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  #1  
Old January 12th, 2019, 17:17
4x4JeePmaNthINg's Avatar
4x4JeePmaNthINg 4x4JeePmaNthINg is offline
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Engine swap vs shop

With an engine toast I've been left to find a replacement and the means of replacing it. 99 auto

As shop quotes roll in they are a bit higher than what ide hoped for, and for piece of mind I'm largely leaning towards a replacement motor vs rebuild.

With multitudes of possibilities to source an engine, I need something that will not leave me stranded and that will likely not come cheap.

Engine:
I've heard nothing good about ATK, so I'm looking at every thing but really.
Only 4.0, no stroker.

Jasper= $3250
Golen= more iirc
Used $400-1000 but who's to say it's not a lemon
Other reman $1600+

It's some coin so if I can perform the labor, I have space, but I need tools:

.E torx
.Engine lift
.Maybe a trans lift to lower it for e totx access, currently I do have a trans drop. ( i could weld a basket like jig on a floor jack) thoughts?
.Everything else I didn't consider...


So I'm here to pick your brain on wether doing this project ,likely alone, is a good idea having never done this before?
Pulling the engine seems highly time consuming, but not impossible and other than pulling the engine/intake itself, I've already disassembled everything else in engine bay before.

I haven't found anything good for Viewing installation clearly yet, so I'm a bit skeptical on how difficult this job would be to do myself, but i do know shop labor is 1400$ average which seems like coin I shouldn't be spending.

Some ?s for consideration:

Is this safe leaving the trans in on a garage floor and pulling the engine (hoisted & chained properly)?
Is it worth buying a hoist vs renting for the time it would take?
Any other specialized tools Ide need?
If it's a new engine, it is pretty simple to align TDC, and prime the oil pump right?
Would a trans drop complicate any removal/ install?
Any sketchy things I probably haven't seen or need to know from threads?


Thanks all, I don't want to re write threads on swaps as I know there's many, but this is a good chance to learn if its worth the inexperienced to implore engine swaps.

Last edited by 4x4JeePmaNthINg; January 12th, 2019 at 17:27.
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  #2  
Old January 12th, 2019, 17:30
BALTANAKT BALTANAKT is offline
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Re: Engine swap vs shop

Its easy.

You need a hoist, engine stand and a floor jack. That's it. I used to rent the hoist and just got fed up racing to do swaps and bought one.

Label everything. Leave tranny in the jeep.
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  #3  
Old January 12th, 2019, 17:42
Mr.Smith Mr.Smith is offline
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Re: Engine swap vs shop

I literally just did an engine swap in my “other” Cherokee not 3 weeks ago. Shoot me a PM with your number and I will fill you in on it. For what it’s worth, I pulled a 4.0 from a Cherokee that had been sitting on the farm.... wrecked front end, for at least 8 years, purrs like a kitten with nothing more than new plugs. Lol. It’s not easy, but it’s not hard either. I would recommend a buddy cause some things are just flat easier with two.
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  #4  
Old January 12th, 2019, 17:52
lawsoncl lawsoncl is offline
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Re: Engine swap vs shop

I did an engine swap in my 89 over a long weekend after I found a used engine with only 25k on a full rebuild for $300. It wasn't as hard as I expected and just took my time. I borrowed an engine crane from a friend with the load leveler that looked like https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...0934_200640934. I used a floor jack under the transmission and left it in place. The jack had been previously modified to have a 1-ft square plate on the top and I used ratchet straps to secure the trans to the plate.



First day: First I took a crap load of pictures of the engine bay to help figure out how it all went together. Labelled all the electrical connectors and hoses. Then disconnected everything from the old engine and pushed it all to the side. Drained the coolant and pulled the radiator, unhooked the exhaust at the downpipe, pulled the airbox too as I recall. Unbolted the torque converter and left it in the tranny. Then finally pulled the engine with intake and exhaust still manifolds on it. Damn that engine bay looked empty. The bed of the truck was pretty full at that point too.



Second day: Transferred the accessories and intake/exhaust manifolds to the donor engine, made dang sure the torque converter was fully seated (very important!), got the engine lowered roughly into position. Borrowed the spouse for about an hour to help get things aligned. It took a bit of finagling to get the engine lined up just right with the trans and get a few bell housing bolts started. Got the bellhousing bolts snugged then got the motor mounts connected and off the hoist.


Third day: In the immortal words of Chiltons, "assembly is the reverse of the previous steps". Connecting everything else up, refilling coolant, etc. Those pictures came in handy a few times to remember how things were originally routed. It started and ran great, and it was alcoholic beverage time. All told, probably about 16-hours mostly by myself.
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  #5  
Old January 12th, 2019, 18:41
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Anak Anak is offline
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Re: Engine swap vs shop

I have not pulled an engine out of an XJ, but I have done engine swaps on a number of other vehicles. What follows are some generic tips.

An engine leveler is worth adding to the engine hoist. Odds are good you will need one angle to clear the radiator support and that won't be the angle the engine needs in order to line up with the trans and motor mounts. A leveler makes this much easier to cope with.

A second person is a huge help, even if all they can really offer is another set of eyes to help you be aware of what is going on that you can't keep track of all at once by yourself. On the way out of the engine bay they can help you spot that ground strap you missed before you remove it the hard way. On that way in they will be invaluable for letting you know when you are getting too close to the firewall/bell-housing/crossmember/whatever else happens to be getting in the way.

With an auto trans take the time to remove the torque converter from the flex plate rather than just pulling the converter off the trans input. It might be easier on the way out, but most certainly not on the way back in.

I am not sure what it would take to prime an XJ's oil pump. I have special adapters for use with small and big block Chevy engines, and maybe one for a Pontiac, but I don't think I have ever seen one offered for a Jeep inline 6. It is a much shorter reach for the inline 6. It might be that all you would need to do is cut the handle off a large flat blade screwdriver. Perhaps someone else can offer input on that subject.

As to buying a hoist, I would check Craigslist or whatever other online classifieds is doing well in your area. Buy a used one for $150 or so, don't worry about how long the job takes if any delays come up, and then once finished put it back on Craigslist for $150. Unless you think you are likely to use if for other things. I know mine comes in handy for moving heavy stuff, especially unloading things out of the truck. I have also used it for installing a winch bumper and for holding doors while replacing worn out pins. It is a useful tool, but it also takes up a bunch of space.

While using the hoist, if the legs can be adjusted, use them at the farthest allowed extension you can. The more stable the platform the better, particularly if your driveway has any uneven cracks. Those little surface defects that hardly ever seem to matter will suddenly become real issues when you try to move a loaded engine crane over them, with the engine as high up as it can go in order to clear the header panel.

Expect to find yourself replacing things you didn't plan on replacing. There is generally something you will discover or damage in the process and find yourself scrambling to fix.

I like large blocks of wood for supporting the bottle jack that will support the trans. Generally something like a 6x6 cut about 6" long, or an 8x8 cut about 8" long. And then a piece of 2x12 to go under the pan and distribute the weight out to the edges of the pan. Avoid concrete blocks. Every now and then one of them breaks. At least that is what I am told, in spite of the neighborhoods full of cars that sit for years on such blocks.

Make sure you have some good pry bars and drift pins on hand. Something is bound to need some extra persuasion to get it to let go or get lined up properly.

You will have a variety of bits of hardware to keep track of. Plan to have a variety of containers of some form on hand to keep it separated and organized. Quart ziploc bags will work. I have cut up coolant jugs for this purpose. Cut off the bottom to make a small tray, or lay them on their side and cut out most of the top side and make a larger tray. Tuna cans/cat food cans are convenient too. Just have a variety of something so you can keep stages worth of hardware separate and not have to sort through the whole collection at any given point.

Those are the general thoughts that come to mind at the moment. I will probably think of something else later.
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  #6  
Old January 12th, 2019, 21:56
lawsoncl lawsoncl is offline
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Re: Engine swap vs shop

"Quart ziploc bags will work"


Used plenty of those. Write on them with a sharpie and tape them to the part that just came out.
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  #7  
Old January 13th, 2019, 17:57
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4x4JeePmaNthINg 4x4JeePmaNthINg is offline
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Re: Engine swap vs shop

I'm not ruling out Healthy used motors 4.0 H.O. no original 0331 heads, but does anyone have experience with these

rebuilt auto engines 1999 JEEP Cherokee
https://www.sandjengines.com/search/...EEP-Cherokee--
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  #8  
Old January 13th, 2019, 23:44
Heavyopp Heavyopp is offline
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Re: Engine swap vs shop

My 1st engine swap was my XJ — mines a 2000 and had the 0331 head — while searching for a new head I had stumbled across an engine in a wrecked 98 grand Cherokee — 27000 miles, little old lady owned — engine was still in the grand when I made contact, was close enough to home that I made the trip the next day to hear it run — bought it on the spot and they pulled it for me to pick up a few days later

I did the entire thing alone start to finish — borrowed a hoist and leveler from a friend so there was no rush — I had bought a package of brown paper lunch bags and put all the nuts and bolts in bags, labeling as I went — also wrote what size wrench and if anything broke or was missing — that made reassembly easy

Blue masking tape on all the wire connectors, labeled where they came from

Bought that funky torx socket for the 2 upper trans bolts from harbor freight — the right size is in the set they sell

I didn’t use a real engine stand, used a cut up Walmart shopping cart I found on the side of the road — used this for the new, inbound engine — the bad take out engine stayed on the hoist while I took what I needed off of it

Auto trans stayed in the truck, supported on 6x6 wood blocks — torque converter was separated from flex plate for engine/ trans separation

You will be fine as long as you’re not in a rush — a second set of eyes would have been nice but certainly not needed during the pull and install — other than that a second guy would have gotten in the way and taken away from my learning experience
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Old January 14th, 2019, 10:15
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4x4JeePmaNthINg 4x4JeePmaNthINg is offline
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Re: Engine swap vs shop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavyopp View Post
My 1st engine swap was my XJ — mines a 2000 and had the 0331 head — while searching for a new head I had stumbled across an engine in a wrecked 98 grand Cherokee — 27000 miles, little old lady owned — engine was still in the grand when I made contact, was close enough to home that I made the trip the next day to hear it run — bought it on the spot and they pulled it for me to pick up a few days later

I did the entire thing alone start to finish — borrowed a hoist and leveler from a friend so there was no rush — I had bought a package of brown paper lunch bags and put all the nuts and bolts in bags, labeling as I went — also wrote what size wrench and if anything broke or was missing — that made reassembly easy

Blue masking tape on all the wire connectors, labeled where they came from

Bought that funky torx socket for the 2 upper trans bolts from harbor freight — the right size is in the set they sell

I didn’t use a real engine stand, used a cut up Walmart shopping cart I found on the side of the road — used this for the new, inbound engine — the bad take out engine stayed on the hoist while I took what I needed off of it

Auto trans stayed in the truck, supported on 6x6 wood blocks — torque converter was separated from flex plate for engine/ trans separation

You will be fine as long as you’re not in a rush — a second set of eyes would have been nice but certainly not needed during the pull and install — other than that a second guy would have gotten in the way and taken away from my learning experience
Did you lower the trans any/ loosen bolts on the cross member or frame?
Did you have to disassemble any linkages?
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  #10  
Old January 14th, 2019, 13:53
Jim Malcolm Jim Malcolm is offline
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Re: Engine swap vs shop

A vast majority of the engine swaps I have done were in my brother's fox body Mustang. The worst part has always been mating the engine back up to the transmission. With my XJs, I have always pulled and put in the motor with the transmission attached. It's just so much easier to mate the engine to the transmission when it's sitting right in front of you, transmission resting on some old tires and using the lift to mate the engine up to it. Granted you have to remove the t-case and rear driveshaft (front comes out anyway for access), which you wouldn't have to do otherwise, but the extra effort is worth it to me to not have to deal with the BS of trying to mate the engine to the transmission in the vehicle. Also a good chance to inspect driveshafts.

Doing it in-vehicle, a second set of eyes and hands is almost required. You'll be up and down 100 times getting it lined up otherwise. If you're down on the ground, you want the person operating the lift to be competent to do so. Just the slightest too much turn and the engine is on the ground and hopefully you're not under it. Likewise, the person under the vehicle has to be able to give clear, concise direction without getting hot headed. Leaving the trans attached, I can do it myself if I choose. I still get help for 20-30 minutes primarily for the 2nd set of eyes. It's a beat-you-up job as it is, no need to make it that much worse doing the up-down-up-down... routine. Nice thing about an XJ is that it sits high enough to leave the trans attached. My brother's Mustang did not and we both lamented over how much easier it would be...

If you decide to leave the trans in the vehicle, you'll need to unbolt the crossmember to angle it all down to get room to work. Do the top bolts first. Well I always loosen the lower ones to make sure I can, tighten them and then do the tops. Bolt the crossmember back up, support the front of the trans and then remove the remainder of the bolts and ultimately the engine. Installation is the opposite of removal. Engine in, bottom bolts, lower crossmember, install top bolts. Remember to unbolt the transmission dipstick tube from the back PS side of the head, the transmission oil cooler lines from the engine oil pan and the throttle valve cable from the throttle body. There's some zip ties on the wiring in the back PS corner IIRC. Breather's are the last thing. Mine are on the DS but I don't remember if that's factory or just where I put them.
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  #11  
Old January 14th, 2019, 21:39
Heavyopp Heavyopp is offline
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Re: Engine swap vs shop

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4JeePmaNthINg View Post
Did you lower the trans any/ loosen bolts on the cross member or frame?
Did you have to disassemble any linkages?
I'm pretty sure I took the transmission linkage off just to get better access to the bolts between trans and engine -- I used a huge extension to get at these bolts, like 30" worth

Im sure I removed the trans crossmember, just to be able to move the trans around, especially for aligning it all back up -- I know I put it back under to remove the engine once the bolts where out but honestly I think I removed the bell housing bolts with crossmember tight and wrestled with them -- would be easier to lower the trans a little to get access to the top bolts -- And I did do the top, torx head bolts 1st

You might also want to pull your crank position sensor before separating the engine/trans -- just to get it out of the way so you don't accidentally break it

It's really not that hard of a job to do alone -- I would do it again
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Old January 15th, 2019, 07:52
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mayub78 mayub78 is offline
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Re: Engine swap vs shop

Engine:
I've heard nothing good about ATK, so I'm looking at every thing but really.
Only 4.0, no stroker.

I have an ATK 4.0 installed on my 97 Xj it has already 30K miles on it, in about 4 years. No complains yet! It works very well!

I would go that way if I had to do it again, It's a good investment! and have a warranty on it!
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Old January 15th, 2019, 18:36
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alexgalexg alexgalexg is offline
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Engine swap vs shop

I'd go to a junk yard for a certified tested engine. Golen is okay. But they will test your engine with no filter on it... so you're risking getting an engine that already has scoring. Jasper I've heard nothing good about over the last 2 years. Engine swap isnt too bad. Worst of it is the bell housing bolts. Top 2 are inverse torx and hard to get at. Easiest way is to remove the motor mounts and lower the engine a bit to give yourself room to reach those bolts and remove those before any others on the bell housing

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Old January 16th, 2019, 21:39
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4x4JeePmaNthINg 4x4JeePmaNthINg is offline
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Re: Engine swap vs shop

Does the trans/ tc linkage come off easily?
I think I have to lower the trans and undo the cross member?

It has a tc drop which I plan on getting rid of now, and a new trans mount I'm waiting to put in. I need to replace the brown dog bushings to.
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Old January 17th, 2019, 17:04
arto_wa arto_wa is offline
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Re: Engine swap vs shop

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4JeePmaNthINg View Post
..............................Any other specialized tools Ide need? ......................



Yes, for those "funky Torx socket for the 2 upper trans bolts" or "Inverse Torx" bolt heads are size E12


So you will need 3/8 inch drive size E12 "inverse Torx socket", universal joint and couple of 3/8 extensions.



For someone doing XJ engine replacement for the first time, these two bolts are the probably the biggest challenge.


like someone else already mentioned, it will make it easier if you remove the engine mount bolts so you can lower the engine and it will be easier to at least see the bolt heads from above.

Once you see them, it will be easier to figure out how to get to them from the back, sort of above the transmission.
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