California Motor Swap CJ-7 --> 4.0 - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 32 Old 05-23-2019, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
JurassicCJ7
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California Motor Swap CJ-7 --> 4.0

1984 CJ- 7
2.5L 4 Cylinder
T-5 Borg Warner
Dana 300 T-Case
31x12.50 R15 Goodyear Wranglers
15 gal fuel tank

I live in Ca in the bay area, and am doing a engine swap on my Jeep CJ 7. The goal was to go fuel injection for reliability. Sometimes when I was going off road and at steep angles I would often flood the carb and get bogged down. (tried adjusting worked for a while, eventually got old) Iíve owned the jeep for 6 years now, and its just time. I mainly hit the trails, but I donít really rock crawl.

The main issue is Smog and the CA CARB and Referee. After a few phone calls and a doing my research I decided to go the 4.0 route. This required getting an engine wiring harness which I hear is really hard these days now that Hesco has stopped making them. Luckily I bought one of the last ones they had and have that piece done.

The next step is to find a 4.0 motor from a 1993- 1994 Motor.Most mechanics were telling me to go with that range of year and to get one from a Wrangler as it will be the least hoops to jump through with the CA CARB. Most motors online have almost 200K miles.

Would you recommend buying one and swapping it in? Buying one and having a shop do a rebuild? Or Buy a Crate engine and start fresh?

Obviously these decisions come down to price, I was ready to spend about $6-7000 on the job, but that is flexible. Im the kind of person who would spend the money now to save the headache later. So far Iíve spent $550 on the harness and I got quoted about $2250 for the labor from a shop. And some of the parts (minus the motor were about $600) The guy at the shop was really down to earth and has been working with me for a couple months now on all the little details, whatís legal, getting the wiring harness and he also knows a CA referee, which helps when getting is passed legally. Most shops wont do the jobs because of the Referee issues.

Engine Harness Ė $550
Mis parts Ė $600
Labor $2250
Engine?

Looks like I have about 2500-3500 left in my budget.

Thoughts? Advice on buying a motor? Next steps? Iíll post pictures as the job goes onÖ

Thanks for the help!

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post #2 of 32 Old 05-24-2019, 07:31 AM
trailhead2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JurassicCJ7 View Post
1984 CJ- 7
2.5L 4 Cylinder
T-5 Borg Warner
Dana 300 T-Case
31x12.50 R15 Goodyear Wranglers
15 gal fuel tank

I live in Ca in the bay area, and am doing a engine swap on my Jeep CJ 7. The goal was to go fuel injection for reliability. Sometimes when I was going off road and at steep angles I would often flood the carb and get bogged down. (tried adjusting worked for a while, eventually got old) Iíve owned the jeep for 6 years now, and its just time. I mainly hit the trails, but I donít really rock crawl.

The main issue is Smog and the CA CARB and Referee. After a few phone calls and a doing my research I decided to go the 4.0 route. This required getting an engine wiring harness which I hear is really hard these days now that Hesco has stopped making them. Luckily I bought one of the last ones they had and have that piece done.

The next step is to find a 4.0 motor from a 1993- 1994 Motor.Most mechanics were telling me to go with that range of year and to get one from a Wrangler as it will be the least hoops to jump through with the CA CARB. Most motors online have almost 200K miles.

Would you recommend buying one and swapping it in? Buying one and having a shop do a rebuild? Or Buy a Crate engine and start fresh?

Obviously these decisions come down to price, I was ready to spend about $6-7000 on the job, but that is flexible. Im the kind of person who would spend the money now to save the headache later. So far Iíve spent $550 on the harness and I got quoted about $2250 for the labor from a shop. And some of the parts (minus the motor were about $600) The guy at the shop was really down to earth and has been working with me for a couple months now on all the little details, whatís legal, getting the wiring harness and he also knows a CA referee, which helps when getting is passed legally. Most shops wont do the jobs because of the Referee issues.

Engine Harness Ė $550
Mis parts Ė $600
Labor $2250
Engine?

Looks like I have about 2500-3500 left in my budget.

Thoughts? Advice on buying a motor? Next steps? Iíll post pictures as the job goes onÖ

Thanks for the help!
First, I don't have the smog issues to deal with that you do. I moved out of CA partly for that reason alone, I was sick of overregulation.

That said, I decided to go with a 1992 Cherokee HO motor. I found a donor vehicle and pulled the motor, harness, and PCU. Key thing there, the PCU. Unfortunately, the only donor I could find was an automatic so I'll need to get the PCU reflashed to work with a manual, I need to get it done anyway because I'm doing a stroker build. I bought the donor for $900 and sold the carcass for $200. Net cost of the motor, harness, and PCU was $700.

I think what I'm wondering about in your case is what are you doing about a PCU? That is one of the key things the referee will need to review before allowing your swap.

Best of luck on your swap, and I'm not be snarky. These things can get complicated, especially when you throw things like smog into the equation.
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post #3 of 32 Old 05-24-2019, 10:54 AM
StoneTower
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If you don't have anything against a Chevy swap, the MSD Atomic throttle body injection system is BAR approved for all 87 and older Chevy 350 applications. First generation Chevy motors are cheap, reliable and aftermarket parts are cheap. Most street rod people want LS motors now but for a Jeep application a SBC will do everything you want and more. You could probably get a good used motor for under $1K, the MSD injection system for around $1300 (you can get it cheaper if you source your own fuel pump and other parts) and a few hundred for a engine to trans adapter. I would put a Chevy transmission in that would bolt right up and spend the adapter money on a Chevy transmission to Dana 300 adapter.

Call the referee and see what he thinks of the injection kit. I have a Mustang EFI 5.0 motor in my CJ7 but now that this kit is out, it would be the easiest, cleanest and most reasonable cost conversion for a CJ7 at this time. The injection system will be all new with the MSD Atomic system and you will not be fighting a 30 year old system with 30 year old sensors and wiring. The MSD system is a 20 minute wiring project for someone with below average skills. The SBC is going to have much more "P00P" than the 4.0.

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post #4 of 32 Old 05-24-2019, 11:00 AM
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first thing I would recommend is to do a search on here for SLO KEN's threads and build. It was done a few years back but is a Cali 4.0 swap so you should find some of the info you need.

I am in Missouri and don't have to deal with the regulations so my 4.0 swap into my 84 CJ7 (with a t5 and 300) will be much easier and cheaper. Also I am doing it all myself so no labor cost at all. My total build will be between $1500-$2000 depending on what sensors I have to replace and the little stuff that pops up. But that includes the motor, harness, power control module, computer, fuel pump and lines, new radiator and fan and exhaust work. I bought a 93 XJ and it was wrecked and all there and running with 119k miles. I will splice the XJ harness into my CJ harness, run an electric fan (which I do currently) so I don't have to deal with the offset fan issue the XJ has and use the metal fuel lines from the XJ. Paid $600 for the complete XJ and will sell the body when done. It is 2wd so not much else worth selling.

If with your budget, you can go for the crate motor I would think that may be your best option as it will be new and ready to go but keep in mind it may be just the block and then you still need all the accessories so that may tip you over what you want to spend and even have difficulty finding all the brackets needed.

'84 CJ7, 44, 14 bolt, twin stick 300, 109"whl base, 4 linked
'93 XJ Cherokee
'70 CJ6 Dauntless v6
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post #5 of 32 Old 05-24-2019, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailhead2004 View Post
First, I don't have the smog issues to deal with that you do. I moved out of CA partly for that reason alone, I was sick of overregulation.

That said, I decided to go with a 1992 Cherokee HO motor. I found a donor vehicle and pulled the motor, harness, and PCU. Key thing there, the PCU. Unfortunately, the only donor I could find was an automatic so I'll need to get the PCU reflashed to work with a manual, I need to get it done anyway because I'm doing a stroker build. I bought the donor for $900 and sold the carcass for $200. Net cost of the motor, harness, and PCU was $700.

I think what I'm wondering about in your case is what are you doing about a PCU? That is one of the key things the referee will need to review before allowing your swap.

Best of luck on your swap, and I'm not be snarky. These things can get complicated, especially when you throw things like smog into the equation.
You only have to worry about the neutral safety switch in your set up the same as I do. You can put it on a switch or ground it out to work and don't have to have anything done to the computer for it to work with a manual.

'84 CJ7, 44, 14 bolt, twin stick 300, 109"whl base, 4 linked
'93 XJ Cherokee
'70 CJ6 Dauntless v6
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post #6 of 32 Old 05-24-2019, 02:42 PM
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I live in California.....my jeep now has a 5.7L TBI out of 93 Chevy PU. It was actually pretty easy.

Jurassic......ANY FI you put in will be great.

Mechanically, the 4.0 is easier...but, as you are finding out, finding a good donor is not easy.

This is how it boils down....4.0 is mechanically easier.....but finding a good donor is not easy, and chances are you will have to rebuild the engine anyway. Even if you find an HO engine (185 HP), it's not real exciting and gas mileage is 'fair'.

The choices of V6's and V8's is huge. A low mileage Vortec engine can be had for about $2K and that is with harness and computer. The 4.3 V6 puts out about 225+ HP....and is shorter than your I6....and lighter.
Mechanically, you will need to put in new motor mounts. Your old ones just unbolt. Advance Adapter makes a bolt in...Novak weld in. I went welded because I didn't want that cross bar in the way.

Another issue is your transmission. That T5 is marginal at best. I have the 4L60E Auto....getting on the fwy is a whole new experience.

Wiring wise, it's about the same whether it's the 4.0 or V8/6. On the chevy engines, EVERYTHING is part of the engine. You pop out your old harness connector on the firewall next to the batter...open the hole up a little bit and put the new one in there. My computer sits where the old one did. You actually spend more time untangling your old engine wiring from your chassis wiring. A typical Vortec or LS1 will only need about 6 wires to hook up. Bat, Gnd, Ign, Crank, CEL and Brake (for the lock up converter on automatics). And you will need to find a place for your OBD connector.

Keep that D300 xfer case. Novak makes an adapter to just about any transmission. In fact, I would suggest going to their web site....they have a ton of info on swaps and transmissions.

If you go with a V6, you won't have to shorten your drive shaft. If you go V8, you will need to shorten it a couple of inches. Any DS shop can do that for you. If you don't have a CV DS, good time to get one.

Smog inspection? Easy. As long as you hooked everything up as you were supposed to, the ref looks it over....does a smog test and if you pass, you get a sticker that specifies how you are to be tested. In my case, I test as a 93 chevy PU. I think the inspection was $40.

My advice? 4.3L V6 with the auto that came with it.

The link in my sig will show how I did mine.


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post #7 of 32 Old 05-24-2019, 03:34 PM
justals
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I also live in the bay area. What is the condition of your current engine? Have you thought about installing a head from a 91-94 4.0 engine? Casting 7120 or 0331 I believe. Will need to complete some mods on the head but will keep you from having to pull engine.

I did this to my 86 CJ and no CA smog issues. Problem is finding a shop that knows jeeps but I have a couple in the area.

Let me know if you have any questions

85 CJ - Renegade; 85 CJ - Base; 86 CJ - Laredo
14 JKU - Rubicon; 14 Cherokee - Latitude
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post #8 of 32 Old 05-24-2019, 03:35 PM
justals
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Scratch my first post...just realized you had the 4 cylinder engine.

85 CJ - Renegade; 85 CJ - Base; 86 CJ - Laredo
14 JKU - Rubicon; 14 Cherokee - Latitude
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post #9 of 32 Old 05-24-2019, 03:57 PM
LumpyGrits
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Cj

keep a log book on everything you do.
You'll be asked for some type of 'proof' at the referee station.
Make sure it's all CARB certified too.
Good luck,
LG

Have'n you along, is like loose'n 2 good men
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post #10 of 32 Old 05-24-2019, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LumpyGrits View Post
keep a log book on everything you do.
You'll be asked for some type of 'proof' at the referee station.
Make sure it's all CARB certified too.
Good luck,
LG
Proof of what? They didn't ask me.

He hooked up to the OBD....read the engine model and year.....did a visual and smog check.....done.


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post #11 of 32 Old 05-24-2019, 09:08 PM
LumpyGrits
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Sometimes they will ask to see a receipt for a certain item.
What part of south bay do you live in?
LG

Have'n you along, is like loose'n 2 good men
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post #12 of 32 Old 05-25-2019, 01:03 AM
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What part of Bay Area are you in? I’ve got an 86 with 4 cal and would be interested in how it works out for you. I’m in Santa Cruz.
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post #13 of 32 Old 05-25-2019, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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trailhead2004 I wish I didnt have to deal with all the smog, but as is the world we live in... as far as the computer, the mechanic show said he can find one that will work with the 4.0 for around 100 bucks smog legal.

StoneTower Thanks I'll look into that. Really was hoping to do all Fuel injected since ive heard some not so great experiences with TBI.

HAZCAT Im leaning toward the Crate as well. That way I know its all fresh. These motors last 250k miles at least from what im researching.

ddawg16 Wow thanks for the walk through. Yea I was going to do the transmission as well to a AX15 but after seeing the cost (5K just to do the transmission) I decided to focus the money on the engine first, and maybe a rebuild of the t5...($800-$1200) As far a the V6 There are just so many damn CARB rules, pre cat post cat, location of O2 sensors, I think a lot of shops arent doing swaps anymore because of the rules..If you know of any shops keep me posted. For now since I already ordered the wiring harness the 4.0 seems like the route im going tot take but i'll look into the V6 you mentioned.

Here is the shop:
http://www.deetzperformancespecialties.com/

LumpyGrits
jibib

Im in San Jose, the Jeep spends time between SJ and Livermore.
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post #14 of 32 Old 05-25-2019, 09:08 PM
StoneTower
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The reason I suggested an early SBC is that you won't have some of that smog stuff to hook up. God to Pick N Pull and get a Chevy motor out of a same year or newer vehicle and you will have all the brackets and stuff for just a couple of hundred dollars. Ge a rebuilt motor and use the junkyard motor for a core. Install a new MSD injection system and you will be done. Noting old to worry about.

Watch the videos on those new throttle body injection systems. They are all new and not 30 year old technology like the Howell kits. Unless you are running a super high performance motor, you will never know the difference, but the older motor will be easier to get smogged. The numbers for the older motors take into account that they are cerebrated. The modern bolt on injection kits puts it so far ahead of a carburetor you should fly though the inspection.

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post #15 of 32 Old 05-25-2019, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneTower View Post
The reason I suggested an early SBC is that you won't have some of that smog stuff to hook up. God to Pick N Pull and get a Chevy motor out of a same year or newer vehicle and you will have all the brackets and stuff for just a couple of hundred dollars. Ge a rebuilt motor and use the junkyard motor for a core. Install a new MSD injection system and you will be done. Noting old to worry about.

Watch the videos on those new throttle body injection systems. They are all new and not 30 year old technology like the Howell kits. Unless you are running a super high performance motor, you will never know the difference, but the older motor will be easier to get smogged. The numbers for the older motors take into account that they are cerebrated. The modern bolt on injection kits puts it so far ahead of a carburetor you should fly though the inspection.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KchzFBSH_cQ
Can't do a swap using a motor older than the veh it's going in. If you have an 84, the motor has to be an 84 or newer
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