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Old 01-19-2017, 07:49 PM
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'93 Huntsman Build - 5.3L Swap

I love my 93, It used to be my daily driver. But after being stranded on the side of the road too many times to count... the 2.5L has pretty much given up.

Today I ordered my engine from No Lift Motorsports out of Topeka KS (NO LIFT Motorsports)
For about $1,200 I will be receiving Chevy 5.3L LM7
Website Description: "Full pull 5.3. These range from 125k and up. accessories, flywheel, and starter. These come with stand alone harness and pcm reflashed setup for your swap. These are intake to oil pan, front accessories, starter, and flywheel."

I added a drive by wire pedal and TAC box setup for $100.

Currently this is my parts list (below). I don't see many of these changing.
I'm struggling with the $900 cooling setup - I'm taking any recommendations.

I'm going to strip all the wiring out and basically start over. Really the only remaining parts of the original harness are the engine. I intend to do it cleanly, and right. No shortcuts.

Stay tuned, I intend to have this wrapped up by early-mid spring this year. I'll post every step of the way. Tear down has already begun.

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1993 YJ - (Soon to be 5.3L Vortec)
33" Firestone Destination MT Tires
2.5" Body Lift
BDS 2.5" Lift Kit + 1" Extended Shackles
AX-15 Trans
Stock Axles
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:24 PM   #2
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Good luck with your swap! I'll be following...

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Old 01-20-2017, 12:07 AM   #3
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'93 Huntsman Build - 5.3L Swap

I used this set up on a 4.3 swap in a '70 Commando. Radiator is a 'jeep v8 conversion' radiator off amazon. It was around $180 maybe, not over $200. And the fan was $80 plus a fan controller. No shroud, 190 degree thermostat and that's where it runs summer or winter.



Might also be able to use/adapt a Ford Taurus fan. It's a fan and shroud in one unit. Google 'Ford Taurus fan jeep.' Probably $100 new and cheaper at a junk yard.

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Old 01-20-2017, 07:26 AM   #4
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I'm rebuilding a 88YJ. As far as the wiring harness is concerned, what isn't dry rotted and brittle has been hacked and spliced by the PO. It's an electrical fire waiting to happen. I'm going to rip it all out and start from scratch too. What are you looking to replace yours with? I was thinking a Painless harness but JEGS offers one for 1/3-1/2 the price. So I don't know which is the better way to go. Anyone out there with experience with either brand? I look forward to following along with your build. Good luck!!
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Old 01-21-2017, 11:14 AM   #5
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I'm in the process of making bad work , correct on mine . Good luck !
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Old 01-21-2017, 11:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Gunny View Post
I'm rebuilding a 88YJ. As far as the wiring harness is concerned, what isn't dry rotted and brittle has been hacked and spliced by the PO. It's an electrical fire waiting to happen. I'm going to rip it all out and start from scratch too. What are you looking to replace yours with? I was thinking a Painless harness but JEGS offers one for 1/3-1/2 the price. So I don't know which is the better way to go. Anyone out there with experience with either brand? I look forward to following along with your build. Good luck!!
I'm about mid stream of fixing some bad wiring work on mine . One thing i would say is do lots of research and research .


I have had conversations with the techs at painless and they are great guys , but wont do any custom pieces ....I found Speedscene wiring and these guys rocked for me , made custom lengths and were fantastic about returning calls and helping with questions . Hope this helps ....good luck !
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Old 01-21-2017, 04:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gungfu View Post
I'm about mid stream of fixing some bad wiring work on mine . One thing i would say is do lots of research and research .


I have had conversations with the techs at painless and they are great guys , but wont do any custom pieces ....I found Speedscene wiring and these guys rocked for me , made custom lengths and were fantastic about returning calls and helping with questions . Hope this helps ....good luck !
Thanks I'll check out Speedscene.
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Old 01-22-2017, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Gunny View Post
I'm rebuilding a 88YJ. As far as the wiring harness is concerned, what isn't dry rotted and brittle has been hacked and spliced by the PO. It's an electrical fire waiting to happen. I'm going to rip it all out and start from scratch too. What are you looking to replace yours with? I was thinking a Painless harness but JEGS offers one for 1/3-1/2 the price. So I don't know which is the better way to go. Anyone out there with experience with either brand? I look forward to following along with your build. Good luck!!
Well the engine wiring harness comes pre-hooked up with the appropriate relays already wired up in a plug-and-play format. The engine should only require me to hook up a switched, constant, and gauge outputs, and a ground.

I have a Blue Sea Systems split fuse block, I was going to wire everything in the jeep with that. One half for constant power, the other half for switched.
So in essence I will only have to wire up fuel pump, lights, and other basic things through the fuse box. Of course using relays and other pieces as needed.
I really want to focus on simplicity as much as I physically can.
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1993 YJ - (Soon to be 5.3L Vortec)
33" Firestone Destination MT Tires
2.5" Body Lift
BDS 2.5" Lift Kit + 1" Extended Shackles
AX-15 Trans
Stock Axles
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Old 01-24-2017, 09:37 AM   #9
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The wiring is definitely the most tedious and time consuming part of a swap IMHO. It took me over a week to get mine sorted out, but that included making nearly a whole new harness. Jeep did a few interesting things in how they ran the wiring. It might be worth your while to use the factory power distribution block. It has the needed relays and fuses already there and the hot in run/start circuit that your engine's ECM will need.
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Old 01-28-2017, 06:52 PM
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Progress

I officially have everything out of the way (except for power steering reservoir).
I picked up an engine hoist from Northern Tool - 2 Ton engine hoist with load leveler for $240. Admittedly it's a little steep, but I'm very happy with the quality of the tool. Would recommend.

I should be able to pull the engine, tramsmission, transfer case tomorrow. Plan is to pull them as a whole setup.

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1993 YJ - (Soon to be 5.3L Vortec)
33" Firestone Destination MT Tires
2.5" Body Lift
BDS 2.5" Lift Kit + 1" Extended Shackles
AX-15 Trans
Stock Axles
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:04 AM
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Naked Jeep!!

2.5L, AX-15, and NP231 transfercase pulled out as a whole. I didn't have to remove the shifter assembly, i had plenty of clearance with the load leveler to angle it out.
The biggest challenge was making sure everything was disconnected. The engine is really webbed in.

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1993 YJ - (Soon to be 5.3L Vortec)
33" Firestone Destination MT Tires
2.5" Body Lift
BDS 2.5" Lift Kit + 1" Extended Shackles
AX-15 Trans
Stock Axles
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:07 AM
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Can ya'll spot what was wrong with my old motor mount?
Haha that explains a lot.

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1993 YJ - (Soon to be 5.3L Vortec)
33" Firestone Destination MT Tires
2.5" Body Lift
BDS 2.5" Lift Kit + 1" Extended Shackles
AX-15 Trans
Stock Axles
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:39 PM
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New Parts

Received my cooling setup in the mail today, I did not use the NOVAK setup... too pricey.

Summit racing had a perfect YJ V8 Conversion radiator.
Radiator part No.: SUM-380464 ($340)
Fan Part No.: 398 ($109)
Fan controller part No. 31147 ($30)

I couldn't be happier with the quality of all the parts. The fan is so much better than a tarus fan, highly recommend this setup.

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1993 YJ - (Soon to be 5.3L Vortec)
33" Firestone Destination MT Tires
2.5" Body Lift
BDS 2.5" Lift Kit + 1" Extended Shackles
AX-15 Trans
Stock Axles
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:03 PM   #14
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Similar to mine except I made a sheet metal shroud to mount the fan away from the radiator surface and also to let the fan pull air through the entire radiator surface.
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:05 AM   #15
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I used a fan from a 2000 Ford ZX2, shroud and all covers just about the entire fin area and it is a dual speed fan. Had the Jeep out on a warm day and my radiator never got above 140 F using just the low speed.
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LSD 8.8, custom dash, front and rear bumpers, extended rear axle, fender mods, etc, etc, etc
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:29 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntsman180 View Post
Received my cooling setup in the mail today, I did not use the NOVAK setup... too pricey.

Summit racing had a perfect YJ V8 Conversion radiator.
Radiator part No.: SUM-380464 ($340)
Fan Part No.: 398 ($109)
Fan controller part No. 31147 ($30)

I couldn't be happier with the quality of all the parts. The fan is so much better than a tarus fan, highly recommend this setup.
That's a really nice setup. I may have missed it but what transmission are you going with? I need a setup for a automatic transmission.
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Gunny View Post
That's a really nice setup. I may have missed it but what transmission are you going with? I need a setup for a automatic transmission.
I'm using an AX-15. I love manual transmissions. Especially since it's not a daily driver.

The radiator I used (part # in post above) should be able to handle an automatic transmission. I believe thats what the two brass fittings are at the bottom. I obviously wont be using them. But they're there in case I need them in the future.
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1993 YJ - (Soon to be 5.3L Vortec)
33" Firestone Destination MT Tires
2.5" Body Lift
BDS 2.5" Lift Kit + 1" Extended Shackles
AX-15 Trans
Stock Axles
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:28 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntsman180 View Post

I'm using an AX-15. I love manual transmissions. Especially since it's not a daily driver.

The radiator I used (part # in post above) should be able to handle an automatic transmission. I believe thats what the two brass fittings are at the bottom. I obviously wont be using them. But they're there in case I need them in the future.
Thanks for the Intel!
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:23 AM
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Parts!

NOVAK parts arrived, I test-fit them together prior so I knew exactly how they went together before I go install.

Look at the size difference between the 2.5 and the 5.3, this is going to be sweet!

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1993 YJ - (Soon to be 5.3L Vortec)
33" Firestone Destination MT Tires
2.5" Body Lift
BDS 2.5" Lift Kit + 1" Extended Shackles
AX-15 Trans
Stock Axles
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Old 02-20-2017, 03:37 PM   #20
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Sweet!
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Old 02-25-2017, 05:03 PM
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Progress

I installed the bell housing today. I had to drill out the 4 exsisting bell housing bolts to fit it to the GMAX15 adapter. Thankfully a local Jeep club member had a drill press I could borrow for a few minutes.

I also upgraded the garage lighting (it had none). Easily the best money spent, they're motion activated, pull 42 watts, and we're only $32 each. Surprisingly bright. It really brightened up the dark cave I was working in.

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1993 YJ - (Soon to be 5.3L Vortec)
33" Firestone Destination MT Tires
2.5" Body Lift
BDS 2.5" Lift Kit + 1" Extended Shackles
AX-15 Trans
Stock Axles
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Old 02-25-2017, 05:15 PM
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I installed the flywheel, and pilot busing. The flywheels 11mm x 1.5" bolts don't exist anywhere except from ARP - which run a lovely $35.

Clutch was a quick install, the alignment tool didn't work very well. As it was a smaller diameter than the pilot bushing. I will have to align the transmission up and then finally torque the clutch down.


Sorry for the picture rotations. They're refusing to upload correctly.

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1993 YJ - (Soon to be 5.3L Vortec)
33" Firestone Destination MT Tires
2.5" Body Lift
BDS 2.5" Lift Kit + 1" Extended Shackles
AX-15 Trans
Stock Axles
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Old 02-25-2017, 05:17 PM
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Can't wait to install the motor mounts. The welds look really well done.


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1993 YJ - (Soon to be 5.3L Vortec)
33" Firestone Destination MT Tires
2.5" Body Lift
BDS 2.5" Lift Kit + 1" Extended Shackles
AX-15 Trans
Stock Axles
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Old 03-09-2017, 10:59 AM
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Progress

Got the throw out bearing and fork installed. It required me to completely remove the bellhousing, as the input shaft was in the way. Haha everything's always a PITA.

The clutch alignment tool didn't have the same diameter as my pilot bushing.. So i used some tightly wrapped electrical tape to fill the void.

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1993 YJ - (Soon to be 5.3L Vortec)
33" Firestone Destination MT Tires
2.5" Body Lift
BDS 2.5" Lift Kit + 1" Extended Shackles
AX-15 Trans
Stock Axles
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:06 AM
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With everything in place I tried to mate everything together. Everything was going great, until it stopped with about 1" to go... I'm thinking the pilot bushing and clutch weren't perfectly aligned (tape trick must not have worked).

I tried wiggling, jiggling, cursing, and nothing has worked quite yet.
And now the two pieces are stuck together... Haha this is great

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1993 YJ - (Soon to be 5.3L Vortec)
33" Firestone Destination MT Tires
2.5" Body Lift
BDS 2.5" Lift Kit + 1" Extended Shackles
AX-15 Trans
Stock Axles
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:15 AM   #26
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With only 1" to go, I doubt the alignment tool was the issue. It's just to align the clutch friction plate. I would rotate the engine crank or transmission shaft and see if that does it. If not, I would suspect the pilot bearing. I had one drop a roller bearing once, that was a nightmare... I forced it and the result was a truck that basically would never release the clutch. Also, I would make sure the pilot bearing has the correct ID.
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1992 YJ with 5.0 Ford, M5OD R2 Trans, BW 1356 TC, Ford 8.8 rear axle, sitting on 33 x 12.50 BFG MTs.
Aluminum 3-core rad, Electric fan, 8k winch
-More mods to come-
LSD 8.8, custom dash, front and rear bumpers, extended rear axle, fender mods, etc, etc, etc
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:06 PM
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It took some more wiggling and jiggling but the setup finally slid into place!
Prior to assembly I checked that the pilot bearing and clutch fit on the input shaft.

A note for anyone who's doing this swap:
The bolts that mate the bellhousing to the engine block. There are 8 bolts all grade 10.9.
6 of these are M10x40 Flanged Hex Head, and 2 are M10x50 Flanged Hex Head.
The two M10x50, are for the external slave adapter (black bracket).
Emphasis on the FLANGED.. Haha it took another trip back to the hardware store because the socket wouldn't fit on non-flanged.

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1993 YJ - (Soon to be 5.3L Vortec)
33" Firestone Destination MT Tires
2.5" Body Lift
BDS 2.5" Lift Kit + 1" Extended Shackles
AX-15 Trans
Stock Axles
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:12 PM
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Wiring harness is in.
No Lift Motorsports did a great job as far as I can see.

Wire Identification (correct me if I'm wrong):
Thick Red = Constant 12V
Thin Red = Switched 12V
Green = To Fuel Pump
Thick Purple = To Starter Solenoid Switch

The only thing I'm not understanding yet, is how the harness knows when its switched into 'Start', or the state when I'm trying to crank the engine over.
With the "Thin Red = Switched 12V", that's just from a switched circuit thats 'hot' while I'm in the 'Run' state.

Any ideas? Or do I have this wrong?

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1993 YJ - (Soon to be 5.3L Vortec)
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2.5" Body Lift
BDS 2.5" Lift Kit + 1" Extended Shackles
AX-15 Trans
Stock Axles
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:15 PM
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Looks like i'm going to have to get some block hugger headers...
I was hoping I could squeak by without. But granted there's a finger width between the dump and the external slave cyl, I think it's too close for the heat generated.

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1993 YJ - (Soon to be 5.3L Vortec)
33" Firestone Destination MT Tires
2.5" Body Lift
BDS 2.5" Lift Kit + 1" Extended Shackles
AX-15 Trans
Stock Axles
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Old 03-16-2017, 06:49 PM   #30
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In my SBC I used rams horn center dump manifolds. I am not sure they exist for the 5.3 but it eliminates the slave problem. I originally tried block huggers but they would not clear the engine mounts.

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