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Unread 01-02-2010, 07:03 PM   #1
lt_liverdamage
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 5
Looking into 4.2 to 318 (5.2) Magnum Swap

Hey folks. So my old 89 Islander died on me, it would still run but it just wouldn't start normally, I'd have to hook up a battery pack to it everytime I wanted to drive it, it was just getting old and tired I guess, it just couldn't start on its own. So I went out, got myself a cheap little ford go-kart to beat on while I save and rebuild my YJ to make it bigger, faster, stronger...all that lee majors crapola.
So I've been thinking, I need to start planning this out, so I know how much to save, and what I want to get when it's time.
I was thinking stick with Mopar and get a 5.2L Magnum V8 for it. I need to change out the transmission, 2nd gear has always been problematic. But i want to stay with a manual, I'd like to stick with a 5 speed, but a 4 speed will be just as good. Want to keep 4wd for wintertime. I don't do any off-road driving. A small lift, maybe 3 inches, larger tires and wheels, a disc conversion on the rear, larger discs up front. Then the next question is to coil over or not to coil over?
So here are my questions in a nutshell.
Has anyone already done a 5.2 Magnum conversion? If so how was it? How does it run? How difficult was it?
What Transmission to get? Can I keep the stock transfer case?
Any suggestions for anything else would be greatly appreciated. All my car friends are exactly that, cars, they don't do jeeps, they don't work on them, they don't even really like riding in mine (they don't like the pacific blue color, but too bad I'm so keeping it even though I have TONS of body work to do!)
But I love my jeep and want to do the best I can with it. So any help/constructive criticism is hugely appreciated!

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Unread 01-02-2010, 07:12 PM   #2
SeanB95YJ
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Schenectady, New York
Posts: 1,185
Might want to look to see if you can find a Dakota or Ram 4x4 with 5.2 and 5spd.... you'll then be able to (I believe) take the engine and tranny out in one shot, along with the necessary computer stuff. You'll have a tranny capable of handling the v8 power (NV3550 I believe, or possibly NV4500) and, if your T-case doesn't bolt up, I believe you can get an adapter from either Novak or Advance Adapters.

You'd be better off rather than dumping $500 or more into converting your D35 rear to disc brakes, get an 8.8 out of an explorer, or even something larger (9", GM 12 or 14 bolt, Dana 44 or 60) that already has discs on it.... you'll save on not having to do a disc conversion, and you'll have an axle that can actually handle the added power.

Good luck.
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[FONT="Comic Sans MS"][COLOR="Blue"]Sean B. - Schenectady, NY - 95 YJ, 350/700r4/NP241, JB Shorty SYE, 8.8 rear, 2" BDS, 1" homebrew shackles, Daystar 1" BL, TJ flares, 35x12.50 General Grabber AT2 on 15x10 Bart D-Truckers, Polyshield polycarbonate windshield, HD over/under crossover steering
[/COLOR] [COLOR="Red"]swap/build thread: [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/after-almost-4-years-finally-my-own-build-swap-thread-1542284/[/url][/COLOR][/FONT]
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Unread 01-02-2010, 11:40 PM   #3
wickedoffroad
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1987 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Clarkston, Washington
Posts: 297
I just finished installing a 318 out of a 78 dodge 3/4 ton. The original plan was to put an 5.2 out of a dakota into but had such a hard time with the wiring that I went old school. I think it fits well and has all the power I could want but think for the money and effort a 350 would be an easier swap.
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Unread 01-03-2010, 02:11 AM   #4
wendell
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1987 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: grafton ohio
Posts: 3,292
The ford 8.8 out of the explorer is plenty strong, it has the big bearing and 32 spline axles. It's used in the F-150 and the mustang GT, even the 500 hp shelby for that matter. I'm glad to see that you are using a MOPAR engine. I wouldn't want a chevy engine in my jeep either, "heck", I don't even want a chevy engine in a chevy ha ha!! Good luck on the swap.
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Unread 01-03-2010, 11:36 AM   #5
lt_liverdamage
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 5
I actually have started thinking maybe getting a newer 4.7L and I've also been scouring junkyards for full vehicles. If I can find a good wrecked Grand Cherokee or Ram or Dakota with the right engine and transmission combination, I might be able to do this for a really decent price. There was this junkyard in Washington State that after cost of the parts and shipping I was looking at about $2700 for the engine and transmission, it's the rear axle that I'm starting to worry about, I think I'd like to stay with Dana and put a 44 in back, but based on what you guys are saying I won't have to change the 30 up front yes? And now I can't remember if because my 89 came with the tow package if I already have a 44 in back...if I remember correctly, I do have a Canadian VIN and it is an Islander package with the tow option, and I think those are the ones that came with the Dana 44?
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Unread 01-10-2010, 12:23 PM   #6
73Dart
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Shelby, NC
Posts: 620
Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedoffroad View Post
I just finished installing a 318 out of a 78 dodge 3/4 ton. The original plan was to put an 5.2 out of a dakota into but had such a hard time with the wiring that I went old school. I think it fits well and has all the power I could want but think for the money and effort a 350 would be an easier swap.
Which tranny did you use?
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89 YJ with a 5.2l V8, 5 Speed ax-15, RC aals giving me 1.5" of lift plus 1" lift shackles giving me a total of 2.5" of lift, 31x10.5x15 A/T tires, no carpet, rinolined tub, Family style roll bar.

My motor swap thread
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Unread 01-11-2010, 10:35 AM   #7
wickedoffroad
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1987 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Clarkston, Washington
Posts: 297
Quote:
Originally Posted by 73Dart View Post
Which tranny did you use?
I used the NP 435 that was originally installed in the 78 Dodge. It has a super low or granny gear, ranging at 6.6:1 i believe. I used a NP 205 instead of the NP 203 due to the YJ front pumpkin being a drivers side versus passenger side. I was able to use the Original skid plate from the dodge and the center bolt hole on the wrangler to mount it.
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