$600 worth of pure performance that every Bronco needs! (With data and experience to prove it!)

NickP

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May 20, 2020
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Howdy my friends! Sorry for falling off the face of the earth for the past little bit... been dealing with the complete collapse of the mortgage market which *was* my new career, but not my problem anymore lol! Look forward to seeing some of y'all this week at the Grand Canyon since now I don't need to ask for vacation time :p

I wanted to make up for my absence with what I've learned over 5,000 miles with my Bronco, and a list of a few things that I think EVERYONE that wants to offroad their bronco should buy, for about the same cost as the average car payment in America (Although I have a feeling some of us exceed this number including myself lol ;))

The Bronco is an incredibly capable vehicle in stock form, but with a few things, you really need to take it to the next level. I can guarantee that there are dozens, if not hundreds of Broncos out there already where the owner bought new coilovers because it "rides rough" when they never even tried to air down. Along with tons of non-badlands Broncos that are lifted/ have increased travel shocks... but still have the standard swaybar. So if I can save some people a few grand in "performance" mods that may not even increase your performance... I want to help with that. So let's get started, shall we?

1. Compressor and deflator
IMG_8624.jpg

So let's start out with the most important component of all of this, which to me, is an air compressor. You do not have to break the bank to get a half-decent one, but I would not recommend getting the harbor freight one or any of the really cheap ones. I borrowed one of those when I had my jeep and it took me about 30 minutes just to fill up my 33's. Especially if you have a sasquatch... you're going to hate airing back up. The goal with a compressor is to make it fast enough to where you'll actually want to get out there and wheel! Unfortunately, the compressor I have is now discontinued from NAPA, however, I have heard great things about this smittybilt one. Or if you've got the cash, an ARB will last a lifetime. Once I've found a new career that will be on my list, but for now the one I've got works great!

One cool thing about the smittybilt compressor is it is right at the limit of how much your valve stem can handle, which is right around 5 CFM. So a bigger/heavier compressor won't actually air you up faster unless you get a multi-tire inflation system. With that one, you'll be aired up in about 10-15 minutes and back on the road! Also as a pro tip: Snag one of these quick-connect chucks. The last thing you want to do after wheeling all day is mess around with manually screwing on each Schrader valve.

Now deflating your tires is a little bit less exciting, but personally, I've been using this one: There are more "automatic" options where you can basically just screw the deflators on, and they bring you to a preset PSI. But I've heard those have some troubles and are a bit finicky. This one lets you take the valve core out so it deflates super quickly, and I just watch the gauge cluster until it gets to where I want, then run over and close the valve.

And now the data I promised! I decided I hated myself and that I would air back up even though I was still about 2 rough miles away from the highway, just to give you guys a direct comparison between being aired down and aired up:
https://vm.tiktok.com/ZTdGUkTG8/?k=1
It showcases it best when comparing the two very ends, you can hear tons of rattles and my stuff jostling around a lot more when fully aired up. But honestly, this video doesn't even do it justice... I just won't even go down a rough dirt road without airing down, especially with how high they want your stock tire pressure to be! Airing down to 17-20ish PSI totally changes the game, and really showcases what this bad boy is capable of. So anyone on the fence on if it's worth it... or if you think the Bronco rides rough, airing down is a total game-changer. My #1 "Mod".

2. Manual sway bar disconnect.

Since I went with the Base Bronco, I have been missing out on the sway bar disconnect you lucky ducks with badlands have. However fear not, for a manual option is available from ACFab!

There are some upsides and downsides with this product, however. So I want to discuss those, and let you guys decide if it's worth it for yourself and show you some data that makes me think it is 100%.

First of all, big benefit: It's basically impossible to manually disconnect the swaybar without this product. The only way to do so would be to remove the link entirely, you can't just pull out the bottom bolt and hang it up, it will not disconnect without the top bolt being removed. (Which is SUPER annoying to do. Pictured here is how I did it when doing the install, you have to hold the ball joint in place with a Torx and use a wrench to remove it.)
IMG_9707.jpg

This is something that isn't horrible to do once, but I would not want to do it every single time you offroad.

The downside of this product: It's definitely a bit annoying to disconnect and reconnect. You really need to find the right spot for the suspension to be relaxed enough to let it come off, usually this means you're going to be stacking a rock or trying to find a dip in the parking lot. It takes about 5 minutes total for me to get both off at the beginning of the day, and then about 10 minutes to get them back on. This is however something you get better at with time, and the performance gains are pretty significant. But I wanted to quantify what the gains are exactly, so I headed to what I'm now calling "RTI Rock".
IMG_8258.jpg

But instead of climbing it with both front tires, I climbed with just the front passenger, and then gathered some data from there. So this was a bit of a feel thing, but I started out with the sway bar disconnected. I climbed as far up the rock as I could go with the rear passenger tire still having solid contact with the ground. (This is pretty easy to feel.) What resulted is that I was able to climb up the rock about 32'' from the back of the tire to the sand.
IMG_0611 (1).jpg


And with that climb, I also got the cabin statistics showing 9 degrees of body roll, with 5 degrees of incline.
IMG_0613.jpg


So I climbed down, spent WAY too long reconnecting the swaybar since I was out in the middle of a sandy wash lol, and got lined back up. And the results to me were honestly pretty surprising. So first I climbed as far as I could while keeping the rear tire on the ground, and in doing that I got a full 10'' less onto the obstacle before the tire started lifting:
IMG_0614.jpg

And with that climb here were my cabin statistics:
IMG_0615.jpg

So 2 degrees MORE body roll, with 10'' less up the obstacle. Pretty interesting how much less comfortable that 2 degrees make it, it definitely feels like a pretty significant difference. Now to do a full comparison, I also pushed the Bronco up all the way to where I was 32'' up the obstacle... and that result was pretty wild:
IMG_0617.jpg


(Of note: The pitch was switching between 4 and 5 degrees so it must've been at like 4.99. Close enough)

So on the same obstacle with just a simple disconnect of the sway bar, you are experiencing a solid 4'' or so of additional travel at the rear wheel, but more importantly to me, you have almost 50% less body roll. With the cabin so much flatter it just feels more confident and sure-footed and the weight is more evenly distributed to avoid that "tippy" feeling. That is a seriously impressive improvement to me and makes the modification 100% worth it over *any* other suspension modification in my book.

Or you could've just bought the badlands and avoided needing to roll around in parking lots like a madman trying to get it reconnected :ROFLMAO:.

3. Mudflaps

I'm a hypocrite with this one. I have them ordered but have not received them yet. And I seriously regret not buying them sooner... but that's pretty self-explanatory
IMG_0641.jpg


These paint chips are BRUTAL. Literally makes me want to cry. Learn from me!

4. And lastly, a sleeping platform

I'm no carpenter, but with about $40 $400 worth of wood and outdoor carpet from lowe's, you can give yourself a flat load floor! The Bronco is super comfortable to sleep in like this, I threw in a cheap foam mattress pad and sleep like a baby. All you need is a sheet of plywood and some 2x4's. It is almost the exact height you need without any additional spacers or anything like that! You want to have some overhang on the back to allow the little transition some room. But this works great!
1652804861074.png


So yeah guys, that's my current list of must-have things for your Bronco! Hopefully it was informative, and can't wait to add more to the list as time goes on. Thanks to the other moderators for holding down the fort while I've been gone, seems like things are going well around here!
 

the poacher

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Jun 14, 2021
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Hey NickP,

Some great insights. Thank you for taking the time to photo and describe your thoughts and suggestions for everyone else to learn from. I will be lucky enough to have a Badlands when it finally comes, but interim, I have been slowly buying items in anticipation of eventually being able to install them on my truck.. My question to you is, what mud flaps did you end up buying?
 
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NickP

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Hey NickP,

Some great insights. Thank you for taking the time to photo and describe your thoughts and suggestions for everyone else to learn from. I will be lucky enough to have a Badlands when it finally comes, but interim, I have been slowly buying items in anticipation of eventually being able to install them on my truck.. My question to you is, what mud flaps did you end up buying?
You got it! I went with the Rek Gens. I ordered them about 2 weeks ago and they have yet to ship, so would definitely be a good thing to order upfront!
 
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NickP

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May 20, 2020
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Great post !

Are the chips road or off road related ?
Definitely worse from off-road, but I’ve heard rocks flying up on the street too.


Thanks NickP,

I was not aware of this brand. As a Canadian, the 'Merica ones are not high on my list for some reason :sneaky:, but the Trophy ones are. Appreciated!
All good my friend! I lived in New Brunswick for a year as a kid so I know what it’s like to exchange the flag for poutine and Tim’s :ROFLMAO:
 

markregel

Rank II

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May 28, 2021
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Dietel
Howdy my friends! Sorry for falling off the face of the earth for the past little bit... been dealing with the complete collapse of the mortgage market which *was* my new career, but not my problem anymore lol! Look forward to seeing some of y'all this week at the Grand Canyon since now I don't need to ask for vacation time :p

I wanted to make up for my absence with what I've learned over 5,000 miles with my Bronco, and a list of a few things that I think EVERYONE that wants to offroad their bronco should buy, for about the same cost as the average car payment in America (Although I have a feeling some of us exceed this number including myself lol ;))

The Bronco is an incredibly capable vehicle in stock form, but with a few things, you really need to take it to the next level. I can guarantee that there are dozens, if not hundreds of Broncos out there already where the owner bought new coilovers because it "rides rough" when they never even tried to air down. Along with tons of non-badlands Broncos that are lifted/ have increased travel shocks... but still have the standard swaybar. So if I can save some people a few grand in "performance" mods that may not even increase your performance... I want to help with that. So let's get started, shall we?

1. Compressor and deflator
View attachment 35983
So let's start out with the most important component of all of this, which to me, is an air compressor. You do not have to break the bank to get a half-decent one, but I would not recommend getting the harbor freight one or any of the really cheap ones. I borrowed one of those when I had my jeep and it took me about 30 minutes just to fill up my 33's. Especially if you have a sasquatch... you're going to hate airing back up. The goal with a compressor is to make it fast enough to where you'll actually want to get out there and wheel! Unfortunately, the compressor I have is now discontinued from NAPA, however, I have heard great things about this smittybilt one. Or if you've got the cash, an ARB will last a lifetime. Once I've found a new career that will be on my list, but for now the one I've got works great!

One cool thing about the smittybilt compressor is it is right at the limit of how much your valve stem can handle, which is right around 5 CFM. So a bigger/heavier compressor won't actually air you up faster unless you get a multi-tire inflation system. With that one, you'll be aired up in about 10-15 minutes and back on the road! Also as a pro tip: Snag one of these quick-connect chucks. The last thing you want to do after wheeling all day is mess around with manually screwing on each Schrader valve.

Now deflating your tires is a little bit less exciting, but personally, I've been using this one: There are more "automatic" options where you can basically just screw the deflators on, and they bring you to a preset PSI. But I've heard those have some troubles and are a bit finicky. This one lets you take the valve core out so it deflates super quickly, and I just watch the gauge cluster until it gets to where I want, then run over and close the valve.

And now the data I promised! I decided I hated myself and that I would air back up even though I was still about 2 rough miles away from the highway, just to give you guys a direct comparison between being aired down and aired up:
https://vm.tiktok.com/ZTdGUkTG8/?k=1
It showcases it best when comparing the two very ends, you can hear tons of rattles and my stuff jostling around a lot more when fully aired up. But honestly, this video doesn't even do it justice... I just won't even go down a rough dirt road without airing down, especially with how high they want your stock tire pressure to be! Airing down to 17-20ish PSI totally changes the game, and really showcases what this bad boy is capable of. So anyone on the fence on if it's worth it... or if you think the Bronco rides rough, airing down is a total game-changer. My #1 "Mod".

2. Manual sway bar disconnect.

Since I went with the Base Bronco, I have been missing out on the sway bar disconnect you lucky ducks with badlands have. However fear not, for a manual option is available from ACFab!

There are some upsides and downsides with this product, however. So I want to discuss those, and let you guys decide if it's worth it for yourself and show you some data that makes me think it is 100%.

First of all, big benefit: It's basically impossible to manually disconnect the swaybar without this product. The only way to do so would be to remove the link entirely, you can't just pull out the bottom bolt and hang it up, it will not disconnect without the top bolt being removed. (Which is SUPER annoying to do. Pictured here is how I did it when doing the install, you have to hold the ball joint in place with a Torx and use a wrench to remove it.)
View attachment 35986
This is something that isn't horrible to do once, but I would not want to do it every single time you offroad.

The downside of this product: It's definitely a bit annoying to disconnect and reconnect. You really need to find the right spot for the suspension to be relaxed enough to let it come off, usually this means you're going to be stacking a rock or trying to find a dip in the parking lot. It takes about 5 minutes total for me to get both off at the beginning of the day, and then about 10 minutes to get them back on. This is however something you get better at with time, and the performance gains are pretty significant. But I wanted to quantify what the gains are exactly, so I headed to what I'm now calling "RTI Rock".
View attachment 35988
But instead of climbing it with both front tires, I climbed with just the front passenger, and then gathered some data from there. So this was a bit of a feel thing, but I started out with the sway bar disconnected. I climbed as far up the rock as I could go with the rear passenger tire still having solid contact with the ground. (This is pretty easy to feel.) What resulted is that I was able to climb up the rock about 32'' from the back of the tire to the sand.
View attachment 36022

And with that climb, I also got the cabin statistics showing 9 degrees of body roll, with 5 degrees of incline.
View attachment 35989

So I climbed down, spent WAY too long reconnecting the swaybar since I was out in the middle of a sandy wash lol, and got lined back up. And the results to me were honestly pretty surprising. So first I climbed as far as I could while keeping the rear tire on the ground, and in doing that I got a full 10'' less onto the obstacle before the tire started lifting:
View attachment 35990
And with that climb here were my cabin statistics:
View attachment 35991
So 2 degrees MORE body roll, with 10'' less up the obstacle. Pretty interesting how much less comfortable that 2 degrees make it, it definitely feels like a pretty significant difference. Now to do a full comparison, I also pushed the Bronco up all the way to where I was 32'' up the obstacle... and that result was pretty wild:
View attachment 35995

(Of note: The pitch was switching between 4 and 5 degrees so it must've been at like 4.99. Close enough)

So on the same obstacle with just a simple disconnect of the sway bar, you are experiencing a solid 4'' or so of additional travel at the rear wheel, but more importantly to me, you have almost 50% less body roll. With the cabin so much flatter it just feels more confident and sure-footed and the weight is more evenly distributed to avoid that "tippy" feeling. That is a seriously impressive improvement to me and makes the modification 100% worth it over *any* other suspension modification in my book.

Or you could've just bought the badlands and avoided needing to roll around in parking lots like a madman trying to get it reconnected :ROFLMAO:.

3. Mudflaps

I'm a hypocrite with this one. I have them ordered but have not received them yet. And I seriously regret not buying them sooner... but that's pretty self-explanatory View attachment 35997

These paint chips are BRUTAL. Literally makes me want to cry. Learn from me!

4. And lastly, a sleeping platform

I'm no carpenter, but with about $40 $400 worth of wood and outdoor carpet from lowe's, you can give yourself a flat load floor! The Bronco is super comfortable to sleep in like this, I threw in a cheap foam mattress pad and sleep like a baby. All you need is a sheet of plywood and some 2x4's. It is almost the exact height you need without any additional spacers or anything like that! You want to have some overhang on the back to allow the little transition some room. But this works great!
View attachment 36021

So yeah guys, that's my current list of must-have things for your Bronco! Hopefully it was informative, and can't wait to add more to the list as time goes on. Thanks to the other moderators for holding down the fort while I've been gone, seems like things are going well around here!
$40 $400 for some wood to make the platform? This should be$40 easily, inflation getting bad!
 

markregel

Rank II

Super Supporter II

May 28, 2021
33
37
281
Lincoln
First Name
Mark
Last Name
Dietel
Howdy my friends! Sorry for falling off the face of the earth for the past little bit... been dealing with the complete collapse of the mortgage market which *was* my new career, but not my problem anymore lol! Look forward to seeing some of y'all this week at the Grand Canyon since now I don't need to ask for vacation time :p

I wanted to make up for my absence with what I've learned over 5,000 miles with my Bronco, and a list of a few things that I think EVERYONE that wants to offroad their bronco should buy, for about the same cost as the average car payment in America (Although I have a feeling some of us exceed this number including myself lol ;))

The Bronco is an incredibly capable vehicle in stock form, but with a few things, you really need to take it to the next level. I can guarantee that there are dozens, if not hundreds of Broncos out there already where the owner bought new coilovers because it "rides rough" when they never even tried to air down. Along with tons of non-badlands Broncos that are lifted/ have increased travel shocks... but still have the standard swaybar. So if I can save some people a few grand in "performance" mods that may not even increase your performance... I want to help with that. So let's get started, shall we?

1. Compressor and deflator
View attachment 35983
So let's start out with the most important component of all of this, which to me, is an air compressor. You do not have to break the bank to get a half-decent one, but I would not recommend getting the harbor freight one or any of the really cheap ones. I borrowed one of those when I had my jeep and it took me about 30 minutes just to fill up my 33's. Especially if you have a sasquatch... you're going to hate airing back up. The goal with a compressor is to make it fast enough to where you'll actually want to get out there and wheel! Unfortunately, the compressor I have is now discontinued from NAPA, however, I have heard great things about this smittybilt one. Or if you've got the cash, an ARB will last a lifetime. Once I've found a new career that will be on my list, but for now the one I've got works great!

One cool thing about the smittybilt compressor is it is right at the limit of how much your valve stem can handle, which is right around 5 CFM. So a bigger/heavier compressor won't actually air you up faster unless you get a multi-tire inflation system. With that one, you'll be aired up in about 10-15 minutes and back on the road! Also as a pro tip: Snag one of these quick-connect chucks. The last thing you want to do after wheeling all day is mess around with manually screwing on each Schrader valve.

Now deflating your tires is a little bit less exciting, but personally, I've been using this one: There are more "automatic" options where you can basically just screw the deflators on, and they bring you to a preset PSI. But I've heard those have some troubles and are a bit finicky. This one lets you take the valve core out so it deflates super quickly, and I just watch the gauge cluster until it gets to where I want, then run over and close the valve.

And now the data I promised! I decided I hated myself and that I would air back up even though I was still about 2 rough miles away from the highway, just to give you guys a direct comparison between being aired down and aired up:
https://vm.tiktok.com/ZTdGUkTG8/?k=1
It showcases it best when comparing the two very ends, you can hear tons of rattles and my stuff jostling around a lot more when fully aired up. But honestly, this video doesn't even do it justice... I just won't even go down a rough dirt road without airing down, especially with how high they want your stock tire pressure to be! Airing down to 17-20ish PSI totally changes the game, and really showcases what this bad boy is capable of. So anyone on the fence on if it's worth it... or if you think the Bronco rides rough, airing down is a total game-changer. My #1 "Mod".

2. Manual sway bar disconnect.

Since I went with the Base Bronco, I have been missing out on the sway bar disconnect you lucky ducks with badlands have. However fear not, for a manual option is available from ACFab!

There are some upsides and downsides with this product, however. So I want to discuss those, and let you guys decide if it's worth it for yourself and show you some data that makes me think it is 100%.

First of all, big benefit: It's basically impossible to manually disconnect the swaybar without this product. The only way to do so would be to remove the link entirely, you can't just pull out the bottom bolt and hang it up, it will not disconnect without the top bolt being removed. (Which is SUPER annoying to do. Pictured here is how I did it when doing the install, you have to hold the ball joint in place with a Torx and use a wrench to remove it.)
View attachment 35986
This is something that isn't horrible to do once, but I would not want to do it every single time you offroad.

The downside of this product: It's definitely a bit annoying to disconnect and reconnect. You really need to find the right spot for the suspension to be relaxed enough to let it come off, usually this means you're going to be stacking a rock or trying to find a dip in the parking lot. It takes about 5 minutes total for me to get both off at the beginning of the day, and then about 10 minutes to get them back on. This is however something you get better at with time, and the performance gains are pretty significant. But I wanted to quantify what the gains are exactly, so I headed to what I'm now calling "RTI Rock".
View attachment 35988
But instead of climbing it with both front tires, I climbed with just the front passenger, and then gathered some data from there. So this was a bit of a feel thing, but I started out with the sway bar disconnected. I climbed as far up the rock as I could go with the rear passenger tire still having solid contact with the ground. (This is pretty easy to feel.) What resulted is that I was able to climb up the rock about 32'' from the back of the tire to the sand.
View attachment 36022

And with that climb, I also got the cabin statistics showing 9 degrees of body roll, with 5 degrees of incline.
View attachment 35989

So I climbed down, spent WAY too long reconnecting the swaybar since I was out in the middle of a sandy wash lol, and got lined back up. And the results to me were honestly pretty surprising. So first I climbed as far as I could while keeping the rear tire on the ground, and in doing that I got a full 10'' less onto the obstacle before the tire started lifting:
View attachment 35990
And with that climb here were my cabin statistics:
View attachment 35991
So 2 degrees MORE body roll, with 10'' less up the obstacle. Pretty interesting how much less comfortable that 2 degrees make it, it definitely feels like a pretty significant difference. Now to do a full comparison, I also pushed the Bronco up all the way to where I was 32'' up the obstacle... and that result was pretty wild:
View attachment 35995

(Of note: The pitch was switching between 4 and 5 degrees so it must've been at like 4.99. Close enough)

So on the same obstacle with just a simple disconnect of the sway bar, you are experiencing a solid 4'' or so of additional travel at the rear wheel, but more importantly to me, you have almost 50% less body roll. With the cabin so much flatter it just feels more confident and sure-footed and the weight is more evenly distributed to avoid that "tippy" feeling. That is a seriously impressive improvement to me and makes the modification 100% worth it over *any* other suspension modification in my book.

Or you could've just bought the badlands and avoided needing to roll around in parking lots like a madman trying to get it reconnected :ROFLMAO:.

3. Mudflaps

I'm a hypocrite with this one. I have them ordered but have not received them yet. And I seriously regret not buying them sooner... but that's pretty self-explanatory View attachment 35997

These paint chips are BRUTAL. Literally makes me want to cry. Learn from me!

4. And lastly, a sleeping platform

I'm no carpenter, but with about $40 $400 worth of wood and outdoor carpet from lowe's, you can give yourself a flat load floor! The Bronco is super comfortable to sleep in like this, I threw in a cheap foam mattress pad and sleep like a baby. All you need is a sheet of plywood and some 2x4's. It is almost the exact height you need without any additional spacers or anything like that! You want to have some overhang on the back to allow the little transition some room. But this works great!
View attachment 36021

So yeah guys, that's my current list of must-have things for your Bronco! Hopefully it was informative, and can't wait to add more to the list as time goes on. Thanks to the other moderators for holding down the fort while I've been gone, seems like things are going well around here!
I can't imagine off roading without getting chips.
 

MooseTheBronco21

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Oct 6, 2021
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Thanks for posting. It doesn't look like you folded your seats for the sleeping part of your suggestions.
I was thinking of folding the rear seats and dumping an inflatable mattress and cocooning myself there.

I see you have a soft top like I do. Any tips to add stuff to the roll bars? I posted another thread asking about some padding for the tailgate for my surfboard, or some padding for the roll bars. Hitch mounted items are limited as of now...
 

NickP

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Thanks for posting. It doesn't look like you folded your seats for the sleeping part of your suggestions.
I was thinking of folding the rear seats and dumping an inflatable mattress and cocooning myself there.

I see you have a soft top like I do. Any tips to add stuff to the roll bars? I posted another thread asking about some padding for the tailgate for my surfboard, or some padding for the roll bars. Hitch mounted items are limited as of now...
Not sure if something like this is what you’re referring to?


I kayak occasionally and have been trying to figure it out as well. I’ve been thinking about trying to fab something up myself even though it would probably be a extremely ugly LOL
 

NT AUTOMOTIVE

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Good write up and helpful tips. Thanks @NickP !!

Another must have product for your bronco is a sprint booster throttle controller with pedal lock security included. If interested in learning more, reading BN member reviews or even buying one for less than anywhere else check out our bronco nation thread link below.

Sprint Booster Thread:


Tiffany
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Est. 1992
 
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MooseTheBronco21

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Not sure if something like this is what you’re referring to?


I kayak occasionally and have been trying to figure it out as well. I’ve been thinking about trying to fab something up myself even though it would probably be a extremely ugly LOL
I just saw after I posted by doing a search the very EXR racks you just linked. Looks like a great option for open top (and Hitchmountracks.com for the closed top version). Thank you!
 

Dblue40

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