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Project: DD MJ (Updated: 10/06/09)


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I figured that name suits my build quite nicely, since I've hauled parts for it from all over the east.

 

I picked the 1990 MJ up from a guy in North Carolina back at the end of May, beginning of June. I was already planning on heading to Dayton, TN for the WERock event, so I convinced my buddy that was driving to hook his trailer up and bring it back for me. I talked to the guy a few times, and he assured me it was a rust free MJ, with 140k on it. I sent him a deposit of $400, with the agreement he would hold it until I got there. I met him in Statesville, NC on May 30th, and brought this home:

 

mj_01.jpg

 

mj_02.jpg

 

As you can see, the passenger side fender and front grille piece are not original, and probably off of an XJ. The hood doesn't quite fit right, but I'm not too worried as I plan on a 97+ conversion down the road.

 

I jumped right in to gutting it about 2 days after I got it home. I wasn't planning on pulling everything out of it, but as soon as I move the carpet, I figured I was in for a treat. Rust Free eh?

 

Note the hole just above the front inner seat mount. It will get fixed, as it really isn't too bad. Just need to clean everything up

mj_03.jpg

 

Driver floor board. Yep...that's water.

 

mj_04.jpg

 

I got a free Grant steering wheel, so I put that in one day when I got mad at all the leaks...

mj_05.jpg

 

Full shot of the interior. It has 4dr XJ buckets in it, with that awful rocker mechanism. As you can see, everything is gutted up to the dash. I didn't get pics of it, but there had to be 4 separate sets of speaker wires that were run under the carpet, and along the door trim. It had the mini console in there, but I am going to try and get a 98 XJ console in there.

mj_06.jpg

 

Passenger side floor boards. Not as bad. Just need hit with a wire wheel, then I plan on coating everything with POR15.

mj_07.jpg

 

Everything ripped out on the passenger side :D

mj_08.jpg

 

Both doors are in great shape, minus a dent on the outside of the passenger one. No rust bubbles, and the bottom lip is good too.

mj_09.jpg

 

I had a buddy grab me a set of MJ bucket seat brackets. Not in the best shape as you can see. I think I'm going to drill out the mount points, and weld in the bench mounts that I have. They are almost rust free, and from what I can see, they are exactly the same as the bucket mounts.

mj_10.jpg

 

mj_11.jpg

 

Seats from a 2dr 98 XJ. Got them for $30, and other than a small tear in the trim fabric, they are mint. Just need a good cleaning...and a way for me to mount them.

mj_12.jpg

 

mj_14.jpg

 

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Bench seat brackets:

mj_17.jpg

 

Rubicon rims jamminz.gif

These will get a nice coat of black paint on them.(They are muddy in the pic) Got these on the last WERock trip, just outside Columbus, OH.

 

mj_18.jpg

 

Tailights. Anyone know if a good buff with a car buffer will clean these up enough?

mj_19.jpg

 

Ford Motorsports brake kit for the 8.8. Freebies ROCK!!!

I have an 8.8 out of a 92 Explorer. It had drums and 27 spline axles. I got a 31 spline carrier, and Alloy shafts for $20!!! I just need to get it together and swap it in when I get my spring perches from Solid Axle. That will all happen either over the winter, or next year.

mj_20.jpg

 

98 TJ 4WD lever. Someone had a post about TJ levers, still waiting to hear if it was a direct swap or not. It should fit the 98 full console I am getting.

mj_21.jpg

 

York compressor for OBA eventually, unless mine craps out in the TJ. The old guy next door gave it to me. I think it is out of an old Mercury or something.

mj_22.jpg

 

Is everyone's garage this messy?

mj_23.jpg

 

 

More pics to come as it progresses. I need to replace the head gasket, but we don't have any in stock at work. Go figure. The most abundant motor in a Jeep in the last 20 years, and we don't have the part in stock. I'll also go over all the little stuff just to make sure it lasts me a while.

 

I figure I'll get it running right now so I can scrap the 89 XJ I have been using as a DD, and so the girlfriend will get off my back about 3 Jeeps.

 

Let me know what your thoughts, ideas, and threats are, as I am always looking to improve...

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Too many little things going wrong with it. Front D30 is shot. D60 rear needs a new axle bearing and the vent tube moved (blowing diff fluid)

 

I bought it new in 03, and chopped the fenders off in 04 :mad:

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If the 8.8 is out of an Explorer, then it should have 31 splines according to the Explorer enthusiasts . Ranger axles had the lesser spline count, but then they were narrower too.

 

I believe 97+ were disc and 31 spline. Pre-97 were 27 spline and drum brakes.

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so time for a new front axle? D60 up front? :D

 

If I can find one cheap enough. People around these parts know what they are worth, and finding them under $800 is rare....

 

My good buddy works at Solid Axle, so I have a hookup for D60 parts on the cheap side.

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  • 10 months later...

##Update##

 

Well...its been quite some time since I updated my project. The old Renix in the MJ must have decided that it like the North Carolina weather more than this last Ohio winter! It started spraying gas from the fuel rail in January, so I parked it for a week or so while I waited for a replacement fuel rail to come in from a guy I bought it from off the net. I replaced the fuel rail, and all the o-rings...that didn't work. Once I figured out that I wasn't going to get it running that well, the snow was gone, and I've been driving the TJ all spring so far. Fired it up a few weeks ago, and now the gas has stopped spraying out of the regulator on the fuel rail??? Any thoughts on this?

 

Anyways...I have started my 4X4 swap. Pulled the donor HP 30 out of the 94 XJ that I have:

 

swap_02.jpg

 

yes...I know the blocks aren't the best idea...but its all we had at the time.

 

swap_01.jpg

 

Took off as little as I could from the donor axle so my dad wouldn't get all butt hurt about it :D

 

swap_03.jpg

 

Also have done some work to the 8.8. Pete was correct in his statement about the earlier 8.8's still having 31 spline carriers...sorry Pete!!!

 

Removing the brackets:

 

88_brackets_01.jpg

 

Need to clean the housing a little better...I don't think the gear oil was ever changed:

 

88_brackets_03.jpg

 

Just need to finish grinding them smooth and using the wire wheel on the housing. Going to go with 4.56 gears and no lockers...this thing will just be a DD...(for now :D )

 

88_brackets_05.jpg

 

Also have something cool that many of you may not have seen before. It involves seats and brackets...

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If the 8.8 is out of an Explorer, then it should have 31 splines according to the Explorer enthusiasts . Ranger axles had the lesser spline count, but then they were narrower too.

 

I believe 97+ were disc and 31 spline. Pre-97 were 27 spline and drum brakes.

 

 

Not according the the experts at the explorer forum. all were 31 spline and 95+ are disked. :thumbsup: Check it out when you crack it open and let us know what you find.

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If the 8.8 is out of an Explorer, then it should have 31 splines according to the Explorer enthusiasts . Ranger axles had the lesser spline count, but then they were narrower too.

 

I believe 97+ were disc and 31 spline. Pre-97 were 27 spline and drum brakes.

 

 

Not according the the experts at the explorer forum. all were 31 spline and 95+ are disked. :thumbsup: Check it out when you crack it open and let us know what you find.

 

Yep...you are correct. I noted that in my update, but I think it got lost between the pictures.

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  • 1 month later...

I was hoping to have the truck done by the end of August, but I'm pretty sure that isn't going to happen :fs1:

 

I've been waiting for my pilot bushing to get here (Couldn't find one locally to mate the Renix motor to the HO AX-15 since the shaft diameter changed between the models). Ended up getting a Timken PB77HD from Rock Auto. I guess they don't stock them, as they noted that it had to come from the MFG. Figures the Timken plant in Akron, OH wouldn't be the place that makes them...this one came from Reno, NV...that's why it took over a week to get here. I could have gotten a cheaper one locally, but I have always liked Timken, so I waited for it. Knocked this in with a brass drift. Should it be pushed in as far as it will go?

 

pilot1.jpg

 

Of course when I was taking the drive line from the 94 XJ I had, 4 of the 6 studs from the t-case backed out. I was able to get the nuts off of 2 of them, but had to cut the other 2 out of the tranny to get them out. It just happens that a guy that I work with had an extra t-case at his place, so he told me I could have all the studs and nuts off of it. I double-nutted them, and backed them off. They installed pretty easy in the t-case I am using...too easy in fact. I pulled them back out and made sure to use a liberal amount of red loctite on them so they will stay in the t-case. I was pretty sure they were too short to bottom out in the t-case holes, so I just made them as flush with the 2 good studs that were in there.

 

studs1.jpg

 

studs2.jpg

 

Got my SYE on a few weeks ago...nothing exciting there. The only issue was that the kit required pressing out the roller bearings on the main shaft. A brass drift works wonders on things like that. Got the SYE on, buttoned the case back up with black RTV, and it just needs fluid now.

 

sye.jpg

 

The clutch kit I picked up came with a new throwout bearing, pressure plate, and clutch disc. Pretty easy install. I won't say the parts are better than OEM, but they have to be better than the 15 year old parts that were in it. Finding quality replacement parts is getting to be a real hassle, especially when on a budget.

 

throwout.jpg

 

The clutch and pressure plate look very well made...we'll see how they perform. I was going to go with Centerforce, but I don't think I needed to spend the extra cash on that. The flywheel is barley worn, so I'll clean it up, and re-use it.

 

clutch_pressure.jpg

 

The stock tranny mount is made of some kind of material that like to disintegrate, so I picked up a Daystar poly trans mount. I've heard that they have vibration issues, but I didn't like the replica OEM replacements that I saw. I'll just have to live with a little vibe if it is there. The new mount was a little tight when installing it on the factory backing plate, but an impact helped to drive it flush. I've also included a side-by-side of the OEM mount versus the poly mount. The poly mount sits about 1/4" higher, so I don't know if there will be issues with that or not.

 

transmount1.jpg

 

transmount2.jpg

 

The last thing on the list is a WJ brake booster that I picked up from a Jeepsunlimted Forum user. Got the whole thing for $30 shipped. I remember seeing some posts here on doing this swap, but I would appreciated it someone could direct me to them again, as I guess my search entries aren't the right ones.

 

wjbooster.jpg

 

More things to do tomorrow, as I got a free day off of work. Going to mount the flywheel, pressure plate, and clutch disc. Clean up the trans mount plate and paint it. Take 2 of my tires and get the 33's mounted. Strip out the 99 XJ doors for paint. Check all the 97+ parts for fitment. Tons of stuff still to do, and so little time :oops:

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  • 1 month later...

Started installing the Rock Krawler lift. Ran in to a bit of an issue with the lower control arm mounts. RK asks you to install their LCA mounts, then cut off the OEM LCA mounts. This kit is designed for new style XJ's, so I ran in to a bit of an issue.

 

MJ OEM LCA:

 

mj_lca.jpg

 

XJ OEM LCA:

 

xj_lca.jpg

 

As you can see, the MJ OEM LCA mounts extend much further down the frame than the newer XJ ones. It was an easy fix, I just had to remove the OEM LCA's first :cheers:

 

Also, and I don't have a picture of it, the MJ has 2 additional tranny/t-case cross member supports that the newer XJ's don't have. The RK LCA mounts require a crush sleeve to be welded in the unibody for strength, but wouldn't you know it, the RK mount covers half a hole from the OEM secondary cross member brace. Some drilling and grinding, and we are all set. I'll get some pics tonight for reference.

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