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Old 08-24-2019, 05:31 AM
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Project 89 YJ - more progress, questions

I posted about obtaining a new 15 gallon gas tank as my original was rusted out and sour (tar like coating inside). Thanks Got It At Last for the MTS lead - I have been in contact with them and believe I have the list of stuff to purchase to fix that area.

The engines are both off to the machine shop (mid 80s truck 350 V8 and a late 80s roller cam 350 v8); the 1 set of heads (swirl heads) are there as well so all can be assessed for viability. Could end up with boat anchors but best to know where we are before making next decisions. The frame is nearly stripped down and ready for sandblasting; once returned will make the few weld patch repairs and paint it.

Questions:
1. For those of you who have upgraded a 4 cylinder Jeep to a 350 V8, can you advise what you did with the original leaf springs in the front? Are the original adequate for the added weight or should I add another leaf to boost it up?
2. The Chevy truck axles (10 bolt, 8.5 inch) are badly rusted. I knew they had lots of rust on the outside but now found rust on the insides and lots of metal shaving debris. I'm thinking of sourcing replacement axles now and I don't have the original Jeep axles as they too looked bad when I bought this 'unfinished project Jeep'.

I don't plan on rock climbing this rig, just want a daily driver that can get around town and the beach while still running on pump gas. We are retired so even daily driver won't be too much.

Thanks for any suggestions and advice.

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89 YJ Project Jeep (in progress): 350 SBC w/TBI, NV3500 manual, NP241C transfer case, Blazer axles
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Old 08-24-2019, 11:27 AM   #2
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As far as your front (or all 4) springs go, if you plan on using larger than 30" tires, you'll need some way to gain additional clearance between the tires and the body sheet metal.
The most popular way is with a spring lift (buying new springs). A simpler and less expensive way to clear 31" tires is to do a (1" - 1 1/2") body lift. Most posters will advise against a greater body lift than 1 1/2". Unless recommended by the spring lift manufacturer of whatever spring lift you buy, I wouldn't consider a shackle lift (longer than stock shackles).
If your YJ is like most that I've seen, your original springs are most likely sagged, so you will end up replacing the springs anyhow. Make another post about what size tires and wheels you plan on using if you want advice about how much lift for whatever size tires. You've already stated that you plan on daily driving and beach use, but you'll still want a stronger than stock rear axle because of the added power from the SBC.

Before I worried about the added weight of a SBC engine swap, I'd find out how much the current motor weighs and how much the engine that you intend to install weighs. I've heard that an aluminum block SBC weighs the same as a 6 cyl 4.2 or 4.0. I don't know how accurate that is though. Make sure that the numbers that you use are the same for each motor (ie. with or without accessories and wet or dry).
Google is your friend. Some posters may have already done that research and will chime in.

Keep us posted on how it goes.

Good Luck, L.M.
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Old 08-25-2019, 04:31 AM   #3
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You do know that Chevy axles are passengers side drop and a YJ t-case is driver side drop right?
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'94 YJ 5sp 5.13, Super 35, HP30 w/Aussie, sitting on 33's, RE chromo drag link, 9500 Lb winch, 3" lift, 4x4 Posi Lock, it's a resto-mod in progress.
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Old 08-25-2019, 05:58 AM
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Thanks for responding. Should have posted some pics as they always seem to help explain things. Now to research how to post pics......... To answer what I can now:
1. The tub/body site on the frame with 35" tires really well. Not sure what the original owner/builder did but they already set it up. 2" block suspension lifts and the front is high enough as is. Perhaps the Chevy truck leaf springs were already included in the swap.
2. Yes the front and rear axles are Chevy Blazer/Truck axles. The transmission is a GM8680834 which I believe is a NV3500 4 speed and the transfer case is a NP241C. The drivetrain will be Chevy to handle the SBC where as the VIN of the original YJ showed it came with a 4 cylinder.
Thanks again for your thoughts.
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Old 08-25-2019, 06:15 AM
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Pics I hope

If this works, it should show the Jeep as delivered. Note the body/tub is sitting well on the current frame, tires, and suspension. No body lift. Seems to be plenty of room for the 35" tires. No engine was installed at this time but the Chevy transmission, transfer case, and axles are all in the frame at this time.
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89 YJ Project Jeep (in progress): 350 SBC w/TBI, NV3500 manual, NP241C transfer case, Blazer axles
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Old 08-25-2019, 06:18 AM
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Sorry about the sideways pics - wasn't intentional. Made some progress getting things ready for sandblasting and rebuilding. The SBC blocks are at the machine shop now for assessment. The axles are rusted inside and out. Would prefer to empty them out and remove the rust inside and rebuild them if possible. Anyway, thanks again for your ideas and thoughts.
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89 YJ Project Jeep (in progress): 350 SBC w/TBI, NV3500 manual, NP241C transfer case, Blazer axles
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:55 AM   #7
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Regarding springs... jeep used the same springs for 4 cyl and 6 cyl and the 6 cyl is within a few lbs of 350 chevy weight so no concerns there BUT you do have serious spring issued for other reasons...
Stock yj has springs under axles... swapping to soa (spring over axle) is not as simple as it seems and opens up a can of worms w axle wrap and spring damage... add in the aluminum spacer blocks and things get much worse... then add v8 power and it gets much worse yet....
Soa plus those blocks nets about 8" of lift

You need to consider your current suspension as nothing more than temporary jack stands....
Find some quality 4' sua springs (re extreme duty, ome, or bds) with 1" longer shackles for 4.5" lift and add a 1.25" body lift for 5.75"
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Old 08-25-2019, 01:44 PM
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Spring advice

Wow, glad I posted those pictures and got some feedback. Yeah I knew it was sitting up high and was not really sure about it. I will revisit and see what I can do to make this right. Plenty of work to do for sure.
Thanks!
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