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Old 09-20-2011, 09:46 PM   #1
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Going to be starting an LS1 swap, in a 99' Wrangler

Hey all, I've been thinking hard about doing a LS1 swap this winter in my Wrangler. Its a 99' with the 2.5L and a 5 speed. I'm not going to be using the Wrangler for any crawling or anything like that, at most I'd take it in some mud holes every now and then, probably not very often.

Basically I want to lift the jeep a little, I'm thinking 35's at most for tire size. I dont want the thing to be extremely tall, just a well rounded, nice looking jeep. I'm guessing for 35's I'd have to run around a 6" lift? 1-2" Body lift for the engine swap, and another 3-4" suspension lift. If I'm wrong on this, lemme know!

I've found an LS1 for 2 grand, and have been reading quite a few threads on this. I'm looking to do the swap on a budget, around 6000$. I'll be doing all the work myself, if possible also. I'm planning to pull the tub off the frame and sandblast the frame down, and go from there. Either a manual or automatic will work, I'm guessing the swap would be easier to do with an auto? The jeep will be street driven probably 90% of the time.

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Old 09-20-2011, 10:39 PM   #2
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Hats off to you. My other car is a ls2 gto and i sometimes daydream about an ls1 or 2 in my wrangler

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Old 09-20-2011, 11:41 PM   #3
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Good luck with the swap. I've heard that the th400 or th700 is a good mate for the ls1. Also good luck with keeping it under your 6k budget. Do you plan on also upgrading your axles too? I think D44 can handle a mild v8 with upgraded axles. I know a D35 won't stand a chance.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:11 AM   #4
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I read that a ford 8.8 was a good axle, can withstand a lot of power and has lots of options for upgrading. True? I'm looking for preferably an auto that is a 4 or 5 speed.
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:21 AM   #5
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Hats off to you. My other car is a ls2 gto and i sometimes daydream about an ls1 or 2 in my wrangler
I hear you. The TJ shares garage space with an '06 Goat and '06 C6 Coupe. 6 speeds both. TJ would be a BEAST with a LS2.
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:43 PM   #6
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not to rain on your parade but there are people on here that have spent more than half your budget just to properly run 35" tires. that is a worthy goal and will be amazing when done but that budget might not happen. you need to seriously look at what it's going to cost before you touch the tools.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:13 PM   #7
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I've been considering the same thing. i agree that 6k would be on the very low side to get this done. I figure I could do it for about 6, but I have a doner car that will include alot of the stuff I will need.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:16 PM   #8
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Might as well ask, I had seen something a while back online about a tail shaft housing for a borg warner t56 that would let you mount a tcase to it. Anybody heard of any thing like this?
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:24 PM   #9
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You dont think you would be just as happy or more happy with 4" of lift and 33's? I have 6" of lift and 35s and its pretty aggressive and more so then Id ever actually need. I think if I was going to have an LSx in a Jeep id rather it be a lil shorter so I can safely and practically enjoy both worlds.

As for the budget I have to agree with some above. To run 35s safe literally costs at least half your budget...DONE RIGHT. Doing it your self would def help but might be closer to 8 or 10...esp with axel upgrades and dont forget brakes.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:37 PM   #10
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not to rain on your parade but there are people on here that have spent more than half your budget just to properly run 35" tires. that is a worthy goal and will be amazing when done but that budget might not happen. you need to seriously look at what it's going to cost before you touch the tools.
Agreed, Just for your TJ to properly handle 35s you will spending a pretty good chunk of your budget. You said you found an ls1 for 2K

ls1 $2000
tranny $500 - $2000 depending on what you get
transfer case $300 - $800 " "
35" tires $1200
8.8 axle swap $1000
front axle swap $1000
SYE/cv shaft $500
brackets/wiring $1000
gearing for axles $1200
exhaust $400
gages (stock wont work with the gm engine) $300
upgraded front brakes $800 (vanco)
these are all conservative estimates and assuming you do all the labor yourself with the exception of the gear change

Total $10,200 and I am sure there will be plenty of odds and ends that will cost $100 here and there.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:49 PM   #11
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Lets put it this way. If your 6k budget includes purchase of engine....your going to go way over budget. With the cost of my motor and trans (out of a 87 suburban 350 and 700r4 carburated) I'm at 5 grand. Thats with all the parts ordered that i need and still have to buy wiring and fuel tranny oil lines and small stuff. Now thats with a motor and trans that I got a deal on for 400 bucks. And yours is obviously fuel injection so theres added cost right there. I'm not try to rain on your parade but before you take this on you need to seriously reconsider your budget and be sure your willing to fork out the amount of money to get it done correctly.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:14 PM   #12
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Agreed, Just for your TJ to properly handle 35s you will spending a pretty good chunk of your budget. You said you found an ls1 for 2K

ls1 $2000
tranny $500 - $2000 depending on what you get
transfer case $300 - $800 " "
35" tires $1200
8.8 axle swap $1000
front axle swap $1000
SYE/cv shaft $500
brackets/wiring $1000
gearing for axles $1200
exhaust $400
gages (stock wont work with the gm engine) $300
upgraded front brakes $800 (vanco)
these are all conservative estimates and assuming you do all the labor yourself with the exception of the gear change

Total $10,200 and I am sure there will be plenty of odds and ends that will cost $100 here and there.
plus cost of lifting it
plus cost of upgrading steering

you might be better off getting a 5.3 from a truck if you want a gm ls in there. actually if you can find a wrecked truck that still runs you could save a lot by buying the whole thing since it will have most of the stuff you need.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:21 PM   #13
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Don't forget wiring and cooling the motor. I've read that many of the v8 swaps can end up nickel and dime your pockets. That's where it can really get you.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:29 PM   #14
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gearing for axles $1200
With the amount of power he will be making, I am not sure a regear is necessary.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:30 PM   #15
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And I hope you have the knowledge and skill to do all the work yourself or else the price just skyrocketed
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:31 PM   #16
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With the amount of power he will be making, I am not sure a regear is necessary.
Regearing for the right tire size is always necessary. If hes not geared properly he will be putting a huge work load on the motor resulting in it losing a good amount of power and gas mileage. Also reducing the life of the engine.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:36 PM   #17
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Look at a 4.8 and an 4L60E auto transmission. You can find them out of early 00 silverados all day for around $1200 with ecm and wiring harness. Youll need to get motor mounts and you can get the computer flashed and the harness simplified by Novak that will work with your existing electronics in your Jeep. Look at around $3000 for everything. If you are on the street the D35 will work with 31"s. But to go to 35" you better have extra deep pockets!
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:42 PM   #18
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Regearing for the right tire size is always necessary. If hes not geared properly he will be putting a huge work load on the motor resulting in it losing a good amount of power and gas mileage. Also reducing the life of the engine.
You are assuming the engine is as pathetically weak as the 4.0 Jeep...but its not. The 5.3 in my pickup would pull its 5000 lbs at 65-70 mph all day, up hill even, at or under 2000 RPM. Gearing requirements will be drastically different for the new engine...requiring relatively higher, not lower, gears.

Running the RPMs required by the 4.0 would be overworking the engine...not helping it.

Back to the original point: why a LS1 and not a truck motor? I'd be looking 5.3 or 6.0 rather than LS1...just to keep power where I want it - at low RPM.
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:31 AM   #19
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As far as axles go, would a Dana 60 be too wide? 66" between mounting surfaces, can get a nice one for 100$. Basically I'm looking for deals on things, and going from there. Not going to be buying the first thing I see, and spending a boatload of money.

Also I can get a set of axles from a 97 Ford Explorer for 300$, front and back. I know people want the 8.8's out of those in the rear, but is the front usable? Or what would be a good front axle to run?
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Old 09-22-2011, 04:55 AM   #20
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Ford Explorers were all IFS or TTB (twin Traction Beam) as far as i know. And neither would be good for a regular TJ... let alone a V8 powered TJ on 35's.
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:26 AM   #21
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With the amount of power he will be making, I am not sure a regear is necessary.
Thats assuming he finds axles with matching gears.
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Old 09-22-2011, 04:21 PM   #22
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As far as axles go, would a Dana 60 be too wide? 66" between mounting surfaces, can get a nice one for 100$. Basically I'm looking for deals on things, and going from there. Not going to be buying the first thing I see, and spending a boatload of money.

Also I can get a set of axles from a 97 Ford Explorer for 300$, front and back. I know people want the 8.8's out of those in the rear, but is the front usable? Or what would be a good front axle to run?
you can choose to shorten it or not but either way you will have to make or buy new mounting locations for your tj.
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Old 09-22-2011, 05:24 PM   #23
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Okay, found a newer Ford 8.8 with low miles, disc brakes, posi and 3.73 gears for 200$, so going to be buying that. That will cover the rear axle, I'll just use some spacers to put my wheels back out where they should be, if needed. Now for the front axle... Anyone wanna chime in on what a good matching candidate is for the front? Or would my front stock axle be ok since I wont be doing any heavy offroading? I just want something to hold up to the power in the rear, for the WOT times on the street.
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Old 09-22-2011, 05:27 PM   #24
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for street driving in 2h i think the d30 is fine.
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Old 09-22-2011, 05:33 PM   #25
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for street driving in 2h i think the d30 is fine.


Good one
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Old 09-22-2011, 05:35 PM   #26
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Would the TJ frame be a concern for an LS1 swap? That's a lot of power. Would it cause the frame to twist at all?
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:00 PM   #27
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Would the TJ frame be a concern for an LS1 swap? That's a lot of power. Would it cause the frame to twist at all?
it's still a truck frame, i can't imagine it not standing up to an ls1.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:24 PM   #28
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I hear you. The TJ shares garage space with an '06 Goat and '06 C6 Coupe. 6 speeds both. TJ would be a BEAST with a LS2.
6 speed is the only way to go in both of those cars, right on

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