'Mater - '77 Cherokee S 4-door

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
Well, the morning after the cam break in, I ended up taking Laura to see her grandma in NC. I think I should win father of the year awards for driving 12 hours away from this thing immediately after making it fire up :eek:

Anyway, got back Saturday late and got to finishing things up first thing yesterday. Tweaked the timing thanks to a new adjustable timing light (wish I'd gotten one years ago now). I hope to eventually fine tune the ignition timing/curve now that the forever motor is in. I simply dropped in the dizzy as I got it and never messed with it.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1E0pig6HRybWFWJHRWN9r8urbotkMKLFw/view?usp=sharing

I summoned all of the restraint I had and forced myself to wait long enough to swap on the B&M deep pan and Lubelocker gasket I got for the TH400 trans since I was going to have to add fluid to top off the trans anyway. I'd ordered it in time to swap it while the trans was out but the one that arrived didn't have the extension for the pickup tube in the box, so I went ahead with the install anyway knowing I'd have to manage it under the Jeep.

After that, Kate got video of pulling it out of the garage the first time. I had to try not to hit any of the three Jeeps in the driveway, so I wasn't able to record myself backing out.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kAhrY34o6uKWeQtItdWNyfycC9B0HOXy/view?usp=sharing

Made it to my "test drive" stretch of road nearby. I don't trust myself enough to just romp on it, so I only managed a bit of throttle before chickening out, but DAMN it's a different beast!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WQl_rNlgFh5ThtnpFSP6KTjOt3HmBoF8/view?usp=sharing

Turned around and headed to the nearest gas station :rotfl: first trip of MANY.

Got home and looked things over before the first ride with my girls, obviously it had to be to Dairy Queen.

IMG_8530.JPG

After that, it was time for a little celebration :headbang:
IMG_8531.JPG
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
I found my first "issue" with this swap yesterday.

When I disassembled my drivetrain, I found the bushing/grommet thing for the column shifter rod at the transmission shift linkage was completely destroyed. I had my part guy order one when he found it in his computer, but it was completely wrong, so I found the closest rubber grommet I had and cut it to make something work when I reassembled. When I first went to shift the new setup, it was really difficult to get from reverse over to drive and it didn't seem to want to stop in neutral. I had all the right functions, it was just really hard to shift around neutral.

I'd shifted the "new" trans by hand while it was out and I knew it felt fine, I didn't think the B&M pan could possibly have done anything because it's nowhere near messing with the linkage, so I figured maybe something with that makeshift bushing was wrong and/or I needed to adjust the position of the adjustable "stud" on the bottom end of the column shifter rod.

While I was at the hardware store yesterday, I grabbed a couple other grommets that looked like they may work, so I climbed under to try those and to adjust the position of the stud. One of the new grommets was absolutely perfect and it did look like the stud needed to move slightly, I figured someone moved it to account for the old screwed up bushing.

Tested and it was definitely better, but far from right.

So I laid up on top of the motor with my flashlight and found this... the setup on the right is the end of the column shift lever and the shifter rod connection (where it goes down to the trans.) There is a clip that holds things together and the end of that clip was hitting hard on the header tube in/around neutral where it got closest to the tube. This picture is with the shifter just past neutral, it wanted to be as overlapped as it could be when it was actually in neutral.

IMG_8535.JPG

It's a fun place to try to reach, but I managed to pull the clip and replace it with a cotter pin that sits much tighter to the rod. No more shifting issues! This photo is with the shifter in park, so completely different orientation than above, but you can see the extra room the cotter pin got me.

IMG_8536.JPG

I did about an hour or so worth of errands yesterday in it, 40 or so miles. Checked the speedometer with a GPS app and it was a good bit closer than I thought. I guess the Jeep just gets to those speeds a lot easier now and I'm not used to it :rotfl:

I still haven't gotten on it much more than about 50% (there's a TPS position readout on the EFI display) but holy hell is is MEAN!

Ran to grab some extra ATF to have around while I was out.
IMG_8537.JPG

It's SO NICE to not smell coolant every time I park in the garage now (part of this was the almost new radiator I got in the package). It's also very strange to drive with a working steering stabilizer and real power steering (and not to have a permanent puddle of steering fluid on the floor).

I could feel the Postal's eyes on me lately giving all this attention to Mater, so had to get the kid out for a sunset ride last night. It almost feels like I'm cheating the Jeep gods to be able to drive both of these on the same day... color me a very happy Jeep guy :smokin:

IMG_8538.JPG
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
Just for completeness — because I was in too big a hurry to drive it to take a photo :rotfl: The B&M TH400 deep aluminum pan is a super nice piece. Added a Lubelocker gasket (first time using one) and I went ahead and got a temp gauge to throw in just because the hole is there (far side, not pictured), seemed silly to put a plug in it :shrug: I’ll get around to hooking it up when I swap in the matching mechanical oil pressure gauge I got with it (have one in already, so no rush.)

Total overkill for me but I was angry when I couldn’t get my aluminum valve covers before putting the engine in (canceled the order) and I knew I needed to do the filter/fluid anyway. The first one of these I ordered didn’t have the extension for the pickup tube, so the second ended up coming late enough that I had to do it in the Jeep anyway :banghead: Adds two quarts of fluid. Super heavy duty.

9A38C8F2-D711-4A65-89E4-38D3D3A760A3.jpeg 6E1C3BAD-8423-4EB8-86EE-BA7D10892CF5.jpeg

For posterity, the torque pattern and I found the spec to be 12 ft-lb.
C0A9403A-5869-4ACE-A4EA-BC936EEA843E.jpeg

Found out that the 3-piece bumper uses 7/16 carriage bolts which are apparently rare, so I grabbed those yesterday, about to get them in and finally mount my Marchal lights :eek: after a massive garage/bench cleanup :huh:

image.jpg
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
Let there be light! (Sort of, more below).

This makes me SO happy to finally have “done”.


Had to figure out and bend up some mounts to go off the inner bumper bolts. I found the lights years ago and assumed I could grab some Jeep fog light mounts but apparently they never offered them for the 3-piece bumper setup. :shrug: that made me shelve the lights saying “I’ll do it when I have to pull the bumper for something else.)

They have too much spring to them but they’ll do the job with some slight tweaking. Planning a “jam” screw down through my mount right behind the light that pushes on the bumper for leverage to hold the end still.

Lights are mounted and I made up weatherpack power/ground harnesses where I matched the light wire leads for the harness wiring but it’s rather quickly blowing 30A large blade fuses, so I’ll have to do something different on the power feed side. Reused the existing auxiliary fuel tank switch for the lights power (forgot to grab a photo.) Going to the “Main” tank side activates the lights 🤣

hate that I’ll have to redo the power feed side of things but I guess there’s no way around it. Wonder if there are any LED conversion options for these?! Just thought of that as I was typing, I may have to dig into that now!

I ended up changing to individual plugs (I love weatherpacks!) but an in-process for wiring
54E6EE20-D1D5-4D4D-AA60-18DDF567FEDF.jpeg

Terminating the harnesses.
82AF78A6-D3A4-4CC7-8AA2-BF599F299045.jpeg

KC relay on the firewall (may move if I have to redo the power side entirely)
A089A01A-0C8F-4E95-A8C8-6C6A92712DEA.jpeg

My brackets. Offset mounting holes for m
Lights to get clearance from the bumper guards.
DDD0A3B0-D192-4687-A73E-5A30D2605FF5.jpeg
58D3F981-3C95-4392-9050-F260B80DDF95.jpeg

mounted and on (briefly)
32C70DF8-19B8-47CF-B39A-7F9265B55EA4.jpeg

44034AFD-F1A3-43FC-849D-096FE80ED63B.jpeg

This really makes me happier than it should. I just LOVE the look of these on FSJs. Can’t wait to get it out for photos tomorrow!!!
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
You won't get that old school white yellow with LED conversions!!
Actually wondering about getting yellow led bulbs. looks like there’s all kinds of H3 LED options, just have to confirm the allowable size inside the lens. Glad I have a spare light!

Honestly, the fact that they work is so irrelevant to me, I never see myself actually using them, but I knew people would give me hell if they didn’t function :rotfl:
 

Randyzzz

Blown Budget
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
Seems odd they would draw over 30A per pair. A 100w H3 bulb should draw a little over 8A, so under 17A per pair. I would double check for a chafed wire or some other short in the system. ‘Cause none of us want to see a fried ‘Mater!
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
Seems odd they would draw over 30A per pair. A 100w H3 bulb should draw a little over 8A, so under 17A per pair. I would double check for a chafed wire or some other short in the system. ‘Cause none of us want to see a fried ‘Mater!
Yeah, I don’t know. I’m mad that I just went through and loomed up the power feed for the relay when the engine bay was empty and now have to climb back over the motor to undo it all again. I don’t like halogens for heat anyway, so I may get LEDs for that reason alone in those old lamp housings.

edit for clarity: and obviously I need to check the wires regardless of LEDs.

For now there’s no fuse in the circuit and the lights hold them covers great!!! :rotfl:
 

Randyzzz

Blown Budget
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
Yeah, I don’t know. I’m mad that I just went through and loomed up the power feed for the relay when the engine bay was empty and now have to climb back over the motor to undo it all again. I don’t like halogens for heat anyway, so I may get LEDs for that reason alone in those old lamp housings.

edit for clarity: and obviously I need to check the wires regardless of LEDs.

For now there’s no fuse in the circuit and the lights hold them covers great!!! :rotfl:
Disconnect the harness at the lights and do a continuity check from power feed to ground (obviously power off). I’d also open up the lights and make sure the bulb pigtail isn’t shorting.
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
Disconnect the harness at the lights and do a continuity check from power feed to ground (obviously power off). I’d also open up the lights and make sure the bulb pigtail isn’t shorting.
Oh I know, I just don't feel like doing any of it :rotfl:
 

Randyzzz

Blown Budget
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
Oh I know, I just don't feel like doing any of it :rotfl:
I’m with you there. I did front and rear brakes /rotors/front calipers on our 99 Grand Cherokee today, and I’m bushed. Guess I’m not as young as I once was!

I had working OEM fogs on my 91, and never took the covers off. Just liked the way they looked.
 

tower210

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Olathe
State
KS
I’m with you there. I did front and rear brakes /rotors/front calipers on our 99 Grand Cherokee today, and I’m bushed. Guess I’m not as young as I once was!

I had working OEM fogs on my 91, and never took the covers off. Just liked the way they looked.
You upgrade the calipers to the Akebono's?
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
I had working OEM fogs on my 91, and never took the covers off. Just liked the way they looked.
Exactly, I don’t usually mind electrical work too much, but the lights DO light, just not right :rotfl: and I just want the covers!

What’s awesome is that I did a bunch of returns at part stores in Mater yesterday and at one of them another customer was complimenting Mater and he specifically mentioned how rare and hard to find those “cool old lights” are :rotfl: just proved to me that they don’t really need to work :smokin:
 
Top