1981 CJ7 Restoration - 2021.08.29

I'm very embarrassed to report that it has been over 15 months since my last Jeep restoration post, which means it's been over 15 months since I've touched the Jeep. Anyway, here we are.

The step that has given me a fair amount of anxiety had to do with the motor. I've had a fully cleaned and machined (bored 0.030" over, crankshaft machined for oversized bearings, etc.) original motor since 3 years ago and have spent many a night agonizing about how I need to paint it, assemble it, then install it in the frame. Whenever I'd think about it, the weather was either too crappy to paint effectively, or I went riding all morning and was too tired to do anything when I returned. All self-inflicted, but next thing you know, a year has gone by.

A month or so ago, an interesting development came to light as my good friend Danny pinged me and we started talking Jeep restoration. He had a 258 crate motor that he wanted to get rid of since he decided to build a V-8 for his CJ7. So, now he had a brand new crate motor that he had no use for. This thing is rated at 270HP, which is 2.5 times the stock motor output. Long story shorter, he made me a deal that I couldn't turn down to get a ready-to-run crate motor and build mine at my leisure. This way I can store it and not put more miles on the original motor.

I went to Danny's this morning to check out the motor and he invited me to some very nice extra parts, then we brought the motor to my house.

4.6L stroker crate motor from Golen Engine - this is a stroked 258 with a 4.0L head and many upgrades and enhancements.

I was so excited that I built the engine dolly above and got the old engine block onto the engine stand so I could start taping it off and prepping it for paint.

Well, that's enough for today. Put in a long day of setting up engines and organizing the garage for the next steps, which will involve prepping the original engine for paint and installing the pilot bushing and my clutch on Danny's motor.


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