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Old 03-28-2014, 02:30 PM   #1
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Budget 4.3l/700R4/231C Powertrain Swap

I bought my Jeep last year from a kid in Mississippi while on a business trip. I bought it on the spot and drove it 13hrs home. It's in great shape as far as any rust or body damage goes (could use a paint job and new interior), and I believe it was a great deal. The PO put a Rough Country 2.5in lift on it and 31" Cooper Discoverer STT tires. It's a bumpy ride but it does ride straight and with almost no vibration. However, with the bigger tires on, it does bog down the small engine and I am sick of getting passed by everyone. I'm ready to go to something bigger. I've been reading a lot on here and looked at some of the engine swaps that other owners have been doing and I've read that the older S10/S15/Blazer/Jimmy's have a NP231C transfer case that you can adapt to use the drive-shafts and output shaft from the current setup and make a NP231C/J transfer case. I also read that it's best to get the entire donor vehicle so that you have everything there if you need to reference something.

So, with my wife's permission , I bought a 1990 s15 truck from a guy here in Michigan for $750.
It's body is all rusted out but he swears that both the motor and trans were just rebuilt 30,000 miles ago and from the sound and feel of it I would say he is right. So with that in mind, I'm thinking of swapping the entire power-train (4.3L, 700R4 Trans, and 231C transfer case) from this S-15 pickup. My goal is to get the power-train swapped over to the Jeep in the cheapest way possible. If you have any suggestions or comments please let me know as I am very new to this and have limited mechanical ability (electrical is my strong suit). I will try to keep an up to date list on what I have spent.

So far,

$750 S15 Truck
$29.63 A/C Delete Pulley for 4.3L

I spent about an hour and started taking apart the truck last night and this is where I've ended up.
I also ordered the A/C delete pulley so I can remove the A/C compressor. I will continue working on it this weekend and get it ready to pull before I have to leave for Germany for another business trip this next weekend. Stay tuned...

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Old 03-28-2014, 03:02 PM   #2
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Here is a video of the current 2.5l running. http://service.geninsp.com/engine.mov I will be selling it and the AX-5 trans. Whatever I get from them I will take off of what I already spent.

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Old 03-31-2014, 12:41 PM   #3
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Didn't have a lot of time this weekend to work on the truck. I was able to get the drivers side fender and wheel well off as well as more bolts on the front clip.

I started to take the passenger side fender off and realized that I could not open the passenger door to get at the bolts. Then I spent the next hour trying to get the door open! I finally had to get out the cutting wheel and cut out a section where I could get access to the locking mechanism. I guess I'll never make it as a car thief...


Here is the door where I had to bend and cut out. The lock was froze up and I could not get it off.

The A/C delete pulley should be here tomorrow and I'll get started on pulling all of the A/C components out.

I also had a little time this weekend to go through some of the wiring and start to label it with some masking tape and permanent marker.
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:34 PM   #4
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Keep up the good work I think allot of us new guys will keep a close eye on this, as it goes on.
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:44 PM   #5
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If you would please be extra detailed in your wiring
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:22 AM   #6
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Getting the whole donor vehicle is the right way to go. I question why you had to remove the fender though. I have pulled several engines using a simple cherry-picker and never had to remove anything but the hood.

Also to note, going from a 4 banger to a v6 (or is it v8) you will need to fabricate or buy new motor mount ( possibly with reinforced frame )
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:07 AM   #7
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Well I haven't been able to get to work on the truck a lot but figured I would update before I have to leave on my business trip.

I got all fenders off and have complete access to the engine. I'm new to all of this and want to make sure that I try to keep everything that I may need for the swap as I am trying to stick to a budget. Getting everything out of the way will help me track down wire runs and figure out what goes where and what to keep and what to cut.



This was after I removed the A/C compressor and all other A/C components.


The next day I wanted to start it up one more time to make sure I hadn't messed anything up http://service.geninsp.com/Running.mov

I then drained the radiator and disconnected the oil cooler and lines. I read that the oil cooler is not really needed and I'm going to remove it and attach the oil filter on the block. I also drained the oil and started removing some of the vacuum and electrical lines for the cruise control.




When I get back from my trip I'm going to start on getting everything below disconnected.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:17 AM   #8
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Lil Town,

Thanks for the reply. Yes once I start to put everything into the Jeep I will detail what wire goes where.

Rlhoffman,

Thanks for the reply. Yeah I have been looking at the different motor mounts out there. I think I'm going to get the advanced adapters weld in mounts for the 4.3l. I also know that I will need a shifter and I think I'm going to go with a B&M sportshifter.

If you guys have any suggestions on anything or see anything I'm doing wrong please let me know as this is new to me. Thanks.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:37 PM   #9
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Wow, it's been awhile since I have updated. I will try to give a quick run down and what I've done and what I have left. If I can remember everything, haha.

I got most all of the truck engine disconnected but didn't want to pull it yet until I had the other engine out of the Jeep. So I moved over to the jeep and started to disassemble it.




With the help of my neighbor's cherry picker, I pulled the engine.





I then took apart the trans and the engine because I had sold the trans to someone for $200. I want to keep the engine until I get everything working with the 4.3.


While the engine was out I wanted to change my power steering gearbox since it had a little play and it was right there easy to get to. So I took off the old one and put a re-man one in. FYI, getting the pitman arm off is not fun!





I also then cut off the original motor mounts and cleaned up the area to get it ready for the Advanced Adapter motor mounts. I will try to get some pics of the motor mounts installed soon.



I then pulled the entire drive train out of the Chevy and de-greased it a couple times.


I then noticed that on the output shaft of the chevy transfer case was making a clicking noise. I decided to take it apart to see what it was. Turns out it was just a bolt that was 1/8" too long that the PO must have replaced that was hitting the chain. Put it back together and everything was fine. I did NOT swap the back of the case with the Jeep case. The output shaft on the transfer case works fine with the Jeep rear drive shaft. I'm not planning on going higher than the 2.5" lift for the time being so I do not need a SYE (Slip Yoke Eliminator). However, I am going to keep the Jeep transfer case for the time being just in case I do get the itch to go bigger.



I put the transfer case back on as well as the motor mounts. I then took it and test mounted it in the Jeep.



I got the motor location figured out by placing the rear output shaft on the transfer case in the exact same location that the Jeep transfer case was. This way I am able to use the rear original Jeep drive shaft (The front drive shaft worked as well). I then modified the skid plate so that the chevy transmission rubber mount would bolt up to it (Need to take pictures of this).

I then worked on getting a radiator bracket made up to hold the chevy radiator. We use extruded aluminum at my work and we had some in the scrap bin, so I used some of it to make a bracket. The nice thing about the extruded aluminum is that with the slots you can easily change the height of where you want it.

I will probably redo this in the future when I go with an electric fan, but this will work for now.



I also then hooked up the Radiator hoses, fuel lines, power steering lines, and transmission cooling lines.

I then made a bracket (extruded aluminum again) for the B&M Sport shifter. I used the Chevy transfer case shifter. I also hooked up the linkage to the transmission; shifts good.




I then worked on getting the ECM mounted and wired in. I've seen other posts were people mounted the ECM in the glove box, I liked the idea of keeping it inside the cab but I didn't want to lose any storage space. So I mounted mine inside the cab on the passenger side wall, up next to heater damper. It's tucked up nice and out of the way. I also installed the DRAC unit and the ALDL connector in the cab underneath the dash.




This is were I drilled a hole for all the wires that go to the ECM to go through on the firewall.


I then dropped the gas tank and removed the Jeep fuel pump and replaced it with one that was made for the Chevy truck. My original thinking was that I wouldn't have to do this since I read somewhere that the Jeep pump puts out 40-60psi and that even though the Chevy TBI runs at 9-14psi it has it's own regulator that would still allow it to work. However, I've read elsewhere that it's too much pressure and that the regulator will not reduce the pressure down that much. So without risking anything I decided to drop the tank and install the Chevy pump. It wasn't that hard, just had to splice in the wires and cut the tubing shorter so that the taller pump would fit. Unfortunately I forgot to take pics before I put the sending unit back in the tank.



Right now I'm working on the electrical. I should be able to fire it up soon. I have all the ignition circuits figured out as well as the fuel pump relay. I need to figure out the brake switch and how it hooks up the TCC switch. Should be working on that tonight. I signed up to the website alldatadiy.com for both vehicles and it was the best $40 spent on this entire project.

I haven't had time to add up what I have spent, but I know it hasn't been that much. (Under $500)

I will try to keep it updated better, just hard to find the time. If anyone has any questions or wants me to take a picture of anything, please let me know. And if you see anything I'm doing wrong please let me know
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:52 PM   #10
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I was considering this swap with my '90, but changed to a 5.2L from a Dakota, If I was going to swap in a 4.3L GM, it would be a newer engine.


Dont get me wrong, teh TBI engine is a great setup, alot easier to work on, but my choice int he CPFI engine is only for power, its got 210HP, more then the newer poppet injector engines (CPMFI) by 15HP.

The good thing about teh 241C is it has a wider chain, and all the parts are exchangeable with the J...
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:18 PM   #11
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looking good, it all looks quite nice, glad to see you've still been making progress. On a note about the fuel pump, even though its already switched, the factory pump works fine an dandy. Thats what I'm using on my 305 tbi. Been running fine for two weeks now driving it everyday.
On 2xs comment concerning the transfer, he's using the 231c, it has the bigger chain, the 241c is physically larger and different transfer used in fullsize trucks, I'm sure you just made a typo but that may clear things up for others that read that.
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:25 PM   #12
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looking good, it all looks quite nice, glad to see you've still been making progress. On a note about the fuel pump, even though its already switched, the factory pump works fine an dandy. Thats what I'm using on my 305 tbi. Been running fine for two weeks now driving it everyday.
On 2xs comment concerning the transfer, he's using the 231c, it has the bigger chain, the 241c is physically larger and different transfer used in fullsize trucks, I'm sure you just made a typo but that may clear things up for others that read that.
Yes, a typo, I was kinda drunk typing that....
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xs View Post
Yes, a typo, I was kinda drunk typing that....
haha it happens
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Old 06-20-2014, 01:17 PM   #14
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2xs,

Yeah I am thinking that when this engine dies I will probably switch it out with a newer 4.3. This was just a lot easier and cheaper to go with the entire setup from the early 90's truck.

kywaterman,

Thanks. Yeah I wondered about the fuel pump, but read about it not working on other swaps because it was too high of pressure. On your swap was your 2.5l a TBI as well? Since my 1994 2.5l engine was MPFI and not a TBI, wouldn't that pump be putting out too high of pressure to work with the TBI 4.3?
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:37 PM   #15
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Correct my 2.5 was an 89 so it was a throttle body motor. The later models may be too high of pressure, idk how much pressure the stock regulator can handle, would be handy to know though....
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:49 AM   #16
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Wow, what a weekend. Got the jeep up and running! Finished wiring for the ignition and it fired right up.

Here is a video of it running (sorry video is upside down)
http://service.geninsp.com/IMG_1536.MOV

Zip tied up all the loose wires and radiator overflow and left the fenders off. Went for a test drive and it drove like it dream. I went for one test drive then immediately drove to a local muffler shop to have them do the exhaust. $140 later, I had a new Dynomax exhaust welded on and it sounds great. I am now getting the Glowshift gauges that bought put in and doing more cleanup of the wires. I will try to get some more pictures on here soon.
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:56 AM   #17
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Just wanted to say that I would not have done it without this forum. If anyone reading this has ambitions of doing a engine swap I would definitely recommend it. It only took me a little over 2 1/2 months and that was working just a couple hours a night and one day out of the weekend. I still need to add up my total cost once I'm completely done, but I don't think it will be much over $600 (once I sell the 2.5l). Well worth it!

If anyone has any questions (wiring, mounting, ect) please let me know and I will try and answer. I would like to give back to the community that has helped me so much
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:25 PM   #18
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This is quite impressive. You did a great job. Can we get a video of the sound with the exhaust now on? This probably feels like a dragster compared to the 2.5L. You've given me lots to think about for this winter.
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:57 PM   #19
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Nice write up, I'm slowly working on the same swap but with a manual trans, it was getting more and more expensive for what I wanted to do with the auto. I haven't got to the actual motor swap, still working on the axle swaps and building the suspension but I can't wait to have it done. I will definitely be asking questions when it comes time to install.
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Old 07-12-2014, 12:23 AM   #20
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Been thinking of doing the same with mine also. Would prefer to have a 5 speed but most donors I've found are automatics. Were you able to use the S10 cooler lines as well? Dipstick tube fit ok? No oil pan mods? Speedo cable?
Would like to hear more about the wiring involved also.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:28 PM   #21
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Sorry I haven't had the time to update this. I will hopefully have time to take some more video/pictures and upload them. So far I'm really happy with the swap. I just filled up and got to 17mpg, which was about 70% city driving. I've re-installed the fenders about 2 weeks ago and also changed out the fuel injectors. My first tank I was getting about 12mpg because I had a leaky fuel injector....or I was just driving really fast, haha. I did get it up to 96mph on the expressway just to try it out and still had plenty of pedal left. Even though I miss the stick shift I love having the ability to pass people whenever I want and make it up a hill without bogging down to below highway minimum speed. It's so much more fun to drive. I also installed some glowshift gauges (tach, and speedometer) and they are working great and look good. I will try to upload some pics of them installed in the dash soon.

Babasnoopy,

Thanks. I will try to get a video of it running and upload it soon.

yjwrangler4me,

Yes I used the trans cooler lines on the s10 radiator. Dipstick was not a problem nor was the oil pan. I left the VSS sensor that was on the NP231C transfer case alone and then used an electronic aftermarket speedo (glowshift). Although I found out later that I still needed to get a dakota digital SGI-5 box to convert the signals into a range that the glowshift could read, but at least now I can easily change the speed if I go to bigger tires. I will try to make a homemade schematic when I go through and cleanup my wiring.

I am going to CedarPoint this weekend and will be for the first time pulling the Jeep behind our motorhome. I'm nervous but I need to try it out on a shorter trip before we take a longer one. Wish me luck.
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:57 PM   #22
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96?!?!?! Haha. I can go 76 down hill. Congrats. I'm so jealous.
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:28 PM   #23
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Nice write-up. I live just west of Flint and will be starting the same swap on my 90. I have a 2003 S-10 Crew-Cab that I bought a spare motor for several years ago. It only has 75,000 miles. At 235,000 miles the orginal one in my truck is still going strong pulling my camper or boat every weekend. I have a couple SBC motors to choose from and a BBC motor that I just put in the Camaro. But I decided to go with the 4.3 V6. Just not sure what tranny and T-case to use.

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