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Intermediate Frankenjeep Build

Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by Jon B., Jan 10, 2024.

  1. Feb 14, 2024
    Jon B.

    Jon B. Retired three times; still working.

    SW Minnesota
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2022
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    263
    The power train is bolted together!

    IMG_3106.jpeg Rear axle has been disassembled and new parts are ordered. I went with another Eaton TrueTrac for the D44, just because of the expected use this thing should see.

    Once that’s together, I can start hanging things on the frame! Woot! I’m looking forward to that.

    Jon B.
     
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  2. Feb 17, 2024
    Jon B.

    Jon B. Retired three times; still working.

    SW Minnesota
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    Bummer. It arrived today, but, with the big transmission case, it won’t fit without modifying the mount. Cut & weld; cut & weld…

    The Dana 44 bits are here - except axle bearings and seals - so I’m assembling, torquing, measuring, disassembling, shimming, assembling, ad nauseum.

    Jon B.
     
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  3. Feb 18, 2024
    Jon B.

    Jon B. Retired three times; still working.

    SW Minnesota
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    Rear differential is in, adjusted and torqued!

    PSA: when purchasing a differential installation kit, DO NOT buy the Ratech kit. The shims are few in number, and too thick. The ‘paint’ for the gears is crap. The cover gasket is thin paper, wadded up and stuffed in the square box. There are no oil slinger or baffles, so save your old ones!

    I used the Motive (?) on the front; it was way better. Flat box with a thick stiff gasket, etc..


    The JB twin stick is mounted! If you have a Dana 20, and a GM SM465 transmission, it won’t fit out of the box. The mount needs to be offset, away from the transmission about an inch. Mine now looks like this:
    IMG_3108.jpeg

    The installed shifters are quite spiffy:

    IMG_3112.jpeg

    Jon B.
     
  4. Feb 22, 2024
    Jon B.

    Jon B. Retired three times; still working.

    SW Minnesota
    Joined:
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    Something “interesting “ (in Minnesota terms) appeared when the power train was united…

    The bell housing I have - from an early ‘90s Chevy truck - has a passenger side clutch fork and had a hydraulic actuator. The ‘hump’ in the bell housing is kinda close to where the front driveshaft goes. This could get ugly.

    Who here has an LS-powered CJ with a manual transmission? Did the driveshaft miss the bell housing and starter?

    Jon B.
     
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  5. Feb 24, 2024
    Jon B.

    Jon B. Retired three times; still working.

    SW Minnesota
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    It’s a roller!!
    IMG_3122.jpeg

    Jon B.
     
  6. Feb 24, 2024
    Jon B.

    Jon B. Retired three times; still working.

    SW Minnesota
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    Drat! I had measured the exhaust pipes on the 5.3, and thought they’d fit between the frame rails. They don’t. :-(

    I guess it’s time to find a set of block-hugger headers. $$$

    Jon B.

    ps: I found a set of NOS Flowtech headers on eBay, and made an offer. We’ll see…
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2024
  7. Feb 29, 2024
    Jon B.

    Jon B. Retired three times; still working.

    SW Minnesota
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    The headers showed up on the Big Brown Truck this afternoon!

    IMG_3126.jpeg
    I wanted the headers on to see what sort of engine mounts are needed, and whether a standard starter will fit. The answers are: custom- made mounts; stock starter.

    And, the fuel tank is mounted in the frame, with a steel ‘tub’ under it.

    Jon B.
     
  8. Mar 1, 2024
    Lockman

    Lockman OK.....Now I Get It . 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Silver Hill,...
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    ..........Hey there Jon B. ,
    I , for one, like following you Build progress. Can we assume that those Flowtech headers will allow your pipes to travel back inside your frame rails ? Hope so....... They sure are good lookin' (y)
     
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  9. Mar 1, 2024
    Jon B.

    Jon B. Retired three times; still working.

    SW Minnesota
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    Having measured them, I’m optimistic. Today, though, I’ll lift the powertrain into place, and will know for certain whether it fits.

    The collectors cover about the rear third of the engine mount ‘pad’ on the block, so I’ll have to get creative regarding the mount fabrication.

    Jon B.
     
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  10. Mar 1, 2024
    Jon B.

    Jon B. Retired three times; still working.

    SW Minnesota
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    They will fit!!
    IMG_3127.jpeg

    However… …the bell housing I have isn’t gonna work. It and the front driveshaft are going to try to occupy the same space at the same time. We all know how well that works. I have a line on one with a driver’s side clutch fork.

    Jon B.
     
  11. Mar 30, 2024
    Jon B.

    Jon B. Retired three times; still working.

    SW Minnesota
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    Yes, I’m still alive and still plugging away on the project.

    I did have to disassemble the powertrain to swap out the bell housing for one with the clutch fork on the driver’s side. All it took was time, a 100-mile drive (round trip), and a few bucks.

    The engine mounts are fabricated and (temporarily) installed (need paint), and the crossmember is in and supporting the transmission and t-case. I found a “universal” set of LS mounts on eBay for around $50. I had to extend the engine side of each toward the front to clear the headers and make plates to bolt to the frame rails and then weld the other half of the mount to those.

    Headers are bolted on, starter purchased and installed, and some brake lines are bent up.

    Also purchased are a set of axle housing spring perches so I can pitch the rear axle up towards the transfer case. I’ll get a double cardan shaft from Adams, most likely. The angle is too steep for standard u-joints.

    Since the mounts have to be removed for painting, the engine is still blocked up in place. Once they’re painted, the engine will be fully installed! Yay!!

    Oh, yeah; pics, since everyone loves those:

    IMG_3161.jpeg
    IMG_3160.jpeg

    IMG_3159.jpeg

    Jon B.
     
  12. Apr 5, 2024
    Jon B.

    Jon B. Retired three times; still working.

    SW Minnesota
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    The engine mounts are painted and installed, and all of the “cribbing” has been removed from under the engine. The engine is entirely supported by the frame!

    Also, the new (modified) Barnes spring perches are welded to the axle housing and temporarily bolted in place. I moved the axle rearward one inch, but the bottom plate no longer aligns with the U-bolts. The bolts are angled forward, which I’m not excited about… I suspect that I’ll be drilling new holes in those.

    I’ll need a custom driveshaft but should probably wait to see what the exact length is with some weight on the springs; it’s just the frame, drivetrain and fuel tank thus far. How much more will be added is just a wild guess. I s’pose I could stack 300-400 pounds on the rear of the frame to simulate the body, seats, passengers and fuel. Maybe more…

    Anyway, here are some pics:

    IMG_3172.jpeg

    IMG_3173.jpeg

    IMG_3175.jpeg

    I’ve sent a message to Adams Driveshaft asking about custom ‘CV’ shafts and 10-spline Dana 20 yoke availability.

    Jon B.
     
  13. Apr 5, 2024
    Jon B.

    Jon B. Retired three times; still working.

    SW Minnesota
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    Oh, yeah…
    Looking at the driver’s side of the engine, it appears that the steering shaft will have to be made of rubber to snake its way from firewall to the steering box.

    It’s gonna have several joints in it… Does anyone have tips for fabrication of such a beast? I’m open to any and all suggestions.

    Jon B.
     
  14. Apr 5, 2024
    Oldriginal86

    Oldriginal86 Member

    Pasadena, Md.
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    Great work Jon. This Jeep is going to be better than new. Have a few questions, did you put the body on the frame when positioning the engine? The reason I ask is the engine and trans looks a bit high in the frame. How is the clearance for the front driveshaft now that the bell housing is changed? Keep up the good work and we love pictures.
    Randy
     
  15. Apr 6, 2024
    Rozcoking23

    Rozcoking23 RUN & GET BIT! 2024 Sponsor

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  16. Apr 6, 2024
    Jon B.

    Jon B. Retired three times; still working.

    SW Minnesota
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    Randy,

    I did not. The body is attached to its original frame, and in need of repair before it goes on. The good news is that the body donor and my ‘72 are handy for measuring things like that. I’m using the tall ‘truck’ intake which can be a problem, but my preliminary measurements show that it should clear the hood. The inner fenders are a whole ‘nuther story, though.

    The front shaft has lots of vertical clearance now, and is about two inches away from the oil pan if the springs ever fully compress. Originally, the oil pan had an oil level sensor, but that got replaced by an oil drain plug for more clearance.

    The crankshaft centerline compares favorably to the 304 in the ‘72, but that’s an overall smaller engine, so things are tight. The power steering pump prevented me from lowering the engine any more; it sits just ahead of the upper shock mount on the frame. The return port is on the bottom, so it needs room for an elbow and the hose.

    I thought the shifter was way too high but it’s not much above the stock one on the ‘68 CJ, so it’s gonna be OK, I think. The floor hump will be huge, though! I’m likely to use a (edit) 1” body lift to help fit stuff together.

    Jon B.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2024
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  17. Apr 6, 2024
    Jon B.

    Jon B. Retired three times; still working.

    SW Minnesota
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    Those could work! Thanks a bunch.

    The shock studs would have to be welded on - at least I didn’t see any with them already attached.

    Jon B.
     
  18. Apr 6, 2024
    Buildflycrash

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    Fenderwell headers.
     
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  19. Apr 6, 2024
    dnb71R2

    dnb71R2 SuperDave 2023 Sponsor

    Grand Mesa, CO
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    We're NOT in high school anymore. ;)
     
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  20. Apr 6, 2024
    Buildflycrash

    Buildflycrash More or Less in Line. 2024 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

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    I pulled up to my moms house just a few minutes ago and she complained about how loud my Jeep was.
     
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