Let the homework begin. 1990 2.5 swap to 1996 4.0 - Jeep Wrangler Forum

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Old 01-09-2017, 12:45 PM
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Let the homework begin. 1990 2.5 swap to 1996 4.0

First off i did read through as many posts as I could. But did not find a specific answer to this situation.

I have a 1990 YJ in pretty decent shape. However the engine has over 300k on it as does the tranny & TC. The TC is making some wicked grinding sounds when in 4WD.

Next chapter: Bought the daughter a 1996 Cherokee with the 4.0 & Auto tranny, A/C and everything worked great. (I was actually buying it for me as a winter vehicle but she wanted it) Flash forward 30 days - she rear ends a newer Grand Cherokee at 60 mph.

With out really tearing into it Im pretty sure the engine and drive train survived with only bolt-ons needing to be replaced, (Radiator, Tranny lines, etc. . . )

So my thought is to pull my 2.5 & drive train and swap it with the lower mileage more powerful option. I know I will have to but new exhaust, drive shafts, and upgrade my axles. But other than that has anyone else done this swap?

Recap swap YJ 1990 2.5, 5 speed with a 1996 Cherokee 4.0, Automatic
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:01 PM   #2
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A friend of mine has a 96 XJ and it is OBD 2... See if yours is. If so, I don't know anything about swapping the engine but I do know that I would not want to attempt putting an OBD 2 engine in a vehicle without OBD 2...

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Old 01-09-2017, 04:31 PM   #3
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The motor mounts (actually motor mount supports) that are welded to the frame will need to be changed. The 4cyl. and 6cyl. motor supports are different.

There are posts here about "clocking" the back of the transmission or front of the TC when using a XJ trans or transfer case in a YJ. I don't remember which. If you are using the entire XJ drive train it may be necessary to do so in order for the front driveshaft to align correctly. I certainly don't know for sure, it's just something for you to do more homework on.

I don't think I would be too concerned about the difference between OBD1 and OBD2 as far as the engine running, simply change out all the electronics from the Cherokee. What I would be concerned is how the gauges, vacuum system and other cab electronics work with the OBD2.

Hope your daughter is OK. Good thing the XJ had airbags.

Good Luck, L.M.
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:39 PM   #4
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Getting the XJ drive train in should be fairly straight foward...grind here, weld there...getting the t case clock right, ect...making it run...IDK...I would start looking for a complete wiring harness FSM from a 91-95 and wire to that....Good Luck and keep us posted!
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:57 PM   #5
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Check the engine where the motor mounts bolt to it, my Stepdaughter hit a car that ran a stop sign and in the wreck it broke the Block on the right side where the mount bolts up, way back then I did not know about Brown Dog Mounts, the Ins. Company installed a POS used engine because all the body work was done when they saw the oil running out of the O.E. engine. Long story she traded the thing off and lost a lot of money. Some welding and Brown Dog Mounts may have saved here great running car.
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:16 PM   #6
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OBD I and OBD II are just the engine management systems. Each is totally self contained within the engine wiring harness. If you are going to change the engine, you change all the harnesses and the ECM as well. Main power/ground and gauge wiring is pretty straight forward.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:47 AM   #7
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This shouldn't be too bad, you've got the complete donor vehicle with ALL the OBD2 wiring, swap all that over with the engine, it'll run and do what it's supposed to. 1995 was the transition year to OBD2, and is THE LEAST desirable year of many models as a result. Finding the correct parts can be a PITA.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckymac View Post
I don't think I would be too concerned about the difference between OBD1 and OBD2 as far as the engine running, simply change out all the electronics from the Cherokee. What I would be concerned is how the gauges, vacuum system and other cab electronics work with the OBD2.
This is mostly what I was referring to. The body electrical system and the emissions could be a PITA. I know people in my Jeep group who have swapped OBD systems with few issues as far as getting things running. However, these are trail rigs so having a CEL on for an emissions code or having some optimization issues aren't a big deal. As long as it's running.

Given that this is going to be on the street, you'd probably want the CEL to come on when there is a concerning issue, have good shift points, working speedo and tach, etc.

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