Finally some real
progress. I spent the last 5 days trying to get the motor to start to no
avail. What I thought was a starter problem was really a fuel problem
which was really a wiring problem. Turns out the two large wire connectors
that go from the wire harness to the motor are the exact same and can be plugged
in wrong. Visually one is black and one is white, but I can't count the
number of times I was reaching into the motor or under the dash and connecting
stuff by feel only due to every connector being keyed so it can't be plugged in
wrong. This little mistake cost me a lot of time but thankfully
nothing seems to have been damaged.
With a working motor the next
step is getting some sort of dash constructed so I can finalize the wire
routing. My main hoop on the cage had a pretty good slope on it which
pretty much ruled out a simple, flat dash since the gauges would be pointing at
the floor. I came up with a plan to angle the dash back at a 70 degree
angle. To accomplish this I would need four brackets with a 90 degree bend
in them. As luck would have it I spotted the exact thing I needed while
getting some paint at Home Depot. The angle is galvanized so make sure you
grind off the coating before welding it, cost was roughly $3.00 ea. I
trimmed the long side to the required size and using a magnetic base angle
finder, positioned and welded the brackets between the two cross bars on the
The top of the brackets would
be the mounting point for the top of the dash. I will eventually silicone
the joint between the firewall and top plates to keep out water. I still
need to make a side plate which will bolt in where the windshield supports used
Next I made three panels for
the face of the dash. The lower panel in the middle was an afterthought,
I'll mount my ARB switches there and possibly the ignition switch. I went
with three separate pieces to make it to add additional cutouts and holes
later. As you can see I am re-using the Samurai instrument cluster for
now, it was repositioned to the center of the vehicle so the overall height of
the dash could remain lower..
Here's the final dash panels
drying. The small ones on the right bolt on the ends using the existing
windshield support bracket holes.
While I was running the 2nd O2
sensor wiring I decided to get the catalytic converter mounted to finalize the
wiring. I couldn't get a wrench on the outer bolt on the exhaust manifold
flange. I ended up notching the frame. I wish I would have known
about this when the motor was out, I would have notched up to the motor mount
bracket. As it is the flange may contact the frame still, I couldn't get
the sawzall in there any closer.
Here's the air filter mounting
bracket. I had to cut out part of an existing tube to tuck the air filter
up just below the level of the hood.
The nearly completed
dash. I still have a few wiring issues but I am going to save them for
It's time to get my coilovers
mounted. After a lot of debate I decided to try a 4 link suspension with
both upper and lower links triangulated. This proved harder than I thought
due to the offset transfer case. It was next to impossible to get the
lower links triangulated below the transfer case output without mounting them
way below the transfer case itself. I might as well hang a boat anchor
underneath while I am at it. I settled on less triangulation on the
lowers, they will be mounted close to the frame so I can squeeze the passenger
side mount next to my driveshaft and not have to worry about the two colliding.
I spent about 8 hours cutting
the old rear end off. On Saturday, my friend Erik dropped by to give me a
hand. I was able to reuse my traction bar mount on the axle housing, it
now serves as a brace for the axle truss/upper link mount.
Here's some shots of the
mounting tabs for the lowers. We welded a plate to the frame, then
attached a 5" piece of 1 x 2 x 3/16 steel tubing to the plate. The
tubing is gusseted in both the front/back direction and up/down direction and
finally capped off for extra strength. Still debating whether or not the
two mounts need to be tied to each other.
Here's a rear shot. The
links are angled upwards at about 12 degrees. The upper links should
be just under 10 degrees angle.
I got the brackets ready for
the upper links but decided to call it a night.
Getting the cross member in for
the upper links was pretty involved. I had to cut an access hole in the
Until I get the coilovers on I
can't do too much testing, but here's the rear axle twisted up a little. I
just wanted to check my link clearances.