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Discussion Starter #1
First post on the forum so I hope I'm in the right place.

I have a 97 TJ with a 2.5, AX-5 and a 231 with a 35 and 30.

I have been considering my options for upgrading my Jeep as I would like to be able to drive it on the highway and have a capable offroad Jeep. Im hoping to get some pointers on a few thing or on any complications i might have overall.

I'm planning on swapping the drive train to a 5.3 Gen III LS, NV4500 and I'll most likely keep the 231. Will it be easier to swap a chevy imput shaft onto a dodge tranny and use my transfer case, use a chevy transmition and swap the imput of my transfer case, or should i try to find a chevy 231. I plan on doing a SS SYE shaft in the rear to get me as much length in the drive shaft as I can. Also unsure as to what i would need to do for a speedometer since I think I will be swapping out the Jeep cluster with an aftermarket one that is compatible with the factory LS computer.

As far as axles go I think a Dana HP30 in the front a Ford 8.8 in the rear will be sufficient for 35's. I plan on using the Artec triangulated 4 link kit in the rear and ill most likely be fabricating my own links. I plan on using bushings at the frame to reduce vibration and hiem joints at the axles to help with binding. Can I use cheap rough country springs or is there a difference between budget springs and the more expensive ones?

I don't do any super slow crawling so I think a 3.73 gear with the 5.3 will give me plenty of control in low range.

I know I'm asking a lot but I appreciate any imput given.
 

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Hi I'm new to jeeps but not to LS swaps.

I can't answer a lot of your Q's but three things I can help on.

1. The engine. I'd suggest a truck gen 3 and not a true LS. With nothing more than a set of headers and tune for 92/3 octane you'll have a nice flat 300+ft lbs TQ curve (at the tire) which is exactly what we want. Plus a truck long block is much cheaper than a true LS.
2. I think getting the speedo signal from the transfer case isn't a problem for a knowledgeable tuner. I'm pretty sure you could keep the stock speedo.
3. The D30 front axle might work if you don't do any heavy duty offroading. But they are NOT strong. You might consider swapping it too.

In all of my yrs of hot rodding I like to look at two things. 1. What's breaking out in the field. 2. what did the OEM do on their top models. Between the two a guy can get a good picture of what can be left alone and what might be weak.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi I'm new to jeeps but not to LS swaps.

I can't answer a lot of your Q's but three things I can help on.

1. The engine. I'd suggest a truck gen 3 and not a true LS. With nothing more than a set of headers and tune for 92/3 octane you'll have a nice flat 300+ft lbs TQ curve (at the tire) which is exactly what we want. Plus a truck long block is much cheaper than a true LS.
2. I think getting the speedo signal from the transfer case isn't a problem for a knowledgeable tuner. I'm pretty sure you could keep the stock speedo.
3. The D30 front axle might work if you don't do any heavy duty offroading. But they are NOT strong. You might consider swapping it too.

In all of my yrs of hot rodding I like to look at two things. 1. What's breaking out in the field. 2. what did the OEM do on their top models. Between the two a guy can get a good picture of what can be left alone and what might be weak.
I already have the motor, it's out of a 2003 Silverado so no worries there. I plan on tubing myself because I will be buying HP Tuners for a turbo 6.0 Colorado swap that is next in line after the Jeep and will be teaching myself how to tune.
 

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Cool! I have some experience tuning as well. HP Tuners has a good community of supporters too. The Gen 3 SBC is such a good engine.....
My last toy was an all Aluminum 5.3 / T56 in a BMW Z3. That thing would FLY. Not the fastest I've owned but right at 3k lbs it was a beast.

I'm a die hard V8 kind of guy but in a TJ where low speed and low rpm power is the goal I'm much more interested in the banks turbo kit. If I keep my Rubi long term I think thats the route I'll go.
 
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