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Current Work . . .

Engine Installation Day

Well, this has been a day long overdue and much anticipated. I postponed the engine installation several weeks to be able to have my dad and brother here to help me.

It is always nice to have an extra hand as well as someone to act as a sounding board for ideas on just how to resolve the many aspects of installing an engine in a vehicle that it was not designed for.

Pictured here, my brother takes a few minutes to look over some of the pre-installation tasks I completed before this day arrived. I did the temporary assembly of the engine, tranny, and transfercase and everything went together nicely.

I still have not been able to locate the correct throughout bearing and pilot bushing for the engine. So, this will all have to be taken apart later for the clutch installation to be completed. The final assembly of the transfercase and tranny will then be done and the whole thing reinstalled onto the frame.

In the weeks before this day, I was able to get the frame prepped and modified to accept the new motor. In some of the trial fitting, I decided the original tube crossmember would need to be moved about 3" forward of the stock location.

I drug the frame down to a local welding fabrication shop and we came up with a great mod. We removed the original crossmember and replaced it with 3" boxed tubing.

The whole thing was moved about 3" forward and then welding in place. The finished work look like it was stock and gave me the needed room to keep the firewall in the tub.


With the stock grill mounting points still in place, I should be able to get a radiator and electric fan in between the motor and grill.

This is what things looked like after about 20 trial fittings of the tub and adjustments of the drivetrain. My dad looks a bit like a proud father of a new born.

As it turned out, we moved the transmission crossmember back from the stock bolt holes to have the front bolt on the crossmember use the back bolt hole on the frame.

This gave us a great placement of the motor that ensured enough firewall clearance and grill/radiator clearance.

The most amazing thing was how all this netted me a tranny shifter that actually came through the tub where it was supposed to.

The shifter levers for the transfercase were not as lucky. A little work with the cutting wheel and grinder and all was where it should be. The rest of the metal work will be completed later, stay tuned.

The engine installed (temporarily), the tub, fenders, and grill bolted in place. Still lost of work to do but light years away from where I was just a few months ago.