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post #1 of 67 Old 08-25-2019, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
houstoniancj
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Project CJ7Years

Well, I’m finally at the point of the start of a build. I bought this Jeep with the intention to do a quick fix up, drive it a little, and enjoy it. My favorite thing to do, but none of that happened.

It had a set of Dana 44’s and an SOA with YJ springs when I trailered it home sitting on 35's. It also had a spool in the rear so not really fun to drive on the street. I had intended to do a full resto and update it to be a little more road friendly so I rebuilt the 4.2, the t176, and the Dana 300.

During the tear down i noticed the rear 44 was leaking from the plug welds, it had probably spun a tube so out it went. I built a Ford super 8.8 and then we decided to move houses. Everything went to storage as a completely torn down Jeep. I took advantage of the ripped up jeep and I had a shop paint it and put the metalcloak full wrap armor and fenders I bought during a black Friday sale.

We moved so the Jeep remained in storage.

Today marks the first time in 7 years this has been a rolling chassis. I found a Vortec 6.0 from bdturnkey and they were great to work with. Realizing I had an actual V8 that dynoed at more than 3.5x what the 4.2 did after BD was done with it, the Dana 44 and 8.8 went for sale.

I found a builder who had a great price on some Dana 60’s from a 1 ton Chevy. We buit them with 35 spline Chromolys front (both inner and outers) and rears, ARB's, 5.13 gears, and Reid knuckles. All in anticipation for the 37's i had picked up.

Here it is the day i bought it:








My plans (and means to afford those plans) have changed over the years so here is where those plans are at now:

Sitting on 37's, moving larger in the future
SOA with RE 1445 springs
LQ4
4l60e
Built Dana 60's
Hydroboost
PSC Ram assist

This thread will be my way of cataloging the rebuild and holding myself accountable to make sure I turn my pile of jeep parts back into a working Jeep.

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post #2 of 67 Old 08-25-2019, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Here is an update from the log I have been keeping. Im just going to catch up on updates and copy/paste so there may be a bit of repeating.

Aug 3, 2019

Rolling chassis, complete. Kind of. Rolling on 16 wheels at the moment.

The axles are the Dana 60ís I built, the front is a king pin from a Chevy. Both are 35 spline and have chromoly dutchman axles loaded up. The carriers are arb air lockers with 5.13 thick cut yukon gears. All joints are spicer and the hubs are from warn . WFO concepts and Barnes 4wd for the leaf spring perchís and studs, letís see how bad axle wrap is in the rear with an "anti wrap" perch. I have already pulled the trigger on an track bar kit in anticipation for axle wrap.

Im still rocking 1 Ton brakes on the front and Cadillac calipers on the rear because parking brakes are apparently important.

I went with Reid front Dana 60 knuckles because they are pure beef and Iím eyeballing a high steer set up with a bronze kingpin bushing later on. Plus the orange powdercoat adds, like, a 1000hp.

Iím running 17Ē spyderlocks with 37Ē MTRís and the wheels look sweet. I will have them on the axles shortly. This chassis is a pig to push around already, highly doubtful a couple hundred pounds more will loosen it up.

I hit up ORD for the spring plates, I underestimated how thick a 3/8Ē thick plate is... for those who asked earlier, yes it has a shackle reversal kit on it and Iím running rubicon express 1445 leaf packs on all 4 corners. My ride height is a little high with the SOA and the RE 1.5Ē springs but we will see what the weight of a loaded Jeep will do to level them out. Iím right about 6.5Ē lift with the springs and SOA.

Next step is looking for some high steer setups and diff covers for these 60ís. After looking around at whatís available, Iím looking at the metalcloak covers for the fill and drain plugs with recessed bolts. They look great also.

Next stop, getting off my butt and ordering the rest of the adapters from Novak to mate a 4L65e to my Dana 300.
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Photo Aug 03, 11 41 11 AM.jpg   Photo Aug 03, 8 02 42 PM (3).jpg  

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post #3 of 67 Old 08-25-2019, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Aug 4, 2019

Tires mounted on beadlocks with balancing beads, what a pita. Anyways, a friend came over for moral support and we got them mounted and celebrated with a cold beer. Rolling chassis milestone feels damn good.

I also got rid of those harbor freight furniture dolly's for some real car dolly's. what a difference that made.
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Photo Aug 04, 3 02 52 PM.jpg   Photo Aug 04, 3 03 13 PM.jpg  

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post #4 of 67 Old 08-25-2019, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Aug 20, 2019

Paying job got in the way, I hate that.

I took the time while waiting on my Novak package and decided to replace the usual suspects while I have my engine out and accessible. I went ahead and pulled front and rear engine covers to check out how it looks and was pretty impressed. It wasn't too bad for 77k miles.

I replaced both front and rear seals, installed a melling oil pump, rollermaster billet timing chain, and a saccity billet barbel kit along with the block offs they have in their LS kit. If youíre this far into your engine I figured i might as well replace all that low tolerance plastic GM stuff with their billet pieces. They are a great group to do business with.

As always, I reassemble with new ARP bolts on everything I removed. cheap insurance for the harmonic balancer bolt, cam shaft timing gear bolts, and flex plate. It buttoned back up beautifully, do your self a favor and get those cover aligners. They made my life easy as far as the alignment.

At this point I also switched to an f body oil pan, windage tray, oil pickup, and dipstick to get as much clearance as possible. Those truck oil pans are deeeeep.

Pro tip: make sure you remember to drain the pan before storage. I didnít, dropping the pan was...enlightening. 6 quarts all over the place.

Next up, drivetrain gets installed.
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Photo Aug 18, 7 28 32 PM.jpg   Photo Aug 18, 7 28 25 PM.jpg   Photo Aug 18, 7 30 18 PM.jpg  
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post #5 of 67 Old 08-25-2019, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Aug 22, 2019

Major milestone: drive train installed.

After all the engine work the very next day the Novak crate showed up. I ordered the transmission from them along with everything else I need for the swap. More on that later.

I ended up going with a 4l65e built to their level 3 specification because thats what came mated to my engine in the Denali it came from. It comes tricked out, even down to the transmission pan coming notched for that short Dana 300 passenger drop drive shaft. They also had it ship out with their billet tail shaft and Dana 300 mount with clocking ring.

With the drive train in I was able to give Tomwoods a call for the front drive shaft. More on those later because the rear is looking like a double cardan situation. I didnít realize how long an LS is with that transmission.

i also realize that due to the length of the drivetrain i will likely get the genright transmission crossmember instead of relying on the skidplate transmission mount. I just need to wait for the front driveshaft so i can clock that D300 up as far as possible with the 4l65. Doesn't look like a flat belly is in the cards, clearance is very tight. That is ok, beer belly jeeps are fine with me. We match that way. :flipoff2:

Next up is reassembling engine accessories like the sanderson headers, PSC pump, my rebuilt PSC steering box, and the alternator. I knew it would be taller than when i disassembled it in the garage years ago because of all the changes and i have come to the conclusion that there is no way this thing is going into the garage with a windshield and cage. Not unless i get do a SOA for my garage.
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Photo Aug 18, 7 29 35 PM.jpg   Photo Aug 21, 5 48 41 PM.jpg  

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post #6 of 67 Old 08-25-2019, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Steering arms arrived this week from Canada. NWF has some pretty sweet arms, I must say. and i am totally biased because i paid money for them.

After getting the bronze reid bushings in the knuckles, the arms went right on. Now that all this is done I was able to get my measurements for tie rod and drag link. Got those ordered.

In the mean time, I'm still waiting on a call back for the jeep brake lines, i want to do those before i put the tub back on. also e brake lines. also fuel lines. also driveshafts. Damn, i still have a bit to do before the tub goes on.

I went with the original Garnet color, I really like it.
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Photo Aug 21, 7 33 03 PM.jpg   Photo Aug 22, 4 56 36 PM.jpg   Photo Aug 22, 4 56 26 PM.jpg  
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post #7 of 67 Old 08-25-2019, 09:08 PM
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Been there....done that.....but not with 60's.

Keep the updates going....looking great so far.


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post #8 of 67 Old 08-26-2019, 07:24 AM
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Wow, this cj is going to be badass! Great project, love the pics!

82 CJ7 Laredo 4.2L w/T5, Weber 38, 3:30's w/32's
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post #9 of 67 Old 08-26-2019, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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So, I tried a little test fitting of the headers today and the drivers side looks good. The passenger side is really close to the tail end of the starter though. its hard to see but its about an inch away from the actual starter, not the solenoid. I will take some measurements later on after the kids get in bed. The pictures make it look even tighter for some reason.

I'm considering the LS3 manifolds now. Having a little buyers remorse because everywhere I saw online it looked like the Sandersons would work.







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post #10 of 67 Old 08-28-2019, 10:20 PM
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Wow....looks awesome. Yes, keep the updates and pictures coming.
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post #11 of 67 Old 12-12-2020, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Well, i guess life has the ability to keep throwing curve balls some times.

I have had some time in between work to get out and work on the Jeep. I have the brake lines done. Inline tube FTW, and ORD for the flex lines.

The LS3 manifolds wont work for me, im going to offload them on ebay. I have the Sanderson shorty headers installed right now, they are block hugger types and point in towards the block. Maybe to far, so I also snagged some Corvette manifolds with center dumps. I like that they have O2 sensor holed on each side already, and I have always preferred factory manifolds because of how well they seal up.

The other big change here is i ditched the Dana 300. Drive shaft clearance was too close for comfort 1/4" maybe from the lip of the trans pan. I ordered an Atlas and the extra ~1.5" is welcomed. Its a much bigger case though.

Shock mounts have been welded on, F250 towers in the front. Bilstein shocks installed.


Working on fuel lines, filters, regulator. I have an in tank pump that's on a modified CJ7 sending unit.


Working on cross members also. Anyone have experience with the TDK NV4500 crossmember? It looks like it would be great for a bolt up piece with an Atlas and 4l60.
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post #12 of 67 Old 12-12-2020, 09:25 AM
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I couldn't use the stock exhaust manifolds on my SBC....I went with Ram Heads with a center exhaust. Right side loops under the engine and both sides terminate back behind the firewall. Right after that is my O2 sensor. Yeah...single exhaust....but I have to stay that way to be CARB compliant in CA. You can go with a newer engine...but it has to be installed just like it was from the donor vehicle

Smart move the InLine tube....a bit pricy but they are good....and fit


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post #13 of 67 Old 12-12-2020, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Couldn’t agree more with inline tube. Great product and no guess work. I think the corvette manifolds will work great after eyeballing them. I will have the passenger side come forward and under the oil pan with a “y” after the driver side manifold going into single pipe back. The atlas is very wide on the passenger side pass through and I’m fine with a single 3” pipe back. If that doesn’t work out, a single 2.5” is my second choice.

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post #14 of 67 Old 12-12-2020, 11:13 AM
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Hoss

I used to be a people person, until people ruined it...
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post #15 of 67 Old 12-12-2020, 01:43 PM
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Good to hear about Inline Tube. I just ordered a full set during their BF/CM sale.
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