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2008 Grand Cherokee 345ci 4x4

Old 12-26-2018, 01:28 PM
  #31  
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It's a (late) Christmas miracle!
They finally got the Jeep in the shop and are doing some work!

The tape on the electrical connectors is my own work. I couldn't let them dangle without protection!
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Old 12-26-2018, 01:45 PM
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What no pictures?🤨
Ah they showed up.👍
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Old 12-26-2018, 01:46 PM
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That doesn't look fun to work on...
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Old 12-27-2018, 05:06 PM
  #34  
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Yeah, not a lot of room under the hood with all the accessories. The top end isn't hard to access if you go ahead and diassemble the accessories, tubing, radiatior, ect...
Unfortunately for the shop, they let it sit outside for long enough that it's going to need corrosion scrubbed off before they get to reassble anything.
The owner assures me they give every motor a scrub out and rinse before they start reassembly. We'll see. I honestly won't be surprised when my oil life indicatior dings after 1,000 miles or less. Just considering how long it has sat outside with the top end removed.

It's all up in the air right now. They could wind up impressing me if it's clean, healthy and strong. In the end, that's what really matters.
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Old 01-20-2019, 06:16 AM
  #35  
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No photos for this update because you all can imagine an engine with heads put on, I think.
Things are getting put back together.
MDS parts have been deleted and a tune should be coming in this week from one of the local guys who has put maps on motors that terrorize the dragstrip a couple towns over.
Before all that computer work starts, the old wagon will be making a visit to the exhaust shop across the street for a cat delete an custom fabrication to match the borla exhaust up to the header tubes.
The project is starting to come together.
I'm hoping she'll be making loud noises this coming week.
But, I'm still emotionally preparing myself for the likelihood of the project rolling into next month, even if the shop does manage to get it on the road.
There is a lot that can go wrong. From vibration shaking tubes and lines loose, to electrical grounds having too much paint over spray.
The shop owner's advice is to keep it close to home and keep an eye on engine behavior for the first 1,000 miles.
Probably sound advice, but I think every car guy imagines riding off into the sunset on a road trip as soon as the project is complete.
I'll have to keep exercising patience. One of my least refined qualities...
​​​​​
Been thinking about changing her name after all the work is done.
What do you all think of "Grumpy"?
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:31 AM
  #36  
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Good to hear. Hope that thing go smoother from here on out. "Here's to hoping" !!!!
I'm sure it will have to go back a time or two to get a few bugs out of it.
I think that is sound advice to keep it local for a few miles and let all the drive monitors set, This way the tow bill will not kill you. Unless towing is not an issue in your case?
I'm sure they have some basic instructions for in the beginning and then you can go out and see what other weak links.

Thanks for keeping us up to date the project. I am sitting on the edge of my seat to see how this all works out....
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Old 01-20-2019, 12:39 PM
  #37  
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Thanks for the advice, racerhog!
From what I understand, the shop will perform the break in with a very safe tune before they start putting any real power in the computer.
​​​​​​To be honest (boarding on stupidity), I don't know how much of a "break in" hydraulic rollers need. But considering it's a new cam, rollers, pistions, springs, valves and retainers...
It probably needs a few solid runs and then some gentle driving after I get my hands on it.
I definitely will ask the shop to walk me through their best advice for the first few weeks of driving.

As I've mentioned before, I've only ever done bolt-on mods before. I've never had a shop do performance work for me, and never cut into the guts of an engine before.
I will be prepared for things to have slipped past in an imperfect state (while crossing my fingers that everything is solid).
I just don't know what to expect.
Angry?
Driveable?
Reliable?
Fun?
That's the goal. Either way, more posts to come!
I'm really excited to post some videos of how it all works out!
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:23 PM
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The shop is still not finished with the build.
I did some digging in other forums (yes, shamefully I had to prowl Ford and Chevy sites). Turns out that for a no-name nobody like me, these builds often take months.

So, let it be known that if you decide to take your car to a shop (even a reputable one that does work for local government and racing organizations), you will probably be spending months waiting.

Supposedly, the shop is re-installing the cam due to a mismatched tooth position that prevented the engine from firing.
I'm not sure how far off a cam needs to be to prevent startup in a fuel injected engine, but I assume it isn't much.
Hopefully this is a minor error and nothing is broken.
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Old 02-22-2019, 09:56 PM
  #39  
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All the goodies are sitting in the trunk, awaiting reassembly.
Except the exhaust, that is. At least 1 part is installed.

Seems like putting it all together takes about 7 or so man hours. Hopefully I will be posting some dyno results around the end of next week.
Don't get your hopes up for incredible numbers at the wheel, though. This is AWD and geared for towing.
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Old 02-23-2019, 10:29 AM
  #40  
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Glad to hear all the parts are in and progress is being made.... Hope to see some Numbers and Videos soon....
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Old 02-23-2019, 12:53 PM
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What did we have valves kissing pistons?
Don't like the anti freeze just left in the holes either.

Last edited by Iowan; 02-23-2019 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 02-24-2019, 11:42 AM
  #42  
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The pistons look good, but the valves are missing.
It's possible that the shop isn't ready to give me a report on what they've found just yet.
Also, I'm not thrilled about it being left open over the weekend with antifreeze in the cylinders. But, I don't see much risk for corrosion, erosion or combustion as long as it's cleaned out with detergent and rinsed. However it's lazy and lazy breaks cars.
At least I won't be paying for the extra labor and possible parts. It just costing me in insurance and car payment to leave this thing in the shop for so long.

Last edited by wreklus; 02-24-2019 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:52 AM
  #43  
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The shop reports that the valves passed inspection and reassembly was completed today. The engine fired up, but was victim to that Gen III Hemi Tick we all read about too often.
Shop disassembled the top end again and suspect that the lifter retainers were defective. They ordered a new set and should reassemble again tomorrow.
It seems like the shop is making effort to make a high quality end result, which is in line with what I've been asking. Considering it's already taken nearly 5 months, I'm more focused on quality than schedule.
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:28 AM
  #44  
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Seems like this Project is fighting tooth and nail....
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:54 AM
  #45  
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Yeah, the schedule has been really rough on me.
The communication from the shop has been better recently, but I'm still not thrilled about having been told we were at this stage of the build (or close to it) months ago.
At least, it seems like they are actively wrenching as of recently.
But now it's the motor's (and the speed gods') turn to throw unexpected surprises at us.
Hopefully, the speed gods are appeased by my decision to go heavy on the parts and seek (relatively) moderate power gains.

Anyway, dodge sent the replacement lifter retainers, but they were the wrong part number. Correct parts should be arriving today so that the build can continue (speed gods willing).
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:28 AM
  #46  
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Well, here's to hoping we're on the dyno today.
Hope these guys know what they're doing with disabling the drive to the front wheels...
Fingers crossed that the speed gods smile on my rig and that whatever might go wrong is very minor!
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Old 03-07-2019, 05:58 AM
  #47  
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Old 03-08-2019, 07:51 PM
  #48  
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I've added a link to my video of the first time startup on YouTube.
If any of you experienced types could give that valve train a listen (despite my talking, haha!), I'd appreciate it. I'm concerned that the valve tap might be excessive.
You will probably need a good set of headphones, or a good set of speakers to hear clearly because there is a lot of background noise.

To my ears, it sounds fine. But I'm not very familiar with V8 engines, to be honest.
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:13 AM
  #49  
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Give it a few miles... see if it quiets down
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by RacerHog View Post
Give it a few miles... see if it quiets down
Will do.

Next steps now are allowing the shop to put a few miles on it over the course of the next week or two. Then, I'll be driving it with a "training wheels" engine map to log additional data. Finally, the shop will create and load the full performance map.
Still a ways to go before it really becomes what it will be. But, I'm glad at least that there is forward progress now.
There is still plenty of potential for things to go wrong. I'll just have to keep praying to the speed gods for mercy.
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:24 AM
  #51  
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I managed to get an explanation of what has been taking so long on my build.
Don't bother reading unless you can handle the increase in blood pressure...

October -
​​​​Mechanic 1:
Dragged his feet doing disassembly. Quit immediately after.

Cylinder Heads sent out for repair and port/polish

Vehicle sat for about a month

End of October -

I ordered additional parts, we came up with performance plan.
Enter custom part lead time.

November -
Shop owner reported parts received.

Here are the details I wasn't aware of until a few days ago...
​​​​​​
Mechanic 2:
spent 1 month on project
Attempted reassembly, dragged his feet, damaged parts.
Mechanic 2 fired.

Parts sent out for repair
Vehicle returns to sit outside

December -

Mechanic 3:
spent 3 months on the project
Attempted reassembly, dragged his feet, damaged parts.
Mechanic 3 fired.
Vehicle returns to sit (but indoors this time).
Parts sent out for repair

March -

Shop's lead mechanic reassembles engine and accessories.
Engine start up successful (finally)
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Obviously, there was a serious lack of teamwork, Quality Assurance and management.
I've had a lot of friends and relatives recommend that I put pressure on the shop owner and mechanics by issuing notes from attorneys regarding Loss of Use and pulling the jeep out to another shop.
I hesitate to do either of those things, because:
1. Another shop doesn't want to clean up someone else's mess. It won't make things any faster and it would cost a lot more.
2. Issuing a letter from a lawyer guarantees a really sloppy build, if they continue to work at all.
3. There is a chance that the build might turn out well still. At least, I won't be asked to pay for labor overages, repairs and re-work done so far.
4. The shop owner and current mechanics seem determined to make things right (at least, as of recently).

Maybe I'm being too soft on this shop.
Mark it up as a learning experience.
All of this stuff is really unnecessary luxury work anyway. It doesn't excuse horrible business practices and hiding information I would want to know... But this isn't exactly warranty or safety recall work...

Thoughts?
Advice?
Insults?
​​​​​
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:44 AM
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Reminds me of a roof I had put on my 100 year old house, first crew F up the job and got fired by the contractor so the contractor was going to do it himself, that lasted a week then he hired another crew that drove up from Des Moines got out of there van walked around the house and got back in there van never to be seen again. So the contractor is back on the job for a week then a new crew shows up and pounds it out in three days. In the month this took we got two down pours so the house got wet. The contractor was so glad to get off my property the cost of the roof just kept going down.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:03 AM
  #53  
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Iowan,
Sounds like a nightmare.
At least I'm not having this problem with my house, and I'm lucky that I don't actually -need- a car right now.

Of all the people who try to convince me to get ugly with the shop (girlfriend included, good to have a chick who gets worked up about the right things! Haha!)...
I have to put things in the right kind of perspective.

Iowan,
Looking back on your roof problem, do you think that lawyers and cursing and threats would have made the problem any better?
Or,
Did you use any of those things to try to get things done?
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:17 PM
  #54  
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I'm lucky I've never had anything like this happen to me. Always had a good buddy mechanic now a son, brother in law electrician, and my other two sons are tradesmen to go along with my three licenses. Wife is a CPA accountant, don't have any lawyers in the family. All my days anyone in the family that needed something just called someone in the family and if that person couldn't do it they sure new a trustworthy person from construction jobs they had worked or at least the repair shops or contractors to stay away from. I have been truly blessed in this regard.

All my family are hard working honest people, when I here stories like this it MAKES MY BLOOD BOIL. If anyone did me or my wife wrong I'd probably have to lock down my sons and nephews so they didn't end up in jail giving the bad person a hospital stay. They're all big fellas that know how to scrap.

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Old 03-12-2019, 05:00 PM
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The one thing I did was keep my composure, I stayed reasonable but applied pressure as needed, only after the job was done did I turn into a hardass. I had talked to my attorney and new exactly were I stood, the first crew had stripped the roof from the bottom up, like I said the house was built in 1898 so it has 1x14 covered by cedar shakes a four layers of asphalt shingles that all fell through the spaces between the 1x14s, what a mess in the attic. I would not let them clean up the mess, I had a price from a professional service and there was some water damage including a new box spring and mattress. In the contract I had it stated that all shingles on property after completion were to be left on the property, well at some point they were running short and had a extra full pallet delivered so that pallet stayed. All said and done the 14k turned into less than 5k. I cleaned up the mess in the attic bought a new bed and have a 40 year roof on the house plus I had shingles for the garage. But I was hardcore after the job was done.
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Old 03-13-2019, 04:49 AM
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Sounds like you used the time it took for them to complete the job to think through your options and come up with a plan.
You definitely got results, rather than just having to sue one contractor after another. I have a similar plan for my issues with this build, but fewer options to do work myself (lack of tools, space and knowledge).
I'll continue to be patient and understanding with the shop until the build is done and I see what kind of quality they produce.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:37 PM
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My 2 cents is.... I would sit down with the owner and try to nail down a Dead line for the project. Reason I say that is he might be backed into a corner and not able to finish the project. Once you get the answer, you can go home collect your thoughts and go from there...
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:13 PM
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There was only one contractor in my case, it was a big job and I knew it, it was to my benefit that he finish the job correctly.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:15 AM
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I appreciate the advice and the wisdom!
RacerHog and Iowan, you guys are great!

Well, I got a call last night as the shop was closing for the day.
They have finished assembly and have begun test-drives.
Woo!

If the Jeep ran right last night and keeps running right today, they will begin tuning on the dyno today or tomorrow.
The owner and I discussed having me present for the dyno runs pretty often throughout the build, so we will soon see if they follow through with that promise.

I can't wait to drive my old wagon again!
Just hope the speed gods have been satisfied with all the sacrifices so far and have started to smile on my build!
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:44 PM
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I have the Jeep back in my hands again.
The drivetrain seems solid so far after cruising around town and some limited highway driving. It feels like -my- Jeep in a lot of ways, but with a lot more guts!
It is strong enough that I'd stack up next to a stock SRT8 Jeep.
It's loud, but not rediculous for the road.
Unfortunately, the shop didn't do a dyno run and fudged a lot of little cosmetic things. Broken plastic clips, rubber baffles mounted wrong, etc...
I'll be bringing it back in next week to get the little things fixed, but I'm not sure I'll be back after that.

Anyway, here is a short clip of it running with all parts and a 93 octane tune loaded. I'll make a couple more videos of launches and pulls in the future.

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