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Project Heepster Build Thread ('67 Jeepster)

Project_Heepster

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CAL4
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3543
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36
Nice, well good to have a solid backup plan now it looks like. I just picked up the transmission last week, so as soon as I get some time to get it roughly in place I’ll double check this. Looks like I’ll likely be swapping the mount based on your pictures. Thanks for the heads up!
 

Project_Heepster

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To make it easier to roll around the garage and maneuver everything, I wanted to get the bump stops in so it would be simple to drop it down all the way without resting it on the links. It also is going to make getting the engine and everything else in as I’ll just leave it at full bump to make sure everything clears.

pretty tight on the clearance especially on the passenger side, but there wasn’t too much room to move it when accounting for the coil over location. Once I get the coils in I might try and move the bump stops back a little bit, but for now they work. They’ll also be getting some real support plates attached Eventually, but since I might be moving them anyway i didn’t want to overdo anything.
 

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Project_Heepster

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With the bump stops in it was time to get the coil mounts started. I picked up some 12” shock mounts from ruffstuff and they look like they’ll work perfectly. The upper mounts were super easy, notch the ruffstuff towers slightly and get them placed where I think everything will clear.
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The lower ones were a little more complicated. I really just needed to make a good spot for some tabs to mount, but with the minimal clearance between the track bar, bump stop, coilover stackup it left the lower coil mounts right over the lower link mounts. Luckily, when I ordered the brackets from Barnes they sent me a set of brackets that were both left side. they were quick to send another set with the correct orientation, so I ended up with a couple extra brackets. I just flipped those over, notched them to the axle tube and welded them in place to give myself a nice platform for some tabs
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did that on both side and now I have a spot for upper and lower tabs for the coilovers. Once I actually get them I’ll get the tabs in place and check all the clearances. Time to turn attention to finishing up steering.
 

Project_Heepster

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For steering, I decided to go with a ruffstuff 1 ton tie rod kit and just convert the super duty knuckles to gm taper. Wasn’t sure if this was even going to work, but I had the reamer from a friend who used it on his ZJ (and then my XJ, and then a buddies xj, it’s been around the block lol), so I figured I’d give it a shot. It turned out pretty well! Just a little bit of grinding on the knuckle to clear the tie rod end on the drivers side as I tapered it slightly too deep, but no big deal its got plenty of meat left.

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The main requirement though, was having a low clearance diff cover. I picked up one of the new cast super duty 60 covers from Barnes and that thing was pretty stout. Very impressed with he quality, and it was just enough clearance to run a straight tie rod and not collide with the diff cover.

For the drag link, after flexing the passenger side up I realized that it was going to be limiting factor in flex when it hit the frame if i ran a straight link. I was trying to make sure that my track bar and drag link were perfectly in line and since the track bar sits up high to help with the roll center, the drag link had to go high as well, hence the high steer arm on the passenger side and the need for a bent drag link to clear the frame. I attempted to bend the tube i had (1.5” x 0.25” wall) and well, my bender wasnt up to the task to bend something that thick. So instead after some research i found the pre-bent cut-to-length drag link from WFO which ended up being perfect. Everything clears at full flex and should be more than strong enough especially with hydro assist that will go in eventually.

C761AE6F-FE86-4019-931D-6EE539FE634F.jpeg
 

Project_Heepster

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That about brings it up to where I am right now. Other than the fact that I bought an engine :smokin: I haven’t actually been able to pick it up yet, but its in progress currently and ill post some more info on it once I get it. Just for reference its an L59 (flex fuel 5.3 lm7 essentially) with 90k miles or so. Once i new exactly which engine i was getting i went to a local JY and picked up a transmission. $750 got me a 06 4l60e with 110k miles. May have been able to find a better deal somewhere, but whatever I wanted a transand this was ready to go from a reputable JY near me in San Jose.

Pulled the NP241c from my dads backyard for free.99 and double checked that it was going to work with the trans like it should. Fits it ships!

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Ive since purchased a clocking ring to raise the front output up a couple inches. I’m hoping for a nice flat belly skid, we‘ll see how it goes.
 

Project_Heepster

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About your upside down link mount/coilover mount.


That's fucking awesome.
Lol thanks I was pretty proud of that one. I was trying to find some convoluted way to get some 1/4” plate pieces and some tabs in there and realized I could make this way simpler and save a ton of headache.
 

LCAC_Man

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That about brings it up to where I am right now. Other than the fact that I bought an engine :smokin: I haven’t actually been able to pick it up yet, but its in progress currently and ill post some more info on it once I get it. Just for reference its an L59 (flex fuel 5.3 lm7 essentially) with 90k miles or so. Once i new exactly which engine i was getting i went to a local JY and picked up a transmission. $750 got me a 06 4l60e with 110k miles. May have been able to find a better deal somewhere, but whatever I wanted a transand this was ready to go from a reputable JY near me in San Jose.

Pulled the NP241c from my dads backyard for free.99 and double checked that it was going to work with the trans like it should. Fits it ships!

View attachment 427702

Ive since purchased a clocking ring to raise the front output up a couple inches. I’m hoping for a nice flat belly skid, we‘ll see how it goes.
minimally you'll want to install a transgo shift kit, it will boost the line pressure and protect the frictions...
 

Project_Heepster

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The plan for engine install/location requires the bump stops to be a little more permanent. The goal is to just the rest the jeep at full bump while I get the powertrain assembly in so that I can be sure everything clears before welding in motor mounts and such. That means that I probably cant rely on three measly tac welds on the bump stops to support the full weight of the body + 650 lbs of engine lol.

Time for some CAD (Cardboard aided design) to get some gusset plates for the bump stops. I had to full weld in the side of the Trackbar mount on the frame as well since it will soon be covered by gusset plates. My welding isn't great, but I'm practicing more and more on things like this where if they fail it wont be catastrophic before I start in on major suspension and drivetrain mounts and things.

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Also, I'm in love with these fancy magnetic adjustable holder/clamp things. They make doing work in random places like this a lot easier:

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Also, while I was in there with a grinder and cutoff wheel I hacked out the old motor mounts (my plasma cutter was out of commission, ran out of electrodes and didnt have time to go to HF). Using a grinder SUCKS for shit like this, but oh well it at least got them out of the way. I was hoping id be able to use the original mounts as a starting point for the new motor, but after looking at pictures of other peoples LS swaps in TJ frames I realized that definitely wasn't going to work, so out they went!
 

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Project_Heepster

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In other news, like I mentioned in a previous post I bought an Engine. Well, this weekend was pickup weekend since I had a Friday off :cool2:

After perusing junkyards and pricing everything out, as well as the fact that I have ZERO knowledge of engine wiring/tuning etc. I decided to leave the engine building to the experts. Compared to around my area for a JY Lm7, plus cost for a wiring harness strip down and ECM tune and everything else that needs to go into it, the cost of purchasing a turnkey motor from BDTurnkey seemed like a no brainer. And with the stage in life that I'm at, time to work on the Heepster comes at a significant sacrifice to other things going on in life. Doing all the wiring and tuning myself sounded like a huge waste of time when I've got so much other shit to do on the build.

Enter: turnkey engine from Bryan at BDTurnkey:

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This thing came with literally everything to hook it up and I couldn't be happier with the work that Bryan did. Saved me a ton of headache and time and I know it will be done right the first time.

Engine is an L59 out of a 2006 suburban with 92k miles. With the tune he put on it it should put out ~340-350hp running on 91oct. Came with all the wires labelled and even a manual for my dumbass to make sure I dont screw anything up when I go to hook up ignition and other stuff. And since it's a DBW engine he even put in a cruise control option (so fancy). Also has all the wiring necessary to just plug and play into the 4l60e I picked up a few weeks ago and even includes Tow/Haul mode.

To say I'm excited is an understatement. I even got to hear it run on his test stand before we loaded it up to bring it home.



I cant find a good drool emoji in here, but thats pretty much what I was doing when he fired it up.

Loaded her up in the truck and drove the 4 hours back home, well worth the trip to pick it up in person!
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As you may know from my previous posts, everything I'm building is in a lovely 2 car garage. No fancy ass shop for this guy. Plus, when I finish working on the rig it gets shoved to the side so my wife's car can go back in the garage. Ya, space is at a serious premium here lol. She really thought she was gonna have to give up her garage space so that I could keep the new engine inside, I told her it would fit, but she didnt believe me:

:smokin::smokin::smokin:

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Wont be here for too long though, next step is to get it mounted! Just need to convince a few friends to come over for a day or two to get it mocked up and welded in. Then the real fun begins.
 

csutton7

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Very nice--that oil pan is a low hanger though, so you might want to swap that guy out(that's what I'm doing), unless you've accounted for it and FYI what an LS engine builder told me is to not go with the DBW(drive by wire) because if it goes out you aren't going anywhere. I don't know how often they have issues, but I'm going cable operated(DBC).
 

Project_Heepster

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Very nice--that oil pan is a low hanger though, so you might want to swap that guy out(that's what I'm doing), unless you've accounted for it and FYI what an LS engine builder told me is to not go with the DBW(drive by wire) because if it goes out you aren't going anywhere. I don't know how often they have issues, but I'm going cable operated(DBC).

Ya an oil pan is on the list of items that may be added in the future. Depending on where the transmission/transfer case end up will kind of determine that. If I can have a flat skid that goes under the case+trans that can also fit under the engine then I say screw it and ill run it as is since it wont be my limiter on ground clearance. If I cant make that happen, then a new pan is definitely on the horizon.

Its true the DBC setup would be easier to fix if something fails, but the reliability of the DBW doesn't seem that bad with as often as it's used in everything. It also has a lot of benefits being able to mess with throttle mapping and such, plus it makes adding cruise control stupid easy (it's already setup for it, just need to wire a switch in to turn it on). I'm gonna try out the DBW setup and if it fails on me ever it will get replaced, but I'm not too worried about it.
 

AdrianD

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Electronics in cars have come a very long way, I wouldn't sweat DBW unless there are lots of reports of them failing on road-going cars :)

How big is your 2-car garage?
 

Project_Heepster

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Electronics in cars have come a very long way, I wouldn't sweat DBW unless there are lots of reports of them failing on road-going cars :)

How big is your 2-car garage?
If you take a look at one of the pictures in my first couple posts you'll get an idea. Standard 2 car door with ~8-12" extra on the left side of the garage (looking in from the front). The right side benefits from the fireplace sticking into it, so it has enough room for a workbench/shelving/toolbox ~36" or so out from the wall next to the fireplace. It's also decently long since it has the washer dryer in there as well, but obviously that space gets taken up by... the washer/dryer lol

It's juuuuust enough space to get this done I think, but I constantly have to move things around when im done for the day so that we can fit 2 cars in the garage. And even then the jeep gets pushed up along the wall and the other car only has room to get out of the drivers side once its parked. She real tight.
 

gt1guy

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Almost every new car and truck is DBW now. I wouldn't give it a second thought. The LS3 I'm putting in my Jeep is DBW. Hell, my 2001 Chevy 2500 has the 8.1L and it's DBW. That's 20 years with zero problems.
 

LCAC_Man

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stay with the DBW and keep the truck pan (they hold pressure much better than the shallow pans do when you are on steep verticals). You do need to pay particular attention to keeping the motor as high a possible, this will help with up-travel link clearance, solve the truck pan clearance issue and probably help with steering shaft clearance..
 
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