The 258/4.2 'I have no experience with an engine swap thread'... -

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post #1 of 14 Old 03-23-2015, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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The 258/4.2 'I have no experience with an engine swap thread'...

So I've been posting in here about finding an engine to swap into my 1984 CJ7. The current one threw a rod, and while I don't know to what extent the damage is, I don't think I have the tools, knowledge, or patience to rebuild that engine.

I am awaiting to find an engine that I can swap in. They're few and far between and I'm on a very tight budget so I am waiting for the right one to come across.

in the meantime.. I figured I could start work on pulling the old one. My experience with working on cars is pretty basic but I am competent and know that I can do this on my own with the right direction. My limited experience with working on cars is more born from the willingness and money to pay someone else to do it than anything else.

So I guess my first question is.. where do I begin? Does anyone have a helpful thread to point me towards or should I just keep this one open and ask my questions in here? Are there any tips that you could provide during this whole process?

My goal is to get the engine to the point where I could quickly remove it. When I find an engine, a friend is going to lend me his hoist for 4-5 days to make the switch. Right now I want to get it up to that point.

I appreciate the help. I am coming here and asking because I heard that even someone like me could make this happen with the helpful folks on this forum.

Here we go.

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post #2 of 14 Old 03-23-2015, 08:24 PM
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You might start by identifying everything that must be disconnected from the engine before removal. Label each thing so you know what it is connected to no matter how trivial it may seem right now, then photograph each thing you will disconnect.

Disconnect the battery. Drain the coolant from the engine. You might also consider removing the radiator, grill, and fenders.

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post #3 of 14 Old 03-23-2015, 08:27 PM
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If the transmission is coming out with the engine, remove the shift lever knob, boot, pull shift lever out of the transmission, and remove the transmission tunnel cover. If the transmission comes out, the transfer case might also need to come out so pull that boot and shift levers too. You will need to disconnect the front and rear driveshafts if the transfer case comes out. You'll also need to unscrew the speedo cable from the t-case, and remove the reverse switch wire from the transmission.

Drain the transmission oil before unbolting it from the t-case. Ask me how I know

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post #4 of 14 Old 03-24-2015, 03:57 AM
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My suggestion would be to do nothing until you have the new engine in hand. Especially if you are not a mechanic. The quicker you do the entire job the easier it will be.

An engine swap in these things is pretty easy, and you should be able o pull the old engine in a couple of hours, so there is no need to start tearing it apart yet.

Better to install when the removal is fresh on your mind. Plus , you're less apt to lose things.

Just my 2 cents.
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-24-2015, 05:04 AM
Mike Romain
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I did my swap in a weekend in a neighbours garage. It doesn't take long and I fully second waiting until you have the new engine before disconnecting everything. It is so much easier to put back together when the tear down is fresh in your mind. Even with lots of photos and everything labeled.

Now things like draining coolant and fluids and removing the radiator can be done, but there are a lot of wires and hoses up top....

When I did my swap, I was on a budget and needed it done in a timely matter. I found a 4.0 HO from a rusted out 93 Grand Cherokee for $100.00. I spent $50.00 for an electric pump, $50.00 to hook up the 4.0 exhaust to the CJ exhaust and put all my 258 stuff on the 4.0 staying carb and V-belt. Took a weekend for the swap, but I do have wrench turning experience.

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post #6 of 14 Old 03-24-2015, 07:21 AM
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What's already been mentioned is excellent advice.

I hadn't worked on a vehicle much before owning mine. Only maintenance items like replacing brakes, calipers, etc. I did my research and read everything I could find. Took notes and grabbed photos to put together my own checklist and suggested processes. I've since swapped out my axle, tranny and engine for fuel injection. There are always bumps but further research or others on the forum will help you through it quickly.

I also waited until I had my new engine prepped and ready to go before performing the swap. Labeling even the most simple connections is beneficial. I put bolts right back into their original locations once the component was removed. Made it very easy to keep track of everything. I bought most everything I needed a head of time off of my list which also saved from taking a break and running out to get a particular component.

What type of engine or which models are looking for?
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-24-2015, 11:27 AM
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Photograph your engine compartment from every angle in excruciating detail. Also I measured the width and depth of my oil pan and built two wooden "cradles" for each motor to rest in. Less likely to damage stuff that way and holds them while you swap flywheels, etc. Take your time and remove everything including the exhaust to make it easier. I managed to crack a bell housing because I was too busy trying to fit headers around a motor mount. Shoulda just removed them.

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258,T-5, D300, NT AMC-20 & Dana 30 (4.10)
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-24-2015, 11:38 AM
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Pictures, pictures, pictures, then mark/tag everything. But tags can get lost or fall off, then you'll be thankful for the pics. I can see your wanting to get things done now so your not pressed for time later, but how well is your memory? The longer between tearing it apart and putting it back together, the more you'll forget, especially if this is your first time. Hence the pics and tags. If you want to start now I suggest, in addition to pics and tags, to log down every step so later you can reverse the sequence and you also don't forget things to do.

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post #9 of 14 Old 03-24-2015, 12:23 PM
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In the Engine section of the Factory Service Manual there is a 20 step procedure outlined for removing the engine. And the same for installing.

I highly recommend it.

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post #10 of 14 Old 03-25-2015, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the replies. All very valid points and I will wait until I have an engine before performing any of this work.

It all sounds very intimidating and overwhelming.. but I'm hoping with the help of you folks I can get it done.

As for which engine I'm looking for.. I want to make the easiest job possible so I'm looking for the same thing that's in it. 258/4.2. I honestly don't know much about engines.. so this should be quite the experience. If anyone has any leads let me know. I'm hoping to find a pretty reliable engine.. but then.. aren't we all?
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post #11 of 14 Old 03-25-2015, 06:39 AM
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Too bad you're so far away because I'm selling mine.
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post #12 of 14 Old 03-25-2015, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Haven't you ever wanted to visit Oregon? Ha!
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post #13 of 14 Old 03-25-2015, 08:06 PM
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If you are tight on cash and buy another engine cheap you wont really know its service history, it may even throw a rod again and that would suck bad. There's some comfort knowing you put it together and what went into it. Throw it up on the stand and see what you can do.

I had never rebuilt a vehicle or rebuilt an engine before my CJ. I had very basic mechanic skills, a garage and a decent set of sockets my old man handed down to me. I asked a ton of questions here, read up on several threads and youtube videos. Took it all apart to learn how it works and put it back together. Rebuild kit and machine work on the block, head rebuild cost me about $1300 and 2.5 months of time. I probably spent another $2-$300 on hoists and specialty tools etc. Feel free to ask questions here and we can help.
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20141104_154751.jpg   20150115_175506.jpg  

'78 Rebuilt 4.2 258, T150, Spicer 20, Dana 30 front, AMC 20 rear
'80 CJ7 frame
Corrected: '84 CJ Tub
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post #14 of 14 Old 03-25-2015, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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I definitely agree with that.. but I also remember seeing that I can buy a rebuild for just that much without having to do all of the work.

I have little money in the short term. I love the idea of having something rebuilt and now having to worry as much about it. If I can't find something before May then I may end up purchasing something rebuilt by a shop and then swapping myself.
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