COVID-19 Home-School Auto Shop: 1998 Sport

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Sea Cot

Sea Cot

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It's on the chassis and back in the barn. Yesterday we undressed the engine somewhat. Had to remove the oil pan in order to change out a broken dipstick. The rotating assemblies looked good, and I didn't see or feel anything suspicious. We removed the intake & exhaust manifolds because the exhaust manifold had been apparently cut off with an axe. Also removed most of the front drive accessories. This sets the stage to scuff & shoot the block with VHT, then get it married to the trans and set in the chassis.

Overall it's looking optimistic for being roadworthy by spring time.

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Sea Cot

Sea Cot

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A couple weeks ago the HPD30 and Dana 44 went to a new home. The Jeep was in in full jackstand mode and at risk of getting blocked in the barn once it gets packed with winter storage. . . stuff.


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Today's mission was getting the Jeep rolling again and, if time allowed, mate the engine and trans and bolt 'em in. We were successful, but what's left of my muscles says otherwise.

The 2" spacer lift has been removed. a LPD30 & Dana 35 w/ 4.10 have been installed. The '99 4.0 has been united with an AX-15 & NP231. We removed the body (hopefully for the last time) to install the engine and trans as a single assembly. Everything is loosely bolted in, but ready for a torque wrench part soon. The plan is to bring the '98 to my house so my son and I can finish it from the comfort of my garage. The heavy lifting work is done, so now it's time to start getting the bazillion small parts back on the Jeep.


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Sea Cot

Sea Cot

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The Jeep is back at home. The current focus is working toward firing the engine, but not without a heapin' helpin' of new parts and refreshing some old bits. The plan is boring, reliable, and stock. I'm not too reliable at capturing photos. Here's what's been done to date.

A before shot taken July 2021:

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The alternator and AC bracket were run though the blast cabinet and painted.

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The new parts pile that went on today: plugs, wires, rotor, coil, cap, t-stat & gasket, water pump gasket, timing set, intake/exhaust manifold gasket, and a throttle body gasket.

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The t-stat housing, timing/front engine cover, balancer, intake manifold, and exhaust manifold were run though the cabinet and painted. I cleaned the water pump buy hand and painted that, too. The distributor body, AC compressor, and alternator are testing my OCD. I'm confident I can ignore it for a while, or at least until the compressor can be tested and replaced if necessary.

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A brake master cylinder was purchased and mounted. The power steering bracket and adjuster were disassembled, blasted, painted, and anti-sized for good measure.

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The fuel rail is disassembled, mostly stripped, and will receive fresh paint and o-rings. The throttle body will be cleaned thoroughly. The valve cover will get blasted and wrinkle painted. The intake/brake booster vacuum line was a mud-stained mess, but Tub-O-Towels produced a great result. The towels will be used to wipe down the other cables and hoses that'll be reused.

I'm not too happy with how dark the top end is, but at least the oil was fluid instead of sludgy. The oil pump will be replaced since it'll be an easy job and cheap insurance at this point.

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Sea Cot

Sea Cot

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The Jeep is this —> <— close to being ready for connecting a battery and a test start. (intentionally avoided "test fire" to avoid bad luck). If I can source fuel injector o-rings today, I'll reassemble the '98 fuel rail & injectors on to the '99 intake manifold and give 'er a try.

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Sea Cot

Sea Cot

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BLUF: the engine fired on the 3rd crank off starting fluid!

Fortunately one of the local parts stores had the 12 fuel injector o-rings I needed. I installed the fuel injectors, rail, and connected what I could. The engine harness is 1998 and the intake manifold is 99+ and there are subtle differences between the two. Most notably I used the injectors and fuel rail (without regulator) from 97-98 because the injector electrical connectors are different. I do have to extend the manifold air temp harness because the 99+ sensor is left/forward of the throttle body whereas it is right/rear ward on 97-98.

The PO snipped the oil pressure sensor connector which will have to be fixed. The engine has the 3-pin 99+ sensor which I'll eventually revert to the 97-98 style for the posterity's sake. The engine was filled with 10w30 conventional Valvoline.

It was almost time for dinner, but I had enough time to borrow a battery from my daily driver and see what happens. There were no sparks heard/seen when I made contact with the negative cable, woo! Next was check the electrical system.
key on. . . right blinker was activated, I heard the fuel pump and chime, 1st time seeing odometer reading, and I didn't smell electrical fire so that was good. Now, it's time to crank and see what happens.

The fuel tank is bone dry and I didn't feel like filling the tank. A liberal application of starting fluid was made, and the engine fired on the 3rd crank! I let it run ~ 3 seconds which is all it needed to smooth out.

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The next milestone task is filling with gas, pushing it outside (open exhaust manifold), and letting it run for a bit to verify the fuel system is working properly. Also gotta deal with broken j-clips for the radiator-grill mount and deal with the oil pressure sensor.
 
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Sea Cot

Sea Cot

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A couple more progress updates. . . . the new AC condenser and new radiator were pulled from the parts pile and installed after sorting out the radiator clips & such. The Toyota headlights (thanks WTFJ thread impulse buy) were fitted but not wired yet. The battery tray and all fender bolts were run though the blast cabinet and painted gloss black. JKS QD links were replaced with Moog links to compliment the stock-ish suspension. Finally, the knuckles were removed for the "TJ front axle mirepoix" Timken unit bearings, Spicer U-Joints and Spicer ball joints. Had to clean up the inner ear a bit, too.


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The knuckles were run through the blast cabinet and painted, too. And here is everything sorted. I do need to torque the axle nuts, and locate the whereabouts of the dust caps.

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I ordered >95% of the parts missing I know are needed to finish assembling the Jeep- brakes, exhaust, power steering pump & lines, clutch master, AC compressor, battery, and other small parts. At least the next several tasks are familiar to my son and can be delegated without much parental oversight. If weekends remain free and the weather fair, this thing might be ready for paint jail sooner than expected.
 
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Sea Cot

Sea Cot

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Here's an OCD/pet peeve test. How does looking at these wires make you feel?

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This angers me. Leave more wire, or cut it flush and toss the connector. For whatever reason, PO snipped the oil pressure connector from the engine harness and left the connector and sensor in the parts pile. At least the parts didn't get tossed. I borrowed a Delphi pin extractor from work and extended the leads. Pins nor the crimp tool were available to replace the leads. This task will restore the '98 engine harness connectors with the '98 pressure sensor.

New steering pump, pulley, pressure and return lines, serpentine belt, '98 AC compressor w/ bracket, heater hoses, and clutch master/slave cylinder were installed over the weekend. Barely visible (in the pic) are the bucket and landscaping pump that were used to flush the heater core. It was surprisingly clean so not anticipating any problems- but we all know how that goes.

The engine assembly will be sorted once the oil pressure sensor connector is reunited with the harness and manifold temp sensor connector leads are extended.

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Had a minor setback with the ac compressor & bracket. The previous photos how a '99 compressor & bracket. '98 uses a different electrical connection and has a shorter (front-back) compressor mounting pattern. I ordered a new compressor, accumulator, and line kit. The proper '98 bracket had been blasted and painted months ago, so my son tackled the swap job while I installed the steering parts. I wasted more time than I should have searching for a "free loaner" power steering pump service tool kit. . . I remembered I bought one years ago.

Somewhere along the way of ordering parts, I forgot to get front discs & pads. I'll get those tomorrow so the front axle can be completed this weekend. The grill is attached for hopefully the last time. The radiator and heater hoses are connected which means the cooling system can be filled.

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Plans for the upcoming weekend are to finish the front axle, install the oil pressure sensor, install the battery, test the fuel system, fire 'er up to see what happens. If all goes well, then turn the Jeep around and sort out the rear axle.
 
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Sea Cot

Sea Cot

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Soon after the previous update, the COVID-19 auto shop project was delayed due to. . . . wife and I catching the virus, lol. That sidelined the project for ~6 weeks with a few days of flu/cold symptoms followed by 2.5w of a nagging URI cough. Once the cough mostly subsided, motivation was low to do work in an unheated garage.

We've been picking at this over the past couple weeks. The front end has been sorted except for alignment. The rear end has been sorted- new drums, hardware, inner axle bearings, and shocks have been installed. Once axle brake pipes have been installed then it'll be time to fill and bleed the system.

An oversight was discovered when attempting to install the rear driveshaft. The Jeep had the Dana 44 option, but I sold both D44s I had and swapped in a Dana 35 which requires a longer driveshaft.

The remaining underside tasks are:
  • install rear axle brake pipes, fill & flush system, adjust rear brakes
  • source and install rear driveshaft, install front driveshaft
  • hookup t-case shift mechanism
  • hookup & adjust parking brakes
  • install cat, muffler, and tailpipe
  • change trans, t-case, and differential fluids
Once complete, it'll be the home stretch (hopefully) finishing the interior and figuring out a plan for paint.

current pic- wheel spacer not torqued down, might need longer lug studs.

20220402_204821.jpg
 

JMT

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Soon after the previous update, the COVID-19 auto shop project was delayed due to. . . . wife and I catching the virus, lol. That sidelined the project for ~6 weeks with a few days of flu/cold symptoms followed by 2.5w of a nagging URI cough. Once the cough mostly subsided, motivation was low to do work in an unheated garage.

We've been picking at this over the past couple weeks. The front end has been sorted except for alignment. The rear end has been sorted- new drums, hardware, inner axle bearings, and shocks have been installed. Once axle brake pipes have been installed then it'll be time to fill and bleed the system.

An oversight was discovered when attempting to install the rear driveshaft. The Jeep had the Dana 44 option, but I sold both D44s I had and swapped in a Dana 35 which requires a longer driveshaft.

The remaining underside tasks are:
  • install rear axle brake pipes, fill & flush system, adjust rear brakes
  • source and install rear driveshaft, install front driveshaft
  • hookup t-case shift mechanism
  • hookup & adjust parking brakes
  • install cat, muffler, and tailpipe
  • change trans, t-case, and differential fluids
Once complete, it'll be the home stretch (hopefully) finishing the interior and figuring out a plan for paint.

current pic- wheel spacer not torqued down, might need longer lug studs.

View attachment 320579
I think I have a Dana 35 rear drive shaft. Came off an 05’ with about 70k miles. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll dig around.
 
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Sea Cot

Sea Cot

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I think I have a Dana 35 rear drive shaft. Came off an 05’ with about 70k miles. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll dig around.

Sounds good. I'll measure for fitment to verify compatibility.
 

JMT

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Sounds good. I'll measure for fitment to verify compatibility.
I’ll climb up in the attic and do the same. It was an 05’ with a Dana 35 mated to a 231 behind an NSG-370. I believe it measured around 13.5”, but guessing isn’t good enough here.
 

JMT

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Here’s what I’ve got. If it helps you it’s yours. My eye tells me it’s 13 3/8” from ear to ear. If you want a different measurement just let me know. It’s on the bench and I don’t have to pull my groin muscles again to get it out of the attic! 🤣

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OP
Sea Cot

Sea Cot

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Messages
692
Location
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@JMT and @andy9743 I have a driveshaft lined up, if it doesn't work out I'll be in contact with y'all. I measured ~12.5" from center-center of the u-joint.

Recent spring-ish temperatures have boosted productivity. We accomplished a few minor, though significant, tasks that really make this conglomeration of parts seem like a real vehicle.
  • Complete exhaust system mocked up. Need to adjust downpipe in order to align the rest of the system
  • Brake drums 1st-pass adjusted with caliper tool. Brake system filled & bled. I have the Motive power bleeder and ordered their #1103 adapter to flush & fill my '07 Ram after a pipe failed which completely drained the system. The adapter fits the TJ too, and we were able to fill and bleed the entirely new system in ~10 minutes.
  • Fitted the steering wheel I wrapped with the $10 leather kit on Amazon. Column cladding is off, awaiting to be painted.
  • Test fitted Recaro Sport XL on to TJ brackets which revealed fabricating adapter plates/brackets will be needed. The seats have power height adjustment and I don't recall if they were parked on the lowest setting when I removed them from my CJ ~15 years ago. We need to hookup power to ensure the seat is fully parked and build brackets from there.
yes, this is where vroom-vroom noises are made:

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