By Shad Ahlstrom
Manual YJs have a pigtail near the transmission that supplies
power to the reverse lights from a switch and provides a ground loopback for the
starter relay. I unplugged this connector and spliced the reverse light
lead from the TCU. I removed the loopback ground wire since I already
spliced the start/neutral safety switch from the TCU to the YJs wiring harness.
I basically just activated the circuit by removing the loop. I filled the
extra holes with silicone and plugged the connector back together.
The Cherokee had a switch in it for POWER or COMFORT.
These are pretty vague terms but I knew they were related to transmission valve
pressures and whatnot. The switch applied +12V to the C11 pin of the TCU
for POWER mode and 0V for COMFORT. I unplugged the C11 pin from the TCU
just to see the difference. On my test drive, the 1-2 up shift point was
dropped to about 1700RPM. I didn't feel a 2-1 down shift but for all I
know, there may not be one. I didn't feel one in POWER mode either but it
may just not be as pronounced as the 3-2 down shift. I added a switch to
the dash for good measure but I know I'll drive around most of the time with it
in POWER mode.
I went to pick up the new driveshaft and it wasn't done yet.
That's fine, I wasn't in a huge hurry. I was invited into the shop to
watch the process. I was so jealous of the tools in that place. Roy
put the shaft onto a lathe and ground the ends of the solid portion to spec.
He chopped the tube down to the right size on a cold saw. I kept my
distance for this part but there were some sparks and banging and the glow of a
very large welder coming from the back of the shop. He walked it over to
me and it looked GREAT! He popped it on his balancer. This thing is
monstrous! It had to be 20ft long. I only needed the first foot and
a half of it. He spun it up and it looked straight to me. He rotated
it to a certain point and used a torch on it and then immediately quenched it
with water. He did that about 5 more times and spun it up again. He
then added some weight to the front and back and a wire to hold it on.
After some adjustment of the weights, he welded them on and applied a coat of
paint. I didn't fully appreciate his attention to detail until I got it
back on the Jeep and got it up to speed. I've never felt such a smooth
ride. I'm sure my old shaft was out of balance from all the banging around
So now I have an AW4, beefy driveshaft and a bulletproof rear end. Everything is maintained, freshened up and in good shape. I now have no idea where the weak point is in my drive train. I hope it's not that crankshaft I nicked.
4x4 Off-Road Homestead Firearms RC Flying