I am getting ready to build a 1987 yj wrangler into a 302 ford powered 5 speed beast.
This is how the project took shape:
Bought a 1987 jeep wrangler yj. I drove it home under it's own power but had to push it off due to a bad flywheel ring gear. The body was in good shape but i later found a rear main was leaking bad. I pulled transmission, transfer case and after a struggle, the bellhousing and flywheel. Pulled the oil pan and "what a mess". Pieces of the plastic timing gears all throughout the oil pan, the rear main bearing was just before` spinning, the #6 rod bearing was down to the copper.
So much for the current drive train. I pulled a 302 out of my shop that was in a fox body mustang and pondered a conversion. I built this engine about 5 years ago and did not spare any expense. It is a wild aluminum headed roller cam 302. So i figured if i could find a trans and transfer case i would be in business. I got a 5 speed and related parts out of a 1989 full size bronco. I got an explorer rear end with 4.10 gear.
It seems that this may be a good choice for a conversion. There is only a few issues that i have not studied yet. The hydro clutch set up, the drive shafts and motor mounts. I know that there are lots of 302 motor mounts available but non like i want so i will probably make some. The jeep radiator configuration is exactly what i need for the 302.
The jeep has a 4 inch suspension lift by rough country, a 3 inch body list and 1 1/4 inch boomerang shackles. I cant wait to get this conversion underway. I am still buying parts at this stage and pondering other options. I looked at the f.a.s.t. Ez efi system and i'm impressed so i will probably go that route for reliability sake. Stay tuned for pictures of my project. It should be fun to work on and a blast to drive, i can't wait.
I GOT SOME PARTS IN THIS WEEK AND GOT A CHANCE TO WORK ON THE JEEP. I GOT ALL OF THE FRAME AND BODY BUSHINGS REPLACED, PUT A NEW AFTERMARKET FRONT BUMPER ON IT AND PUT A MANUAL STEERING BOX ON. I ORDERED SOME 302 MOTOR MOUNTS FROM TIN MAN FABRICATION. THEY LOOK PRETTY GOOD IN THE PICTURE, GUESS WE WILL SEE IF THEY WORK AS GOOD AS THEY LOOK. ALL OF THE OTHER MOUNTS I LOOKED AT FOR THE JEEP PROJECTS WERE FOR THE OLD STYLE MUSTANGS. I JUST DIDN'T LIKE THE MOUNTS EVERYONE SELLS FOR JEEP CONVERSIONS. THE TIN M AN MOUNTS ARE MORE OF A HOT ROD OR STREET ROD STYLE MOUNT.
I CLEANED UP THE TRANSMISSION AND TRANSFER CASE AND GOT EVERYTHING READY FOR THE BIG DAY OF FABRICATION. MY CHAMPION 4 ROW RADIATOR IS ON THE WAY FROM CALIFORNIA AND MY DICK CEPEK DC 2 WHEELS ARE ON THE WAY. I PULLED THE GEAR AND UNIT OUT OF THE 8.8 REAR, GETTING READY FOR THE CLEAN UP AND TO MOUNT THE SPRING PERCHES ON THE HOUSING. I HAVE SOME WELDING TO DO ON THE HOUSING OTHER THAN THE MOUNTS. I PLAN TO PUT SOME S.O.S. AXLE TUBE BRACES ON THE HOUSING, GETTING A LPW GIRDLE COVER. AND I NEED TO WELD THE TONE RING HOLE UP ON THE HOUSING. I CAN'T DECIDE IF I WANT TO STEP UP TO A 4.56 OR 4.88 OR STAY WITH THE 4.10 GEAR. I AM GETTING READY TO ORDER A 31 SPLINE POSI UNIT AND THEN I WILL DECIDE ON THE GEAR SIZE. THE MAIN REASON I WANT TO WAIT ON GEARING IS THAT I CANT DECIDE ON TIRE SIZE YET. I THINK I COULD GET A 36 INCH TIRE ON IT BUT WANT TO LOOK FOR A DEAL FIRST.
JUST GOT MY CHAMPION 4 ROW RADIATOR AND FIBERGLASS POWER BULGE HOOD IN TODAY. HAVE NOT REALLY LOOKED AT THEM YET TO SEE IF THERE ARE ANY DEFECTS, HAD TO LOOK IN A RUSH ON MY LUCH HOUR BUT AT FIRST GLANCE THE HOOD LOOKED NICE AND THE RADIATOR IS VERY LARGE AND SHOULD COOL A SMALL NUCLEAR PLANT. I HAVE SEEN BOILER ROOMS SMALLER THAN THIS RADIATOR. OH WELL, I WANTED BIG AND NASTY THINGS AND I GUESS I GOT WHAT I WISHED FOR. AFTER THE MOTOR MOUNTS COME IN, IT MAY BE A WHILE BEFORE ANY MORE LARGE PARTS PURCHASES. I AM OUT OF ROOM AND MONEY FOR NOW. I WILL HAVE TO FABRICATE AND GET SOME PARTS ON THE JEEP BEFORE I CAN GO ON FROM HERE.
GOT THE HOOD ON THE YJ THIS PAST WEEK THAT I BOUGHT FROM US BODY SOURCE, IT IS A YJ POWER BULGE COWL INDUCTION TYPE HOOD. I CAN'T EXACTLY SAY THAT I AM THRILLED WITH THE HOOD. I NOTICED THAT THERE WERE SOME SERIOUS IMPERFECTION IN THE FIBERGLASS IN SEVERAL PLACES, THE GEL COAT LOOKED PRETTY BAD AND AFTER MOUNTING THE HOOD, ALL I CAN SAY IS, FOR THE MONEY, IT SUCKS. I PAID OVER $550.00 SHIPPED FOR THIS HOOD. THE HOOD WILL NOT LINE UP TO WHERE I CAN LIVE WITH THE ISSUES. I CALLED THEM TODAY TO COMPLAIN AND WAS TOLD A TECH WOULD CALL ME BACK. NOTHING YET, WILL KEEP YOU UPDATED. IT IS AN EXTREMELY HEAVY HOOD, IT WEIGHS MORE THAN THE STOCK STEEL HOOD, HAS NO OPENING IN THE COWL, BUT I MADE ONE, LOL. I HAD TO CUT THE BOTTOM OF THE HOOD OUT SO THAT THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT WOULD GET AIR. I KNOW IT SOUNDS LIKE I EXPECTED A LOT BUT FOR THAT KIND OF MONEY, I DO. I HAVE BOUGHT $200.00 HOODS THAT WERE BETTER THAN THIS ONE.
I ALSO GOT THE MOTOR MOUNTS IN FROM TIN MAN FABRICATION. THEY LOOK VERY NICE AND ARE WELL MADE. I BELIEVE THAT THESE ARE THE MOUNTS TO USE IN THIS TYPE 302 CONVERSION. THEY ARE A LITTLE PRICY, BUT WITH QUALITY, COMES A PRICE. I WANT TO TRY TO DO A QUICK DROP IN ON THE MOTOR TO SEE IF THEY LOOK CLOSE.
OK, I TALKED WITH THE FINE FOLKS AT USBODYSOURCE AND THEY BASICALLY TOLF ME TO GO F*&K MYSELF, SO I WOULD SAY, DONT BUY ANYTHING FROM THEM BECAUSE THEY WILL NOT MAKE IT GOOD. I GUESS I WILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT AND I GUESS IT IS A GOOD THING IT IS FIBERGLASS, NOT METAL. I POSTED SOME PICTURES OF MY ENGINE AND TRANS ALONG WITH THE NEW MOTOR MOUNTS WHICH I FELL IN LOVE WITH. NOT MUCH MORE TO SAY RIGHT NOW, I WILL UPDATE AS THINGS PROGRESS. UNTIL NEXT TIME.......IF ANYONE HAS ANY IDEAS THAT WOULD HELP ME, LET ME KNOW, I AM UP FOR COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS.....