Build. the General Lee, tons, 40s, stretch, etc - Page 4 - JeepForum.com
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post #46 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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I still need to make and burn in the fishplates but I am holding off on that until I burn in the spring hangers as they will fall on the rear joints. So with that in mind I switched gears to start trying to get the rear suspension mocked in.





In this shot you can get a feel for how far back I stretched



And yes it will be SOA. I was just mocking up like this to give me an idea where the rear axle will sit and by this time I didn’t have it in me to get it off the dolly.

Now, that being said I have not burned in the fixed hanger yet. I’d like some opinions on this shackle angle. No weight on it at all right now. I’ve read I should shoot for about 45* but that’s with weight on it right? So should I go shallower or deeper with no weight on it? Where the frame fixed end sits will dictate the shackle angle.






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post #47 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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So I only got a couple hours in today. Wife was out running errands most of the day and I was on dad duty. I decided to try and start working up some fish plates so I rummaged thru my steel supply and came up with a long length of 3”x 1/8” I believe flat stock. It’s pretty crusty as my steel storage is outside but I cleaned it up with a flap disc. I cut myself 8 chunks at 6” in length. Figure I will plate the inside and outside of each joint. I may place the top of the joints too but I haven’t decided for sure yet.

To give myself some more weld area I cut a pair of 1.5” diameter holes in them. Plan is to weld the entire outer edge of the plates and weld around the inside of the holes I cut as well. The way I placed them each hole will fall on either original frame or new frame piece.

To cut the holes I used an annular cutter. These things are the **** and I will never use a hole saw on anything but wood ever again.







I didn’t get the chance to start burning any in as my daughter came out to see what I was up to and promptly decided to grab one of the plates I had just finished cleaning up with a flap disc which was still hot. hopefully she learned a small lesson at least.

So I noticed as I was working on Monday that my 2 year old $40 amazon auto darkening welding hood wasn’t always actually darkening when I was welding. I tried sitting it out in the sun to recharge it to no avail. So then I tried replacing the batteries to find they were soldered into the board. Rather than waste time screwing with a cheap mediocre helmet I decided to just buy a new one. After all I still have lots of welding to do on this project. My lovely wife was still kind of mad at me about the flash burn incident and insisted I just buy a good one this time. So I did a bit of reasearch and pulled the trigger on this bad boy from Esab.



Haven’t gotten to use it yet but just taking it out of the box and looking it over I’m impressed. This is my first professional grade hood and the difference is super obvious. Website says it comes with 1 spare clear and 1 spare yellow outer shield, but in the box there were 2 of each, a spare inner shield, a nice lined bag to store the hood in, and a bandanna to wear under it. 8 memory slots with a lcd touchscreen to adjust all the various settings, grind mode, etc. I can’t wait to lay a couple of beads with it.:grinpimp:

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post #48 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Spent some time today doing some fishing. Fish plating that is! I got to try out the new hood which btw is friggin awesome!

First I burned in the 3” wide plates I knocked out last week on the sides of the frame. As I said before they are 6”s long. I tried to get them pretty well centered over the joint.



Then I went ahead and made up some plates for the top of the frame as well. Found a chunk of 2”x 3/16” flat stock in my metal pile. I again cut them at 6”s long and cut some holes in them.





Obviously I still need to make some skinny plates for above the spring hangers. I got the drivers side frame plates completely finished and burned in and one side plate and half of the top plate on the passenger side before I ran out of MiG mix. So I had to stop there and run over to West Air for a fresh bottle of welding gas.

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post #49 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, so got a fair bit done this weekend.
1st I finished the fish plates I started last week. Got my new MiG bottle hooked up but I was still getting fisheyes in my welds. I looked over to see the gauges on the regulator basically just spinning. Great. Dead gas regulator at 6 pm on a Sunday.

Amazingly, I discovered I had a spare, brand new, never used regulator setup sitting in a cabinet over my welding table. Don’t remember when or where I got it. But I threw it on and was back in business.

Today was a big day. I started by finishing removing and labeling the last of the engine wiring harness. Then I finished ripping out the steering, Dana 30, front shocks, front leaf springs, steering box, etc. yanked the grille and the radiator. Drained the oil, then decided it was finally time to rip out the engine and transmission.









So after all that, the YJ is finally down to bare frame apart from the work I have already done in the rear and the factory skid plate.







So my next steps from here will be to order my new motor mounts as my 17 year old M.O.R.E bombproof mounts are worn out. Planning to order the Brown Dog 1” MML mounts with poly bushings. Order the new Stroker motor. Take the transmission in for a rebuild. While I am waiting on that I am going to finish cleaning the frame and removing all the remaining factory mounts and brackets that I won’t be using from the frame. Maybe go ahead and start mocking in the front spring hangers and shackle hangers. Then I can really get rolling on the rebuild phase.:grinpimp:

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post #50 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Snuck in a good 45 minutes this morning while the wife and baby were still asleep. I pulled the engine stand out of my outdoor storage area in preparation for the delivery of the Stroker on Tuesday. Plan is to paint the block and build it all up on the stand before I actually go to drop it in.

Once I had that dug out I went ahead and removed the factory skid plate. Amazingly all 6 bolts came right out without any fuss. I will be building my own flat belly (as flat as I can get with the Atlas anyway) to replace it.



Plan for tomorrow is to finish cutting off and smoothing out all the remaining factory brackets I won’t be using. Sway bar mounts, shock mounts, body mounts, etc. maybe start mocking in the front suspension if I have time.

I also unpacked the new Brown Dog 1” Lift motor mounts. Nice looking pieces. And my 15 year old M.O.R.E bombproof motor mounts are definitely past due to be replaced. The bushings are toast. Went with the lift mounts this time to help me tuck up the drivetrain for the flat belly.




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post #51 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Well made some more progress today. I finished cleaning up the entire drivers side frame rail front to back. Removed all of the factory brackets that were left, spent some time filling in the factory holes for the crumple zone and all the various little holes I’ve drilled in the frame over the years. Cut off the shock mounts front and rear, the remaining body mounts, and the shackle and spring hangers as well as the e-brake brackets and such. Then when it was all cleaned up and smoothed our I got to work welding on new stuff.



First I burned in the new Motobilt front shackle hanger. The. I jumped to the welding table and welded together the new spring hanger. Factory next to the new Motobilt spring hanger.



After that I welded together three of the Swag high clearance body mounts. Again, factory junk next to Swag’s beef.



Then I hopped back over to the frame and burned in the new Swag body mounts. If I bend or brake one of these I have way bigger things to worry about.





The last thing I addressed today was some cancer I found on the frame underneath the factory rear shock mount. When I peeled it off I discovered a couple of small rust holes underneath it. The way they welded them in I am not surprised. It basically makes a perfect little pocket to hold water and crud. I suspect I will find a similar problem under the passenger side mount when I remove it.

So to fix it, luckily I ordered a foot more of the frame steel then I actually needed to do the stretch. I cut a 7” long piece off of the remaining foot and then split it in half making a pair of L shapes the exact dimensions of the frame rail. I cleaned up the area as best I could, sprayed a couple of coats of weld thru primer over the area and capped it with my L plate and burned it in. The plate goes a few inches past the rusted out section on each side and is burned into good steel all the way around.








As for the fish plating thing, I’m not too worried about it. I fully welded the seam all the way around first. The plates are just extra reinforcements. I also wound up having to have the rear body mounts partially overlapping the side fish plates so it is even further connected to the original frame now thru that.

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post #52 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Came home from work to a nicely crated 4.6L Stroker long block from ATK. Luckily the delivery guy was super cool and despite them telling me on the phone they are curbside only he rolled it right up to the garage for me on the pallet jack. Can’t wait to get it unpacked and on the engine stand. Gotta place a fat order with Summit racing for the rest of the stuff I need to build it up.


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post #53 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Well the parts train is rolling again! Came home to most of the large Summit Racing order I placed yesterday. Everything that shipped from the Nevada warehouse anyway.



New timing cover, distributor, spark plugs, MSD coil, Taylor 8.2MM plug wires, harmonic balancer, 180* thermostat, a mess of new sensors/senders, K&N oil filter, etc. lots more coming yet from Summit, Amazon, and Quadratec.

Also still have to call up PSC and order my full hydro set up. Planning to do that this coming week.

I also received the new 4 hole 27 lb fuel injectors I ordered from Fuel Injector Connection. These are sold specifically for a Stroker motor.





I don’t know why these are sideways.

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post #54 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Well the thermometer in the garage said a balmy 94 degrees when I got out there this afternoon, but I sucked it up and got to work. First thing I did was finished cleaning the last of the factory stuff off the passenger side of the frame.

I have now officially hit the turning point where I am no longer removing stuff and now will only be adding stuff on!

It came as exactly zero surprise to discover another big fat cancer hole beneath the passenger side factory rear shock mount. On the bright side, these two spots were the only rusted out areas on the entire frame. I will deal with this side the way I dealt with the other side above.



After that I took the leaf blower and blew all the grinding dust out of the garage as I am pretty much done with that phase of the build and it felt like I was working on a dirt floor. I also went ahead and welded up the other 3 Swag body mounts and spring hanger but I did not get to installing them on the frame.

Instead I decided to uncrate the Stroker and get it on the stand.





Apparently ATK loaded it with a Comp Cam as part of the Stroker build up. I’m pretty pleased with the engine. Nice and clean. Everything looks good on it. The few bolts I spot checked were torqued to spec.





Then I got it all masked off and laid down the first 2 coats of Chevy Orange Duplicolor Engine Enamel. Used a whole can. Planning to use at least one more can on it. The new engine parts are still trickling in. The new oil pan showed up today.



:grinpimp:

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post #55 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Got home from work a bit early today so I sprayed two more coats of paint on the engine and went ahead and pulled the mask off of it. Can’t wait for the rest of the engine parts to come in so I can get to work assembling this beast.





More parts trickling in. Second box from Summit Racing containing a new idler pulley and a brand new shiny BBK 62MM Throttle Body





I also found a company online this morning by the name of Totally Stainless that offers a complete Stainless steel hardware kit for the Jeep 4.0L engine. I had originally planned to reuse my existing hardware from the old motor, clean it all up, maybe paint it, etc. but the price on the kit was reasonable so I decided to just go ahead and order it and have all new fresh, shiny, SS hardware to assemble the engine with.

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post #56 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Came home to another lovely pile of boxes again today



2 big heavy ones from PSC containing my complete full hydro kit, cooler, and fluid





Smaller ones from Quadratec with more random engine build items. New fuel pressure regulator, Mishimoto silicone radiator hose set, new dipstick, oil fill plug, poly transmission mount, and a new aluminum valve cover



Yes it says 4.0L on it which is a lie but all well. It looks a thousand times better than my old one does. I had ordered one that said Jeep on it from Amazon but discovered when I went to test fit that it was for a 4.2L and didn’t have the right holes in the right places.

Another lovely pile of boxes on my return home from work today



New Banks header ordered from Summit Racing yesterday, Powermaster 170 amp alternator, silicone vaccuuum line kit, and a set of Brown Dog engine side motor mounts for the Stroker.

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post #57 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Well we were supposed to go to some family reunion thing today but luckily for my my daughter has a fever and is sick so we stayed home instead. So I managed to slip out to the garage for a while and get a little work done.

I started with finishing the passenger side body mounts and rust repair patch. Overheated the welder with an inch left to go on the patch so I’ll finish that later.







And since everyone loves weld close ups around here. Yes I had to stop and reposition.




After I overheated the welder I came inside to check on the sick kid and the wife and baby. The wife not so subtly hinted that it was high time I get rid of the pile of scrap metal sitting in the corner of the yard. Said she felt like we were on the set of Sanford and Son. So I loaded all the crap I’ve cut off the Jeep into my truck and made a scrap yard run. Netting me a whopping $24.40


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post #58 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Not a lot of picture worthy work today but I did get a fair bit accomplished.

I got the transmission separated from the old engine and ran it down the hill to the local transmission shop. It is getting cleaned up, a full rebuild, a shift kit installed, and a new torque converter. Guy at the shop said they should have it done in a couple of days.

After that I came back home and went ahead and pulled everything else off the old motor. I have all of the various brackets and such soaking in a bucket of Simple Green to remove the years of dirt, grease, and grime. Once I get them all cleaned up I’ll throw a couple of coats of paint on them. I can’t start assembling everything onto the new motor just yet as my new SS hardware kit isn’t due to arrive until later this week.

Once I had everything stripped off the old motor I went ahead and crated it up. Gotta call ATK and set up the pick up for the core return.

Goal for my next days off is to get everything assembled onto the new motor, bolt the transmission back up to it and hopefully go ahead and set it back into the frame so I can start figuring out the new transmission crossmember. Also still need to decide if I want to add a second support cross member of some kind for the Atlas because it is so much heavier than the 231 was. Not entirely sure the single center mount under the transmission tail shaft is enough for that much weight hanging off the back of it.

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post #59 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Well I got a phone call this afternoon from the transmission shop. My Transmission is fully rebuilt and ready to go with a shift kit installed in it. Damn quick turn around considering I dropped it off Monday.

In other news my Flowkooler water pump got delivered today. Got a shipping notification from Ruffstuff that the stuff I ordered to build the transmission crossmember has shipped.

And then I hit Poly Performance this afternoon and went ahead and placed an order for a universal flush mount Art Carr- Winters shifter with the Rock Crawler stock gate pattern plate.





Looking forward to ditching the crappy stock column shifter cluster of linkages and brackets. I’ve read people have had issues with clearance with the bracket on this shifter but that has always been people still running the drivers drop diff, since I am going passenger drop I think I should be ok. Time will tell I suppose.

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post #60 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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So got some time to work on the Jeep today. I went to start assembling the engine and discovered when I went to install the new oil pump that it did not include a new pick up tube and screen. I didn’t bother removing my old one from the old engine unfortunately so that put a kink in that plan. Hit Amazon and found one with same day delivery that should arrive sometime tonight so I can do that tomorrow.

So with that wrench in my plans I instead went ahead and did a couple of small things instead. After a week soaking in simple green the accessory mount brackets cleaned right up beautifully. I found my old roll cage to be a perfect part hanger so I strung them up and shot a couple of coats of paint on them and a few other parts.



After that I went ahead and fully stripped down the intake manifold. I spent some time cleaning it up and even more time opening the throat of the throttle body plate to match the gasket and bore of the new BBK 62MM throttle body. I just took the gasket from the new TB and used that as a template. Traced it out with a sharpie and went to town on it until it was opened up to the new dimensions. Shot a couple of coats of VHT exhaust paint on the manifold as well as the new Banks header. Last thing I did was get the new throttle body fully assembled with the new sensors and such.



Tomorrow morning I am going to run down to the transmission shop and pick up the rebuilt tranny. We have some family crap to take care of in the afternoon but after that I am hoping to really get this engine assembled.

Just went out to spray another coat on the header and Intake. Yes I left the sensor installed, it is getting replaced with a new one anyway. Going all new sensors and senders just for piece of mind.




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