Casting Out Satan
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By, EZ Rhino

EZ Rhino - Casting Out Satan

Motor Replacement & Motor Mounts
Wiring can only progress so far when the engine and front sheet metal are missing. Time to get the engine in where it belongs! There are many companies making good motor mounts for 350 to Jeep conversions. Again, after exhaustive research, I decided that I wanted to stay with stock Chevy motor mounts. Here's why: 1) less vibration/noise transmitting through frame into the body. 2) More flexibility. This is a twisty rockcrawler Jeep, and rigid polyurethane mounts don't give much. I don't want cracks in the frame down the road, or having a motor mount pull out of the block, either (probably the less-likely scenario, but I've heard of this happening). 3) Cost. I got a lifetime warranty on some new mounts form the local parts shop for around $12 each.

Now that I decided on the type of rubber mount, how was I going to attach it to the frame? After scrutiny of the stock, stamped steel frame to motor brackets, I decided I could easy reuse them (little did I know....). Another dichotomy of the motor mount process is the question of either welding or bolting them to the frame, each have their pros and cons. I decided to use the stock holes on the rearward side and run an angled piece of 3/16" thick plate on the inside of the frame to distribute the load. A week and a half and much torching and welding later, I had some very stout and nice looking motor mounts sitting on my frame.

Here you can see how the motor mount and the shock mounts attach to the frame.

After situating the engine in the correct location between frame rails and checking all measurements, I found it necessary to torch-cut the driver's side mount to account for offsetting the engine to the driver's side one inch. This offsetting was necessary to allow for front driveshaft clearance on the transmission pan. (a common problem with 700r4's in Jeeps.)

Cutting out pieces and parts....

The finished product (less paint). Viewed from passenger side.


...And welding them together.

...Viewed from the front.

So was it worth it to spend ten times as long fabricating my own brackets instead of just plopping down $150 for some? Well, maybe. I get a satisfaction from doing it myself, which is probably the main reason I felt it worthwhile.

Motor mounts complete, it was time to re-install the motor (hopefully) for the last time. The cleaned up transmission was bolted up to the engine and torque converter bolted to the flywheel. The transmission connectors were also put on...kickdown cable, dipstick tube, and some linkages to the throttle body. I removed the cruise control module because it was in the way and really not needed anyway.

To attach the GM 700r4 to the Dana 300 transfer case, an adapter from Novak was used. Again, Eric at Novak not only sold me on the quality of their product, but is a hell of a nice guy and allowed me to talk his ear off with questions. The guy I talked to actually couldn't give me a strait answer to my adapting questions.

Novak is a little unique in that they specialize in jeep drivetrain conversions and really know Jeeps inside and out, rather that focusing on many different product lines. The adapter requires swapping out the input shaft of the transfer case with the new one provided with the kit. Follow along here (sidebar2) to see how to get the transfer case ready to bolt up to the transmission.

Next month we'll see if this whole mess really works! A new fuel injection harness and fuel pump from Howell Engine Developments will be installed, as well as the shifter and transfer case crossmemeber/skid plate. Finally, new driveshafts and a good exhaust system will complete the project.

Putting it all in (again)

Finally, the entire assembly in one piece! Everything is in order, ready to go in!




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