2.5 to 5.3 4l60E Swap / Build Thread - JeepForum.com
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Unread 01-01-2012, 07:10 PM   #1
clintrivera
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Pacific, Washington
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2.5 to 5.3 4l60E Swap / Build Thread

I picked up a 97 2.5L wrangler with 108K on it and a ton of work already done to it. It was pretty close to what I would have built myself so I figured let someone else dump $10K plus plenty of work.

This is what it had when I bought it:

5.5 Rubicon long arm lift with 3 link wishbone rear
Rubicon D44's front and rear with ARB front and Rubicon locker rear with 5.13's and alloy shafts.
37" Toyo MTR's
2" body lift
Warn 9000I
Super short SYE with Tom woods rear shaft
Custom rear bumper with tire carrier

Changes I've made so far:

Remove body lift
Trade 37" toyos for 35" MTR's

Planned mods

Front tube fenders, sliders, rear corner guards with tubes
Anti-rocks front and rear
3" Currie / Savy springs (already purchased)
Bilstein shocks
Limiting straps
New seats
Front bumper

And the biggie....


5.3 with 4l60E

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Unread 01-01-2012, 07:19 PM   #2
clintrivera
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I picked up the 5.3 a few days ago from a 2001 Silverado with 70K on the clock. It came with the ECU, full accessories (minus the starter and A/C) and the harness for $700. I also scored on a low millage 4l60E from a 2000 Tahoe with 60K on it for $400 a few weeks ago.

Here's what I'm starting with.






I started at 9am and by 10:30 I had this.



Had the engine, trans, and transfer case pulled by 12:30. Wranglers are super easy to pull engines since you can pull the entire front clip!

Before I pulled everything out I made a little reference mark to show where the transfer case was positioned forward and aft.



I started to weed through the factor wiring harness to eliminated everything I didn't need anymore. I'm keeping the factory ECU to run the guages.





I have ordered a bunch of parts and have quite a few left. I'm hoping to keep the budget somewhat in control yet do everything "right".
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Unread 01-01-2012, 07:26 PM   #3
jon1371usmc
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Looks like an awesome build.
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Unread 01-01-2012, 10:46 PM   #4
Ryanw10
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: West Olive, Michigan
Posts: 267
5.3L in a tj...funnest thing to drive. Im running 30" tires right now until I can afford some new tires and my 0-60 is about 5 seconds
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Unread 01-01-2012, 11:04 PM   #5
sduncan
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Bakersfield, California
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Looks like you are well on your way. Good luck and post plenty of pics.
For a GM swap I think that Advanced Adapters and Novak will be your new best friends...
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'98 TJ, 5.7 HEMI, 545RFE, G2 33 spl. D44, HP D30,ARBs,4.10s, RE 4.5 LA,Savvy 1.25 BL,35in MTRs w/Pro Comp 15x10 alloys, Warn 9.5 cti w/Amsteel rope, Gen Rite G3 Alumium front fenders and rear flares, Premier Power welder 195 amp,Savvy Rockers,Prothane bumps,LED tail lites, Rampage top
Link to my Hemi build thread http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/so...rsion-1277803/
YouTube video..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaDRq...&feature=g-upl
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Unread 01-02-2012, 07:37 PM   #6
Barrows
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Can't wait to see more.
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Unread 01-07-2012, 07:25 PM   #7
clintrivera
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Had a little setback. The wiring harness that came with the engine was a bit hacked and missing a few connectors. Rather than rummage through a junkyard or order new connectors I ordered up a new harness.

Started tearing the motor down for a little cleanup and inspection.

This is what I started with.



Pulled the intake off. Yes, there are two cigarette butts and an earplug sitting there.



Motor looked pretty good except for one broken exhaust manifold bolt and a somewhat suspect valve. The spark plug had some deposits on it. I'm going to run a leak down test on it and see if it's OK.



After pressure washing and some super clean. Still going to paint the balancer and power steering pump pulleys.



I received Novak's "black box" the other day (for the tach signal and stock gauge) so I wired it up and shrunk wrapped all the other loose wires.



I also installed my auto brake pedal.



And cut out the old mounts and tacked the new Novak mounts in.





I'm hoping the valve is OK. If not I found rebuild heads for around $180 so it's not super serious.
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Unread 01-08-2012, 01:17 PM   #8
Ryanw10
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Will that novak box allow you to run the stock tachometer? I have a 5.3 in my tj and I kept the jeep pcm so I could run the gauges but I was planning on just getting an aftermarket tach. I would much rather prefer to use the stock tach
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Unread 01-08-2012, 07:54 PM   #9
clintrivera
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Yes it will. I wanted to keep my stock gauges and $150 for a black box was a lot cheaper, easier, and IMHO looks better. Hook up a few wires, and you are good to go.
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Unread 01-08-2012, 09:19 PM   #10
Ryanw10
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Thats pretty cool I might have to consider that.
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Unread 01-08-2012, 09:27 PM   #11
chmo
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The Tach emulator Box is available in three different versions from Novak for XJs/TJs plus one more version for JKs to match the different bus protocols!
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my LS1 swap build thread
THE cheap progressive bump stop solution
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Unread 01-14-2012, 09:43 PM   #12
clintrivera
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Made some more progress today and dropped the engine in. I'm impressed with how well the engine fits. Almost like it was intended to be there. The Novak mounts made everything a breeze.





I used 2010 Camaro LS3 exhaust manifolds and it looks like they will work out great!



Plenty of clearance around the steering shaft too.



Also had time to swap out the 5.5" RE springs for some 3" Savy / Currie springs. The wire diameter of the Savy springs are thinner, so the ride should be a bit better.



Gonna drop the gas tank and work on my hybrid np231J /C transfer case.
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Unread 01-15-2012, 12:04 AM   #13
Tyler99TJ
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Location: Centerville, Ohio
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Are you keeping the transfer case in the same location so that you keep the same drive shaft length? What do the new motor mounts key off of for alingment?

Looking to make this swap next winter and will follow your build.
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Unread 01-15-2012, 12:11 AM   #14
clintrivera
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Location: Pacific, Washington
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I haven't gotten the adapter for the transfer case yet, but I think it's going to push the case about 1.5"-2" back. This is for a swap with a 4 banger and AX5 transmission, so keep that in mind. I'm also not using the usual "swap the mainshaft out of the 4l60E" adapter so it's going to end up an inch or so longer.

For the mounts you measure back from a hole in the frame and burn the mounts in.
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Unread 01-15-2012, 12:18 AM   #15
MO2500
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I'll be watching. Pretty much the same swap I would like to do at some point down the road. I already have the truck to pull the 5.3 and trans from. Keep up the great work
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My Jeep Build
Useful tech links:
Stu-Offroad - great technical write-ups!
What's a CV shaft and why do I need one?
Driveline 101
TJ Specs
-Mike-
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