Goats Arrive in Texas
Building the frame from the 93 Jeep
The frame on the 93 Jeep was not in too bad shape. The previous owner had welded a hitch onto the rear crossmember but he only welded it across the top. They had apparently tried to jerk it out of being stuck and had ripped holes in the crossmember on both sides. It had the shackle reversal on the front springs. The front driveshaft was bent, possibly because it had not been shortened when the shackles were reversed, allowing the suspension to bottom out the driveshaft. I bought a matched of axles from a 87 Wrangler with 354 gears and installed them. I removed the body and proceeded to build the frame like I wanted it.
Windshield and Roll Bars
I removed the windshield from the 93 and put it on the 88 tub. There was water damage to the guages in the 88 because of a leak under the windshield. I made some repairs here, probably not kosher in the body shop world and put a new seal under the windshield.
I also pulled the roll bars out of the 93 and replaced the lesser roll cage in the 88 tub. I bought a bikini top and drove the Jeep whenever the weather allowed. Eventually I bought a rain cover so that I could cover it if I had too much stuff in the garage to get it inside.
I pulled the half doors from the 93 and put them on in place of the full doors on the 88 Jeep. My daughter and family had given me a spare tire cover with a goat on it. (I used to own a number of goats.) and I put it on the spare.
When all that was done, I pulled the body from the 93 Jeep and began to work on it in the garage.
Little things to do
There are a bunch of little things that have to be done at this point to make everything work. Some are expensive and some are not.
Speedometer gear selection is one of these. I used the spedometer sender from the original 231 in the 93 Jeep and located a gear for the tire size. Have to figure out what your tire size is before you can do that. I reviewed tire chart and decided that I could live with 31 inch tires since most of my driving is on the highway and I helped my ground clearance by moving the skid plate back up against the frame. With 354 gears that requires a 30 tooth gear and I ordered one. I found one before the new one arrived so I have an extra.
Modifying the shifter falls in here too. I wish I had taken pics of that operation but it's too late now. I had to move the shifter cover back to clear the longer shifter. I had purchased a leather shifter boot when I found that the old boot was so stiff that I couldn't get the transfer into low range. The leather boot works well, even with the longer shifter action.
The rear axle had to be rotated too far to be done with shims so I cut off the spring mounts and rotated the axle to the right angle and welded new ones on.
With the body off I replaced all the fuel lines and vent lines to the gas tank. I had already cleaned out the tank and replaced the filter just after buying the 93. After putting it all together and driving a few days the fuel pump died and it had to be replaced. I'll discuss that operation a little later.
With the body off the frame, building the exhaust system is easy to do at this point. That will be discussed a little later too.
New brake hoses were a good addition at this time. The frame did not have brake hoses that were really long enough for the lift that had been installed.
With the body off the frame I began to work toward the automatic transmission and 242 transfer case. I had it installed and the skid plate modified for the different clocking of the transfer before I found out that the transmission I had was a late year model change from a 42RH to a 42RE. I had bought a computer to run the overdrive and the lock up converter for the 42RH but I couldn't deal with the RE. I pulled it and went back to the AX15. The photo below is the transmission and transfer case from the original, AX15 and NP231. The second photo is the AX15 without a transfer. This pic was taken early on but at this point I was backto this position other than having modified the skid plate. The 242 transfer case did not have the right spline count for the AX15. I decided then to put a SYE (slip yoke eliminator) on the 231 transfer case from the 88. The original transfer case from the 93 was in really bad shape, with lots of parts floating around inside, and had been sent to salvage. After installing the SYE, I found out that the spline count on the 88 didn't match the AX15.
You can click on these photos to see a larger pic.
So, lots of parts that don't bolt together!
I wasn't ready to give up yet. Some years back I built a 242 transfer case out of an 89 Cherokee to work on a Chrysler 727 transmission. I modified it with a front input gear purchased from Novak. I pulled it into the garage and found that it would actually fit the AX15. Now I had the SYE on the wrong transfer case. I started to pull it and decided that the gears were all the same so I pulled the main shaft out of the 94 transfer case with the SYE and installed it in the 89 case. I modified the 231 shifter from the 93 Jeep for an extra position and now it looks like everything will work. Well most things... I modified the skid plate again because the automatic had been about 3 inches longer and now, back to the standard, I needed to modify it for the new length. It appears that the clocking on the transfer case was a little different for the Cherokee than the Grand Cherokee but it might be the same. In any event, I raised the skid plate back up against the frame and started having driveshafts made.
The 4.0 engine in the 93 Jeep had a cracked exhaust manifold. It's more like a header than a manifold. I pulled the manifold off the 94 Grand Cherokee and discovered that it was cracked too.
That sent me to NAPA and I bought a new one. One expense that I hadn't expected, for sure.
I had a number of mufflers and a couple of catalitic converters that I worked into the system and installed a flange beside the transmission so I could take the exhaust off without too much trouble. My son-in-laws CJ had an exhaust installed that had to be cut to move the transmission back enough to install a new flex plate. That was a pain. I was determined not to have that problem.
Before I could get the rear driveshaft I had to rotate the rear axle to point toward the differential. The SYE changes the rear output yoke to a double cardan joint. If you have single cardan joints (standard u-joints) at both the transfer and the differential the shafts should be parallel. If you have a double cardan joint at the transfer the differential input should be pointed directly at the transfer. This allows for a steeper angle and a stronger driveshaft without vibration.
The 242 transfer case comes with a double cardan joint to the front axle and after installing the SYE I had double cardans to both axles. The front driveshaft is quite long and the rear driveshat is very short. Here's a pic of the front driveshaft. This is not a finished driveshaft but a temporary shaft made from two shafts tacked together for clearance measurements only.