My son started tearing apart his '95 4 cyl. I had previously did a "bring it back to life" list after it sat in my driveway for a year. Lots of deficiencies but like most Jeeps, doable. It does need a lot of work though, from the radiator to the rear axle.
He decided, at the cost of one of my garage bays, to do a frame up rebuild. We talked about the costs and time needed, but he still wants to do it. I would've fixed what was broken but it's his Jeep. I'm just happy something is finally happening to the Jeep.
I have the tools and garage space. He wants some more power and suggested V8, I said fix what's broken the 2.5 is a good motor. We met in the middle and settled on the 6 cylinder. I'm trying to keep it as simple as possible.
We've done basic stuff. Wiring, clutches, brakes, swapping in trannys and stuff but never anything total like this. I'm ok with the rebuild because of the father/son thing and it'll get the Jeep back on the road, eventually...hopefully.
I read the posts that said sell the 4 and get a 6, it'll be easier/smarter. But we already have this Jeep so we wanna work on it. Is upgrading to the straight 6 more trouble than it's worth? Since the entire drivetrain has to be replaced to handle the bigger motor, would the V8 be equal to the amount of work involved? At best, he ends up with a decent ride and we get to work on a Jeep which is always cool. At worst, I end up with a frame and a pile of YJ parts.
Everyone on here has told me that swapping to a Inline 6 will cost almost the same as swapping to a V8... Now I have done neither and want to do one or the other. But my feeling is that if you could find a donor vehicle that would be the route to go and my decision would be based on the price of the donor vehicle. Meaning if I can buy a Cherokee for less than a Silverado then I would do an inline 6 or vis versa.
1995 YJ 2.5L 4cyl, 2.5 in. Rugged Ridge Lift, 1 in. Lift Boomerang Shackles, 32 in. Kenda Klever MT Tires, G.E.A.R Seat covers, Rear mounted Jerry Can, Smittybilt SRC Sliders, Rear Bumper, and Rear Corner Guards with Flat flares, EAUTOGRILLES Front Flat Fender Flares, EAUTOGRILLES Stinger Bumper, Quadratec 9000 lbs. Winch. Still more to come eventually!!!
If it is worth it or not is up to you. If you can find a donor with the engine, trans, and t-case it isn't bad. But you need all three. Motor mounts will need relocated as well. You will need the PCM from the donor too. So a lot of the things you need for the 6 you will need for the 8. It probably comes down to what you can get cheaper.
I did the 2.5L to 4.0L conversion. It's not hard, but the costs do add up. Just read up and research, research, research.
I spent almost a year collecting parts for my swap. Just opportunistically picked up the engine, transmission, ECM and transfer case along the way. Then another engine, and another transmission that were better. And another ECM as a spare.
You'll need two new driveshafts, as well, since the AX15 is longer than the AX5. I went with Tom Woods.
Definitely go external slave on the new transmission, and replace all the seals and gaskets while everything is out of the car.
1995 YJ, 4.0L, AX15, 3" susp lift; Lock Right in Dana 30; 8.8 w/ARB; Flat Tummy Tuck, 1" Daystar BL; 1" MORE MML; 35" MT/r Tires;