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Thread: Swapping an SM420 into my TJ

  1. #1
    Mountain Valley Customs
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    Default Swapping an SM420 into my TJ

    Well, about a month ago I pulled my NV3550 and sold it to get money together for my SM420. I was doing to in prep for TTC '08. Well, we all know how that turned out. By the time I found out that we didn't get in to TTC '08, my NV3550 was already sold and shipped off. My SM420 was ordered but hadn't shown up yet. The SM420 finally showed up, so we started getting everything ready to swap in.

    There begins the nightmare/goatrope. Novak claimed that everything I needed, except the clutch release bearing was included. Novak did tell me that they had provided a handy table on their website, complete with Napa part numbers. "One of those bearings will be the right one" I was told. Not the case...

    Here are some in-progress pics...
    SM420 sitting on the lift ready to go in:



    My Klune and D300 sitting on the floor awaiting their turn:



    Something's missing here Bob....


    Getting ready to trim the tranny tunnel and test fit. Just not looking forward to hefting that 140 pound tranny and trying to stab the clutch...

    Here's the confusing parts list thus far: (This was reached after a few days of trial and error)
    - '61 Chevy Tranny
    - '80-'82 F150 throw out bearing
    - '82-'86 CJ clutch arm
    - '84 CJ Bellhousing
    - '04 TJ pressure plate and clutch disc and flywheel

    Confusing huh?

    Side view with the Jeep back on the ground. With how everything is sitting, we could actually run a flat pan from framerail to framerail:



    Here, this view is from the passenger seat, looking down. The green on the right is the shifter tower for the SM420. The large opening is the OEM hole in the floor. You can see the little bit of sheetmetal that was removed at the right (in the pic, top as you sit in the driver's seat) for the shifter tower. Also, right in the center of the OEM hole is the Klune. I will now be able to run a direct mounted shifter instead of the cable shifter. My D300 sticks come up through the OEM 231 shifter hole in the floor.



    Here is a shot from under the Jeep. You can see that my pinion e-brake rotor and caliper are now completely above the skiplate and fully protected.


    Got the shifter cane bent and got that all set. I can row through all the gears and we didn't have to notch the bottom of my dashboard at all. I thought for sure we were going to have to.

    Got the clutch slave cylinder in. That was another goatrope of parts chasing and comparing. It's a cast iron one from a 4 cyl early 80s CJ. Got the braided hose from the clutch master to clutch slave installed. The slave is bled although we need to bleed it a little again.

    Things left:
    - driveshafts
    - make Klune direct mount shifter
    - tranny tunnel cover
    - hook up reverse lights to tranny
    - tranny mount

    I think this brings everyone up to speed with my SM420 swap. As I make more progress, I will update the thread.
    Mountain Valley Customs www.mvcustoms.com 570.217.7284
    Specializing in 4x4s and custom fabrication


  2. #2
    Administrator/Jarhead Jeeper USMCHarleyJeepGuy's Avatar
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    I am going to need to get some of the guys up to pay you a visit sometime for a short roadtrip...you seem to be doing some killer fab work.
    Marines...shoot me a PM if you have not received an invitation to the Jarhead Jeepers social group on this site and would like to be a member.

    "Whensoever the General Government assumes un-delegated powers its acts are un-authoritative void and of no force"
    ~~Thomas Jefferson

    Blessed are they who, in the face of death, think first only about the front sight tip.

    Celer-Silens-Mortalis


    2003 TJ Rubicon
    1954 CJ-3B

  3. #3
    Mountain Valley Customs
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    Quote Originally Posted by USMCHarleyJeepGuy View Post
    I am going to need to get some of the guys up to pay you a visit sometime for a short roadtrip...you seem to be doing some killer fab work.
    That would be cool man! Last year, right before Ice Breaker, we had a group of Grand Cherokees convoy up from Virginia to have our custom made D44A diff covers and trusses installed.

    Thanks for the compliment man!
    Mountain Valley Customs www.mvcustoms.com 570.217.7284
    Specializing in 4x4s and custom fabrication


  4. #4
    Administrator/Jarhead Jeeper USMCHarleyJeepGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazy4ink View Post
    That would be cool man! Last year, right before Ice Breaker, we had a group of Grand Cherokees convoy up from Virginia to have our custom made D44A diff covers and trusses installed.

    Thanks for the compliment man!

    I only extend them when they are earned Bro. You do some nice work!
    Marines...shoot me a PM if you have not received an invitation to the Jarhead Jeepers social group on this site and would like to be a member.

    "Whensoever the General Government assumes un-delegated powers its acts are un-authoritative void and of no force"
    ~~Thomas Jefferson

    Blessed are they who, in the face of death, think first only about the front sight tip.

    Celer-Silens-Mortalis


    2003 TJ Rubicon
    1954 CJ-3B

  5. #5
    Administrator korisu56's Avatar
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    Let me know when you're planning the trip Jeff. That's a great looking build going on there.

  6. #6
    Administrator/Jarhead Jeeper USMCHarleyJeepGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by korisu56 View Post
    Let me know when you're planning the trip Jeff. That's a great looking build going on there.

    Oh, I will Bro...you're driving!
    Marines...shoot me a PM if you have not received an invitation to the Jarhead Jeepers social group on this site and would like to be a member.

    "Whensoever the General Government assumes un-delegated powers its acts are un-authoritative void and of no force"
    ~~Thomas Jefferson

    Blessed are they who, in the face of death, think first only about the front sight tip.

    Celer-Silens-Mortalis


    2003 TJ Rubicon
    1954 CJ-3B

  7. #7
    Machete wielding woodsman 94GC52's Avatar
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    Hell, I'll drive the Grand if you guys dont mind spending an entire build in central PA. I think i have found the right guys to do the work on my ZJ.

    Crazy, gonna send you some questions on the website about a build.

  8. #8
    Mountain Valley Customs
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    Quote Originally Posted by 94GC52 View Post
    Crazy, gonna send you some questions on the website about a build.
    Sounds good! Always up for a build!

    Update on the swap:
    - Rebent the D300 twin sticks and got them installed.
    - made the new Klune shifter mount and got that hooked up
    - cut down the front driveshaft, rewelded it and installed it. No need to balance it since I have manual hubs in the front
    - got my hand throttle lever hooked back up

    Tomorrow going to finish the new tranny mount, lengthen the rear driveshaft and reconnect the pinion e-brake.
    Mountain Valley Customs www.mvcustoms.com 570.217.7284
    Specializing in 4x4s and custom fabrication


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