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theGiantPanda 04-16-2010 01:25 AM

6.1 Hemi LJ Madness and Mayhem
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:mad: winter's over and i had neglected my jeep..sorry jeep:nono: 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 me it has to be a hemi. :thumbsup:

so i searched the forums and google was my friend:cheers: 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:thumbsup: hemi in a lifted tj with tucked style lift kit:thumbdown: 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 [500]
  • wiring harness from hotwire [1500]
  • advanced adapters motor mounts [200]
  • teraflex trans mount [50]
  • 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 [125]
  • 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-:thumbdown::brickwall 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:facepalm:$$$
a trip to the dealer for 210.00 worth of 5.7 parts

here we go

working getting the old out

Jonny Jeep 04-16-2010 01:32 AM

I think I'll watch this build though it's not something I'll be doing my self. Subscribed.

theGiantPanda 04-16-2010 01:36 AM

motors coming out

getting rid of the factory motor mounts

so then i decided that i was going to do a 2" front stretch as i want to run 40s and keep it reasonably come the factory towers and i will be running hoops for the coilovers.

theGiantPanda 04-16-2010 01:45 AM

theres about 70 pics posted on my photobucket under giantpanda1326 for those who want more pics.....

but heres a few more of continued progress:

motor mounts mocked up..notice the clearance of the stock manifolds

theGiantPanda 04-16-2010 01:54 AM

heres a few shots of the orientation of the 545rfe without the transfer case in the trans tunnel. the motor/trans driveline angle is looking to be about 5* with a high clearance pan.

passenger side, notice the projected exhaust line/angles

drivers side

sitting on the mounts

theGiantPanda 04-16-2010 02:06 AM

tonight i pulled the motor assembly out and clearanced the frame for the alternator:2thumbsup:

thats pretty much as far as i have gotten in the last few days. i talked with rod and mike at tnt today and ordered up my new lift. dealer says 5.7 pieces should be here tomorrow, too bad i have to work all weekend:thumbdown: next i will start taking down my lift and re-inforce the frame where i notched it out. im thinking of waiting though as i have air bumpstops install so maybe ill hold off and do it all at the same time.

anyways more progress and pics to come. mygoal is to have it back on its shoes in the next few weeks. budget wise im doing long as i take the new lift off the list..... my old lift is in the classifieds if anyones interested.

Boundless 04-16-2010 03:54 AM

:PopCorn: oh this is gonna be good! 6.1 V8 :drool:

COMTB 04-16-2010 06:40 AM

nice work so far! Excited to see how this turns out.

TJ_Jerry 04-16-2010 08:12 AM

I'm watchin' this !

LuckRider 04-16-2010 08:18 AM

Subscribed and crawled. I will take the Jeep when you are done thank you very much :drool:

MisterO 04-16-2010 08:30 AM

wow never seen the 6.1 in a wrangler.. thats awesome, i have hopes and dreams to put the 5.7 hemi in my LJ but yeh not so quick... lol
plus your jeep doesnt look like you skimped on anything.. (ie:coil overs, D60, etc...)

awesome im gonna watch this through,

Good Luck!

QuickSilverCon 04-16-2010 08:42 AM

:drool: :drool: :drool:

Kiser10 04-16-2010 09:28 AM


LJameson 04-16-2010 09:33 AM

Crawled. And hot damn is that orange block sexy!

b0bbymc 04-16-2010 10:04 AM

awesome... One day i dream of putting a v8 in my LJ....

The time now is 01:49 PM.

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