My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

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E_DIGG
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My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

Post by E_DIGG » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:34 am

Found a real nice 91 locally but it had a small engine fire. The rest of it looked too good to pass up.
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The PO thought that the alternator started the fire. I think not!
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Most of the plastic and rubber stuff melted away.
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Bought it and moved it into the garage. Removed the hood and some of the easy stuff.
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The engine is locked up and there are 135k on the odometer. The water from putting out the fire must have gotten in the engine. Pretty evident from how rusty the air filter element and carb are. The fire seemed centralized above the fuel filter. I think it must have been leaking.

My plan is to get the engine rebuilt and replace everything mechanical under the hood with new parts. I already have my orders placed so that I can send the items on the engine along with the engine to get rebuilt.

Interior and exterior are in pretty decent shape. The entire Jeep was repainted 1-2 years ago and they did a pretty good job. I think I am the 3rd owner. The first owner had the jeep in Rhode Island and Los Angeles.

More to come
Thanks
Ed

Replies from IFSJA.org
jeepjerry wrote:Glad its being saved.....
joe wrote:Wow lotsa burnt bits in the eng bay. If it were mine I'd junk it. Unless you find another like year as a donor you're going to spend a fortune on all those burnt bits plus a complete rewire. I could see taking that on as project for a classic car you really love but on a dime a dozen FSJ...no way.
"e_digg"Blasphemy! The rest of the car is too nice to just junk it. I also only paid $300 for it. I already have the wire harness and some other replacements but my end goal is to replace all mechanical stuff with new so I will have a nice and new car under the hood and in turn be pretty reliable.
"austinaubinoe"dang I was trying to buy this! He said it went to a guy for a father and son project and they were going to restore it. Is that you? By how it looked in the pictures it only needs restoration from the firewall forward
"e_digg"I must have been the first local guy that he talked to. I have to keep my eye open for all Wagoneers for sale in this area. Can't have too many running around on the streets! Well I bought it, I am a father, I have 2 sons + 1 daughter and they are going to help, it is a project so if you put that all together what he said kind of makes sense but I never said that.
"austinaubinoe"SO what do you plan to do with it? I cant believe he let it go for $300 man. Look forward to seeing this fixed. Is the engine in good shape?
"e_digg"Plan on fixing it up to "like new" and driving it everywhere. Engine is locked up and plan on getting it rebuilt.
"austinaubinoe"Glad to here! Just because something did not cost a whole lot does not mean it needs to be a trail beater. Thats what I was most worried about when it sold so quick. Was thinking some kid bought it and was going to throw in a 350, 10" blocks and some Thornbirds. LOL Your gonna have a super nice 91 for not alot of coin!
1991 Grand Wagoneer
My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

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E_DIGG
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Re: My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

Post by E_DIGG » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:38 am

Finally after 3 months of never having any time, finally labeled all the wires and got the engine pulled today! Not too difficult. The biggest issue was separating the engine and trans. First time around I missed 1 bolt on the trans and didn't think it was necessary to remove starter. That was a mistake!
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Man was that Jeep layered with oil encrusted dirt. Been gathering replacement parts and should be able to drop off the engine in the next week or so.

Replies from IFSJA.org
"austinaubinoe"any update?
"e_digg"Nope. Just trying to plan when I can take off of work and drive out there. The shop is anout 1.5 hours away and don't want to drive the route there during rush hour.
"Chevelleguy"Next time, and when you put it back together, unbolt the converter from the flexplate first and leave it in the transmission. You can damage the front pump by doing it the way you did and will NEVER get it installed that way. Also, mark the converter and flexplate with spray paint as they only go together one way.
"FSJ Guy"Words of wisdom there!! Also, remember that you can't turn the torque converter to align it once the engine is attached. You MUST insert the torque converter first (make sure it's seated correctly) and then align it to the flexplate. NOW you can attach the engine and mate it to the transmission. Replace your transmission input seal, too. About $10 for the part. But you don't want to have to pull the motor out again to replace it. Easy and cheap insurance.
"e_digg"Thank you very much for the tips. Things I did not know. All the engines I have worked on had manual trannies in them. I don't think I could have removed the converter while the engine was in the car. The engine is seized so it would have been pretty hard to get to the bolts.
"blkwarrior"I would just drop the Transmission and TC then reseal them both. I did this and boy it still leaked (not much) but compared to the amount of junk caked on them. I have peace of mind knowing that they are GTG.
"e_digg"Just dropped the motor off yesterday and hope to hear some good news that it is rebuildable. Got my fingers crossed.
"Mars"Good luck man! Glad to hear about another one being saved.
1991 Grand Wagoneer
My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

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Re: My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

Post by E_DIGG » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:41 am

Had some time this weekend to get some work done. I removed the bad wiring harness, power booster (PITA - Ended up using a sawzall to cut off lower bolt) and all other stuff to clean out the engine bay. I thought a power washer would remove the soot. Did an ok job but not as good as I had hoped. I will have to paint the bay. Here are some pics of before and after.

Before
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After
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1991 Grand Wagoneer
My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

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Re: My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

Post by E_DIGG » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:46 am

I got a call on Friday 12/28/12 that the engine was ready and I could pickup at any time. The machine shop is only 15 minutes away from Charlestown, WV where my Dad likes to visit the casino and have a little fun. He had the itch earlier in the week but I couldn't go because my wife was sick. I had to wait for the weather forcast since they were calling for some snow. Nothing major so I was all set to go. I called my Dad Saturday morning and he was rearing to go. I knew that the casino was going to be empty because of the snow. After I picked up my Dad, he suggested we call my Brother-In-Law to go up too. Stopped by his house and started on the one hour trip to the shop but on the way the alternator decided to die on the Suburban. Made it to the shop and put the battery charger on while we loaded the engine. Advance was only a mile or so away so I went to pick one up and brought it back to the shop to install. 15 minutes later the Suburban was happy and we were off to the casino. We pulled into the parking garage ant the top floor was closed due to the snow. There was a sign and a cone but my Dad HAD to park up there because he ALWAYS parks up there. He got out and moved the cone. I told him to put it back but he refused. Got up to the top and saw somebody had some fun doing some doughnuts. We were the only ones up there. After gambling for an hour or so I heard over the loud speaker that the owner of a Suburban with my plates had to report to the Security office. Well I knew I had to move it so did that and told security on the way out that I was doing so. Came back in and told Dad that he owes me for the towing fee ! I couldn't keep a straight face but I got him. Dad had a ball but lost $100. B-I-L won $300 and I lost $50 + $130 for the alternator! All had a good time & I have this to show for it.
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They had to bore it over 30 thousandths and said everything else went together fine. Came in under budget so I am very pleased.

I also found a very good color match for the engine bay so I need to get that prepped. Anybody have a good suggestion on how to get the temps of a non insulated detached garage up so I could paint? Am I going to have to wait for a warm day or for spring to come?

Thanks
Ed

Replies from IFSJA.org
"austinaubinoe"Id wait for a warm day. Id prep the engine bay for primer before I put the engine in, maybe even hit it with some primer. Clean up the frame rails etc. while your in there. Then you could drop the motor in. When its warm just wrap the motor in plastic and paint. This way the motor is not in the way until a warm day arrives. Motor Looks great! Was it the original with '5.9" cast into it?
"e_digg"Can you prime in colder weather? I am a newbie when it comes to body work. Yes. The original engine. I thing the 360 was replaced with the 5.9 on the block in 90 or 91..
1991 Grand Wagoneer
My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

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E_DIGG
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Re: My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

Post by E_DIGG » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:47 am

Did a little work yesterday (01/02/13):
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Just about done on all the removal within the engine bay. Now on to prepping the area. Also started on removing the old suspension. More on that later.
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Re: My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

Post by E_DIGG » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:49 am

01/14/13 Was ready to install the new springs when I noticed that the bushings for the shackles did not come with the leaf kit. Ordered some and came on Friday. Getting the old bushing out of the shackles took some time. I could have had them pressed out for $14 a piece but wanted to save some dough. I heated up the metal inner tube and that came out pretty easy. BTW that burning rubber is almost as bad as hair burning! P-U! Next I used a 1-1/4 boring drill bit to get the rest of the rubber out. I used a sawzall and cut the outer ring along the shackle seam since there was some room and came out real easy. Painted the shackles and the frame and it came out real nice. I pulled the old springs from under the car floor (where I stored them so they would be out of the way) to compare them with the new ones and I could see why the sag was so bad.
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I never really looked at them when I took them off. Got all the bushings greased up and started to install the drivers side and a real PITA! I could not get the pin aligned in the axle. Any tips on that. I am thinking of attaching the spring to the axle first and then to the body and shackle. What do you think?

Replies from IFSJA.org
"Strode182"I had to hog the spring perch out a little bit with a die grinder to get the pin to fit in the plate.
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1991 Grand Wagoneer
My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

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Re: My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

Post by E_DIGG » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:51 am

01/21/13
After following the instructions from BJ's and seeing it done on a show, I had some difficulty aligning up the nipple of the spring to the axle on the drivers side (the first attempt) so on the passenger side I decided to start with installing the spring to the axle loosly first and then to the shackles. Worked out much better. I had to use some ratchet straps to align the springs to the shackles but that was pretty easy. After it was all installed, I tightened everything down. I think that approach was much easier. I also touched up the frame a little.
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Do you think these need trimming?
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Met another FSJ enthusiast from the area who signed up to FSJ Network but not here yet and he helped me get started on the rear springs (Thanks Jeff!). Thank goodness the front drivers' side bolt came out and I don't have to drop the tank to access it. Jeff taught me how to remove the U bolts quickly since new ones came with the springs: use an angle grinder! You need to watch out when the cut is almost all the way through. There is some pretty good tension in those bolts and lets out a good POP when it lets go.
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Re: My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

Post by E_DIGG » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:57 am

01/26/13
Picked up a few goodies today.
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02/13/13
Exchanged the propane tank for a full one at the Depot so I have some heat and was able to get some work done last night.

Took the rear spring shackles and perches off, cleaned and painted them. Shortened up the front U-bolts.

The Domino Theory is beginning to apply on this build. While I was working on the rear springs, I have decided that I will need to replace the brake lines because they have a good amount of surface rust and with the hydroboosts extra psi, I am going to want the brake system tip top.

The skid plate also has some good surface rust and was deciding about dropping it or not. I was thankful that I didn't have to when the bolt for the spring came out but last night I took a peek at the top of the tank and the hoses looked pretty bad. So now since I have everything off and with easy access, I might as well do that. More $$ and time!!!
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Re: My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

Post by E_DIGG » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:57 am

02/20/13
Got the skid plate off and only a small amount of rust on the frame. It was pretty easy to take off. It took longer to get all the gas out of it. The skid plate has a little surface rust so I will have to prep that before puting it back on. Just a small spot on the frame I am concerned about. The lower lip is a little thin. I am already going to replace the brake line and
will have to figure out how to redo the bolts in the frame that hold the plate on. Kind of worn out.
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My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

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66stepside
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Re: My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

Post by 66stepside » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:30 am

Any 91 is worth saving... Nice job!
1966 J3000, 401, T-18, D300
1962 Jeep J-200, 4.0, AW4, D300 Father/Son Project
1954 Willy’s Truck, 258, T-15, D20, other mods.
1967 Quadcab Thriftside, 5.3, 4L60-E, NP261XHD
1968 M715, 396, sm465, np205, Chevy 70 rear, 60 front
1971 Jeespter Commando: Stock
1960 FC170 SRW: Stock


sma97tj
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Re: My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

Post by sma97tj » Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:03 pm

what shop did you use for the engine work

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Re: My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

Post by E_DIGG » Sun May 19, 2013 5:24 pm

Did some painting this weekend. Finally some good enough weather!
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Last edited by E_DIGG on Mon May 20, 2013 6:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
1991 Grand Wagoneer
My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

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Re: My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

Post by E_DIGG » Sun May 19, 2013 5:31 pm

sma97tj wrote:what shop did you use for the engine work
M&D Machine shop in Purcellville, VA. They are big into Jeeps and AMC. I knew after talking to them for 5 minutes they knew all there is to know about 360's. The rebuild came in under budget and good quality product and people are very easy to work with. Highly reccommended.

http://www.mdautomachine.com/
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My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

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AustinAubinoe
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Re: My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

Post by AustinAubinoe » Mon May 20, 2013 9:10 am

Man the 91 is really shaping up! basically doing the exact same things I would have done if I had snagged it.

Any plans for the exhaust?
Austin

1991 Hunter Green Grand Wagoneer
OEM grille guard, 30" Firestone M/T's, MSD TFI, 727 aluminum deep pan
SOON: 4350 motercraft W/ factory boat anchor spread-bore intake!

-2000 Cherokee. 1979 D60 HP kingpin front W/ lock right, 1999 E350 D60 rear W/ ARB. 8" front coils, 6.5" rear leafs, 2" shackles, RK 3 link, 35" SSR's

-1955 Willys Truck!! 226 Super Hurricane, T90, Dana 18. Dana 25-Dana 53 Axles RUNS FANTASTIC!

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E_DIGG
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Re: My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

Post by E_DIGG » Mon May 20, 2013 9:45 am

AustinAubinoe wrote:Man the 91 is really shaping up! basically doing the exact same things I would have done if I had snagged it.

Any plans for the exhaust?
Keeping the exhaust stock. What's under there is in pretty decent shape. I am going to differ from you and get the 31" Firestone M/T. 8-)
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My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

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Re: My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

Post by E_DIGG » Wed May 22, 2013 12:47 pm

Got the frame and skid plate cleaned up and ready to go back on. For the most part I should be able to start the re-assembly.
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1991 Grand Wagoneer
My 91 Phoenix Build Thread


Mikeswagon
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Re: My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

Post by Mikeswagon » Wed May 22, 2013 10:27 pm

do yourself a favor and weld some nuts on the inside of your frame, so you can attach it with screws from the outside....

I just forgot to tighten the spring bolt/nut, that is only accessible with the tank down, and i was praising myself for that improvement mentioned above....


Road Trip
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Re: My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

Post by Road Trip » Thu May 23, 2013 6:55 am

Nice Waggy, except for the fire which it looks like you've taken care of that damage. So nice Waggy.
Robert

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Re: My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

Post by E_DIGG » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:18 pm

Well after 3.5 months I have been able to work on the Jeep! The summer took a lot of my time away from the house. 1 week in MN visiting my Mom and another week driving a 79 Mercedes 240D from LA to DC with my Dad. I also screwed up my back again and quite often had the good ole shooting pains down my legs. Had another MRI and basically I was told that I am getting old and so are my disks. Been on some drugs and getting better (slowly). Cleaned out the garage after a summer's pile up of stuff just thrown in there. Not much room in a single car garage! Any way I got the 2" lift installed after realizing that the track bar needs to be extended. Boy, I sure wish that I knew that before! I mean I spent hours trying all different stuff trying to get the springs aligned and bolted up. So for future searches this might help the next person. When going from stock to 2' lift you will need a track bar relocation or extension kit and longer brake cables (maybe not for all) Maybe all brake cables were not made the same. Waiting to hear about the brake cables. Stay tuned.
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Stuka
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Re: My 91 Phoenix Build Thread

Post by Stuka » Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:50 pm

Your brake lines should be fine for only a 2". At 4" they are fine for street, but are short for flexing.
1981 J10 AMC 258 with HEI and Weber 32/36 DGEV Carb, T176, NP208, D44/M23 with 4.56 gears and Detroit Locker, 6" lift, 33x12.50 Cooper STT's, BJ's Offroad Rear Dozer Bumper.
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