So here I am on Wrangler Forum. I have had 2 Cherokees and now this YJ because I thought "hell that would be cool". Well, I'm figuring out that I don't want to buy another project supposedly "90%" complete. FML.
With that said, it has GM 3/4 ton 8 lug front & rear axles, with manual hubs in front, locker in rear, 4.10 gears in both, and 4 wheel disc brakes. It also has a SM 465 transmission, and a Dana 300 twin stick transfer case.
Front suspension consists of some Rubicon Engineering leaf springs over the axle, and the rear is a home made 1/4 elliptcal. It flexes like crazy, but currently has no shocks. The tub has been cut in half, and a cage welded in. There are a lot of things I would like to fix, but we will see where that goes.
So, When I picked up this YJ it had some pretty rough 37" Goodyear MT humvee tires, it ran on propane with an old SBC350, although it didn't like how the guy had it set up. Idled high, drank propane like crazy, etc.
After spending a whole weekend setting the mixer according to the, manufacturer specs, and checking timing, changing timing, and plugs, It made it no better. It would start up, run until it got warm and then die every time. So it would run for about 5 minutes, or drive about 200 feet and then die. Coolant temp read good, about 190* and everything else seemed okay.
Well I got fed up with this, and decided "Screw it, Ill throw in a TBI 350, and mate it all together" So that is where the project begins....
Pictures from the for sale ad:
Then I get there to pick it up, and the guy has taken off those IROK's and put on the worn ass humvee tires, and a miss matched super swamper.
- Already was kind of miffed, but at least it ran, drove and had tires.
So I drove it around, and put it on the trailer and brought it home.
Decided to get it to run a little better, hopefully, I honestly think something was possibly wrong with the mixer itself, or that the liquid to gas converter was bad.
Okay, after spending the whole weekend messing with this thing and literally getting no where despite peoples advice from pirate 4x4 and the manufacturers info and settings I said screw it, and decided to go fuel injected.
So the next Saturday morning I yanked out the propane system, and old engine
Then went to the salvage vehicle I had lined up about an hour away and pulled out the TBI 350 with computer and wiring harness out of a 1995 Suburban.
So that sat in my storage unit for a week until I could come back to work on getting it IN the jeep
Come to find out, that the original "fabricator" didn't really line things up 100% straight, so the tranny was sitting kind of sideways on its cross member, and we COULD NOT get the engine bolted up. Just seemed like nothing wanted to go together straight. So, I had to drop the cross member, tranny and transfer case. Which was a chore. Bolt it to the engine, then lift it all back up.
Once I got it all back up is when I noticed that the cross member was not built straight. When its bolted up to the transmission and the engine is sitting on the mounts, the cross member actually sits about an inch and a half towards the passenger side. This was a huge pain to deal with, as I also discovered most of the insert nuts for the frame where the factory skid plate bolts go (which hold up this cross member) are nearly stripped out. Good thing there are 6 freaking bolt holes!
Okay, after getting that whole debacle in and taken care of, starting this post over, and getting the engine full in, here is how that looked.
After that, it was time to start taking out the wiring harness to cut out what I didn't need. I started with this octopus of a harness that originally came from the engine compartment of a 1995 Chevrolet Suburban.
Then I un loomed, and un taped it all to start tracing and cutting out what I didn't need. At first this appeared to be quite a challenge because I had the correct wiring diagrams for the suburban, however the ECU pin outs I kept finding were all a little different from the wiring connectors I had in front of me. So after 3 hours of digging online and tracing and being pissed off, I finally came across the correct ECU pinout. Seems that the ECU that I got with this engine was a replacement with an updated part number, making things a little more difficult at first.
After about 6 hours of tracing, cutting, splicing, being distracted by the fiance, and eating, I finally had this straightened out.
This weekend I was lucky enough to get to lay the wiring harness out in the engine bay, and connect it to all of the sensors. Then I went and ran them in their perspective locations to get ready to tape and loom them once I get the rest of the project ready to start.
I also ordered some block hugger center drop headers, so that I can keep the exhaust inside the frame rails hopefully. I plan to try installing them next weekend if I can.
Once I laid the wiring harness out in the engine bay, I went to swap the old crappy tires with much newer fresher humvee tires and 8 bolt double beadlock humvee wheels. During which time I found the cause of this great annoying howling sound that would occur when driving it around previously.
Looks like someone smashed the disc cover on a rock.
So after a Saturdays day of work, I put it back on the trailer and this is how it sits now, until I can tend to it more, hopefully next weekend.
Future plans are to get it running, I need a fuel cell, and inline 14psi fuel pump.
Finish the start switch and key wiring inside under the dash.
I need a YJ/TJ passenger side firewall battery mount trey as well.
Once I get all of this going, I want to install some Ballistic Fab shock hoops and run 14" travel shocks front and rear as there are none currently.
Then probably during that fabrication phase I will drill out the cross member bolts and weld some nuts into the frame to better support the stress.
A little update here:
Another weekend of working on the Jeep. I thought I would have had it running, if it weren't for the original builder not paying attention to where he welded in the motor mount perches. The driver side one is 3/4" farther back than the passenger causing my nice headers not to be able to bolt up on the driver side. What a shame. So I ordered some old school SBC Ram Horn manifolds which were exactly what was on the old engine I pulled out of it.
If I would have known how much those things were worth, I would have kept them off the old engine!
SO, here are just a couple picture updates. A lot done, but still a lot to do.
Passenger side header bolted up just perfect.
Too bad I had to take them off. I still need to get some connectors for those ground wires before I try to fire the engine.
Put the radiator back in. I want to find some different brackets for mounting the top (Not sure why the original guy did it this way.) I also need to build a cross bracket for the bottom of the radiator too. He had some crappy thin metal tabs tack welded to the frame then screwed them into the radiator on the bottom. They broke right off when I tugged on the radiator when I first pulled it.
Once I figure out how I want to mount the fuse box I'll remove it from here, but it is in a good position for now.
I installed an original (new) firewall battery mount bracket, and an A/C Delete pulley. I am going to have to get a side terminal battery it looks like, due to the cables from the engine. I put some top post adapters on, but they aren't long enough to reach the posts.
Also this is after I took the headers off.
Fuel system return line. I guess I'll find out if it works or not once I try to get it started!
Also ran the hoses for the fuel system, and installed a pre-filter and an after filter with the inline electronic 14psi 140gph fuel pump in the middle. I thought I had a picture of it, but I guess I don't.
my GOD man... I promise, I'll never bitch about having to do anything to my 88!!!
one of the reasons I wanted her as stock as possible. There are soo many people out there with skills far beyond what I can do or that THINK they know what they're doing and you end up with their legacy of crap..
You've done some amazing work getting that rig back to useable. Nice job man.
Another weekend, another couple of days to work on the YJ.
Bolted up my fuel pump yesterday, and drew some gas into the lines. Went to turn the jeep over and it blew the ECM-B fuse. This fuse happens to switch the relay for the fuel pump and power the ecm. I quickly figured out today that the new inline pump draws a few more amps than stock. So I upgraded the fuse, turned on the ignition and fuel pump started going!
Last week my ramhorn exhaust manifolds came in off of a late 60s gm car. They are the nicest ones that I could find, and for being 50 years old, they don't look too bad!
Finally tied up the loose ends of the wiring, put gas in it along with a new cap, rotor, and spark plugs. Much to my surprise she fired right up and idled great! I couldn't believe it didn't give me any real issues.
Link for start up video below:
After making sure that it ran I used heat tape to wrap up the plug wires since they are very close to these ramhorn manifolds and I don't want them to burn.
The next thing I did was start looming up my wiring harness. I got most of it loomed up. I also installed a new throttle cable and hooked that up as well.
Wow, what a day it was! The jeep moved on its own power for first time today. I replaced the bad ball joint, and re built the hub, while the fiance replaced the thermostat and coolant temp sensor. Drove it around a little. Still need to tidy wiring, and fix the sticking throttle cable. But its got torque like a mother ! Burnouts on 37s FTW!!
Also, really needs shocks all around. At least I have the ballistic hoops and RC shocks for the front already.