Freinds, jeepers, countrymen; lend me your ears....
Well, it's been a long time guys. I've unfortunately had to set the Jeep on the back burner for the last few months as life got in the way, as it does from time to time. However, I have wonderful news to report, and lots and lots of questions.
I have just picked up a new engine! It's a Ford 5.0 302 from a 1991 Mustang GT. The car was totaled, and the engine only has 89,xxx miles on it. Not bad for $300!
But wait, There's more!
- I currently have a RC 4" kit, yeah yeah yeah, RC sucks, well, not for me. It's been 2 years of hard wheeling and daily driving and it hasn't sagged at all. I've really got nothing bad to say about RC whatsoever. In addition to this, i just purchased a 2" body lift, not really because I need the lift, more because I'd like the room to make adjustments with the engine swap where need be, and the fact that my factory body mounts are..... well, they must be on vacation, becuase they sure aren't where they're supposed to be. I also got a set of MORE 5/8" booms. Hooray!
- I picked up a FREE AX-15 from a friend who went FUBAR on his YJ and stretched the wheelbase, went SBC, fully caged, etc etc etc.... point is, free trans bro! Master rebuild kit is on its way.
- Snagged a Ford 8.8 and welded the tubes, waiting on a selectable locker now, not sure which one to buy.
- Purchased an all brand new reproduction front end (hood, grille, fenders) for a CJ-7. Flame me if you must for abandoning the square headlights, but this is my rig, and I personally like the CJ look more.
- Found a paint shop through my new job that does awesome work, the guy has known my boss for 10 years and quoted me under a grand to quirt the whole jeep and do some body work on the tub, I'd say this is an awesome deal! (more on this later).
- For the motor I purchased a set of better flowing GT40p heads off craigslist, which have already been sent off for porting and polishing.
- Purchased a B303 cam, as well as full head assembly to match; new valves, rockers, pushrods, springs, etc. etc. etc.
- Other bolt on's for the motor, big fat Taylor wires, FR long tube headders, heavy duty armored oil pan, HD alternator, underdrive pulleys, etc.
SO NOW, HERE ARE MY QUESTIONS MOVING FORWARD:
- I really don't know if I want to deal with the nightmare that is adapting the fuel injection and MAF system from the Ford into the Jeep. I know it can be done, but hybridizing two completely different looms and ECU's is a logistical nightmare. I'm not afraid of carbs. My daily driver at the moment is carb'd, and all my motorcycles have always been carb'd. It's really not the "big bad wolf" that people who grew up in the age of fuel injection make it out to be. I have the factory upper and lower intake from the 302, as well as the throttle body. But that stuff is junk with all my bolt-on's anyway. So it's either I sack up and get a Cobra top end for the EFI and dive in head first, or just get an edelbrock intake manifold and one of those sweet sweet Holly Avenger offroad carbs. What do you all suggest? I understand the pro's and con's of both, just looking for a little feedback, honestly leaning more the Avenger way at the moment.....
- It is my understanding that the Ax-15 was used behing the 318. By that logic I've chosen to retain the AX-15 and alread bought a master rebuild kit for it. Does anybody know if they make hardened or heavy duty main shafts for these things? I wouldn't mond doing that while I was in there. I've rebuild three NV manuals in my day, so I'm not too afraid of this little guy.
- There are really bad reviews for all the companies that make 302 to YJ motor mount kits, short of fabricating my own (I would rather not have solid state, which if DIY is my only option) what are some other options at my disposal?
- Unless I find something that will work, it looks like the NP231 will have to man up and take it. I know the old D300's are awesome, but they drop on the wrong side, a problem I see with many other x-cases. Also, anything else presents a drivetrain length / rear DS length problem.
- The 8.8 I have has factory 4.10:1 gears. So does my D30 front. My concern here is that 4:10 may be a little too steep for a 302. It was great with the 4 banger, but this is way more engine, and the 5.0's are revv-happy. I'm thinking 3.55:1, but again, looking for a bit more guidance.
- Last but not least, I have to pick which color I want to paint the old girl! I've got it down to B5 Blue Metallic, Sunset Orange, and Snakeskin Green. See the attached photo for an idea of what I'm talking about.
So, that's basically where I'm at everybody. The overall goal here is to get a pair of more tame 35's for street driving, and save my 33" MTs for off-road application only. While not a "daily driver" in the truest sense of the term, I'd like to drive the Jeep 3-5 times per week, at least through the summer, to and from work, becuase I love her. I think we all know that feel, a willingness to deal with a loud old jeep, no AC, poor heat, creaks and squeaks and moans, becuase of pure unbridled love. I'm not in a rush to finish this exactly, HOWEVER, I'd like to get it done as soon as possible because I miss my old girl! I want her back on (and off) the roads! Let me know what you guys have to say about all this, I'm open to any suggestions or opinions you're willing to share. As she sits, the entire front clip is torn off and the factory drivetrain pulled, she looks so sad haha. Cheers everyone!