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Old 01-09-2020, 11:45 AM
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Junior - My 04 TJ 5.3 Swap Build Page

I started a swap in high school with my grandpa, 91 YJ that we rebuilt a 350 for but stalled out after the engine build. We sold the jeep and gave away the engine and I've always wanted to finish the project. My grandpa was a Jr. so I'm naming my new to me Jeep "Junior", he passed away this year after a long and successful life.

I bought my 2004 4.0 NV3550 TJ in June of 2018. I bought the 5.3L April of 2019, along with the 4L60E transmission. I'm using pretty much all Novak conversion pieces and I'm videoing along the way, I won't post videos to youtube until the swap is done and successful.

Right now, I'm almost done cleaning up and doing basic maintenance on the 5.3. New oil pan gasket, new valve cover gaskets, new intake manifold gasket, new spark plugs and wires, new throttle body gasket, installing jeep water temp and oil pressure senders, replaced knock sensors with new harness, extracted a broken manifold bolt, new injector seals, install new headers (not fully until after it's in and set in the Jeep). Just need to install front accessories, including the A/C relocation bracket and new compressor, and I'll be ready to start on the transmission.

I've done a ton of research and "invested" a lot of money into this swap, let me know if you have any questions!

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Old 01-09-2020, 09:41 PM   #2
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Very nice. Keep us posted.

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Old 01-10-2020, 11:39 AM
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Starting to look like a complete engine and the transmission is getting degreased, new seal, new filter. Jeep temp sender and oil pressure sender coming today. About to start the real work, removing the old drivetrain from the Jeep!
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:11 PM   #4
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Coming over from Pirate so I can post on your build thread! You can message me if you get stuck and need help.



I went with autometer guages. Ran sending units from them for the oil and temp. Speedo and tach went to my howell harness. fuel psi and trans temp added. Add a eternal oil coller for the 4l60. Cheap insurance and easy install.
Ran new sender for fuel gauge as well.



I went all novak minus the radiatior. I bought mine from a guy in MI that has them for LS swaps. Cheaper and works 100%.


If you are using the Np231 you will have to change the output shaft in the 4l60 with Novaks kit. Also SYE for the xfer case.


Wiring is a breeze with these. I kept all my notes


Talk soon!
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:12 PM   #5
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Starting to look like a complete engine and the transmission is getting degreased, new seal, new filter. Jeep temp sender and oil pressure sender coming today. About to start the real work, removing the old drivetrain from the Jeep!

Make sure you check those headers. Not many options to fit between the rails!
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Old 01-11-2020, 04:19 PM
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Thanks Aaron, I got the headers from Novak so hopefully they know what fits. I just dropped the tranny off to be rebuilt with the new output shaft installed. I'll start on the SYE I got from terraflex next week.

I do have rear control arms and springs from currie I bought last year but never installed. Since i'm going with new driveshaft and SYE, I figure I need to install those before I measure for driveshafts. Just another one of those projects that takes time away from the actual swap.

Next steps are pull jeep drivetrain, cut out old motor mounts, test fit drivetrain, get professional to weld motor mounts in, plumb fuel system, install wiring and then test fire!
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Old 01-12-2020, 05:08 AM   #7
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We are headed down similar paths. Good write up. Good luck.
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:32 AM
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No turning back now, working on getting everything ready to pull the 4.0, so far so good just a few new scrapes on the hands!


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Old 01-20-2020, 01:56 PM   #9
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Keep going, you gonna love it, looks like this when you're done.
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:28 AM   #10
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Doing the same swap on an 06 LJ. I'm at nearly the same step. Will start pulling the 4.0 soon.
Are you maintaining the Evap and rear O2's?
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:43 AM
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Yes, the plan is to keep evap and o2 sensors


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Old 01-26-2020, 04:43 PM   #12
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Doing the same swap on an 06 LJ. I'm at nearly the same step. Will start pulling the 4.0 soon.
Are you maintaining the Evap and rear O2's?
Welcome to the Forum.
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:57 AM   #13
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Details on your setup there would be great. Every write up on an LS swap seems to delete all emissions as if everyone lives in a rural area with no emissions testing. You're paint work on the engine looks great.
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:58 AM   #14
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Doing the same swap on an 06 LJ. I'm at nearly the same step. Will start pulling the 4.0 soon.
Are you maintaining the Evap and rear O2's?

Keep the evap from the jeep.


I only used the front o2 sensors from the chevy and deleted the rears. Get them as close to the exhaust manifolds as you can. You can buy bungs and weld them in.
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Old 01-27-2020, 12:54 PM
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Details on your setup there would be great. Every write up on an LS swap seems to delete all emissions as if everyone lives in a rural area with no emissions testing. You're paint work on the engine looks great.
I will, I am leaving that until the very end, trying to get it running and able to test drive before digging too far into evap. AC, Exhaust, and evap will all be tackled after I'm able to actually drive out of my garage.
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:36 AM
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Only took three hours to get this sucker out and on a truck destined for a new home in a flooded TJ. Next up, cutting out motor mounts and cleaning up engine bay!


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Old 02-08-2020, 03:06 PM
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Quite the progress today as I finally got some time outside with the Jeep. Motor mounts are out and frame painted, as well as steering mount bracket. Engine bay is cleaned and I have most everything out for a potential paint job (except brake booster which I didnít want to mess with). Clutch master is out, pedals are out, next up is welding in new mounts!!!


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Old 02-13-2020, 03:21 PM
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Motor mounts are tacked in (angle of the photo makes them look off but I'm pretty sure they're good!), I'll be test fitting engine this weekend. Fuel line components are on their way!
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:55 PM
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Doing the same swap on an 06 LJ. I'm at nearly the same step. Will start pulling the 4.0 soon.
Are you maintaining the Evap and rear O2's?
I have been doing research on evap, Novak has resources on it. Today I ordered a GM fuel tank pressure sensor and GM vent valve. My TJ has two evap lines on the frame, I believe one runs to the LS intake manifold and connects to the purge solenoid that should come with the LS (this just vents gasses back to be burned), then one line runs to the vent valve (I didn't get from donor vehicle so I need a new GM one). Then the gas tank pressure sensor should just plug in after I install it in the tank. In theory, that's it I guess!
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:58 AM   #20
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You will also need the charcoal canister and vent valve. The vent valve from the gas tank goes to the charcoal canister inlet, the other goes from the canister to the purge valve in the intake. The 3rd one on the canister goes to the vent valve. Actually pretty simple.
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:16 AM
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You will also need the charcoal canister and vent valve. The vent valve from the gas tank goes to the charcoal canister inlet, the other goes from the canister to the purge valve in the intake. The 3rd one on the canister goes to the vent valve. Actually pretty simple.
Good Luck.


I was planning to use the TJ canister, Novak didnít mention needing the GM canister, is that what youíre saying or do you agree Jeep canister will work?


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Old 02-14-2020, 09:06 AM   #22
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You can use any canister as long as you have those 3 ports. I just used the GM one because of the connections for the hose diameter.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:07 AM
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For visual learners, if others approach this in the future, here's how I'm approaching the situation.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:37 PM   #24
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That's exactly the way I did mine, except the pressure sensor, as I installed a GM Fuel Pump unit with the sensor build in and 33 - 240 Ohm sending unit..
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Old 02-16-2020, 04:51 PM
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Test fit went well, Ac compressor rubs a bit but I think with grille installed and motor mounts bolted down that should clear up. Next up, fully weld in mounts, paint engine bay, ceramic paint headers, sye on tcase to mate with drivetrain, and fuel tank/line modification, measure for trans mount, fully install drivetrain!





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Old 02-16-2020, 06:45 PM   #26
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Looking good, you're gonna love it.

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1995 YJ. That's it...from Jeep. 5.3L Chevy LM7, 4L60e, NV233C Transfer Case with electronic Shift, 2.5" RC Lift. 8.8 Ford Rear with Yucon Posi Grip, 4.10 Gears, 33x12.5x15 KM2's. Marshall Instruments Gauges, Sick Speed Racing Seats.
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