Heretic122's 5.3 tj - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 118 Old 01-14-2016, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
Heretic122
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cortez
Posts: 223
Heretic122's 5.3 tj

I plan on writing about everything I have done to this jeep in this build thread for both my own records as well as to help the next poor sap make more educated decisions. I will try to create a post for each project and add a link and total cost to each project on this first page below, then add more detailed information to the linked page, just click any project you are interested in and it will skip you to that part of the build. Please let me know if you have any specific questions on any project in particular and when I can answer that question i will add the answers to my linked project post for future readers.

At the moment I am dropping a 5.3 LM7/4l60E from a 2005 Yukon into my 1997 TJ, and should catch up to that point soon, bear with my while I get this started.

Skip to the 5.3/4L60E swap details < here

Costs into the Jeep not part of the engine swap..
1997 Wrangler TJ: $3,800
8.8 rear axle $885.00
Metal Cloak front overlines $679.00
AtoZ sport cage kit $479.00
Rokmen Lower control arms x4: $600.00
Poison Spyder BFH bumper: $375.00
Flush Led tail lights: $13.00
Replacement Soft top skin: $250.00
Currie front Anti-rock: $359.00
Spiderwebshade:$60.00
Moog Steering Upgrade $252.00


Here are a few of the most recent pictures.

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Lets start with details on the jeep as I bought it and a picture..
1997 Wrangler TJ Fire Red with 140,00 miles. Randonexplosion found it on a local craigslist and it ended up being within a mile of my house. I purchased this beasty for $3,800. When I purchased it there was no front drive shaft, exhaust hanging almost entirely on bailer wire, soft top skin was trashed and back window missing, there was no stock t-case shift linkage, every possible thing that could squeak or wobble did. Other than that the engine ran well, and as far as I could tell there where no significant mechanical problems.

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url


Last edited by Heretic122; 01-14-2016 at 09:09 PM.
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post #2 of 118 Old 01-14-2016, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
Heretic122
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cortez
Posts: 223
I spent a day or two getting rid of as many of the squeaks and wobbles as I could. I pulled the dash, door trims, and center console then painted them with Krylon black. To this day they still look great.
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I had a used set of LT315/75R16 Goodyear Wrangler MT/Rs, along with the front bumper that I had pulled off of my last Jeep (1989 Islander), I threw those on along with some grille inserts my wife bought for the heap.
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I also acquired a set of Fab Fours rock sliders #FFILJ05-G1151-1 for free from a local JY, the owner is a friend and fellow Jeeper and noticed someone tossed out a pair of these sliders... because they were both drivers side sliders. The JY owner already had a very nice set for his both LJ and JK and was willing to let me to take them off his hands... after a little cutting and welding I made one a passenger side slider
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When I purchased the Jeep it did not have any transfer case shift linkage, I purchased the Novak Cable shifter #SK2XC ($178.99) and have had no issues since, this came in very handy later when trying to lift my t-case for a tummy tuck.
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Last edited by Heretic122; 01-14-2016 at 06:34 PM. Reason: more detailed info
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post #3 of 118 Old 01-14-2016, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
Heretic122
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cortez
Posts: 223
After doing some wheeling with a buddy, I was convinced of the importance of upgrading my rear axle. I purchased a Ford 8.8, pulled out of a Ford Explorer, from a JY ($250.00) about an hour away, the Artec TJ 8.8 swap kit($300.00), Solid differential cover($65.00), Yukon 4.88 ring and pinion($250.00) and threw them under the jeep. There is a ton of info on the interwebs on swapping this axle into the jeep I will not cover all of it again but here is a link to get you started.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/8...hread-2414825/
http://www.jeepsunlimited.com/forums...W-TO-S-(F-A-Q-

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post #4 of 118 Old 01-14-2016, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
Heretic122
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cortez
Posts: 223
Off topic post, but the next important thing that happened was my dad decided to repaint his YJ.
He purchased this YJ for 4,000 the front grille and fenders were demolished as well as the paint on the hood you can see in the first image..
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again, sorry for the off topic post but I feel he deserves a shout out. My dad is a GM mechanic and has not done body work since my age, he did all the labor on this project and I think it turned out awesome.
dadzrig likes this.
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post #5 of 118 Old 01-14-2016, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
Heretic122
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cortez
Posts: 223
Pic just because..
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While wheeling I stuffed my tire up into the fender support bracket and tweaked the fenders (forgot to capture a good pic) and used that as an excuse to purchase Metalcloak Front Overlines($599.00)

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I had a local company powder coat them ($80.00) and have not had a single complaint yet, one of my favorite purchases. I recommend them highly to anyone looking to get tons of clearance on a truly bolt on replacement fender. I unfortunately did not document the process of installing them, but it would be unnecessary... their installation instructions covered everything.
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I have since purchased the Metalcloak TJ rear upper control arms in aluminum, will soon get some flares for the front fenders, and would plan on using the duroflex joints when I build my custom suspension for front and rear.
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post #6 of 118 Old 01-14-2016, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
Heretic122
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cortez
Posts: 223
A few random links and pictures of some of the fun I have had with this Jeep.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f319/...015-a-2977937/

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post #7 of 118 Old 01-14-2016, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
Heretic122
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cortez
Posts: 223
Since then I have added a ton of little stuff including new Rokmen lower control arms ($600.00) front and rear after the junk that the PO put on there broke while wheeling,

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Chevy 1/2 ton brake lines NAPA #38620

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a new Poison Spyder BFH front bumper($375.00),

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Dodge Durango steering box, flush Led tail lights($13.00), A new Smittybilt soft top($250.00), a Spiderwebshade($60.00) for warmer days,
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and I bedlined the inside of the Jeep.
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I also got tired of disconnecting my front sway bar and bit the bullet to purchase the Currie Anti-Rock ($359.00, another purchase I am so glad I talked myself into). I am constantly surprised with how much better the anti rock feels vs stock. I always disconnected the front sway bar links and the Anti Rock works well with the rear sway bar and keeps the jeep stable on and off road.
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post #8 of 118 Old 01-14-2016, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
Heretic122
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cortez
Posts: 223
Had a moment on Potato Salad where i swallowed part of my seat... and decided that its time to get a sport cage. (100% intend to add more triangulation and support to it soon) I purchased a sport cage kit from AtoZ fab ($479.98)and was very satisfied by the price, quality, and design. Install was extremely easy, after tacking everything in place I had a good buddy (randonexplosion) burn everything in. I think the hardest part we ran into was removing the old rusted bolts from the tub. (ended up welding nuts onto a few of them)

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post #9 of 118 Old 01-14-2016, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
Heretic122
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cortez
Posts: 223
Vortec 5.3L / 4L60E swap into a 97' Wrangler, the path I chose.

The first link for each item below takes you to the my post for that item including pictures and details of the install (scrolls down in this thread), the second link takes you to somewhere (not always the cheapest) to purchase the part in a new tab that will give more product details.


2005 GMC Yukon: $600

PCM programming LT1Swap.com $75.00

Mini Fuse/Relay Panel Cooper Bussmann 15303-2-2-4

Machine work and rebuild kit: $2,083.05

Motor Mounts: Advance Adaptors#713092 $174.00

Transfercase Shift Cable: Novak#SK2XC $179.00

Transmission to transfer case adapter: Advance Adaptors #50-0435 $559.00

Transmission Shift kit: American Shifters #58607 $165.00

Custom Crossmember: Ruff Stuff XMEMKIT $59.00

Transmission Cooler: B&M 70268 $79.00

Exhaust Manifolds: LS3 5th gen Camaro manifolds from a 2010 V8 SS 6.2L $75.00

Air Intake: UPGR8 brand $106.00

Radiator: Superior Radiator $465.00 I would suggest giving them a call, very helpful and informative customer service.

Fuel: $786.98 total in Fuel costs. I opted to swap over to a fuel cell during the engine swap, parts used for that included;
A fuel cell: RCI2161A $241.95
Fuel cell brackets: Artec#FM2161 $119.99
Fuel Cell Isolation: Energy suspension #9.8105R $12.51
A 2005 TJ fuel pump: OE Mopar #5161335AH $171.10
Blackwater Fabrication's fuel cell rings $47.79
Fuel fittings: $193.64
Body Lift: Prothane #1-114 $152.84

Gauges: I wanted to retain stock instrument cluster, in order to do that I used..
Tachometer: Novak #E-TX41 $194.00
Coolant Temp: ICT Billet SKU# 551179 $14.95
Oil Pressure: drilled and tapped the oil block off plate above the oil filter to 1/8" NPT
Speedometer: I was able to retain the factory NP231 and speedometer gear, although I changed to a 39 tooth gear to compensate for the re gear/tire size. $25.00
Voltage: plan on reusing existing wiring from the Jeep
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post #10 of 118 Old 01-14-2016, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
Heretic122
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cortez
Posts: 223
A good friend of mine had recently dropped a 5.3 from a Chevy truck into his YJ. After a few wheeling trips with him I realized how badly I would love to get rid my 2.5L 4cyl.

Then the opportunity presented itself to me.. I was able to pick up a running 2005 GMC Yukon with around 200k miles for $600 cash. Since there really was no other logical answer I began a 5.3 swap into my own Jeep. The 2005 GMC Yukon donated to the cause: a 5.3L LM7 and 4l60E, along with fuel pedal, untouched wiring harness, PCM, trans cooler lines, etc. I wanted to retain stock gauges while doing the swap, but opted to do a few other things while i had the jeep apart such as custom trans cross member, flat(or close to) skid plate, and RCI fuel cell.
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I took the engine to a local machine shop for some love. The shop "Victory Engine and Machine" worked on the engine and purchased a rebuild kit. The rebuild kit included all gaskets, seals, new pistons, rings, rod bearings, main bearings, cam bearings, oil pump, timing set, oil pump, head bolts and lifters. The work done to the engine included: hone, prep, and detail block, recondition cylinder heads, recondition connecting rods, assemble rods on pistons, and polish the crankshaft. The grand total from the shop was $2,083.05... ouch luckily I had sold nearly that cost in parts off of the donor Yukon by this point.

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post #11 of 118 Old 01-14-2016, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
Heretic122
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cortez
Posts: 223
For the Motor mounts I went with Advance Adaptors AA#713092 ($179.00) I am very satisfied with all aspects of the product and have yet to run into any issues with them. They sent an alignment tool that made the installation a breeze, and steering bolted right back up to the driver side mount (with new 3/8" bolts that were unfortunately not provided).

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You can see the tool hanging from the (wrong) brake line hole, this is the alignment tool that they sent. The correct hole slightly to the left ( under the brake line tab) is actually the alignment hole that this should have been resting in.(seen below)

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I slid the steering column bracket roughly an inch to align it with the mount holes on these mounts shown below.

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I ended up using two of the four included spacer washers, and "massaging" my firewall a bit when using these mounts.

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post #12 of 118 Old 01-15-2016, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
Heretic122
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cortez
Posts: 223
I opted for the transmission to transfer case adapter from Advance Adapters which replaced my transfercase input gear rather than keeping the lower tooth count and replacing the output shaft of the transmission. I wanted to switch to the 4l60E and this allowed me to retain my stock transfer case and speedo gear. (although I switched to a new 39 tooth gear (25$) to compensate for the 35"s and 4.88's)
Adaptor kit: AA#50-0435 ($559.00).
Mount Bracket: AA#716055 ($73.00).

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After tearing into the t-case your new input gear should look something like this (I reused the factory seal as it was in good shape, Advance Adaptors provided a spare with the kit)

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Make sure you install the seal provided with this kit below. I installed the t-case without it and later had to pull the cross member and t-case to install this seal.

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post #13 of 118 Old 01-15-2016, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
Heretic122
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cortez
Posts: 223
Exhaust Manifolds: LS3/L99 5th gen Camaro manifolds from a 2010+ Camaro. I found a guy on http://www.camaro5.com/ that had removed the manifolds from his 2010 V8 SS 6.2L for $75.

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Radiator: Superior Radiator $465.00 - I would suggest giving Superior Radiators a call if you need any specific information on the radiator, very helpful and informative customer service.
The trans cooler attached, as well as the coolant return port are all 1/4" female threaded, I picked up a few fittings from Napa to install the trans cooler. Details are lower in the build here<

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Make sure you mount the radiator flush with the grille, my first attempt I tried to add spacers to the lower mounting holes to make the radiator sit at a little less of an angle, this created problems trying to get a lower radiator hose. After I removed the spacers I ended up using a Car Quest "curved rad hose" part number "Day B71013"as my lower radiator hose, and I used a 1 1/4" x 11" flexible upper radiator hose.

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Pulled my clutch master cylinder and pedal .. that was a pain in the ***. I left the bracket in place to support the rod for the brake pedal.
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I was able to reuse both of my power steering lines from the Jeep, spent a bit of time tweaking them but i'm happy with the results.
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post #14 of 118 Old 01-15-2016, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
Heretic122
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cortez
Posts: 223
The stock sending unit for the 97 Jeep will not put out enough PSI to properly feed the Vortec. Because I needed to either pay to modify my existing fuel pump, or swap to a different pump... I decided I would install a fuel cell at the same time... rather than modify my fuel system twice (I planned on doing a cell sometime soon anyway).

A fuel cell: RCI2161A($241.95) This comes with a level sending unit, filler neck, and three threaded fittings; rollver vent, return line, and one for a fuel pickup that has a tube welded inside that reaches the bottom of the tank.
Fuel cell brackets: Artec#FM2161($119.99)
These brackets each come with a plate that is installed under the tank, I wanted to keep the metal plates off the tub of the jeep so I used the bushings below.
Fuel Cell Isolation: Energy suspension #9.8105R ($12.51) Kit conveniently comes with the 8 bushings you need to keep the tank off the tub.
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A 2005 TJ fuel pump: OE Mopar #5161335AH ($171.10) This pump assembly is regulated inside the tank, had a -6AN male connector and will allow for the 58 PSI needed for the Vortec.
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Blackwater Fabrication's fuel cell rings: ($47.79) I tacked the top two rings together, and tacked nuts onto the bottom of the inside ring. I cut the inside ring in one spot and was able to easily fit the ring inside the tank without making a second cut. I used some gasket material and a Permatex fuel safe RTV to seal the ring/pump to the tank.
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And a list of fuel fittings from Summit. ($193.64)
http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/jeep-...tall-jeep.html best info I have found on the subject very clean writeup if you are installing a fuel cell in a jeep. I just needed to make a few modifications to this when swapping to the 5.3; I will be running a 3/8" supply line so I changed out the adapter that connects to the existing 5/16" fuel supply line in this write up for a 3/8" and ran two sections of the SS braided lines all the way up to the fuel rail on the engine, I used the external filter between the 6' and 10' sections. The only other variation I made was finding the same parts in black. I will list my actual part numbers below for the black parts I ordered from Summit.
RUS-671570 ASSEMBLY LUBE/SEALANT KIT
SUM-220690B -6 STRAIGHT BLACK HOSE END < four of these
SUM-220840B 8 AN FLARE CAP BLK < two of these
SUM-220887B -8 90 DEGREE BLACK HOSE END
SUM-230610 S.S. HOSE -6 10FT
SUM-230606 S.S. HOSE -6 6FT
SUM-230803 S.S. BRAIDED HOSE-8 3FT
TNK-640853 RUS PUSHON ADAPTER -6AN TO 3/8 < two of these
Russell Competition Fuel Filters 650133
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post #15 of 118 Old 01-15-2016, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
Heretic122
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cortez
Posts: 223
Gauges: I wanted to retain stock instrument cluster, in order to do that I used..

Tachometer: Novak #E-TX41 Although I am very disappointed I did not get the aluminum casing shown on the website

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Coolant Temp: ICT Billit SKU# 551179 This adapter has 12mm-1.5 male threads that thread into the passenger side head, using the same threaded hole that the factory GM CTS uses on the drivers side head.
The female threads on this adapter are the 3/8" NPT found on my Jeeps factory CTS. (edit) Ended up working fine with no modification to the adaptor.

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Oil Pressure: I drilled and tapped the oil block off plate above the oil filter to 1/8" NPT. This was a considerably easier process than I expected the block off plate already has a hole you simply finish drilling it through, and run the 1/8" tap through. Tons of info here: http://www.ls2.com/forums/showthread...r-on-LS-Series

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Speedometer: I was able to retain the factory NP231 and speedometer gear, although I changed to a different tooth count to compensate for the re gear/tire size.

Voltage: I plan on reusing existing wiring from the Jeep
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