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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A TJ frame, a 2002 Avalanche and a Jeep frame. The possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, I'm not rich. I've always wanted to build a Jeep with 5.3 and after a little research I decided to just do it. The intentions for this build is to make the foundations for a capable wheeler while maintaining good on road handling and gas mileage, at least compared to the 4.0

I bought an 02 avalanche with a 5.3 4l60E for $700
I was able to drive it the 15 minutes home and it sounded great.
Stripped it down, sold some parts off of it and scrapped it for $100
Picked up a TJ frame, for the rust belt this one's pretty clean!
Cleaning some of the rust off and painting it
I cut the motor mounts off in preparation for fabbing the new motor mounts.

Did I mention I'm doing this swap on a budget?
Here's the current breakdown for the swap not including the Jeep itself
Budget - Avalanche $700
Scrap - $-100
PCM Flash - $50 + $8 shipping
$658

Fuse box for standalone - $21
NP241 Transfer case - $75
Power Steering Pressure Hose 05 TJ “80345” - $14
$768
Headers -120
Spark plug boot covers - $15
Exhaust Gasket $11
$914
I decided on a NP241C Transfer case, I found one at a scrap yard for $75 and it bolted right to the 4l60E. This should allow me to use the GM Speed Sensor and allow the trans to shift properly. I haven't figured out the linkage yet, probably going to be all custom.
The cheapest SYE kit is $340, I'll probably run a slip yoke driveshaft until I can budget in the SYE.


Wiring harness -

I decided to make my own wiring harness mostly following LT1swap.com
Not a difficult task but time consuming.
I apologize for nothing (not even the mess)

Instead of using the fuse and relay blocks I decided to use this 6 relay 6 fuse box for a clean swap and future expansion.
The fuse box is from OnlineLEDShop, great customer service. Time will tell how well it performs in a jeep.

I'm running stock axles with 3.07 gears for now.
Currently have a rear axle and picking up a stock axle this week where I'll be able to put them under the jeep and mock the engine up. This is my first LS swap and I'm learning as I go along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Updated the budget with new purchases
Budget - Avalanche $700
Scrap - $-100
PCM Flash - $50 + $8 shipping
$658

Fuse box for standalone - $21
NP241 Transfer case - $75
Power Steering Pressure Hose 05 TJ “80345” - $14
$768
Headers -120
Spark plug boot covers - $15
Gasket $11
$914
Motor mounts $55
$969
Power Steering Pump - $30
8x - ACDelco Copper Spark Plugs - $2.50x8 - $20
Plug wires - $44
ACDelco Ignition Coil (Replace one with broken connector) - $16
$1079


4x 35x12.5x15 Milestar Patagonia M/T - $131x4 - $560
$1,639

Needed:
Trans cooler lines
TJ Radiator
I still need to figure out Trans cooler lines, guages and transfer case linkages.
I think for the automatic trans shifter I'll use the column shift for now. After researching the floor shifters it just seems the cheapest option.

I'm making the brake and fuel lines out of copper nickel tubing, I'll probably make the trans cooler lines out of the same material however I'm not sure what type of flares are used for the fittings.

From my research I can use all the stock guages except the speedo and tach with my setup
I can use the autometer replacement guage cluster cut-out thing and buy expensive replacement guages
Or I could buy a $400 electronic dash which would likely allow me to do away with needing a jeep PCM, which I'd have to source. I am leaning towards this option however this, using some of it's own senders would make servicing difficult in the future if the product is no longer made. The programmability tire size ect, makes this an attractive choice to me. Having no CEL provision puzzles me but that should be easy to remedy.

I think for testing I'll just use my OBD scan tool


If anyone has pictures of what they used for an np241 shift linkage I'd appreciate it. Can't find much information there.

Cleaning the motor and getting ready to install the headers

Axles are here, both 3.07 gears for now
Front D30 3" springs ADJ trac bar Rubicon Express Adjustable upper & Lower control arms

Rear D35 :puke: with stock control arms for now and JKU rear springs
Will be replaced with a proper lift and 8.8 rear when the swap is closer to completion

The axles cost me nothing and I purchased the adjustable control arms for $200 when I thought I was going to coil swap the front of my YJ, so I'm not factoring that into my budget.

Once the axles are cleaned up and under the jeep I will post pictures.

I am getting the front piece of a tj, from the first body mount forward for mockup of the motor which should help me avoid any issues during motor fitment. I will more than likely be using the stock 5.3 trans mount with the TJ skid, I'm not sure yet if the clocking of the 241 will be an issue or not.



Links to the motor mounts

And the tires
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Not a whole lot to update here. Axles are painted, steering is all there and I was able to salvage an xj adjustable trac bar from an axle I had, after adding grease it seemed to be in good working condition. If not I'm sure those ends are cheap.

I found a d44 rear from a yj, 4.10s with a detroit locker for $400, not sure what it was originally from as I don't think yjs came with 44s. I'm still using the d35 for mockup but I'm working on a high pinion d30 front with 4.10s. Otherwise I'll just stick with an 8.8, I found one with a limited slip 4.10 for $200 locally, which is really good as the open 8.8 I purchased for my yj was $250. I was able to get an amazon warehouse deal 31 spline spartan rear locker for $130 so that worked out. On a mainly street driven jeep however a limited slip would be a good budget option.

A week of rain interrupted the painting of my axles. I didn't go too crazy, I got rid of the majority of the grease and rust, used rusty metal primer then used a coat of rustoleum gloss black, the silver can.
The d35 is now painted, all I have to do is bolt the axles in, use the firewall piece of a tj (DeadJeep was kind enough to give me) and mock up the engine location, make a trans mount in the skid plate then weld in the motor mounts.

I picked up a set of wheels with 33s for $100, sold the tires for $100 so the rims were free. I picked up 4x Milestar patagonia 35x12.5x15 for $559 shipped, at just 131 a tire this was a great deal. However, mounting 35s proved to be expensive at $25 a tire as opposed to $8 for 33s, after looking and asking around I had to suck it up and pay the $150 mount & balance. Still not a bad price.

I also found stainless steel brake lines pre bent, $100 for the whole jeep.
I bought a couple pieces of 2.5" stainless exhaust tubing, as well as a stainless 2.5 dual to 3" single coupler. Although this is still a budget build I live in the rust belt and I like all my shit to last as long as possible. I really hate rust.
I still consider this budget because at ~$35 for 4 feet of true 304 stainless I should be able to run this entire exhaust for under $150 minus the headers. I will be mocking up this exhaust somehow and having my buddy bend the pipe and weld it together. I'm still trying to figure out if I'm going to need a flex pipe or not.


Here is an updated budget:

Budget - Avalanche $700
Scrap - $-100
PCM Flash - $50 + $8 shipping
$658

Fuse box for standalone - $21
NP241 Transfer case - $75
Power Steering Pressure Hose 05 TJ “80345” - $14
$768
Headers -120
Spark plug boot covers - $15
Gasket $11
$914
Motor mounts $55
$969
Power Steering Pump - $30
8x - ACDelco Copper Spark Plugs - $2.50x8 - $20
Plug wires - $44
ACDelco Ignition Coil (Replace one with broken connector from lifting motor) - $16
$1079


4x 35x12.5x15 Milestar Patagonia M/T - $131x4 - $560
$1,639
150 mount and balance
1,789

Misc hardware
$100 bolts & paint

1,889
Full set stainless brake line with stainless fittings
$100

1,989
Needed:

Trans cooler lines
TJ Radiator + figure out steam port thing
Rear adjustable control arms
Rear 3" springs
Column shift bracket or floor shifter
Tj steering column

Build plan:
Stainless brake line
Copper nickel fuel line
Copper nickel trans lines
Stainless steel exhaust
Bar pin eliminators
Rear coil relocation w or w/o top retainers
Front coil pin things welded in
3 inch lift springs with 1” body lift to clear 33s
Adjustable control arms f&r
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Little update here
Ended up ordering Advanced Adapters motor mounts
The mock up axles and springs are under the Jeep

And the motor finally sits in the vehicle, with the mounts tacked in for now
So far I really like the mounts, they allow the motor to move back or forward significantly with spacers. I will be pushing it back as far as I can to allow for the use of a mechanical fan.

And I added a connector to the harness as well as the OBD port
The NP241 is clocked all wrong for the Jeep so I ordered a clocking ring from ebay
I also ordered a super short SYE from JBconversions ($420)

A genright universal trans crossmember is also on the way to allow for a clean install of either a 2" drop or flat skid from Barnes4wd, whatever I can fit under there without serious modification.

I've decided to use 6AN line and fittings for the trans cooler and fuel lines, however I am debating as I'm not sure the longevity of 6an line. If someone could chime in here I'd appreciate it.

That's about all I have for now, I'll try and keep this post updated as I make more progress


Updated budget? Well, I've decided instead of making this a budget build I'm only making this a semi budget build
I want the cleanest looking swap without sacrificing ease of access and function


Definitely not a complete budget, haven't added the genright trans mount and the little stuff
Budget - Avalanche $700
Scrap - $-100
PCM Flash - $50 + $8 shipping
$658

Fuse box for standalone - $21
NP241 Transfer case - $75
Power Steering Pressure Hose 05 TJ “80345” - $14
$768
Headers -120
Spark plug boot covers - $15
Gasket $11
$914
Motor mounts $220
$969
Power Steering Pump - $30
8x - ACDelco Copper Spark Plugs - $2.50x8 - $20
Plug wires - $44
ACDelco Ignition Coil (Replace one with broken connector from lifting motor) - $16
$1079


4x 35x12.5x15 Milestar Patagonia M/T - $131x4 - $560
$1,639
150 mount and balance
1,789

Misc hardware
$100 bolts & paint

1,889
Full set stainless brake line with stainless fittings
$100


2,151

Intellitronix dash
$254

Shifter
$110

Clocking ring np241
$65



2580

NP241 SuperShort SYE kit
$421 shipped
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
More parts coming in
Replaced the rear housing RTV and oil seal with oem as it was hard as rock and wasn't doing it's job.
Installed the clocking ring with RTV and a paper gasket. The new seal should take care of any potential leaks but I read a lot about these things leaking so I went all out.
I put the studs in the middle holes which brings the lowest part of the tcase slightly about the transmission pan

Next is the install for the JBConversions SYE kit. Looks well made, I'm just waiting on a nice day.


The only part I'm waiting on is the barnes 2" drop skid plate

Yet to be installed:

Also was able to test fit my headers after chasing the threads

So much for my budget...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
JBConversions SS SYE kit installed in the NP241

The TCase looked really good inside and the chain wasn't stretched much so I left it alone
I made the decision to go with a cable shifter for the transfer case as the simplest and cleanest solution. Still debating on how I'm going to handle the 4Low ground signal.

I've been getting distracted with all this shiny shit, I need to refocus on the task at hand which is getting the LM7 set into the Jeep.

Speaking of shiny, those headers probably won't work. They're cheap Amazon S10 swap headers I thought would work, but when mocked up with the body they hit the firewall. With the planned 1" body lift they may clear. I'm not going to clearance the firewall, so worst case I have to pick up exhaust manifolds from a Camaro. Found some locally for $80 if it comes to that.

Thanks to Ray at DeadJeep for providing this tub template for me. Looks like there's going to be plenty of room for a mechanical fan. I'm still undecided on whether I want to run e fans or mechanical. I added two wires for electric fans from my PCM just in case.

I am hunting for an 05+ gas tank, from what I understand the stock pressure regulator in the tank will allow sufficient fuel flow for the LS motor, meaning I only need to buy a bulkhead -6AN 90 degree fitting and plumb it as a return.

The Savvy aluminum gas tank skid looks like a good option to tuck the gas tank.

I tried my hand at assembling an AN fitting
I'm unsure if I will run full braided line front to back for fuel or if I'll run copper nickel line down the frame and flare it to connect to AN fittings. If I do the latter it needs to be clean and leak free.

I think I'll do a test fire to see if the harness is working, that way I can work out any issues now instead of down the road. Videos coming soon?

Thanks for checking in.

Still looking for a clean tub if anyone wants to hook me up, located in MA but I'm willing to travel.

Budget
2002 Avalanche - 5.3 4l60E
$700
Scrap
+100
Sold Np246 push button tcase
+80

Power Steering Pump
$30


Shifter
$110
Body/Ext
4x 35x12.5x15 Milestar Patagonia M/T - $131x4
Amazon.com: Milestar Patagonia M/T Mud-Terrain Radial Tire - 35X12.50R15 113Q: Automotive
$560
mount and balance
$150
Misc hardware
$100 bolts & paint


Exhaust
Borla ProXS 3” muffler
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0060EI9XK
$56 (warehouse deals)

2.5” 48” 304SS tubing
Amazon.com: Squirrelly 2.5" Inch Stainless Steel Mandrel Bend Angles Turbo Fabrication Shops and Racers Alike Straight Pipe Tubing 16 Gauge 4 FT Exhaust System: Automotive
$40

---------------------------------------------------------------

Wiring

PCM Flash
EBAY - 99-06 LS computer Flash 4.8 5.3 6.0
$50 + $8 shipping
Fuse box for standalone
Amazon.com: 12V Auto Waterproof Fuse Relay Box Block [6 Bosch Style Relay Holder] [6 ATC/ATO Fuse Holder] Universal Relay Block Box for 12V Automotive Vehicles Cars Marine Boat Jeep Light Equipment: Automotive
$21

Intellitronix dash
Ebay
$254
Connectors
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07L9XNFGG
$21

--------------------------------------------------------------

Engine

Headers
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DC6VMJP
120
Spark plug boot covers
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0196D53NU
$15
Motor mounts
$220
Engine lift plate
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Q5KRTXA/
$50
8x - ACDelco Copper Spark Plugs - $2.50x8
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000C9R01Q
$20
Plug wires
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000S2QVYE
$44
ACDelco Ignition Coil (Replace one with broken connector from lifting motor)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BYGD60
$16
Belt
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000C2SJ40
$16
ICT Billet Coilpack mount
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YGDEJ9A
+Spacer kit
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YBISZZE
$55
Radiator
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000C7TTEE
$91
Automatic trans control lever
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013G040G/
$58
Oil pan gasket
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000C2CL2G
$35
5.3 Starter
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007QBT354
$77 (warehouse deals)

--------------------------------------------------------------

Transmission/Transfer Case
NP241 Transfer case
Junkyard
$75
2x Transfer Case Gasket
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01E6D5D5S
$20
Clocking ring np241
https://www.ebay.com/itm/174232311397?ViewItem=&vxp=mtr&item=174232311397
$65
Transmission mount
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CFOBC6
$15
NP241 SuperShort SYE kit
https://www.jbconversions.com/products/sye/np241c_short_sye.php
$421 shipped
NP241 input seal $16
Dealership
Universal transmission crossmember kit
https://genright.com/products/universal-transmission-crossmember-kit.html
$225
2” Drop Skid plate
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N407WPY
$200
-------------------------------------------------------------

Fluids
AN Fittings + 16ft line
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075V3NLM7
$60
Full set stainless brake line with stainless fittings
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I4BZ4GW
$100
Power Steering Pressure Hose 05 TJ “80345”
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001KP0O5K
$14
2x Radiator trans cooler fitting
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078C7NLV5
$16
Transmission to -6an
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QBL39Y2
$14
90 degree fitting for fuel return to sending unit
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VKKYFGP
$16
-6an quick disco
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QPXCPX1
$12
Teflon washers
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002Q3GMFQ
$10
--------------------------------------------------------------







$3,964
Updated budget from now on:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xa_WnNMogUAi_4Y3VI6CiHvQEedka6IFZoj4xXhF8AU/edit?usp=sharing
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Shorter update then I would have liked, I've been working on my other Jeep but I've made some good progress on the as of yet unnamed Lm7 TJ.

First off was the annoying issue of the different VSS plugs. From my research they use a 40 tooth reluctor ring however the older styles use a larger plug as shown.
My solution was to purchase this
Fits perfectly, my first shift test will tell if it works but I don't foresee any problems.

Clocking ring is on the NP241, red loctite on the bolts and studs. It may actually be clocked up a little bit too high. I mocked it up to be used with a flat skid, however when I set up the universal crossmember I left about an inch hanging down. In order to be flush mounted I would have to cut and re-notch the tubing, and I have my doubts it would fit even with the projected 2.25 inches of body lift.
This is not a rock crawler so a flat skid is not essential, but it would be cool. I still gain clearance with the 2" drop barnes4wd skid plate.
I'm not sure if I've made note of the body lift before. Everywhere, and I mean everywhere mentions not to do more than 1.25" of body lift. Mostly seeming to involve either the extra force placed on the mounts or the steering not lining up. I like having room to work under my jeep, and I don't want to sacrifice much to tucking stuff under my jeep. Plus, I've had too many body mounts blow out due to offroading and new england weather. Behold my(genright's) solution
These are 1" body lift mounts made of 3/16 steel vs the 1/8 inch or so steel the factory uses.
Body Mount Lift Kit, TJ / LJ

This allows me to raise the body an inch already while actually using shorter bolts.
In conjunction with the Savvy 1.25" body lift, the 1" lift body mounts and homemade 1" lift spacers or mounts above the gas tank, the rear crossmember and the rad support I will net 2.25" of body lift, totaling 5.25 inches of total lift for the jeep on 35 inch tires.

In Mass, and most states as far as I know there are laws regarding tire stickout past the fenders. My tires stick out a foot or so on my yj, however with this build I'd like it to pass at least a safety inspection. I'll be installing a 49 state catalytic converter provided I can find one in full 304 so I expect it to pass emissions however I cannot think of a good way to run the EVAP system without the TJ computer.

Speaking of evap
I went ahead and found a gas tank from an 05 TJ
$120 for the tank and sending unit, cheapest I've seen by far and they had three of them. Rhode Island if you're interested.
I purchased the EVAP as well, $80 that I probably wasted because to be honest I didn't fully understand the evap system for the 05s.
I went ahead and purchased a lock ring, 12.74 from the dealer. Nothing wrong with this one I just really hate rust. The cross hatch/tic tac toe whatever you call that ribbing design on top translates to the bottom, making the installation of my return a PITA
(Also in the picture is a special AN fitting that screws into a 4l60e to adapt trans cooler lines to 6AN lines)
Here's my return line, it's a bulkhead AN fitting. It has three sets of threads at the bottom and can be mounted to stick up more or stay where I have it currently. I found what I think to be a good spot for the return on the flatter part where the sending unit has a break in the + and becomes =
Basically I will just have to shave a circular part off, drill it to accept the bulkhead and screw it in. Those are teflon bulkhead washers and I do not expect to have to use silicone to prevent leakage.
Nice and easy, no pump modifications as the stock 05-06 TJ senders put out 50-60PSI of fuel pressure as opposed to the 40 earlier pumps were regulated to.

Also to note: The tank has the very common issue of the fuel filler sticking, I did a lot of research and found that most people have this problem, jam it open and use a gm hose. Some people call this a hack, since I have everything out I'm going to follow a video I found where they essentially pull the butterfly/whatever valve out from inside, sand down the nubs and reassemble, supposedly fixing the issue for good. Backup plan will be the GM hose and removing the valve entirely.

The 4 cylinder steering "pillow block" from Advanced adapters I forgot to order with my motor mounts.I may or may not need to modify this to accommodate my 1.25 body lift. The AA kit calls for this "pillow block" where their mounts require a 1" body lift already.

The trans crossmember is welded up and mocked up, probably should have left it tacked but I got carried away...
The jeep is fully supported without any straps! Motor mounts are still tacked up front not fully welded. I'll make some mock up 2.25 inch body spacers out of wood or something and use the TJ tub I have at my disposal for mockup. I know from doing a body swap on my YJ I need at least 3 people preferably 4 to lift it on. I feel bad just getting people to help lift the tub just to take it off 5 mins later.


Thanks for tuning in. Harness testing coming soon.
 

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As foreign of a concept it is to me, to do this type of fabricating and general mechanics... I gotta admit, I had a small aneurism when I saw that wiring project you took on.
 

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As foreign of a concept it is to me, to do this type of fabricating and general mechanics... I gotta admit, I had a small aneurism when I saw that wiring project you took on.
It gets easier when you get your hands on it and get comfortable with the wiring diagrams but I paid Novak on my harness, $700 to save a lot of time and headaches, well worth it for me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
What's the latest?
It's been awhile since I've updated, I've been busy between two jobs however I've made some progress with the build.


Finally finished painting the brackets, replaced the idler pulley and the belt. Deleted factory AC as I will be installing a relocation bracket that moves the AC up top.
Brand new power steering pump, the old one was rusty and leaked. I modified the pump to push factory maximum pressure(1200-1400psi?) to push the larger tires. Modifying your Power Steering Pump - GM Truck Central if you're interested.

I haven't replaced the lines on the intake or painted it because I am probably going to be replacing it with an SS intake if I can find one. If not I will just replace it with a nicer DBC truck intake.


The superior radiator is specifically for tj LS swaps, and it looks pretty good!

I ordered hoses with the correct bends, I'll get part numbers later if anyone's interested.
Also I got it running, after grounding the fuel pump better I ran it for about 15 seconds. I didn't catch much on video:




You may notice in the background that there's a tub on there. I finally found a rust free tub, came off an 05 in impact orange. I'd like to keep the jeep impact orange however it's very difficult to find parts in that color. It's actually difficult to find any parts for an 03-06.
The main reasoning behind choosing an 03-06 tub was the extra clearance for the 241 that comes stock in the rubicons. The 241 I have is slightly different, mainly I do not have 4-1 however physically they are very similar. The idea is to allow for the future addition of a flat skid plate if so desired. For now, with the body lift and transmission crossmember, even with the 2" drop skid plate I'm running there's plenty of room to work around. Another reason is, of course resale value. Later model TJs seem to go for a lot more. I will pick and choose what I believe to be the better components throughout the TJs years. For example I'll be running the 03-06 dash, and the earlier power steering box due to the complications and cost of the Mercedes box.

Tractor supply trailers, cheaper than a Uhaul, lighter, and fit a jeep tub perfectly. Much better than the short bed I used to transport my YJ tub
the tub is mocked up with the 1.25 savvy body lift




Rust free rust free:




Dealing with slight clearance issues with the coil mounts, I'll grind those down and if I can I'll move the motor forward a little. I have plenty of clearance for a fan.


And it will probably be best to smooth out the section of protruding metal that almost touches the 706. I hate to hack into my expensive rust free tub, however it's better now then later.
Also I bought this
 
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