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2.8L of Doom!!

Old 07-20-2011, 03:55 AM
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Default 2.8L of Doom!!

In this thread you'll watch me turn this


Into this


Not sure if my Jeep really warrants a build thread yet, but what the hell.

I picked my '86 XJ up in Nov. '10 for $300 through an estate. When I bought it, it only had 68k original miles on it. Everything works on it (including the a/c, thank God).

Specs: 2.8L (rocket turd), TF904, NP207, D30/D35, 3.55 gears.

Mileage when I picked it up:


On the trailer home:


After I detailed it:


Now I'll be honest, I bought my XJ purely as driver while I was rebuilding my F-150's suspension and axles over the winter. At first I didn't like it... I normally drive a jacked up truck and I felt like I was driving a dinky little thing being at the same height as cars going down the road. So that, of course, had to be changed... but I'm poor because I have too many projects and a house rehab nickle and diming me, so this build had to be done on the cheap!

To address my lack of height I rounded up some Up-Country V8 ZJ coils, JK shocks, and some Dakota leafs. Cost: < $100

Unfortunately I was trying to make a run the next day and ran out of time to do my bastard pack. Solution: Free 2" block

At the same time I installed a rear hitch and front tow hooks. Cost: $70
I also installed 235/75/15 Mastercraft Coursers that were used to pay off a $500 debt.

CB Install, Cost: Can't remember, but not much.

Yeah, my interior is a little dirty. The day before my CAD went out and I lost 4wd in a mud hole. I ended up having to get pulled out by my buddies '72 F-250... but not before I tried my damnedest to get out on my own in 2wd.

And this is how it looked for a time:


After a time I got sick of the little air dams that were left from my tow hook install, so I cut 'em off. Cost: Free


Then one day at the JY I lucked out and stumbled upon a XJ with fixed LCA's. Cost: $10




Here you can see the axle has moved forward some with the new LCA's:

This was also a memorable day... my tc chain started skipping.

How it stacks up next to my F-150:

Erm, yeah, still little looking... but I can run more trails in my Jeep which is a plus!

Goodies I have yet to install:

JKS mini skids. Cost: < $20 shipped


So I believe that pretty much covers what I've done thus far. I'd list future mods, but I think I change my mind too much to make a list.

Oh, and as for my bastard pack... haven't done it yet. Pulled my Dakota packs apart and have yet to make up my mind if I want to run them or a XJ/XJ pack + longer shackles.... hrmmm.

Other misc things done I forgot to mention up there and too lazy to interlace:
Replaced power steering pump
Replaced CAD with '90 version
Replaced front pads
Replaced heater hose - I also pegged my temp gauge at like 300* that day and limped it off the highway to a friends house 5 miles away... My dear 2.8L, you are a turd, but a strong turd. It survived a very rapid cool down involving a hose and has never skipped a beat since it happened a month ago. My Mom was having surgery and I was on my way to the hospital an hour away... I normally wouldn't force cool a motor like I did that day.

Updates as they happen.

Last edited by emptypockets; 08-15-2016 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:46 AM
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3.4 from 90's firebirds and camaros are strong swaps. That's what I did for my s-10 when I blew my 2.8. I'm gonna go with a 4bt diesel for my 86. Great looking build for a low budget though. Some of the best parts you can get are free. If somebody gives you something, take it. You can always craigslist, ebay, or trade it for something you need.
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:53 PM
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Been busy tearing apart my parts heep. It came quietly till the end when it dominated my trailer fender...



Myself and a friend tried to push it up, it went well till the steering veered and neither of us noticed (too busy pushing)... funny though, it went up effortlessly.

Still have to pull the axles, but the 8.25 off of it is going on my '86.

I also picked up these 1.5" Teraflex shackles for when I do my XJ/XJ bastard pack and axle swap. Cost: $50 shipped



Also removed the bows from my roof rack last night. Cost: Free



Also noticed an error in my first post, I used JK shocks, not TJ. I'm still learning all these dang Jeep acronyms.

Last edited by emptypockets; 07-26-2011 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:03 PM
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thats a nice looking xj. Im not a fan of blocks in the rear but I know you stated you are working on bastard packs.
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Old 07-27-2011, 02:37 PM
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Thanks Jake. I wish I had a little more cash to bring my build along, but hopefully I can achieve a weekend warrior that can hold it's own on my budget. I'm trying to get my bastard pack in this weekend and get those dang blocks out of there. Not a fan of them, but sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do.
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:01 PM
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Looks clean for an 86 what truck are you getting the leafs from to do the bastard?
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:02 PM
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Sorry i skipped over it i also did the dakota it does ride pretty well
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:04 PM
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I'm actually going to try an XJ/XJ bastard pack and if I'm not happy with 'em, I'll try doing using the Dakota leafs. I figure I'll have to play around with the rear leafs to find my happy medium. Also, thanks for the compliment!
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:47 PM
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Finally got the mini-skids welded on and while we were there, welded the inside of the factory LCA mounts to the axle.





This weekend I'm ripping the t/c out and cracking it open to see what's going on inside. Hoping it's just a slacked chain...
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:54 PM
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Couple updates:

Ripping into the t/c:


Main input:


Ready to go back in:


Got really pissed at the drooping headliner....


So I ripped it out:


Next up, make a d/c driveshaft for the front... er, and finish my bastard pack.
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Old 08-28-2011, 04:28 AM
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Figured I'd update.

New additions to the inventory:
29 spline 8.25 that needs pinion bearings shot in it. Cost: $30
Quart of graphite paint for my bastard pack build. Cost: $12
3" lift coils out of my parts jeep. Cost: Free



You know what they say about all work and no play...


Off to become a Kia...
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Old 09-02-2011, 04:52 PM
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Popped in a lift coil last night. I was hoping to get both sides done, but ran out of daylight. So now she's gangsta leaning in the driveway, but my truck was more than happy to step up as my driver today. Took a couple pics last night, but this daytime shot was better.



So with a little visual motivation, I tackled cutting the main leafs from the spare XJ packs I had laying around.



x4, thought it'd be a little redundant to show all four ends...


About where they'll lay under the main leaf...




Hopefully I'll get it done by the end of the weekend.
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:34 PM
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Well, my bastard pack is taking what seems like forever to finish. I have all the leafs cut and radiused, but I still need to clean up one more main leaf and paint both mains. The other four leafs have two coats of Valspar Anti-Rust Armor and three coats of EZ-Slide graphite paint. Now for some pics:

First cut:






Waiting to be cleaned and painted:


Valspar Anti-Rust Armor, I've used this to paint frames and my trailer in the past:


2nd coat of Valspar:


EZ-Slide:


This stuff is the consistency of water and smells horrible. On the plus it dries fast between coats:


2nd coat of graphite paint:


With the 3" coils installed:




I drove it for the first time today since installing the coils. I really need to address the track bar, as it's squirrelly as all hell out on the road. That's it for now. Pray I don't lose my sanity finishing my rear axle.
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Old 09-14-2011, 03:28 PM
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Finished painting all my leafs... not really looking forward to doing the ones on the Jeep. Hoping to get the rear apart this weekend and finally getting my bastard pack done.

Aside from that, I remembered I had some PIAA lights I picked up two years ago at a local swap meet for $5. I didn't take any before pics, but the housings were complete rust and looked like total junk. I sanded everything down and painted 'em to make them presentable. Got them installed, but still need to wire them in... which will probably end up being another weekend project.



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Old 09-16-2011, 06:20 PM
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Wired in my lights yesterday and figured I'd post some pics proving I'm not as lazy as I seem.

Relay mounted on the fender and the inline fuse peeking out from behind the wiring harness:


Thru the firewall via this grommet:


I used the factory wire loom to run my wiring thru:


Not the prettiest bezel job, but it works:


Inline fuse for the rocker switch LED and power via the fuse block:


I wanted a green LED rocker, but the one I had was bunk, so I went with this white LED. Cost: $1 each at swap meet:


Clap on:


Crappy night time cell pics:



Last edited by emptypockets; 09-16-2011 at 11:56 PM.
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