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’95 Bronco XL for Fuel Efficiency?

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JB Custom Fab finds out if a 5g XL can be an on/off-road rig with fuel efficiency.

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JB Custom Fabrication

HIGHLIGHTS

Cummins 3.9L 4BTA I-4 turbodiesel

ZF 5-spd manual (S5-42)

ARB Lockers

Fox coilovers & bumpstops

JB Custom Fab rock rails, cage, tire carrier & bumpers

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Jon Barricklow married into a family of Bronco lovers. And when he was looking for a daily driver that could double as an off-road vehicle… who wouldn’t think of a 5th gen Bronco?

“I needed a reliable, fuel-efficient commuter rig and figured I could buy a cheap mid-’90s Bronco, drop in a Cummins 4BTA so it’d get 25-30 mpg, and have the perfect 4×4 that I could drive forever and ever,” Jon reasoned.

And that’s exactly what he did …er began with. As the owner of JB Custom Fabrication, Jon found a 1995 Bronco XL for $1,800 to refurbish. While it had some cosmetic damage, it still drove great. As planned, he swapped out the Ford 302 with the Cummins 3.9L 4BTA turbodiesel. Although, he didn’t stop there. Over 200 hours later, Jon’s ’95 Bronco turned out better than he expected, sans the fuel efficiency goal. But we’d argue it wasn’t a bad trade-off.

He wanted better drivetrain reliability with the new engine, so he added a ZF 5-speed manual transmission and Atlas 2 transfer case. Paired Dana 50 front axle and Ford Sterling 10.5-in back axle with Mag-Hytec diff cover and ARB Air Lockers.

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For his off-road needs, Jon added 12-in Fox coilovers, Eibach springs, Fox 2-in hydraulic bumpstops and Currie Antirock sway bar in the front. In the back he included 2 1/2-in leaf springs, long-travel air bags, and shackle flip.

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And the JB Custom fabrication mods include: frame-mounted rock rails, custom roll cage, slide-out tool tray, swing-away tire carrier, rear bumper, and cable T-case shifters.

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IMG 0423 2022 04 15 02 30 09 UTC Large

Exterior is topped off with six PIAA 510s, two Hella 10-ins, and Mile Marker hydraulic winch.

Jon admits the project got a little off track. But loves the way it drives on and off-road— especially how it rattles when it idles. Maybe his next ride will be fuel efficient.

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IMG 0560 2022 04 15 02 30 09 UTC Large

source: MotorTrend

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BUILD SNAPSHOT

JB Custom Fabrication

HIGHLIGHTS

Cummins 3.9L 4BTA I-4 turbodiesel

ZF 5-spd manual (S5-42)

ARB Lockers

Fox coilovers & bumpstops

JB Custom Fab rock rails, cage, tire carrier & bumpers

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