We'll after 3 1/2 good years with the YJ, I desided that I wanted to go bigger, do a few things differently, and of course: get coil springs and a/c that you can actually feel. So the search commenced for a viable TJ to start the project with. after 3 months of biding on wrecks thru coparts, and a couple other auction clearing houses, I got tired of watching wrecks go for more than I could buy a running jeep of craigs list, so then I had to choose, buy a stocker and fix it the way I wanted, or buy a lifted one and fix whatever the PO did to it. I was resigned to the stocker and started looking. I planned on a V8 for 5.0HO swap from the beginning, so it was manditory that it be a 4.0 manual that I found. Well, what I found changed everything. . . . . found a 99 TJ soft top with 87K miles for a little less than a stocker, what sold me on the PO's non running piece of junk was what was on it. It has a 6" superlift rock runner long arm kit, and ARB's in both axles with 4.88s. I was able to drive it onto my trailer, but the PO slung the rear drive shaft, and busted some teeth off the ring&pinion, so in 4low, up the ramps it goes after talking the PO down even some more.
I managed to win a wrecked 96 for exploder with a 302HO for only $550, they loaded it up on my trailer, and I took it home, and had it running in less than 60 seconds, drove it all over roastin the tires, then parked it in my shop.
first things first, got the jeep streetable, a new set of ring and pinions, and a new rear drive shaft from Tattons, and to the gas station we go..........not quite........the tires are so outa ballance you can't even hit 45 mph. limped it to the gas station, and back home. now to figure out the tire situation. steering good and tight, ball joints look new, and tight, HD curry steering setup in good shape, must be the tires. imagine if you can, 8" of lift and stock exploder 225s under it, well problem solved. drove it to get a new windshield, and inspected on the tiny tires, no problem, selling the tires, don't like um anyways, look like balloons to me, and not so good in the East Texas gooy mud. Now to get the engine from here:
the new jeep also has a D44 under it, so I won't be needing the 8.8 out of the exploder either, I was planning on using it, but O-well, maybe one of you need it more than I do. I'd be willing to help JF guys with the swap over, I've already done one in a YJ, figure I can handle a TJ as well
yep, KC the from Texas OffRoad built it then sold it to a local ****** who really messed it up. I talked to KC several times before purchasing it, as I was dealing with the guys X, and Father. . . .who didn't really know squat about all that the guy had messed up, but I'm getting it all back to rights now.
Well, made some progress today. Started by cutting off the factory motor mount brackets, and grinding smooth, then doing the same to the old brackets for the stock suspension mounts, the PO's cut them off for the long arm kit, but never really cleaned up, so I did. Then removed the bell housing and installed the advanced adapters kits, and the new/old ford bell housing. found gear lube in the tranny, so gota address that before it goes on the road. . . . . .then it was on to changing out the 2" puck style body lift. I didn't really want any BL, but you can't exactally buy a 0" lift kit, so I got the poly full replacement kit in 1" and commenced the swap, don't forget the transfer case shifter drop bracket, steering bracket, and grill support extenders if you do this. I remember all but the grill, I was looking for square blocks, but they used pucks there too on the 2" kit and I overlooked them, untill I found the front bolt wouldn't reach. then I got a clue real quick.
looking at the clearance between the upper pass. long are link and the starter position on the bell housing, I sure hope I can get some exhaust in there, its real tight, the link only cleared the stock tranny by like a half inch. tomarrow I hope to get the exploder engine in the jeep bay and start cardboarding up some motor mounts.
fraid not, I was filthy, and my wife would have killed me if I greased up the camera, I got tired, so I plan on taking pictures tomorrow to update, but its nothin that hasn't been seen in the other 5.0 builds.
alright, pictures to show. . . . . man, getting that exploder motor out was a PITA!
cleaned up frame rails:
installed the ford bell housing using the advanced adapters kit:
took out the pucks, and installed these
and started getting the 5.0 stripped down so that I can can make motor mounts, I'll rebuild it and clean it up up after all the fabbing is done, alread had the rebuild kit.... of course my helper had to get in the picture
worked on it alittle after work today, didn;t get much done, I was actually kinda shocked at how hard it was to get this thing to fit in there. After reviewing several threads on JF about 5.0 swaps, I determined that I had a different engine dress than amos and sourskittles, my A/C compressor is way out left of theirs, but also sits quite abit higher. I also discovered that the 5.0s steel heater lines needed to be removed, they hit the firewall like 1 1/2" before I got to the tranny, and the TJs drier canister is going to have to be relocated. the good news is that I am able to run my engine a little higher than others because the A/C needed to go ever the steering, and with my 1" BL I think this is going to be the spot it stays. I'm going to try to move the transfercase mount forward some to help even more (yes I'll be watching the driveshafts)
I ain't got no room between the upper long arm link and the starter to run the exhaust . . . . .
got lots of room on the drivers side if it wasn't for the steering
ok, just about got the motor mounts fabed up and going to pull the motor back out, but I have a question???? those of you that have done V8 swaps with long arm kits. . . .how in the *** do you get the passenger side exhaust ran through there, the only thing I can figure is to squeese it between the body and the bell housing just over the starter. the only other way I can figure is to use center dumps (block huggers?) the ford f150 headers I'm using now dump right on top of the upper long arm link, If I had stock arms I'm pretty sure that the exhaust would have ended up after the frame mounts