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Old 01-01-2014, 06:47 PM   #1
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Tj swap out

Best engine to put into a 2000 wrangler, taken out of a donor car, and is not from another wrangler

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Old 01-01-2014, 11:33 PM   #2
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That depends on the amount of money you want to spend.

popular swaps are the chevy 5.3s ~300 HP at the crank (super abundant in junkyards.)
You could go with a dodge 5.2 ~230 HP at the crank (easier wiring involved)
or even a 5.7 hemi ~340 HP at the crank. (not sure about availability)
OR
an ls3 corvette engine which pushes 480 HP at the crank. (find one from a corvette, camaro, or from chevy themselves.)

Some people have swapped a 4bt diesel. The 6bt is possible, but some say that it isnt worth the extra weight because as you probably know, diesels are super heavy.


I mean really? You defining best and me defining best are different. You want most HP? ls3. gas mileage? ford pinto 3cyl Down low torque? 4bt.

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Check out my 5.3 swap in progress here!
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:38 AM   #3
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Well, I want the horsepower for sure, I don't care about how much wiring goes into it I know I will be able to figure it out, I get a lot of people saying go for the 5.3 but wtf are they in, what vehicles?
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Old 01-02-2014, 06:26 AM   #4
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Well, I want the horsepower for sure, I don't care about how much wiring goes into it I know I will be able to figure it out, I get a lot of people saying go for the 5.3 but wtf are they in, what vehicles?
5.3 Engines Come in Tahoe/Yukon,Surburban,Chevrolet & GMC Trucks, If you have Emmission Inspection/Testing There is Likely Going to be a Problem when it's Inspection Time.
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Old 01-02-2014, 06:50 AM   #5
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Why will there be emission problems?
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Old 01-02-2014, 07:31 AM   #6
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Why will there be emission problems?
Depending on the local emissions laws where you are there is a possibility of them not accepting a swapped vehicle as road legal. In some states/counties it's as simple as doing the right paperwork, in others it's about how willing you are to find a way around the law (cheating), and in other situations you will not be able to license the vehicle.
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:22 AM   #7
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I've always thought an older Cummins diesel would be great in a jeep..
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:35 AM   #8
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How heavy is that straight six dodge oil burner my guess is it is much heavier than the jeep engine

I alway thought the jeep straight six was a wonderful match to a wrangler vehicle

Not to mention a vanishing type of engine

To me the straight six is adequate and so much more desirable than the cramped crap they sell today especially the transverse engines where people have to jack an engine up just to change a timing belt
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:01 AM   #9
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5.3s come from CERTAIN sierras/silverados. From the year 2000 and up. Some sierras/silverados come with the 4.3 v6, some with the 4.8 v8, and some with the 5.3 v8. If it's an extended cab with 3 or 4 doors, I'm 99% sure all of those have 5.3s.

Suburbans will always have a 5.3

Yukons DONT. Yukons also come with the 4.8 and the 5.3. Be weary.

The 4.8 and the 5.3 look the same from the outside. The only difference is that they use a different crank and piston rod length. The pistons in the 4.8 are flat topped. And the 5.3 pistons are dished.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:09 AM   #10
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CUMMINS!! 4BT or if you're feeling froggy and clearancing your firewall doesn't scare you off, a B5.9.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:10 AM   #11
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Except for 5.3 HO which also has flat top and higher CR

Apparently all 5.3 have aluminum heads but block metal varies on 5.3
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:12 AM   #12
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:17 AM   #13
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I think it all depends on your budget and how much work you want to do. I really like the 5.3 engine but I went with the 5.9 because it was easier to do since I didn't need any adapters except for motor mounts and I could use most of the stock components including the exhaust.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:30 AM   #14
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Novak seems to think the Chevy Vortec V6 4.3l is a popular swap for the TJ. They have a lot of info on the swap, including all the parts to make it happen. That article lists improved power/weight, & the cars/SUVs the engine came in (S-10) & some happy Jeep owners who have done the swap.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:31 PM   #15
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Thanks so much for the help, I'll consider all my options. I do like Chevy and I hear a lot about how reliable they are, but I don't know how easy it's going to be finding a whole Chevy silverado or Sierra in a junk yard. I don't know about a diesel because of how noisy it is while in the cab, jeeps weren't made to be peaceful and quiet on the inside lol. If I went with a 5.3 I'll have adapters for everything? Trans, exhaust, mounts, ect? And if it wasn't carbureted but computer controlled that means I'll have to gut all the wiring and take it all from my donor car correct?
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:34 PM   #16
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And in Delaware, I'm not sure if they have set emissions for every type of vehicle, I wonder if I go in there and they're looking for the set amount if emission for a 2.5ltr? Do all Dmv's have set amounts for certain engines?
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Old 01-03-2014, 01:46 PM   #17
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You only need the engine harness from the donor. It goes to the black connector which connects to the back of the fuse box.

Go to lt1swap.com for your wiring.

You'll need new motor mounts welded/bolted to your frame.

Depending on what transmission you go with, will determine what adapters, if any that you need.

I'm phone posting so it would be difficult for me to link it, if you go through my previous posts and find the other topic a guy posted about the 5.3 swap, I listed just about every configuration with transfer case/transmissions/engine adapters.
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Check out my 5.3 swap in progress here!
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Old 01-03-2014, 02:05 PM   #18
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I'll do that, thank yoy
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Old 01-03-2014, 02:13 PM   #19
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I'll do that, thank yoy
no problem!
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No Engine, axle, tranny, or t-case rebuilds.
Check out my 5.3 swap in progress here!
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:51 PM   #20
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Thanks so much for the help, I'll consider all my options. I do like Chevy and I hear a lot about how reliable they are, but I don't know how easy it's going to be finding a whole Chevy silverado or Sierra in a junk yard. I don't know about a diesel because of how noisy it is while in the cab, jeeps weren't made to be peaceful and quiet on the inside lol. If I went with a 5.3 I'll have adapters for everything? Trans, exhaust, mounts, ect? And if it wasn't carbureted but computer controlled that means I'll have to gut all the wiring and take it all from my donor car correct?
If you look around online, a lot of yards are pulling engines with all the accessories & wiring harness included.... especially for the Chevy 4.3 & 5.3. Apparently it's a pretty popular engine swap, not just in Jeeps but a lot of other rigs too.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:03 PM   #21
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I'll probably call the local yards, they have a log of engines but..... They are outside 24/7 facing the elements. Seems kinda sketchy to me?
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:53 PM   #22
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Around here there are 2 kinds of junk yards. The U-picke'em places where the cars & trucks sit outside till their picked clean. And the ones where they bring a car in, pull all the descent parts off the car/truck, then catalog them & store them on the shelf in a big warehouse. The later kind of business lists engines on Ebay all the time too.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:05 PM   #23
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Regarding emissions: most states require the engine swap to be of a like or newer model year to that of the original engine. There are also emission component requirements to maintain the particulate levels in the expelled exhaust. In most cases, if the donor engine meets the state's requirements, and the vehicle will pass the "sniffer test," you're good to go. Check with your specific state DMV first though... Less headache and expense.

Happy hunting!
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:16 PM   #24
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How heavy is that straight six dodge oil burner my guess is it is much heavier than the jeep engine I alway thought the jeep straight six was a wonderful match to a wrangler vehicle Not to mention a vanishing type of engine To me the straight six is adequate and so much more desirable than the cramped crap they sell today especially the transverse engines where people have to jack an engine up just to change a timing belt
I totally agree with you!!! The motors are IMO the best of the best. 4.0L I6, 4.3L V6 (Chevy) and the 5.3L also Chevy are 3 of the best motors ever produced. But I honestly think the 4.0 and the wrangler are the perfect matchup. Why anyone would want to replace a perfectly running 4.0 is beyond me.
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Old 01-04-2014, 02:46 PM   #25
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I'm going to call today, I'll call around to the yards, the call the DMV and see if they are any help. Anyone tell me what you think a running 5.3ltr would run me?
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Old 01-04-2014, 03:22 PM   #26
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I'm going to call today, I'll call around to the yards, the call the DMV and see if they are any help. Anyone tell me what you think a running 5.3ltr would run me?
Depends on the year and mileage. For one with probably 200,000 miles would be like 400. One with 5,000 with the wiring harness and the goods would be like 2,000.
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Check out my 5.3 swap in progress here!
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Old 01-04-2014, 03:47 PM   #27
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I have given this a lot of thought myself. I have a perfectly running 4.0 in my 2000 TJ sport. I have decided to stay with the 4.0 I6. This summer I will start looking for a junkyard block and stroke the 4.0 to 4.6 or 4.9. You can easily pull 300- 350 hp from this combo, and not have to worry about any adaptors. Just saying.
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Old 01-04-2014, 03:59 PM   #28
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I have given this a lot of thought myself. I have a perfectly running 4.0 in my 2000 TJ sport. I have decided to stay with the 4.0 I6. This summer I will start looking for a junkyard block and stroke the 4.0 to 4.6 or 4.9. You can easily pull 300- 350 hp from this combo, and not have to worry about any adaptors. Just saying.
Good luck getting it to run correctly!
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No Engine, axle, tranny, or t-case rebuilds.
Check out my 5.3 swap in progress here!
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:13 PM   #29
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Jherrington, is that right? Do you have an experience with this combo? I would like to hear the pro and cons on this combo.
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:51 PM   #30
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Jherrington, is that right? Do you have an experience with this combo? I would like to hear the pro and cons on this combo.
I've had a few people say that it's difficult to get it to run right. Between the bigger injectors/fuel needed and computer tuning it's a pain. Can it work? Why sure it can.

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Check out my 5.3 swap in progress here!
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