My '94 Hunter Green "Keep it Simple" Build


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machoheadgames

machoheadgames

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Thanks! Another part I'll get when it's tranny time.
It is a little $hiny though.
Hah, the shine will go away as soon as you install the trans! And when you start using the clutch, it’ll get nasty like any other lol.

I received all my other parts today except harmonic balancer, so I went ahead and got the RMS installed, girdle installed onto the studs, timing cover on.

I’ll add some pics tomorrow.

Tomorrow oil pan goes back on, I’ll hang the flywheel and clutch, maybe stab the trans and go from there. As soon as I receive the harmonic balancer, I’ll get it installed as well and then put back the radiator, fan, etc. There is a light at the end of this tunnel…
 
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machoheadgames

machoheadgames

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Clutch, Flywheel, Timing Chain, & Rear Main Seal (Part II)

After a few days, I've made some more decent progress! I received all the parts except the harmonic balancer on Wednesday, so I've been doing bit by bit after work since. Wednesday I got the Cloyes double roller chain installed, as well as the new Mopar timing cover. It just so happens that the Mopar timing cover now includes a built in spacer for the AC idler pulley, so I don't even need the 1/4" spacer anymore! The pulley now lines up with the other pulleys on it's own perfectly. I don't have AC but eventually when I add it back, that will be handy.

Fancy new Cloyes double roller chain...

IMG_3434.jpeg


Mopar timing cover installed!

IMG_3436.jpeg


Last night, I cleaned up the oil pan bolts in the sink, as well as got the oil pan gasket surface at the bottom of the engine sparkly clean. I installed the later model girdle onto the studs and then the oil pan and gasket. The pan and gasket were a pain to do by myself, but I got it done quick enough. Everything went up without a hitch.

Girdle in place....oil pan surface was NOT clean yet.

IMG_3448.jpeg


Nice new oil pan...fit perfectly.

IMG_3426.jpeg


Oil pan in place! Looks a lot better than the nasty oil-covered gray one I had previously.

IMG_3465.jpeg


IMG_3461.jpeg



After finishing up the oil stuff, I hung the Centerforce flywheel late last night. For those unaware, a 40 lb flywheel is a BITCH to install by yourself! Heavy, wants to fall off the crank before you get the bolts in, and due to the bolt holes being unevenly spaced (on purpose), you have to figure out the proper flywheel to crank alignment of the bolt holes before you can actually bolt it down. This makes for up to 6 trial-and-error attempts to get it aligned properly. The worst part is that the flywheel cover plate has to go on the crank first, and it does not want to stay up on the engine while you install the flywheel. It's best to just have a helper, but I did make do without, albeit it took a bit longer and more tries.

The flywheel comes coated in oil, so I will clean it with some simple green or brake cleaner before bolting the clutch to it. The bolts are ARP 146-2801. They are 12 point and come with an assembly lube. Dab them in the lube and install. Torque to 105 ft lbs in a star pattern like you would a 6-lug wheel. Use a flywheel holder tool to hold the flywheel still, or have someone put a breaker bar on the harmonic balancer bolt to hold the crank still while you torque it.

IMG_3470.jpeg


Tonight, I will hang the clutch, stab the transmission, and start buttoning 'er up. There is some good peace of mind knowing how much time I spent making sure everything was wiped clean and detailed out. This engine was filthy after the RMS and oil pan leaking for a few years. Feels good to have it clean again, and hopefully it stays clean for a while. I attribute much of the leaking to me not driving it for 4 years now. Thankfully that will change soon.
 

jeepjoe43

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Clutch, Flywheel, Timing Chain, & Rear Main Seal (Part II)

After a few days, I've made some more decent progress! I received all the parts except the harmonic balancer on Wednesday, so I've been doing bit by bit after work since. Wednesday I got the Cloyes double roller chain installed, as well as the new Mopar timing cover. It just so happens that the Mopar timing cover now includes a built in spacer for the AC idler pulley, so I don't even need the 1/4" spacer anymore! The pulley now lines up with the other pulleys on it's own perfectly. I don't have AC but eventually when I add it back, that will be handy.

Fancy new Cloyes double roller chain...

View attachment 117478

Mopar timing cover installed!

View attachment 117477

Last night, I cleaned up the oil pan bolts in the sink, as well as got the oil pan gasket surface at the bottom of the engine sparkly clean. I installed the later model girdle onto the studs and then the oil pan and gasket. The pan and gasket were a pain to do by myself, but I got it done quick enough. Everything went up without a hitch.

Girdle in place....oil pan surface was NOT clean yet.

View attachment 117479

Nice new oil pan...fit perfectly.

View attachment 117481

Oil pan in place! Looks a lot better than the nasty oil-covered gray one I had previously.

View attachment 117474

View attachment 117476


After finishing up the oil stuff, I hung the Centerforce flywheel late last night. For those unaware, a 40 lb flywheel is a BITCH to install by yourself! Heavy, wants to fall off the crank before you get the bolts in, and due to the bolt holes being unevenly spaced (on purpose), you have to figure out the proper flywheel to crank alignment of the bolt holes before you can actually bolt it down. This makes for up to 6 trial-and-error attempts to get it aligned properly. The worst part is that the flywheel cover plate has to go on the crank first, and it does not want to stay up on the engine while you install the flywheel. It's best to just have a helper, but I did make do without, albeit it took a bit longer and more tries.

The flywheel comes coated in oil, so I will clean it with some simple green or brake cleaner before bolting the clutch to it. The bolts are ARP 146-2801. They are 12 point and come with an assembly lube. Dab them in the lube and install. Torque to 105 ft lbs in a star pattern like you would a 6-lug wheel. Use a flywheel holder tool to hold the flywheel still, or have someone put a breaker bar on the harmonic balancer bolt to hold the crank still while you torque it.

View attachment 117475

Tonight, I will hang the clutch, stab the transmission, and start buttoning 'er up. There is some good peace of mind knowing how much time I spent making sure everything was wiped clean and detailed out. This engine was filthy after the RMS and oil pan leaking for a few years. Feels good to have it clean again, and hopefully it stays clean for a while. I attribute much of the leaking to me not driving it for 4 years now. Thankfully that will change soon.
Cleaned and detailed out, that's always been my MO.
Never put dirty parts back in, unless it's a trail fix...with that anything goes.
 
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machoheadgames

machoheadgames

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Cleaned and detailed out, that's always been my MO.
Never put dirty parts back in, unless it's a trail fix...with that anything goes.
Agreed fully. The only difference between now, and the two times I pulled the transmission in the past, is that those other two times, it was my only vehicle. So I didn't have time to dig into every nook and cranny to get everything perfect. But, I also never expanded a transmission project this far, either. So with doing the oil pan, timing cover, etc, I have a big project on my hands, but with plenty of time (endless time really) to get it done, I have plenty of time to stop and go above and beyond on cleaning before putting it back together. If anything, this will at least help me spot the next leak quicker, whenever that occurs lol. I definitely never reinstall dirty parts though, especially not that nasty old timing cover. That new one is worth every penny.
 
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jeepjoe43

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Agreed fully. The only difference between now, and the two times I pulled the transmission in the past, is that those other two times, it was my only vehicle. So I didn't have time to dig into every nook and cranny to get everything perfect. But, I also never expanded a transmission project this far, either. So with doing the oil pan, timing cover, etc, I have a big project on my hands, but with plenty of time (endless time really) to get it done, I have plenty of time to stop and go above and beyond on cleaning before putting it back together. If anything, this will at least help me spot the next leak quicker, whenever that occurs lol. I definitely never reinstall dirty parts though, especially not that nasty old timing cover. That new one is worth every penny.
You sure do have a big project! Very nice, BTW.
I would consider those previous repairs "trail fixes" as well, albeit for the road.
But when you gotta go, you do what you have to, I get it.
I learned early on that if you're going wheel your rig, it cannot be the daily driver.
Found that one out the hard way.
 
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You sure do have a big project! Very nice, BTW.
I would consider those previous repairs "trail fixes" as well, albeit for the road.
But when you gotta go, you do what you have to, I get it.
I learned early on that if you're going wheel your rig, it cannot be the daily driver.
Found that one out the hard way.
Thanks! I wish it were still pristine like it was when I bought it, but it is what it is. It's still a very nice, 82K mile Jeep with nearly 30 years (28) under its belt. Hard to complain much about that. I really am finally getting close to "done", or at least done enough that it's not constantly in the garage being all taken apart. I would definitely agree that having to do a quick clutch replacement isn't ideal if you can't take the time to clean it all up while in there. Definitely also agree that wheeling a daily driver is just not smart for so many reasons. The best thing I ever did was buy my Ford Ranger, (and now Nissan Frontier instead). Dailying the YJ was bad in the summer, and it overall just made me like the Jeep less and less, and I wasn't even wheeling it back then. But this time, I'll finally get to enjoy it because I'm only going to drive it at enjoyable times. Nights, cool days, etc.

At this point, I don't have a ton left:

  • Brake Booster and Master cylinder swap (going back to stock single diaphragm)
  • Sourced D30 & TJ Dana 44, regeared to 4.88 with truetracs
  • New brakes and rewelded knuckles
  • New steering
  • Carpet Kit
  • Seat Covers
  • Stereo (Rockford Fosgate 5 channel amp; two dash speakers, two roll bar pods, one sub)
  • switch panel
  • install stereo tuffy console
  • Install a CB
Really that's about it. The only thing keeping me from actually driving it, is the current big project I've got going with the transmission, and the steering/brakes. Once I swap those, it is good to go for sure. The axles I'm getting done by my buddy in Arizona at the end of May, so things are going to finally start back up imminently. Once I return from AZ, the axles will be installed, new steering and brakes installed onto them, and it'll roll.
 
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jeepjoe43

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Thanks! I wish it were still pristine like it was when I bought it, but it is what it is. It's still a very nice, 82K mile Jeep with nearly 30 years (28) under its belt. Hard to complain much about that. I really am finally getting close to "done", or at least done enough that it's not constantly in the garage being all taken apart. I would definitely agree that having to do a quick clutch replacement isn't ideal if you can't take the time to clean it all up while in there. Definitely also agree that wheeling a daily driver is just not smart for so many reasons. The best thing I ever did was buy my Ford Ranger, (and now Nissan Frontier instead). Dailying the YJ was bad in the summer, and it overall just made me like the Jeep less and less, and I wasn't even wheeling it back then. But this time, I'll finally get to enjoy it because I'm only going to drive it at enjoyable times. Nights, cool days, etc.

At this point, I don't have a ton left:

  • Brake Booster and Master cylinder swap (going back to stock single diaphragm)
  • Sourced D30 & TJ Dana 44, regeared to 4.88 with truetracs
  • New brakes and rewelded knuckles
  • New steering
  • Carpet Kit
  • Seat Covers
  • Stereo (Rockford Fosgate 5 channel amp; two dash speakers, two roll bar pods, one sub)
  • switch panel
  • install stereo tuffy console
  • Install a CB
Really that's about it. The only thing keeping me from actually driving it, is the current big project I've got going with the transmission, and the steering/brakes. Once I swap those, it is good to go for sure. The axles I'm getting done by my buddy in Arizona at the end of May, so things are going to finally start back up imminently. Once I return from AZ, the axles will be installed, new steering and brakes installed onto them, and it'll roll.
That doesn't sound like LESS than a ton of stuff, granted you are doing some very heavy lifting;)
All I need to do are the D30 mods, and I'm still working out the logistics on that Herculean exercise.
 
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machoheadgames

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That doesn't sound like LESS than a ton of stuff, granted you are doing some very heavy lifting;)
All I need to do are the D30 mods, and I'm still working out the logistics on that Herculean exercise.
Hah! When you’ve been through as many things as I have, the handful of stuff left seems quite small. To most, it’s a lot though for sure. Looks like tomorrow will be a busy day of reinstalling transmission. I got the clutch and flywheel finally properly torqued today. One teeny step at a time.

F9E24E24-CF01-41A3-805E-6F52B3333447.jpeg
 
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jeepjoe43

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Hah! When you’ve been through as many things as I have, the handful of stuff left seems quite small. To most, it’s a lot though for sure. Looks like tomorrow will be a busy day of reinstalling transmission. I got the clutch and flywheel finally properly torqued today. One teeny step at a time.

View attachment 117491
Been out of the Jeep world for a while, but that's how I remembering it going, small steps...
 

jeepjoe43

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Hah! When you’ve been through as many things as I have, the handful of stuff left seems quite small. To most, it’s a lot though for sure. Looks like tomorrow will be a busy day of reinstalling transmission. I got the clutch and flywheel finally properly torqued today. One teeny step at a time.

View attachment 117491
I'm hip, mine has been one link in the chain after another.
 
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machoheadgames

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Clutch, Flywheel, Timing Chain, & Rear Main Seal (Part III)

Well the clutch is done! After a small bit of struggling yesterday, I got the transmission reinstalled. I decided to use the good ole make-your-own dowel pin trick. I bought some 6" long bolts, 7/16-14 thread, chopped the heads off, and installed them into the 9:00 and 3:00 positions of the engine block. The rest was just a matter of getting the bell housing up to the bolts, popping them into the holes, and pushing the transmission slowly forward. Worked like a champ.

Earlier in the morning, I really struggled with the transmission on my transmission jack, as it wasn't letting me angle it perfectly to go in. The bolt dowels were a much better choice. Definitely choose partially threaded bolts, so that the bell housing can slide smoothly. If these bolts were fully threaded the entire way, that would have been a nightmare to try to slide the bellhousing on, and probably would have filed away metal from the bell housing holes. Not good.

tempImageeQ5Ssl.jpg


I got the exhaust hung back up, and I'm leaving the transmission sitting on a jack stand for the next few weeks. I am going to be pulling the transfer case back off for my rebuild, as well as pulling the rear axle for the Arizona trip. When I get back from those, my steering, braking, axle and transfer case will all finally be done. The rest from that point is cosmetic interior stuff, like wiring a few switches, carpet, JW Speaker headlights, etc.

tempImage5t2hc4.jpg


I hopped into the Jeep and sat in the driver's seat to test the clutch pedal feel. It is slightly more firm than the standard Luk clutch felt, but honestly in a good way. I'm really excited to go for a drive soon and see how it does on the road. The pedal requires a small bit of extra force but it is not difficult at all. It feels perfect as far as I can tell, and from the reviews, I expect it to engage super smoothly, especially with the new heavy flywheel.

I am glad to be done with this project.
 
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Clutch, Flywheel, Timing Chain, & Rear Main Seal (Part III)

Well the clutch is done! After a small bit of struggling yesterday, I got the transmission reinstalled. I decided to use the good ole make-your-own dowel pin trick. I bought some 6" long bolts, 7/16-14 thread, chopped the heads off, and installed them into the 9:00 and 3:00 positions of the engine block. The rest was just a matter of getting the bell housing up to the bolts, popping them into the holes, and pushing the transmission slowly forward. Worked like a champ.

Earlier in the morning, I really struggled with the transmission on my transmission jack, as it wasn't letting me angle it perfectly to go in. The bolt dowels were a much better choice. Definitely choose partially threaded bolts, so that the bell housing can slide smoothly. If these bolts were fully threaded the entire way, that would have been a nightmare to try to slide the bellhousing on, and probably would have filed away metal from the bell housing holes. Not good.

View attachment 117503

I got the exhaust hung back up, and I'm leaving the transmission sitting on a jack stand for the next few weeks. I am going to be pulling the transfer case back off for my rebuild, as well as pulling the rear axle for the Arizona trip. When I get back from those, my steering, braking, axle and transfer case will all finally be done. The rest from that point is cosmetic interior stuff, like wiring a few switches, carpet, JW Speaker headlights, etc.

View attachment 117500

I hopped into the Jeep and sat in the driver's seat to test the clutch pedal feel. It is slightly more firm than the standard Luk clutch felt, but honestly in a good way. I'm really excited to go for a drive soon and see how it does on the road. The pedal requires a small bit of extra force but it is not difficult at all. It feels perfect as far as I can tell, and from the reviews, I expect it to engage super smoothly, especially with the new heavy flywheel.

I am glad to be done with this project.
Used the dowel pin trick many times.
I also cut a slot in the ends for a screwdriver to ease removal afterwards.
 
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machoheadgames

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Used the dowel pin trick many times.
I also cut a slot in the ends for a screwdriver to ease removal afterwards.
it sure did work well. I considered doing the slot as well but I was too anxious to get the transmission up in place, that I lazed out on the slot. Ended up getting both removed just fine with some initial twists using pliers, then spun them out by hand. Worked perfectly fine. I'm keeping these for the next time I do a clutch, probably 10 years from now, and will probably improve them with a slot sometime between now and then lol.
 
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jeepjoe43

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it sure did work well. I considered doing the slot as well but I was too anxious to get the transmission up in place, that I lazed out on the slot. Ended up getting both removed just fine with some initial twists using pliers, then spun them out by hand. Worked perfectly fine. I'm keeping these for the next time I do a clutch, probably 10 years from now, and will probably improve them with a slot sometime between now and then lol.
I've got about 3 or 4 different size sets in my toolbox, I just do the slot bc sometimes they bind.
But understand wanting to get the job Done!
 
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I've got about 3 or 4 different size sets in my toolbox, I just do the slot bc sometimes they bind.
But understand wanting to get the job Done!
Mine were definitely binding at first, until I tightened the two upper bolts and took some pressure off the jack. At that point they were in a pretty neutral state and the pliers weren't even really needed.
 
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Old tricks are the best tricks, eh?
Indeed! I’ve never used the dowel pin method before actually. I’ve pulled my YJ’s transmission 3 times now. In the past we always used a regular floor jack and just balanced it. That was always a pain, although we honestly never struggled too badly with it that way. Still a pain and always a risk to drop and damage the transmission though. I bought a trans jack two years ago, knowing that I would need it for this YJ project eventually. Sadly the AX15 really doesn’t like to sit on it, so that’s why I struggled by myself to install the transmission this time. However, the flat plate is enough that it holds the transmission for me while I manipulate it on the dowels, so overall it all worked out and I can install a transmission by myself this way.
 
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Fixing Connectors...

Nothing too crazy exciting today. A few weeks ago I noticed my 10-pin central firewall connector had some wire damage on the dash side of the connection. This is the one where the engine harness delivers fuel level, 4WD indicator, oil pressure, and coolant temp readings to the gauges, as well as provides power to operate the factory AC hookup. Obviously it is a pretty vital connector, so I knew I needed to fix it. The blue and yellow wires were the worst ones but I saw enough damage to fix 6 of the 10.

IMG_3701.jpeg


Not sure how these got messed up, but it wasn't due to age, something had to have hit them. The other side of the plug (coming from the hood) was flawless as are most of my other plugs in the Jeep overall. My guess is last time I reinstalled my heater box, I probably bumped the lip of the box up against the wires and scraped them. Who knows, but it needed to be fixed.

The repair was pretty simple. Most factory connectors like this can easily be de-pinned, by pulling the little wedge piece (skinny yellow piece) in the middle, then you can bend the little tabs to unlock the pins, then you can pull on the wires to pull them each out of the plug, one at a time. You need a very small flat blade screwdriver to undo the locking tabs.

IMG_3702.JPEG


IMG_3718.JPEG


Damaged blue wire pulled...

IMG_3713.JPEG


After heat shrinking, pop the wires back into place, reinsert the yellow wedge, then you're free to install after each wire is done. Took me maybe an hour to fix this one, working very slowly.

IMG_3719.JPEG


IMG_3720.JPEG


Boom, peace of mind on that connector now. I'll have to keep an eye on it next time I mess with the heater box.
 
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