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  #16  
Old August 8th, 2015, 05:39
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Re: Projext "V8 XJ" Build

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Looks good man. Can't wait to see this in person.
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  #17  
Old August 8th, 2015, 17:06
foxwar71 foxwar71 is offline
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Re: Projext "V8 XJ" Build

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Originally Posted by John D View Post
I wouldn't consider the 4.8 as an option, it's a lot of work for a small gain. The 5.3 is a good economical option, but depending on how you use the car it could leave you wanting more. If you can swing it go for a 6.0, in hindsight I wish I had saved a little longer for a 6.0.
This. I would stick to a 6.0 or an all aluminium 5.3, I'm a big fan of the L33 or Gen IV version. Shaves a little weight off and came with better heads/cam and little more compression. Often I've seen them going for the same price as iron 5.3's too if you get lucky.
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  #18  
Old August 15th, 2015, 12:02
blistovmhz blistovmhz is offline
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Re: Projext "V8 XJ" Build

I just finished my swap a few months ago. Check out my thread here:
http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1119575

I did the entire swap in 3 weeks, start to finish, from the time I started ordering parts to the time I was back on the road. The entire conversion cost me about $3500. Much cheaper than most guys do it, and I think I could've done it cheaper.
I used an 05 LM7 5.3 from an S1500, and the matching 4l65e transmission.

I read probably every thread on the subject and a few things about most threads bother me.
1. The wiring is NOT difficult unless you have no idea how electricity works. There is one BIG caveat to the wiring that no one mentions. If you're wiring up the OBD port, it MUST get it's power from the same wire that powers the ECU. No, just because it all comes from the same battery, does not mean you can just splice in anywhere. Splice it in within a foot or two of the ECU power. If you don't, your OBD will be wonky as all hell and you'll want to kill yourself and your whole family. Ask me how I know.
Otherwise, the wiring is very easy. The Chevy harness side is insanely simple. I'd suggest, now that I've done it, just use the stock chevy harness with the bare minimum modifications required to get it into the Jeep to start. Worry about re-working the harness once the motor and everything else have been proven. Trust me on this. It'll make your life much easier.
The Jeep firewall side of the wiring is the hardest part, only because most of your wires will be stuck together and the colors faded. Find an FSM, have it in hand. Honestly, the hardest part of this swap was dealing with Jeep wiring, and even then, it wasn't hard. I'm ****ing terrible at wiring compared to my roomies because I'm too lazy and impatient, and this still wasn't a big deal for me. Don't let everyone else scare you here. You don't need a painless harness, especially because the bulk of the wiring job is on the Jeep side.

2. Novak motor mounts suck. You already have them, and they work fine, but just FYI, they're a bitch. They mount the motor unnecessarily high for most lifts, and it is zero fun whatsoever, trying to drop the motor into those mounts because the main bolts won't line up while the engine and trans are tipped back, but they have to be tipped back because the back of the intake hits the firewall and you break off the main vacuum port (if it's not tipped). Dropping the driveline into the Novak mounts is an absolute whore and I wish I hadn't wasted my money on them. It would have been easier to build my own, and I'd have my motor sitting 2" lower.

3. Lots of guys say the stock A/C compressor won't fit between the motor and frame rail. I had no problem. It has to be installed after the motor goes in, but there's 2" clearance easily. I held off on my OBA because I listened to everyone else :p. Finally looked at it and it was cake to get it in. ALso, the chevy A/C pumps are WAY higher volume and CFM than the XJ pump. Double bonus.

4. Don't bother with the 4.8. The 5.3 will net you between 17 and 26mpg depending on your aerodynamic profile. My heep is the poster child for all that can go wrong with aerodynamics, and I get 17-18mpg on the highway. That's pushing 35x12.5 shoes, 6.5" lift, full size roof basket with 52" light bar. On a more stockish XJ, I'd expect at least 22-23mpg from the 5.3, and my god is it fast. I drag race EVERYONE now, and I no longer do it just for the sake of being ironic. I win often.
The 6.0L I feel is overboard, but I've heard that it'll give very respectable fuel economy as well, in which case I feel like it's one of those "if it's a toss up between the 5.3 and 6.0L fo the same price, go with the 6.0L" things.

5. Drive shaft lengths will need to be adjusted. Front needs to be shortened an inch and rear lengthened. Maybe you have a good driveline shop that can do it for cheap. If not, TW will build you a DS with long splines (XC = 4.5" travel vs the stock 2") for $300 delivered. Well worth it.

6. The AA t-case>trans adapter sucks at sealing. The trans side might seal, the middle section with the o-ring will not, nor will the t-case side with their paper gasket. Make liberal use of RTV everywhere including the o-ring. For the t-case side, you should probably just make a new gasket and RTV the hell out of it. The stock t-case studs are barely long enough to grab the nuts with a paper gasket, assuming you're using the AA mount as well. The whole thing sucks but it's doable. You may have to pull the case several times to re-seal until you get it right.

7. I'd go with a 241/241 hybrid. You can find the long input, wide bearing 241 input gear and planetary assembly from most chevy 241's. It'll drop right into your 231 case. Don't forget to swap in the WIDE BEARING on the input side if you have a wide input gear. VERY different clearances and the narrow bearing with the wide/long input gear, will have the planetaries eating the front of your case off. Also remember that the 231/241 planetaries and ring gear have two different cuts. Something like pre and post 96. The earlier were a courser cut while the later were finer. They will intermix but they will be very whiney. I used an np241c input, np231 main with sye, np241 chain and chain drive.

8. T-case shift linkage. Really helpful to just grab a t-case shift lever from an np231c or np241c as they point up instead of down. This way you just rip out the stock linkages entirely and bolt in a pair of 3/8 rod ends and call it a day.

9. Trans linkage. Use an XJ auto shifter. I just removed my center console because I don't give a shit, and cut out some new detents in the xj shifter. Used the XJ shifter cable as well. I have no idea how to fit this in while retaining the final gear (1) location, with the shifter bezel attached, so I gave up and went mad max on my junk. I'm probably the wrong person to ask about this unless you and your wife REALLY like mad max, or enjoy looking poor.

10. Radiator. The 3 row CSF scares me a bit as the tubes are very small and easy to clog. You mileage may vary. I went with a Griffin 22x19" and made it fit by cutting out the lower rad support. Keeps me VERY cold with a taurus fan behind it. Again, I'm not the right guy for this either as lots of guys have stock size xj rads doing just fine. My way worked though as well.

11. Throttle pedal (assuming throttle by wire) is easy. Just make sure you have the TAC module somewhere. The pedal will need to be chopped and shortened to fit, but can bolt up to the stock XJ pedal mount (upper) and drill a new hole for the lower.

12. I kept the truck intake and built a big silly scoop. It looked horrible for a while during testing. I think it looks pretty decent now if you're into the zombie apocalypse.

Feel free to toss any questions my way as well. I feel like I could do this swap the second time in a solid weekend. It's really not that bad if you aren't a tard, and/or not wildly drunk :p.

Last edited by blistovmhz; August 15th, 2015 at 12:06.
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  #19  
Old August 15th, 2015, 14:32
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PhotoJared PhotoJared is offline
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Re: Projext "V8 XJ" Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by blistovmhz View Post
I just finished my swap a few months ago. Check out my thread here:
http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1119575

I did the entire swap in 3 weeks, start to finish, from the time I started ordering parts to the time I was back on the road. The entire conversion cost me about $3500. Much cheaper than most guys do it, and I think I could've done it cheaper.
I used an 05 LM7 5.3 from an S1500, and the matching 4l65e transmission.

I read probably every thread on the subject and a few things about most threads bother me.
1. The wiring is NOT difficult unless you have no idea how electricity works. There is one BIG caveat to the wiring that no one mentions. If you're wiring up the OBD port, it MUST get it's power from the same wire that powers the ECU. No, just because it all comes from the same battery, does not mean you can just splice in anywhere. Splice it in within a foot or two of the ECU power. If you don't, your OBD will be wonky as all hell and you'll want to kill yourself and your whole family. Ask me how I know.
Otherwise, the wiring is very easy. The Chevy harness side is insanely simple. I'd suggest, now that I've done it, just use the stock chevy harness with the bare minimum modifications required to get it into the Jeep to start. Worry about re-working the harness once the motor and everything else have been proven. Trust me on this. It'll make your life much easier.
The Jeep firewall side of the wiring is the hardest part, only because most of your wires will be stuck together and the colors faded. Find an FSM, have it in hand. Honestly, the hardest part of this swap was dealing with Jeep wiring, and even then, it wasn't hard. I'm ****ing terrible at wiring compared to my roomies because I'm too lazy and impatient, and this still wasn't a big deal for me. Don't let everyone else scare you here. You don't need a painless harness, especially because the bulk of the wiring job is on the Jeep side.

2. Novak motor mounts suck. You already have them, and they work fine, but just FYI, they're a bitch. They mount the motor unnecessarily high for most lifts, and it is zero fun whatsoever, trying to drop the motor into those mounts because the main bolts won't line up while the engine and trans are tipped back, but they have to be tipped back because the back of the intake hits the firewall and you break off the main vacuum port (if it's not tipped). Dropping the driveline into the Novak mounts is an absolute whore and I wish I hadn't wasted my money on them. It would have been easier to build my own, and I'd have my motor sitting 2" lower.

3. Lots of guys say the stock A/C compressor won't fit between the motor and frame rail. I had no problem. It has to be installed after the motor goes in, but there's 2" clearance easily. I held off on my OBA because I listened to everyone else :p. Finally looked at it and it was cake to get it in. ALso, the chevy A/C pumps are WAY higher volume and CFM than the XJ pump. Double bonus.

4. Don't bother with the 4.8. The 5.3 will net you between 17 and 26mpg depending on your aerodynamic profile. My heep is the poster child for all that can go wrong with aerodynamics, and I get 17-18mpg on the highway. That's pushing 35x12.5 shoes, 6.5" lift, full size roof basket with 52" light bar. On a more stockish XJ, I'd expect at least 22-23mpg from the 5.3, and my god is it fast. I drag race EVERYONE now, and I no longer do it just for the sake of being ironic. I win often.
The 6.0L I feel is overboard, but I've heard that it'll give very respectable fuel economy as well, in which case I feel like it's one of those "if it's a toss up between the 5.3 and 6.0L fo the same price, go with the 6.0L" things.

5. Drive shaft lengths will need to be adjusted. Front needs to be shortened an inch and rear lengthened. Maybe you have a good driveline shop that can do it for cheap. If not, TW will build you a DS with long splines (XC = 4.5" travel vs the stock 2") for $300 delivered. Well worth it.

6. The AA t-case>trans adapter sucks at sealing. The trans side might seal, the middle section with the o-ring will not, nor will the t-case side with their paper gasket. Make liberal use of RTV everywhere including the o-ring. For the t-case side, you should probably just make a new gasket and RTV the hell out of it. The stock t-case studs are barely long enough to grab the nuts with a paper gasket, assuming you're using the AA mount as well. The whole thing sucks but it's doable. You may have to pull the case several times to re-seal until you get it right.

7. I'd go with a 241/241 hybrid. You can find the long input, wide bearing 241 input gear and planetary assembly from most chevy 241's. It'll drop right into your 231 case. Don't forget to swap in the WIDE BEARING on the input side if you have a wide input gear. VERY different clearances and the narrow bearing with the wide/long input gear, will have the planetaries eating the front of your case off. Also remember that the 231/241 planetaries and ring gear have two different cuts. Something like pre and post 96. The earlier were a courser cut while the later were finer. They will intermix but they will be very whiney. I used an np241c input, np231 main with sye, np241 chain and chain drive.

8. T-case shift linkage. Really helpful to just grab a t-case shift lever from an np231c or np241c as they point up instead of down. This way you just rip out the stock linkages entirely and bolt in a pair of 3/8 rod ends and call it a day.

9. Trans linkage. Use an XJ auto shifter. I just removed my center console because I don't give a shit, and cut out some new detents in the xj shifter. Used the XJ shifter cable as well. I have no idea how to fit this in while retaining the final gear (1) location, with the shifter bezel attached, so I gave up and went mad max on my junk. I'm probably the wrong person to ask about this unless you and your wife REALLY like mad max, or enjoy looking poor.

10. Radiator. The 3 row CSF scares me a bit as the tubes are very small and easy to clog. You mileage may vary. I went with a Griffin 22x19" and made it fit by cutting out the lower rad support. Keeps me VERY cold with a taurus fan behind it. Again, I'm not the right guy for this either as lots of guys have stock size xj rads doing just fine. My way worked though as well.

11. Throttle pedal (assuming throttle by wire) is easy. Just make sure you have the TAC module somewhere. The pedal will need to be chopped and shortened to fit, but can bolt up to the stock XJ pedal mount (upper) and drill a new hole for the lower.

12. I kept the truck intake and built a big silly scoop. It looked horrible for a while during testing. I think it looks pretty decent now if you're into the zombie apocalypse.

Feel free to toss any questions my way as well. I feel like I could do this swap the second time in a solid weekend. It's really not that bad if you aren't a tard, and/or not wildly drunk :p.
Thanks for the encouragement! I'm just waiting on some commission from work to order everything then it should be game on! I have your thread bookmarked.

1. I started tearing apart the Jeep's engine harness yesterday. I found the 1999 ECU pin-outs so I'm just going to remove everything I don't need. It looks confusing, but its actually pretty easy. I also just ordered a FULL set of the 99 Jeep Cherokee FSM ($135!) Super glad I found this.

2. Thanks for the advise with the mounts

3. I have to have AC. If I cant get it in when swapping, I'll do it after.

4. I now plan on using the 5.3 or 6.0.

5. Adams Driveshaft is local to me. I'll just take it down there and have them do some driveshafts.

6. Thanks for the tip

7. I have a buddy whos doing this hybrid TC right now. Depending on how it goes I may just end up doing the same. I still might just run a stock 231 with the AA input adapter.

8. I already have the boostwerks shift linkage so I'm all set there.

9. This actually looks pretty easy to do (At least I hope)

10. I'm using the same radiator. Living in Las Vegas I can use as much cooling as possible. I have a Saab two speed fan sitting in my garage.
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  #20  
Old August 15th, 2015, 14:37
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Re: Projext "V8 XJ" Build

Ordered a full 99 XJ FSM! Found it for only $135! I found a PDF version of the 2000, but I wanted a paper version. (link to the 2000 XJ FSM)

I actually have the motor ready to be pulled! All electrical is disconnected. Started to remove the center cross member of my IRO long arm kit to help get the trans/TC out all connected.
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  #21  
Old August 16th, 2015, 08:03
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John D John D is offline
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Re: Projext "V8 XJ" Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by blistovmhz View Post
I just finished my swap a few months ago. Check out my thread here:
http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1119575

1. The wiring is NOT difficult unless you have no idea how electricity works. There is one BIG caveat to the wiring that no one mentions. If you're wiring up the OBD port, it MUST get it's power from the same wire that powers the ECU. No, just because it all comes from the same battery, does not mean you can just splice in anywhere. Splice it in within a foot or two of the ECU power. If you don't, your OBD will be wonky as all hell and you'll want to kill yourself and your whole family. Ask me how I know.
Otherwise, the wiring is very easy. The Chevy harness side is insanely simple. I'd suggest, now that I've done it, just use the stock chevy harness with the bare minimum modifications required to get it into the Jeep to start. Worry about re-working the harness once the motor and everything else have been proven. Trust me on this. It'll make your life much easier.
The Jeep firewall side of the wiring is the hardest part, only because most of your wires will be stuck together and the colors faded. Find an FSM, have it in hand. Honestly, the hardest part of this swap was dealing with Jeep wiring, and even then, it wasn't hard. I'm ****ing terrible at wiring compared to my roomies because I'm too lazy and impatient, and this still wasn't a big deal for me. Don't let everyone else scare you here. You don't need a painless harness, especially because the bulk of the wiring job is on the Jeep side.

2. Novak motor mounts suck.

3. Lots of guys say the stock A/C compressor won't fit between the motor and frame rail.

4. Don't bother with the 4.8. The 5.3 will net you between 17 and 26mpg depending on your aerodynamic profile. My heep is the poster child for all that can go wrong with aerodynamics, and I get 17-18mpg on the highway. That's pushing 35x12.5 shoes, 6.5" lift, full size roof basket with 52" light bar. On a more stockish XJ, I'd expect at least 22-23mpg from the 5.3, and my god is it fast. I drag race EVERYONE now, and I no longer do it just for the sake of being ironic. I win often.
The 6.0L I feel is overboard, but I've heard that it'll give very respectable fuel economy as well, in which case I feel like it's one of those "if it's a toss up between the 5.3 and 6.0L fo the same price, go with the 6.0L" things.

6. The AA t-case>trans adapter sucks at sealing. The trans side might seal, the middle section with the o-ring will not, nor will the t-case side with their paper gasket. Make liberal use of RTV everywhere including the o-ring. For the t-case side, you should probably just make a new gasket and RTV the hell out of it. The stock t-case studs are barely long enough to grab the nuts with a paper gasket, assuming you're using the AA mount as well. The whole thing sucks but it's doable. You may have to pull the case several times to re-seal until you get it right.

7. I'd go with a 241/241 hybrid. You can find the long input, wide bearing 241 input gear and planetary assembly from most chevy 241's. It'll drop right into your 231 case. Don't forget to swap in the WIDE BEARING on the input side if you have a wide input gear. VERY different clearances and the narrow bearing with the wide/long input gear, will have the planetaries eating the front of your case off. Also remember that the 231/241 planetaries and ring gear have two different cuts. Something like pre and post 96. The earlier were a courser cut while the later were finer. They will intermix but they will be very whiney. I used an np241c input, np231 main with sye, np241 chain and chain drive.

8. T-case shift linkage.

9. Trans linkage. Use an XJ auto shifter.

10. Radiator. The 3 row CSF scares me a bit as the tubes are very small and easy to clog. You mileage may vary. I went with a Griffin 22x19" and made it fit by cutting out the lower rad support. Keeps me VERY cold with a taurus fan behind it. Again, I'm not the right guy for this either as lots of guys have stock size xj rads doing just fine. My way worked though as well.

Feel free to toss any questions my way as well. I feel like I could do this swap the second time in a solid weekend. It's really not that bad if you aren't a tard, and/or not wildly drunk :p.
1. I have done two harnesses and both had OBDII port power coming in separate from the ECU without issues. I'm not sure why yours was being fussy, but good you figured it out.

2. I made my own, but it was out of necessity. Novak didn't have the mounts available when I did mine, but it wasn't hard to make them.

3. I never heard anyone say that before and mine fit fine. I have about 1/2" clearance to the frame.

4. I would definitely save a little longer and go 6.0L next time. I get about 10MPG or less, but I also drive it like I put a V8 in my Jeep. Aside of maybe one tank where you try really hard to see how high of gas mileage you can get, the MPG argument is a silly one.

6. I didn't have an issue with sealing, but I did use a liberal dose of RTV to start with.

7. In hindsight, I would definitely go with a 241C before the AA adapter/231J again.

8. I used a Novak t-case shifter and it worked really well.

9. I did this and hated it. On road, WOT and looking for 2nd gear sucks.

10. I couldn't get mine to cool either and ended up with a really expensive Be Cool radiator. It was the only solution that would work for some reason. It made me nuts because I have a buddy running a 130k mile stock radiator on his LS swap and it's fine.

Glad you got yours going and your happy.
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  #22  
Old August 16th, 2015, 14:52
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PhotoJared PhotoJared is offline
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Re: Projext "V8 XJ" Build

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Originally Posted by John D View Post

7. In hindsight, I would definitely go with a 241C before the AA adapter/231J again.
Care to explain why? Other than the fact that its bolt on. What would you do for the Jeep Speedo (I know you ran aftermarket gauges)?
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  #23  
Old August 16th, 2015, 18:13
97xjnova 97xjnova is offline
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Re: Projext "V8 XJ" Build

Wow looks good man
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  #24  
Old August 17th, 2015, 16:04
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Re: Projext "V8 XJ" Build

Engine is OUT! I only forgot to disconnect one thing, the transmission selector cable. It super hard to see anyway.

I'm not posting many pictures of disassembly because it's very straight forward.






Realized that I forgot to drain the transmission fluid and engine oil. Took off the transfer case to make this mess...
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  #25  
Old August 17th, 2015, 16:48
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John D John D is offline
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Re: Projext "V8 XJ" Build

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Care to explain why? Other than the fact that its bolt on. What would you do for the Jeep Speedo (I know you ran aftermarket gauges)?
Cheaper, by a lot. As far as gauges, looking back from what I have now with the Autometer's I wouldn't consider running a stock cluster. The Autometer's look better than I expected and they are accurate.
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  #26  
Old August 17th, 2015, 17:22
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Frank Z Frank Z is offline
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Re: Projext "V8 XJ" Build

I agree with John. The NP231C/D/J I built worked, but it was a lot of extra work.
New project is getting a Dana300 though.
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  #27  
Old August 18th, 2015, 10:57
blistovmhz blistovmhz is offline
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Re: Projext "V8 XJ" Build

Okay, here's the problem with sticking a chevy t-case behind the 5.3 or 6.0L, in a Jeep.
SYE availability.

Yes you can bolt an np231/241c behind almost any chevy transmission, auto or manual, and yes you'd get the 40 tooth speedo reluctor from the chevy case. All is well at this point except that no one makes an SYE for the chevy cases. This makes things difficult for most of us, as we need it to accommodate our lifts.

Yes, jbconversions claims to makes one, but try to buy one and you'll understand. Their website lists all the chevy SYE's as out of stock, they don't respond to emails and they don't answer their phone. I spent 3 months calling and emailing, trying to figure out when they'd have their C SYE's available. After a month I finally got through to someone and they told me the C kits would be in stock in 2 weeks. 2 weeks later, still out of stock on the website and I spent another month calling before someone answered, and apparently the kits were still a month out. 3 months later, when I was ready to start ordering parts for my build, they still didn't have the kits available and the ETA was perpetually a month out.

This is why everyone adapts a Jeep case to the chevy motor.

That said, I see now, after 8 months, jbconversions doesn't list the kits as out of stock, so maybe it's an option once again. This would be sweet as it'd save us a few hundred bucks as you're getting the SYE and the speedo all in one package for about the same price as just the j adapter and speedo (minus the SYE that you'll have to supply).

I went with an NP241c wide bearing long input (new cut), NP231j case, NP231c chain, sprocket, and front output, and NP231j SYE main shaft. I already had several full NP231j's lying around (with an SYE), so I just needed the 241c input, chain, sprocket and front output. I couldn't find a complete 241c at the wrecker so I grabbed a complete 231c for $50, and on my way out, I found a 241c input just lying on the ground Wrecker didn't know what it was so I got it for $5. Total hybrid case build cost me $65 or $70. Took me about an hour to assemble (my first attempt at taking apart and putting back together a case). It's really not a difficult job.
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  #28  
Old August 18th, 2015, 16:15
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Re: Projext "V8 XJ" Build

This is what the engine bay looked like after yesterday
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  #29  
Old August 18th, 2015, 17:28
blistovmhz blistovmhz is offline
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Re: Projext "V8 XJ" Build

Where you goona put your ecu? Word of advice, figure that out before putting the motor in. Rework the Chevy harness on the motor out of the truck.

I just spent nearly 2 full days doing mine in the truck and it was the suck. Next one I do will be fully wired before I even pull the 4L.
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  #30  
Old August 18th, 2015, 18:14
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Johnnie Walker Johnnie Walker is offline
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Re: Projext "V8 XJ" Build

I would say a D300 would work quite well. Or maybe a doubler with a chevy front case and a D300 behind it?
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