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George C 12-26-2012 09:39 PM

2000 TJ 5.3LSX wrangler
We've had this jeep now for sometime, it served us well for a toy and a back up vehicle.
[in these pics the jeep is 31x1050 with 2" BB lift]

This past spring the jeep was involved in an accident that almost deemed it totalled. Fender,axle and suspension damage plus the mileage of it so they wanted to total it but wait, whats a Jeep persons favorite things to do? Lift and off road parts, so we talked to insurance company and we kept it. We went ahead and contacted Rusty's offroad for one of their lifts. We were looking for a kit that had bascially everything that needed to be replaced. We decided on a 5.5" suspension lift.

George C 12-26-2012 09:40 PM

so with just about everything gathered we decided to start tearing into the jeep this past saturday.

George C 12-26-2012 09:41 PM

heres the frame setup getting ready to have the little 2.5 pulled

heres the tub, up in the air getting ready for little bit of rust repair

so with all this going on, once the driveline is removed from frame, the frame is getting blasted and any repair needed will be addressed, new motor mounts welded in place then off the the coater to be powdercoated black.
once back the chassis will be assembled
the tub is gonna get a few spots addressed then having the inside of the tub done in bed liner, then reassembled.
She wants to color change the jeep so not sure on what color its gonna be but sure as hell isnt gonna be red again lol

George C 12-26-2012 09:42 PM

tonight, her and I got to pullin the 2.5 out,

George C 12-26-2012 09:43 PM

well got frame completely stripped down and took it to get blasted. Now its time to do some metal repair and then start getting the GenIII mounts in place
install was pretty straight forward just had to drill a few new holes for the trans plate. Currently the mock up motor is installed....Gonna fully weld everything off then start painting the frame then its time to toss the new suspension mods at it

George C 12-26-2012 09:43 PM

got the new mounts fully welded up and then applied 3 coats of rustoleum black to the frame. looks a hell of a lot better then it did a few weeks ago

hoping for this weekend to be productive of least getting the rear axle in place with the new suspension
clutch,starter, hydraulics were ordered, so in about 2 weeks should be able to get the complete driveline in place

George C 12-26-2012 09:44 PM

well the clutch goodies showed up

finally got the motor in the garage to be torn down and inspected, ordered up a few goodies should have motor back together by weekend

not shown is the replacement front axle assembly that was picked up over the weekend,

George C 12-26-2012 09:45 PM

some update here, with motor tore down we took the time to clean it inside out. Then we hit it with 3 coats of rustoleum black
along with the block being painted, now was time to have the accesories and brackets painted. Used a combination of Hammertone black and gloss black
before fully assembling the motor picked up a cam for the jeep. This was to give it that old school rumble sound. We chose compcam's THumper, 219/233 on a 109 lsa, upgraded to LS7 lifters, picked up a GMT900 intake and using a PTM 90mm TB

in this pic were mocking up the new rad and checking for clearance for fan setup

George C 12-26-2012 09:47 PM

this project wasnt intended to be anything crazy but since the frame got blasted now its becoming a full out project. Something the Wife and I can appreciate and talk about for yrs to come. This jeep for least 1 yr will be a highway princess as she is more worried about her Lightning being ready for spring racing season. So for now The jeep will be the crusing toy till she wants to commit to having another toy, then well decide to upgrade axles and etc.

Commando Solo 12-27-2012 12:29 PM

sub'd looks sweet

Dextreme 12-27-2012 02:19 PM

I am not good at Id'ing trannys based on housings, but you aren't re-using the AX5 right? Which tranny are you using?

George C 01-01-2013 07:53 PM

some more updates, had the rearend blasted
since the rear was blasted it was now time to throw some paint at it..
now that the rear was painted was time to toss it in the chassis...using the old 31s for rolling purposes now.

next on the list, will be getting the front axle in and disasembled then off to the blaster.

Rusty Knutt 01-01-2013 09:26 PM


fljeepleo 01-02-2013 03:30 AM

:popcorn:kEEP IT GOING!

polishdevil 01-06-2013 08:26 PM

I'd love to do the same to my YJ one day.

Robertlena2 01-09-2013 09:21 PM

wow, sick!!

Jaxon1023 01-13-2013 12:31 PM

What size tires will you ultimately run and are you going to upgrade axles?

Donkerz 01-14-2013 12:24 AM

I hope he does, that D35 will break shifting into 4Low! Haha. Subbed. Great job man! Beautiful work and amazing looking engine

1Topp 01-14-2013 05:37 AM


George C 01-14-2013 10:19 PM

been looking at the general grabber 35x1250s
if snap an axle shaft then ill upgrade when time comes, for now the main part of this build is focused on getting it back on the road for her to enjoy. Alot of money has been spent on replacing parts. With having everything "new" or "refinished" that means the next part needs to be one of those, which leads to a snow ball effect.

George C 01-15-2013 09:47 PM

made some more progress. had the replacment front axle stripped and sand blasted like the rest of the chassis. after a few coats of rustoleum it was time to reassemble and toss it in the chassis.
during this progress we upgraded to Rusty's steering conversion , you can also see the rusty's kit came with quick connect sway bar links.... Also in the pic you can see the transfer case drop, mocking of placement of mufflers and how the GM steering lines worked with the jeep's steering box....not shown is the slip yoke eliminator

George C 01-16-2013 09:26 PM

got the front axles stabbed in, tossed the old 31s on it so it can be loaded up and taken to the shop to build the exhaust

viperx6x9x 01-17-2013 01:24 AM

Wow, I like this. I have a 5.3 in my silverado, that engine should push a TJ down the road pretty well. Make sure you check and double check everything on the ignition system though if you are using any chevy components there. My silverado has this phantom ignition issue that I cannot find a solution to on any forum so far. Dealer couldn't fix it either.

Otherwise, never had a hint of trouble out of that engine itself though. She seems to like mobil 1 synthetic oil, and K&N oil filters. I think I have a spare air filter box around if you want it, but I suspect you are building your own with all the other fabrication on this thing.

can't wait to see it finished.

George C 01-17-2013 05:47 PM

thanks for heads up but never had issues with the LS ignition system in all the yrs ive played with them. My 02 silverado still has stock ignition and over 800whp, maybe yours was just something

viperx6x9x 01-17-2013 07:55 PM

It's a ghost in the system somewhere. I found forums where others have had the problem, but nobody ever seemed to get it solved.

Basicaly, sometimes it just doesn't start. Turn the key and guages go black like it normally does, but no clicking no noises, nothing. Mess with some random switches, try it again and it cranks. I have been chasing this problem for months now. Impossible to troubleshoot by wire/component testing because 5 minutes later it's working right and you won't be able to find it. Thats why I got the jeep and put the chevy up for sale.

My best guess is it is something in the steering column, but since you won't have any of those switches and stuff in your build you shouldn't have an issue.

jasonh28 01-17-2013 10:10 PM

sub'd doin same swap in my YJ love seeing others. looking great

George C 01-19-2013 11:45 PM

well got the exhaust all fab'd up and welded off...consists of 2.5" stainless with some stainless 40 series flowmasters

ELIMINATOR 01-20-2013 01:23 AM

let me know how your exhaust sounds ? i have the same set up minus the long tail pipe after the muffler and it has this shitty raspy sound when letting off the throttle ... i thinks its because i went with turn-downs 6inches from the 40 series muffler.

Kevbz 01-22-2013 10:49 AM

what are you doing about cats? doesn't the gen III have and upstream and downstream O2 sensors? my state is pretty strict in the metropolitan city areas on emissions. State law requires that a swap be model year equal or newer than what year it is going in, all emissions devices have to be present that were there from the factory, and a working ODB-II. They dont sniff the exhaust anymore, they plug it in and if the factory computer says all emissions components are working, you pass, if check engine light is on, they don't even plug it up.

Also does your pipes allow for upward flex at the control arms? glad to see the exhaust side of things, not a lot of builds show how everything fits inside the frame rails with the suspension and tcase and driveshafts all there.

Is there a possibility to run a cross tube from the driver side and y-pipe it into the passenger side exhaust (kinda how the factory 4 cyl dropped from the collector and crossed over to the pass side and went out) to get back to a Jeep factory exhaust run?

ProTek 01-22-2013 11:09 AM

Nice work. I can't wait to see it finished! I bet it's gonna fly!

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