Sorry for the crappy in the garage pics but about 30 seconds after I pulled into the drive with it the skies opened up and tornadoes hit ground 8 miles away. I ran it up the driveway and into the garage as it started to rain.
I have not been around in a while as this project keeps getting interrupted by so many other things in life. My plan from the start was to build a modern CJ-8. I started out wanting to a Makins custom frame, but problems with lack of customer support and loosing the 1500 deposit killed that plan and threatened to start litigation. I went a different direction, and ordered a brand new LJ frame Jeep. We then built body mounts to put an 81 CJ-8 tub onto that frame, and extended the frame.
The drivetrain is a mix from a 2003 Dodge Ram (5.7 HEMI and 545rfe trannsmision) with a 231J transfer case from an XJ with SYE added, rear LJ D44 axle and from ZJ D30 axle.
Hood does not line up very well, it sits high on the driver side. This was a replacement hood from certi-fit. not the best quality. Brand new park lights, one has two filaments working, but the other only one. Checked ground etc to make sure it was not a voltage problem. Funny they use a dual filament bulb in single function light.
couple gauges mounted, and the headlight switch. I will have to drill and tap the water jacket on my block to add the temp gauge. not looking forward to that, instructions start with "step 1 = remove intake, fuel injection and accessory belt."
Horn was working when I wired it up to test, then dissembled everything for paint, now not working. put that one way down the list:
I really like the CJ-8 relief cut in the rockers from 4x4 Land. This pic also shows that masking tape will not stick to bed liner products very well.
ACK! I totally missed this! I saw that you were back on the forum and wondered when I'd see your old build thread get bumped up.
Great to see this back on and hope to hear that you're driving it soon.
I would NOT drill/tap for the temperature, there's some nice fittings that the Corvette/Jag guys use that you can put inline with your radiator hose to get a temp reading. If you put it in the hose OUT from the engine TO the radiator, you'll get the actual engine temp without all the hassle of drilling/tapping and what sounds like a mess of work.
The thread in the side is NPT, you just have to find the one that matches your hose diameter. This is just one example. The only issue with this that I found is that you have to drill/tap a hole in the body of the fitting and run a ground wire to/from it to get the gauge to work, it grounds to the head usually. I did this instead of drilling/tapping a new hole for my 4.0 swap and it seems to work perfectly.
I had been thinking along these lines, but I thought this would only work when the thermostat is open...right? If the thermostat is closed (or worse yet, fails closed) you will not get an accurate reading? I know of lot of guys who do the 4.0 swap hit the line coming off the water pump going to the heater core, which I believe circulates all the time. But my system actually has an electronic solenoid installed to block hot water coming into the core when the A/C is running.
The above would be a heck of a lot easier than trying to drill and tap the water jacket.
Would seem like there would have to be some way to make it work regardless (I actually used the heater hose you mentioned for my install and made up my own version of what I linked to because I came up with it prior to being told about the unit above)
Are you using the AC? Wondering about bypassing/forcing open/jumping that solenoid. I assume it's not something you can easily remove. Probably will cause check engine lights and what not....
Obviously, I don't have experience in this swap, so you'd know better than me on all counts. Just wanted to throw out an option. Drilling/tapping is definitely the "best" way to go with it and I thought I'd do that on the thermostat housing if I ever pulled it for some reason just to simplify things.
When I wired up my tach on Sunday it did not work. With the HEMI, you have 8 coil packs that fire 2x per complete cycle, each plug has 2 coils firing it. instructions I had said that you should use an MSD GMR pickup off a specific coil wire, to a Dakota Digital box that converts the signal for a reg tach to read. No pick of the MSD but here is the tack and Dakota Digital box:
the box is a little thing. Well, the signal was wrong, and I could not figure out how to fix it. sent a couple emails to Dakota Digital yesterday, and they responded with the correct programming instructions. got it set up and buttoned up.
Each one of those big gauges has 2 lights in it, but it does not show in the pictures.
I decided to also get an oil pressure gauge installed while I was in trouble for being out in the garage anyway. Something about missing my own birthday, whatever. Chris Squier at Hot Wire Auto who made the Hot Rod harness for HEMI suggested removing a steel hex cap from above the factory oil pressure sending unit.
Then I installed the sending unit that came with the auto meter gauge, it had several fittings, and ran the tube through the firewall.
Next was to install the gauge and check for leaks. Did not see any leaks, but I am sure it will at some point. notice oil already in the nylon tube, surprised it allowed oil up there so quickly.
It was reading 50psi at idle. Since I have not had time to warm it all the way up, not sure if this is a problem or not. I am confident the engine oil pressure is good, and it should be around 20psi at idle, but given it was cold and the gauge had just been installed, my reading last night makes me think it is to soon to think the gauge is bad.
On Sunday I decided to put the wiper motor and linkage assembly in. Ran into several problems here, and pretty sure will have to modify the entire linkage at some point. All brand new hardware except the wiper motor. The brass bushings would not fit on the pins, and the ears on one brass bushing gave way while pushing on it. all together and looks OK when done, but not sure it will hold up.