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Old January 24th, 2011, 03:10 PM   #1
Haggar
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Default 1983 Scrambler build: 5.3 / TH350 swap

Last year, I picked up a Scrambler from another memeber on the board. More or less a turnkey rig.

1983 Scrambler, Dana 44s front and rear with 4.10s, discs
37" pitbulls on weld on beadlocks
Fuel injected 258, TF999, and Dana 300

Its done well for us so far, mostly running Drummond island with my 5yr old son. Starting this year, my wife and other son (2.75 yr old) will come on trails, and evetually my daughter as well (she's only 5mo old right now). So I'm going to be cleaning up the Jeep, making it more reliable, more family friendly, etc.

Starting point pics:




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Old January 24th, 2011, 03:21 PM   #2
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Main project right now is swapping the drivetrain out. We had a bit too much trouble with the 258. It never let us down on the trail, but never ran quite the way we wanted to, either. I had a High Output Vortec 5.3 engine in the garage anyway, so I'm putting that into the Jeep. That will be backed with a TH350 and Dana 300. I already had the trans and D300 adapter, so all a no brainer, really. This motor weighs 425 lbs complete, which is over 100lbs less than the old 258, and should be making 350hp or so.

I am using Novak's new style engine mounts, which are multiple pieces which can be adjusted up/down, fore/aft, and side to side, even after welding them to the frame there is adjustability in all 3 axis.

I've got the harness and computer sent out to Jim's performance at the moment, should be back in another week or so.

Once I get to the swap/install part, I'll try to document all the little things to actually get it running: wiring, fuel, cooling, gauges, exhaust.

Here's the engine getting test fitted. Looked like decent hood clearance, and fan clearance. I will plan to keep the stock mechanical fan for now, and have an aftermarket aluminum radiator set into the grill like the stock one.







Thats the engine oil pan hanging down on the left. I might swap it out for an LS1 pan, or an aftermarket like the kevko. We'll see. I hear of people starving them for oil with the LS1 pans... The TH350 is installed, but its tucked up in the frame rails. I'll try to clock up the D300 and get as flat of belly as possible...



Here's the frame side of the mounts. Bunch of plug welds and a long one at the top to attach without running a long vertical weld on the frame. I'm not a dime-stacker...



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Old January 24th, 2011, 03:24 PM   #3
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The rest of the plans are to rewire the whole thing, redo the brake and fuel plumbing, rebuild the HVAC system, new steering column, new shifter, etc. Just getting everything clean and working, mostly.

We've swapped the 37" pitbulls for 36x12.5 swamper SXs, which are better on-road (the pitbulls wobbled, and were a little too wide for these axles).


Once the weather is nice, we'll move to phase-2, which is to bob the body 9.5" and fit a 2006 Wrangler Unlimited soft top on it. I'll put full fenders back on the front, and do body work and armor to get rid of the dents. Then a new cage, and new seats. I will rework the rear as needed to get a 3 kid bench seat in the back. Thinking Mastercraft Rubicons all around.

If I manage to get all that done, then eventually we'll go coils and long arms all around, but thats a ways off....
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Old January 24th, 2011, 03:32 PM   #4
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Since it'll be 2-4 weeks before I get all of the parts to get the motor swap in, I'm working on other stuff to keep busy. Stripped out the master/booster, they were getting rusty and leaking. Removed all the underhood wiring as well.



Likewise, stripped the dash and wiring inside as well. The steering column was in bad shape, and was for an automatic, so I pulled that. I have a few columns laying around, so I'll put in a manual trans. Maybe tilt, maybe not, I might save the tilt one for my CJ6 which has smaller door openings..
Cleaned all the crap out of the cowl vent, but I still need to get the fresh air flaps working they are stuck.



Dash is stripped, ready for sanding and new guts. Jeep came with new dash lights, heater cables and several new switches.




The heater core is good, as are most of the parts in the hvac box. Cleaned out the mouse nests, and I will order a chevy blazer blower motor for more heat. I was originally thinking of a heatercraft/mojave style unit, but for $30, this will be better than new, and those aftermarket heaters can get too hot because they can't blend in cool air...

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Old January 24th, 2011, 03:36 PM   #5
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Looken good...
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Old January 24th, 2011, 03:43 PM   #6
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Look like fun, Im sure you'll like that new engine
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Old January 24th, 2011, 03:50 PM   #7
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So, thats where I am today. I'm going to work on all the underdash stuff, wiring, and gages.

I brought one of the old dash lights, and my tach into work to play with them today. Retrofitting everything with LED lighting. Since the dash lights already have a blue color filter in them, I'm using Ice Blue LEDs from 2010+ Camaros. Have thousands of these LEDs laying around. Pulled the bulbs out of the sockets in the tach and soldered in two LEDs and resitors in each.

(I design instrument clusters for VDO, by the way...)






Then cut out the bulb from one of the dash lights and added an LED there.








I'll do all the rest over the next few days. I will sand and repaint the dash, and then install a plate over the center hole where the old large speedo and radio were, to clean it up. Dash will have Speedo (electronic, running off a pulse generator on the dana 300), oil press, volts, fuel, water temp, and trans temp. And then a tach mounted on a pedastal on the steering column. I'll fabricate some dash indicators from bits here at work, for left and right turn, high beam, and then maybe brake, check engine, and a couple other telltales as needed..
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Old January 24th, 2011, 04:12 PM   #8
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Gonna be sweet seeing some serious fab work getting done on this thing considering the hack job stuff I did to it
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Old January 24th, 2011, 04:17 PM   #9
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haha Haggar build
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Old January 24th, 2011, 04:21 PM   #10
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Cool, should be some real good tech in this build, thanks for sharing.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 04:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheapThrillB2 View Post
Gonna be sweet seeing some serious fab work getting done on this thing considering the hack job stuff I did to it
It's worked well for us all last year, got to put a good bit of road miles and trail miles on it.

Honestly, the biggest reason I'm doing a lot of upgrades is that I had bought a lot of parts for building my CJ6, and then I decided to go a different direction with the CJ6 (rat rod/sand/cruise Jeep with a much bigger motor...).

So, all these parts, I've had just sitting there for over 18 months:

5.3 Aluminum block high output motor
TH350, with D300 adapter
Dana 300 with currie twin sticks
Complete set of VDO gauges with new senders
Complete new vehicle wiring harness & fuse block
steering column
brake booster and master (will swap to a disc/disc corvette master)

So thats most of what I'm doing now. I also have a set of your old bronco axles with 5.13 gears, I think those might end up in this over the summer.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 04:37 PM   #12
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Sweet
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Old January 24th, 2011, 07:03 PM   #13
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Go with the short oilpan. We started out trying to fit the deep one and it just didn't make sense to hang so low. I watch my oil pressure pretty close and I've never had a problem with it dropping out.

Funny, right before I read this thread I mentioned the same thing in Becky's build.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 07:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiterhino View Post
Go with the short oilpan. We started out trying to fit the deep one and it just didn't make sense to hang so low. I watch my oil pressure pretty close and I've never had a problem with it dropping out.

Funny, right before I read this thread I mentioned the same thing in Becky's build.
funny, just before I saw this, I asked you how it worked for you in Becky's build thread...
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Old January 24th, 2011, 07:13 PM   #15
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It's fair to say on steep waterfalls I'm not really concentrating on oil pressure. for Synthetic.

Seriously, I have looked at it when I've been steep and not had a problem. Can I assure you that you won't have a problem? No
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Old January 24th, 2011, 07:34 PM   #16
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So glad you got my old ride and are actually doing something with it!
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Old January 24th, 2011, 08:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trail Junkie View Post
So glad you got my old ride and are actually doing something with it!
Funny thing, is that I got it originally because it was ready to wheel, so I coudl wheel it while I built my CJ6. Then, I decided that my CJ6 was too unique to be a trail rig, and the Scambler would be the perfect trail rig for my family, so thats why I'm doing this now. Really impressed how well it worked overall last year. Sooo much easier to wheel than my 100:1 manual trans 4 cyl toyota...
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Old January 24th, 2011, 08:03 PM   #18
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cool build
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Old January 26th, 2011, 09:31 PM   #19
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Ordered lots of crap today:

Torque converter (Hughes Tow Master with 1800rpm stall)
Hughes LS1 - TH350 converter adapter
Transgo shift kit (decided to go automatic valve body isntead of manual)
Sanderson Ceramic coated block hugger headers
B&M Pro Stick shifter
some other misc adapters for the gauges.

Also got all of my gauges and dash lights finished. Picked up the 1973 Chevy Blazer HVAC motor, so I'll be rebuilding the heater box this weekend.

Jim's performance is done with the harness, its on its way back. Hopefully this will be a productive weekend...
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Old January 27th, 2011, 07:41 AM   #20
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pming you about LEDees.
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