I just bought my 83 CJ7, was sitting somewhere for 10 years or so undriven and I'm just getting around to replacing/removing all of the fluids and things that have been sitting in, on, under, and around it. I plan on heading over to Advance tonight to pick up the parts and attempt the upgrade this weekend.
I have read all 17 pages, but the one thing that is causing me some hesitation is timing. Yes, I know about the 8 degrees +-2, but I am functioning at a much lower level than that. I have no clue how to time an engine, don't own a light, and don't want to pay a mechanic to listen to why I put a ford setup on a jeep and ended up with a piston sticking out of the side of my block because I accidentally turned the distributor base when I put the whole thing on.
Is this really as simple as it sounds? Mark #1 location on dist, pop off cap, put on adapter,, rotor, cap (indexed), new wires, plugs, and the whole thing should be timed the same? I do have a warm start issue that pops up occasionally, but other than that it runs fine.
I'd like to get a bit more power out of it (has column shift auto, Torqueflite of some sort) as it drops 5-10 mph going up moderate hills at 45-55 mph. The worst part about it is that it gets a whopping 8 mpg. No goofy lift, tires are 31x10.50x15, partially or fully nuttered (carb has electric socket and nothing is plugged in, EGR disconnected, O2 sensor disconnected). I expected it to be low, but I figured I'd ease into 8 mpg with a larger engine, different cam, and a fancy flame thrower out the tail pipe.
I am in the same boat. I got an '83 that had sit for 9 years. Mine gets about 9 miles per gallon. I am almost done with my MC2150 upgrade though and will do the nutter this weekend. I am hoping that I get get at leastup to 12 miles per gallon. I have also be hesitant about trying this team rush upgrade becasue I am very new to working on cars and just like you don't want to mess anything up.
Well, I hemmed and hawed over what I could screw up by doing this and decided to just go ahead and give it a go.
I had to go to all three stores (advance, napa, and auto zone) just to get all of the parts needed. I used JeepHammer's advice and went in stating that I was looking for the F-150 300 I-6 parts and the reps at each store all started raising eyebrows.
"Didn't you drive in here in a CJ?"
"Yep. Just looking fo those parts, thanks."
"This won't fit on a CJ. You have an AMC engine."
"Thanks. Let's just pretend that I drove here in an F-150."
"Well, we have this part, but not that part."
And on I went to the other stores with essentially the same reactions. Napa was the best, though. I came in, asked for the cap adapter part and the rep just laughed at me. "Team Rush?" he said. "Yep." He had just done his 84 CJ-7 a few weeks ago.
It took me a grand total of about 20 minutes start to finish to do the swap (I went with adapter, rotor, cap, gapped plugs and wires for now, will consider more in the future). Most of the time was spent on pulling old plugs and gapping the new ones.
I started it up and it turned over immediately. I took it for a spin around the block and noticed that much of the previous bog I was accustomed to had disappeared. Unfortunately I also noticed that my rear driver's side axle seal decided to blow out. Wife is going to kill me - she never thought that I would be staining the driveway as much as I have in the first month of ownership.
I'm about to take the jeep on my first real voyage since purchasing - headed down to the beach for the weekend to do some fishing and beach driving. Hopefully the 8mpg will creep a bit higher after the upgrade.
IF YOU DON'T FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH THIS, THEN BY ALL MEANS,
DO NOT DO IT!
You can always make friends with someone in the area that will help you,
You can make friends with guys at Jeep events that will help you,
You can hire an older mechanic that knows about distributors to do this for you...
But if you aren't comfortable with a simple change out of old parts for new,
Then DO NOT ATTEMPT IT BY YOURSELF!
I'm not being insulting, I'm not trying to over simplify this, and I understand some people just don't have the 'Greasy Fingernails' Gene...
I have a friend that can play guitar like the wind, write computer code like typing English in five different computer languages,
But he can't change a flat tire on his own without screwing it up.
Evey one has strengths and weaknesses, and you need to respect your limitations.
I do want you to know this is as easy as flipping the old distributor cap up off the distributor.
DO NOT take the distributor cap/plug wires off the engine!
Just LOOSEN the distributor cap from the distributor, flip it up away from the distributor so you can install new parts!
Leave them in place to show you were to put the new wires if you have never done this before.
Take off the old Rotor.
Install the cap adapter on the distributor. 2 screws.
Install the rotor on the distributor shaft. It pushes on with your finger, no screws.
Install the new distributor cap on the adapter.
Install new plug wires one at a time, front to rear, and make sure the new wires get pushed onto the plug and new cap.
Use the old distributor cap/plug wires for reference to firing order as they go on.
Plug in the ignition coil to the distributor cap (Coil Wire)
Fire engine back up and see how it runs.
It's just direct replacment of current parts that requires a single screwdriver to accomplish.
The only 'Issues' I've seen 'Rookies' screw up is,
1. Not getting the adapter on correctly and screw holes not lining up...
Since there is only TWO positions the adapter will go on, most guys try it BOTH WAYS to see which fits best... Which is exactly what they should do.
2. Not pushing the rotor all the way down on the distributor shaft,
Or misaligning the alignment tooth.
The tooth is built a little wide for a reason, so it fits TIGHT in the metal slot on the distributor shaft...
So you need to PRESS it into place with your thumb the first time so it shaves some of the plastic and fits TIGHT on the shaft.
3. By far, the most common is screwing up the firing order!
That's negated by diagrams I posted if your distributor as the vacuum advance nipple pointing at the front of the engine (Like in the picture)
If your distributor DOES NOT have the vacuum advance pointing at the front of the engine,
Using the old firing order for #1 as the starting point, and putting the new plug wires on like the old ones were...
Then go back, ONE PLUG WIRE AT A TIME, And replace the plugs.
That is the EASY way to make sure your firing order is 'Correct' even if the distributor isn't set in the engine correctly (With vacuumed nipple pointing at the front of the engine.)
I've got a question for you. I'm looking at doing the team rush upgrade, and I'm also looking at upgrading to CDI at this point. If I'm not mistaken, however, this essentially eliminates the MCU from the system (looking at the wiring diagrams). I've been pointed to a number of threads about timing post-nutter bypass (which would have the same problem) and it looks like a PITA.
What do you think about using MSD CDI that accepts a timing controller?
Edit: Hell, I suppose it would better to just replace the distributor with the MSD one that isn't designed for computer controlled advance.
My CJ (258) started to run rough and I noticed some blow-by but anyway while I was looking and moving some things my hand hit the COIL wire from Summit and the RED ADAPTER moved. The RED adapter in the STOCK coil was loose. When you install this from Summit you have to unscrew the top terminal some so it will go into the STOCK coil. Then tighten it up. I used my lineman plyers the first time. So I tightened it up again, put the coil wire back on and she purrrs fine.
Just an update for anyone doing this mod that wants to use a digital CDI ignition. Summit Racing has just released their new generation CDI box and the part number is SUM-850610, and it is going for $159.95.