Here we go. I have set up a bunch of indexes, hopefully I can keep everything organized and do a lot better at keeping information easily accessible!
I will use this post to keep an updated photo and current specs as things progress!
1995 Jeep YJ
31x10.5x15 "off brand" tires
Barricade Soft Top
Pretty much stock and 99% rust free!
The goal with this build will be to transform that stock YJ in Warbird 2! My overall goal is to build a rig that is an across the board compromise between comfortable daily driver capable of making long road trips, a weekend warrior rock crawler, and a descent expedition rig capable of going on prolonged outings into the wilderness of the west.
5.3/4l60e swap (in progress!)
8.8/d30 built (lockers, chromos, etc)
Full Armor (body and skids)
Warbird paint job
Expo Jeep Trailer
When I first was mapping out this build I had a desire to keep the Jeep small (32s, mild lift, stock motor, etc) but decided that long term I would never be happy with that set up. I then swung in the opposite direction and began hunting for some tons and started planning for 37 or 38 inch tires. I finally made the decision that in order to fully meet all my requirements, a build based on 35s would be my best choice; big enough to do some pretty great rock crawling, but small enough to be a descent daily driver and expo rig.
The first thing I'm starting with is the motor swap.
DISCLAIMER: I have almost zero experience with things like this! I've never done a motor swap before and only have limited knowledge of fuel injected engines and how they go together, much less how to make it work in my jeep. I have spent the last 6 months or more reading, reading, reading, reading, and reading on the subject, and I have learned just enough to get me in trouble! I'm confident that with the support of the write ups here on JF, the community, and being able to pick the brains of a few friends whom have done a swap like this before, I will get it figured out and learn a ton in the process!
So I had my eye on a 6.0 but it sold while I was down on the /f12 Moab trip. No worries, the yard had an '03 5.3 in stock with 89,xxx on the clock and 180 compression in each cylinder. Sweet! Drove over to Ontario Oregon to pick her up!
The yard had the motor on a pallet all ready for me when I got there!
Got the engine/transmission loaded up...
Then made a quick sweet of the yard to check out the rig it was pulled from;
Today I again was dealing with my family issues and had Exiled Offroad stuff to manage so once again, I didn't have as much time as I would have liked.
I got the rest of the engine stripped down as far as I'm taking it.
I then spent a couple hours cleaning EVERYTHING with a wire/soft brush, brake cleaner, mineral spirits, and compressed air. It was very time consuming but worth it! I'm glad I stripped everything off. As I was removing parts I found out that the yard had previously disassembled the motor down to the block and heads and sorted the individual parts in their warehouse. When I called to ask about the motor and reserve it, they had grabbed all the parts and put it back together, but most of the bolts were only hand tight or just past hand tight. Glad I checked and didn't try to fire it like that!
Next I painted everything up.
Valve covers. Side by side, one cleaned and painted and the other straight off the head.
And all the accessories cleaned and painted;
I really want to take my time and make things on this build as clean as I am capable. It was time consuming but worth it!
I got the Novak mounts. Shipping was fast! Arrived at my door around 48 hours from the time I placed my order. The mounts are beef and I went with them since Novak already did the hard part and figured out the best placement for them. That way all I have to do is measure (and remeasure!), burn them in, and can be confident that everything will fit as intended with out having to test fit the engine multiple times while adjusting the mounts and trying to measure a hundred different clearances.