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Rough Country Lift Kits and Parts!The Original 3/8" Ruffstuff Diff Cover!3" BDS Suspension Lift Kit - Jeep JK 07-11

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Unread 02-12-2015, 07:43 PM   #1
KrisGarner
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The "while I'm there" project

Since this has turned into a full-blown project, I figured I might as well start a build thread to document the insanity.

I had a 92 YJ a couple of years ago that was a complete rust bucket. I bought it without really knowing much about a YJ and what to look for, like frame rot and such. I had some fun with it, but got rid of it after I got my 02 WJ. I had wanted another one ever since and I picked up this little 88 YJ as something to tinker around on, fix up along the way, and just have some fun. The body and frame are solid, it's a 4.2 auto that had factory a/c at one point in its life. I got a pretty good deal on it, or so I thought...

The day she arrived.



First time I had seen a 2-piece hard top. (Photo from the sale ad, not my barn)



First project was to add a Weber 38 and HEI ignition. This got me really looking at the wiring and that's where the fun began...

I have no idea what all had been done to this poor Jeep, but everything was covered in mud and dirt and grime. And it was about one short away from a full on fire. Whoever messed with the wiring should have their toolbox welded shut!

So I figured, while I'm there, I'll just clean up the wiring. That turned out to be a huge mess, so I went looking for a replacement engine harness. I found the Painless one and almost had a heart attack when I saw the price. $900 for some wires, those folks are crazy! So my next stroke of genius was to be a cheapskate, hit eBay up and pick up a good used harness. The harness was in pretty decent shape and I commenced to stripping out the ECM and ICM stuff, since I was going with the Weber and HEI. The harness was filthy, so I gave it a good scrub so I could bring it inside and go through it wire by wire and get rid of what I wouldn't need. While it was hanging in the sun to dry, I decided to install my new Hella E-code head lights and upgraded head light harness.

Not much difference in the outward appearance.



While I was there, I thought it would be a good time to replace the cowl seal that had also just arrived. I have a guy who wants to trade his family bar for my sport bar, if he can ever get the torx bolts out of his. Since I already had the roll bar loose, it should only take a second to swap the seal. Yeah, ok!

I like the old school look with the windshield down and the spreader bars out. I also replaced the double tube bumper with a Smittybilt combo and got the tire off the tailgate so it would close a little better. That was a whole other adventure!



When I pulled up the seal, I notice some rust on the top of the metal dash. I wasn’t about to put it back together with the rust there, especially since my last YJ was so rusted out. So, while I was there (see a pattern yet?), I thought I would clean it up and put some paint on it.

One thing led to another…





It was so nasty, I figured I might as well take it completely out so I can clean it properly and I wanted to replace the speakers any way.

And then…



Well that wiring in here is a disaster too, so now I have to fix that while I’m there. Then I sat down and thought to myself “Self, you’re an idiot for trying to cheap out. Buy the harness and be done”. Amazon, Quadratec, Rock Auto and UPS love me! The Painless (Painful on the wallet) harness will be here tomorrow.

So everything came out for a good scrub and paint. While it’s out, I’m replacing the heater core, upgrading the blower motor and will probably go ahead and put Monstaliner in the tub since I ripped out all of the nasty, mud soaked carpet in there.



So between work, going back to school, kids and finalizing a divorce, this should be a fun distraction. I love having a project to tinker on.

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Unread 02-13-2015, 04:40 PM   #2
KrisGarner
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Got the Painless harness today.



Finished scrubbing and painting the inside firewall. The kit said it was Painless, so I left it sitting on the seat while I finished installing the headlight harness, took the tail lights off and a couple of other things. When I came back, it still had not installed itself. I think mine is broken.



All in all, it looks like a nice harness. I guess I'll find out tomorrow when I start pulling wires.

One thing I noticed while buttoning it up for the night.



Is the front of the transmission supposed to be open like that? I thought they had a thin metal sheet covering that up. That just looks like a bad day waiting to happen, especially if a rock got in there.
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Unread 02-13-2015, 05:46 PM   #3
JD421
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisGarner View Post
Got the Painless harness today.



Finished scrubbing and painting the inside firewall. The kit said it was Painless, so I left it sitting on the seat while I finished installing the headlight harness, took the tail lights off and a couple of other things. When I came back, it still had not installed itself. I think mine is broken.



All in all, it looks like a nice harness. I guess I'll find out tomorrow when I start pulling wires.

One thing I noticed while buttoning it up for the night.



Is the front of the transmission supposed to be open like that? I thought they had a thin metal sheet covering that up. That just looks like a bad day waiting to happen, especially if a rock got in there.
There should be a dust shield I believe. Looks like another project. Should do a tummy tuck while your there.
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Unread 02-13-2015, 06:10 PM   #4
KrisGarner
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It currently has what appears to be a 2" body lift, so a tummy tuck might be an option down the road.

Since I'm going to be here a while, I just upgraded to a Lifetime membership
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Unread 02-13-2015, 06:53 PM   #5
ravenworks
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I always say 'Where am I"
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Unread 02-14-2015, 11:19 AM   #6
KrisGarner
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Let the fun begin. So far I've run the headlight section, put both that and the new headlight harness in wire loom, and started on the engine wiring.
image_1423937900372.jpg  
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Unread 02-16-2015, 08:47 AM   #7
KrisGarner
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I managed to get most of the engine section and part of the interior connected and tidied up. I am on hold on the interior until the speakers and LED lights for the dash get here.



And yes, I did install the cowl seal that started all of this mess.

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Unread 02-16-2015, 08:47 AM   #8
KrisGarner
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I do have one issue with the engine harness. It has a connection for the Neutral Safety Switch, Back-up light switch, and 4WD switch. There was no connector on the old or the new OEM harnesses for this switch. I found the switch on the side of the transmission, but nothing is hooked to it, only 3 bare pins. I saw on here that a lot of people bypass the NSS for no-start issues. Do I need to bypass the whole thing or will this cause other issues?

From the Painless manual:

11.1 Back Up & Neutral Safety Switch (Mopar*)
*the following instructions only pertain to those using a Mopar Neutral Safety switch. Ford and GM NEUTRAL SAFETY SWITCHES use the Start signal wire coming from the Ignition Switch, #919 Grn in this harness.
11.1.1 This section of wires contains 4 wires, and should be connected according to the printed description on each.
11.1.2 Black/Yellow #942 “4WD SWT” connects to the 4 wheel drive switch. This is a ground wire to the 4wd indicator lamp.
11.1.3 Black #980 “PARK/NEUTRAL SWITCH to STARTER SOLENOID” will ground the starter solenoid when the transmission is in Park or Neutral. This makes it impossible to start the engine while in gear.
11.1.4 Yellow #958 “BACK UP SWITCH (B+) provides power to the BACK UP switch.
11.1.5 Brown/Green #956 “BACK UP LIGHT SWITCH OUTPUT” provides power out of the BACK UP SWITCH to the reverse lights.
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Unread 02-16-2015, 10:09 AM   #9
y2k-fxst
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Not a fan of the clutch inter-connect on manual trans, as it can be helpful to be able to restart in gear on a soft surface where you can dig holes when you let the clutch out. Not sure of the helpfulness of bypassing the NSS on a automatic. If street driven I would at least hook-up the reverse lights.
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Unread 02-17-2015, 05:54 PM   #10
KrisGarner
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I ordered the connector and switch for the NSS and reverse lights today. I figured I might as well replace the switch in the transmission, since it was probably unhooked for a reason. I did notice why they didn't bother with the reverse lights. The tail lights that were on there were cheap trailer lights and didn't have reverse lights built in. That's ok, my LED ones will be here tomorrow, or they are supposed to be. My order from Super Bright LEDs may be delayed due to the bad weather up north of here. And that's going to delay putting the dash in even more.

I did receive my speaker wedges that go behind the front seats and my new MSD 8.5mm wires today. The plug wires will put me one step closer to finishing the engine harness wiring. Now I'm just waiting for the NSS stuff and a temp sender and that should bit it, hopefully.
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Unread 02-19-2015, 03:28 PM   #11
HuggyBear911
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You're moving right along! That looks SO much easier to do with the dash completely removed. I may eventually remove mine so I can tidy up the dash wires...would hate for them to rub on something and short out. But that will have to wait for a while longer, I want to get it running first before I start getting all OC about things.
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Unread 02-20-2015, 11:19 AM   #12
KrisGarner
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Thanks. Hopefully I'll be able to get the dash back in this weekend and finish most of it up. My speakers arrived yesterday and my LEDs have just been delivered, but I don't have them yet. I know what you mean about a rub and short, there are lots of sharp edges on the metal dash. I think I have bumped into most of them.

These speakers are marine rated and got pretty good reviews on several forums and on Amazon. The only problem I have ran in to so far is none of the holes in the plates line up with all 4 dash studs. I'll probably end up putting them face to face with the old speakers and drilling new mounting holes for the studs. A couple need to be slotted a little more and a couple will have to be drilled.

Dash speakers (4x6 plate)



Roll bar wedge speakers (6x9)

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Unread 02-22-2015, 03:16 PM   #13
HuggyBear911
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Just a pic of what I've been up to this weekend...though you might appreciate

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Unread 02-23-2015, 12:09 PM   #14
KrisGarner
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I wish my engine looked like that!

The wiring looks good. I have most of mine done, just waiting on the battery/ground cables to get here. I order some 1/0 cable to replace the junk that was in there. I also had to stop with the dash install due to running out of screws and having to run to Lowe's to get some more.

While we were there, my 4 year old saw a pinewood derby car on the Dremel display and had to have one. So we ran over to Hobby Lobby for some polyfil for the speaker boxes and a Superman race car. So while the weather was nasty and we couldn't work on my Jeep, we stayed inside and worked on his new car.


The paint flows smoother if you stick your tongue out (he gets that from me)



He's gone back to his mom's for a couple of days, so it won't be done until he gets back later this week.
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Unread 02-23-2015, 12:28 PM   #15
KrisGarner
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Went up to ATL (about 2 hours, one way) and picked up a family style roll bar this weekend.

Out with the old





and in with the new. That thing was a bear to put in by myself. Luckily I thought ahead enough to take off the windshield bars so I was just wrestling with the back part.





And I can finally install my Softopper that's been sitting in the hallway for a month while I tried to find a family style bar.

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