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  • New 5.3 Brute project

    I am in the process of converting my 2005 Rubicon into a Brute. I am doing a complete frame off resto-mod and taking everything down to the bear metal. I have been asked about the cost several times so here is what I have in it. I have learned through other restorations to do what you really want the 1st time.

    2005 Jeep Rubicon 9,000
    Brute kit 9,000
    Highline kit 2,000
    AEV 3" springs on closeout 300
    Fox shocks 800
    AEV wheels (5) 1,100
    JKS track bars and control arms 1,200
    5.3 w/4L60E trans 37K miles 3,500
    All the novak goods to make it work and look right 3,200
    M/T tires 35x12.50 1,750
    engine harness and new computer 700

    Total $32,550

    This is the list of parts I currently have in my garage. Future needs will be sandblasting, body work, paint, line-x, and interior (at least another 7-10K.) As everyone knows there will be several surprises down the road. If anyone knows the snags I am going to hit please send me a heads up.

    Any info would be helpful.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    oooh I'm just starting a LS1/4L60E swap into my brute. Also using Novak for most things. I'm subscribed.. I suspect we will be useful to each other.

    What are you doing for the shifter for the AT? I want something that looks stock.. that huge gated arched shifter I've been seeing.. don't like it.

    What are you doing for suspension?

    Where are you located? My swap is happening in IL. I'm in MD.

    Comment


    • #3
      I bought the AEV 3" springs and the control arms by jks. I have fox shocks but I am thinking of going with OME instead. I have a lokar shifter on my CJ with a 5.3 and 4L60E. It works great and looks good and clean. I used the shifter boot with the LED indicators in it. For the brute I was hoping to keep the interior looking stock, but I would be loosing 1st gear in the manual shift pattern, not good. I think I will use the shortest Lokar shifter and have a shop with a CAD system make an aluminum plate with gear indicators in it to cover the factory shifter plate, assuming I can get the shifter in the same location. I have the Novak cable shifter kit for the t-case so that should be fine.

      Do you plan on using the factory gauges? My plan at this time is to use the Novak tach signal box to convert the GM tach signal to the jeep signal so the gauge will work. I think I will let the jeep computer piggy back and control the fuel, locker indicators, temp, oil pressure, and voltage. At this time I plan to send the cluster to Redline Gauge Works to modify the spedo to work off the GM signal and give me a wire for the check engine light.

      BTW you need to get a fuel pressure regulator/filter for a mid 2000's Corvette to keep your fuel pressure correct and simplify the install. I mount these very close to the tank to eliminate extra lines. Rock Auto has the best price.

      I live in Durango, Colorado. I have done several CJ's with 5.3's and 4L60E's so if you need anything let me know.

      What size tires are you running? My CJ has 35's with 4:88 gears and it seems to be perfect all around gearing for the mountains where I live. I have not decided on changing the 4:10 gears out yet, but now is the time.

      Comment


      • #4
        Awesome build. Looking forward to it getting completed. I can tell you I've got over $36k in my Brute build.
        Last edited by Ben Hedrick; 10-23-2012, 12:04 PM.
        Ben Hedrick
        www.BenHedrick.com
        HEDRICK Speedsports

        "Ive got a Jeep problem"
        2007 5.7L HEMI Sahara Unlimited - Sold
        2010 6.1L HEMI Rubicon Unlimited - Sold
        2011 6.4L (392) HEMI Rubicon Unlimited - Sold
        2002 4.0L AEV Brute - Sold
        2003 6.4L "Stroker" HEMI AEV Brute - Sold
        2005 4.0L SC AEV K9 Brute - Sold
        2014 345 HEMI Rubicon Xpo Adventurer
        2000 4.0L AEV 112 Long Wheelbase
        2006 4.0L AEV Brute Rubicon

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dridgway View Post
          For the brute I was hoping to keep the interior looking stock, but I would be loosing 1st gear in the manual shift pattern, not good. I think I will use the shortest Lokar shifter and have a shop with a CAD system make an aluminum plate with gear indicators in it to cover the factory shifter plate, assuming I can get the shifter in the same location.
          I'm also going for a stock look on the interior, although an upgraded stock look. I'm thinking the same way you are.. I'm hoping to use a short lokar and maybe even shorten it further if I need to. I'm considering getting a nice piece of walnut or something to use for a T handle on the top. Unsure right now, though. Just don't want anything that looks like it belongs in a space ship or is pretending to be a manual.

          Originally posted by dridgway View Post
          Do you plan on using the factory gauges? My plan at this time is to use the Novak tach signal box to convert the GM tach signal to the jeep signal so the gauge will work. I think I will let the jeep computer piggy back and control the fuel, locker indicators, temp, oil pressure, and voltage. At this time I plan to send the cluster to Redline Gauge Works to modify the spedo to work off the GM signal and give me a wire for the check engine light.
          Yep, I'm using factory gauges. I also got the Novak tach adapter, and I'll be using the Jeep PCM to run the rest of the gauges. I believe the VSS that comes with the novak xfer case adapter kit should just work with the Jeep computer... although I'm not 100% on that.

          Originally posted by dridgway View Post
          BTW you need to get a fuel pressure regulator/filter for a mid 2000's Corvette to keep your fuel pressure correct and simplify the install. I mount these very close to the tank to eliminate extra lines. Rock Auto has the best price.
          I got this from Novak, too.

          Originally posted by dridgway View Post
          What size tires are you running? My CJ has 35's with 4:88 gears and it seems to be perfect all around gearing for the mountains where I live. I have not decided on changing the 4:10 gears out yet, but now is the time.
          I'm running 35's right now on about a 4.5" lift. I'd like to drop the lift down to 2.5" or 3" and do a highline kit to keep the 35's. Might not be money for that right now.. we'll see. I have no idea what my gearing will be. I'm taking out the stock 2.5, so that probably changes things a bit.

          Do you have a build thread somewhere else or will this be the place you will have updates? Looking forward to checking in on it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Everything will be here. I am down to a bare frame with the extensions in and the rear section added. Axles and frame will go off to the sandblaster Monday. I will be adding pictures of the re-assembly process.

            I shortened my Lokar shifter on my CJ so it can be done. They just have a flexible sleeve inside them that activates the push button on the top. Looks like a bicycle cable housing. Hardest part is re-threading the shaft. I can tell you that a 5.3 with the 4L60E, 35's and 4.88 gears is perfect in my cj for all round driving.

            I am now leaning toward 37" tires due to the fact that I do not like seeing large gaps between the tires and wheel wells. 4.88's or 5.13's are in my future. My lift will be 3" springs, 3/4" isolators and I plan to use the JKS control arms to push the front axle 1/2-3/4" forward.

            I have done several restorations on CJ's, built up an AEV equipped supercharged JK (BTW very bad idea, the supercharger blew it up with 15K on it), but this thing has me more excited than any of those do.

            Do you have a solid plan?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by dridgway View Post
              Do you have a solid plan?
              Yeah, my plan is to acknowledge my skill level and time availability is not up to doing the swap by myself.

              I have a cousin who put an LS1 in his TJ 2 yrs ago, and I'm having him do the bulk of the work on this. I'm jumping in to help over a few weekends, and I'll be handling the other planned upgrades that aren't part of the engine swap.

              I've been doing a LOT of reading and researching on the best way-ahead, but implementing it is his job.

              The engine/trans is purchased but haven't shipped, yet. I suspect we are 2 or 3 weeks away from taking apart the front end. Time really isn't an issue, here.. it will be getting worked on when better-paying winter work isn't available. The brute has been in storage since January, I only pulled it out this last weekend, so waiting another few months is fine by me.

              Which 5.3 do you have? The L33? Or the Iron-block one?

              Are you doing A/C? I bought the adapter and compressor from Novak for that. We'll see.

              re: the tach emulator.. some guys on pirate have had some issues getting a good signal out of it, so if you are having issues, don't blame yourself right away. Novak told me they are aware of this, but haven't been able to reproduce it.

              I see you're doing line-x.. are you doing the cab floor in that, as well? Have you done that on other jeeps? I like the idea, but I want really good sound insulation, and I'm not convinced this is the way to go.

              Comment


              • #8
                My 5.3 is the Iron block with alum. heads. Both engines are out of 05's and I used the electric pedal in my cj, but converted the TB to cable for the Brute. Less wires and no extra module boxes.

                I also have the a/c kit from Novak and I am sure that will be a challenge getting the hoses and everything to work. Looks impressive.

                I did line-x on the frame, axles, skids, and bottom and inside the tub on my CJ. I think it is great for under the fenders, engine bay, and under the tub. I will use Lizard skin or something similar for inside the tub. Line-x is great, but I do not think it is the best heat or sound proofing product out there.

                This time around I will use KBS paint (like POR 15) for the frame, axles, and skids. I am considering powder coating, but I am sure I will need to weld on it eventually and mess up the powder coating.

                I am rushing some due to the fact that it is in my garage and winter is on the way here in colorado. My wife will not be happy scrapping ice and snow off her car.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My eng/trans is out of a 2004 GTO w/ 42k miles on it. The jeep has 67k or so on it, and I wanted a power train that is at or under that.

                  I have to say that it was pleasant jumping in the brute and turning the key after it sat for nearly a year and having it fire right up, no hesitation. Hopefully someone can use the engine/trans when I get it out, cuz it's in great shape.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    5.3 Brute Update

                    Here the latest pictures of the brute project. Frame has been lengthen and sand blasted and cab closeout is attached. Axles have been blasted, powder coated, and will have new gears and internals within the week. Once I mount the bed to ensure I am done welding on the frame it will get powder coated as well. Plan at this time is billet silver with a flat black on the center of the hood, I will order black pintlers with 37" bfg's. Hoping to have everything on a rolling chassis and to the body shop around the first of the year.
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Err, you know AEV doesn't sell TJ wheels any longer, right?


                      --Donnie

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by djb_rh View Post
                        Err, you know AEV doesn't sell TJ wheels any longer, right?


                        --Donnie
                        I was going to mention that...
                        Ben Hedrick
                        www.BenHedrick.com
                        HEDRICK Speedsports

                        "Ive got a Jeep problem"
                        2007 5.7L HEMI Sahara Unlimited - Sold
                        2010 6.1L HEMI Rubicon Unlimited - Sold
                        2011 6.4L (392) HEMI Rubicon Unlimited - Sold
                        2002 4.0L AEV Brute - Sold
                        2003 6.4L "Stroker" HEMI AEV Brute - Sold
                        2005 4.0L SC AEV K9 Brute - Sold
                        2014 345 HEMI Rubicon Xpo Adventurer
                        2000 4.0L AEV 112 Long Wheelbase
                        2006 4.0L AEV Brute Rubicon

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This should be a great truck. On the wheels, a lot of TJ guys are using JK wheels with 1.25" spacers, it comes out right for a TJ on 37s and allows you to swap wheels with all those JK guys on the trail in an emergency. Can also take the spacer off and use a TJ wheel in an emergency.

                          dh
                          2015 Ram 3500 Cab Chassis SRW
                          2009 Brute DoubleCab 5.7VVT Supercharged, 37s
                          2015 KTM 1190 Adventure R
                          2013 KTM 450XC-W

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just as an FYI, it appears the Jeep community at large uses "spacer" as the name for this, but it's really an "adapter", IMHO. It's 1.25" thick because you have to lug-nut the adapter on and then this has new lugs that attach the wheels. If people are using them for off-roading, then they should be "safe" for on-road purposes.

                            In the car racing world, "spacers" are just that...a big plate with holes and nothing more.

                            Glad these work for this, too. I really like how the Pintlers look. Good suggestion, Dave.

                            (And yes, I'm being a bit pedantic. I also hate it when people say "coilovers" to mean "threaded body shock." *sigh*)


                            --Donnie

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              As of a few days ago, Quadratec still had a few single Pintlers left in stock. You may have to paint a couple to end up with a matched set, but it is an option.

                              Chris
                              Chris

                              2006 Rubicon Unlimited
                              AEV Highline
                              Nth Degree longarm

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