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Old 01-27-2014, 01:24 PM   #1
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YJ 2.5 to 4.0

i have time and $$ for this project, willing to dump 5k before lift, tires, axles. found a donor JK 4.0 with ax15 and harness(1997)for a good price SHOULD I GRAB IT? Mine, 1995 yj with 2.5L second owner and keeping it in the family so going with longevity and trying to keep it reasonable on the road (not challenged and don't have unreasonable expectations for that last goal) looking to find out rough cost of additional parts needed to have it in the yj with my stock axles and 4.10 gears. ultimately YJ has sentimental value and every mechanic i've brought it to in VT is shocked at how rust free it is (frame is SOLID) i know about motor mount relocation issue but i see drop swap day (or two) as body lift drop in complete drive train and roll

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Old 01-27-2014, 02:03 PM   #2
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Ah, a 97 would be a TJ, not a JK. TJ from 97 to 2006, then JK til present.

Grand Cherokee is a ZJ and a regular Cherokee is an XJ.

For a good price, it would be a good swap. harness, trans and bell housing, Does that give you the t-case as well? input shaft on t-case is different from an AX5 to an AX15.

You need the CPU, as well as the ECM for the motor. You will need a different tach. in the dash, a 4cyl tach isn't compatible with a 6cyl. ofcourse you mentioned the frame towers, so you know what you are up against there. And probably new driveshafts, I believe the AX15 is about 2inches longer than the AX5. Which will make the back 1 too long and the front 1 too short.
I'm thinking if you are doing the work yourself, it would be about a week not a day to make the complete swap.

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Old 01-27-2014, 03:05 PM   #3
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I am debating the 4.0 swap as well... subbed!
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Swap to a 4BT diesel in the future? Most likely.
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:04 PM   #4
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does come with the transfer case with a short AA SYE kit. going to take a look in person later this week, probably bringing money with me... will post pics of YJ to take on the TLC as well as her current donor sister (mostly it was so cheap that i could justify buying the black 94 for just the hard top, snapped frame and a bad case of car cancer on it though) also taking the glass out of the windshield (tiny chip in the 95 and since i have the glass...) and the front grill because theres a dent in the 95's grill, one of those you only notice it if you know its there dents, but i know its there.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:14 AM   #5
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Wanted to revive this thread. any updates? Also with the AX15 being longer, did the i6 version of the YJ have a skid plate pushed further back or do you mount the motor further forward? It sounds like you have move the transfer case or skid plate backwards... but curious if i can keep it where it is and if not, how hard is it to move? I recently rebuilt my Teraflex NP231 and I dont see how you could adjust the tcase further back on the skid plate nor how to move to skid plate further back on the frame.

I have a lead on picking up a 99 i6 4.0 with harness, ECU and gauges out of a cherokee for $400 so im seriously considering pulling the trigger. i also think that my AX5 is on its way out... blah.
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Swap to a 4BT diesel in the future? Most likely.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petercass88 View Post
Wanted to revive this thread. any updates? Also with the AX15 being longer, did the i6 version of the YJ have a skid plate pushed further back or do you mount the motor further forward? It sounds like you have move the transfer case or skid plate backwards... but curious if i can keep it where it is and if not, how hard is it to move? I recently rebuilt my Teraflex NP231 and I dont see how you could adjust the tcase further back on the skid plate nor how to move to skid plate further back on the frame.

I have a lead on picking up a 99 i6 4.0 with harness, ECU and gauges out of a cherokee for $400 so im seriously considering pulling the trigger. i also think that my AX5 is on its way out... blah.
I don't think that there is any difference in length between an AX5 and an AX15, if there is its minimal at most. The major differences are the input shaft splines (where the clutch rides) and the output shaft splines (into the input gear on the t-case).

The skid plate is in the same place. Just different holes in it.
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:37 PM   #7
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One thing worth mentioning: 97's are OBD-II, your '95 is OBD-I. Their might be some issues with using a OBD-II computer/ECM on your OBD-I harness.

Not sure on Jeeps, but on my '01 Dodge that's a no-go.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:45 PM   #8
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good point but i would be swapping the whole harness so i guess I will have an OBDII YJ if i go through with it

Is there anything else I should consider before diving into this?

So aside from input and output shaft splines the AX15 is a fairly "drop in" replacement friendly transmission to replace the AX5? Also, what kind of price should i expect to pay for an AX15? The 99 motor out of the Cherokee is mated to an auto tranny so id only be taking the motor and harness.

Would the cherokee RPM gauge fit in the YJ gauge housing or is it a different size? Im going to assume its different so... Would an i6 YJ gauge work with this i6 cherokee motor?

Thank you for the additional info guys!
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Swap to a 4BT diesel in the future? Most likely.
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:11 AM   #9
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OBD-I Dash - Gauges , won't read the OBD-II computer.. I think you'll have to find around a 94'-96' wiring harness and computer , for the 97' Motor.. That might mean changing over the sensors to match the wiring harness plugs.. I could be wrong..
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:40 PM   #10
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That's right Mudder. 97+ Jeeps are CAN-BUSS. The computer & the cluster have to communicate to each other.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:45 PM   #11
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If I were to pull a motor from a cherokee, should i stick to 95 or older? Didnt the YJ get the "high output" 4.0 in model years 93-95? Did the cherokee get the same? Also... a guy with every YJ part imaginable was giving me some BS that I would need a YJ harness for the 99 cherokee 4.0 or else the motor wouldnt run right. Seemed far fetched but im not about to argue something that I dont know for sure. any thoughts here as well?
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Swap to a 4BT diesel in the future? Most likely.
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:55 PM   #12
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i pulled a motor and transmission and computer out of a 98 Cherokee and used the 2.5 wiring harness and spliced in the two front injectors wires
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:08 PM   #13
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Everything else matches up fine? Did all the gauges work?
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Swap to a 4BT diesel in the future? Most likely.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:31 PM   #14
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This swap is not worth the trouble. V8's are cheap and plentiful. The people I know who have done this have regretted not doing a v8.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:07 PM   #15
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With 4.88 gears and max tire size of 35s - 37s... I don't think I'd regret it. The motor only weighs a bit over 400 lbs and has plenty of torque. Not to mention the 4.0 is pretty bullet proof. I'm really not into the whole V8 craze. If I'm going to deviate from a "stock motor" it would be a Cummins 4BT but that's a big expensive project. I'm just not sold on a V8 swap...
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:51 AM   #16
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A 302 or 305 v8 are putting out about 70-80 more ft lbs of torque than the High Output 4.0 and weight about the same. There are more options for building them up, and more transmissions to choose from that are stronger than the medium duty AX15. It is the same amount of work and money to do either one. Why put in a 4.0 and then start pushing it to the max with 35's or 37's when you can put in a v8 and let it work less while having more available power? You can also put in a trans that is shorter than the AX15 giving better angles on your rear driveshaft letting you lift more without a CV. You can pick up V8's by me for $800-$1200 with under 100k miles all day long. Transmissions are dirt cheap as well unless you want something crazy.

That is why hardly anyone goes to a 4.0 from a 2.5.
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:31 PM   #17
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every gauge except the tach worked with no modifications. I found a Cherokee for $800 pulled the computer, engine, trans. and transfer case then sold the cherokee to a guy for $500 then sold the 2.5 ax5 and transfer case.
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:06 PM   #18
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Sounds like I have a lot more research to do and I appreciate all the input! I'll be bookmarking this for later use. My 2.5 and ax5 appear to still be running strong so I think I'll be holding off for a while since this sounds more in depth than anticipated. I really would like to have a tranny that mates to my NP231 since it is the teraflex terralow tcase with 4:1 gears.
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Swap to a 4BT diesel in the future? Most likely.
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:28 PM   #19
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every gauge except the tach worked with no modifications. I found a Cherokee for $800 pulled the computer, engine, trans. and transfer case then sold the cherokee to a guy for $500 then sold the 2.5 ax5 and transfer case.
That goes both ways though to. If the 2.5 and ax5 are fine when pulled, plenty of people are happy to swap that in as a direct replacement for their daily driver. Could get $500 for Then together easy to recoup some of the cost
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:55 PM   #20
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that's what i did i got 150 for the transfer case 400 for the transmission and 500 for the engine. paid for some up grades.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:35 PM   #21
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IMO, one of the biggest problems with the 4.0 is its limited aftermarket support. The 4.0 is only appealing to Jeep people where a small block V8 is pretty much universal. Everyone loves a V8, but only Jeep guys love the 4.0.

Sure you can get all kinds of good stuff for the 242, but it'll cost you. Any small V8 from the big 3 has ten times the aftermarket support of the 4.0.

That being said, I've owned XJ's with the 4.0 & loved them. They are a fine motor. I don't dislike them in any way. If I could find a cheap 4.0/AX15 locally that hadn't been thrashed (rare around here), I'd drop it in my YJ in a heartbeat.
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Old 03-06-2014, 06:32 PM   #22
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I'd never go from a 2.5 to 4.0 myself for a few reasons.

1. It'll be easier and more cost effective to sell your 2.5l jeep and buy a 4.0l jeep.
2. You'd have to cut off the engine mounts and get news ones for the 4.0l, the same as if you put in a v8 and a v8 is much more powerful.
3. It'd be the same hassle as putting a v8 in trying to figure out the wiring harness and all the sensors and computer.
4. A v8 is much more universal and much easier/cheaper to find parts for than a 4.0l
5. If you already had a high mileage 4.2l or 4.0l motor, it'd be worth doing the swap for a better less mileage 4.0l.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:23 AM   #23
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1 - agreed - sell and buy a 4.0l is probably the best choice
2 - agreed - same amount of work for the most part
3 - disagree - see below
4 - disagree - millions of Jeeps with 4.0l engines were made. It's easy to find parts for them.
5 - agreed - easy and cost-effective

3 - the 2.5L wiring harness can be used as is - you will just need to lengthen a couple of sensor wires, which is extremely easy. And add two fuel injector wires, which is pretty easy. You will need to find a 4.0L ECU, which isn't cheap.

The V8 swap requires a new harness, new ECU (if fuel injected), and a lot of extra wiring into the dash for the gauges. Or you will spend more money for a painless harness, etc.

I will admit to having a biased opinion, as I'm doing a 2.5L to 4.0L swap. The raw HP of a V8 would be nice, but the 4.0 and it's low end torque will be fine for my needs. Each person makes their own judgement on this - some people even live with the 2.5L
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Old 03-07-2014, 03:02 PM   #24
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#4 I believe referred to after market options. The 4.0 options don't even come close to the parts you have to choose from for a Ford or Chevy v8.

For a 6 the 4.0 has good low end torque, but many v8's have much more in the same rpm range and weigh about the same.
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:16 PM   #25
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Don't get me wrong, you can get parts for them. You can pretty much do anything you want to them. OEM parts are still available & plentiful. Aftermarket cost is a big factor as, like I said, the 4.0 is only appealing to the Jeep crowd. That puts it in the "specialty" category as far as aftermarket is concerned.

Crack open a Summit or Jegs catalog & look at the difference in small V8 support vs 4.0 Jeep support. The difference is feast & famine.

Still, good motors. I'm not knocking them in any way/shape/form.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:44 PM   #26
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Considering the amount of upgrades I have on my YJ... There is no way in H*LL I'd trade it for a 4.0... Maybe I need to reconsider lol but at the present moment I am happy with the 2.5 on the trails. With the teraflex terralow np231 4:1 tcase I get everywhere I could imagine going as well as have loads of torque to spare when needed. However, On the roads... it's pretty painful especially when going up a bridge (no hills in florida) or attempting to go highway speeds to avoid slowing up traffic (70 mph). Also more power just means I'd not have to feather the clutch at all in 4low.
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Swap to a 4BT diesel in the future? Most likely.
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Old 03-08-2014, 03:31 AM   #27
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You got a lot of money tied up in that Jeep. A 4BT would finish it nicely.

Also, I'm not sure if you are aware, A swap that is gaining popularity is the OM617 Mercedes turbo diesel. They came in the old Mercedes cars 300D's among others. Do a quick search on OM617 swaps. People are sticking them in all kinds of stuff.

I can buy those cars all day for dirt cheap, but I'm no Mercedes mechanic. They say they're easy to work on & very rarely break down, but parts are expensive. Might be something to check into.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:17 AM   #28
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Actually, funny story I did a lot of digging into the OM617 and my best friend works for Mercedes. They are bullet proof however stats on them aren't much better than a 4 banger. He was saying best I could get out of it was the power of an i6. A 4BT is tuneable to insane degrees but it is quite the heavy motor. I don't think the 4BT swap will be a 2014 goal but I'd eventually like to convert to Diesel. You can pick up a running driving good condition 300D for under a grand or two where he is at in NH. Told him to hold one for me if be ever gets a trade in and I'll drive it down to FL so the option isn't off the table. I'm just trying to hold myself over until I do a major swap. It would be nice to have a motor that can turn tires bigger than 33s at speeds faster than 60 mph on the highway to explore other off road spots in FL until I'm ready financially to do the big diesel swap. I think the only YJ I'd trade my YJ for is a diesel swapped YJ. There is an insane amount of time and money invested into my baby which means nothing to anyone but me when it comes to a sale or trade.
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Swap to a 4BT diesel in the future? Most likely.
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:22 PM   #29
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He's correct. dieselbombers has quite a bit of info on 617's & 617 swaps. They're a solid 115 horse motor in factory dress. You can get quite a bit of free power doing simple injector pump adjustments, injector/plunger swaps, but the pump is only good up to around 170 hp.
The upside to the 617 is, in a Jeep, you get 4.0 power & 25 mpg. I can get those old Mercedes rigs for under 1K around here in good running shape. Might just have to check into it further down the road for my YJ.
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1995 Rio Grande - 2.5 - AX5 - 160k -
4"RC - 1/2"booms - 33's -




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Old 03-08-2014, 08:52 PM   #30
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I have heard complaints about the Mercedes diesel power lacking the type of performance that lets you justify the work. I was considering it myself. Nothing spectacular, and like previously stated Mercedes parts cost a fortune. You can get adapters for them to the ax15 though if you really wanted to go that route. A guy runs a website all about it and makes the adapters. I would put the link up but I am on my phone.

The 4bt is heavy. I would love to put one in though. It sucks anyone selling decent ones want a small fortune for them.

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95 YJ, 2.5 AX15 conversion, 4.0 TB, SOA +1.5", 33" DC Crusher Tires, 8.8 Rear w/welded tubes + LSD, Spartan Locker HP30 Front w/solid axle swap, Rocky Road OTT kit, Safari Snorkel, Warn VR8000 Winch, Smittybuilt front Bumper, JKS Disconnects, AA SYE, Teraflex Shock Bar in Rear, 1/2" Boomerang Shackles, RE Add a Leafs, Homebrew Traction Bar, Monstalined in&out, LED Tail lights, 1700 Watt Stereo
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