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  #1  
Old November 13th, 2005, 18:34
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K2fender K2fender is offline
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350 swap questions

I have an 85 2.5 litre 5 speed, xj . I think I'm going to go ahead swap out the engine. Is there enough room in the 2.5 litre engine bay to fit a small block chevy 350 or a 3.4L V6 from a rear wheel drive camaro. I'm gonna go check out to see what i can find at the junkyard. Will I need a different transmission as well, or can I use my original transmission with a bell housing adapter. Also, does advance adaptors or anywhere else sell engine mount's for these swaps in a 2.5 litre. I've been searching, and have found many posts about this, but I have not seen any really, verifying that there is room in my engine bay. Thanks.
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Old November 13th, 2005, 21:32
xjbubba xjbubba is offline
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Re: 350 swap questions

Advanced adapters (AA) has an engine swap manual that discusses some of the issues associated with installing a small block 350 into an XJ. I believe one issue with the early XJ's is the short engine bay associated with the v6 or 4cy; AA recommends swapping in a front clip from an XJ that had a 4.0L straight six to gain adequate clearance at the front of the engine.
They also sell motor mounts that bolt to the frame where the stock engine mounts bolt. They recommend at least a 3" lift to insure the UCA's don't hit the mounts.
AA has various adapter plates and bell housings to accommodate just about any trans you would want to use. I'd recommend the NV3500 or an AX15 5spd, if money is an issue. Your current trans would be greatly stressed with the V8.
Also consider SMOG laws in your state--they may be restrictive with regard to allowable configuration of engine/trans/exhaust manifolds, etc. As an example, my local Calif SMOG ref required I use a truck engine because I wanted to use an NV4500 trans ( no car ever had an NV4500 installed by the factory!!). This meant a TBI engine using truck exhaust manifolds, which resulted in extreme frame mods to fit. Car exhaust manifolds, such as an early Camaro work well if using them won't cause problems with the local SMOG gods. AA also has headers for this swap--but they are not smog legal. What ever engine you use, get the ECM and associated engine wiring harness out of the donor car, including any jacks connected to components that appear to be associated with the ECM. I think it's best to purchase the field service manual for the year of the donor car; you'll need the wiring diagrams to insure a correct conversion and follow-up trouble shooting.
I'd recommend a thorough research of all aspects of your contemplated swap before starting.
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  #3  
Old November 13th, 2005, 21:42
joe_and_jeep joe_and_jeep is offline
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Re: 350 swap questions

The 85 is a good candidate for a T-Case doubler and keep the 2.5. I have a 84 with the 2.5, 5 Speed and NP207/NP207 doubler for 110:1 crawl. I love it and would never go V8. Search on here, I posted up about my doubler.

V8 Cherokees are cool tho.
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  #4  
Old November 14th, 2005, 05:36
xjbubba xjbubba is offline
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Re: 350 swap questions

I kind agree with K2fender--think hard about why you want a V8 in your Cherokee (or Wrangler, etc.). Don't know about the 2.5L engine, but my 4.oL had more than enough torque for off roading (mostly West Coast rock crawling), but died on the highway when fully loaded for a camping trip. With all the reinforcing, bumpers, winches, big tires, etc, my Cherokee weighs close to 4200LBS. Lower gears will pretty much solve the issue off-road, but leave you revving way too high on the highway--even with a good overdrive. I love my Chevy small block--gobs of torque, no more slow-lane on the highway when fully loaded, and the reliability of a totally stock engine. But what a job installing into the cramped XJ engine bay! And all the hassles with the Calif SMOG stuff. If I had it to do over again, I'd not use the NV4500 trans for reasons included in my last post.
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  #5  
Old November 14th, 2005, 08:02
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K2fender K2fender is offline
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Re: 350 swap questions

My 2.5 actually does good off road. It's got a fair amount of torque. Regearing and doubling the transfer case would only help that. The reason I am considering this swap is for onroad capabilities. I have to redline it in third to make it up mountain roads. It's ridiculous. Is there any way to make the small block fit without switching out a front clip. Would the camaro v6 fit? Thanks for all the help so far.
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  #6  
Old November 14th, 2005, 08:45
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Re: 350 swap questions

I would think that the camaro v-6 would fit with little mods. It's basically the same dimensions as the stock 2.8 that was an option that year.
http://www.lunghd.com/Tech_Articles/...Project_XJ.htm
that link has lots of info.
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  #7  
Old November 14th, 2005, 08:55
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Re: 350 swap questions

The single biggest power improvement you can do to the 2.5L is to swap over the TBI from a 86+ 2.5L. It will help on the road considerably, I did that with adding Clifford headers, and Mopar purple cam. It was OK on the road, but still sucked at 10,000ft in the Colorado mountains. Like you say, I never had any problems offroad, but being stuck in the slow lane was a bummer. I did the complete sheetmetal swap over 3 or so years ago and went to a 4.7L stroker. What a change. Staying with the 4.0L base makes the swap over a lot easier. No wiring hassles, just scavenge the harnesses from a donor. No big smog hassles.
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  #8  
Old November 14th, 2005, 11:31
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ashmanjeepxj ashmanjeepxj is offline
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Re: 350 swap questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by K2fender
The reason I am considering this swap is for onroad capabilities. I have to redline it in third to make it up mountain roads.
Do you have good axle gears for your tire size? My little toyota 22R (260K miles) is carbed and with 5.29 gears It pulls good on the highway with 35s up to 75MPH.

The 4.3L vortec from S-10s is shorter then the V8 but would still be a HP upgrade to consider.

Get fuel injection on any motor swap you plan for road capabilities.
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  #9  
Old November 14th, 2005, 13:32
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K2fender K2fender is offline
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Re: 350 swap questions

Thanks for all the info an help guys. Now i need to figure out what im gonna do.
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  #10  
Old November 14th, 2005, 13:33
bxj bxj is offline
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Cool Re: 350 swap questions

xjbubba.,
."AA recommends swapping in a front clip from an XJ that had a 4.0L straight six to gain adequate clearance at the front of the engine."-
No, A little triming on both sides of the front engine compartment with your choice of Dewalt or in my case Makita 4" cutter and you will "miraculously" see that ALL models irrespective of year have the same dimensions -
..xjbubba..
"I kind agree with K2fender--think hard about why you want a V8 in your Cherokee (or Wrangler, etc.)"
errr hello..
ummh..lets see from a wheeze 2.5 litre or 2.8 to triple the horsepower at 5.7 litre-Don't want to sound redunant ,but has anyone here giveing advice or information ACTUALLY done the Chevrolet 350 engine swap ,..or..?
K2fender..I would cordially suggest to you to review the enourmous amount of good and factual information here in the archives on this subject
reference my name also-
bxj
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  #11  
Old November 14th, 2005, 16:00
xjbubba xjbubba is offline
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Re: 350 swap questions

BXJ-first, if you had read ALL of my posts, you'd see that I did, in fact, install a '95 5.7L Chevy along with a NV4500 tranny. I did it--I didn't pay someone to do it--I know exactly what it takes to do this swap into an XJ that originally had a straight 6. As I stated in my post, for someone swapping a V8 into an XJ that originally had the small V6, "AA recommends swapping in a front clip from an XJ that had a 4.0L"; I was passing on a recommendation gleaned from countless hours of research before I did my conversion--and I quote AA from there 2003 Engine & transmission conversion manual(regarding the 1984-86 Cherokee): "when using a V8 engine, the overall length of the Chevy block may cause clearance issues with the radiator and grill assembly. A grille assembly off of a later model XJ, equipped with the in-line 6 cylinder, can provide additional clearance in this area." Some of us take pride in our fabrication projects and do what is necessary for excellence--not grab the hammer every time something doesn't fit right (or in your case a Dewalt). In addition, there are many more happy Cherokee wheelers with engines other than a V8. I wasn't, so I did the swap. To do it right is a big and expensive undertaking that should be thought out carefully and not done just because it sounds "cool". But of course thinking doesn't appear to be your long-suite.
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  #12  
Old November 14th, 2005, 21:57
eemmons eemmons is offline
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Smile Re: 350 swap questions

I have an 85 that I put a 350 in. I love it. It would have been a lot easier to have put in a 4.3 v6 and I am sure I would love that also. I cut the front header out and put one in from a later model xj. Now I see that novac adapters makes a radiater that fits in the original space but gives clearance for the v8. I did use aa motor mounts. Very good. I used a 700r tranny with the 231c. It was a lot of work. Would I do it again? in a heart beat. Of course I started with a wore out 2.8. This is my daily driver and is really nice to drive. I do have 6 inches of lift but I am not sure that you really nead a lift to do this but why not.
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  #13  
Old November 15th, 2005, 06:44
xjbubba xjbubba is offline
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Re: 350 swap questions

My XJ is an '88--came with a 4.0L that had been beat by the previous owner, so gave up the ghost at 160,000 miles.
I've always been a hot rodder with the belief that cubic inches were everything. So, putting those two "needs" together with the requirement that the 4L needed massive help to be reliable (another need) again, I chose the Chevy 350 as a replacement. Why the Chevy 350? Massive after- market support, both within the "go fast" community as well as the off-road fraternity, AND, it's a reasonable fit into the relatively small XJ engine compartment. Choosing the 350 immediately puts you down a path of significant upgrades if over-all reliability is also a "need"; and it was/is with me. Cooling a V8, axle strength, what trans? With regard to what trans, the easiest install is to use the auto that generally comes with a donor--I searched high and low for an '88 or newer (Calif smog laws require donor engine to be same year or newer than the engine being replaced) for a 350/manual trans donor. Nada. My '95 came from a 4l60e equipped Blazer. This meant that I had to also swap the PCM that came with the engine with an ECM that was originally used by GM in a manual trans application, AND certified to be used with my selected trans--an NV4500. I "had" to have the NV4500 because of the low first gear--around 5.6:1--and the high overdrive.
I stated earlier one must be tuned to the smog requirements of their specific locality. I new about the "same or newer" rule, but didn't find out about "package certification"--GM had to have put the combination of engine, including intake and exhaust manifolds, and transmission into a vehicle CERTIFIED to operate in Calif. Well, GM never put an NV4500 in any car. This was interpreted by the local smog "cop"(the official, by the way, that you MUST have inspect and test your completed project if you need to get it registered) to mean I must use the 1/2ton truck engine, complete with TBI and the stock truck exhaust manifolds. Since I had already purchased a new NV4500 and Advanced Adapters' bell housing, etc to match it to my yet to be purchased TPI engine, I continued down the path allowing me to keep the NV4500. First, I had to obtain documentary proof that GM did in fact install an NV4500 behind a 5.7L in a 1/2 ton pickup, for use in Calif. No easy task. Now, when it comes to putting the 350 into an XJ, every one tells you, you must use early car exhaust manifolds to deal with frame clearance (or headers, which are not smog legal). This is because the engine needs to set low between the frame rails so that the hood will close. I suppose you could set the engine above the frame rails and modify your hood to clear, but raising the engine above where the Advanced Adapters' motor mounts places the engine causes all kinds of other fitment/alignment issues. Well I'm here to tell you installing truck manifolds are doable but not for the faint of heart. I had to cutout large sections of frame rail on both sides to get adequate clearance. Reconstruction of the "butchered" frame was tedious and extremely time consuming--I used a TIG welder for this whole process because I could control the heat and weld more precisely than with MIG; Tigging metal that has been plated for rust prevention adds a whole new meaning to "patience". I also had to cut out the upper control arm mounting brackets to clear the manifolds, and construct custom drop brackets for both upper am lower control arms. Using a radius arm set up would solve the need to construct drop brackets, but I had already fabbed drop brackets some time ago, so I only needed to change how I attached the dropped UCA bracket to the now massively chopped UCA mounts. I'm a little goosy about the strength of my new UCA mounts, but will address this issue when I install my "new" reverse-cut (high pinion) D44 I'm currently building to replace the D30. Additionally, the O2 sensor on the manual trans applications mount on the driver's side exhaust manifold--right up against the frame. This required cutting a hole in the frame and building a tunnel to clear the sensor--the smog guy was impressed, but would not have passed on the installation if the O2 sensor was elsewhere, such as on the cross over pipe, where it was on the auto trans application.
I could go on for pages about each and every
"new" challenge addressed as I wove through this conversion. As an example, finding an ECM and the correct EPROM that was certified for operation in Calif was next to impossible; however, after TONs of research I found a way that satisfied the smog guy, but that's another story.
So can you install a 350 into an XJ? Yes. Is it a drop-in? No! Would I do it again? Differently!! The majority of my problems were do to SMOG laws in Calif--other states??--given this is were I live, I would probably use the the "world class" version of the Borg-Warner T5 trans instead of the NV4500. Since I believe (I didn't spend too much time researching) the T5 was available behind a 350 in a Camaro, meaning you could legally use Camaro exhaust manifolds, which would solve 90% of the fitment problems I encountered. But I have to tell you, I love the crawl ration the NV4500 gives me, and the overdrive is better than the AX15 or the World-class T5--best of both worlds. The 3550 is a choice if your local smog guy will pass on it. GM never used it. Ratios are similar to the AX15.
I hope this long-winded follow-up response gives you a little insight into the complexity of installing a 350 into an XJ. It's by no means complete, but should give you a better idea of the ease of installation other than a simple "yes" you can.
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  #14  
Old November 15th, 2005, 11:42
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ashmanjeepxj ashmanjeepxj is offline
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Talking Re: 350 swap questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by xjbubba
My XJ is an '88--came with a 4.0L that had been beat by the previous owner, so gave up the ghost at 160,000 miles.
I've always been a hot rodder with the belief that cubic inches were everything. So, putting those two "needs" together with the requirement that the 4L needed massive help to be reliable (another need) again, I chose the Chevy 350 as a replacement. Why the Chevy 350? Massive after- market support, both within the "go fast" community as well as the off-road fraternity, AND, it's a reasonable fit into the relatively small XJ engine compartment. Choosing the 350 immediately puts you down a path of significant upgrades if over-all reliability is also a "need"; and it was/is with me. Cooling a V8, axle strength, what trans? With regard to what trans, the easiest install is to use the auto that generally comes with a donor--I searched high and low for an '88 or newer (Calif smog laws require donor engine to be same year or newer than the engine being replaced) for a 350/manual trans donor. Nada. My '95 came from a 4l60e equipped Blazer. This meant that I had to also swap the PCM that came with the engine with an ECM that was originally used by GM in a manual trans application, AND certified to be used with my selected trans--an NV4500. I "had" to have the NV4500 because of the low first gear--around 5.6:1--and the high overdrive.
I stated earlier one must be tuned to the smog requirements of their specific locality. I new about the "same or newer" rule, but didn't find out about "package certification"--GM had to have put the combination of engine, including intake and exhaust manifolds, and transmission into a vehicle CERTIFIED to operate in Calif. Well, GM never put an NV4500 in any car. This was interpreted by the local smog "cop"(the official, by the way, that you MUST have inspect and test your completed project if you need to get it registered) to mean I must use the 1/2ton truck engine, complete with TBI and the stock truck exhaust manifolds. Since I had already purchased a new NV4500 and Advanced Adapters' bell housing, etc to match it to my yet to be purchased TPI engine, I continued down the path allowing me to keep the NV4500. First, I had to obtain documentary proof that GM did in fact install an NV4500 behind a 5.7L in a 1/2 ton pickup, for use in Calif. No easy task. Now, when it comes to putting the 350 into an XJ, every one tells you, you must use early car exhaust manifolds to deal with frame clearance (or headers, which are not smog legal). This is because the engine needs to set low between the frame rails so that the hood will close. I suppose you could set the engine above the frame rails and modify your hood to clear, but raising the engine above where the Advanced Adapters' motor mounts places the engine causes all kinds of other fitment/alignment issues. Well I'm here to tell you installing truck manifolds are doable but not for the faint of heart. I had to cutout large sections of frame rail on both sides to get adequate clearance. Reconstruction of the "butchered" frame was tedious and extremely time consuming--I used a TIG welder for this whole process because I could control the heat and weld more precisely than with MIG; Tigging metal that has been plated for rust prevention adds a whole new meaning to "patience". I also had to cut out the upper control arm mounting brackets to clear the manifolds, and construct custom drop brackets for both upper am lower control arms. Using a radius arm set up would solve the need to construct drop brackets, but I had already fabbed drop brackets some time ago, so I only needed to change how I attached the dropped UCA bracket to the now massively chopped UCA mounts. I'm a little goosy about the strength of my new UCA mounts, but will address this issue when I install my "new" reverse-cut (high pinion) D44 I'm currently building to replace the D30. Additionally, the O2 sensor on the manual trans applications mount on the driver's side exhaust manifold--right up against the frame. This required cutting a hole in the frame and building a tunnel to clear the sensor--the smog guy was impressed, but would not have passed on the installation if the O2 sensor was elsewhere, such as on the cross over pipe, where it was on the auto trans application.
I could go on for pages about each and every
"new" challenge addressed as I wove through this conversion. As an example, finding an ECM and the correct EPROM that was certified for operation in Calif was next to impossible; however, after TONs of research I found a way that satisfied the smog guy, but that's another story.
So can you install a 350 into an XJ? Yes. Is it a drop-in? No! Would I do it again? Differently!! The majority of my problems were do to SMOG laws in Calif--other states??--given this is were I live, I would probably use the the "world class" version of the Borg-Warner T5 trans instead of the NV4500. Since I believe (I didn't spend too much time researching) the T5 was available behind a 350 in a Camaro, meaning you could legally use Camaro exhaust manifolds, which would solve 90% of the fitment problems I encountered. But I have to tell you, I love the crawl ration the NV4500 gives me, and the overdrive is better than the AX15 or the World-class T5--best of both worlds. The 3550 is a choice if your local smog guy will pass on it. GM never used it. Ratios are similar to the AX15.
I hope this long-winded follow-up response gives you a little insight into the complexity of installing a 350 into an XJ. It's by no means complete, but should give you a better idea of the ease of installation other than a simple "yes" you can.
That is the logest post I wont read this lunch hour..
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  #15  
Old November 15th, 2005, 23:57
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K2fender K2fender is offline
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Re: 350 swap questions

Thanks for all the info. XJbubba, thanks for the detailed response. I don't think i have the funds at the moment to do this swap.
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