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Unread 08-09-2010, 10:23 PM   #1
FoxNeverDies
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Diesel Engine Swap

I've been looking a lot lately about doing a diesel swap into my 2001 XJ, but I'm not to familiar with engine swaps. I know the 2.8L CRD was used in the some of the 2001 XJ's and the Liberty's sometime soon after that. I'm mainly looking at the 2.8L CRD just because of how easy it will be to put in just on compatibility alone. I'm sure somebody somewhere has done this and I'm curious about how difficult it is, and just all around is it a good engine performance wise. My other option that I was weighing in on was a Cummins 4BT. I've heard of many people doing Cummins swaps into their vehicles, but the body reinforcing I would have to do to fit it in safely have been discouraging. Not to mention the new trans, wiring harness, and misc other crap to get the PCM to function without the original engine and all that. My third and final option was seeing if I can make the newer 3.0L CRD Mercedes Benz work. So if anybody out there has done this and is willing to share some information I'd love to hear about it. Please and thank you!

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Unread 08-10-2010, 06:36 AM   #2
BigBass
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Your best bet for any modern engine swap if your not familiar with the electronics and stuff is to find a wrecked donor vehicle. Then you can take the motor, possibly tranny, and all computers, sensors, the bigger radiator the diesel will probably need and stuff like that. It could be a bit of a project to find one but check junk yards and copart if there's one by you.
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Unread 08-10-2010, 01:08 PM   #3
CJ7-Tim
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I am wondering why you want to do a diesel swap into a Cherokee ? There will be no gains in fuel mileage or horsepower, and the gas 4.0L has excellent low end torque already.

If you are not skilled in swapping and adapting engines maybe you should start with an easier project that has been documented and is supported by aftermarket adapters and electronics. A V-8 into a CJ Jeep would be a better match for your situation. There are no kits or detailed plans for a Cherokee diesel engine swap, you will be relying on your technical skills and abilities.

How about emissions testing, will your proposed project pass ?
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Unread 08-11-2010, 05:56 AM   #4
BigBass
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I don't know about the specifics of that diesel engine, but you can get series gains in fuel economy and power, sometime both with diesel. All that depends on the engine though. If he were to drop a gm 6.5l in there he could get some serious torque out of it but at the cost of a bit more weight on the front end.
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Unread 08-11-2010, 01:22 PM   #5
CJ7-Tim
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A gas GM 350 is a really tight fit in an XJ, there is no way a full size diesel is going to fit under the hood.
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Unread 08-11-2010, 02:54 PM   #6
Timo_90xj
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edit: I know this is just my opinion on diesel swaps for the XJ. You guys do what you want, I just give my point of view. Diesel engines have become quite popular on this side of the ocean, and I've seen quite a few older small- to mid-size diesel engines that have amazing power and torque. I'm far from being expert on diesels, but I've seen enough to be really amazed what these smallish (~2.5-4.0 litre) turbo diesels can do when tuned right and then installed in midsize vehicles.

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Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
A gas GM 350 is a really tight fit in an XJ, there is no way a full size diesel is going to fit under the hood.
Why would you want to put a full size diesel onto a Cherokee, which is a mid-size vehicle?

Engines like Datsun/Nissan SD33 with a turbo would be a good option (almost the same size as the 4.0), older Merc straight-6 diesels are great engines that can withstand and generate huge amounts of power/torque (we're talking about 250hp+, 300lbs/ft+ of torque), you can swap in a 2.7crd (I5) or 3.0crd (v6) merc diesel (newer merc. engines aren't the very best or cheapest engine choises though), just to name a few. There are a bunch of diesels from mid-sized vehicles that can produce enough power/torque to overwhelm the 4.0 if tuned right.

IMO there is absolutely no point in trying to shove in a Cummins 4bt into such a small vehicle, because there are much better diesel swap options for the XJ.

Unlike you wrote, you CAN gain significant gains in MPG, and even power with diesel engines. Depending on the engine and its age, it might be a very simple engine with just a few wires, put a manual or auto tranny behind it, adapter plate and the TC of your choise. Itcan have as much, or even more low-end torque as the beloved 4.0

But you have to remember, that when doing such a swap, it might take a LONG time to cover the swap costs by the reduced fuel consumption. It can even take forever So you really gotta think if there is a point in doing such a swap or not.

Just MPG-wise to save money, I'd say no unless you can get your engine/tranny/brainbox/etc... very cheap. If you want a diesel because of the simplicity of it, you need to buy an old-school (turbo)diesel than can be easily tuned for good performance. As they need pretty much no electrical stuff (glow plugs, starter, that's about it), with a snorkel you can run them in almost anywhere. Those engines don't care if you submerge them under water or mud for half a day or more

Would I do a diesel swap? Nope. Why? Because I don't want to. I don't do mudding/ submerge my XJ under water that much, so I can live with a computer controlled engine. If I did swap to a diesel? It'd be a merc I6 from early 80s. Great little engines they are. Would I swap to a 2.7crd or 3.0 crd.. nope, propably not unless I got it for free.

I'd stay away from the 2.5 and 2.8 Cherokee/ Liberty inline-4 diesels, they are built by VM Motori and will develop a whole lot of problems if they have been even slightly mis-treated in their earlier life. The 2.7crds have a tendency to crack intake manifolds (plastic), and also injectors/ injector units are known to crap out on you. Spare parts are very expensive.
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Unread 08-11-2010, 05:33 PM   #7
tjjeepwrench978
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6.5 gm diesel toilet bowl, those motors r slopppy junk, CUmmins 4bt excellent tunability, rock solid, upgradeable with komatsu injectors bigger turbos etc etc....same thing as a 5.9 2 less cylinders, usually around 1000 bucks ands you can bolt up the zf ford trannys, or adapt, The newer crd you will be paying around 3g's for from a yard....unless you know someone...Why bother tho 4.0 can be great with some simple mods , everyone around here has 350 swaps in their xjs
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Unread 08-12-2010, 06:11 AM   #8
BigBass
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Ill grant you that you can tweak more performance out of the early cummings then the Detroit diesels however, the gm motors, are very easy to find a tranny for, a few hundred pounds lighter then the cummings, you can easily use or modify chevy small block motor mounts and you can find them cheaper a lot of time too. even though you can get stupid amounts of power out of them they still have plenty there especially with a jeep, you would have a great power to weight ratio
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Unread 08-15-2010, 08:24 PM   #9
JdStroke
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The 6.5 is junk they have had so many problems all it is is a 350 made to run off diesel.....
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Unread 08-16-2010, 12:13 PM   #10
BigBass
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No its actually not. They stopped making those motors in the 70's. The 6.2l replaced that and the 6.5 added some electronics to it. The 6.2 and 6.5 were designed to fit in roughly the same space as 350 o they could put it in most gm vehicles. The biggest issue with the 6.5 was the emu cooking but they make a remote mounting kit for that. If you try to crank to much power out of it with out replacing head bolts for studs you can stretch the head bolts.
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Unread 08-16-2010, 12:28 PM   #11
xjfever
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It would be much less complicated to drop in a 4.7L stroker.
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Unread 08-16-2010, 01:52 PM   #12
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I've done some homework into this as I would like to one day make the "black smoke".....

To get good info instead of speculation and brand loyalty, I would go to a diesel swap forum. There are a couple out there. I got alot of good info on Diesel bombers. There are lots of peopl who have been swapping diesels into all kinds of vehicles, including cherokees and wranglers.

There is a guy here on JF that put a 4Bt into his wrangler. He's in TN and claims to get around 37 mpg on 36's I think. I've talked to him a coulpe of times via PM. He's really knoledgable and seems to like to help.

As far as canididate engines for the swap.......lots of ppl like the 4Bt, only problem is you will need to use a manuel tranny with it like an NV4500. not much electronics needed here but they can be pricy...2500-4500 unless you find one in a vehicle.

Others like the 5cylinder merc. engines, found in the mid-late 80's 300d's I think....these you can use an auto tranny but will need a divorced transfer case. Also I wouldn't expect too much more than about 30 mpg's out of it. The cars these came from were about the same weight as the XJ.

Good luck and if you do it......post it...
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Unread 09-13-2010, 02:35 PM   #13
devildog6133
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deisel engine swap

i hav an 04 wj with a 4.0 i was thinking about dropping a 4bt in. however i do not have the expertise required to do it my self. need advice on a good solid simple auto trany
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Unread 09-14-2010, 11:31 AM   #14
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I am one of the guys on Diesel Bombers that has done the swap with a 5cy Benz 3l turbo diesel. I absolutely love this swap! I adapted it to an s10 700r4 (mine had the V6 auto). The first motor turned out to have a cracked piston, but even with a wounded motor it hauls and is getting 25 mpg in stock tune with mud tires. I just picked up a "new" doner car for $500, drove it around for 3 days to make sure it is good, just pulled the motor yesterday and should get it swaped soon. I expect at least 30+mpg with this motor. These motors act like gassers, they like to rev-5300-plus they are quiet and don't vibrate much. Another added plus is you can run these things on waste veggy oil for FREE! Other guys have used these motors with 5spds and gotten mid 30s. I did the swap just for fun, but am glad I did and have only $1500 total in it, looking to do a ranger 2wd next.
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Unread 09-14-2010, 04:11 PM   #15
Phil12
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My other car is an 83 Mercedes diesel so I would love to find an old Mercedes 5 cylinder turbo diesel and put it in the Jeep but I think the fabrication would be more than I want to bother with. If you go with a diesel remember to look at how much the engine weighs because some of them can be to much for the front suspension to handle.
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