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I call it the Basket Case.

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I have had several inquiries regarding my YJ project. So I decided to start my own thread regarding the vehicles, parts and progress.

It all started out with the purchase of a 1988 YJ Laredo for three bills, and a 1988 XJ for one bill. The YJ was missing the tranny, transfer case, drive shafts, interior pieces like the front seats, and most of the dash was missing also.

It did have a MPI conversion started, but I am willing to bet that the PO had given up on this daunting task.


At this point, I can virtually do what ever I want to this thing. I elected to keep the motor that was dropped in, and use the Cherokee as a parts donor.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The '88 XJ is a parts vehicle for the Wrangler.

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It has no title, and it was not in running condition. The parts were strewn through out the interior. It appears that the PO had taken the top end off the motor to see why it did not turn over. I had discovered, during the tear down process, that the flex plate was broken.

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I had recently purchased a new flex plate in order to begin the resurection.

I also noticed that the fuel tank wires were damaged.
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I am willing to bet that a PO had misdiagnosed his engine troubles and dumped the Jeep with little knowledge as to what was really wrong. On this Jeep, the Crankshaft Sensor is the ring on the flex plate. So getting no timing AND no fuel was probably very frustrating for him.

Now, onto the project. I will keep this progress posted as time permits.
 

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sweet. thanks for the link and good luck. I am slowly assembling parts trying to get mine all back together. How complete is the wiring harness and engine on the cherokee? Could you tell me what the bundle coming out of the harness near the firewall side of the valve cover and I think going through the firewall is for? There are two bundles coming out there, the smaller one has a hose in it which I think is for the wiper motor and sprayer but the bigger bundle was completely cut and I don't know where it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I will have all the wiring figured out by this weekend.

There were three sets that passed through the firewall, plus the firewall connector. One of the sets was for the tail section including tail/stop lights, rear wiper and defrost, dome lights and the fuel pump. It also had the E-brake wire and the seat belt reminder wire set. I should have taken pics of the tear down process, but I was more worried to get that XJ out of my wifes parking spot.

I took virtually every part of the wiring harness, short of a couple feet of dome light wire. I did notice that the engine in the YJ had some upgrades performed before I bought it. It has been upgraded with the 4.0L head, intake and exhaust, and the engine compartment wire harness, so I will have to perform some cross referencing on this as well.

I managed to spend about an hour and a half on the tranny/transfer case install last night. This is where I am at thus far. (The transfer case pic did not turn out right).

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I got the tranny bolts tightened to spec. I also got the transfer case installed and tightened to spec as well. While I was under there, I checked to see if my drive shaft that I bought from winners97tj would fit. It was a perfect fit. I will be replacing the U-joints before I install it.

I also managed to get the left motor mount installed last night.
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It was missing when I bought the Jeep. I had to wrangle the motor around with a floor jack, and a chain hoist suspended from the garage rafters in order to get the mount holes to line up.

I was satisfied to this point with the install. So for now, the easy part is over with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I managed to get in a full day over the weekend to work on the basket case. This is what I have thus far.

I discovered that the tranny mount would not line up with the YJ skid plate, so I drilled some holes to accept the mount.
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So far, so good. I did have to take a BFH to the part of the skid plate where the NP242 hung down at for vlearance.
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The easy pert is over. Now onto the linkages.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I placed the transmission shifter assembly into the stock 5 speed hole and determined that it was in an adequate place. I then determined the best place to drill out a firewall pass through for the cable.
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This is my initial placement before setting the shifter assy. to the right side of the hole.
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Here, it is passing through the firewall on the engine side. It is looking good for clearance from moving parts and exhaust at this point.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I reused the original transfer case shifter linkage bracket for the YJ. I had to bend the tabs to conform to the body contours, but it worked out great after it was done.
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Here the linkage is all together. I did have to bend the mode rod into a zee shape by 2-1/4" in order to compensate for the offset placement of the transfer case shifter.
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The end result of the shifters mounted. I only had to trim out about an inch of metal around where the transfer case shifter bucket recesses into the tranny hump.
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The shifters work with no problem. I can get it into every gear with little trouble.
 

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Nice Project! Keep us posted!
 

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You are the man to get that Jeep back to running!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I wanted to post this pic of the transfer case rod that needed to be bent, but I did not have a good pic before today.
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I did not get as much time into this as I would have liked to Monday night, but I know more about the motor, wiring and fuel system that has been transplanted into the Wrangler. After careful cross checking the components and wire colors, I discovered that this is from a '91-'95 Cherokee XJ. I am pleased to learn this, but this also creates an additional challenge to graft an '88 XJ harness into a '91+ XJ and an '88 YJ harness. I have seen in a couple build threads on how the authors approached the wiring dilemna. I am hoping that the '88 engine harness will be a direct plug-and-play into the components, but I will find out for sure when I start checking terminal plugs and routing.

This is from under the dash of the YJ.
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I am starting with a clean slate on the YJ dash. I should be able to graft in the XJ harness along with the YJ harness.
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Since the YJ was carbureted, I decided to strip it all out and start fresh. Hopefully, I have made a good decision. I will find out soon enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I managed to spend some time on this on Tuesday, but not Wednesday. All I manged to do was sort out the spaghetti mess called a wiring harness.

In the box of goodies, I found two ECMs. The first one is the original '88 YJ ECM.
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The second one I found was that of the 93+ Cherokee XJ.
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It was dated 8/10/92 as seen in this pic.
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This one was the one from the '88 XJ that I had stripped out.
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With the knowledge that I have of the '93 plus wiring and ECM, my '88 wiring and ECM has been packed away into a box until future use or sale.
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Hopefully, with the help of some of the threads on here for aimed at the 4.2 to 4.0 conversion, I will have this all figured out by the end of the weekend! (Crossing fingers).
 

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glad to see you are making progress. I'm a little stalled out at the bulkhead connector because I still have the 89 yj under dash wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
glad to see you are making progress. I'm a little stalled out at the bulkhead connector because I still have the 89 yj under dash wiring.
I am at that point also. I did go out to the garage last night and I picked through the spaghetti mess seeing what wire went where. I will be cross referencing them with the manual(s) tonight when I get home from work.

In the mean time, I did have some success with the stering column.

I had one heck of a time trying to figure out why my dommer switch did not work. After tearing down the column on my '65 (steering upgrade) I found out why.
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This was missing in my box of parts.

The column is in and functional!
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I have a heater control assy. with broken mounting tabs. Plus I need the control cables, the plastic retainers were ripped out mercilessly. So, I will be in the market in the near future for these parts.
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The wiring conversion has started. It will take me some time to get this finished.
 
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