5.3l XJ swap - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 6 Old 05-13-2013, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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1992 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: utica, new york
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5.3l XJ swap

This will get turned into a build thread down the road as soon as I figure out what I want and when I'll do it. Need to change up my build, I feel like all I ever do is weld on the thing. My 4.0 is starting to get a little wacked, ax-15 feels good as well as the np231

Couple concerns/thoughts:
-Will the stock 32psi fuel pump be able to feed the motor? Redoing my gas tank setup/skid really makes my skin crawl.

-What are the others running for trans/transfer? ax15/231, 4L60E/231, 4L60E/206, nv4500/231 ect. ect. ? Time is more of a concern than money, when I start this sometime in the fall I only want it down 2 months tops. I prefer a manual because I get more enjoyment out of it. If I could get away with 5.3/ax15/231 I would because I imagine it would be the least monkeying around.

-Any downsides to this swap? At all? Convince me its a waste of time and money.

-Whats the most annoying or time consuming part of the swap? I imagine building a cowl hood is probably high on the list along with the wiring.

-Whats the best vintage of this motor, I keep hearing newer is more powerful but I'm more interested in ease of swap and fuel efficiency. From what I remember the newer motors require a gas pedel switch, also not interested.

And lastly, how much did it cost you? I'd like to keep it under 3k, from what I've read that is quite doable. I can get a dressed motor for less than $500, any trans for $150, t case I think $100. My pick and pull is quite reasonable.

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post #2 of 6 Old 05-15-2013, 08:27 AM
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1987 YJ Wrangler 
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Will the stock 32psi fuel pump - I wouldn't count on it being able to feed a 5.3L at higher rpm's.


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post #3 of 6 Old 05-24-2013, 10:16 PM
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-02-2013, 10:59 PM
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1984 XJ Cherokee 
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This DD status? Or weekend beater? The ax15 would probably hold decent but I see the 231 dropping chunks. I'd go at least 241 if not a gear driven case(d300?). I'm currently working on a sm465/203/205 behind the tbi350. Won't be really high speed friendly. All depends on your needs and intended usage.

5.3 shouldn't be too thirsty, but check flow rates of each and compare.

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post #5 of 6 Old 06-02-2013, 11:31 PM
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2006 LJ Wrangler 
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5.3L require about 59 psi to run. you can use your stock stuff.... you just have to alter your fuel system to make it work. what exactly you have to do depends on year of 5.3 motor you get [ie one with fuel return system or one with returness rails] i have taken the time and have gotten both systems worked out. i have gathered all the pieces and will be making 'kits' up to make this part of the swap much less intimidating and easy. we designed and now make an adapter to use on your stock fuel tank that allows your pump to run max psi. then depending on the motor again, its either regulated at the rails or you have to put an inline regulator in. either system will require you to run a new return line into the tank.

the 231j will hold up in most cases, you can run a 231c [6 gear planetary, 1.25" wide chain] out of a chevy with the 4l60e if you go that 'automatic' route. you can mate the 231j and 231c cases as well.

the most cost effective way to go is a 99-04'sh vintage 5.3L with a 'drive by cable' throttle body. dont have to mess with electronic pedals, TAC boxes etc. i know you want a stick but going 5.3/4l60e/231c or 241 manual case is the easiest way to go. you dont have to buy any adapters. buying adapters for getting parts to mate can get expensive quickly.

i for see the at the start, the most difficult being taking the time to get the driveline 'set' and mounted in the cherokee engine bay. unlike wranglers you guys dont have the advantage of pulling off the front clip completely off. once you get the motor in, its getting all the other little stuff to work and fit that becomes annoying honestly.

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post #6 of 6 Old 06-04-2013, 10:26 AM
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1984 XJ Cherokee 
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Novak makes mount kit for old SBC. I haven't checked on 5.3 mounts. Wasn't hard to fit my 350/700r/ 241c. I got all mocked up in mine and set up buy change tranny and tcases before running it. I'll have sm465/203/205 And the 65mph will come just under 3k rpm. Not ideal for DD.

84 xj 350tbi, sm465, 203/205, 60/70. links and other junk.
what size sawzall blades does it take to fit 40's?
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