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Direction Unknown Build, '87 2.5L 2Wd

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Truck: 1987 2.5L AX4, 2WD


Goal:  Somehow fix it up into something nice.  I can't figure out what yet, hence the "Direction Unknown". 


Background:  I've had my '87 2.5L 2WD for about two years now.  I bought it up in Dallas and was a typical giddy MJ buyer...barely even drove it and agreed to buy it.  I then drove the next 4 hours back to Houston in the dark and had to refill the gas four times and the power steering fluid twice.


In the summer 2013, I sold my daily driver car to go full time MJ.  Ever since this has been my daily driver.  Therefore any mods need to take a weekend max so as I can drive to work on Monday.  I'm not sure where this build will go but I look to improve all aspects: interior, drive train, and body.


The Truck:


The following photos are of the original truck. 


Since I've bought it, I've made the following improvements:


1) Removed the carpet, ground out the rust and primed.

2) Changed the engine

3) Ground refresh

4) Changed out signal sockets and fixtures

5) Various other maintenance items.

6) Flipped the grill to the correct orientation!!!!


Truck when I bought it (with leaky pool of PS fluid):



Side with Bondo'ed door panel:


Engine (before the swap):

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  • 3 weeks later...

I replaced the driver side spindle.  It is tough to find spares for the standard '87 2WD spindle, which uses a car style spindle with replaceable wheel bearings.  Apparently, in '92, Jeep changed the 2WD spindles to more of a 4WD style which uses a hub and stubshaft.  I picked up one of these assemblies from the junkyard.  Some notes:


1) hub/knuckle bolts into the inner C of the '87 beam axle without issue.

2) The new hub requires a different brakek caliper.  Although the hole spacing is the same, the threads for the mounting screws are smaller.  Used a '93 XJ caliper.

3) The brake pads are different.  They are slightly longer since the bracket on the knuckle is slightly larger.


I also replaced the master cylinder while I was into the brakes.  I must say, the stopping power is significantly better!  Previously, my brakes were marginally safe; with the brakes repaired, maybe I can drop that extra life insurance policy?


2WD Hub assembly profile:


2WD stub shaft installed into hub.  You must have this shaft since it hold the bearing together and would result in a lost wheel without it!


Hub installed.  The bracket for the brakes is slightly wider spread, requiring the '93 pads to properly straddle the bracket.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm trying to get my A/C up and running before the heat of Houston is in full power.  I discovered my Jeep, although it has "A/C", it was a dealer installed A/C.  There are a few differences I discovered when trying to install new evaporator.


1) The heater boxes are different.  The dealer installed A/C uses a smaller heater box and smaller evaporator core as a result.  A standard factory evaporator will not fit.  I went to the JY and  pulled a Cherokee heater box and installed it.  It was a bolt in fit.  The factory A/C heater box has a "bulge" to allow the larger evaporator to fit.


2) The A/C controller needs to have some mods to the vacuum lines.  The dealer A/C controller "crimps" two vacuum lines coming from the controller.  These two lines are responsible for activating the heater control valve. To supply vacuum to the control valve when A/C is selected, I cut the crimps and connected the lines.I guess if you eliminated the heater control valve, you could leave it as is.



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