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look at the alternator mounting bolt and spacer that goes trough it
sometimes the spacer is pressed to wrong spot and misalign the alternator
 

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Discussion Starter #503
I put a fresh belt on to do more diagnosing. The replacement idler pulley did finally arrive and I swapped it in but it didn't fix the chirping. I have talked to several people who are running this supercharger kit on the stock 4.0L with 42RLE transmission without issue. And removing the supercharger isn't a great option because then I don't have enough power to really enjoy the 37s. So I did more testing, borrowed a GoPro to watch the belt while driving and finally narrowed it down to the supercharger.



I removed the SC and found that the rotors are damaged like a rock went through them:



It's headed back to BoostedTech for repair. They told me they have 1-2 day turnaround time once they receive it so hopefully I'll be back to driving really soon!

I'm convinced that it came this way because I cleaned all of my intake tubes before installing, pressure tested the intake for leaks, and I've only ran the engine with a filter on. And this has been a problem since day 1.
 

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Discussion Starter #504
Well, Pirate has gone to pot since I last posted.

BoostedTech isn't responding to me asking if they received my supercharger (tracking shows they did a week ago). They originally told me 1-2 day turn around time so hopefully that means it'll show up back at my house tomorrow... Or someday...

Thankfully I have other projects to keep me busy and decided to paint my way through Memorial Day weekend.

The Currie machined hubs don't have a coating like I originally thought and have started to rust. I sanded them down and shot them with 2 coats of primer and 3 top coats:



 

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Discussion Starter #505
@mrblaine sent me a wonderful heat treated solid 4340 tie rod down from the rock gods. And boy does it look good!





The other tie rod I made was fine and I'll be keeping it as a spare. This one however is nearly indestructible and the heat treating will allow it to spring back into shape when it gets pushed around.
 

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Discussion Starter #509
I have reached a dead end with fixing the chirping, vibrating and popping. BoostedTech is entirely unwilling to work on my unit even at my cost (I'm honestly not sure why they had me send them the unit if they weren't going to check the inner-workings of it). I have not found any reputable companies able to work on the M90 SC. To continue further will require throwing parts at possibly both the engine and supercharger until something sticks and fixes the problem.

My long term plans have been to build a supercharged inline 6 stroker to get 350-400HP. At that time I would need to replace the transmission to a "heavy duty" built 42RLE such as one from ATS Diesel. Since I'm also unhappy with the 2.72:1 ratio in the transfer case I've decided on an Atlas case which will require 2 new driveshafts.

And if I'm building up and spending money on the transmission, transfercase and driveshafts I want to be sure I actually want to stick with the inline 6 engine platform.
So far I'd say that I'm content with the power provided from the supercharged stock 4.0L on my 37s. It returns my Jeep on 37s to roughly feeling like driving stock on 30s and I can maintain highway speeds no problem. It runs 0-60 in 10 seconds and gets between 9MPG if I drive aggressively to 12MPG if I drive gently. Wanting more power is because I enjoy building and it puts a smile on my face.

Sticking with the inline 6 and 42RLE makes swaps and upgrades a plug and play weekend project and can be done incrementally which is convenient and I can still have my Jeep ready to go for trips. I also think the legacy inline 6 is kinda quirky and fun and how cool would a built I6 "LS killer" be?. But it's an outdated platform without a ton of aftermarket support like some other platforms have received. If I really built it up, it'd cost around $8000 for a 270HP 4.6L stroker, another $7000 for a supercharger with more volume than my current M90 to add another 75HP, plus a built 42RLE transmission for $3500 to handle it, which brings the total to $18,500 for less than 350HP pushing it to the limit with no room to safely add more HP. The downside is that this engine wasn't designed for high horsepower and pushing it that hard, especially in hot weather, may require meth injection which is not something I really want to get into since I'm looking for dead nuts reliability. Additionally after this past month of trying to diagnose my current issues I'm realizing that there just isn't much help out there for the inline 6 -- and I fear that issues will come up going forward. I enjoy building, I don't enjoy diagnosing engine issues.

Which brings me to the V8 LS and Hemi platforms. These have a strong following and extremely good aftermarket support. Even 50 years from now these platforms will (hopefully) still be well supported. A low mile 350HP 5.3L LS engine including transmission costs less than $5000 with all of the required supporting parts, gauges, brackets, exhaust, etc to fit it into a TJ and do it right. Compare that to the similar horsepower from the I6 stroker build for $18,500. And from what I'm learning another 50HP can be easily added to an LS with reliable mods for only a few hundred dollars in parts and if I'm ever really itching for more HP a low boost supercharger can add another 100-140HP safely for $5000. Point being that for 2/3rds the cost of the 350HP I6 stroker I could have around 500HP and not even be pushing the engine to it's limit. The downside is that this means considerable time my Jeep needs to be stuck in the garage for in order to do it right which will be compounded due to the time it'll take for me to learn what I need to do (I've never swapped an engine before).

If I make the decision now, before upgrading my 4.0L further, I will not have wasted much time or money but if I start building what I have and later decide to switch it's going to be a very costly mistake. I have a lot of consideration to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #510
I didn't expect my build thread to end like this; it's a well built Jeep that so far has been absolutely on point on the street and offroad -- I couldn't ask for more in that regard -- but it doesn't have enough power to drive on the highway well with the stock 4.0L.

It is very upsetting to me that there is the viable option of supercharging the stock 4.0L engine to get the power needed to move the 37s adequately. The M90 supercharger packages well, it runs great (aside from the issue I am having), and yet the company selling the solution has no clue how to support the product they're selling and moreover is unwilling to. In some ways this makes me hesitate even recommending 37s on a Jeep TJ/LJ because the stock 4.0L doesn't have enough power and the other supercharger and turbo options available just won't package with the build I've outlined here over the last 2 years. An engine swap being the best option is absurd.

I have decided not to stick with the inline 6 due to concerns of long term support. I will be LS swapping and getting all of the drivetrain parts I didn't touch already up to snuff. You heard that right! LS time!!

As I'm at the end of what I originally thought would be my build, I've been thinking back at the journey thus far and I am reminded that if you're not failing at something, you're not trying hard enough. Failing is part of it. If you're not trying hard enough to fail, you're in trouble, because that teaches you more.

 

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Discussion Starter #511
This is officially the end of my build thread in the sense that it's the end of an instruction manual. After this there will be minor tweaks and improvements of a few minor things I want to improve.

Because a lot of people have been referencing this build thread for their own builds (there has been over 172,000 views so far!) I have decided to start a separate thread for the engine swap phase of this build. Any updates to my build that are NOT engine related will continue to be posted here as normal. I still stand behind everything I've covered in this build thread so I hope it continues to inspire more great builds! As always, feel free to continue discussions and ask any questions you have! And I hope you follow my new engine build thread where I'll focus on how I chose my engine, fitting it in, integrating with the Jeep wiring, making it run, and how to do a clean install!

Check it out: Higher horses, higher revs & even higher torque, a streetable LJ engine swap
 

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Discussion Starter #512
In the excitement of my engine swap I haven't forgotten about this thread!

As one last hurrah before pulling the engine I'm taking ol' Red to Apple Valley Farms for some fun in 2 weekends. I had totally forgotten about this event while dealing with the mess that is my supercharger and while ordering some LS brackets I put 2-and-2 together and realized that I was talking to @Wisconsinite and he reminded me of the event. So we're meeting up!

I created a little to do list before the event:

  • Remove supercharger and revert engine plumbing back to stock.
  • Rig up 2lb fire extinguisher within reach of the driver as per the rules (I've been meaning to do this anyway)
  • Buy 2" recovery strap per the rules (I gave mine away after upgrading to a real recovery rope) I talked to the event organizer and they're okay with my rope.
  • Check jam nuts and ziptie lines to front UCA.
  • If I have time left over I'll finish up rebuilding the half doors and get armor on them. I might also adjust the coilover preload to compensate for removing the supercharger.
 

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Discussion Starter #514
Ties are zipped and nuts are jammed.
Skids are washed and back under the Jeep.
The engine is converted back to naturally aspirated with some rigging.
I bungee corded down a fire extinguisher (I want to do a more secure mount in the future but I first want to see what I need to cut to make the new transmission fit).
Rear wheel well flaps are back in.
CB radio is back in.
Front tires are on.

With the slightly smaller alternator pulley and power steering pulley compared to stock, I found that the TJ length belt wasn't tensioned as high as I'd like so I replaced the belt with one size smaller (Gates K060878). It took the tensioner from about halfway between the tensioner markings to fully tensioned. This will also allows me to carry the old belt as a spare this coming weekend.

 

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Discussion Starter #515
Half doors are rekeyed and on!





One thought I had while keying them is that there's enough wafers inside to get at least 1 wafer to work with a key and that's probably all you really need for security. If somebody is trying to get in, more wafers aren't going to stop them.
 

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Discussion Starter #516
I ran out of time to get these done for this weekend trip but here's a sneak peak at front armor panels. I also have armor for the half doors waiting to go on.

 

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Discussion Starter #518
It was a crazy weekend! We wheeled so hard day and night and I continued to be amazed at how well my build handled and climbed. There was some stuff I'd never done before and it always felt familiar because the Jeep handled the same as it does on other obstacles and was always predictable. Even in off camber hill climbs bumping over ledges that claimed other Jeeps as victims I never felt that I found the limit of my Jeep's ability.

Saturday started out dry with a bunch of hill climbs with rocks, dirt and ledges. By early afternoon rain started pouring down and changed the trails to nasty. The consistency was like 3" of Crisco. At that point my Jeep 4.0L just couldn't keep the RPMs high enough on the big hills to clean the lugs in the MTRs and combined with a 2nd gear shift back into 1st half way up the hills it kept bogging down half way and I'd have to finish with a winch. Based on my previous trip into the UP I know that if I had the supercharger on it would have done better. I think after the LS swap I'll be able to keep the tires clean during wet climbs like that where wheel speed is so valuable and I'll have better control over when the transmission shifts. Because I didn't want to get my Jeep any muddier for the trip home, during the late afternoon and evening I rode passenger in a RZR Turbo.

I unfortunately don't have any pictures of my Jeep in action but others in our group did and will be sharing them. I did happen to take a before and after picture though!



 

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Heading to the UP next week (live in lower MI) Was this public land, or someplace private? Looking for some trails to play on.
 

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Discussion Starter #520
Heading to the UP next week (live in lower MI) Was this public land, or someplace private? Looking for some trails to play on.
This last trip was private land opened up a few times per year: Real Performance Machines - Apple Valley Farms Offroad Park

Off the top of my head in the UP you have:
  • Drummond Island (trails with deep water and some rocky climbs)
  • Cliff Drive (scenic with some skidder trails to explore)
  • Thunderbowl (sand pit)
  • Schlatter Lake area (trails to explore)
  • Lots of waterfalls to find (all pretty much accessible by minivan but they make fun stops between trails)
Just make sure you have both the MI DNR ORV and ORV Trail stickers and stay off marked ATV/UTV only trails.
 
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