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Project "Free Jeep" a.k.a Project "FJ" - part #43
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(02/06/08) I took the weekend off to enjoy the superbowl. I was able to see the new Rambo movie as well... pretty good, but extremely graphic and gory!
I had a couple hours to kill before I left to go enjoy the weekend, so I headed out to the garage and got a couple gaskets on, tried out the adapter, cleaned up more of the bell housing, and finally painted up the shifter parts.

Unfortunately, the shifter needs to be welded and re-drilled. There is a little pin that sticks into the top housing and then goes into the bottom of the shifter. It is extremely wallowed out right now and that is what has to be fixed. It is causing extremely sloppy shifts, so that is what I will tackle to night. I will finish up the gaskets and cleaning I hope. The transfer case rebuild kit is on the way as well, so that is next up... unless the engine comes back!

cb (02/06/08)
(02/07/08) I was able to do a bit more work on the transmission last night... I am having issues with the adapter that I got from Novak. From what I can gather, the holes they drilled in the adapter are a little too tight for my application. This means that the adapter is pressing down on the output bearing causing it to bind a bit and thus having issues spinning the input shaft. I plan to rectify this tonight by opening up the holes a little bit and seeing where that leads me.

Other then that, the engine shop called and now I can order up some parts for that so we can get going on the rebuild of the engine. Also, I was charged today for the transfer case rebuild kit, so that is on its way as well, so that will mean I can get that rebuilt and hopefully try to bolt all this into the Jeep and see what I have to do to the skid plate and such... fun times at the circle K.

cb (02/07/08)
(02/08/08) I think we have figured out the transmission issue. The adapter was certainly not made and designed perfectly for this 30-year-old transmission. I have to give the guys at Novak credit, it certainly is a great machined piece, unfortunately with the studs missing from the original shipment, I created my own from the size that the guy on the phone told me and they were just a hair bigger then what I think I will see when the studs arrive in the mail. I can't help it, I am impatient and I want it done NOW!

So, in the meantime, I was able to wallow out the holes a bit and that helped, but it still needs a little fine-tuning to allow it to work correctly. Reverse and Neutral still hang up a big and are tough to turn the input shaft, but I will remedy that tonight. Bell housing also got another dose of cleaning. The picture from above shows that the black spot in it was not grease, it actually is a hole that I have to have welded up, or perhaps drill it out and put a plug in it... either way, that was a bummer to see last night.

Engine kit was ordered up as well, so now whatever comes in first, transfer case or engine is the next thing that gets worked upon.

cb (02/08/08)
(02/10/08) The waiting game continues. We had a bunch of snow and nothing came in parts wise and finally we had to do a lot of errands, so I was only able to get to a bunch of small things. Mostly I was able to clean all the crap out of the transmission mount, the oil pan and all the oil pan bolts.

What is NOT pictured is the work done to the oil pan to get all the surface rust off and the full clean up job. I put the first coat of paint on as well, so I will snap a picture of that once I get back out to the garage. The snow is really kicking my a$$ this year... before it was not enough time or money... now it is I have the time, except I am exhausted to go out and do anything!

cb (02/10/08)
(02/11/08) The on-going saga with the transmission ended this weekend when I was finally able to button it up and put all the gaskets and sealers on it and now it is ready to install. I have been going back and forth on the Jeep Forums with some guys as to what might be wrong with it.
Basically it worked fine without the adapter in place for the D300 conversion. When it was put in place it still functioned, OK, however, once you started to tighten it down, it really didn't want to work. So, the issues were a few. First, the holes that were drilled for the adapter were a little too close together, so I had to wallow them out.
I then had to take the input and output bearings on and off a little bit. When the instructions say that the snap rings should fit without any binding, they mean it. The front one was not on enough and the rear one was on too much, therefore causing the whole shaft to not be in the right dimensions, so when it was compressed, it didn't want to work in Neutral.

So, by moving the input/output bearings, adding some more gear oil for lubrication, I had successfully gotten it to spin with the adapter on. I test fitted the top and soon it was all working as it should. I broke it down for the last time and added some sealant and gaskets and buttoned it all up.
When you are dealing with a frustrating problem, it is best to walk away. I spent a lot of time making and tracing paper cutouts, using the micrometer to check things and really just getting frustrated. A good way to get around it is to take a break. Easier said then done I know, but I was able to step back for a bit and clean up the timing cover, the thermostat housing and I was able to finish up the oil pan. Now I just need the engine back and we should be all set. The engine place is ready, I just need the parts to come in so I can head over and drop them off.

All in all it was a good 6 hours in the garage on Sunday. This week should bring more deliveries of parts and hopefully in the next couple of weeks, I can stab the motor in the engine bay with the T18 hanging off behind it for mock up. I won't throw a clutch in, I am just trying to get the skid plate to be correct first, so no transfer case either... well not just yet.

cb (02/11/08)
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