I've decided that my yearly project this year should be a v8 swap. I did the 4.0 swap last spring because it was simple and fairly inexpensive as far as motor swaps go.
I wheel with guys in big full size trucks all the time, no rocks in MS just trail riding and mud
Don't get me wrong, the 4.0 is a huge improvement over the 2.5 turd that was in it when I bought it, but it just isn't enough for me. So, after studying the 318 5.2 magnum v8 swap, I decided that's the way to go and picked up a v8 at the local pull a part this past weekend from a Dodge v8 work van.
Here's the game plan for this build....
1. Get a 318 5.2 v8 engine for rebuild
2. Get OBD1 computer and wiring harness
3. Get a bellhousing from a v6 Dakota to adapt the AX-15 I already have to the small v8 and retain the NP231 t-case
4. Use 4.0 Jeep clutch set and pilot bearing
5. Finish building up full width D44 front and 8.8 rear with 4.10 gears
6. Waggy springs SOA
So after completing steps 1 and 2, I started cleaning up the engine this weekend and I notice this casting number on the side of the block...
The casting number shows that this engine is a 360 5.9, not the 318 5.2 that I thought it was! This is a huge monkey wrench in this project. I was expecting to keep the AX-15 with the 5.2 because I've read that it will handle mild v8 power, but check these specs out on the 5.9...
250 hp (190 kW) and 345 lb·ft
So my question is will the AX-15 hold up to that kinda power or not? My suspicion is it will not. I'm pretty sure it will still bolt up to it with the Dakota bellhousing.
Anyway, I'm going to be logging my findings and progress here over the next few months. My YJ isn't a daily driver, so I can take my time with it. I estimate it will take most of this spring and summer to finish because I only have weekends to work on it.
Wish me luck!!