Welp I was racing a lexus and about two lights later the bottom end of my 304 went so that really sped my progress along. For a little while I thought it was a bad ignition module or the timing was off, but when I started pulling plugs to check for TDC, I knew it was over.
I broke a bolt trying to lift out this motor and stuff with the little lift chain that I had which scared the piss out of me, so I figured I might as well get the big one out and just wrap the motor. It was surprisingly balanced at that point and came out pretty easily.
Tried to sell the motor/transmission/transfer case on CL with no luck, but a dozen scrap companies were willing to haul it for free so I went that route. The engine bay was dirty and the frame was oily and greasy, good thing a nice thick coat of oil keeps the rust away.
My girlfriend, Jenna, worked with me the entire time and got filthy.
Blurry picture of the painted engine with valve covers. The valve cover studs I bought were good for all of the holes except the 4 where I had spark plug wire loom rails going so I had to make a few extra studs out of random bolts I had laying around.
Old intake manifold I got off of craigslist, AMC performer. It was dirty, busted out the dremel and a few packs of wire wheels to shiny it up. Wouldn't recommend it to anyone, but once you start you can't really stop. Took forever, only looks ok, and according to the pdf owners manual there's a special cleaner that would've worked fine. Also, I burned out a dremel that was less than a year old (still under warranty). I hope someone reads this and it helps them.
Got the engine bay cleaned up, flat black high temp on the firewall, gloss black chassis paint on the frame and axles. I had to take the tires off and lower the front of the frame down to be able to open the hood wide enough (full fiberglass front clip) and the rake of the frame like this made getting the engine with transmission in a little easier.
Then Kevin wanted to be the engine for a bit. He sounded better than most v8s.
I didn't want to lift up the engine with the chain again because I didn't want to break any bolts and the big chain would've been too long. I was nervous at first, but I caved and bought a lift plate with some grade 8 hardware and it worked great, held nice and tight and felt much better than a chain. Once I got the engine off the stand I could put the flywheel bolts on, which were different than the auto flywheel bolts I took off. Luckily, my dad had 5 of the 6 I needed in the everything bucket from when he changed his CJ over to an automatic because of knee issues (sometime in the 90's). Carquest had 1 bolt that would work and it only took 20 minutes of looking in the back to find it.
Once I got the clutch mounted with the throw out bearing and clutch fork all in the bell housing, I went for a (preemptive) victory pose before lowering it down to attach the transmission/transfercase.
I ran into problems with the transmission being stuck in third even when it looked like it was in neutral. It would shift into other gears, neutral, or third but never could come out of third. I figure this is because it was in third when I pulled the cover and when I flipped it upside down to paint it the rail could've come loose or something. It took a few hours, and a
, but we finally figured out that one of the gears was stuck and needed a little persuasion with a screwdriver. Shifts smoothly between all the gears now.
Got the transfer case bolted on and new fluids in with some permatex to seal it all up. I couldn't find one of the two longer bolts that hold the top shift cover on so it's missing one of those for now.
Set the engine down on a couple short rail road ties and put the transmission on a floor jack to get everything lined up. Add in a little assembly grease and it went together like butter.
Got the engine up in the air, it took two tries to put it in (should've had the boom extended the first time). When we were sliding it in, the lift got a little unweildy so we had to counter weigh it with people/person.
Although we had it lowered, we still needed to lift up the tail end to clear the front of the frame. Used a piece of gas pipe and a johnson bar between the transfer case and transmission so it wouldn't slip while two people held there, two others were pushing it in. Worked well, had to swap which bar we used to get around the radiator supports.
All this moving around got Pat worried that we were hitting the light with the clip. It was ok.
Once the engine was more or less in place, we sent the big guy under to help manhandle it into place. He didn't mind too much.
Finally got the engine down on the motor mounts with the transmission supported temporarily.
BAM! Most of the wiring and stuff done.
Unfortunately the stupid connections on the top of the steering column for the ignition switch kept hitting the frickin' brake pedal bracket and the wires wouldn't reach. I remounted the little white switch at about the 2 o'clock mark so the wires would reach and it would be out of the way, and broke the damn rod that connects it to the key tumbler. I tried to make a new one out of two coat hangers wound together with a nylon clamp holding it on track, but it's not really stiff enough to hit the last part of the switch. I also broke the damn horn button taking the column apart and putting it back together so many times. Any suggestions on what to use as a replacement that wont bend as easily? I'm going to use heat to bend it this time.
I swapped steering boxes with a waggy box and a tilt column for a non tilt column because both of those were shot on my Jeep. Everything feels much tighter now, but it's still irritating.
Lesson to learn: Don't paint your starter, you'll get paint inside of it and then you'll go to start the jeep after the swap and it wont go.
Hopefully, two of these will work. I know the right three wont.