After much persuasion I have finally gathered enough pictures and info to post up my own build thread, starting from the first mod after buying the Jeep about 2 years ago, to the most recent mod.
I started with a 1990 YJ with a 2.5 ltr. backed by an AX-5 manual transmission. The Jeep had an existing 2.5" Skyjacker spring lift with 31" Cooper STT mud terrains. Stock Dana 30/35 axle combo with 4.10 gearing.
Here is pretty much how it looked when I bought it. The hard top (not shown) was tan. The very first change I had to make was to paint that sucker black. A couple cans of satin black and a can of adhesion promoter and some scotch-brite pads was all that change required.
The next step was to get rid of that wimpy, pesky, leak prone 4 banger. I happened to have an LA 318 hanging around that didnt have a home at the time. I didn't, however, want to run a carb mostly because I wanted to be emission legal, but fuel injection is just the way to go. After much searching I found that I could simply bolt on a set of Magnum small block heads and MPFI intake manifold by just purchasing a custom set of push rods and standard hydraulic lifters. A junkyard set of parts/wiring harness/computer and some time clearing out excess wires got the system grafted into the YJ's existing wiring and humming like a clock. A simple set of homemade mounts bolted the engine into the frame.
Here the engine is supported by the mounts I made up:
This photo also shows the Magnum accessory system that I pulled off of a donor Grand Cherokee and Dakota. All these parts simply bolt on to the LA block however use of the Magnum timing cover is required. I ended up only using the block, crank, pistons and oil pan of the LA engine, all the rest is entirely Magnum. Simply bolt on with new gaskets and it is good to go. Stock YJ power steering pump and hoses were retained, simply bolted to Dakota bracketry.
Is an AX-15 from a Dakota with matching 231 t-case. A bell-housing from a 92 Dakota with a 3.9 V-6 and 5 speed was all that was required to bolt the engine and transmission together. Flywheel and clutch setup came from the same donor truck. I had to get an 8 cylinder tone ring (from another donor flywheel) to get the computer to function correctly. All this took was careful scribing and matching up of bolt patterns and a bit of heat to swap it over, much like replacing a ring gear.
The yellow marks on the tone ring indicate where 8 cylinder openings go, as opposed to the 6 cylinder openings that are on there now.
Since my '90 didnt have a fuse/relay box under the hood a junkyard Cherokee donor box handled the task just fine.
For the clutch hydraulics stock '94 YJ hardware handled the task.
Stock slave cylinder bolted right up.
The master cylinder also bolted right up, however the clutch pedal rod diameter is different, I simply grafted the 2 together using the eye from the old setup and the rest of the rod from the new (after removing from the master cylinder as to not melt it with the welding).
The transmission mount bolted right up to the trans and fit into the belly pan with no mods. I placed the engine so that the t-case output was the same spot it had been with the 4 banger, to save on having to get the drivelines modified.
Starter came from a van, any small diameter newer style fits the bill fine.
Patriot tight-tuck headers, some mandrel bent tubing, new cat and 12" Cherry Bomb from Jegs filled the exhaust bill.
That pretty much takes care of the engine swap. The Jeep was down for about 3 weeks while I did the work on weekends/free time. I used the stock 4 banger radiator with the Taurus fan-mod attached to it. A mechanical thermostat handles the task of powering the fan; $20 at Napa. Bits of hose and exhaust tube handle the task of radiator hoses until I can justify the cost of buying a conversion radiator. Even in 100+ degree heat the engine temp didnt rise above 200 so I am not placing a high priority on a new radiator. Even in slow speed crawling overheating has never been evident.
Also Grand Cherokee throttle cable with slight length adjustment at the pedal end took care of that little detail.
My most recent delve into the swap world involved a SOA along with Wagoneer axles. The donor rig for the axles I have determined to be a 1980 Wagoneer. The dana 44 front axle is the correct driver's side drop with a centered Heavy Duty AMC 20 rear axle. Gear ratio is 3.31 for the time being.
Hi-steer was definately high on my list of needs so flat top knuckles were in order. A Chevy drivers side knuckle and a Dodge passenger side knuckles were all that I could locate, so they fit the bill. I grabbed both sides of the Chev brake parts/backing plates/calipers/rotors/hubs from the local u-pull-it yard, cost me about $60 for everything. I had to modify the Dodge knuckle a bit to accept the Chev backing plates/calipers. Dodge calipers bolt directly to the knuckle, as opposed to the Chev style which the calipers bolt to the backing plates that bolt to the knuckle, which is between the spindle and knuckle. Basically I had to cut the mount ears from the Dodge knuckle and just remove some extra material here and there to get the backing plate to sit flat on the knuckle. A friend of mine runs a part-time machine shop out of his garage, he is pretty much retired now and just does the work for fun, machined the passenger knuckle to accept the hi-steer arm. Steering arm studs are a nightmare to find so another trip to the junkyard with a stud extractor took care of that task.
Some ebay special boom shackles (.5" lift up front, .25" lift out back) leveled the rig back out from the extra engine weight, as well as will hopefully help prevent leaf inversion when I start to get out doing some crazy wheeling in the future.
The stock Wagoneer tie-rod and drag link setup were the basis for my steering setup. I had to shorten the tie rod 2.5" due to the hi-steer arms different offset.
The drag link was extended 6.5" to relocate its connection point from the tie-rod to the front hi-steer arm location.
A heavy bevel in the solid bar, lots of heat, grinding level and an outer sleeve of 1/8th wall tubing was added just for extra security. Plug welds through the sleeve into the bars along with ends welded up with lots of heat secured those permanently.
Front driveshaft is the stock skinny jobber for the time being. Angle isnt the most desirable, but this is where it has to be to get my caster in check. Future mod will be to re-clock the carrier up a bit.
Plenty of clearance for this shaft, but when I get a large tube shaft made later belly pan clearancing will be necessary.
Pitman arm is stock Wagoneer guy until I can manage a dropped one. I had to cut off the upper track bar mount but seeing how I havent run one in years it was just a couple extra ounces that needed to be toted around.
I am not running a sway bar either. Havent for a while, havent felt the need.
A rugged ridge SYE kit and custom CV shaft tackled the extra lift and driveline angles.
Here you can see the pinion angle, I havent measured it but it is just slightly below the t-case output by a couple degrees. In this photo you can also see the rear lower shock mounts, I simply cut off the stock ones on the axle and relocated them to where I needed them to be.
In this photo you can see the other side.
I simply cut off the stock spring perches and re-welded them to where I needed them.
At the same time I welded the axle tubes to the carrier. Short 1" long welds with plenty of time cooling left me with crack-free welds that should solve the one weak link left in the HD AMC 20 axle.
Parking brake cables fit right into the stock Wagoneer rear brake setup and work great. All I had to do was remove the clamp holding the passenger side cable to the body and relocate it slightly for clearance.
Forgot to mention the gauge swap that I did not long ago. Because of the VSS required for the MPFI I wanted to get rid of the crappy speedo cable and go with an electronic one. I also needed to get a newer tach that would function off my PCM's tach output. 91+ Stock YJ gauges fit the bill just fine. Jeepsolot converted his dash to CJ style and graciously gave me his old gauges along with the connectors necessary to wire them in. I simply needed to move a few wires around and run 1 extra wire for the speedo signal wire and it was a couple hour task. I also painted the dash parts Charcoal, the goal is to get rid of the ugly tan and have it match the red/black theme on the outside a bit better.
Here is how it looks today sitting on new 35x12.50x15 Wrangler MTR's and Chev 6 lug 5 slot aluminum wheels.