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Unread 04-08-2012, 01:43 AM   #16
blitz134
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1990 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Orange, CA
Posts: 219
Well, I think I know now that if you try to fix one thing on a Jeep, you'll only uncover 2-3 more level of issues that need to be addressed.

I last left off with my tear down to install the Howell TBI kit. Here is the pile of stuff that comes off with the Howell. After this photo I also added the air pulse valves and a few other small items. This pile is completely in my way, but I like seeing how big I can make it!



Here is a shot with all of the stuff removed for the Howell kit. Much cleaner engine bay. Again, still have the pulse air valves in this shot, so it only gets cleaner.



Now the fun begins! Here is the crack in my exhaust manifold that I found. Not wanting to have issues with the O2 sensor and the TBI fuel injection kit, I decided to remove it and order a new one. Well, lucky for me the rear manifold stud sheared off and the front stud did the same with hardly any torque at all on it. Also, all of my valve cover and manifold bolts were less than finger tight. I'm amazed my engine hasn't fallen apart yet.



So, off with the head to get the rear stud out. I've heard too many horror stories about broken EZ-outs. Luckily I was able to remove the two broken studs with a 1/8" left-handed drill bit.



Last night I finally put the head back on. Chased all of the threads and reused the bolts. 4-stage tighten sequence to get me back to 85 ft-lbs.



This morning, I pulled the timing cover and water pump while I was at it. The chain had a ton of slop in it; so much so it was rubbing the timing cover. Had to pull the harmonic balancer, came off easily with a crow's foot puller.





New chain installed, pretty simple. Brought engine to TDC (two sprocket dots facing each other) and removed the timing set. Reinstalled and checked alignment by rotating the cam sprocket dot to 1 o'clock and the crank sprocket should go to about 3 o'clock. You'll want to see 15 pins between the two dots.



Then I installed some teflon tape on plugs of the new exhaust manifold and put the new Howell O2 sensor in.



I did some engine bay/firewall,frame painting while I had things apart. No real pics. Finished today by installing a new trans mount from Energy Suspension (P/N 3.1108G, ordered from Summit). The old mount was starting to separate; I had jack the trans case up about an inch to reinstall the new mount.





And to finish it off, new Brown Dog Motor Mounts. Standard height. My old mounts were sagged about 3/4" as well. It is noticeable how much higher the engine sits.







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Unread 04-09-2012, 01:14 AM   #17
blitz134
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More progress today. The gf is out of town with her mom and aunt. Leaves me all the time I want to spend wrenchin'.

I made a late night run to a friend's shop to use his sand blaster last night. Stripped the valve cover and quickly hit the timing cover.



I painted the valve cover (pics later) and while it was drying I installed the new exhaust manifold. I used studs from a generic exhaust manifold hardware kit from O'Reilly's.



Then the intake manifold went on using original hardware. I tried to scrub the intake with Simple Green. It degreased it, but it's still a bit discolored, but whatever.



The two manifolds were torqued to spec. 30 ft-lbs for the middle two exhaust bolts, and 23 for the rest. It took me 3-4 rounds to get these tight, seemed every round pulled them in a bit more. I had a little misalignment with the two manifolds. The exhaust manifold didn't have a gasket from the factory. I didn't trust the flatness of my head, so I used the one-piece gasket (foil side towards the head). Hopefully the cone washers will handle the difference.



Then the timing cover went on. The timing cover was a pain since its a two piece gasket. I had to tighten the oil pan bolts first to allow the block bolts to line up with the holes correctly.



Then the water pump and harmonic balancer.



Here is a pic of the new and old t'stat housing. The original was so corroded that I didn't even want to try to clean it. A new one was 12 bucks. A 195 degree t'stat was installed. A 160 degree came out. That probably didn't help my emissions since the engine would never get hot enough to trigger the computer to go into closed-loop operation.



And to finish the day...here is the new valve cover gasket. This is a nice Felpro PermaDryPlus that I picked up from Summit. It's a bit expensive at 40 bucks, but its reusable and definitely seems like a nice gasket.



And then the newly painted valve cover. Turned out nicely. I used Rustoleum engine paint in gloss black. You can see the engine bay repaint as well.



I've got a few small things to finish up tomorrow evening and then I can start to tackle the rest of the Howell install.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 11:57 PM   #18
blitz134
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Put in a few more hours tonight after work.

Started by reinstalling the EGR tube between the intake and exhaust manifold. It took me over an hour b/c the new exhaust manifold is a little different than the original. A little work with a BFH finally adjusted the tube enough to install it.

Then the alternator and power steering pump went back on in addition to the gas pedal linkage. Nothing too exciting, but any progress is welcome right now.



Connected my water hose up to my heater hoses and flushed my heater core. As expected it was quite filled with rust. I flushed about 7-8 gallons of water through it and it still wasn't perfectly clear.



Then I started the Team Rush install. An MSD 2F coil went on first and then a Borg Warner cap, adaptor, and rotor button. The BWD select components seem to be decent quality with brass contacts. The "non-select" box is for the distributor-to-cap adapter. Super easy to install. Gapped new plugs to .042". I started to lay out the MSD cut-to-fit wires but it started to get too late, so I'll tackle those tomorrow.





I'm a bit excited to restart the Howell install tomorrow. I want to crank it by the end of the week, but I'm not sure if I'll make it. I have a feeling the rewiring for the Howell kit will take a bit. Plus I still need to get new hoses, custom battery cables fab'd, radiator reinstalled. Seems like a bit of work still.
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Unread 04-15-2012, 11:20 PM   #19
blitz134
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For some reason my last post didn't post...oh well...here it is again...

The next night I installed MSD cut-to-fit spark plug wires. This took about an hour and a half to complete, but I think it came out well. I wrote a how-to on this, but for some reason it appears to not have posted either. These weren't hard to do, but it took some time to do the first wire, then the rest were easy.



Then I put the new throttle body on...and the K&N filter kit recommended with the Howell. Then new heater hoses and vacuum lines went in. The engine compartment is definitely looking much nicer now. I still need to paint the driver-side fender, but it needs to come off for straightening since it is tweaked a little.





The following night I tore into the wiring harness. I pulled the stock ECM first and pulled the ECM wiring connector through the firewall. The GM ECM was attached back in the same spot. I drilled a few holes in the bracket and used some zip ties to secure it. I also reused the foam from the old ECM on the new one to prevent rattles.



All of the plastic wire loom was removed to make it easier to strip wires. Not only did I remove the wires that went to the ECM (only three remained that were needed for the Howell), but I removed the wiring for the diagnostic ports and sol-vac relay (and associated "black box") located by the battery tray. The sol-vac was removed from the factory on a recall many years ago, but the wiring and relays still persist.







The Howell wiring job wasn't that bad. I spent more time trying to figure out what all I could remove. To keep it easier, the computer wires could just be cut out and capped.

I need to take a few more pics that show the final Howell wiring job.

Here is all of the stuff that has come off of my Jeep in the past couple of weeks. Its pretty amazing actually. I'm fairly close to starting it (hopefully). The main things left are to reinstall the radiator and the Howell fuel pump. And then there are some other small items to attend to, but I'm close.

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Unread 04-26-2012, 10:03 PM   #20
blitz134
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Been over a week since my last update. Had some more family in town so took about five days off from wrenching, but went to Sequoia and Yosemite Nat'l Park. I look forward to being able to take the jeep there. Taking in the sites in such awesome places with no top on would be amazing.

Mainly been working a lot of minor details. Tidied up the wiring, etc. Mounted the relays and engine compartment fuses of the Howell kit to the firewall above the valve cover.





Mounted the fuse block to the emission timer bracket. Hooked the ECM power up to the yellow wire from the ignition switch. This has power during run and crank.



Then installed a new radiator and hoses, followed by the shroud, alternator, power steering, fan, etc.



Here is a quick shot of the new wiring harness around the TBI. I'm impressed with how nicely the Howell is put together. Wire lengths have been perfect.



Here is the finished engine compartment. Still need to paint the driver side fender, but I'll get to that later. Installed new battery cables since my old ones didn't give me much confidence.



I don't have a pic of the fuel pump. I installed it just forward of the transfer case skid/support. Couldn't find a better spot to mount it. Seems to work fine.

Tried to crank it last night, but no luck. No fuel to the TBI...
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Unread 04-26-2012, 10:15 PM   #21
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Its Alive!!!

Came home from work today hoping to get the Jeep running finally.

I put the battery on charge last night since I only had about 10.5V across the terminals last night. Pulled the fuel line and connected the ECM power directly to the battery. The fuel pump came on and pushed fuel out of the line. Sweet!

Still wouldn't start. Did some searches on jeep forum and found that the Tach wire needed to be connected to the negative of the coil. I had missed that in the Howell instructions, so I soldered it in.

Turned the key, turned over a couple of times and fired right up! Awesome...kind of...the engine was making a horrible racket. When I installed the rocker arms I was afraid that there was way too much play in them, but I installed them per the manual. The engine sounded like it had a horrible valve tick.

I went ahead and adjusted the timing since I had a new chain on. It was pretty close. Went upstairs to research and eat dinner.

Went back downstairs to investigate and while the engine was running, all of a sudden the 6" diameter pulley shot from under the engine and hit the wall!!! Tuned out I had forgotten to attach the alternator accessory pulley to the crankshaft pulley. I reinstalled the three bolts, cranked it back up and she purred. I was pretty excited at this point!

Went for a quick spin with the gf to try it out. There is a huge improvement. Power seems to be quickly put to the pavement. I think the new motor mounts and trans mount helped with that a lot. Cranking is much improved (still needs a little work) and idle and cold-idle is great. It doesn't seem like its going to die when I pull up to a stop sign anymore. My only "issue" is that my idle is a little high...~1000 rpm, should be 750. I'll keep an eye on things.

I'm one happy Jeep owner right now!
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Unread 04-27-2012, 03:14 AM   #22
Budelo
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Wow, great work man!
I just bough my first jeep it's also a 90 yj with 158k miles on the i6. If you don't mind me asking how much have you dropped into the project so far. I'm really excited to start mine, the first thing I want to do i gut the interior, do you have a good website you order parts from ?
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Unread 04-27-2012, 12:30 PM   #23
blitz134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Budelo View Post
Wow, great work man!
I just bough my first jeep it's also a 90 yj with 158k miles on the i6. If you don't mind me asking how much have you dropped into the project so far. I'm really excited to start mine, the first thing I want to do i gut the interior, do you have a good website you order parts from ?
Looks like you have a good base Jeep already: TJ Flares, rims and tires that are in good shape, decent paint.

Total so far, I think I have about $3k in it (not including Jeep). I used to keep track, but then I stopped since I want to enjoy wrenching and not worrying about how much is in it. The majority of that is the Howell TBI Fuel Injection kit at $1300, then next are the new seats at $300 each. The rest is nickel-and-dime stuff in the 50 to 150 range. As you can see, I ended up replacing lots of things: exhaust manifold, radiator, timing set, water pump. And then I opted to get some upgraded ignition components and motor mounts, etc. You very well might not have to get those kinds of things or could use lower priced alternatives.

The interior update isn't that bad though. $120 for the Raptor liner kit and then several cans of spray paint. My highest cost was the seats, and there are cheaper alternatives out there. I've seen someone that picked up and installed late-model Grand Prix seats for $50 and they look great.

For standard parts, I usually go to the local O'Rielly. For some specialty stuff (plug wires, coil, air cleaner, valve cover gasket, seats) I used summitracing.com. They have fast shipping for me in CA. The fuel injection and motor mounts were straight from the source.
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Unread 05-09-2012, 12:49 AM   #24
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Quick update. It's been nice driving a working Jeep around; I'm really enjoying the Howell kit.

Haven't been wrenching much lately, but I did fix one critical problem. Even before the Howell install I was having cranking issues. It would barely turn over to start with and then slowly gain more speed. I had noticed a substantial drop in battery voltage while cranking, so I had a few suspicions about what was wrong. The battery and starter were both relatively new (late last year, but installed by PO). Had the battery and starter checked. Left the parts store with a new battery...nothing special at this stage. Starts so much better now. It was getting to the point where it was undrivable b/c I never knew when it wouldn't start on me. All seems good now.

I have gotten a few new items:

Grabbed a '95 YJ front axle out of a 4 cylinder from a local Jeep guy. It has the 4.10 gears that I want to run with the 33s that are planned. Also has the larger u-joints in the axle shafts, although I'll be putting in a pass-side axle shaft from a TJ to eliminate the vacuum disconnect. Doing a little refurb on the axle is probably the next undertaking. Assuming I can get a little bit of cash for the stock front axle, I should come out cheaper than a new set of gears by themselves...let alone the gear setup costs.



Also picked up a 3.5" BDS lift kit from the local shop today. Their prices were better than BDS's website and they still honored the promotion for free shock upgrade to the 9500 series. Also got a 5500 series steering stabilizer. Didn't get shock boots, since I thought they were included, so I'll probably have to order those.



I have a few more goodies due in later this week. Pics to follow. Not sure when I'll get to work on the Jeep again, maybe this Sunday. I got a little harassment from the friends that are currently storing my hard top in the back yard. Might go pick that up before this weekend and start painting it soon.
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Unread 05-14-2012, 07:38 PM   #25
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Last week I dug into the "new" front axle. Pulled the carrier and installed a new axle seal along with a pass-side TJ axle shaft, hopefully it doesn't leak; I had some issues getting the seal installed. Also installed a Riddler diff cover with a Lube Locker gasket while I had things apart. Put the new stabilizer on too. Overall it turned out quite nice.



Sunday afternoon I decided to tackle the front half of the lift kit. Here are a few shots along the way:

First a pre-lift shot...



First thing was to remove the pittman arm (I had to use the grinder with a cut-off wheel to cut a slot and then used the puller). Unbolted the sway bar and upper tracbar.



Then it went up on jack stand, pulled the wheels and calipers.



Then with some jack/jackstand manipulation I was able to unbolt the leaf springs without thmn being loaded. Here it is with shocks and leaf springs disconnected, ready to be pulled. I had a heck of a time pulling this entire assembly out from underneath by myself in a one car garage since the jack stands were in the way with no place to move them. I should have removed the leaf springs first.



Here is one of my front leafs. The other one only had one broken leaf.



Moving the front axle in was much easier. I relocated the jackstands back further, moved the axle in, and then relocated them back to under the front bumper. Here it is ready for leafs with 5/8s boomerang shackles installed:



Here it is bolted up. Everything went together nicely. I still need to put the draglink in and figure out if I'm going to run a sway bar (I thought the kit came with disconnects, but it didn't...)



Then the new shocks went on. Reinstalled the calipers. I need to pick up longer brake lines.



Here are two shots with the wheels back on, ready to be pushed back into the garage. With only the front half of the kit on, I have 8" of lift. I'm sure that will come down some when I lift the rear and after it settles, but I wonder how much. My original springs were completely shot. I'm happy with the install and the overall look underneath. I know looks don't matter too much, but this Jeep was so neglected that I feel it deserves a bit of fresh paint and new parts underneath.



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Unread 05-15-2012, 05:38 AM   #26
matt2299
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Looking good!! What did you use for the tub lining? Would like to do the same thing on my jeep welcome to the YJ family
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Unread 05-15-2012, 08:13 AM   #27
blitz134
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Originally Posted by matt2299 View Post
Looking good!! What did you use for the tub lining? Would like to do the same thing on my jeep welcome to the YJ family
Raptor Liner. Picked it up from an ebay store ("tcpglobal") for $120. It comes with a gun to spray it. Very easy to apply, just takes a bit of prep. I prefer the look of the Raptor over the other kits I have seen, it has less gloss to it and looks much more professional due to the spray application. Its not the thickest liner, but should be sufficient for inside the tub.
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Unread 05-23-2012, 09:40 PM   #28
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Finished the lift this past weekend (3.5" BDS with 5/8" MORE shackles). Took me 8 hours to finish the front (extend the brake lines, bleed the calipers, install drag link), do the tcase drop and do the rear. Much easier since I wasn't swapping the axle.

Before:



After:



And a couple more shots:





I gained 6" in the front and 5" in the rear. I'm currently sitting at 24.5" at the bottom of the rocker panel. I'm currently not running track bars or a front sway bar. Everything is still pretty stiff. Ride is a bit bouncy on the interstate. Seems tolerable now and I need to flex it out a bit to try to get it to settle and smooth out even more. Put about 100 miles on it since Saturday. Once I pass smog (almost passed on Tuesday), I'll order my new tires and rims.
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Unread 05-27-2012, 01:08 AM   #29
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Not much going on the past few days...ended up lacerating my left kidney in a mtn bike accident on Thursday evening, went to the ER and stayed the night. Once released on Friday morning, I went home and retarded the timing a bit to 6 degrees to try to get my NOx down a bit (what else would I do with a "free vacation" day???). Finally passed smog so I can officially register it next week.

After passing smog, I immediately went to the offroad shop and ordered new rims and tires: 33x12.50x15 BFG KM2s with flat black Procomp "soft 8s". Might take a couple weeks for the tires to come in.

I've got a free three day weekend to do whatever, but I'm a bit sore and restricted to light duty until I heal up a bit. Been internet jeepin' mostly, might have a lead on an 8.8 with 4.10s. I was able to get my dash lights working again today, I didn't quite plug the connector in well when I had my dash apart.

Trying to figure out what I can do over the next couple of days.
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Unread 05-27-2012, 11:21 AM   #30
Louie4
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Looking great man! You really gave that YJ a breath of fresh air. I like seeing builds like that where you save it from eminent doom. It really gives you a sense of accomplishment. I know you'll enjoy the KM2's. I love mine and I converted 2 other buddies to get them. They ride very nice and perform well on the trail.

Sounds like you may need a day or two for a lacerated kidney. Just keep internet jeepin' that's what I do in between wrenching.
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