man what a day. alright..may have to drop a call to burnsville and see what they say about the vvt motors. yeah im excited to get the tnt kit... thanks for the positive re-enforcement.
today was a long day.. i have to keep reminding myself of the famous line form armegedon by my boy bruce willis/ harry stamper..... 'this is what is what happens when you drill... you cant follow the official nasa drilling timetables.''' we around here change it up to 'this is what happens when you build..' there is always something that you dont plan for, know about or just plain wont work like you want it too without alittle more engineering.
so made the dealership and picked up a pile of stuff. some i was sure id bring back, but better to have than stop at 9pm 'cause you dont. the plan was to get the motor on the stand and 'just swap out the oil pans.' yeah that was the plan. well 5" metric bolts are not easy to come by to put the block on the plate for the stand... great issue #1
ok ill just swap them out on the lift, not a big deal... 6.1 pan off no problem. 5.7 pan on... issue #2 the rear  corner bolts are not used with the 6.1 pan; therefore you can [a] drill out the holes or [b] just get the 5.7 gasket. i went with [a] and drilled out the holes only to find that the tabs that stick outside the clamping surface the 6.1 used will raise the 5.7 structural dust cover and not allow it to mate correctly to the tranny. GREAT. so motor has to go on the stand now and off to the depot i have to go.
i quick fabed up a adapter plate so i could use 1/2 stuff to get the motor on the stand. while on the way to the depot.. got a call from a possible new blonde upgrade so progress was paused for awhile...
back at the shop... i got the motor on the stand and flipped over. opened up the 5.7 gasket and now found issue #3. the 6.1 has larger openings in the windage tray than the 5.7...... the windage trays themselves are the same size etc. i grabbed the sharpie and then off to the plasma cutter for some quick swiss cheese work on the tray. a few globs of RTV in the 4 block mating areas and then dropped the pan on. issue #4, the oil pan bolts for the 6.1 are 1/8th longer than the 5.7 seeing the 6.1 has a cast pan. good thing i ordered 20 new pan bolts.
ok, issue #5. the 6.1 have a steel bushing in the crankshaft pilot bearing hole for mating with the NAG1 trannys.... yep-has to come out when using a 545rfe. oh yay
and yep, cant use a bearing puller...... that took a minute to remove.
on to issue #6, installing the 5.7 flexplate. so the 6.1 crank bolt pattern is just a touch different. 1 of the 8 was just off abit so alittle clearancing there and the flexplate bolted up. whew. the 6.1 and 5.7 flexplates have the same ring gear/diameter, the primary difference is the bolt pattern for the torque converter.
well all this fun stuff aside... i called it quits at 3am after getting the trans mated up to the new 6.1/5.7 hybrid assembly without any further issues. looks like the 6.1 starter will work and i can take the 5.7 back but i havent set it on the trans yet so ill find out tomorrow.
i need to pick up  metric bolt for the motor mount, advance adapters sends out 7 bolts and  stud for some reason and in this case, i cant see a use for it at all.
tomorrows plan.... start to strip the old lift off. maybe mount the tube bender and make a set of front hoops. all in good time..
so back to axles.... stock jeep tj-lj we know is 60.5." 78 ford stuff is 67+ wide, mid 80s to 97 is 69+ wide. i have been sweeping the forums and net...i am thinking that i want to be about 65" wide on a 17x9 wheel with a 4.5 BS. ive come to the conclusion that buying JY axles seems to be close to the same cost if i just order cut to spec axle housings from dynatrac or currie. seeing that the stock gears, carriers, bearings, shafts, brake pads, possibly rotors... will all have to be replaced for trail ready peice of mind and new application. theres the JY cost of the axles, the $ to have it cut down, sandblasted, etc... any thoughts for you guys who have been through this? should have dones and shouldnt have dones?
also what are your thoughts on spindle bearing vs unit bearing. i put 300K miles on my old f350 sd dually with 35s and unit bearings. im thinking of running 05+ SD UB on the front and rear with locking hubs up front and drive flanges in the rear....then id just carry a replacement assembly. the rear would then be a FF as well. id like to use all stock 8 lug stuff- brakes, rotors etc to keep things simple. again looking for real life experience opinions on this too.
oh yeah.. sorry no pics tonight.. the kids in the shop left the camera on. ill have pics up tomorrow.