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Unread 05-07-2013, 10:27 AM   #1
warthog312
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project: HONEYBADGER

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!


jeepcolors.jpg  
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Unread 05-07-2013, 11:20 AM   #2
Beachcruiser
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Great starting post!

Nothing wrong w/ a decent carb's set up..tho FI is awesome if you are really going to be rock crawlin w/ crazy angles.

The AX/231 can be made to live behind a mild V8 just fine.

Not sure what a CJ will take w/ that lift/fender combo....but if you ran 35's the 4:10s would probably be fine for moderate road work, running a 302. Offroad w/ aggressive 33's you could climb a tree.

IMO, the CJ's look best in an old school color that pops. There is an orange CJ in town here that's riding on 42s & it's a gorgeous beast! So that gets my color vote.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 12:10 PM   #3
warthog312
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachcruiser View Post
Nothing wrong w/ a decent carb's set up..tho FI is awesome if you are really going to be rock crawlin w/ crazy angles.
Nah, a little off camber here and there, but in Illinois it is mostly trail riding, with the occasional wallowing though some sticky clay mud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachcruiser View Post
The AX/231 can be made to live behind a mild V8 just fine.
Can you expand on this at all? I know there exists a 231 "HD" in some 318 equipped Dodge Dakota's. Perhaps that is an option, but I'm not sure as to compatibility. Also, anthing to be said about strengthening the factory internals of the AX-15?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachcruiser View Post
Not sure what a CJ will take w/ that lift/fender combo....but if you ran 35's the 4:10s would probably be fine for moderate road work, running a 302. Offroad w/ aggressive 33's you could climb a tree.
The research I've done says my 4" springs + 2" BL + 5/8" booms is plenty for a CJ. I like the idea of 35's daily, when I'm "easier" on her, and 33's on the trails when I'm a bit more throttle happy. I know I'm pushing the limits of the 8.8 with a mildly build 302 on 35's, and the D30 is effectively a ticking time bomb with that power and those tires. I'm still not sure what my options are for a HD front axle, my only thought would be to get a D44 from a late model TJ Rubicon. I don't want to deal with the logistics of 1 tons, or get into narrowing of giant axles; and crate axles are insanely priced.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachcruiser View Post
IMO, the CJ's look best in an old school color that pops. There is an orange CJ in town here that's riding on 42s & it's a gorgeous beast! So that gets my color vote.

Hence the triumvirate of brightness I've narrowed it down to.

Orange is awesome, no doubt, maybe with some cream colored accents, the old 'dreamsicle' look. But that snakeskin green is menacing it its own right. And at that rate I could get fancy with the Rustoleum and "go green" with my axles, ateering componentry, skid plates, etc. for an added effect. IMO orange is a bit more of an every day color, I feel like I see it all the time; whereas the gree in something exciting and rare. Luckily, I am still a ways away from paint and body! Haha, thank you for your reply!
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Unread 05-10-2013, 11:00 AM   #4
warthog312
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Not much progress but finally got the ball rolling last night. esentially gutted the whole interior. I'm going to touch up the herc job on the inside, and have it removed entirely from the lower outside of the tub. (I only really did that to hise some ugly rust that I patched in a rush) Finding oodles of soft flaky metal on the tub that needs to be sectioned out and patched...... so lame, but I knew it was there and needed to be addressed. I have access to a sheet metal break, so I'm entertaining the idea of trying to make my own dash. Mine is so split, cracked, and beaten, hence the camo duct tape. Shhhhhh..... hide the lies...... haha. There's more pics but I'm at the office now and didn't bring the camera with me. Perhaps later I'll update on all the specific rot spots I found.

Cheers for now all, I'll keep updating, no matter how slow progress is, it must march forward.
photo-1.jpg   photo-2.jpg  
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Unread 05-10-2013, 12:59 PM   #5
TSEJEEPERS
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Looks good!
Just a quick question.
I have heard you have to have emissions testing in Chicago is that true?
If so you may have a problem running a carb.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 01:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warthog312 View Post
Nah, a little off camber here and there, but in Illinois it is mostly trail riding, with the occasional wallowing though some sticky clay mud.

There are plenty of places around us that will give a carbed jeep fits. I vote to put in the extra effort to keep it FI.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 01:42 PM   #7
warthog312
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSEJEEPERS
Looks good!
Just a quick question.
I have heard you have to have emissions testing in Chicago is that true?
If so you may have a problem running a carb.
Yes and no. There is no sniffer test anymore for gasoline vehicles anymore period. There is an emission scan test, but only for OBDII cars. So basically the cutoff is 1996. Anything older than that, and you can put a locomotive engine in for all they care. Also, no inspection, which is awesome because there's no way in hell my Jeep would pass.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 01:45 PM   #8
warthog312
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyHigh

There are plenty of places around us that will give a carbed jeep fits. I vote to put in the extra effort to keep it FI.
Yeah. You know I've been thinking more and more about it, and I may just leave the EFI. Not just for off-camber situations, but for general driveability. Time will tell, I've got a lot of work to do before I have to commit one way or the other. I can get the drivetrain all laid in and ready to go, THEN make the call.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 02:37 PM   #9
GrantYJ
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If you like the CJ front, don't let anyone talk you out of it. It's an easy swap and it's a great look (I love mine).

My intention is to go with a 302 with Fuel Injection in mine (after my kids have moved on to other vehicles). If you know what you're getting into, you'll have to just decide. I have carbs and FI in roughly even numbers on both motorcylces and cars. All of them run good and perform adequately; however, it's just hard to ignore all the upsides of direct port injection (just my opinion), but they are harder to set up initially.

As for the AX15, I know that there are plenty of people who adapt them to 350s, so a 302 shouldn't give it too much problem; however, if you can live without overdrive, have you thought about just swapping to an NP435? This is a four speed ...actually, a 3 speed with a granny low (low even by granny gear standards). This was a very common transmission in the late 70s fords and typically came with an NP205 TC. It's not hard to find them and it's not hard to find bellhousings for them to mate up to a 302 (same bell as a T18). Both are basically bombproof and you'd get the added benefiet of a very low crawl ratio without having to go really low gears. I'd bet that you could get the tranny and TC with a bellhousing cheaper than you could get an adapter to fit your AX15 to your 302 and have a much more robust drivetrain when you're done. The length is comparable to what you have now, and if you look a little bit harder, you can get a tranny to t-case adapter and input from a 6 cylinder (it's shorter to compensate for the I-6) to help even more (also, you can always slide the motor forward a bit). The only real penalty that you'd pay is losing overdrive, but with 33s or 35s and 4.10 gears, you should still be able to cruise comfortably at interstate speeds.

Concerning running the CJ front with 35s on a 4" lift, if your suspension flexes a lot, I'm guessing that you'll rub (both at the top of the tire and at the rear of the wheel well). You'll need at least an inch of body lift to make the CJ front work. I have 1 1/4" of body lift and my grill is sitting just above the frame in the front. I had to trim a little on the back side of the grill where the hoses come out of the steering box. There was also a little trimming to do to the inner fenders to clear the frame and shock towers. With nothing but the body lift and a little bit of lift from longer shackles, 31s would rub the CJ fenders jumping a parking block or curb. With that same setup and tube fenders, I'm running 33s without much drama, but my intention is to do a Wagoneer stretch/lift an eventually run 35s (with a little trimming in back).

As for the color, I'd have to vote for orange as well, but the green does look nice. I almost painted mine orange, but decided to go ahead with red. Even if you don't like red, it's better than the green, brown, yellow, other yellow and red that it was before paint.

If you want to see any shots of mine, just let me know. I have pictures of it in a myriad of stages as it's been going through the build.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 04:02 PM   #10
warthog312
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There's a body lift going on when everything starts falling together. Mostly because it will be replacing the factory nonexistent body mounts. So I'll have my 4" springs + 1-2" BL, and 5-8" booms. So somewhere in the neighborhood of 6" of total lift.

I've actually come across a friend's old man that has a t-18 four speed that he'll let me have for 50 bucks. I know those things are bulletproof, and I believe his is Ford original not AMC, so theoretically it would mate flawlessly to the 302 and then I'd just have to get an AA kit for the 231, OR I could scrounge around for a d300. Ah, decisions, decisions, decisions.

Luckily I'm really in no rush, other than wanting her back on the road.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 04:25 PM   #11
GrantYJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warthog312 View Post
There's a body lift going on when everything starts falling together. Mostly because it will be replacing the factory nonexistent body mounts. So I'll have my 4" springs + 1-2" BL, and 5-8" booms. So somewhere in the neighborhood of 6" of total lift.

I've actually come across a friend's old man that has a t-18 four speed that he'll let me have for 50 bucks. I know those things are bulletproof, and I believe his is Ford original not AMC, so theoretically it would mate flawlessly to the 302 and then I'd just have to get an AA kit for the 231, OR I could scrounge around for a d300. Ah, decisions, decisions, decisions.

Luckily I'm really in no rush, other than wanting her back on the road.
If you run stock style CJ fenders with flares, I still think that you'll get into them (again, just my opinion based on 35s with your lift). I was taken aback by how quickly they rubbed vs the YJ fenders and flares.

If you can get a Ford T-18 for $50 (assuming it is the case for a 4WD), I'd jump on it. 1st isn't quite as low as a NP435, but if I were to run across a deal on a T-18 or T19, I'd snap it up quick. If you go that route, I just don't see why you would even consider keeping the NP231. You could sell it for enough to buy a cast iron gear driven t-case that will bolt up. If you sell your NP231, you could easily have a cast iron case gear driven t-case with a twin stick for less than the price of an adapter. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with an NP231, but it is a cast aluminum case chain driven T-case (far weaker). The only thing that would be nice about keeping the NP231 is for the lower ratio, but with the low first in a T-18, you should be better off.

I feel your pain on waiting. But it's good motivation to get it done. Since I got mine driveable again, I haven't touched my tailgate which is still sitting in my shop waiting for paint.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 07:40 PM   #12
SkyHigh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warthog312

Yeah. You know I've been thinking more and more about it, and I may just leave the EFI. Not just for off-camber situations, but for general driveability. Time will tell, I've got a lot of work to do before I have to commit one way or the other. I can get the drivetrain all laid in and ready to go, THEN make the call.
Good call.
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Unread 05-11-2013, 01:25 PM   #13
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If you ever drive in the winter, you will love the EFI.
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Unread 05-11-2013, 11:31 PM   #14
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I'm looking forward to seeing more as you build. I'm starting on a similar project, dropping a 350 into my YJ. A lot of your questions and concerns are my own.

As far as the AX-15, I had a chat with Brad at Novak the other day, and he was very comfortable recommending one to me, behind a pretty stout V-8, and coupled to the 231. I'm still on the fence about which way to go, but I really want the overdrive, so the other choice is a multi thousand dollar 700R4.

Also, I'm planning to run a carb on mine. Being in Florida, there isn't a lot of off camber driving, and I can tune a carb a lot easier than FI.

Anyway, good luck with your build, I can't wait to see how it comes out.
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Unread 05-12-2013, 03:14 PM   #15
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check with your local DMV before putting a lot of effort in to what may be an illegal engine swap...don't know how it is where you are, but here you have to use an engine the same year or newer than the vehicle receiving the engine, and you have to keep all of the pollution control equipment functional from the engine (so you couldn't swap from FI to a carb here)
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