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Old 04-09-2012, 11:11 AM   #1
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1989 YJ Engine options

Hello, i currently bought a 1989 jeep wrangler and i am looking to fix it up a little. i have it torn down basiclly to the bone (almost ready for paint) but i have a few options and was looking for some advice. i dont pretend to know a lot about engines but this is my understanding. i have a 2.5L 4 cylinder right now i drove it in the shop but the back valve has a miss. Also i have a friend who has a 350 v8 core he is willing to sell me cheap, but like i said its just the core. Would it be better money wise to do the valve job on the 4 cylinder or to buy the 350 and get parts for it (intake, exhast, fuel injection, trans, ect.) just a side note i like the idea of having a v8 in it.

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Old 04-09-2012, 11:24 AM   #2
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Well not sure but the smog laws maybe a problem and putting a v8 is going to be a big project the valve job I thank is a better way to go for getting back on the trail

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Old 04-09-2012, 11:30 AM   #3
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Please pardon my ignorace smog laws? and this isnt my daily driver its just a toy ive got all summer to work on it and my dad is basiclly a mechanic so i was kind of looking forward to learning a few things but is this too much of an undertaking?
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:34 AM   #4
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with the 350, you will also need a new trans and eventually a new rear axle

if you're not going to register it or you don't have emissions inspections where you live, smog isn't an issue
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:39 AM   #5
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Alright what transmission and rear end would your recommend? and i do plan of registering it but from my understnading if we do it right we shouldnt have a problem
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:04 PM   #6
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8.8 rear from an explorer is a common swap

with the trans, it would depend on auto or manual and if you are going to build the 350 up
you most likely will need an adapter to the transfer case, possibly an SYE and rear driveshaft
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:14 PM   #7
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Ok and the jeep is currently a 5 speed manual but ive heard and auto is the easier conversion, and another question if i just have the 350 core how much money are we talking to get everything i need for it?
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:09 PM   #8
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I all ways think it is better to buy an engine complete, that way you have all the right brackets and parts you will need, some times it can be a rear pian in the pocket and some places close to it to find all the things that match up right.{different years and models can drive you crazy}
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:50 PM   #9
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thats an excellent point thank you
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:25 AM   #10
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Its all about money.money .money money how much do you have and how much are you willing to spend ..that will depend on what you do. I jumped right in to just throwing a 350 good running motor/400 trans/T-case. And a set of axles and I'm about $1300-$1400...and still have lots to do...wish I would of known about this wonderful site before..but you are doing the right thing by asking first but its really all about money n time ...few hundred bucks and 4cy is back n your wheeling .....I would gather up a 350 motor/trans/tcase. And figure out how big of tires you want to run then go from there on axles . But that's just my opinion sorry I rambled so much but you asked .....good luck fellow jeeper
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:16 PM   #11
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Thank you and i agree i think im going to fix up the 4 cylinder ive almost got the valve pulled and im just gonna do a valve job on it and call it good. then if i decide to put a v8 in it later on i can do it then.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:03 PM   #12
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What state do you live in? Typically smog laws prohibit you from doing the following:

-Swapping in an engine that is any year model later than your Jeep (so since you have an 89, you cannot swap in an 88 or earlier model engine).
-Skimping out on every single emission component installed from the factory.
-You must see a smog referee to get the swap legalized, then proceed to have the engine smog tested and scrutinized before it is deemed to be legal.

I would fix up the 4 cyl and rebuild your AX5, or do an AX15 conversion. Of course you can always install a new set of rollers to improve the engines low end performance (it pretty much only needs more power between 2200-3200rpm).
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:38 PM   #13
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MO and ok that helps thank you and i agree i believe we re gonna fix the 4 cylinder and see where it goes.

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