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Unread 10-13-2013, 12:59 PM   #1
ecu2005
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V8 Engine Swap

I need suggestions on engine swaps...wanting to take out 2.5 liter and drop a V8 in my 1995 YJ Rio Grande...need help

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Unread 10-13-2013, 01:36 PM   #2
SeanB95YJ
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any brand preference? how do you mostly use your YJ? do you want an auto trans or manual? what's your skill level?

a chevy 5.7L (350) will be your most common, and being most common for swaps, available support is probably best for a Chevy transplant. Replacement parts (both the stock and performance varieties) are plentiful and relatively inexpensive (compared to Ford or Mopar, though Ford isn't too far behind with the 302 and 351)

of course you could go small block ford or mopar. certainly they are available, and enough swaps of these have been done that you SHOULD be able to find information if you need.

one thing you WILL need in addition to the obvious is a replacement rear axle... a Ford Explorer 8.8 or stronger to be able to handle the power/torque of the bigger motor.
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Unread 10-13-2013, 03:09 PM   #3
SunDevilJeeper
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^ What he said

Need more info for suggestions.
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Unread 10-14-2013, 09:42 AM   #4
Plato2k5
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Budget?

I put a mild mopar 360 la in my yj. Love it. I run a standalone computer so no carburetor.
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Unread 10-14-2013, 10:09 AM   #5
mudsweatNgearz
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Chevy 350 damm near falls in by itself. Melt some new mounts on, give her some fuel, hook up a few wires and bada-bing bada-bang fire that chit up!
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Unread 10-14-2013, 11:00 AM   #6
bashbro
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Dont mean to hijack, but what is the best way to procure a 5.7L/350? Obviously want to pull as much as possible out of one drive train. Been to a junkyard twice before looking for odds & ends but I would have a hard time knowing what to look for in a sea o scrap.
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Unread 10-14-2013, 11:04 AM   #7
06-TJ
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one thing you could do is find an older ford explorer with a v8 at junk yard, and pull its rear axle out with it. youll walk with a 8.8 axle and a v8 for pretty cheap.
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Unread 10-14-2013, 11:23 AM   #8
Toms87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bashbro View Post
Dont mean to hijack, but what is the best way to procure a 5.7L/350? Obviously want to pull as much as possible out of one drive train. Been to a junkyard twice before looking for odds & ends but I would have a hard time knowing what to look for in a sea o scrap.
Buy a whole truck with the engine and transmission combo you're looking for.
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Unread 10-14-2013, 11:47 AM   #9
jagular7
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Swapping in a v8 is not for an in-experienced diyer.
Not only will the engine be swapped, the trans as well. Then, with your 21-spline input tcase (due to being a 4cyl YJ) will more than likely require adapters to mate to new 4wd trans, or swapped as well. Then with all this swapped - motor and trans mounts will be required (might as well do skid plate separate from crossmember) driveshafts, cooling (radiator), electronics (ecm, fuel pump), and then adaptation to ps box with hoses.
As others have eluded, the stock axles won't hold well to a heavier and higher hp/tq driveline. So those will require swap out, but with a heavier driveline, the front suspension will show it. This requires lift. So basically, you start off with a basic 4cyl stock YJ (or slightly mod'd), then you get yourself into at least $4-5k in additions to get the engine/driveline with all its collateral effects it has. With all this, don't forget tires and wheels, brakes, steering, lockers, gears, shocks, that will associate to axle swaps. All this is dependent on the level(s) you mod each aspect of the swap. There are areas where its not required, but in time, you will be doing the additional mod anyways, ie, you can swap in a 8.8 from explorer and keep the front D30 - this matches lug pattern so your current wheels will swap along with the tires.

Find a 4x4 shop in your local area. Owners there usually have a v8 swapped into their own vehicle play vehicle (and probably a Jeep). They can show you their build, what they fixed, mod'd, shoe-horned, etc and give you a realistic cost to doing all this as a shop.
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Unread 10-14-2013, 04:05 PM   #10
Jim93YJ
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Concur with Mike. I opted to work with Novak Conversions to source an engine and get most of what I needd for the engine swap. I had a local guy to a dyno tune on the 4.8L LR4 I swapped in as well as a local exhaust shop run the custom exhaust needed. Novak, however, will get the reflash close on the PCM if you do not have a dyno near you. Novak made the conversion possible in 6 weeks as opposed to 6 months to a year if you sourced everything yourself. You do, however, pay a little convenience fee to have them source most of what you will need but I say it is worth it. I would say there package has about 90% of the swap figured out. They have come a long way in their complete package offering since I worked with them like a PCM bracket option, improved pilot bearing, and improved radiator and radiator bracket design. The big effort is wiring, mainly, if you go fuel injected but is a breeze if you have the factory service manual wiring diagrams. Prior to the swap, however, I upgraded the rear end and transmission in preparation for the swap. Was completely worth it as I had the 2.5L prior. In the end, the only way this is really worth it is if you plan on keeping your jeep for the forseeable future. Otherwise, just buy one with a 6 cylinder as that is a cheaper route in the long run given the expense and time needed to do the swap.

Jim
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Unread 10-14-2013, 04:32 PM   #11
Randonexplosion
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6 months to a year is a bit of a stretch, I had mine driving to the exhaust shop in about 3 months, and I sourced everything myself once I had the stock Chevy drivetrain.

And on the weight issue, there is none. I actually shaved off some weight from my old 4.2. The difference is negligable.
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Unread 10-14-2013, 06:21 PM   #12
Maine1994ZJ
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Personally, I would think your best fit would be a '93-'95 V8 Grand Cherokee drivetrain transplant.
You'll be looking at a higher number of interchangeable parts(more so than SBC/SBF).
You can buy a rustbucket V8 ZJ donor for about $500 or so, swap the NP249(unless you get one with a good viscous coupling) for the NP231 you have(don't forget to swap the input shaft from the 249, cause the one in your 231 is too short), use both your stock front and rear drive shafts, it comes with all the necessary wiring and sensors that you need, plus you'll have a built in spot for your A/C to OBA compressor swap.

This is what I'm planning for my YJ within the next few years.
Sounds like less B.S. to me than looking for THIS part to make THAT part bolt up, etc., etc....

Also,
No offense, but I'm a firm believer in:
Chevy engines belong in Chevys, and Ford engines belong in Fords.
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Unread 10-14-2013, 07:48 PM   #13
Randonexplosion
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Im not against a Magnum swap, but saying someone should stick with a Mopar engine for that reason only is silly. Are all of your upgrades genuine Mopar? Does it not apply to my YJ because it is a mutt that was made by AMC?

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Unread 10-14-2013, 08:23 PM   #14
Maine1994ZJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randonexplosion View Post
Im not against a Magnum swap, but saying someone should stick with a Mopar engine for that reason only is silly. Are all of your upgrades genuine Mopar? Does it not apply to my YJ because it is a mutt that was made by AMC?

That was just my $0.02 on the SBC swap talk.
Mopar isn't YJ original either, but it seems like everyone wants to stick a SBC in anything with wheels.
Everyone has a SBC powered something-or-other.
I've seen 'em in everything from golf carts to motorcycles, and every custom street rod seems to have one under the hood.
Yeah they are cheap, easy to get power from on a budget, and reliable as any.
I just don't like to play like all the other kids on the playground.
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Unread 10-14-2013, 08:34 PM   #15
Randonexplosion
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I can appreciate that.

SBCs are a good motor, but if you are gonna swap in a V8, it might as well be FI. And it might as well be a Vortec
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