Ford Bronco II
Ford Bronco II
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production 1984–1990
Assembly Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Successor Ford Explorer
Class Compact SUV
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Engine(s) 2.8 L Cologne V6
2.9 L Cologne V6
2.3 L Mitsubishi 4D55T Turbodiesel I4
Transmission(s) Manual
4-speed Mazda TK4
5-speed Mazda TK5
5-speed Mazda M5OD-R1
5-speed Mitsubishi FM145
5-speed Mitsubishi FM146
3-speed C5
4-speed A4LD
Wheelbase 94.0 in (2388 mm)
Width 68.0 in (1727 mm)
Fuel capacity 23 US gallons (87.1 L/19.2 imp gal)
Related Ford Ranger
First generation
Ford Bronco II (Mexico)
Production 1984–1988
Length 158.3 in (4,021 mm)
Height 68.2 in (1,732 mm)
Second generation
89-90 Ford Bronco II
Production 1989–1990
Length 161.9 in (4,112 mm)
Height 69.9 in (1,775 mm)

The Ford Bronco II was a compact SUV sold between 1984 and 1990. It was commissioned as a smaller complement to the full-size Bronco as well as to offer a Ford alternative to the Chevrolet S-10 Blazer, Jeep Cherokee (XJ), and Toyota 4Runner. The Bronco II was Ford's first compact SUV since the original Bronco sold from 1966 to 1977. It is mechanically and (except in detail) structurally identical to the Ford Ranger. It had a 94-inch (2,388 mm) wheelbase and was enclosed in the rear. Unlike the Bronco, the Bronco II offered four wheel drive as an option (all full-sized Broncos were four wheel drive) and did not have a removable roof.


The 1984 and 1985 models were equipped with the 115 hp (86 kW) carbureted Cologne 2.8 L V6 engine which was also used in the Ranger from 1984 to 1985. The 1986 model year introduced the 140 hp (104 kW) fuel injected 2.9 L Cologne V6. Overheating the engine usually leads to cracks in the cylinder head between the valve springs or at the base of the rocker shaft pedestals. This results in internal coolant leaks causing contamination of the oil which, if not caught in time, causes severe internal engine damage. Although there were slight improvements to the head castings in late-1989, these heads were not installed on production engines before the production of the Bronco II ceased. Bronco IIs that were still under warranty or at the owner’s desire were retrofitted with the improved heads.

A small 86 hp (64 kW) 2.3 L Diesel I4 engine was also offered through 1987, but this engine was rarely used as it offered poor performance.


The first Bronco II was developed in parallel with the Ranger from 1984 to 1988. The restyling of the Bronco II and Ranger started in 1989, but ended for the Bronco II with the end of production in February 1990, replaced by the larger Explorer. The restyling is marked not only by difference in physical appearance, but also improved structural support. 1990 models produced after November 1989 with four-wheel drive came equipped with the Dana 35 front axle, as opposed to the Dana 28 front axle used in earlier production.

The Explorer started where the Bronco II left off with a similar Ranger-based platform, sharing essentially the same front end, but with Ford's new 4.0 L OHV Cologne 155 hp (116 kW) V6 and a four-door model with a two-door Sport option. The Explorer kept to the Ranger based tradition until 1995 when it was overhauled with a major exterior restyling, and chassis modifications to allow the addition of Ford's 302 cu in (4.9 L) V8, and that was the end of the line for any reminisce of the Bronco II.

Ford would not market another compact SUV until the release of the Escape in 2001.


The Bronco II was dogged by targeted reports that it was prone to rollovers.[1] Some of the headlines in 1989-90 included "NHTSA Investigates Bronco II Rollovers," Automotive News (March 20, 1989) "Magazine Gives Ford's Bronco II 'Avoid' Rating," The Wall Street Journal (May 8, 1989), and "Consumer Reports Criticizes Ford Bronco II's Handling," The Washington Post (May 18, 1989).

After analysis of SUV crashes of the Suzuki Samurai, the NHTSA opened a formal study of the Ford Bronco II in 1989. There were 43 Bronco II rollover fatalities in 1987, compared with eight for the Samurai, but accident data in four states showed the Bronco II’s rollover rate was similar to that of other SUVs, so the investigation was closed. NHTSA declined to reopen the investigation in 1997 after more Bronco II crashes.[2]

There were, however, reports that the Bronco II's suspension contained a design flaw that, when turning, forced the side of the vehicle on the outside of the turn upwards, opposite of what a safe suspension should do.[3] The Bronco II was not only top heavy, but it forced itself over. "[I]n a hard turn, this suspension will cause the front end of the vehicle to rise and the track width to decrease, making the vehicle taller and narrower and elevating the center of gravity."[3] Ford engineers "suggested various changes that would have reduced the chance of rollovers, but these recommendations were ignored by the company."[3] Documented evidence showed that Ford knew about this problem, but found it less expensive to hire a team of lawyers to prepare for the oncoming lawsuits before the vehicle was even released, than to make the investment for a costly redesign.[3]

The successor vehicle, the Ford Explorer, would suffer a similar fate with the Firestone and Ford tire controversy.[4]


Smallwikipedialogo This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Ford Bronco II. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons by Attribution License and/or GNU Free Documentation License. Please check page history for when the original article was copied to Wikia

  1. "Safety Research Report Index - Ford Bronco II Rollover" (PDF). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Retrieved on 2011-04-01.
  2. Plungis, Jeff (March 4, 2002). "Rollover complaints dismissed", Detroit News. Retrieved on 2008-11-11. [dead link]
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Latin, Howard; Kasolas, Bobby (2002), "Bad Designs, Lethal Profits: the duty to protect other motorists against SUV collision risks", Boston University Law Review 82: 1195-7, Retrieved on <time class="dtstart" datetime="2011-04-01">2011-04-01</time>. 
  4. Latin, page 1198.

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