Modding your Bronco for $500 — Panda Motorworks
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Modding your Bronco for $500

Modding your Bronco for $500

When it comes to modifying any vehicle, there is always going to be a budget you have to stick to. For some, that budget is very high and will allow the owner to get everything they want. For others, the budget may be a bit tighter and decisions will have to be made on how to spend your hard earned money. In this blog, we will be modding our bone stock, Big Bend Bronco with only $500. The goal is to check off as many boxes as possible using parts you can purchase from!

To some $500 might not seem like a lot to modify a rugged vehicle like the Bronco, but we will show you that you can really stretch out that $500 and get some great stuff in the process. The first thing we will be purchasing will be our most expensive at $200, and that is the Diode Dynamics SS3 Ditch Light Kit! The added light you get from the SS3s help tremendously when off-roading at night or driving in poorly lit areas. Since our Bronco came equipped with the factory auxiliary switches, we will select that option to receive the correct wiring harness to make installation quick and simple. The Combo lens that comes standard on the SS3 Ditch Light Kit combines the usefulness of a wide area of lighting from a flood light and the distance of light provided by the driving optic. Not only do the SS3s add a boost in lighting, but they are also add to the Off-Road aesthetic that the Bronco already has. 

Budget:                           $500

SS3 Ditch Light Kit:       -$200


Remaining budget:         $300

So now that we have a lighting upgrade taken care of, we are going to move onto suspension. Our Bronco did not come equipped with the Sasquatch package, so we need to make some room to accommodate some larger tires. Since we are building our Bronco on a budget, larger tires just aren't in the cards right now, but we will use what funds we have available now to prepare for them. We plan on running 35" tires, so we will be installing the Zone Off Road 2" Lift Kit! This kit utilizes strut spacers to achieve the 2" lift. We know that everyone would love to have a set of coilovers to achieve their lift, but we see two problems with that. 1) Coilovers alone would exceed the $500 budget. 2) There are no coilovers available to purchase that we would receive in a reasonable timeframe. At $99.99 the price point of the Zone 2" lift kit can't be beat, especially when it's needed to accommodate larger tires.

Budget:                          $300.00

Zone 2" Lift Kit:            -   $99.99 


Remaining Budget:         $200.01

So let's recap, we've upgraded our lighting and we've lifted our Bronco all for under $300. The next thing we are going to do is add a set of Redline Tuning Hood QuickLift Plus Hood Struts! These hood struts allow easy access to the engine bay by eliminating the traditional hood prop and allowing the Bronco's hood to lift 30% higher than it would with the hood prop. This is a great mod that can be done in under 30 minutes in your driveway with basic hand tools. Even though we believe the Bronco should have come standard with these hood struts, $99.95 is a small price to pay for this upgrade.

Budget:                                       $200.01

Redline Tuning Hood Struts:      -$99.95


Remaining Budget:                    $100.06

If you own a Ford Bronco, chances are you will be taking it off road at some point. If you are lucky, you may have a friend or two who will want to join you with their off road vehicles. When you are out on the trails you need to be prepared for any possibility, including you or a friend getting stuck. One of the best ways to be prepared is to have an arsenal of recovery equipment. With our budget constraints we will focus on one of the most cost effective tools you can have, a recovery strap. In this instance, we will be picking up the ARB Snatch Strap rated at 17,600 lbs. This particular recovery strap is great because of its ability to stretch and return to its original length, which makes recovery easier and also reduces the risk of damage to either vehicle. Whether you are stuck or you are helping extract a friend, the ARB Snatch Strap is a great tool to have when you are off roading.

Budget:                                $100.06

ARB Snatch Strap:              -$63.70


Remaining Budget:             $36.36

So far we have spent $463.64 and we are quickly approaching that $500 budget. We still have a few things left that we can do to make Bronco ownership even more enjoyable. At the time we are writing this blog we are giving away a set of Method Wheels giveaway (Ends 8/31/21) , and all you have to do is purchase a Panda Motorworks PandaSquatch T-Shirt for only $25! Since a set of 5 wheels can escalate in price very quickly, we are going to take our chances to win a set of wheels. Worst case scenario, we end up with a pretty cool Panda Motorworks T-Shirt. (This is purely hypothetical, Panda Motorworks employees are exempt from winning the giveaway.) 

Budget:                              $36.36

PandaSquatch T-Shirt:     -$25.00


Remaining Budget:           $11.16

We now have $11.16 remaining, so there is nothing else we can do with that right? The answer is NO! Since we are EcoBoost enthusiasts and we like the sound of a turbo, we are going to be adding our BPV Delete Kit so we can hear our turbo's blow-off sound! Coming in at only $5, this mod is a no-brainer. This mod is easy to do, completely safe, and adds a bit of fun to the driving experience. Sure it may not be for everyone, but for $5 whats to lose?

Budget:                              $11.16

BPV Delete:                        -$5.00


Remaining Budget:             $6.16

Since we have just a little bit remaining in our budget, I'm going to pick up a pair of Panda Motorworks Window decals so I can let everyone on the road know exactly where who I choose to modify my Bronco through. Priced at $5 a pair, I know I can still pick up a set and remain under the $500 budget.

Budget:                                   $6.16

Panda Motorworks Decals:   -$5.00


Remaining Budget:                 $1.16

There you have it, how we would spend our first $500 modifying our Bronco! We were able to pick up a lot of great stuff, and still technically come in $1.16 under budget! We have a great start on our Bronco build with only $500 spent. As automotive enthusiasts we know that $500 can be a small amount for parts, but it is still a considerable amount of money. There is no cut and dry method to modifying a vehicle and everyone will have a different path. This is simply an exercise on how we would modify our stock Bronco with a given budget! With the next Blog in the series, we will be modifying our Bronco further but with an increased budget!


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