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Old 11/08/17, 06:38 PM   #1
1buckeyefan1
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74 EB Explorer - The "Great Pumpkin" Newbie Build

Hi y'all. I'm a newbie Bronco owner, proud nth? owner of a 1974 U15 Explorer. Haven't pulled a Marti report or anything yet, but am staring at my winter project.

I've been consuming as much knowledge as possible the last 2 months from this forum. great stuff. I find myself checking daily, craving new build threads while digging up old ones that are relevant.

So I decided to start my own thread.. mainly for selfish reasons to get some sage guidance on how far to take the "Great Pumpkin". My late father owned a 1976 EB rust bucket, tore it down and tinkered with it for 10+yrs and unfortunately passed away before he could finish it. The family finished it and we still have it, hence my itch to pick one up, but not leave it in parts for years before I get to enjoy it.

I scored The Pumpkin locally, and it has had a few resto-mod improvements from the PO's through the years. I'm partial to keeping it this way but getting it rust & dent-free w/ some fresh paint, semi-restomod, keeping front/rear cut w/ some warflares, etc. Some decent upgrades:
  • Painless Wiring Harness
    Flaming River Steering column
    Front disc brake conversion
    Rampage soft top (no hard top included)
    15" wheels w/ 33" BFG tires
    Edelbrock intake and carb (I just recently rebuilt it..running much better after sitting for 2yrs)
    Beefy rear bumper w/ tire rack and jerry can holder
    Roll cage

So while I crave a full frame-off resto, i'm afraid of it sitting for years and costing 5x my budget. I've got a heated shop, welder, tools, and some basic welding experience. I have access to a lift and am strongly considering taking the body off to thoroughly clean & POR15 the frame, clean/paint the engine, replace lines, etc

Where I struggle (for now) is how far to take the body panels. ie, replace or repair? Here is where I could use the most guidance on where to get them to good driver quality before I have a paint/body guy tackle it.

I'll start with some pictures and follow up with a few chaser posts.
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Old 11/08/17, 06:53 PM   #2
1buckeyefan1
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Rust repair vs. replace?

Here is where I struggle as I'm compiling my "black friday purchase frenzy". Which panels should I attempt to patch & repair vs. buying repo from JBG? I'm in driving distance and plan to make a trip up there on Black Friday to hit JBG and a few other stops along the way.

The easiest way is to probably post all of the rust pics and my thoughts.. would appreciate any/all feedback:

All: has the Explorer trim holes that I plan to delete/weld closed.

Driver's door: drivers has typical rust holes in the bottom and outside had towing mirrors and appears to have been beaten with a baseball bat I'm looking to probably just find a nice donor door vs. repairing + reskinning

Passenger door: has tow mirror holes and mud. who knows what else. May find a matching set of donor doors vs. skinning

Passenger quarter: my biggest dilemma. Has a bit of rust-through at the inner/lower seam, but rest is mostly solid. So I go through the effort of replacing both or find a way to cut out the seam and use a patch panel in the seam?

Tailgate posts: drivers is pretty well bent, passenger has spare tire holes + mud. Will probably just replace w/ repo?

Fenders: drivers took a beating too and has some surface rust at the bottom. debating if worth knocking the dents out vs. replacing w/ repop? I'll probably end up cutting the new ones anyhow

Hood: has a stress crack on passenger side and mud. will probably find a better donor

Passenger inner fender wall: has a large area where essentially delaminating a layer of metal? Cut/patch this area vs. replace panel?

Floors: fronts have been replaced by PO, rears have some small areas that I think I can simply cut/weld the gaps.

Tailgate: appears solid, will probably weld/delete the spare tire and trim holes.

Passenger door sill: has pinholes that I can probably / hopefully weld.

Drivers lower/outer door post cover: has a good size hole. I'm probably just going to order this from JBG and replace it.

This is where I could use alot of help.. on where to take the above? Sorry for the long-winded post. Appreciate any/all feedback!
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Old 11/08/17, 08:21 PM   #3
Mac2Night
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Nice score and welcome to the Board! You actually have a 1973 Burnt Orange on orange interior Explorer. This was a '73 year only package (also came in Grabber Blue on blue interior) that year only. Here are some photos of my '73 Explorer... you might notice some similarities

I say you are on the right track to get a Marti report, it will confirm exactly what options yours came with.
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'73, 302, uncut Bronco Explorer, Burnt Orange
'69, 302, uncut, one owner, Reef Aqua
'74 Sport, Midnight Blue Metallic, 302, 3spd, uncut
'73 Base, 302, uncut, one owner, Winter Green
'79 halfcab conversion Bronco, 400, C6 auto
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Old 11/08/17, 09:12 PM   #4
1buckeyefan1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac2Night View Post
Nice score and welcome to the Board! You actually have a 1973 Burnt Orange on orange interior Explorer. This was a '73 year only package (also came in Grabber Blue on blue interior) that year only. Here are some photos of my '73 Explorer... you might notice some similarities

I say you are on the right track to get a Marti report, it will confirm exactly what options yours came with.
Hmm, interesting. According to my vin tag it was a S23044, which according to the Broncohio decoder makes it a late (July) 1973. How accurate is the decoder and is there any chance Ford called the last batches 1974?

btw, thanks for sharing the pictures. It's interesting to see what it originally looked like. Yours is in amazing condition.. I really dig the original seats..I can't fathom how to get something in that pattern reproduced in order to return mine to it's original glory

Last edited by 1buckeyefan1; 11/08/17 at 09:43 PM..
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Old 11/08/17, 09:48 PM   #5
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Others can certainly chime in on the VIN sequences but as I said, the Marti report will confirm what it is. Here is the '73 Explorer brochure for some reference material:
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'73, 302, uncut Bronco Explorer, Burnt Orange
'69, 302, uncut, one owner, Reef Aqua
'74 Sport, Midnight Blue Metallic, 302, 3spd, uncut
'73 Base, 302, uncut, one owner, Winter Green
'79 halfcab conversion Bronco, 400, C6 auto
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Old 11/08/17, 09:54 PM   #6
TX SS
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Quote:
I really dig the original seats..I can't fathom how to get something in that pattern reproduced in order to return mine to it's original glory
Bronco Hut is your source for original style seat covers.

https://broncohut.com/products/explo...t-covers-front

1973 Sequoia Brown
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Old 11/09/17, 06:06 AM   #7
JGbronc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1buckeyefan1 View Post
Hmm, interesting. According to my vin tag it was a S23044, which according to the Broncohio decoder makes it a late (July) 1973. How accurate is the decoder and is there any chance Ford called the last batches 1974?

btw, thanks for sharing the pictures. It's interesting to see what it originally looked like. Yours is in amazing condition.. I really dig the original seats..I can't fathom how to get something in that pattern reproduced in order to return mine to it's original glory
Welcome to CB! Nice find, I love that color!

It is indeed a '73 like Mac said. That VIN decoder is close, but not always completely accurate. However yours is correct. You have a late '73.

I second the Bronco Hut recommendation.

'66 U13
'67 Military
'71 Sport (Wifey's)
'76 Explorer
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Old 11/09/17, 08:06 AM   #8
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I believe Aug. '73 would have began the '74 year models. I say that but I know of a '77 built in July '76. Build date that was built same month as my '76.

76 SPORT 351W C4 PDB
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Old 11/09/17, 08:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac2Night View Post
Others can certainly chime in on the VIN sequences but as I said, the Marti report will confirm what it is. Here is the '73 Explorer brochure for some reference material:
"Orange or Blue instrument panel" does that mean the dash was painted body color instead of gray?

1966 LUBR, 170 3spd, 2.5" SL, 1" BL, 31x10.5x15 on steelies
1972 U15, '68 302 3spd, work in progress
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Old 11/09/17, 08:15 AM   #10
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I have a set of the Bronco Hut seat covers. They are top notch. I just picked up a new 72 explorer and will be ordering a set for it also. You will not be disappointed. In that photo I had just finished installing the skins. A few days in the sun removed the wrinkles. They look perfect now.
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1975 Money pit named "Trigger" 5.5 WH lift with Duff Long Arms, 35" MTR, BC Soft Top, Baillie cage, 4.56 Gears, Locked, 1-ton steering, PSC Box

1972 Bronco Explorer/Sport, Candy Apple Red, Ginger Explorer Interior, All stock
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Old 11/09/17, 09:06 AM   #11
JGbronc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1strodeo View Post
"Orange or Blue instrument panel" does that mean the dash was painted body color instead of gray?
Yes, but in '73 the standard dash color was parchment. Rangers and Explorers had body color dashes with the exception of the '72 Explorer/Sport.

'66 U13
'67 Military
'71 Sport (Wifey's)
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Old 11/09/17, 09:56 AM   #12
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Huge fan of BroncoHut for seat covers, I used them for my 74 Explorer and they came out great!! Melissa is really great to deal w/ too!!

1974 Blue/Blue Explorer 2.5 lift uncut
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Old 11/09/17, 12:14 PM   #13
1buckeyefan1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bchesley View Post
I have a set of the Bronco Hut seat covers. They are top notch. I just picked up a new 72 explorer and will be ordering a set for it also. You will not be disappointed. In that photo I had just finished installing the skins. A few days in the sun removed the wrinkles. They look perfect now.
Are those the same orange covers? I like the tannish tint to them? I saw them on another wood-themed post some time back and assumed they were custom?

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Old 11/09/17, 06:33 PM   #14
bchesley
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No they are ginger outer with the orange center cloth. I just loved the pattern. My 75 was not an explorer, but it has killer seats now.


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1975 Money pit named "Trigger" 5.5 WH lift with Duff Long Arms, 35" MTR, BC Soft Top, Baillie cage, 4.56 Gears, Locked, 1-ton steering, PSC Box

1972 Bronco Explorer/Sport, Candy Apple Red, Ginger Explorer Interior, All stock
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Old 11/09/17, 06:47 PM   #15
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Here's some pretty recent shots of BHut's legit Explorer upholstery. In a 73 we have. Matched the stock rear seat perfectly.

Jim
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