-   Jeep CJ Forum (
-   -   Randall's 1980 Cj5 build (

brownrxmd 04-12-2013 08:00 PM

Randall's 1980 Cj5 build
In January of last year I got an old 1980 cj5 that was primarily used for hunting. It was in very rough condition; terrible paint, non-functioning brakes, no top, non-functioning gauges, etc etc. It was towed year after year to hunt elk here in Az. I am definitely OCD and non functioning was not going to work for me. So in the past year, I've replaced the old cut up dash to a new one, replaced all the lights and gauges, resolved electrical shorts, replaced front and rear brakes and bought two bikini tops and a full softtop. The jeep has a 3.3 liter v6 from a 1979 Monte Carlo with a Dualjet 2bbl carburetor, puts out a whopping 90 horsepower, maybe. The tires that came with the jeep were 20 years old with plenty of tread but actually fell apart on me in huge chunks within a month of ownership. Anyway, a year later and this past weekend I drove it to Vegas and back and except for the noise of the top flapping around, was a pretty enjoyable trip. 8 gallons of gas up and 7.3 gallons back. Not too bad.

So here are some pics of my build so far.
I started this whole thing off with this intake from a 2000 g.m. 6.0 that I got for free when I bought a SM465/NP208 combo for 160 bucks. I got a driveshaft, truck exhaust, and the ignition coils. As it turns out the the NP208 dropped on the drivers side of the jeep and was about 2 feet too long. That ended up on craigslist and I got 400 bucks out of it,,,so not too shabby.
This was the SM465/NP208 I got. the transfer case alone is longer then my SM465/D300. Had I stayed with that tranny I would've had to buy a kit to change the mainshaft. I don't know how to build a transmission and thought for the cost I could've just went with a 4L60E. So that was a no go.

I found another SM465, bought it for 25 bucks off a guy in Tucson. I took it home opened the top and it looked clean as a whistle. So I ordered a gasket kit, bought some chevy orange paint and replaced gaskets and painted. Filled with gear oil and it has sat on my table for two months.

I bought the Advance Adapters kit which just has me change the input shaft on the D300. Seems easier than rebuilding a tranny, but not sure cause my jeep is a daily driver I haven't taken it apart to find out.

Had I known I would have to cut some of the output shaft off the transmission I may not have gone this route at all. It's kinda permanent to cut through and I won't know if I did it right until I disassemble the jeep. I measured twice if that matters. The kit comes with a small locking collar that slips over the mainshaft but what it's for I have no idea and I can't find an answer.

What I thought would be the hardest part of the conversion was the wiring harness part. After trading emails with brendan at and reading his website I found the wiring part was pretty easy, well easy so far. I have't tried to start the jeep but cutting out unneeded wires was a piece of cake.
I simply laid out my wiring harness, cut off all the plastic tubing and taped all the pink wires together in a bundle, those are the switched power 12v, mostly fuel injectors coils. The only thing you have left is a couple of 12v direct, and some grounds. The Vehicle speed sensor wires are needed and I bought an adapter from Novak for that. Luckily most if not all sensors are on the intake manifold, along with injectors and coils. The only things not on the manifold are the watertemp, oil pressure, alternator and air conditioning. I left the air conditioning wires because eventually I'm going to install the airconditioner. However it will not be computer controlled. In all actuality you even need to take the harness apart, you can leave all the wires, use a stock fuse box, which I bought and just program out the sensors you won't need such as rear O2, EGR, EVAP etc.
So after removing the plastic cladding I bundled my wires together to help keep the same shape it had when the harness came off the engine.

The pinout sheets from LT1Swap were invaluable so was the advice from Brendan he was always cordial and quick to answer emails.
Instead of cutting wires, they're easy to remove and keep in a box somewhere just in case I happen I happen to remove too many wires. Or the wrong sensor. The numbers can be hard to read at my age but the wires are logically laid out.

The wires thin out quite a bit, I removed the rear O2 sensors, the evap, the EGR, everything for the auto transmission, the cruise control torque converter stuff, basically I kept wires for water temp, MAP, MAF, Alternator, Throttle body, TPS, Fuel Injectors, Coils, a Starter wire, Speed Sensor and there might be one or two more. Not to knock the guys who do this professionally but if I can do it, anyone can.

I used some tape and labled my wires. I'm going to make my OBDII and Check engine light, I ordered the parts for both, but ended up getting the OBDII port out of the donor vehicle.
So here is my harnessed laid out on my intake trying to get a rough shape on how to run the wires, there are channels on top of the intake.

All of my pink wires are labled, these are 12v switched wires.

My little electrical kit I bought off the internet to make a fuse box with relays and my obdII and check engine LED light.
I started combining the pink wires into a logical pattern, injectors sperate from other things I can build as big a fuse box as I need but for now I have a four fuse box.
My one singe red wire to three switched wires, it goes to a relay and that relay will hook to some wire on my firewall that is switched 12v.
This is the back side of my fuse box, it's not finished I have two wires to hook up, the fuel pump wire and the switched 12v wire. I left all my wires labled in case this is messed up and I need to trace a wire, the finished product will be cleaned up for sure.

Anyway I have more pics to post. I bought my motor a couple of weeks ago and have been busy with that. I hope these aren't too many pictures. If anybody has advice or knowledge please share, this is my first build and it's pretty involved and risky since my jeep runs fine now, but I want it to be a better jeep and more personal.

BSetera 04-12-2013 11:07 PM

Excited to see your build as I am working on the same year and model jeep. You are also tackling what I am about to start. The wire harness off of the Vortec i got has me worried as I am not really good at the electrical stuff. I have read the website you spoke of and tried to get inspired to tackle this myself, just not enough confidence yet. I look forward to your build.


brownrxmd 04-12-2013 11:52 PM

Brad it's really easy, as a matter of fact if you do not want to remove any wires it's ok. Whoever programs your pcm will simply turn off what you don't want to use and you have to tuck away your wiring. The pinout sheets on lt1swap are great. Your engine is a standalone engine, meaning the pcm ONLY controls the engine. Everything else in your jeep stays the same. For your wiring harness to work all the pink wires need to be switched on, and you can look in your jeep book to find out which wire is switched on 12v. Or google. I did and found a link to the engine side firewall wires, one of them is switched, I haven't looked at it since finding it. The other wire you need is 12v constant,, simple there to, just find a 12v constant source, for example your starter or the 12v side of battery. There are others like the lite switch in the jeep. then you need a ground, and those are plentiful. I have more pics on wiring somewhere. but it's simple. And don't hesitate to email brendan, i'm using him to program my pcm for 75 bucks and that includes his shipping cost can't beat it.

brownrxmd 04-13-2013 12:40 AM

Engine Gaskets
I got my engine a couple of weeks ago. It's a 2002 Flex Fuel 5.3. I didn't realize it when I bought it that I had a flex fuel engine. I found it on and got the complete engine everything under the hood for 650.00 bucks. That's alternator, starter, fuse box, wiring harness, ac compressor was locked up. power steering pump, and pcm. 88,000 miles was in a roll over.
I got it home in the truck and borrowed a engine hoist. I bought an engine stand from harbor freight for 50 bucks, the engine weighs about 500 lbs. It looks massive though.
This is with the harness laying to the back of the engine.
I even got the front O2 sensors but the truck manifold are too wide for the jeep frame. I've measured it twice, it's just a hair of 25 inches wide. The manifolds would dump right on top of the frame rails.
First thing after putting engine on engine stand was take pics, and start removing. The coolest thing on the front is that the alternator and power steering pump all sit on one single bracket, held on by a half dozen bolts.
Remove these three bolts, one on the side by the power steering pump and one on the very bottom and the whole bracket comes right off.
One wire to the alternator
To remove the fan, I used an oil wrench strap and big wrench and a bigger hammer. You kinda have to give it a big whack but it will come right off. You can see I rested the oil strap on the tensioner. I hit the wrench from the up position, because I didn't want to hit down on the wrench adding more stress to the engine stand. Oh, it the nut will loosen counterclockwise, I know it took a while for me to find that out.

I removed the exhaust and the front stuff, and eventually the wiring harness and the intake manifold. As I looked closer at the intake I noticed a couple of small vacuum ports were broken off and decided on using my intake from the 6.0, the one I'd been using as a mock up, nothing was wrong with it.
My bin of reusable stuff, including the radiator hose and coils.

Cool thing about an engine stand is the ability to rotate this thing. I replace the oil pan gasket. The oil pan gasket was pop riveted onto the block, so I'm assuming it's the original gasket. No debris or gunk in pan. That was a relief. but be warned gaskets for the oil pan and valve covers, exhaust, and intake are expensive. But I couldn't justify putting it together and not looking inside. That would drive me nuts. it's imperative that you follow torque specs on the oil pan, says so on the bottom of the pan.
Oil pan wasn't too shabby, I pulled the little tray out and cleaned it out really good.
Oil pickup tube was clean, nothing clogging the screen up.
You can see the two rivets holding the gasket on. I used a small drill bit 1/8 or less and drilled out the rivets. I didn't use new rivets when reinstalling gasket.
While I was at it I did the valve covers too, the valve train looks great! Whew, that's a load off.
So new valve gaskets and I torqued the covers back down.

Next was intake gaskets. They clip on to the bottom of the intake manifold.
The old ones were orange, not sure why, could mean stock, could mean non flex fuel, who knows.
the other side.
The new ones were blue, they fit perfectly. And that was a wrap on gasket replacement. I should maybe replace the water pump, but it's about a hundred bucks and what the heck, I could replace it in the vehicle if it's bad. I don't see any water marks on the outside, so I'm going to say it's a good pump.
Today I reassembled the engine brackets, put on the intake manifold, and received my new camaro exhaust and installed those. So the engine is looking pretty good. I didn't take a pic of it completely assembled but will tomorrow.

Matt1981CJ7 04-13-2013 07:03 AM


Strong work, so far.

Trying to follow along on the wiring harness gave me a headache, though. :tea:


brownrxmd 04-13-2013 09:54 AM

Hey Matt thanks for the compliment. Only a couple of snags so far but they're dumb mistakes I made because of inexperience. I can post more on the wiring harness if you'd like. I was intimidated by the wiring part at first, I thought it'd be the hardest part of the swap. In fact I bought a wiring harness before I ever bought the engine. If I goofed it up I am going to send off my harness that came with the engine. I have lots more pictures. Just let me know. I'll make a seperate reply here just on wiring.


BSetera 04-13-2013 08:59 PM

If you don't mind posting a little more on the wire harness, even if it's in another thread, that would be great. I probably need to call or email LT1swap and talk to Brandon (i believe that's his name) to clear up a couple of questions I have. My head is spinning looking at all the information and now I'm not even sure where to start on it. Thanks agian for all the information and the project looks great. You are a couple steps ahead of me and I didn't even think of changing out the gaskets on the motor. Dang I have lots of work ahead of me. Thanks again and have a good weekend.


brownrxmd 04-14-2013 02:32 AM

Wiring harness
Ok so this is how I tackled the wiring harness. When I started I thought the harness would be the toughest part about this conversion. Come to find out, though it's tedious, it's really easy. Some of these pics I took and others I got from the LT1swap website.

The first thing I did was lay my harness out on the driveway, it was unmolested and I compared the harness I had to pics I found on the web.

When working on your harness you have to decide basically two things:

1. Transmission type 4l60e, older automatic or older manual transmission.
2. Emission requirements.

Next go to and under wiring harness pinouts choose what year you have and print out the pin out sheets and read the page describing what to keep and what not to keep. Brendan makes it so easy.

With the sheet in hand and pics from his website. I laid my harness on the driveway and started labelling all the connectors.

I apologize the pics are small but you can find them on the LT1swap website.
When you lay your harness out it will lay out basically like his did.

I took masking tape and labeled all the connectors.

Step 2:
Before cutting anything, decide what you want to remove. I was worried about emissions so I left the front and rear O2 sensors but then a month ago, I bought classic car insurance and registered my jeep as a collectable so no emissions. However the rear O2 sensors are still on my harness it won't matter if I remove them or not. Brendan is programming out the rear O2 sensors and leaving the front O2 sensors. I won't run catalytic converters either.
Having Lt1 pinout sheets made the job easy. He labels what you need to keep and what to discard.
I removed anything related to the automatic transmission. I also removed the EVAP, and the EGR. I should have removed the AC stuff but didn't.

Step 3:

After deciding what to remove lay your harness out on the garage with masking tape wrapped around the sensor connectors with labels. FYI, the sensor connectors are sensor specific. You cannot accidentally plug the connectors into the wrong sensor. Word to the wise, keep your injectors labeled, 1,3,5,7 and 2,4,6,8. so you don't get those on the wrong side of the intake, they are color coded but avoid the headache by labelling.
The wiring harness has two PCM connectors they are called the red connector and blue connector because of the red and blue caps. I kept one cap on the connectors at all times so I could tell what there colors are. I don't recall it being written on them. So if you remove the caps it might be difficult figuring them out. Or you could masking tape them and label them.

In this pic from lt1swap he shows the three connectors typically found at the fuse box. He has directions on the site on how to remove these. What I did I started on the C2 conector and clipped off all the pink wires ( the pink wires you'll need.). Then as you go through your pin out sheet, you'll trace the wires from these connectors to the connectors you don't want.
So when you're ready to dive in, just lay the harness out and with a razor cut the electrical tape around the plastic tubing and remove the tubing leaving the wires bared. I tried to keep them laid out like they were in the plastic cladding to keep there shape.
For example if are going to use an old manual transmission, you don't need any automatic stuff, so when you are reading the pinout sheet, you'll come to pin 13 on the blue connector. Pin 13 won't be needed, so when you look at the pinouts on the blue connector you'll find the pin labled 13, simply pry the little plastic piece holding the wire in place a quick tug and it's out. Now follow the wire to where it terminates and remove the connector. Some of the wires you trace actually go the connectors on the opposite end of the harness, some simply go over to the C152 or C100 connector.
As the wires are removed one by one. I rolled them up neatly and put them in a box, just in case I messed something up. The sensors are labled, so I'll be able reverse assemble them. As you remove wires, you'll find you have a lot more pink wires than anything. Most if not all the pink wires you'll keep. You will also end up with a couple of orange wires a Vehicle speed sensor wires which are a twisted pair, and a big purple wire, 12 gauge I'm guessing, this goes to the starter.

After going straight down the pinout list. I laid my harness up on the intake to "reshape" the harness and to run the connectors I had left to the sensors they go to and to the injectors.
At first it was a mess.
You can see the rear of the intake is a complete mess at this point you can see where I'm rolling up the wires I'm going to use. The wires that look like two hoops are probably the front and rear O2 connectors and the twisted pair VSS. I had removed the transmission stuff.
All of the pink wires will go to my fuse block. I will condense them into manageable groups. The wires to the left of the pink wires are going to the blue and red connectors. Those actually terminate at the various sensors around the intake.

You can see in this pic that the injector wires are plugged into the injectors.
The orange wires are constant 12v wires. The pinks are switched 12v, you can also see the OBD serial wire.
I started soldering the ends of the wires together to form smaller groups of wires. so I could terminate these into the fuse block I built.
The link to buy all these parts are on Brendans website. I bought enough to build this three times, in case I messed it all up the parts are cheap enough.
Brendan has a link about building all this. I bet I read his website every night for a week before I started this. And I emailed him a dozen times.
Following Brendans instructions I started cutting and soldering.
Here is fuse block almost finished. I'll take more pics of it tomorrow. I laid my harness on the engine today and I had made only one mistake in running the wires. Easy fix, I simply cut away some tape and moved the connector to the rear of the engine.

Tip don't tape everything super tight until you know you are done. That way you can remove wires, or modify where a connector runs if you happen to tape it up wrong in a couple of spots.

For ease of wiring, it is critical to get the pinout sheets, it's critical to read Brendans website.

brownrxmd 04-14-2013 02:35 AM


Originally Posted by BSetera (Post 15292393)
If you don't mind posting a little more on the wire harness, even if it's in another thread, that would be great. I probably need to call or email LT1swap and talk to Brandon (i believe that's his name) to clear up a couple of questions I have. My head is spinning looking at all the information and now I'm not even sure where to start on it. Thanks agian for all the information and the project looks great. You are a couple steps ahead of me and I didn't even think of changing out the gaskets on the motor. Dang I have lots of work ahead of me. Thanks again and have a good weekend.


Hey Brad, you'll do fine. I'm real close to finishing my harness, I'm afraid to seal it up so to speak until I hear the engine run and nothing catches on fire or melts. Then I'll wrap it all up. My biggest hurdle is fuel lines. I have no idea what to do there but something will come up, it has to. Let me know if I can help any, I'll be more than happy to look my harness over and take specific pictures or help ya read the pin out sheet.

BSetera 04-14-2013 08:53 PM

Thanks for the info and encouragement. I started marking the sheets for what is and isn't needed in the harness. I should be starting after I hear back from the email I sent to Brendon. I had a few questions for him regarding what I was looking at removing to see if I should leave some in or take more out. I appreciate all the help. Have a great start to the week.


brownrxmd 04-14-2013 11:53 PM

Brendans a lot of help, you have a great week too Brad.


brownrxmd 04-18-2013 03:23 PM

Sorry for the silence these last few days. I was hoping to mount my starter to the engine, as luck would have it, the parts guy sold me one long bolt and one short bolt. the short bolt is useless. I've ordered two bolts and shims, and they're on there way. Next weekend. I'm buying fuel line and flexible fuel hoses and getting that stuff ready. I sent my PCM to Branden at LT1Swap. He already has it on it's way back so should have it in a few days. My PCM mount came in a couple of days ago. As did my 2nd gasket set for the sm465. I had leaking pto gaskets, and replaced those, so far the cardboard box is dry! The the first week of May is show time, and I have to take the dana300 apart, hopefully that's a quick rebuild.

brownrxmd 04-20-2013 12:00 AM

I got my bolts in today. The shims were a little off so I drilled out new holes in the shims. Mounted the starter hooked up the battery and used a screwdriver to jump the starter. The engine turned over and it doesn't look like the starter is binding. When I remove the screwdriver the starter gear is still engaged on the flywheel but when I turn the flywheel the starter gear retracts like it should. I am assuming that if the engine had actually started then the starter gear would have retracted like it should, so I'm not worried there is a problem. I have to bleed my hydraulic throwout bearing or I would have the transmission mounted by now, now weeping at the PTO covers since new gaskets with gasket sealant. USPS shows computer is on it's way back from Brandon, that was next day turn around, awesome! Next week is payday, so I'll be calling summit racing to ask for help in the flexible steel braided fuel line department. Oreilly carris 5 ft long "sticks" of fuel line for just under five bucks. So far I'm leaning toward that route unless someone gives me reason to buy a 25 foot roll of the stuff. So I'm down to fuel line, the computer coming in, a steam port bung in the radiator or a steam port from jags that run. The most expensive thing needed is exhaust. I'm also hoping to convert ot power steering, the power steering line fits perfects into the power steering gear box, I bought a low pressure line yesterday. Now all I need for that is the shorter steerig column and bracket to mount steering gear. I'm sure there are odds and ends left but will tackle that as I get there.

brownrxmd 04-23-2013 12:49 AM

Still in holding pattern, I hate waiting. On a good note my PCM came back two days ago, thanks to Branden at As I wait though more questions pop up.
1. I have a power steering gear box I want to use. I measured the steering shaft on another cj5 it seems to be the same length as mine. My question is, am I right assume the steering shaft is the same but the end that connects to the gear itself needs to be swapped? That's a lot less expensive than buying a steering shaft.
2. Since I'm doing all this should I convert my front disc brakes to power disc brakes. If so does anyone have a wrangler brake booster setup they want to sell? I found a few on ebay. If it's worth doing I'm going to upgrade.
3. I'm looking for a fan shroud. Non HD cooling. I measured one in a cj that has the 304 v8 and it's opening is about 21-22 inches, perfect for what I'm looking for. I see Omix Ada offers them and so do othes but at 100 bucks seems kinda steep. Surely with alot of folks going with electric fans I could find a used one.
Turkey season opens on the 3rd of May but I'm not going till after the 10th hopefully the jeep will be ready by then. Should only take a couple of long days to put this all together if parts arrive in time.

brownrxmd 04-24-2013 06:14 PM

Almost hit a snag. I realized after looking at some pics I'd taken of the transmission and engine, that I had a bit of a gap between them, Alas there belongs an inspection cover, or dust cover. My bellhousing number is 15530202 and apparently nobody makes a cover for it any longer. I did find a gm part number 6263757 and found the part at Giant Chevrolet in Visalia California, 22.33 for the part. I'm getting conflicting info on whether it discontinued or not, the parts guy told me they were made of plastic now, anyway he has some and is sending it out tomorrow. Tomorrow I'm calling Summit Racing and ordering fuel line and fittings. Once that's in along with a few other parts I'll start disassembly of the jeep. Now I need a ton of little things I never thought of. For example battery cables. I'm trying to keep the engine area looking clean and apparently the battery for a gm suburban is on the drivers side, I have to splice in a set of long cables to reach the battery box. My last big purchase will be the exhaust and I'm hoping to keep that at under 400 bucks. Since I'm omitting the CATS I think I'll do ok there.

The time now is 09:06 PM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.