Hello all. I've been a member of this forum for a while but haven't done much on here so I'm thinking I'm going to start now.
I've had this (insert adjective here) idea for a while now and I'm finally getting around do trying to implement it into reality. I say trying because I've not done anything like this before. I've done a bit of welding and such but my body work skills are on the well below average side.
What I'm looking to do is transform a rusty TJ into an off road capable rig that can still be daily driven. Nothing extreme by any means.
My plan is also to swap a CJ front clip onto the TJ tub. I'm toying with the idea of also installing a CJ dash since the roller frame I'm starting with didn't come with anything inside.
What I have to start with is a very rusty roller tub/frame that will need lots of cutting and welding to make it safe for the road again. The frame is a 1998 Jeep TJ sport that originally had a 4.0L six. I'm unsure what transmission it had but I suspect it was a 3 speed auto because the axles appear to be 3.73 gear ratio.
I am actually planning on using that gear ratio but not with the axles it came with.
I'm planning to rebuild a stock Dana 30 front and eventually equip it with a selectable locker. I know the Dana 30 is not liked by a lot of folks but I ran one in my V8 powered CJ7 for years without problems. I already have one and I have already purchased all new ball joints and tie rod ends. The run out in the differential is good and all the bearings look like new. I'm running with it for now.
I also have a Ford 8.8 inch already set up with brackets ready to bolt in. It has 3.73 gears and limited slip. The disk brakes are a really nice. I used this axle in my current 1997 TJ for about a year. I gave it to my son when I thought I was going to sell my Jeep but I ended up keeping the Jeep so I bought another 8.8 and bracket kit. When my son saw the truss kit I got for it he convinced me to let him have it and he would install the first 8.8 back in my Jeep when I'm ready.
For power I am going with a Chevy LS V8. I have a 5.3 but my son really wants to trade me my 5.3 for his 4.8. I'm probably going to do that and add a China turbo to it. I bought the EFI Live tuner/software and will be learning that as I go as well. I'm guessing right now I'll probably be in the 500 horsepower range when I'm done.
I'm unsure at the moment how I'm going to transfer the power to the axles. I enjoy shifting and have the ax-15 in my current TJ that has not given me any problems. But as I get older I also enjoy ease of use and wouldn't mind an auto. My concern is I don't really want to spend a large amount of money on the transmission and to get an auto to stand up the the horsepower the LS may end up with I will probably have trouble keeping the 4L60E alive. I've read mixed reviews on the AX-15 as well though so I'm open to suggestions. At the moment I'm leaning towards a manual transmission.
It may be a little slow getting off the ground with this but I think it is going to be a worthwhile challenge for me.
I don't have many pictures yet but will be taking them as I progress through this. What are others on here using to host pictures?