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304 Engine Rebuild - Part #15
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(02/20/06) I write this today and I am pleased to say that the engine swap is now completed and that the Jeep is actually running under it's own power. There are a few more fine tuning things that need to be done, but I drove the Jeep around the block and all in all, the Jeep is done and this phase of the build-up on the Orange Jeep can be considered completed as I see it.
After I got all the pieces up to the garage, I put as much of them together as I could prior to getting the engine stabbed into place. Once that was in, it was a matter of getting all the parts put onto the engine before the grille shell was put into place. Without the grille shell in place, it is a LOT easier to work on the engine, both on top and in front of it.

I put all the pieces I could onto the engine and then put the grille shell in place. With that done, the fenders were lined up and then the hood was test fit and then I went to work on putting the hood lift in place.

I then went to work on the electrical and plumbing systems of the Jeep. I ran the spark plug wires, set the timing as close as I could to TDC, ran the hoses for the radiator fluid and then tightened everything down one last time.

With the Jeep back together for the most part, I took out the parts from the back of Frank's truck and put the bumper and winch on. I ran the electrical for the winch and finally the KC lights and then I was on my way to try and get it started. It took some doing to time it right as I forgot how to set the timing with the GM fuel injection setup, but once I re-read the directions, the Jeep was running again and I was happy.
I took it for a little spin and it was leaking radiator fluid out of the water pump. A quick oil change and a few tightened hose clamps and bolts and the Jeep was running, as it should. I filled up the rest of the radiator fluid and had a boil over in the new stainless steel radiator overflow, but that was quickly cleaned up and I was on my way to the fine-tuning of the rest of the engine. I tried out the new H4 lights and that went well and with that, the winter projects are completed on the Jeep, now it is time to drive and enjoy it.

One last comment is the RED Jeep. This is the next project. We will be doing a body lift, fuel injection conversion and finally a new radiator bottle overflow like the Orange Jeep. The hood lift on the Orange one is a great idea and that might find it's way to the Red Jeep as well. There are a few more weekends of work to do on the rigs, but soon it will be all Jeep shows and events for a while and hopefully (knock on wood) nothing will go wrong as we enjoy the summer 4-wheeling and showing them off.

The approximate build-up costs and installation time can be seen here.

cb (02/21/06)
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