Pitch Black Engineering Bronco build

Jose Aguinaga

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Hello, my name is Jose Aguinaga, I live in a city called Puebla, in central Mexico, 2 hours from Mexico City.

I have been a member here for a while now, mostly reading and getting knowledge from all the builds around here.

Almost 4 years ago, I got a 93 bronco Eddie Bauer with the 351W and electronic 4wd. It was always a “dream truck” for me, since I was very little, so getting it alone, was a very good thing, The original plan was to fix it and keep it stock-ish with maybe some 33´s and a mild lift, but to be honest, that would not be enough for me. This is the day my wife and I got it next to my F-150:

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Then, I did some maintenance, and a few touches here and there, added some rigid lights that I had laying at the shop and new headlights:

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As of now, it has been over 2-3 years of doing nothing to it, just using it for going to work some times a week, since I have plenty other vehicles to move around, and tbh, I had some personal stuff last year that made me realize that life goes by very fast, and we have to set a goal on everything and just go for it, so, almost a month ago, I started tearing up the interior and decided to go with a better suspension package, since my wife and I want to take a trip all the way to baja, we have a house in Mazatlan, and from there you can take a ferry to La Paz, and then we plan on visit some spots over there and go back, would be roughly a 2 week trip, really looking forward to it.

Everything started with me getting some kilmat for sound deadening, and it has been snowballing from there. The plan is to tear up everything inside and out, clean everything, add a cage while at it, maybe build some new panels for better storage on the back, it has to seat 4 people, so no cutting in to the cab. The goal is to have a decent prerunner that can go anywhere any time, already fixed and updated some stuff motor wise (starter, fuel pump, alternator, etc).

End goal would be probably a solo motorsports stage 4 kit, already spoke with Bobby over the phone, very nice guy, and it seems that they really know what they are doing.

These are some shots of the interior right now:
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It might not seem like much as of now, but, after all this time I fell very motivated to have it done before my birthday in October, we will see, mostly working on it at night after work and some weekends, life is very busy right now, I am a service manager for a Polaris/Indian dealership and have been working there for almost 7 years now, so I am getting bored of the side by sides.

A couple of friends and I also got a warehouse, that is the side business and that's where we plan on the magic to happen for this Bronco, got a welding machine, laser cut machine, and some other stuff, we are fabricating custom towing trailers and some other related things, most of us are mechanical engineers, and currently trying to make some more money than our day jobs, we decided to name the shop "Pitch black Engineering".

Had some 35´s laying around and installed them on the bronco last week, prop shaft did not like it, broke within 2 miles from the shop:
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Got it fixed and changed all the u-joints on the shaft this weekend while grilling some steak and having some beers with my friends, not hard at all, then took it for a quick ride near the house, 5-minute drive gets me to a very nice test spot, got some pictures:


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Probably between the next few weeks, I will tear apart all the suspension and purchase the stage 4 kit.

Sadly for me, it's not as easy to go online and just order the stuff then patiently wait for the delivery guy, since shipping of a pallet of a large size all the way down here and import fees plus taxes will make you poor very fast. Luckily the wife really wants to make the same trip and supports everything, so we are off to a great start.

Will keep you guys updated on the progress, right now, I am waiting on the fuel access panel and door handle reinforcements from Solo, they should be here within the next week. In the meantime, it's going to be cleaning time for the interior and lay out the cage.
 

Jose Aguinaga

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"Luckily the wife really wants to make the same trip and supports everything"

The rest is a piece of cake!

Well, to be honest, she has been very supportive, can’t complain about that.

We went to La Paz before covid and she really liked it, that’s when I suggested the trip.
 

Jose Aguinaga

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Not so many updates this week, since I have been very busy at work, but I got the door reinforcements and fuel pump door from Solo, I might install this over the weekend:

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Also, I have been thinking about adding a winters shifter and build a custom console, I plan on use the stock E4OD with a punisher valve body, probably a bigger cooler for it up front, I saw the shifter at summit for a fair price, any advice on this?

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Also ordered some cup holders from Amazon, looking at building something like this:

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Jose Aguinaga

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Hello all.
I just installed the fuel pump door and went with rivnuts for easy access in the future, also mounted the door bracket supports and finished the sound deadening on the doors:

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I installed some thick foam between the door and floor to avoid any water/dust intrusion in to the cabin.

Now I can proceed with the sound deadening on the back and start building the cage.

I might take it slow this couple of weeks due to a back injury that got me in the hospital this past 3 days, apparently I have 3 slipped discs on the bottom of my back so I’ll spend my rest time ordering some stuff.

Since I see that there’s delays and back orders on most of the king and fox shocks? What would be the best route now? Any advice?

I will get in touch with Bobby over at solo to get my order going, I would really like to finish this build in September/October
 
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Jose Aguinaga

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Good afternoon everyone. I have been spending time this week trying to get a hold of some shocks but it seems that most of them are going to be 6+ months wait either from fox or king, so I talked to Riley over at locked offroad ( Locked Off-Road ), and the price point/performance/quality seems up par to the bigger brands, and waiting time is not that long, has anyone in here used them? Getting 2 2.5x12 coilovers with springs and 2 2.5x12 triple bypass shocks for 3000 dollars seems ok.

Has anyone in here reading has any experience on them? Thanks a lot!
 

Jose Aguinaga

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Hello all. Had to put everything on hold as of now, last month has been crazy, I had to be rushed to the hospital due to a back injury, I was not able to walk/move, spent a couple of nights in. Been doing some physical therapy and it’s not enough, so, I will get surgery done in the next couple of weeks, movement is limited now, and doctors are gonna fix an older shoulder injury at the same time, so I might be off for a couple of weeks. I did ordered the winters shifter, looks really nice:

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Will try to purchase shocks the next week or so, I might be somewhat recovered from the back/shoulder by the time they arrive. Will get fox in the front and locked bypasses in the back.
 

Jose Aguinaga

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Hello all, it’s been pretty crazy this last couple of weeks, I took the bronco to a warehouse where we plan on doing all of the work, and a couple of friends helped me take the front end out last week before my surgery:

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After a good 4-5 hours and a couple of beers everything was out, they will get everything disassembled so I can ship out my ttb arms over to Baja Racing Shop.

Then, this last Tuesday I went in for surgery on my shoulder and back, I can move fine and all but it’s gonna be at least a full 6 weeks before I can do any real work, so the trip probably won’t be happening this year, most of the expenses for the surgery would be covered with the insurance, but it takes a few weeks to get the reimbursement which is why I haven’t ordered any shocks yet.

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In the mean time, we had some material laying around on the warehouse and one of my friends was out of work, so I asked him to build a couple of tall jack stands so we can work better on the suspension, we will see how they come up, I will send them over to a new place that does powder coat just to see how they work:

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In the mean time, I will take a couple of weeks off form work to do recovery and physical therapy at home. There is progress on the project but not as fast as I thought.

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BajaJT

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Nice job so far, Solo built me a Bronco in the early 2000's, red one, it was the best truck I have had so far, wish I had not sold it. Solo and Bobby are the best! I would talk to Bobby about getting your parts shipped. He sells tons of their parts in Baja, again he is the man to talk too! Keep up the nice work.
 

Jose Aguinaga

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Nice job so far, Solo built me a Bronco in the early 2000's, red one, it was the best truck I have had so far, wish I had not sold it. Solo and Bobby are the best! I would talk to Bobby about getting your parts shipped. He sells tons of their parts in Baja, again he is the man to talk too! Keep up the nice work.
Thanks man! I have talked to Bobby a couple of times over the phone and email, but for the fab work it is easier for me to get it from someone already in Mexico, since I am all the way in central Mexico, less shipping and tax cost.

Besides I think they must have a ton of work since he hasn’t answered my last email from a couple of weeks back, I will try to get a hold of him over the phone.
 
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