1977 Ford Bronco SpecificationsLast Updated August 8, 2023 | Meghan Drummond
The 1977 Ford Bronco’s specifications and features make it particularly sought after. When the first-generation Bronco debuted in 1966, it was Ford’s answer to the Jeep. Ford wasn’t the only one with the idea, and soon every auto manufacturer had a small, competent off-roader.
Competitors, like the Chevy Blazer, offered comfort and convenience options at launch. By 1977, the Blazer outsold Broncos at a 5:1 ratio.
Ford adapted, and by 1977 the Bronco offered comfort features like power steering and power brakes. But these features didn’t come in time to save the first-generation Bronco. Over time, these additional options became why the 1977 Bronco is so well-regarded. It was the year the Bronco managed to find its stride.
For the next generations, Ford would completely reinvent the Bronco.
|Specification||1977 Ford Bronco|
|Original Retail Price||$5,620|
|Price Adjusted for Inflation||$22,452|
End of the First Generation Bronco
1977 was the final year for the first-generation Ford Bronco. Though the Bronco name lived on, there’s a clear split. 1978 ushered in the second generation, and with it the first of the “large Broncos.”
The second generation lasted only two years, a remarkably short time. Its effects were felt throughout the rest of the Bronco’s history though. What started as a small Jeep-like vehicle stretched itself out quickly.
Larger SUVs were gaining popularity at the time, so expanding the Bronco was a good choice. While the first-generation Bronco’s sales were less than noteworthy, the second generation saw a huge increase.
Over time, the retro first-generation became more desirable and collectible though. And the 1977 is one of the more desired years. As of March 2020, a top condition ‘77 Bronco can command nearly $90,000, according to Hagerty. Actual sales prices tend to be even higher. In contrast, a 1978 Bronco in similar condition isn’t worth half the price of its slightly older sibling.
The demand for small Broncos is high, and unfortunately the supply is low. Considering how desirable the 1977 Bronco is today, it’s hard to see why there were so few produced.
302 CID Engine Specifications
At least part of the 1977 Ford Bronco’s disappointing sales performance was due to a lack of options.
Ford didn’t offer an automatic transmission for the Bronco until 1973. The engine options remained the same, but sales started to increase. In 1974, the Ford Bronco’s first generation hit an all-time sales-high of 25,824. It’s likely the expanded options accounted for the Bronco’s rising success.
In 1975, Ford reduced the engine options to just one. Without a V6 automatic option, fewer people were interested. The 1975 Bronco, following the ‘74’s success, was the worst year for sales. Only 13,125 Broncos were sold that year. Unfortunately, Ford didn’t decide to expand engine selections, and the first-generation Bronco’s fate was sealed.
The 302 CID V8 that the 1977 Bronco had was certainly tried, tested, and worthwhile. But there aren’t many successful vehicles that only have one engine option.
|Specification||1977 Ford Bronco|
|Engine||302 CID V8|
|Horsepower||135 hp @ 3,400 RPM|
|Torque||243 lb-ft @ 2,000 RPM|
|Bore x Stroke||4.00” x 3.00”|
Only four years of first-generation Bronco offered both manual and automatic transmissions. Unless you wanted to splurge on a Baja Bronco, which first offered an automatic transmission in 1971.
In 1977, Ford’s three-speed toploader was still the standard transmission option. But you could also get a C4 automatic transmission.
We may never know why it took Ford until 1973 to offer the C4. They’d certainly had it as an option for the Mustang from launch day.
Classic Ford Broncos that come with an automatic transmission typically sell faster and for more money. Some Bronco enthusiasts have reduced their cost by performing a manual to automatic transmission swap.
|Transmission||First Gear||Second Gear||Third Gear|
1977 Bronco Features
- Larger Fuel Tank
- Gas Door Replaced Gas Cap
- Heavy-Duty 9” Rear Axle Housing
- Optional Power Brakes
- Larger Rear Drum Brakes
The major distinguishing features for the ‘77 Ford Bronco related primarily to fuel storage. It is the only first-generation Bronco with a gas door instead of a cap. It also has the largest fuel tank at 14.4 gallons instead of 12.
The 1977 Bronco featured a Dana 44 front axle, and a Ford 9” rear axle. This axle is considered especially desirable. With equal-length, 31-spline axle shafts, it’s a durable axle. An interesting addition for this year was a heavy-duty 9” rear axle housing.
Power brakes were optional for 1977. Disc brakes came standard for the front. The rear brakes were improved for the 1976 and 1977 Bronco as well. The rear drums were 11 x 2 ¼” brakes.
Because a gas door replaced the gas cap, the taillights also required minor restyling. Otherwise the body of the Bronco was the same as the year before.
Though it was the first generation Bronco’s last year, there were still many color changes. Ginger Glow, Sequoia Brown, Glen Green, Medium Green Glow, Mecca Gold, Cayan Red and Hatteras Green Metallic were all discontinued.
In their place, Ford offered Cinnamon Glow, Light Jade, Orange, Silver Metallic, Medium Emerald, Jade Glow, Medium Copper, and Light Blue.
|Dark Jade Metallic||B|
|Bright Red||K||Also Called Castillo Red|
|Midnight Blue Metallic||S|
The color palette was a mix of “inspired by nature” and “fun” which was what Ford tried to create with the Bronco. This is echoed through all the paint shades offered on the early Bronco. To allow for further degrees of personalization, a variety of appearance packages were available.
The Sport Bronco package added bright accents. Chromed bumpers, bright metal wheel covers, a silver grille, and bright trim created an eye-catching exterior. On the interior, the sport package added a sport steering wheel, padded instrument panel, and hardboard headliner.
Special Decor Group
If you wanted to enhance the exterior of your Bronco but weren’t all about the chrome, the Special Decor Group offered an alternative. This more subdued exterior styling featured a black grille and a body stripe that wrapped around and over the hood.
One of the most interesting things about the Special Decor Package was that it could be combined with the Sport or Ranger package. That would add all of the Sport’s chrome though.
The Ranger Package was first offered in 1972, meaning it had a longer availability than an automatic transmission. The Ranger package was meant to offer everything that came in the Sport and more.
The luxurious interior was fully carpeted in color-keyed hues. The seats in the Ranger were cloth and vinyl. The cloth featured a houndstooth pattern. The exterior included all the features of the Sport, but also special body-striping not available with other packages. The swing-away spare tire carrier had a vinyl cover that boldly proclaimed it was a Bronco Ranger.
The first-generation Bronco is sometimes referred to as the “92-inch wheelbase” model. The 1978 Bronco featured a 104-inch wheelbase, which the Bronco retained for all following generations.
Not all first-generation Broncos even had a backseat. When they did, seatbelts were optional. It was very much a small off-roader for one or two people.
|Dimension||1977 Ford Bronco|
|Curb Weight||3,495 pounds|
|Front Headroom||41 inches|
|Front Legroom||39.16 inches|
1977 Bronco Off-Roading Specs
The Bronco may have been designed to be an off-roader, but it doesn’t compete with modern ORVs. Think of it this way, before the “extreme” ‘90s, off-roading meant going camping or driving on dirt roads. Only a few people, if any, were trying to take on the Rubicon trail in a Bronco. Those people are heroes, but they knew in advance they weren’t going to have an easy time.
Modern off-roaders have significantly better off-roading specifications. The JL Rubicon Wrangler has an approach angle of 44 degrees. Compared to the Bronco’s 39.3.
It’s possible to improve the Bronco’s off-road angles by lifting it and giving it new, larger tires. But it’s still going to have a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds. A Prius has a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds, just to add some perspective. A 2019 Ranger can tow 3,500 pounds. Now, which is the Bronco closer to?
For a fun family camping or fishing trip, the Bronco will probably more than suffice. Not only that, but it will look sharp on the way. For serious off-roading, the early Bronco is probably not the ideal choice.
|Off-Roading Specification||1977 Ford Bronco|
|Approach Angle||39.3 Degrees|
|Departure Angle||29.6 Degrees|
|Ground Clearance||11.3 Inches|
|Breakover Angle>||25.9 Degrees|
|Towing Capacity||2,000 Pounds|
A well-restored 1977 Ford Bronco is a collector’s item. As a result, modifications for 1977 Broncos tend to be restoration focused. Replacing your air filters, oil filters, and necessary gaskets can keep your engine in good working order. With regular maintenance, your Bronco could be in service for years to come.
If you’ve found a used Bronco in project condition, then replacing any broken or rusty parts should be a top priority. Rust spreads quickly. Often the only option to keep rust from destroying your Bronco is replacing the sheet metal it first appears on. If the rust doesn't go too deep, it's possible to remove surface rust relatively easily in small patches.
Fix pitted chrome parts before they become damaged, and reapply a clear coat to keep them shiny.
As interior parts accumulate wear and tear, they should be replaced so your Bronco stays comfortable and show-worthy.
The 1977 Bronco
If you want a first-generation Bronco that’s already feature-equipped then a 1977 Bronco would be a great pick. Unfortunately, this year’s combination of features and scarcity make it difficult to find. Some companies have even begun producing new “1977” Broncos.
If you’re looking for a small, fun, off-roader, then it may be worth waiting for Ford’s 2021 Bronco. The lack of collectability means it’s actually less expensive to buy new than try to find a 1977 in good shape.