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Unread 09-27-2011, 12:30 PM   #1
yoyoyo109
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YJ V8 Swap

Howdy, i've always been looking to do a V8 swap on my 1995 YJ. it currently has a mostly stock drivetrain with a slip yoke eliminator and the AX15 transmission. well when i go off to a different college next year, i'm looking at either dropping a V8 in my yj or letting my dad keep it and getting a 70's pontiac firebird. while a muscle car like that would be alot of fun, i'd still prefer to keep my jeep so i was hoping some of yall could help me out with info

In my research, it's seemed like a novak conversions company will be the go to place for getting adapter plates and other stuff. It looks like I'll be able to keep the AX-15 which is preferable. I've also been figuring i'll get an LS1 engine from somewhere and use that inside. also can anyone from experience list some pros and cons to the swap? I've been hoping it would increase mpg since it wouldn't have to work as hard to move my jeep (right now i average 12/13.4)
any help would be nice

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Unread 09-27-2011, 12:36 PM   #2
texas_yj
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while v8s are cool, and I've been aquiring parts myself, you should never do one for gas milage reasons. you will never, ever, ever recoup the cost of the v8 swap in gas $ saving in your jeeps lifetime, still I'm going to do it anyways too
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Unread 09-27-2011, 12:42 PM   #3
MLJeeper
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You can certainly use the AX-15 but keep in mind, it is a medium duty trans. An LS1 would be a lot of motor for an AX-15.
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Your limited slip differential sucks.

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Any video of the sound?
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Unread 09-27-2011, 09:51 PM   #4
yoyoyo109
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it recently was rebuilt so it has new gears in it. i don't know if the newer gears will be any stronger than the old ones but i realize this. is ther anything i should do excluding getting a new transmission?

and texas, i'm doing it for the power, sound and speed boost a v8 will bring. extra gas mileage is just a bonus i'm hoping for haha
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Unread 09-27-2011, 10:14 PM   #5
Fin_Reaper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texas_yj View Post
while v8s are cool, and I've been aquiring parts myself, you should never do one for gas milage reasons. you will never, ever, ever recoup the cost of the v8 swap in gas $ saving in your jeeps lifetime, still I'm going to do it anyways too
My experience - parted out my 4.2 engine with HO head for $750. Purchased strong 5.2, harness and pcm for $750. Needed the ancillary equipment (bell, swapped rad inlet/outlet, etc).

Fuel mileage went from 10 to 15+ as long as I keep my foot out of it. It won't take long to recoup my costs.
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Unread 09-27-2011, 10:28 PM   #6
yoyoyo109
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fin, did you do the swap yourself? and i'm not sure what you mean by parted out. my 95 has the stock 4.0 in it. did you stick with the factory transmission? if so hows that been holding up? and where did you pick the 5.2 up? junkyard? craigslist?
by the way, i'm going to be looking for something with EFI
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Unread 09-28-2011, 06:11 AM   #7
MLJeeper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoyoyo109 View Post
fin, did you do the swap yourself? and i'm not sure what you mean by parted out. my 95 has the stock 4.0 in it. did you stick with the factory transmission? if so hows that been holding up? and where did you pick the 5.2 up? junkyard? craigslist?
by the way, i'm going to be looking for something with EFI
There are a lot of different FI small block chevys out there. Even the old TBI 350s make good torque. From what I understand the AX-15 is pretty reliable for the 300 to 325 ft./lbs torque area. The vortec im swapping in makes 290 ft/lbs at 2800 rpm. Thats plenty for my wheeling and should not destroy the ax-15 unless I drive it like an idiot. The LS1s are in the 400 ft./lb area IIRC. I think some of the earlier LS1s were in the 325 ft/lb area but most people are not thinking of these when they say LS1. LOL
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Your limited slip differential sucks.

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Any video of the sound?
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Unread 09-28-2011, 07:32 AM   #8
Fin_Reaper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoyoyo109 View Post
fin, did you do the swap yourself? and i'm not sure what you mean by parted out. my 95 has the stock 4.0 in it. did you stick with the factory transmission? if so hows that been holding up? and where did you pick the 5.2 up? junkyard? craigslist?
by the way, i'm going to be looking for something with EFI
I did do it myself. I disassembled the 4.2 and sold the parts (easier to ship and made more $).

I am running the AX-15 and it is good. I'm using a 231/300 behind it and absolutely love that combo. I found the 5.2 at the JY out of a 96 Ram 2wd manual pu, and was able to get extra parts from the same vehicle (i.e. evap can, throttle cable, starter) for no additional cost. I just told the guys what I was doing and they said to come back if I find something I'm missing. They told me compression was 180-190 and I verified once I got it home. Worked out pretty good.
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Unread 09-28-2011, 06:23 PM   #9
yoyoyo109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fin_Reaper View Post
I did do it myself. I disassembled the 4.2 and sold the parts (easier to ship and made more $).

I am running the AX-15 and it is good. I'm using a 231/300 behind it and absolutely love that combo. I found the 5.2 at the JY out of a 96 Ram 2wd manual pu, and was able to get extra parts from the same vehicle (i.e. evap can, throttle cable, starter) for no additional cost. I just told the guys what I was doing and they said to come back if I find something I'm missing. They told me compression was 180-190 and I verified once I got it home. Worked out pretty good.
Where did you get the parts to adapt it to the AX15? also how well did everything fit? do you have any pictures?
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Unread 09-28-2011, 07:55 PM   #10
stevehoj
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AMC V8; 360's are a nice combo.

I went 0.060" over 401. "Almost" a bolt in deal, frame - motor mount ears were welded.
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Unread 09-28-2011, 09:04 PM   #11
Fin_Reaper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoyoyo109 View Post
Where did you get the parts to adapt it to the AX15? also how well did everything fit? do you have any pictures?
I used a bell from a 94-95ish Dakota 3.9 V6 (which also used an AX-15). Bolted up to the 5.2 and AX-15 directly. I also used novaks motor mounts.

There are some pics in this thread.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/w...-done-1245888/
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Unread 09-29-2011, 09:24 AM   #12
yoyoyo109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fin_Reaper View Post
I used a bell from a 94-95ish Dakota 3.9 V6 (which also used an AX-15). Bolted up to the 5.2 and AX-15 directly. I also used novaks motor mounts.

There are some pics in this thread.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/w...-done-1245888/
looks really good! so the bell from a 94ish dakota will connect the ax15 and a 5.2 from a dodge ram perfectly? Sounds like a good deal, I'll have to keep that in mind when shopping around. How has the performance been? anything "bad" about the swap? (malfunctions and other problems)
somewhere i saw that the swap would move the entire drivetrain forwards by about 1.5 to 3 inches. Is that why you built your own skid plate?
Also, how much did the entire swap roughly cost you if you don't mind me asking? I'd like to have some prices to keep in mind when researching
Lastly, being that this is my daily driver, you said you went from 10 to 15+. is that highway or city?
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Unread 09-29-2011, 07:28 PM   #13
Fin_Reaper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoyoyo109 View Post
looks really good! so the bell from a 94ish dakota will connect the ax15 and a 5.2 from a dodge ram perfectly? Sounds like a good deal, I'll have to keep that in mind when shopping around. How has the performance been? anything "bad" about the swap? (malfunctions and other problems)
somewhere i saw that the swap would move the entire drivetrain forwards by about 1.5 to 3 inches. Is that why you built your own skid plate?
Also, how much did the entire swap roughly cost you if you don't mind me asking? I'd like to have some prices to keep in mind when researching
Lastly, being that this is my daily driver, you said you went from 10 to 15+. is that highway or city?
The swap was well worth it - power is incredible compared to my stock 112 hp 4.2. I did move mine forward to accommodate my doubler. I kept the same driveshafts (f&r) and just had to move my rear axle back 1".

Cost is somewhat clouded because of the doubler. RAC was $700...

Engine, pcm, harness, throttle cable, evap can - $750
Bell - $40
Motor Mounts ~ $140
Blockhugger headers - $200 + $75 to have them ceramic coated
Flowmaster Exhaust (3") - $25 from JY and too loud...
New clutch slave/Advance Adap fitting =- $50
New clutch line - $30
Converting radiator - $155
New Rad hoses - $40
Dakota air hat - $10
5.2 G-Chero regulated fuel rail - $20
93 YJ fuel pump/pickup/level sensor - $75
Fuel line - $50
Home built aluminum plenum cover fix - $10
Skid steel/alum - $125

Lots of nickel and dollar items as you can see... I did my own wiring, welding, and install which saved a bundle.
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Unread 10-06-2011, 01:14 PM   #14
yoyoyo109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fin_Reaper View Post
The swap was well worth it - power is incredible compared to my stock 112 hp 4.2. I did move mine forward to accommodate my doubler. I kept the same driveshafts (f&r) and just had to move my rear axle back 1".

Cost is somewhat clouded because of the doubler. RAC was $700...

Engine, pcm, harness, throttle cable, evap can - $750
Bell - $40
Motor Mounts ~ $140
Blockhugger headers - $200 + $75 to have them ceramic coated
Flowmaster Exhaust (3") - $25 from JY and too loud...
New clutch slave/Advance Adap fitting =- $50
New clutch line - $30
Converting radiator - $155
New Rad hoses - $40
Dakota air hat - $10
5.2 G-Chero regulated fuel rail - $20
93 YJ fuel pump/pickup/level sensor - $75
Fuel line - $50
Home built aluminum plenum cover fix - $10
Skid steel/alum - $125

Lots of nickel and dollar items as you can see... I did my own wiring, welding, and install which saved a bundle.
That doesn't sound too bad at all compared to what most people imply a swap will cost. have there been any significant issues related to the swap? mostly with the axle displacement. i know right now my tires tend to rub the fender flares a bit so if possible i'd want to leave both axles where they were haha
Do you ever put alot of power on the AX15? i realize a jeep will never be a car that should really be raced, but when i go out to my farm during holidays, i tend to floor it on the long desolate roads being that there's no one around. any idea just how much the AX 15 would be able to take before it kills itself?
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Unread 10-17-2011, 03:36 AM   #15
mike_breaker_5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoyoyo109 View Post
looks really good! so the bell from a 94ish dakota will connect the ax15 and a 5.2 from a dodge ram perfectly? Sounds like a good deal, I'll have to keep that in mind when shopping around. How has the performance been? anything "bad" about the swap? (malfunctions and other problems)
somewhere i saw that the swap would move the entire drivetrain forwards by about 1.5 to 3 inches. Is that why you built your own skid plate?
Also, how much did the entire swap roughly cost you if you don't mind me asking? I'd like to have some prices to keep in mind when researching
Lastly, being that this is my daily driver, you said you went from 10 to 15+. is that highway or city?
the only downfall i see from my swap is the fact that the starter is put on the drivers side. for the way i wiggled the motor around in the engine bay it created less than 2" of clearance from the front ds to the starter bump.

like i said i know it was other positioning decisions i made that created this. i plan on soa d60's next year so the sacrifice of a winter with little front flex was a non issue, just a temporary annoyance. i welded on 2"higher tub outriggers on the frame for a body lift free body lift. this allowed a true flat skid to be installed i also lifted the motor 4". my oil pan is about level with the top of my front axle tube. this created an undesirable front ds angle (nearly flat). however after the soa this will be resolved. just something to think about while mocking up your motor positioning.
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