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  #1  
Old September 22nd, 2018, 13:09
Palani Palani is offline
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Cummins R2.8 Swap

Hi all,

New to the forum but not to the XJ. Iʻve got a 1997 2-door 4.0 with the AX-15 5-speed. Iʻve owned it for 12 years and have done a lot of suspension modifications over that time period as well as engine and drivetrain work.
Recently the old I-6 developed a bad knock which I suspect is a bad crank bearing or piston slap. In any case, itʻs no longer my daily driver and Iʻm planning to swap the engine out for the new Cummins R2.8 turbo-diesel crate engine. Iʻve done a lot of research to date and am pretty excited about it. The dimensions look work-able and the torque and power specs should be handled by the stock drivetrain. Iʻm surprised, though that in all of my research I have yet to find anyone that is attempting this. There is a lot of info on TJ swaps with the same powertrain, Landrovers, Land Cruisers, and even an old Toyota pickup conversion has been done. Has anyone heard of a current build like the one Iʻm planning?

The engine weighs about the same as the 4.0 so please spare me the "itʻs a uniframe vehicle and canʻt handle the weight" argument. The only issue I foresee is that the dieselʻs engine mount point sits a couple inches lower on the block so Iʻll have to weld up some brackets to get it to fit under the hood and line up with the tranny. I was assuming Iʻd have to do this anyway though.

Thanks in advance for your input
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  #2  
Old September 22nd, 2018, 14:13
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sidewaysstarion sidewaysstarion is offline
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Re: Cummins R2.8 Swap

The reason you don't see many 2.8 swaps into XJs, is the low hood clearance of the XJ combined with the $9,000 cost of entry to get the crate motor. Most would rather swap in a GM motor and have twice the power and torque for half the cost.
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  #3  
Old September 22nd, 2018, 21:03
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Re: Cummins R2.8 Swap

I envy you for getting to take this on. I would love to do this swap.

The LS motors might be more abundant and cheap, but the fuel economy of the diesel is unmatched. And XJs are not noted for their large fuel tanks and great range.

Please share your findings as you go down this path.
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  #4  
Old September 23rd, 2018, 00:47
Palani Palani is offline
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Re: Cummins R2.8 Swap

Thanks for the input guys. I agree that the sticker price for the Cummins is a big drawback. My feeling on that front though is that no one is making a small SUV that's anywhere near as good as my old Cherokee on the trail and around town. I love everything about it, including the manual gearbox, and there just isn't anything on the market to replace it with. I live in Hawaii where we have a lot of hills and no freeways so it's about the worst place for fuel economy which, as Anak pointed out, gives the diesel option a big boost. Also, we have no junkyards here so even used parts from the mainland have to be sourced and shipped making an LS swap about as costly in the end and I'd still be using used parts. And let's face it, I just like oil-burners.

Until my 4.0 went out, I would have happily continued driving the old XJ as my DD. If I were to try to find something newer today to replace it I'd be looking at double what I'd pay to pimp mine out the way I want it, so it's worth it to me.

The hood clearance is going to be an issue though. I'm thinking drop brackets for the engine mounts, which might still not be enough, in which case I may have to lower the tranny an inch or so. But if that's the worst problem I'm likely to face I'll take it! And I know it won't be.

I'm going to do a build thread for sure. I just got the shop all cleaned up today so hopefully in the next few weeks I'll get cracking on teardown.
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  #5  
Old September 23rd, 2018, 07:43
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Re: Cummins R2.8 Swap

Just make sure your front axle doesn't hit the plastic oil pan and you should be good, I'll be watching to see how it comes out. also I noticed advance adapters might already have a mount kit for the r2.8 into an XJ.
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I seem to have run out of self tapping washers
99 4.0/AW4/231, with a few basic bolt ons.

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  #6  
Old September 23rd, 2018, 08:09
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Re: Cummins R2.8 Swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palani View Post
I'm going to do a build thread for sure.


I will be following along.
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  #7  
Old September 23rd, 2018, 20:43
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cleenrob cleenrob is offline
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Re: Cummins R2.8 Swap

id love to do the 2.8 diesl myself but 9000 for just the motor steers me away. i can do a whole ls swap start to finish for less than that

id love to see it done for sure tho.

i havent come across anythreads with this particular motor tho. ive seen vw TDI swaps, OM617s, LS swaps, even 2jz's and 4BTs.
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Old September 24th, 2018, 09:31
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Cottontail Cottontail is offline
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Re: Cummins R2.8 Swap

I've seen a Cummins swap in an ZJ before. Not really sure which Cummins engine though. This guy put the Jeep on a frame also, and leaf sprung the front end.

[IMG]Untitled by Dirk DeYoung, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]Untitled by Dirk DeYoung, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]Untitled by Dirk DeYoung, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]Untitled by Dirk DeYoung, on Flickr[/IMG]
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  #9  
Old September 24th, 2018, 15:57
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Rob Mayercik Rob Mayercik is offline
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Re: Cummins R2.8 Swap

If you're not wedded to a Cummins, what about a VW TDI motor? Believe there's already bellhousing adapters on the market for them.

Over on www.tdiclub.com, I've seen recent conversions - an 86MJ and two XJs:

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=475193

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=464556

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=431357
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  #10  
Old September 25th, 2018, 19:54
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Re: Cummins R2.8 Swap

I don’t know much about the 2.8 Cummins, but I’ve got a 2.8 duramax in my daily and I think it would be great in an XJ
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  #11  
Old October 3rd, 2018, 12:07
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Re: Cummins R2.8 Swap

Hell, I'm in the process of deciding on doing the R2.8 swap om my 97 Xj, but the 9K dlls is holding me right now, please do a thread of your swap.

I've now that Advance adapters is already working on adapters for that drivetrain since the R2.8 is becoming a popular swap for Tj's. That is going to be a big advantage, because its going to be an easier plug and play swap.
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  #12  
Old October 3rd, 2018, 21:01
trippled trippled is offline
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Re: Cummins R2.8 Swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cottontail View Post
I've seen a Cummins swap in an ZJ before. Not really sure which Cummins engine though. This guy put the Jeep on a frame also, and leaf sprung the front end.

[IMG]Untitled by Dirk DeYoung, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]Untitled by Dirk DeYoung, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]Untitled by Dirk DeYoung, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]Untitled by Dirk DeYoung, on Flickr[/IMG]
I'm impressed this guy stuck a 6bt Cummins in xj but wow that is one of the ugliest Jeep's I've ever seen.

Watching ultimate adventure videos and it looks like they'll have a new higher hp tune for these 2.8s.
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  #13  
Old October 11th, 2018, 01:51
Palani Palani is offline
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Re: Cummins R2.8 Swap

Hi all. Sorry for being MIA since my first couple posts. I had a whole response typed out and then closed my browser by mistake and lost it all. Haven't had the patience to start over until tonight.

That orange Cherokee is a beast. Looks like they just dropped a Cherokee body on an old Ram chassis with a 24 valve?? Too much work for me! I've considered a lot of other diesel options, including a 1kt-te (Toyota 3.0L) from a JDM supplier. All of them are probably cheaper parts-wise but I don't want to spend tons of time figuring out wiring, fuel pump, intercooler, integrating sensors, etc. and doing a lot of engineering work to get it to run properly. I just don't have the time or desire to have to work out tons of little details. The Cummins R2.8 looks like a much more complete option and I like that it isn't a used engine. I've always been of a mind that it's worth buying something that's more complete from the start and saving the time working out kinks later, though I know there'll be plenty of kinks regardless.

I do agree that the plastic oil pan on the Cummins seems strange. Hopefully by the time I order mine there'll be a steel pan option. They say it reduces sound but who's going through the work of this swap that doesn't like a little diesel noise?!

Anyway, I started tearing the old gal apart tonight and got the hood, grill, radiator and condenser off so I should probably start that build thread soon! Thanks for all your input.
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  #14  
Old October 11th, 2018, 12:26
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cherokeecrawler cherokeecrawler is offline
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Re: Cummins R2.8 Swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palani View Post
Haven't had the patience to start over until tonight
This is me with my insta page for my jeep hahaha
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  #15  
Old October 15th, 2018, 09:29
gunselman gunselman is offline
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Re: Cummins R2.8 Swap

I really like the idea of the R2.8 in a Cherokee. I looked into it pretty heavily. Keep in mind that @ that $9,000 you still don't have a running engine in YOUR jeep. You will still have to make it talk to your gauge panel, or other gauges.

The R2.8 is about maxed out for power as it sits from the factory. Apparently they don't handle much more without major issues.

You can buy a used VW 1.9 TDI engine for under $1,000 and throw a few performance parts and be at the same power numbers.
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