Finally getting my life back on track and making time to get going on my build again... I picked this one up a few years ago to replace Madness (sold).
Introducing 'Da Chief : 1977 401 auto / Q-Trac. Goal: To build a reliable decent Jeep, not a show car.
"The PLAN" : 3 Basic Steps
Swap in a modern drivetrain to tow our old Shasta camper cross country (RT 66) I struggled with tearing up an original "Z" code, but decent sheet metal is hard to find. However, I need total reliability when hauling my wife, dog, and camper on a 6,000 mile 6-8 week trip. Some fuel economy will also be nice.
I plan to focus on getting the drivetrain installed and debugged first. If you don't know, the L83 is a "LT" series Gen 5 - 5.3 L with a 6L80 auto. ( NOT an LS series) There will be a lot of details on this set up.
Because the 2017 and up Gen V engines are a little more difficult due to the direct injection, VVT, AFM, - fuel challenges.This one came out of a 12k mile rear ended 2018 Yukon XL. 355 hp with 383 ft lbs.
These newer series engines have a TON of stump pulling power due the VVT and direct injection. The auto trans also has a 4.02 first gear and 2 overdrives ( .85 / .67 ). With my current 33"s and the 3.54 ratio, this should work very well.
Get body work done .. prep for paint. one of the possible colors is shown above. (Current color is sand) However, this will most likely be next year
as this engine swap is going to be pretty involved and expensive. ( Wife approved btw )
Redo and update the interior. Upgrade to modern seats with adjustability... Build a center console. Eliminate the rear seat as I want more storage and an "Overlander" feel. This will also be a year out .. tons of details to work out.
I have explained to the wife that I basically dug a hole in the back yard to throw money into for the next few years...
This will be a 2 year journey I suspect.
Story of when/how I got this Jeep is in a link in my sig. I did a bunch of basic maintenance when I first got the 77.
I always tell my buddies this - Drive your project for a few years BEFORE tearing it all apart. Too often folks start with a ton of ambition.. then time, money, and motivation run out.