Well it all started when my girlfriend, now wife bought me a YJ last year. It was a much abused 89 4.2 5 speed soft top that barely made it home. After weeks of tinkering and mostly undoing all the crap that some PO's did it has turned into a reliable (yes reliable, contrary to popular belief!) fun machine. I did find that the frame was bent and that my love for the 4.2 with 160K miles on it is not very great.
Looking to the future we are planning to retire to Mexico next year and have decided that the YJ would be going with us. With that in mind some renovation was in order, one was drivetrain. I bought and stripped a 96 Blazer of it's 4.3, it's NV3500 five speed and 231C transfer case, that will solve my love/hate relationship with the 4.2 as I am a longtime Chevy man and will get rid of the ever beloved French transmission... I thought about getting the frame straightened but decided to just go with another frame once one came up at the right price. It's home and work has begun. The frame is going to be stripped and repaired/strengthened where needed and painted then the drivetrain will go in with some new axles stolen from my 95 YJ and then the tub swap will happen. So here it starts, I'll update as I go..
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Thanks for the link, I shouldn't be needing anything though, I'm going with all chevy drivetrain and will make a frankenstine transfer case (chevy front case and input, jeep outputs) and will be fabbing up my own engine mounts. Wife is leaving today on a business trip and I've got orders to keep busy and work on the Jeep It don't get any better than this
Friday fun!! well sort of, amazing what you can do by yourself, wish there was a beer drinking Jeeper close by at times with nothing to do I could use the help
I wasn't looking forward to laying under the frame cutting rust and then painting etc! So thinking about it at work I came up with this, not that it's anything new but I wasn't planning to go this route originally. Wow, well worth the $35 for the second cheap engine stand from Harbor Freight or the time pulling off everything that was going to come off anyway!
I've found a couple of spots needing fixing on the frame but nothing bad considering it's an 87 and came from northern Indiana. That was until I found this... I'm thinking the best fix is to cut one off another frame and replace it (right rear front spring mount) as I don't think I will be able to pound it back where it needs to be. I noticed funny tire wear on the rear tires but didn't know if they were what came on it, but it looks like they were. But this looks like the worse part, and it isn't that bad, an hour or so with a grinder and MIG and it will be like new.
Busy weekend, got the spring perch cut off and replacement from a doner put on,FYI both front and rear perches are the same, found a bad spot in the rear, no real suprise there. Cut the motor mounts off and got all the other removeables off. Now the fun part cleaning it up! Rust converter came in today so I've got all that I need but time to finish it up! Put the softtop on the wife's YJ today, PIA but it's on! Had to align the new to us hard half doors and I put the soft doors on mine, almost 70 tomorrow, the top is going to be down!!
OK zoom forward 8 months, has it been that long??? I've been around the world, really, and finally am home and have some time to get kicking on this project. Considering that it's been sitting for 8 months I didn't even want to start back at square one so I took the frame down and had it sand blasted. A buddy gave me two axles that I cleaned up and swapped for the ones in my wife's jeep so I could have some 3.73 gears, once I had them in the shop and the frame painted the assembly started.
Pretty much new everything is going in, new springs, shocks, brakes, brake and fuel hard lines, new harness... Next was setting in the Chevy 4.3 drivetrain, did the frankenstine CJ split to the 231, front Chevy, rear Jeep... Was able to find a sweet spot that let me use the stock rear driveshaft and the front driveshaft from an XJ with no mods that was sweet! Ran into some major clearance issues using the stock trans skidplate so it had to go, welded up a custom unit that allowed me to tweek the drivetrain angles. Also with the 4.3 Vortec I needed 40 pulse per rev for the VSS so I added the unit here from Jag's that run, it will have a skid added to protect it from the unwanted bumps...
Ok, next was the exhaust, using the Chevy Y pipe and cat, had to move the post cat O2 sensor, then Cherry Bomb turbo muffler and then stock Jeep tailpipe. After that was done and some major cleaning and rearanging the black jeep was brought in a the process started to peel the tub off, this was Thursday night.
Today, finished up all the little stuff I wanted to do before dumping the tub on, the on went the tub.. Went well and really only took about a half hour to get things positioned and the tub on, I've been doing all of this by myself, and of all the things I've done putting the tub on would sure been easier with someone there, an extra set of eyes would have sure helped! Tub on, had to do some chopping on the floor to make room for the TC shifter, not much. Had to modify the Hurst shifter I put in as it was hitting the counsel in second and fourth. Had to make brackets for the TC shifter as only one mounting hole matched up with the Chevy drivetrain. While I was at it I added my TJ gas filler.
So I'm able now to stand back and take a look at my handywork. Looks like my measurements were right on and things are just like I wanted them. Now comes the slow time.. I'm moving the whole blazer harness into the jeep as the original was really hacked up and was always giving me problems. So things are going to be slowing down.... So that's where I'm at, thanks for looking
The ECM needs a 40 pulse per driveshaft revolution signal called VSS, originally this came from the Chevy TC but now that half is Jeep and so I needed another way to generate it. No other place that it can go and work, it's the price you have to pay to go Vortec. It's one of those things that if I had known about it earlier I probably would have gone with a different (earler) engine, but it's what I had to use.