Ok so I was sitting around that now that i have my freedom back after a 3 year relationship with a 'supportive when its convenient' type girlfriend...... and realized that all the new pups have found homes, i hadnt financed any trips lately, i have extra cash daily, tax money on the way, dont have anybody trying to be the VOICE OF REASON or rather a killjoy
winter's over and i had neglected my jeep..sorry jeep
so i figured i would do something mad as idle time is the devils play ground or a jeepers pocket books worst friend.
it just so happened i had been driving the jeep for a few weeks here and there and even with 4.88s i just wasnt happy with its get up and go on the street. i had been toying with the idea of a v8 hemi swap and researching the project for awhile. so i got out out the laptop and the excel program just to see where how deep the rabbit hole really was. when it comes to v8s im a ford guy at heart however..its a jeep...to me it has to be a hemi.
so i searched the forums and google was my friend
for hours on end. i read cost sheets and vendor pricing on conversions, swap materials and the like. i found people like to simplify things and leave other things out. for example... hemi in a stock tj
hemi in a lifted tj with tucked style lift kit
etc.... 5.7 in jeep tj/lj not a big deal honestly.... oh your gonna do a 6.1... well hmmm. that will require some work.... and the NAG1 trans..yeah not so much... 545rfe pretty much the only option.
what else... common advice found... 'collect all your parts before you begin the project" actual life experience-not so much: yeah thats not gonna work, oh cant send that back, no way that fits, oh you needed 3" not 2" blah blah blah.
alright so i set a budget of 10K to do the 6.1 hemi swap in my LJ... i figured i could get it done cheaper than the astronomical numbers ive seen and maybe recoupe some of the cash selling by I6 with 7500 miles on it for a few bucks.
motor swap build plan i started with:
- 6.1 hemi-srt8 [5k]
- 545rfe trans 
- wiring harness from hotwire 
- advanced adapters motor mounts 
- teraflex trans mount 
- aluminum radiator-find cheaper that $700 everyones trying to get for it
- external transcooler with aeroquip lines [60 plus lines 60]
- not running AC....ITS A JEEP.
- electric fan set up 
- reuse rubicon nv241 transfer case and tom woods DS
ok so after mock up, key issues i ran into:
the current superlift long arm kit tucks the front upper and lower control arm mounts up inside the frame rails and the trans sits 3.5" off the current mount-
this is real estate i need for exhaust. next, the alternator on the 6.1 is on the lower pass side of the motor and sits approx less that 1/2 inch off the frame-not enough clearance for it considering motor twist, frame twist etc. lastly, the stock header manifolds are huge and semi bulky, if you use the 'jeep grand cherokee 5.7manifolds' you will choke the motor so those are not an option. and lastly, the srt was mated to a NAG1 trans so all the hardware and whatnot have to be swapped back to 5.7 stuff [dust cover, oil pan etc]
resolutions to the obstacles;
pulling the superlift kit off and installing a TNT long arm kit with 2" front stretch.
notch and re-inforce the frame for alternator clearance.
jba catforward shorty heaaders
a trip to the dealer for 210.00 worth of 5.7 parts
here we go
working getting the old out