I started my build with a 97 TJ, 4cyl, ax5. I blew the 4cyl and was hell bent on doing a 4.3 chevy vortec swap!! I started off with a junk yard motor....*** deep in the build that motor siezed up, and the transmission I had, a 700r4 was left at a friends shop where I had welded in the motor mount that ended up dissappearing. There went $400.
I bought another 4.3, 4L60e($500) and began the swap again. I went with Howell EFI custom wiring harnes($550), and getting my computer flashed and reprogrammed by LT1swap.com($75). After getting this motor mounted I realized my stock TJ radiator wasnt going to work. I bought a Champion racing 3 core radiator($225) to keep things cool. I got this motor running, but it was running ruff. I replaced the spider injection system($190) this helped but didnt cure my problem. I went with a inline high pressure holley fuel pump($275). Motor was running but now running hot.....blown head gaskets($60 gasket kit, $150 to get the heads checked and planed, $40 head studs). I was able to get it all put back together and take the jeep out for its maiden run. I got to wheel a whole entire hour before I spun 3 of the 4 main bearings!!!
So, bought a running in the vehical motor for $600 at a local yard. I brought it home and installed it with in the weekend, while making all my final once overs under the hood, I smelled that awful white bluish smoke. The motor had over heated. I did another head gasket job($60 gaskets, $150 head work, $40 new studs). This didnt fix all my problems with this motor, I know had a ring or two stuck so the jeep continuislly smoked. Time to do things right, I broke down and bought a full rebuild kit from summit racing($509).
I took the motor to a local guy that builds street rods and classic cars, he charged me $250 to rebuild it since i had taken the motor out for him.
I got the rebuilt motor back and was hooking everything up and noticed the high pressure fuel line had a kink in it from being taken on and off so many times. I went to my local NAPA store and had them build me a custom high pressure hose($100), worked flawlessly! Since I was thinking the motor is now new, she needs new water pump($60), a new power steering pump($158), and finally a new alternator($70).
So, lesson learned was that when doing a project one needs to fully research what it all entails including the cost. You might think a junk yard motor is great because you got a steal of a price, but it is way easier to rebuild it before going thru all the trouble installing it and tearing it down multiple times. I love working on my jeep, but I should have been enjoing it instead of it sitting for nearly two years.
I installed Rock Sliders, Rock Ready steering box skid, Aussie locker in the front, Ten Factory axle seals, custom Eqquis 8000 white face gauges, Warn VR8000 winch, Solid rear diff cover, Novak transfercase shift linkage, stubbed and welded all the holes in on factory front bumper, and I am sure I am missing others as the list continues to build!