Share the pain, err ‘joy’, at TVB wrenchfest.
The first step was to remove some of the cobbled-together-yet-quite-effective exhaust as it was cramping our style. It will be replaced later. No photos. We partially filled the GM torque converter with about a quart and a half of, get this, transmission fluid. The torque converter installs to the transmission, fully seated please. We used a combination of floor jack, Levi’s superhuman strength and a liberal amount of grunting, puffing and cursing to lift the transmission up to the plane of the engine.
Hey, the engine dowels to the adapter ring and the adapter ring dowels to the transmission. This greatly aids, and in fact enforces, proper alignment. Use your dowels. They're cheap and available.
Slowly aligning the transmission, it was bolted to the engine and adapter ring.
Not a lot of photos (somewhere around zero) were taken at this stage. Happily, this bit is not anywhere as difficult as rocket science, brain surgery or understanding what a woman wants.
Next step is to bolt the torque converter itself to the torque converter adapter plate. The plate is pre-drilled for two different size 3-bolt GM torque converter mounting patterns. My converter used the slightly smaller pattern. I could have used stock GM converter bolts, but elected to obtain slightly longer bolts instead. Don’t go too long. When you tighten these bolts you can damage the converter by ‘denting’ the converter shell with the tip of the bolt. This will push against lockup plate internally and you’ll get to pull the transmission and replace the converter – wheeeeee!
You may be asking yourself: "Self, why did that idiot not use stock length GM torque converter bolts?" If you were to instead ask me the same question, I would reply: "There is a gap between the torque converter (when fully seated into the transmission) and the torque converter adapter plate. The torque converter could pull slightly out from the transmission (in fact it is designed to do just this without causing issue), or I could take up most of the gap with a washer (on each bolt) between the converter and the adapter plate. I chose the latter so as to not even come close to pulling out the converter too far. Thus, the slightly longer converter bolts (+5mm IIRC: 20mm vs. 15mm stock)."
Again, no photo here. I could go take one but I already installed the GM dust cover. Cry me a river.
We trimmed the stock IH transmission crossmember and mocked it up under the 700r4 - naah, wont work. A custom crossmember is in order.
We also bolted up a Jeep Dana 300. Our hope was that the front output of the Dana 300 might have a chance to clear the tranmission pan - naah, too close for my comfort. If it could be made to work (and others have made it work) it would require a very thin drive shaft and be generally in the way under there.
We (Mike Richardson, actually, with a strange gleam in his eyes and incessant giggling issuing forth through his clenched teeth) removed the input from the Dana 300 so it would bolt up for our testing purposes. The Jeep 300 has a 23 spline input and the 700r4 has a 27 spline output. Custom outputs for the 700r4 or custom inputs for the dana 300 are available.
At this point we strapped down the trans to our temporary crossmember and JJ just as graciously brought the truck back home.
Last edited by Monkeyplasm; 04-30-2012 at 04:44 PM.
Moar Wrenchfest, and beyond.d.d.d.d!
While at the TVB Wrenchfest we also installed ‘new’ front and rear bumpers. These came on Donna’s new Scout II. She didn’t like them and wants stock bumpers. Now they’re mine, all mine I tell you! I have no idea who makes them. Donna got my old stock bumpers but I need to find her nicer ones for her truck.
Fiddling with the bumpers brought to the forefront the sorry state of the godawful wiring at the rear of Red Power (gaak!) I had in my possession several 7-pole, ostensibly-waterproof trailer wiring boxes and a generous length of 7-conductor, 14-gauge trailer cable.
The new rear bumper stands off the frame a little more than the stock bumper. There is now enough room to install the wiring box to the back crossmember of the frame and have it protected by the bumper. Even with the bumper installed the box cover can be removed providing access to the terminals therein. There is also sufficient room to install a combination 7-way/4-way trailer plug behind the bumper where it too is protected, yet enjoys easy accessibility.
Given the above information, I removed the stock wiring and installed said components thusly: (I still need to put the truck light wiring into split loom and use cable ties and adel clamps to hold it all in place, but you can get the gist of it.)
Tail lights, stop lights, turn signals, reverse lights and license lights, plus all trailer wiring, feed off the junction box. I believe this is far superior to the commonly encountered t-taps and butt splices. Also, all grounds are made to the junction box – no more of this sheet metal screw into the body crap.
Since the top is removable, I used a 4-way trailer connector to attach the license light and dome light wires behind the right tail lamp.
I chose to use bonded trailer wire to run new wires from the junction box to the actual truck lights. This seems a little cleaner and easier to manage than a bunch of loose wires taped together. The wire I found for this purpose is purportedly 16-gauge, but I think that may be a little optimistic. I may need to go to a larger gauge wire if this doesn’t hold up.
Alternatively, I could go to LED lighting and not have to worry about the amperage draw and wire size.
The only additional bits of stock wiring from the middle of the truck to the back are the rear dome light and the fuel tank sender. I will probably add a second junction box amidships later to handle these circuits, plus the rear air conditioner, disco ball and whatever else.
Eventually I’ll work my way around and similarly rewire the front chassis and engine bay before tackling the interior. Modern fuse and relay panels are among the intended.
Truculent Transmission Troubles
The stock IH crossmember aint gonna cut the mustard. Neither is the Jeep Dana 300.
I went to the local self service wrecking yard and, ahem, serviced myself? I came home with a NP208 from a 700r4, the crossmember, the t-case adapter, the shifter and linkage, the torque strut, and the front driveshaft. The donor vehicle is a 1988 GMC ½ ton Suburban.
The trans mount was torn, so $15+tax at the parts store and I have a brand new Anchor brand trans mount…made in India…I expect it to survive poorly before eventual replacement with a poly mount. However it works great for mockups.
This is how it mounts to the t-case adapter:
Here it is mocked up in chassis to the 700r4 and the stock GMC crossmember:
And…here it is showing just how low it will all hang if I just bolt the crossmember to the bottom of the Traveler frame. Waaaay too low:
Of interest is the nifty little skid plate outlined in the red box. Since the crossmember mounts in front of the t-case this skid plate extends back below the front output area of the NP208 t-case. Whoopie! Also, you can see that the mounting surface of the crossmember is in the center (front to back) instead of on the ‘wings’.
This is why the crossmember can sit forward of the t-case: The GMC uses a double-cardan front driveshaft – the drive shaft does not droop as much right off the output yoke of the t-case. I expect to use this shaft for this conversion.
Without a doubt something must be done about the crossmember. But what? I’m not super-fabricator-welder-guy-extraordinaire.
After figuratively and literally turning the problem over and over, I decided to invert and laterally flip the GMC crossmember.
Here is the GMC crossmember in stock configuration:
Here is the same crossmember, inverted and transposed (nifty skidplate removed):
Notice that the ‘dip’ on the right (used to be the hump on the left) is not as pronounced – it doesn’t hang as low.
Of course now the mounting surface for the trans mount is facing down. I intend to use a section of the IH crossmember, located as shown below, bolted/welded to the chevy crossmember, and drilled for the GMC trans mount. I think this should all clear. I think this should tuck up under the Traveler frame a lot better. I think this should mount to the Traveler frame better.
We’ll see about all that when I get it done and installed.
In the meanwhile I bolted up the NP208. I jacked it into, relatively, the position it will occupy once installation is complete. It does not hang appreciably below the frame for a daily driver. It can and might go higher – gotta maintain awareness of driveshaft alignment issues.
Possibly in the works is a slip yoke elimination by using a fixed yoke output from a Dodge NP208 t-case. Not sure it'll be worth the effort for a daily driver; but, I'll likely do it wayway.
Re: What’s all this, then?
Is a build thread.
Although I just realized something.
When i read this aloud, I sound like the Architect from the Matrix.
I think Monkeyplasm IS the Architect!!
Hey! Look here! This thing's a piece a junk!
Re: What’s all this, then?
great thread! Glad to be a part of this. And that you were able to source an transfer case, NOT the ones that were advertised in my crawl space
I have photograpic proof that Red Power has indeed moved on and off your property, NOT under it's own power though.
Wrenchfest 2012 Dville.
Safe and sound back home.
See you Wednesday for yet another round of the Pull a Part.
1973 Travelall 4x4 1110 392 727 TF
1973 Wagonmaster 4x4 1210 392 727 TF
1974 Pickup 4x4 100 392 4 spd lifted
1975 Flatbed 4x4 200 392 4 spd
1976 Scout II Diesel 4spd Dana 300
1979 Scout II 345 727 TF Project (Mrs JJ's)
Now we have SIX IH's and a State Farm Fleet Discount
Transfer Case Transference
Short update; I'm tired as I got up before noon today...waaah!
I've finished piddling about with the upside down and backwards t-case crossmember. Here's the little adapter piece I made from a short section of the original Scout II crossmember. One could instead use a little piece of flat steel instead and then add a spacer (plates, square tubing, etc.) to raise the mount point as required.
Drill then slot holes with grinder and cleanup with dremel.
Test fit chevy mount
SIDE NOTE: The stock chevy crossmember from the next generation of trucks (94+ ?)has no humps and valleys, but it is also very wide. Nevertheless it could be mounted upside down under the frame (to get the flat surface) with the actual -to-the-frame attachment outboard of the rails via L-brackets. One would still need to fabricate a raised mount point in the center - something similar to the above part. It was worth a shot, but ultimately a waste of $20 at the pull-a-part yard.
Reinstalled the new mount apparatus and jacked the crossmember into place under the frame rails.
Left side has plenty of clearance for junk - like exhaust and e-brake cables.
Right side will need some care to get the exhaust routed; but certainly no worse than the stock exhaust around a Dana 20. Driveshaft has plenty of clearance. Case hangs under the frame just a bit and the crossmember protects it. I may add back the stock chevy 'skidplate' (see prior post) to better cover the lower bit of the case.
Here's a better shot of the mount itself:
Haven't decided how to bolt to the actual frame rail yet...probably drill, sleeve and bolt through the framerail top to bottom. Maybe something else.
As it turns out the transmission output angle is within 1/2 of a degree compared to the rear axle pinion angle. May not need any tweaking at all, may vibrate like an hourly motel room bed. Definitely an issue to investigate ... later.
The front driveshaft at the transfercase: Plenty of clearance and much easier to get at the driveshaft bolts compared to a Dana 20. This area may get the mini-skidplate added back.
Front driveshaft clearance at just above ride height: Lots of room.
Front driveshaft clearance at full droop (laying on the ground): Still lots of room.
This shows that there is room to skip the raised mount adapter and go with a flat plate plus shims. There's an off chance this may be needed if the trans must be lowered to produce a modicum of driveline angle relief.
Thinking about the box
The offroad build is waiting on crossmember creation in order to get the transfer cases mounted and positioned rotationally.
This clearly called for thinking outside the box. So I built a box.
I had some 4" c-channel laying about. It was a pallet rack crossmember in a former life. A buddy and I made it eat its own tail.
The plan is to drill and sleeve the frame rails to hold this in place - probably three or four 1/2" bolts per side, or perhaps six 3/8" bolts in three sets of two.
We'll probably end up adding additional large-scale gusseting, front and back, along the lines of this:
You say 'tomato', I say 'ghezhortenshpladdt'
After an indeterminate period of mucking about and generally avoiding work and the heat, I went back at it.
I went ahead and did the fixed yoke conversion on the 208. One day a few weeks ago at the pull-a-part yard JJ and I (mostly JJ) pulled a fixed-yoke Dodge np208. Basically, while I was trying not to die from heat stroke and dehydration, JJ went medieval on the poor Dodge’s *** before wresting the transfer case from its carcass.
I elected to do the ‘rotate and redrill’ method of conversion to fixed yoke instead of the ‘cut and weld’ conversion. Write-ups are found on the web, so I’ll not detail them here.
Here’s a stock Dodge np208 (upside down – it’s a passenger drop case)
Here’s the Chevy np208 with the Dodge fixed output shaft – note the differences in the case back-halfs
OK, so I piddled with the t-case for a while, now to finish mounting it all up.
The aforementioned inverted-humpty-dumpty crossmember (see prior posts in this very thread for pictures) for the 700r4 would have worked just fine.
In fact I had a friend coming over to do some welding for me and one task was to weld in said crossmember.
Quite naturally the immediacy of his visit required a complete change of plans the day before his arrival.
I elected to go with the also-aforementioned later-model Chevy crossmember: The very wide and flat one (see prior posts in this very thread for those pictures, too).
OK, so here’s a picture of that, too (see, it's wider ):
I used a similar, but taller spacer (made from another crossmember) to raise the actual mounting point to an appropriate height.
And, here it is installed:
I used some gusseted angle iron welded to the outside of the frame. I could have bolted to the frame, but this was both more expedient and will not interfere with anything between the frame rails. So a-welding we went.
Ignore the too-short bolts and extraneous washers. I used what was close at hand and will replace them with appropriate fasteners later. I also cut down the still-too-wide crossmember to match the new angle iron brackets.
Here you can see the t-case doesn’t hang below the crossmember, I doubt a skid plate is needed, although one could be added with little difficulty:
The drivetrain still maintains a reasonable angle, similar to stock:
Here’s the front driveshaft disconnected at the front diff - just hanging. There’s still plenty of room for the driveshaft to flex, plus the crossmember’s top front flange can be notched for more room. I expect this will not be necessary, even with the impending spring-over-axle changes.
It’s a little tighter to get at the upper front driveshaft mounting bolts, but still nowhere near as bad as a stock Scout II.
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