I was waiting to have everything done before posting, but after getting it, beautiful, out in the sun today, I can't help but share. Lots of photos to post but I will start as she sits today, and add more pics of the entire build later. All work has been done by me from the engine to the paint and polish. Next step is interior and electrical.
'89 YJ 4.2 I6
A list of mods and other info will come as I add photos later.
Thanks! I think the swap is fairly simple, but then again, I have a bit of experience in fab work and find very few things dificult these days so I may not be the best judge. It only took a few mods to make it all fit seamlessly with my 1" BL installed.... Trimming the inner fenders to fit lower to the frame; Trimming the grille bottom to clear the steering box; Fabbing a new body mount for the grille (the original mount on the grille had rusted off).
Other than that, I chose to stick with my YJ Alum 3 core radiator and electric fan so I did need to fab radiator mount rails and clearance a slot or two on the back of the grille to fit the fan. The grille came off an early 70's CJ5 and needed a bit of patching and general rehab as well. If you use a cj radiator, it makes the swap much simpler.
I hope to get some project photos posted this next week if I can remember toget the files from my ext HD.
Here are a few more photos... starting 2 years ago as a tired '89 Laredo. Worn out factory springs, procomp shocks and 2" lift shackles, body looks to be in better shape than it is (later photos will tell the cancer story), rough running original AMC 4.2, and failing BA10 transmission. Very spartan interior from the worn out seats, to the busted dash with no working guages this YJ was begging for a fresh start that would take a few years and 1000's of hours to achieve.
I started with a solid tune up and a few mods to the 4.2. HEI, MC2150, fuel pump, PCV, plugs, wires, new alternator, AC delete, new hoses, 3 core aluminum radiator, Brake MC rebuild, water pump, thermostat, timing set, and a good general clean up.
I used the ebay HEI recommended on the forums (it did come with the proper ductile gear), a set of 8mm wires, and stock style copper plugs. This really woke up the 4.2, smoothed out the idle, and eliminated any stuttering. The carb was bought from the ebay carb guy... I was not impressed with his service and he proved to me that he knows little about setting up a carb properly. I had to swap jets, and PV to get things running smooth and he was no help with the parts, but luckily my local NAPA stocks jets and PV's for holley style carbs. The AC delete was as simple as removing the compressor and installing the correct length belt, wich was another NAPA acquired part. The belt runs under the thermostat housing with about 1/2" clearance. While I had everything apart, I blasted the parts and gave them a fresh coat of paint. Everything else was very straight forward.... Timing set to 10 degrees BTDC, idle set to +/- 650 rpm (can idle smooth set to around 450 rpm), the Carb uses #48 jets with a 7.5" hg power valve with around 20" vac at idle. More to come.......
Next up was the transmission swap. The BA10 had lasted over 140k and was nearly missing 2nd gear and quite difficult to shift, all to be expected at it's age. The NP231 was in dire need of TLC as well. I ordered a reman AX15 from ManTrans out of Tallahassee with external slave conversion and the NP231J w/ SYE already installed. This made the swap super simple with no major hiccups or major modifications. The only small bump was sizing the pilot bearing, the inset in the flywheel was a few thousands too small for the included ball bearing set. I had the proper size bronze bearing that was too large as well, so I used my lathe to shave down a few thousandths until it was a press fit. Not sure why the stock dim parts did not fit, the flywheel was in great condition and did not appear to be a non-stock part. I threw in a new clutch kit and poly mounts for good measure and everything bolted back in place. As with everything in my project, I took the extra time to clean up and recondition parts before reassembly.
Next up was the suspension... After a bit of research online and checking out a few suspensions in person to compare, I decided on an OME suspension. I am building this as a multipurpose rig and wanted something that would perform on and offroad with out too much height as my wife getting in and out is a consideration. I bought the stardard HD spring setup thru Qtec and got to work. With all new hardware, I simply cut off the old suspension to save time. I ditched the track bars and went with sway disco's from the start. The front spring mounts as well as the rear shock mounts were failing so replacements were welded in. I also discovered that the front axle housing was bent, which explained bad handling, failed seals, and the axle disconnect wast not operating smothly. I found a replacement axle on CL, set up the existing gearset and was back on my way. The new suspension includes 2.5" OME springs, OME shocks, new urethane bushings all around, 5/8" boom lift shackles, drop pitman, ball joints, u-joints, new bearings and seals, and balanced CV shafts front and rear. All parts were blasted, recoated, and restored to better than new condition. Pics of the finished suspension will come tomorrw with brake and steering system rehab photos (trying not to post too many at once).
While doing the suspension, I took a side trek to rebuild the entire brake system and tune up the steering. I started at the axles with all new brake parts and worked back to the master cylinder with new steel lines and braided SS flex lines. I dismantled and cleaned out proportioning valve and rebuilt the master cylinder with fresh seals, and a thorough cleaning. The booster was in good shape so I simply cleaned the outside, removed some minor rust and gave it a fresh coat of paint. The front knuckles and rear drums were blasted and given a coat of paint as well. Added new parking brake cables and Finished up with fresh fluid and a pressure bleed. The steering system needed a bit of TLC as well... I tightened up the adjustment on the steering box and replaced all joints in the system with stock parts. As I said before, the axles were fully refurbished with new parts as well. As you can see in a few of the pics, this is where isses with the body had become apparent and I had done a bit of sheetmetal repair and replacement along the way which I will start into next.
I'll probably catch flack from the YJ guys but that's the jeep that should have been built in '87. Great job. My dad and I are in process on a '92 with a cj front end. I hope it looks as good as your's some day.