Inexperienced noob about to tear my FZJ80 apart - Any tips to re-emphasize before rebuilding axles, brakes, steering, and suspension? (1 Viewer)

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Jumpin' Jahosaphats, Joe!
Barely a year a go you were worried about your lack of mechanical skills....I think you may have a gained a few. ;)
How many new tools have you acquired for this job?

Have you put the new bushings in yet? About the only thing I can offer is to put a dab of never-seeze around the lip and let the bushing drag it in with it. I tried the first bushing dry and it squeaked and squealed something awful.
 

Joe Link

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Jumpin' Jahosaphats, Joe!
Barely a year a go you were worried about your lack of mechanical skills....I think you may have a gained a few. ;)

Man, to say the least! This project was never about the destination, I know I'm going to mess up all my pretty paint and refinishing the first trip out. Rather, it was about the journey and education. As terrible as 2020 was, I'll always be able to look back and point to it as the year I learned the most when it came to wrenching and a bunch of smaller auxiliary skills (metal refinishing, powder coating, fluids, chemicals, safety, etc).

From the beginning, and despite many offers of help from my friends, I knew I had to do this mostly by myself. Though I've been doing simple mechanical upgrades and repairs for 20 years now, I lacked confidence in my own abilities because it was smarter to accept help from the many people in my life with more knowledge or greater skill. While fortunate, doing this for so long put me at a disadvantage and conditioned me to believe I couldn't do things without someone watching over my shoulder. The confidence I gained from the early wins is the reason I've let this project snowball as it has, and the reason I now believe I can actually pull off a project of this magnitude.

I still won't know if this was an amazing project or a terrible mistake until after I put a few thousand miles on her :)

How many new tools have you acquired for this job?

I'm incredibly lucky to have a father with not only this shop but also nearly every tool you can imagine. I do feel bad that he was sold a month-long project which is going on a year now. It's not really an inconvenience for him, but I know for a fact I wouldn't have had the green light if I had told him this was my plan from the jump (which it honestly wasn't).

Have you put the new bushings in yet? About the only thing I can offer is to put a dab of never-seeze around the lip and let the bushing drag it in with it. I tried the first bushing dry and it squeaked and squealed something awful.

I did, and I agree! Great advice.
 

Joe Link

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Got the front third member back in and started putting the axle back together. Somehow pinched the rubber wiper gasket on the right side during assembly, so I'm waiting on a replacement. I hear you can regain a 1/2"-1" between the body and frame with new body mounts, so I ordered those too. Not cheap at $400, but I hear with these LS swaps every inch of clearance helps. I'll be honest, I'm not liking the idea of cross drilled rotors on a 4x4, but I've heard great things about this PowerStop kit.

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My lockers have always been slow to engage, so I ordered a couple rebuild kits from Witt's End a while back. Got a chance to disassemble them and I couldn't have asked for better condition internally. The body grease was even where it's supposed to be and still like new. Hard to believe they have 262k on them! Broke the connector on the rear when I pulled it, need to find a replacement. Putting them back together with the new seals and hardware. I do wonder why they're so slow, though.

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Pulled the valve covers off the 5.3L LM7 to take a look and got lucky again, beautiful! I might not believe this had 162k on it if I didn't see/hear it run before it was pulled from the truck. I'm seriously leaning toward going with a Gen4 6.0L and the 6L80E 6-speed auto. If so, this will end up in the Jeep or my '65 Impala.

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Also scored an LS3 oil pan with the pickup, windage tray, and oil cooler for $75 locally. I'm not even certain it will work for my swap, but for that price it's a no-brainer.

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Joe Link

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Small update but it feels like a huge milestone for me, got the front axle reassembled and it's back on all four tires. Still have to do all the brake work and some other stuff, so I'll be pulling them back off, but it sure felt good 😁

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