Installing a t-18...now that it\'s done
I've been away for a few days...installed my t-18. Here's my list of advice for all those who are considering the swap... I claim to have come up with none of these ideas...I probably swiped all of them from someone, somewhere...a lot of them are from you guys. By the way, now would be a good time to thank all of you who gave me advice along the way...you all made a huge difference!!!
Before you start...
Beg, borrow, or buy a tranny jack. Failure to do so will result in a very hard job, broken fingers, and/or a bent clutch...I have the first two, and fortunately not the last one.
Beg, borrow or steal a set of taps and dies...tap/die out everything you use, it makes the assembly job a lot easier.
Let the tranny/t-case drain overnight. Gear oil is very slow to drain out...
Buy new bolts to hold on the bellhousing/tranny/t-case...grade 8. Make sure they're not too long (if they bottom out, they will either be loose or break)
Other neccesary items...torque wrench, locktite (for everything), Silicone to seal tranny case, universal CV boot, 2 hose clamps, stuff to make breather line...
Before you install it, pull the top cover and drill/tap a hole for your breather line.
Cut the head off of 2 6" by ???(was it 3/8??) bolts...screw these into the bellhousing and use them to help you guide the tranny into place. Do the same thing for the t-case.
The t-case shift linkage needs to be modified. The bolt that the shift handle pivots on needs to be ground flush with the arm it rests in on the tranny side of the linkage. THen the pipe that the linkage rides on needs to be turned to the right about 10 degrees (loosen the two bolts that hold the pipe in place, and twist the pipe to the side). When everything is in place, you can twist the pipe back so it's tight against the tranny...don't forget to tighten those bolts on top of the pipe again...
This is kind of out of order, but it's how my thoughts are coming out...
When installing the clutch, make sure it's flywheel side in. I didn't have the alignment tool, but I did alright...take your time and eyeball it several times to make sure it's centered around the pilot bushing.
Don't let the weight of the tranny rest on the clutch/pilot bushing...you'll warp the clutch.
THe little metal ball that the throwout lever rides on has a tendency to fall out without warning when trying to assemble everything. I put a dab of silicone on it and stuck it in place, and it stuck fine then.
My book says to assemble everything and hook up the clutch linkage last. I had to hook up the clutch linkage before I put the tranny in so it would hold the throwout lever in the right position.
Put the tranny in first gear before you remove the shift lever. This way you can turn the output shaft and it'll turn the input shaft so you can get aligned with the clutch.
My tranny was a CJ t-18. It had the exact same input shaft as did my t-150. Same length, same splines, same diameter.
I removed the torque arm setup on my skidplate and put the skidplate in the t-150 position. Made a little bracked to support the tranny properly. Didn't use spacer blocks and didn't cut the skidplate. The motor is about perfectly level with the radiator now. It used to tip back a few degrees. Everything looks OK, though.
When I had the whole thing installed, I took some silicone and put it around the collar that holds the shifter in. Then I turned the collar down tight, and installed the CV boot over it. I clamped it around the base of the collar, and clamped it again around the shift lever. Watertight!
Install the vent lines, using the aforementioned drilled/tapped hole in the tranny.
If you haven't already done so, remove the vent in the t-case by unscrewing it, and install a nipple (it's 1/4" NPT thread). Then both tranny and t-case can be waterproofed and vented.
My t-case shifts better than ever. I guess adjusting the linkage has a tendency to do that. As for the t-18, it completely changed my jeep. 1st gear is now lower than my old crawl ratio. My crawl ratio is more than doubled. She shifts like a big truck, but I enjoy it. If you've got a hi-po engine and it just feels like you're not using all of it, consider your clutch. The new clutch makes the engine hook up a lot better. It must have been slipping a bit and I never even realized it. Speaking of which (I had to try it at least once--but now that I did, I never have to again) the jeep will now spin the 32-11.50's in 1st, 2nd, and will chirp 'em as I shift into third. I had a friendly bout with a camaro on my test drive...to be fair, he didn't know I was gunning for him and he had a slightly delayed reaction, but the jeep ran like a big dog...
I ended up shortening my rear driveshaft and lengthening my front driveshaft myself. I cut both of them, and sleeved another pipe inside, made them the appropriate length, tack welded them, checked my length, and then welded 3 passes around. After my little hooliganism, they show no cracks, wobbles, or vibrations.
That's about it. Oh, one more thing...the t-18 takes 2 9/16"x1" bolts to hold it on. Get them before you try to install it.
Thanks again for all your help,
p.s. for all the clutch virgins out there, it's not that bad. The hardest part is getting your input shaft aligned properly so you can get it in the bushing. The first time yields a lot of resistance, but once you get the hang of it, and you get the shaft aligned properly, it's a piece of cake.[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/blush.gif[/img]
Thought in middle of modifications: "Maybe AMC did it right the first time...Naah."