the features are nice, but a tad gimmicky: It's nice that I can lock the front diff independently, but I doubt I'll ever actually need that. It's also neat that I can engage the front swaybar disconnect while it's under load in the middle of an obstacle, but again.... if I haven't thought ahead and planned my line and configured my rig prior to the obstacle, then that's on me.

    I really do like the front facing camera. In fact, I wish I could find a way to put something like that in my Jeep.
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  9. #38
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    I got to do a ride along at Overland Expo West and took a pretty close look at them there. Honestly if I didn't already have the H3 and knew nothing about the H3's I would probably go with the Bronco. But even these new fancy Bronco's still don't compare to the size and capability of the H3's. They are a bit smaller and a tow capacity of only 3500 lbs is pretty lame, especially when that's all you get even with the 4 door model. With how much power the engine can produce you'd think on the 4 door models at least it'd be more around the 6k mark. Their payload capacity is a bit less as well, probably still much better than the Jeep's though.

    They definitely are building these to explicitly compete with the Jeep Wrangler, which is a pretty large market segment. I think at this point for me if I were to look for a replacement for the H3 (and that is a massive if) I would go up to at least a 1/2 ton to 3/4 ton dual cab with a short bed and put a tray on the back. My parents moved in with us last month and they are actually going to give me their old 2001 Suburban 1500 once they get a smaller vehicle so that will likely become an overlanding rig. Wish I had bought a 7k trailer instead of the 6k I bought, then I'd have something to tow the H3 with for Moab trips.
    2008 H3 Alpha

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  10. #39
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    Looked at a number of the new Broncos, they just don't do it for me. Glad Jeep maybe has some competition but I don't think the new Broncos will give the Jeeps much competition with the off road crowd.
    1998 H1 Open Top
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  11. #40
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    Who's putting a deposit down on a new Bronco?

    I have been wondering:

    Are their front ends strong enough for the kind of off-roading we do? How do they compare to H3 front ends?


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    Last edited by LagunaH1; 10-08-2021 at 05:55 PM.
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  12. #41
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    Well, they use coil over shocks in the front so they have that going for them. Much easier/cheaper to switch out springs to accommodate bumpers and winches and such. Looks like they have coil-over in the rear with trailing arms and a panhard bar.

    I could be wrong but it looks like they are using a 2-piece cast iron front differential housing with aluminum half shaft housing. Not the strongest thing in the world, but it's not all aluminum at least. I think I heard rumor it's the same housing used for the Raptor? Doubtful though. Maybe a similar design at least.

    They do have diff gear ratios starting at 3.73:1 (Auto, Manual starts at 4.46:1) up to 4.7:1. I think I saw where you could go even lower with front and rear diff/axle swaps, but they cost a couple grand each I think currently.

    They are using 6 bolt hubs, not sure what the pattern is but it looks like it'd be the same as the H3, so unlike the Wranglers you're probably getting beefier axles/hubs, more akin to the H3's.


    This link has some great press shots of the chassis and suspension for a closer look: https://www.autoblog.com/2020/07/13/...co-suspension/
    2008 H3 Alpha

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  13. #42
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    So I just spent a little time comparing dimensions (both interior and exterior) and apparently my eyes were mistaken when looking at the Bronco's in person. Apparently they are roughly the same size overall on the outside, but they have slightly more space inside than the H3's do. I could have sworn the rear seating looked more cramped than the H3, and the rear cargo area looked smaller, but I very well could have been mistaken. I can't find any numbers for the Bronco cargo area itself aside from cubic feet (which is apparently 6cuft more than the H3). The passenger areas though are definitely measured out larger than the H3, though I'm not certain if that's with the soft top or not.

    If that is really the case, then the only limiting factor in my mind is the towing capacity, since apparently the GVWR is 6,180 lbs, 179lbs more than the H3, though the Bronco's start out just as fat as the H3's do so overall payload isn't much more than the H3.

    I really wish they hadn't skimped on whatever needed to be beefed up to have a better towing capacity. 3500lbs is a full half ton less than the I5, and 2.5 tons less than the Alpha. Considering the 2.7L Ecoboost puts out pretty much the same numbers as the Alpha's 5.3L they must have skimped on the frame or something, or maybe it's simply due to using coil-over suspension instead of torsion/leaf.

    Granted, I personally have other vehicles that can tow more anyway, and if I were to get a Bronco I'd primarly be interested in towing a trailer offroad and you don't really want to be pulling anything too heavy anyway. And to be honest, I wouldn't really want to sell the H3 even if I did get a Bronco. Only have a year or so left before I finish paying off the Alpha and I've sunk a ton of time and money into fixing it up an rebuilding almost everything on it.
    2008 H3 Alpha

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." - General John Stark

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  14. #43
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    There is a Bronco Sport that parks in the same parking structure as I do, and occasionally parks next to my H3. I'd have to see the actual specs, but it is significantly smaller than my H3. Are the non-Sport models bigger?
    We don't stop playing because we grow old... We grow old because we stop playing.

  15. #44
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    AFAIK the Bronco Sport is nothing like the "Non sport" (AKA The real Bronco)

    I have read that the sport is based on the Escape platform, whereas the regular Bronco is it's own thing and a proper body-on-frame design
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  16. #45
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    They mainly had the new "regular" Bronco's at the Expo. They did have at least one Sport model there. It is tiny compared to the regular 2 and 4 door Bronco's. Think Jeep Compass for comparable competition. I took one brief look at it and then promptly looked away.
    2008 H3 Alpha

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