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Old 07-17-2013, 09:28 PM   #1
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89 YJ SBC Swap Build Thread*

Hey everyone. Ive finally gotten around to starting me a photobucket so that I can now start my build thread. Here's a little background info:
I bought this Jeep about a year ago, I traded my running rusted out cj7 for it. It was in horrible mechanical shape when I got it. Body wise is terrific zero rust at all. But it had the anemic little 2.5 that seemed more like a hit or miss engine rather than a modern engine. So I fooled and fooled with it till I finally said forget it and I began buying parts for a swap.
Heres the direction so far
-305 Tbi out of a 87 Chevy pickup. Heard it run before it was pulled.
-Th400 with 241 out of late 80s 3/4 ton chevy
-Painless Tbi harness
-JB conversion shorty sye for the 241
-Champion conversion radiator bought off amazon
Ive already installed a Rough County 2.5 in lift because my springs were horrible shape.
And now for the part everyone likes, pictures.

This is a shot of before and after the lift kit
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loaded up and headed to a good friends shop to start my swap
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Motor pulled
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305 before and after I cleaned it up
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Motor Dropped in
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Now just to go pick up the trans and get to doing more work.
oh yeah btw since I know this will be in the next few comments. Yes I plan to swap out the rear end. One piece at a time cant do everything at once

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Old 07-17-2013, 09:46 PM   #2
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Well lets see if they show up this time

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Old 07-17-2013, 09:49 PM   #3
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:23 PM   #4
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Looking good. Is that your "final" engine location or just getting it zoned in?

I am about to install the 400 SBC I have built into my '92 although I am doing a body off frame "restoration" at the same time so my progress is really slow. More often than not I wonder if I should have started this effort with a Jeep with a lot less rust to repair.
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:46 PM   #5
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Thats the final spot, used MORE mounts that locate it in what they had decided was the best spot. I was leery about it so I tacked the mounts in sat the motor in and it looked perfect to me so I burnt them in.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:29 PM   #6
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Was able to get a little done today before I had to head into my job. Picked up my trans and transfer and cleaned them up a little. Also went and got my manifolds. I've mentioned using these in several other threads, there ramhorn manifolds.





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Old 07-19-2013, 09:23 PM   #7
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Nice looking, fricking love the trailer!
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[B]To be continued....

You Don't Buy a Jeep, You Build One.

2009 Chevrolet 3500HD Duramax - 25 Ft gooseneck ready to haul the 1993 YJ, stuck a SBC 350 Transplant that will eventually be a 383 Stroker on 1 tons.
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:18 AM   #8
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Nice looking, fricking love the trailer!
Thanks Scoob, my brother has a lawn care business and uses it to haul the mowers, it pulls wonderfully.

Got some more parts in today. Wasn't expecting it till next week, Champion all aluminum Radiator from Radiator Galaxy. Appears to be top quality

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Old 07-27-2013, 11:49 PM   #9
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Alrighty guys, made a little more progress Thursday and Friday on my days off, seven more days and I can work on it some more. Shew the pains of swing shift.
Was able to paint the manifolds and get them mounted, stopped by the local Fastenal and picked up bolts and lock washers for them.
Also got the fuel lines ran. Went and got some Napa know how for that. lol It ended up being a very easy fix. Got a fuel line repair kit that matched what the TBI needed. It came in 18in of aluminum line that I bent to the correct shape then just cut off the factory hard lines and used a compression fitting to join them. They look for the most part good as factory.
Got the radiator and electric fan put on. A buddy had purchased a champion radiator off ebay that came with a electric fan and he wasnt able to use it so I bought it off him.
Next thing planned is getting the sye ordered, number one priority for monday. Mount the trans, then get the radiator and heater hoses hooked up. Oh yeah and a 3in air filter I bought the chrome Mr. Gasket cheapo filter from advance and the filter in isnt quite big enough for my likes. Didnt get a lot of pictures but heres a couple, more to come with time.

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Old 07-30-2013, 12:11 AM   #10
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How is the electric fan attached to the radiator? ?
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:25 AM   #11
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Nothing fancy, its sort of like a zip tie that goes through the radiator. They come with most fans. Heres a link to some on summit http://www.summitracing.com/parts/der-13001/overview/. I could have made a hard mount to attach to where the fan shroud would mount on the radiator but this was easier, quicker, plus the fan came with them.
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:35 AM   #12
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A couple more pictures, the second one shows the fuel lines mounted.

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Old 07-31-2013, 03:31 PM   #13
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is your electric fan on a toggle switch of is it electonically controlled?
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:58 PM   #14
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Are those hard fuel lines running from the engine connected to the chassis/body? You need to have some flexible section to deal with the engine movement relative to everything else given the engine mounts.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by rbro7752 View Post
is your electric fan on a toggle switch of is it electonically controlled?
Havnt wired anything yet, waiting till I get all mechanical parts in place. Will probably use a thermostic control with a toggle and relay to bypass it if needed. Going to cross that bridge when I get there.

@WICruiser, a couple post ago I showed one of the fuel lines before it was mounted, I retained the stock jeep soft line that connects into the hard lines.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:28 PM   #16
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Got quiet a bit done on my days off. Transmission and transfer are in. Transmission for good but the transfer will come back to get an sye. But after talking to JB Conversions on the phone the part will be out of stock till the end of the month . I hacked up the stock skid and made it work but I don't care for it to much at all. But luckily I got the cross member from the Chevy truck that my trans came from and its going to be quite easy to modify to make work a lot better.
Started on the wiring today figure if I can at least get it running then it wont be bad at all to finish up. Hopefully about a month and a half till its road worthy.
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:18 AM   #17
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Man, if California wasn't so strict, I would do an engine swap too!
That's going to be fun. I'm jealous
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Old 10-10-2013, 07:05 PM   #18
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Its been a while since Ive posted any updates but I've still been making progress on it. Was able to get the JB conversion shorty sye installed. It helped a ton with DS length. Also made a new cross member for the trans. the original just wasn't going to work. Then this week I have started the wiring process. I decided to wire the whole thing front to back and everything in between. Purchased a 20 circuit universal harness from speedway may be a little over kill for a jeep but it was the best option for the money. While I were at it i pulled the dash to make it easier and painted the metal part gloss black then satin black on the pad. I'm going to take aluminum diamond plate and put on the dash, between the sides of the dash pad. since I'm going to use aftermarket gauges.



compared to stock, shortened 9 inches






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Old 10-14-2013, 11:09 PM   #19
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Glad to see you are still making progress. Mine has been somewhat limited due to two many competing priorities.
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:47 AM   #20
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Still working on it slowly. The weather here hasn't been the best on my days off work to get much done. But I did get the radiator hoses hooked up, that is a part with not much info on the web. I didn't want to use flex hose, the smooth looks lots better to be so after a few trips to NAPA I was able to get some that worked, with modification.
The first two pictures show the original part with part numbers showing



Here is how the top hose fit before trimming


After trimming


Bottom hose


Was also able to get my trans cooler mounted, just a cheapo from Advance. Wiring is coming along, would be done fairly quick if I could get more time. Been on the phone with a wrecking yard today about an 8.8, looks like they've got one with 4.10 gears Maybe some day it'll get drivable lol
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:01 PM   #21
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I also run an aftermarket tranny cooler on my green cj7 but I decided to put one on my yj a while back.I went to the u pull it and took a factory one off of I believe it was a grand cherokee..I like it a lot..it looks a lot more heavy duty than the aftermarket one..Just something to keep in mind for future reference
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:57 PM   #22
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I'll keep that in mind, I'm still not sure how much off road it'll see so this one may do fine. With the th400 and 8.8 I should be able to pound on it pretty hard if I decide to. Ive decided to go with 760x front axle shafts out of a TJ or XJ. All the Cherokee guys around here running tractor treads havn't had problems breaking them so it should work for me.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:34 PM   #23
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Sweet build!!
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:55 PM   #24
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What trans are you running? TH400? does that bolt directly to the block or do you need an adapter?
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Old 11-17-2013, 01:18 PM   #25
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What trans are you running? TH400? does that bolt directly to the block or do you need an adapter?
I'm running a 350 turbo but the 350 or 400 will bolt directly to any chevy small block or big block,no adapter needed.To me the interchanging of so many parts is what made the chevys so much better than other makes...only chevy (gm) 4x4 auto that won't bolt is the ones for the diesel engines..for anyone converting a 2 wheel drive tranny,the buick/oldsmobile/pontiac trannys had a different pattern from the chevy/gmc also
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Old 11-20-2013, 03:18 PM   #26
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What trans are you running? TH400? does that bolt directly to the block or do you need an adapter?
Yes running a Th400, came out of about a 88-90 3/4 ton Silverado. Using the transfer case that came in the same truck. The reason I used it is because the th350 only came factory in trucks that were passenger side drop, I wanted to stay away from adapters (because of cost). When the body style changed in 88 and Chevy went to independent front suspension they were driver side drop transfer cases. So that leaves four options, 700r4, 4l60e, th400 or 4l80e. The 4L60e and 4L80e are both electronically controlled so didn't want those. The 700r4 would have been my next choice but with finding a Th400 I knew it would hold up if I ever wanted more power. I'm not certain on how length compares on 700 vs 400. They say the 350 is shorter than the 400 but Im not sure how much.
Had I already had money invested in the stock jeep transfer ie, sye wide chain or things like that I would have been more apt to go with adapting a Th350 to it. And possibly having a shorter drive train.
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Old 11-20-2013, 03:42 PM   #27
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400 is a little longer than the 350 but not much..I have had 700's but never measured one..Overdrive automatics always seem to be longer so probably the 700 is too..I don't think you can ever go wrong by running a 400.They are tough..
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Old 11-20-2013, 04:15 PM   #28
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Not much to update on my build, found a 8.8 with 4.10s so I picked it up. Complete with brakes for $130 its not limited slip so I'll throw a spartan or something in it later on. Worked 8 days in a row so didnt really feel like working on it on my days off. The wiring is now were it will turn over with the key, headlights tails and turns all work. Now to just hook the fuel injection harness up. Put rearend in, have driveshafts made and get shifters. The list is getting shorter.


Dosnt have anything to do with build but my advice for the day. Was helping a buddy trim fenders on his Cherokee and couldn't pass up making a MEME
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:40 AM   #29
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Lol lol

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not much to update on my build, found a 8.8 with 4.10s so i picked it up. Complete with brakes for $130 its not limited slip so i'll throw a spartan or something in it later on. Worked 8 days in a row so didnt really feel like working on it on my days off. The wiring is now were it will turn over with the key, headlights tails and turns all work. Now to just hook the fuel injection harness up. Put rearend in, have driveshafts made and get shifters. The list is getting shorter.


dosnt have anything to do with build but my advice for the day. Was helping a buddy trim fenders on his cherokee and couldn't pass up making a meme
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:13 AM   #30
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Time for a lil update. Finally started back in on getting this thing finished, weather is starting to warm up and I'm ready to be riding. Rear end is in, went through all the brakes on it. Rotors, pads and parking brake shoes. Got a set of rough country extended brake lines front and rear waiting to be installed. Purchased a set of front Cherokee axles from Advance, debated for awhile on whether or not to get them cause they are cv axles. But had buddies who ran them strictly on woods buggys and the held up "ok" plus they will warranty them when they do break Came across a set of 36in TSL's a friend had for sale and for the money couldn't pass them up. Now have to get some driveshafts built and finish wiring and a few odd and ends. Slowly getting there



Will get more pics this week as I get more accomplished

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