The Frozen Finger Build

FishinSam

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Rocky Mountain House AB
20221110_145549.jpg
And so it begins... unheated garage, sub-zero Temps outside. Why not start a TJ build... at the start of a Canadian winter?
Seeing as the ZJ in the snowbank, that is my back driveway, has too many problems to fix - it will donate its 5.2L and any other parts I can fit on to the TJ (I wish there existed a short list like the one I had for ZJ parts onto an XJ).
The $200 tub is in amazing shape with almost no rust, windshield and frame were not included. The frame is from a TJ that had an electrical fire and was stripped for parts when it was just 2 years old- $200. Picked up the Dana 30/35 axles & RC 4" for uber-cheap ($350) as the frame came bare except for bent/ warped fuel & brake lines attached.
Neither have more than 25K miles on them.
Attached the tub for transport purposes but it will come off soon so it'll be easier to work on the suspension components and rust-proofing the frame. Should be fun.
 

Wildman

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View attachment 376617And so it begins... unheated garage, sub-zero Temps outside. Why not start a TJ build... at the start of a Canadian winter?
Seeing as the ZJ in the snowbank, that is my back driveway, has too many problems to fix - it will donate its 5.2L and any other parts I can fit on to the TJ (I wish there existed a short list like the one I had for ZJ parts onto an XJ).
The $200 tub is in amazing shape with almost no rust, windshield and frame were not included. The frame is from a TJ that had an electrical fire and was stripped for parts when it was just 2 years old- $200. Picked up the Dana 30/35 axles & RC 4" for uber-cheap ($350) as the frame came bare except for bent/ warped fuel & brake lines attached.
Neither have more than 25K miles on them.
Attached the tub for transport purposes but it will come off soon so it'll be easier to work on the suspension components and rust-proofing the frame. Should be fun.

Looks like a really fun project and I can relate to the uninsulated garage. I've got 2 winters in mine trying to get my project done.

There are a few of us here that have done the magnum V-8 swap. You're starting with the better option if you plan on keeping the auto transmission. That will keep the starter on the passenger side. Makes things easier like driveshaft and control arm clearance. Ask me how I know.
There is a really good thread on doing this swap over on the Jeep Forum.
https://www.jeepforum.com/threads/wrangler-magnum-v8-discussion.1365878/

If you have question fire away and I'll try to help.
 
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FishinSam

FishinSam

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Joined
Mar 12, 2019
Messages
107
Location
Rocky Mountain House AB
Looks like a really fun project and I can relate to the uninsulated garage. I've got 2 winters in mine trying to get my project done.

There are a few of us here that have done the magnum V-8 swap. You're starting with the better option if you plan on keeping the auto transmission. That will keep the starter on the passenger side. Makes things easier like driveshaft and control arm clearance. Ask me how I know.
There is a really good thread on doing this swap over on the Jeep Forum.
https://www.jeepforum.com/threads/wrangler-magnum-v8-discussion.1365878/

If you have question fire away and I'll try to help.

Your thread was one of the reasons I went for this swap. I am a bit concerned about the transmissions' condition but after reading your thread, I believe the pros outweigh the cons.
Thank you for your great write up and your offer. I do plan to tap into that knowledge base often. No better teacher than hands-on experience.
Cheers Wildman
 
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Wildman

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Your thread was one of the reasons I went for this swap. I am a bit concerned about the transmissions' condition but after reading your thread, I believe the pros outweigh the cons.
Thank you for your great write up and your offer. I do plan to tap into that knowledge base often. No better teacher than hands-on experience.
Cheers Wildman

What year is the GC? Most likely it has a 44RE transmission which is just fine behind the 5.2. You'll want to use a NP231 transfer case since the stock GC t-case is most likely a AWD type NP249 or NP242. And you can use a TJ auto shifter if you want but you have to modify the bracket a little. And the indicator plates are getting expensive too.
 
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Woodrow

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What year is the GC? Most likely it has a 44RE transmission which is just fine behind the 5.2. You'll want to use a NP231 transfer case since the stock GC t-case is most likely a AWD type NP249 or NP242. And you can use a TJ auto shifter if you want but you have to modify the bracket a little. And the indicator plates are getting expensive too.

not agreeing or disagreeing because I don’t know: what would you consider the advantages of the 231 over the 242 (especially if the 242 was already present with the engine and trans in the donor)?
 

Wildman

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not agreeing or disagreeing because I don’t know: what would you consider the advantages of the 231 over the 242 (especially if the 242 was already present with the engine and trans in the donor?)

I like the 242 and was going to install one in my daughters TJ but things didn't work out. But many don't want the AWD feature. And the options for a SYE on the 242 is Tom Woods or a Hack & Tap. Getting the shifter setup correctly can be a PITA from what I've heard also. But it can be done. I'm not sure about the ZJ models but on the WJ GC the V-8 & a 242 were very rare, of course I had one and sold it.
 
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FishinSam

FishinSam

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Messages
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Rocky Mountain House AB
What year is the GC? Most likely it has a 44RE transmission which is just fine behind the 5.2. You'll want to use a NP231 transfer case since the stock GC t-case is most likely a AWD type NP249 or NP242. And you can use a TJ auto shifter if you want but you have to modify the bracket a little. And the indicator plates are getting expensive too.

98 ZJ. Yep. 44re with OD. I'm hoping it's worth saving. A bare build is going to be expensive enough without major transmission costs.
I have a spare NP231 in the garage.
Are the differentials on the ZJ worth saving? I've been told they're not a good choice. But the rear disc brakes are worth swapping over...?
 
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FishinSam

FishinSam

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Rocky Mountain House AB
The AWD 249 howls and is the most questionable part in the driveline link. I'd keep it if it was in better shape, but it is not so my spare 231 will take its place. Probably way better gas mileage in 2wd on the highway and in town.
What year is the GC? Most likely it a 44RE transmission which is just fine behind the 5.2. You'll want to use a NP231 transfer case since the stock GC t-case is most likely a AWD type NP249 or NP242. And you can use a TJ auto shifter if you want but you have to modify the bracket a little. And the indicator plates are getting expensive too.

Hopefully, the console and shifters from the ZJ fit in the TJ with minimal adjustments. I'm pretty handy with Fiberglass if I need to make one that will look good
 

Wildman

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98 ZJ. Yep. 44re with OD. I'm hoping it's worth saving. A bare build is going to be expensive enough without major transmission costs.
I have a spare NP231 in the garage.
Are the differentials on the ZJ worth saving? I've been told they're not a good choice. But the rear disc brakes are worth swapping over...?

No most times the axles in the GC's aren't worth using. The rear might be a D44A which has a aluminum center which tends to crack or bend and has very limited aftermarket support. Plus I'm not sure if the brackets will line up to the TJ control arms.

Even if the transmission needs to be rebuilt it's worth keeping since it has the starter on the passenger side. There is always an argument as to if the rear disc brake is worth doing. I like have disc's all the way around.

The AWD 249 howls and is the most questionable part in the driveline link. I'd keep it if it was in better shape, but it is not so my spare 231 will take its place. Probably way better gas mileage in 2wd on the highway and in town.
Hopefully, the console and shifters from the ZJ fit in the TJ with minimal adjustments. I'm pretty handy with Fiberglass if I need to make one that will look good

Fuel mileage would SUCK which is why the 242 is the preferred t-case. Stick with the 231 for ease of mods like the SYE.

I don't think the console or shifter will fit but I guess until you try, you'll never know.
 
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FishinSam

FishinSam

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Rocky Mountain House AB
Great. Cold week up north at work. Come home to pull the tub off and start scrubbing the frame - nope, gotta shovel 3 feet of heavy wet snow off the roofs before the next snow storm and deep freeze gets here. Snow and ice have locked the donor ZJ in an iceberg so I'll be ignoring that this week.
Bent/warped front sway bar is surprisingly difficult to replace - haven't found one yet. Everyone is going Currie Anti-Rocks but a used sway bar is nowhere to be found. Weird. Upper adjustable control arms are buggered up - new set ordered and immediately on backorder. That's a sign to go put up some Christmas lights and drink some beer. I'll yank the tub off tomorrow (hungover) so I can work on the tub and frame separately as parts are found. Very few TJs for parts in the PicknPulls these days.
...still fun bombing around in the 99 4.0 in the winter. I hear lots of stories about how bad TJs are on icy highways, I guess my little rust bucket is an anomaly. Eaton rear LSD and 4x4 when you have to, no problems so far.
Cheers