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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
TIHIDI (This is how I did it.)


My old daily driver was a 2000 Wrangler sport. It developed an engine noise pretty much overnight. One morning when I started it to go to work I heard what sounded like a lifter tick. It seemed to lessen after the engine warmed up. I stopped that evening on my way home and bought everything to change the oil. I figured I'd change the oil even though it didn't look bad and only had a around 3 thousand or so miles and it was synthetic oil. I'll usually go 5000 miles on synthetic oil.



Something happened when I got home and I didn't end up changing the oil that evening so I drove it again the next day. The tick was still there and didn't seem to go away that day after the engine warmed up. I was getting low on fuel so on the way home from work I filled up with fuel. When I left the gas station I was pulling into traffic and I got on the accelerator a bit and the tick turned into a knock instantly.


I still had good oil pressure so I was fairly confident what I thought was a lifter tick was actually a cracked piston and not a spun bearing. I have personally experienced cracked pistons in three separate 4.0 coil pack engines now. I am not a fan of them. It seems that when Chrysler made the change to a coil pack engine design they also made other changes to the engine that makes them less reliable. Maybe I am just biased but so far I'm at 100% failure rate of the coil pack 4.0's that I've owned. I never had a failure on the earlier distributor style engine.



Anyway I decided I would swap a GM 5.3 V8 into the Wrangler and eventually probably sell it when my other project is finished.


I thought I'd document how I did this swap in case it may help someone considering swapping a GM V8 into their Jeep.



I know it's been covered many times but I think there is room on the internet for another version.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
And of course no thread is good without pictures. Here are a couple to get this started.





The empty engine bay after the messy removal of the old six cylinder.





And the bell housing I plan to use. I picked it up from craigslist over a year ago along with an AX15 transmission. I don't know yet if it will work. It needs modification to work with the NV3550 that was in the 2000.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Another update to try to bring this up to current state.


Here it is when I got it home this summer. I got it cheap because the frame was shot.



I needed to modify the bell housing because the NV3550 isn't exactly the same as an AX15 that the bell housing was made for.



It's crude but should work to get the transmission connected to the engine. I'm not concerned that I weakened it a bit. If it breaks I won't be too concerned. I think it will hold up to stock power as well as the transmission will.




I already repaired the back of the frame before I put it on the road this summer and was planning to do the center section this winter anyway.


And as it is now waiting to get welded which will likely happen today.


 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here is the repair picture of the rear trailing arm section I did this summer. This was also the worst side of the center section. In fact the other side seems pretty solid still. I will still be replacing that steel with the repair panels while I have it all apart.



I used repair pieces from Pocono Metal Craft. I have no affiliation with them I just like their product and this is the second TJ I've used them on.


I'm still trying to decide if I will be replacing the entire torque tube of just patching the existing body mounts. It's probably a wash on time but will cost more to buy new tubes. Since I'm not planning to keep this Jeep forever I may just keep it cheap but make it solid with patches.
 

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TIHIDI (This is how I did it.)
I have personally experienced cracked pistons in three separate 4.0 coil pack engines now. I am not a fan of them. It seems that when Chrysler made the change to a coil pack engine design they also made other changes to the engine that makes them less reliable.

Chrysler lightened the rotating assembly in 1996-1997 so the pistons are not as thick as the old 4.0 and they crack skirts. I had a 1997 XJ crack the skirt on the #1 piston and after coming to find out the problem was wide spread on 1997+ engines i left the jeep brand for good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's what I thought I'd read somewhere as well but I thought it was 99 when they started making the pistons thinner.




It was beautiful weather here today so I got out and tried to make a little progress.


I learned a little trick a long time ago and got to use it today. There were 4 broken exhaust bolts on the 5.3 going into this project. I removed them today. It went quite well.




I welded a nut onto the broken bolt. Even though the bolt was recessed into the head by around 1/8" the bolt comes out pretty easily because the weld doesn't stick to the aluminum and the heat of the weld helps free the broken bolt.







And here is an example of what it looks like after the broken bolt has been removed by the welding method.






And here I have the bell housing attached.






And I will be deleting the EGR from the intake manifold. I will end up cleaning this up a bit but it probably will work as it is.


 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Another beautiful day here for this time of year. I was outside in a t-shirt this afternoon. Unseasonally warm...


I decided to finish the frame reairs. At least the cutting and welding portion. It still needs paint.


The passenger side frame was actually still pretty solid and didn't really need to be repaired yet but I decided I would anyway.






I didn't actually take any pics of the repair fully welded but it is actually welded all the way across both sides. The welds don't look good but I am confident I got good penetration anyway. I think I need a new welding helmet. I'll probably be picking one up soon.





I was unable to find the correct pilot bushing for this locally today. I refuse to pay $30 to Advance or Novak for a bushing that should cost no more than $10. I ended up drilling out a stock brass/bronze Chevy pilot bushing. It isn't perfect but I'm considering using it anyway. If I can't find the bushing I need on line tonight I will assemble the bell housing to the engine tomorrow. Otherwise I will be painting the frame and starting on a wiring harness while I wait for a new bushing...


From what I can find the bushing I need is 1.094 OD, .748 ID and around .75 wide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I wasn't able to find a pilot bushing with the correct dimensions anywhere but Novak and Advanced Adapters. Just for the fun of it I put one in the shopping cart and got to the place where it gave me a total cost and it was nearly $40 after the cheapest shipping. I can't justify it. I just plain refuse to pay that for it. I bought a stock Chevy bushing and got it turned to the correct size for less than $10.


A small setback today too. The clutch release bearing I bought doesn't work on the NV3550 input sleeve. It fits fine on the AX15 sleeve though. I am tempted to use the AX15 just for that reason. My hesitation is I have not used the AX15 yet so I don't know if it has any issues internally. The seller said it shifted fine but I don't have much faith in craigslist sellers being honest...


I'm looking for the correct bearing and if I find it I will post up the part number for future reference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am making progress but am only inching along.

More struggles today.

Turns out the bell housing wasn't actually made for a generation iii engine. The flywheel hits the side of the bell and the starter doesn't fit in the opening. I studied my options for a couple hours today. I considered getting a new adapter that would require a Chevy Bell housing. Total cost for the new adapter and the used bell housing I found on Craigslist was pretty close to $400.

Next I considered using a Chevy 5 speed instead of the Jeep transmission/adapter. I found a used working condition NV3500 for $375. That would likely require modifying the drive shafts and also probably custom made mounting brackets. Unsure what the total cost would end up being but I guessed a bit over $500 assuming I have a transfer case to fit.

I went back outside and studied the bell housing again. I figured out I could grind the housing a bit to make it fit around the flywheel. It was only bad in one area at the bottom and I don't think the bottom of the housing is a major strength concern. Then I opened the starter opening so that would fit. After a bit of angle grinding I was able to fit the Advance adapters housing around the gen iii flywheel and starter. I didn't get any pictures because it got dark but I will be getting some tomorrow I hope.

I have also decided to keep this build simple and moving forward I am going to use the AX15 transmission I already have. I checked it out today as well and it seems to shift through the gears fine and the oil in it looked like new so I'm going to chance it.

I hope to get the stock motor mounts out tomorrow and have the engine sitting in the frame with the new weld in mounts welded in.

Pictures will follow when I have some to show.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I thought I'd demonstrate my talent for hack jobbery.



Here is my bell housing hackery:




And the start of frame butchering:




And some special "body work" to help the engine fit far enough back:






I haven't finished patching the frame yet. I decided I'd try modifying the frame to fit the AC compressor. I'm sure there are "better" ways but that's why I called this the TIHIDI build.





I am trying to re-use the piece I cut out of the frame. Not sure if that is going to work.


Obviously I didn't meet my goal for today. Seems to be the norm lately...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So it doesn't seem to be possible to set the engine far enough back to mount the transfer case bracket in it's original location. At least not without major modifications to the tub. The heads hit the firewall before the engine gets far enough back. At least the passenger side head does. And that is right where the heater core is. In order to modify the firewall I'd need to either remove or relocate the plenum box inside the Jeep. I'm not willing to do that. So it's time for an alternate plan.


It looks like I can get away with the mounting plate from a 1997 Wrangle SE with the 2.5 4cylinder.



The plate on the left is stock 4.0 six cylinder, the right plate is a couple inches longer and from the 97. It looks like it may get the job done with slight modifications.


I did get the frame welded back with the piece I removed and modified slightly. I'm embarrassed to say it may have been for nothing though. I'm not sure I took enough out of the frame to allow the compressor to stay in it's stock location. I'll know that answer when I can finally set the engine in place. That won't likely be until next week.


I did use a new welding helmet this time. It didn't help much. I still can't weld as good as I used to. I just can't see well enough I think. I'll be trying to adjust the amount of shade next time. Maybe I'll just need to face the fact that I'm not a good welder...


 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Another update without pictures. I forgot to get them today...


The mounting plate from the 4 cylinder is just a bit too short. The head still hits the firewall with that plate installed. I ended up welding a 2 inch extension plate to the original six cylinder plate. It seems to be a good length. I haven't checked yet but I'm optimistic the 4 cylinder drive shafts will work now too.


I had previously purchased some Advanced Adapters motor mounts (713088). I'm not sure I'll be able to use them. They may end up interfering with the upper control arms. I have an idea to modify them and use a flat plate to relocate the frame mounting bracket out away from the control arm radius a bit. I'll try to remember to get pictures next time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm afraid I haven't been doing a good job documenting this lately. But suppose I haven't missed too much. I haven't been able to get much done on any Jeep project for a while.

I finally have the engine sitting in the frame. I ended up installing and pulling the engine several times before I was settled on how to set up the motor mounts.

I ended up building my own mounts on the engine side and using the Advanced Adapters frame mounts and rubber parts.




I will need to figure out how I will be getting the shift tower into the correct position. Since I can't easily move the engine back I either need to move the opening or possibly I can modify the shift tower lever to move the lever back into the original position. Not sure I can actually accomplish the later though.






I needed to make my own engine side mounts to get them up high enough to allow the upper control arms to travel upward enough. I also added a tab on the drivers side to move the frame mount a little forward for travel but also to clear the steering column bearing.





 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Starting to work on this again when I can find the time. I'm currently in the middle of wiring the GM computer and wiring into the Jeep harness.

I'm also planning on trying the stock Jeep fuel pump and fuel line and adapting it to the GM fuel rail connector.
 

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Jeep regulator puts out like 45 psi and the GM needs ~60, I bet it’ll run but it won’t run well. Looks good though! I just finished my swap and posted a video series if you can learn anything from it, I went with a 4l60e though, didn’t keep the manual.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks longhorn.

According to the Jeep manual the Jeep regulator regulates the pressure to 49.2PSI
"The regulator is calibrated to maintain fuel system
operating pressure of approximately 339 +or- 34 kPa
(49.2 +or- 5 psi) at the fuel injectors."

I have used the stock Jeep fuel pump in my sons TJ and it seems to be working but it hasn't really been driven yet. Also I did end up bypassing the Jeep regulator at the tank in his Jeep. I may end up doing that on mine as well.

Currently I don't seem to be getting fuel from the pump. I have disconnected the line at the GM pressure rail and jumpered out the relay output to the pump. No fuel is coming out of the line. I haven't begun troubleshooting that much yet. I did reference the manual and found out there was supposed to be a ground wire going to the right rear of the engine in stock configuration. This is also the ground for the fuel pump module. I ended up finding that disconnected and attached it to a good ground. The fuel gauge now works but I am still not pumping fuel from the tank. I'm hoping to figure out what is missing when I get another chance to work on it which I'm hoping is soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Had some time today to work on the Jeep.

I wanted to check the oil before I started the Jeep for the first time with the V8 in it. I'm not really ready to start it yet but decided I'd install the new oil fill tube today. The original was broken off at the block and didn't have enough tube left to grab onto. After a couple attempts I was finally able to pull the broken piece from the block.


I then needed to have the exhaust manifold in place to put the new tube in. That took a lot of massaging because the cheap China headers didn't clear my custom motor mounts. I dented the headers as well as cut off some of my motor mount to get everything to fit.



I also started looking into why the fuel pump wasn't pumping but when I turned the key on today I could hear the pump running in the tank. I also had the fuel line disconnected still and could see fuel starting to spray out of the line by the fuel rail.

I connected the line and cranked it over but it still isn't starting. It does fire though if I spray ether into the intake so I know the ignition coil is working at least. I called it quits there. Next I need to test if my injectors are firing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So it turns out I wasn't getting power to my injectors. I'm not finished by any means but I was able to start the engine this morning. I'm uploading this and heading back out to hopefully figure out why I can't start this engine from the TJ key.

Here is a video of the first start:

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Made some more progress today.

I have the Jeep starting from the ignition switch. My next objective was to get the gauges working and the wiring cleaned up.

I will be ordering an adapter to install the Jeep temperature sensor here:



I modified the GM oil passage to accept the Jeep oil pressure sender too.



And installed onto the engine.



I still need to tie the sensors into the Jeep computer to get the gauges working but I do have most of the wiring connected to the Jeep harness at this point and close to done.

Still quite a bit to do though. I still need to connect the clutch linkage, install driveshafts and figure out what I'm doing for a radiator.

I also want to figure out why the Jeep automatic shutdown relay is dropping out. I am running my ignition coil power and injector power through relays that are activated by that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
This evening I wired in the Jeep oil pressure sender to the Jeep computer. When I started the engine I had good oil pressure on the gauge and the engine stayed running.

So now I'm wondering if the ASD (automatic shutdown relay) is de-activated by the Jeep computer if it sees no oil pressure. I plan to test that soon by disconnecting the sensor and trying again.
 
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