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Wrangler TJ V8 Conversion


 
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Invisible1
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Joined: 11 Dec 2007

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:29 pm    Post subject: Wrangler TJ V8 Conversion Reply with quote

Hey guys, It's nice to be part of the forum now.

I come to ask advice on doing a V8 swap into my sons 1997 Jeep Wrangler. He wants to do this as part of his "senior project" next year, and I'm still debating wheather or not to let him do it. He's a great student and a good driver so I figured I would consider. I've read alot about swapping the engines out, but I continue to ask myself questions that can't be answered. The major issue is price. He has ~4500 dollars saved up and I'm willing to throw in a little extra cash if he needs it (no more than 2000).
Another issue I want to hit on is "level of difficulty". It seems as if the people that are doing these engines swaps have lots of experience and all the neccisarry tools. Would my son and I be able to do this type of job with average mechanical knowledge and typical tools. I know there are books out there that can aid in the process, but sometimes a book just won't suffice.
Besides just the engine (I know it varies depending on what type of swap you do), what else would he probably need to change? Radiator? Wiring? Gauges? Gear Shifter? Batteries? Transmission? Axels? Driveshaft? Ect..
I would appreciate any inciteful knowledge, and if you've have swapped an engine or know anyone who has, please respond!
Thanks- Land
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silvergoat
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Joined: 08 Jul 2007
Location: wyoming

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go to advanced adaptors web site for prices on adaptors. Now will the factory tran and axles hold up? They will for a limited time as long as he does'nt jump on it to hard. But upgradeing would be the way to go. If your in a state that does not have smog laws its not to difficult of a swap being you dont have to mess with all the smog equipment. If you have more spacific questions PM me and I will try to answer them for you. I use to run chevy small blocks in my older jeeps.
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ThePhantum
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Joined: 23 Jan 2004
Location: I knew it...I'm surrounded by Assholes!

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of states have emission laws that say the engine going into the vehicle must be the same year or newer. If that's the case where you are and since it's a 97, it's not just a matter of bolting in the engine and firing it up...it needs to be OBDII compliant...meaning you need to swap in the ECU and all the associated wiring/sensors with the engine.

Some states even have laws that prohibit putting a larger displacement engine in place of a smaller one...so I would first find out what the legalities are, which will dictate what your options are.
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Invisible1
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Joined: 11 Dec 2007

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We live in Georgia, so I don't think our vehicles have to pass any smog laws or anything of that nature. I've never had to do anything like that, and I've lived here for 47 years.
But I wish someone had more information about cost. That is the ultimate deciding factor. Is this going to be a snowball, where I have to help him invest money to keep his vehicle working properly? How much do you think I could get a used v8 out of a junkyard for?
Maybe I should just go ahead and disaprove of the idea?
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FARMER
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Joined: 29 May 2007
Location: Benicia Ca.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cheapest way to get the parts would be to buy a wrecked vehicle with the motor, trans, tc and axles you want to use.
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ThePhantum
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Joined: 23 Jan 2004
Location: I knew it...I'm surrounded by Assholes!

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generally speaking, it's tough to put an exact price on any engine swap, but you can usually expect it to cost close to twice what your original estimate was. Swaps are cheaper (and easier) if you get an engine and transmission combo that will go in together.

Regardless of what anyone tells you, a V8 conversion is not an easy task. It takes time, patience, fabrication skills and yes...money to make it work. Believe it or not, sometimes a new engine can be cheaper than a rebuild, plus you get a warranty. Going with a junkyard V8 just because you got it cheap can often to turn out to be a bad and costly idea.

In terms of long term maintenance costs, there's really only one choice: Chevy V8 - 350 or 305. It's been done, so the adapters are out there; parts are readily available, so they are fairly inexpensive; and there is a thriving aftermarket.
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97 XJ Sport with a bunch of stuff
Quote:
Never argue with idiots, they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience
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Invisible1
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Joined: 11 Dec 2007

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your hospitality and advice!
I can assure you guys i'll be an avid jeep horizon member now, thanks again Smile
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el_dubya
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Joined: 20 Sep 2005

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fourhweeler Magazine did a conversion like this only they used a hemi out of a dodge ram pickup. Looking on thei website I found all the projects for it here http://www.fourwheeler.com/projectbuild/129_0608_1997_jeep_wrangler_tj/index.html but the one for the v8 swap doesnt work. its project #11. If you can get your hands on whichever month they ran this, it will give you the basics and the parts suppliers they used. Now, a hemi will probably cost quite a bit more, but I would think most of the steps woudl be the same and most of the suppliers would carry stuff for any swap. Although a hemi would be sweet in a jeep.. power wouldnt be a problem. Hope this helps. Oh, I have gotten this magazine for years and it is highly respected and the editors really know their stuff, so dont be afraid of them
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'98 TJ SE
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