MPolley's LX450 Build/ 1FZ Rebuild

Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
94
Location
Cincinnati, OH
I know this is long overdue, but here is the follow up to my "What should I do?" thread. My LX450 left my family stranded on the side of the highway after losing oil pressure the day after Thanksgiving.

I was thinking about a swap, but found a 1FZ on Craigslist for $200 that I am rebuilding. The guy I picked it up from ran what seemed to be a high-end shop, and told me he pulled it out of a customer's vehicle a couple years ago, running but with a slight tick, and it would need a rebuild from sitting.

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I got it home and on the stand and let it sit until after Christmas. Plan was a quick re-ring with all new bearings and gaskets, and swap it in. I ordered all aftermarket stock size parts when my quarterly bonus came in January and started the tear down.

Next post I will update with the tear down and current situation
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
94
Location
Cincinnati, OH
So I pulled the head off and cams looked good, bores looked good with some cross-hatching still showing, and I was feeling pretty good about this engine.
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I left it like that for a couple weeks until we got a burst of warm weather and then I decided to tear the bottom end apart and get moving. I pulled the first couple rod caps off and kept feeling better!
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And then I got to cylinder 6 and found a spun bearing and the journal was severely damaged. Rough measurements with a caliper showed it was 0.65mm smaller than the rest of the rod journals.
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So now plans have changed. Machine shop confirmed the crank is beyond turning to any available bearing size, but block and pistons look okay at first look. We will know more once he gets everything cleaned up.

Luckily someone on the Cincinnati/TriState Cruisers group on Facebook offered me a spare shortblock at a good price. Once I get my hands on that, I will tear it down and get it to the machine shop and use the best of all the parts I have.

Right now that's about all I know, but I'm looking forward to more updates soon
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
94
Location
Cincinnati, OH
I finally got ahold of a good crank a couple weeks ago, and last weekend I got all the parts back from the machine shop.

They bored the block .020 over (I screwed it up with a ridge reamer) fixed the one damaged rod, mounted my new pistons on the rods, and installed the new oil pump bushing.

On the head, they milled it and checked it, full valve job, and cut the valve seats so the valves were at proper clearances without buying shims. Unfortunately, I accidentally knocked over one of the cartons with the valve buckets in it so some of them are out of order and I will still have to check all the clearances.

Yesterday I painted all the major stuff so I can start assembling.

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Joined
Nov 20, 2010
Messages
395
Location
Socal
 
Nice...I know there are several threads about rebuild prices. Do you mind posting how much goes into this as a guide to others?
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
94
Location
Cincinnati, OH
So I haven't done a good job documenting this build, and then I lost interest for 6+ months. I was far enough behind on getting this thing done that I bought a boat and had to buy a Suburban to tow it.
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Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
94
Location
Cincinnati, OH
So a couple months ago I finally got motivated to work on this rig again. I didn't take a lot of pics assembling the engine but here are a few
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Got the long block assembled and went on a much needed vacation
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
94
Location
Cincinnati, OH
When I got back, I waited a couple weeks for weather to break and pulled the tcase and transmission. I decided to have the transmission show where I used to work go through the trans and freshen it up, as well as add the Transgo shift kit. They did not add the 1st gear hold, because it appeared to severely weaken the valves for first and second.

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Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
94
Location
Cincinnati, OH
Finished assembling the engine and mated it to the trans. Had friends over to drop it in. They all owed me car related favors, so it worked out. Ended up having to install the engine without the trans because we couldnt get the whole assembly to line up.
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Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
94
Location
Cincinnati, OH
Engine install was 2 weeks ago. Last weekend a different friend helped me install the trans, then I did the tcase solo in the rain.

Tonight I started buttoning little things up and realized the new torque converter is wrong and won't bolt up to the flex plate. Now I have to pull the trans again. Fun fun.
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On the bright side, I did put a lot of other things together

1979728
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2004
Messages
10,684
Location
Salt Lake City, UT
 
 
 
Our transmissions 1st gear hold already.


When I got back, I waited a couple weeks for weather to break and pulled the tcase and transmission. I decided to have the transmission show where I used to work go through the trans and freshen it up, as well as add the Transgo shift kit. They did not add the 1st gear hold, because it appeared to severely weaken the valves for first and second.

View attachment 1979720View attachment 1979721
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
94
Location
Cincinnati, OH
Pulled the trans back out tonight. Pulled the trans and transfer case together this time and was able to get it out in an hour flat. Granted it was only 90% reinstalled so I saved time there, but definitely getting to know where every bolt is, maybe better than I care to lol.

Dropping the incorrect converter and my spare flexplate off to the trans shop tomorrow so they can get me the correct one
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Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
71
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P Town!
Nice work, MPolley!
In what part of Cincinnati are you? I lived in Madisonville up until last October. I recall seeing another FZJ 80 just once the two years I was there.
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
94
Location
Cincinnati, OH
I live in the liberty township / West Chester area. I work in Blue Ash though, and see several 80s in the Blue Ash area. I just passed a lifted 200 series a few minutes ago, and a white 80 this morning. Mine is an LX450 champagne, but I plastidipped the cladding black.

I bought it from a guy who lives in northern Kentucky and had like 5 or 6 80 series. He had a Moonglow LC for sale at the time, that had already had a bunch of engine refreshing done to it, but that one was $1,000 over my budget at the time. Now I really regret not hustling to find $1,000 to buy that one instead.
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
94
Location
Cincinnati, OH
The correct torque converter came in on Wednesday, and I installed the trans and transfer case Wednesday night. Thursday night I put the converter bolts in and used the socket-on-converter-bolt trick to torque down the crank pulley bolt.

Friday night I took a much needed break, and got back to work Saturday evening buttonning things up.
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Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
94
Location
Cincinnati, OH
Today was an Excellent day! Sunny with a high around 80 and I got a ton done. Started with installing the Bosal Y-pipe. Like many other mudders, it didn't fit correctly and the y was too narrow.

My solution was to take a scissor jack out of one of our VW's and use it to spread the pipes while heating them with a Mapp gas torch. Worked rather well
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I didn't take many other pictures today because everything I did was rather boring. Hooked up the driveshafts, trans cooler lines, and a little more wiring, and installed the starter, 2nd cat, and O2 sensors.

After lots of little things, I finally was able to start her up tonight! I still need to set the timing and finish filling the transmission before I can drive it, but she runs! No warning lights, no leaks, no codes!

I should be driving it by mid week!

I will figure out how to post the video of my first start, but it feels incredible hearing it run and sound so healthy
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
94
Location
Cincinnati, OH
I decided I should just make this a complete build thread for my LX450, especially since I didn't detail much about the engine build. Here are a few things I've done to the rig while it's been down:

Picked up a set of OME stock height Heavy springs from the classifieds and put them on along with a set of KYB shocks. Fixed the saggy rear and got me a little extra height
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Now it looks like it slipped leg day. Good thing I have a set of 285-75-16 Cooper AT3 XLTs sitting in storage that will go on next weekend.

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