Best V-8 for TJ engine swap - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 33 Old 07-20-2006, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
JFiorentino
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Best V-8 for TJ engine swap

For some time now I've been thinking of swapping in a V-8 engine in place of my 4.0L power plant.

What is the most desirable and most straight-foward engine to swap in? I've seen several posts for the Chevy LT1 engines, but is this really the best deal? The initial purchase price seems rather high. Is there a source for reasonably priced LT1's?

I'd like hear from people that have actually swapped in a V-8 engine. What has your experience been? Would you do it again? Has it saved you any gas over the stock 4.0L engine?

Are there any detailed write-up's on choosing, buying and installing a V-8 into a TJ? Considering Bang-for-the-Buck, is a V8 swap better than adding a Supercharger? Seems like the cost is initally similar.


John

"When approaching a four-way stop, the vehicle with the largest tires always has the right of way"

2004 TJ, Auto w/ OD, 4.0L, Off-Road 36x13.5 Super Swamper IROK's on MT Classic II Rims, SYE, CV Driveshaft, 4:56 Gears, ARB Locker, 3.5" RE Superflex, 2" Body Lift, JKS Quicker Disco's, 9,000# Winch, Toys-by-Troy step-sliders, The Source OBA. And lots more....
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post #2 of 33 Old 07-20-2006, 09:14 PM
Jerry Bransford
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The Chevy 350 is a popular swap due to the abundance of adapters, information, etc. www.advanceadapters.com/ has all the stuff you need.

Getting Savvy...

When you have a choice, buy American.
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post #3 of 33 Old 07-20-2006, 09:18 PM
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hey John go for the hemi. remember to to stay emission legal you have to have an engine from the same model year or high. my second choice would be the 4.7 v8

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post #4 of 33 Old 07-20-2006, 09:20 PM
wcurleyq
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JFiorentino

I would go with the newest GM 4.8 or 5.3. Painless wiring has all the junk to keep the emissions working( Harness, computer ect)
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post #5 of 33 Old 07-20-2006, 09:25 PM
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I hope to start putting a Hemi in mine by mid to late august. not for the tight budget or the faint at heart. parts alone total right now is 7K. I will do all but the welding and exhaust myself. I figure about 8.5K when its wrapped up minus what I can get for my old drive train. If you are electrically inclined and want to use a hemi you can buy the 04 ram hemi and crimp and poke your own harness and save around 1.7K. I am not electrical so I am buying the harness and programmed computer. If you use the ram hemi figure in for a cherokee bellhousing and starter since the truck one wount work. I opted to buy the durango hemi but the durango computer doesnt work with the tj. heres my list if your curious. I am also going to set up for rear antilock so I didnt include that in the price above

04891427AB Detector, Natural Vacuum Leak 18.48
52059627AB** Bracket, Vapor Canister 39.4
52059640AC** Bracket, NVLD 4.6
06503343*******Screw - (2) Needed 1.08
04891564AB** Filter Leak Detection 4.28
52059628AA** Hose, Canister to NVLD 5.4
52059631AA** Hose, Flow Valve to Canister 15.36
52059633AB** Hose 2.2
52059585AC** Tube, control Valve 25.4
52059630AB** Canister, Vapor 49.36
05161335AD** Module, Kit Fuel Pump/Level Unit 137.6
55366299AA** Nut Lock 6.16
52059617AG** Tank, Fuel, Plastic 315.2
05013978AA Wiring 4way 20.08
05013982AA Wiring 4way 10.08
56042395 Ambient Air Sensor 30.8
4671336 Jeep Brake Switch 2004+ 19.2
53013605AB Left Exhaust Manifold 2005 Grand Cherokee 38.48
53013606AB Right Exhaust Manifold 2005 Grand Cherokee 39.36
52104013 cover for firewall clutch pass through 5.8
52109683AC Gas Pedal Grand Cherokee (used the durango pedal) 0
tax 55.1824
shipping 0
788.32
843.5024


exhaust (estimated) 500
weld motor mounts (estimated) 200
computer (with vin rogrammed) 450
harness 1300
teraflex radiator 353.46
teraflex motor mounts 260
teraflex tranny mount 42.46
teraflex pedal adapter 42.46
JD Shipping 41.3
motor and tranny 2900
motor and tranny shipping 500
abs sensor and dodge tone ring 68.16
d44 tone ring (laser cut) 100
abs module 150



7751.3424

03 Patriot Blue Sport
Rubi d44 both ends, Crane Diff Covers, Rock trac t-case
Tom Woods CV DS, Alloy USA rear axles (waiting for install) ARB front bumper, Rock-it-Man Rockers
knoblock rear bumper, OBA in process,
bestop tire carrier, 35-12.5-16 trXus MT's on MOABs with 1.25 spidertrax
Currie HD steering
Nth Degree 6" LA kit. Garvin Wilderness Rack w/hi-lift mnt
HEMI & 5spd Auto
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post #6 of 33 Old 07-20-2006, 09:27 PM
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Coming from someone who used to own an LT1 Camaro, I'd drop one into my TJ in a heartbeat. Very powerful engine, but above all, torque monsters. I had a convertible with some mods, and ended up crinkling the rear fenders from the car twisting on a hard launch. It doesn't really help your question, but if I had the option I'd choose an LT1 over anything else (unless a V10, of course)
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post #7 of 33 Old 07-20-2006, 09:32 PM
RKBA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford
The Chevy 350 is a popular swap due to the abundance of adapters, information, etc. www.advanceadapters.com/ has all the stuff you need.
Small block Chebbies are the most popular, but for Jeeps I personally think the Ford 302 is a little better choice. It is a fairly narrow engine that is easy to keep cool. The distributor is in the front which facilitates an easier fit in most engine bays. You can purchase all the stuff to set it up for 87-93 Mustang style injection pretty cheap which will give you good power and excellent reliability. Ford engines also enjoy a fairly large selection of aftermarket conversion support - advance adapters of course being the 800 lb. gorilla in that market.

Are you going to be concerned about emissions legality? That will be a big factor in what kind of engine swap you can or should do.

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post #8 of 33 Old 07-20-2006, 09:47 PM
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Bowtie SB's are probably the cheapest way to go, but HEMI's beat them in cool factor : )

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Terraflex 4" 35's 5.13
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post #9 of 33 Old 07-20-2006, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFiorentino
........I'd like hear from people that have actually swapped in a V-8 engine.............
Lots of opinions, but still no answers from someone who has actually done it.

It's almost like a Harbor Freight winch thread!

(sorry, have nothing to offer you, either)
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post #10 of 33 Old 07-20-2006, 09:58 PM
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Shoehorn a used FE in there. Build your own brackets/adapters and such. My vote is for a 428. Talk about cheap, and wow factor!!!

If ya can't tell I',m a Ford fan.

Seriously, when mine is wore out in like 10-15 years (might be 20) I'm gonna work a 302 in there. Best thing to do today is probably a SB chevy though. 350/350 or 350/400. Just make sure the rest of the drive train is up to it.
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post #11 of 33 Old 07-20-2006, 11:44 PM
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I have seen 2 engine swaps done both to Chevy V-8's. Both engines were tuned port 350's. One came from a Suburban, the other a Z28 which were totalled in accidents.

As for gas..etc...I couldn't tell you. My brother in law owns one of these Jeeps, he only uses it for a trail rig, same for my buddy who also did the swap.

From driving the Jeep I can tell you the thing has an incredible amount of power. I have seen it stand up more than once with a blip of the throttle on the trails. It isn't something for the timid or inexperienced wheeler and definately not a DD.

As Jerry said the Chevy will be your best bet for the easiest swap.

Gone but not forgotten: '86 CJ7, '06 Wrangler X, '03 Rubicon, '97 Wrangler, '77 CJ5, '74 CJ5(RIP)...gone and forgotten: 07 JK Sahara Unlimited, '78 CJ5


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post #12 of 33 Old 07-21-2006, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CNY_Jeep
Lots of opinions, but still no answers from someone who has actually done it.

It's almost like a Harbor Freight winch thread!

(sorry, have nothing to offer you, either)
I have performed many different engine swaps over the years, not all in Jeeps. Carb'd and TBI GM V8 and V6 as well as 5.0 Ford. The 5.0 is a great fit in smaller chassis vehicles. I ran one in my Bronco II back in 1990, it makes good power and is easy to keep cool. I used an F150 transmission and transfer case on that one and it fit reasonably well. The Jeep frame is too narrow to use full size Ford transfer cases, so retaining a Jeep case or perhaps an early Bronco Dana 20 would be necessary. I believe that it is smarter and easier to use a transmission that matches the engine instead of adapting to the Jeep trannies. For a Ford the AOD will fit in a TJ and there are several manual trans options depending on what your goals are. A good combo would be 87-93 Mustang style 5.0 and AOD adapted to the 231J case. I am not sure what the dimensions are on the F250 ZF five speeds, but I suspect they are close to the NV4500 and might be a solution.

A person could also stab an AMC V8 in front of the 4.0 bellhousing and inject it with a kit from Howell Injection. Not a very modern or efficient design, but it will get the job done and you can keep your original drivetrain in place (if it survives the V8.)
The new Hemi is sexy, but they are uber expensive and the electronics are suitably complex that it IS NOT a swap that the typical driveway mechanic is going to be able to pull off.
There is a reason why the aftermarket has tons of support for small block GM and Ford swaps, they are time tested to be the easiest/smartest option when it is all said and done.

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post #13 of 33 Old 07-21-2006, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKBA
I have performed many different engine swaps over the years, not all in Jeeps. Carb'd and TBI GM V8 and V6 as well as 5.0 Ford. The 5.0 is a great fit in smaller chassis vehicles. I ran one in my Bronco II back in 1990, it makes good power and is easy to keep cool. I used an F150 transmission and transfer case on that one and it fit reasonably well. The Jeep frame is too narrow to use full size Ford transfer cases, so retaining a Jeep case or perhaps an early Bronco Dana 20 would be necessary. I believe that it is smarter and easier to use a transmission that matches the engine instead of adapting to the Jeep trannies. For a Ford the AOD will fit in a TJ and there are several manual trans options depending on what your goals are. A good combo would be 87-93 Mustang style 5.0 and AOD adapted to the 231J case. I am not sure what the dimensions are on the F250 ZF five speeds, but I suspect they are close to the NV4500 and might be a solution.

A person could also stab an AMC V8 in front of the 4.0 bellhousing and inject it with a kit from Howell Injection. Not a very modern or efficient design, but it will get the job done and you can keep your original drivetrain in place (if it survives the V8.)
The new Hemi is sexy, but they are uber expensive and the electronics are suitably complex that it IS NOT a swap that the typical driveway mechanic is going to be able to pull off.
There is a reason why the aftermarket has tons of support for small block GM and Ford swaps, they are time tested to be the easiest/smartest option when it is all said and done.

I chose the Hemi because it is light, I can retain my stock appearance and guages, all of the parts are purchased, and it retains my emission requirements. I will be doing this in the driveway.

03 Patriot Blue Sport
Rubi d44 both ends, Crane Diff Covers, Rock trac t-case
Tom Woods CV DS, Alloy USA rear axles (waiting for install) ARB front bumper, Rock-it-Man Rockers
knoblock rear bumper, OBA in process,
bestop tire carrier, 35-12.5-16 trXus MT's on MOABs with 1.25 spidertrax
Currie HD steering
Nth Degree 6" LA kit. Garvin Wilderness Rack w/hi-lift mnt
HEMI & 5spd Auto
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post #14 of 33 Old 07-21-2006, 09:22 AM
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I think the GM Gen III engine would be the most desirable. 5.3, 5.7, whatever. All aluminum, it weighs about the same at the 4.0 6 cyl and responds very well to modifications. Or even better, a 6.0 LS2 engine. I would pick those over the sbc, LT1 or so called new "hemi" any day. Of course, I'm a little biased.

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post #15 of 33 Old 07-21-2006, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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I haven't heard anyone recommend a Supercharger yet? Anyone with experience with Superchargers? The idea of dropping a Supercharger in and not having to lose my AC or other stock function has a certain appeal.

Are the guys upgrading to V8's keep their AC and other stock functionality? I'm split between a V8 or Supercharger. My Engine only has 20,000 miles on it, so it's barely broken in.

John

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2004 TJ, Auto w/ OD, 4.0L, Off-Road 36x13.5 Super Swamper IROK's on MT Classic II Rims, SYE, CV Driveshaft, 4:56 Gears, ARB Locker, 3.5" RE Superflex, 2" Body Lift, JKS Quicker Disco's, 9,000# Winch, Toys-by-Troy step-sliders, The Source OBA. And lots more....
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