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  • XJ motor swap?

    I have wanted a 2 door XJ for a long time now. I am on my 2nd 4 door version (son rolled the 1st one 3 years ago)
    I am looking at a 94, 2 door, rolling body at the moment; original 2WD, 4 banger truck; currently engineless but great body.
    comes with a 4.0 and wiring harness and a trans/T case and such to convert to a 4WD; in addition to everything needed to lift it 6-1/2"
    and IIRC something like 4.56 gears for both ends (a lil steep for my liking but if I get it, these will be traded off for something more in the 3.73/3.91 range)

    I have an idea for this thing in my head; the guy seems in a hurry to sell, and has a "stepped" pricing deal; just the rolling body and 4.0 for one price, all the lift goodies and gears etc can be had for more (though 40% of what he supposedly has wrapped up in the deal, has been sitting in the garage waiting for "some day") even at the whole package price it sounds good (I am gonna go see for myself this weekend if not already sold) comes with complete 4.o chassis wiring and computer as well.

    Power train wise being this was a 4 cyl one originally, I have 2 ideas on what to put in; One thing guaranteed; I have seen idiots put 350s in them (what hasnt a 350 bene put into?) that WILL NOT HAPPEN!

    What do you guys think would be the way to go engine wise?

    Idea 1; go with the 4.0, I have had a few now and like that engine...
    it will get rebuilt (bored and new pistons etc if/as needed will be done "right")
    Idea 1(b) same as Idea 1 but find a 258 crank and stroke it to a 4.6/4.7 inline 6;
    Idea 2; 318 Magnum; why not? they did it from the factory for the grand cherokee, of which was not ever built as a 2 door... I am thinking the motor mounts out of a GC oughtta go right in

    Truth be told I'd like to find a Cherokee chief or Wagoneer (full size Jeep) but those are like hens teeth, as it is, let alone rust free.... XJs are all over the place and easier to get things for

    I do not have this thing yet (not yet sure that I will either at this point) but just wondering... I am currently leaning toward the inline 6 in some form. easier bolt together, less questions about compatibility less headaches

  • #2
    I'd do the 318 over the 4.0 stroker. Should be a bit more complex than a 4.0 swap, but shouldn't be anything incredibly exotic as far as motor swaps go since the Grands are pretty close. Cooling system may be a bit of a point for reworking and the hood clearance may be tight.

    I've actually kinda wanted to do one of those for a while.

    It's not as uncommon of a swap as you could be led to believe. Outside of mounts and cooling system, not much to it. If you're okay with OBD-I, you could run an OBD-I Magnum setup easily. No idea how much work converting to OBD-II would take.
    Last edited by 270SE; 12-29-2012, 10:12 AM.
    '67 Dart 270 4 door '72 340(9.5:1), 727, 8-3/4", A/C, original interior, big bolt discs

    '77 Aspen SE 2 door '77 318, 998,8-1/4",A/C, Cruise control car,power discs,power steering

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 270SE View Post
      I'd do the 318 over the 4.0 stroker. Should be a bit more complex than a 4.0 swap, but shouldn't be anything incredibly exotic as far as motor swaps go since the Grands are pretty close. Cooling system may be a bit of a point for reworking and the hood clearance may be tight.

      I've actually kinda wanted to do one of those for a while.

      It's not as uncommon of a swap as you could be led to believe. Outside of mounts and cooling system, not much to it. If you're okay with OBD-I, you could run an OBD-I Magnum setup easily. No idea how much work converting to OBD-II would take.
      yeah there is more compatibility between the Jeeps and Dakotas those years than some people would believe, if I did the 318 I figure a Dakota harness couldn't be too difficult to adapt; I happen to have a complete underhood harness from a 92 Dakota in the attic and (2) 318 Dakota OBD I computers on top of my toolbox already...
      and if a damn 350 fits I sure aint worried about a 318 fittin into that engine compartment!

      hmmm I could always pull the 4.0 drivetrain out of my Wrangler for the Cherokee, and put the V8 into the Wrangler instead?
      Last edited by volaredon; 12-29-2012, 02:53 PM.

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      • #4
        Yes, a 318 will certainly go in them. I've seen a few finished products.

        Another point to consider is that the stock Jeeps have the starter on the passenger side. Car manifolds/headers should fix the exhaust problem on the driver's side with the driver's starter.
        '67 Dart 270 4 door '72 340(9.5:1), 727, 8-3/4", A/C, original interior, big bolt discs

        '77 Aspen SE 2 door '77 318, 998,8-1/4",A/C, Cruise control car,power discs,power steering

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        • #5
          my concern with a driver side starter is whether it would interfere with the front driveshaft or not.... getting a tranny from a GC would not be a problem. (since they never made the Aisin Warner automatic they used in all the inline 6 cherokees, with the V8 bellhousing) the 518/46RH was made in a passenger side starter version for those.... which would be most likely what I'd go with....
          personal preference is a 5 speed but the wife would be primarily driving this one as her daily driver with it being our "good" vehicle for when we both go somewhere together=== as is the case with the 4 door XJ we have now

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