Jeep V8 Conversions - Tips
This is a common conversion one I have done several times. It is tough
to put an exact price on, or what all you need. Here’s a list of essential
items you will need, not to mention also needing the proper tools.
Also keep in mind that I am no expert
on this so don't consider my opinions as rules. Do plenty of research
and use as many resources as possible to form your own views. Your
swap has to be what is right for your application.
- Engine- Try to get a complete
engine for all of the accessories especially brackets. An engine can run
from $50 to however much you want to spend. A complete new performance
motor will run $2000+. Sometimes a new engine can be cheaper than a
rebuild plus you get a warranty.
- Transmission- Depending on the HP
and how heavy your foot is your stock Jeep trans may not handle the
engine. Some earlier stock transmissions like the T18, T150, T176, and
the automatics are pretty good choices. Most others aren’t considered
strong enough but can be used if not abused. Non-Stock transmissions
like a NV4500 are a good choice but can cause clearance problems,
require expensive adapters, and usually require driveshaft
- Adapters- Depending on what you
have and what you are putting in will decide this. For instance if your
Jeep has an AMC inline 6cyl an AMC V8 will bolt right up to the trans
and all you need is some factory motor mounts. Same Jeep getting a Chevy
V8 is a different story. You will need transmission and motor mount
adapters. Adapters can run from $150 to $500.
- Radiators- Most V8 swaps will
require a new heavier radiator to handle the V8, fortunately there are
several companies which make conversion radiators that fit right into
the stock Jeep grille. $200-500.
- Exhaust Systems- These can be easy
or frustrating. The easy way is getting a set of fenderwell headers and
slapping mufflers out the side with some turn-outs $150-$250. Harder way
is duals out the back with headers or manifolds, this usually needs to
be done by a muffler shop and some won’t do it for emissions reasons.
- Annoying Problems- All kinds of
problems can arise doing a swap. Try to go to your local parts store and
get a radiator hose for a Chevy 350 in a Jeep CJ, most times the say
"That’s not in my book here". Most problems involve getting
and fitting parts into the engine compartment. You have to keep in mind
the steering rod, hood clearance, the front drive shaft, the radiator,
the cowl, the brake master cylinder, fenders, wiring, etc
Remember this is not an easy task and
this list is by no means complete, it takes skill and handiness to make this
work. I always say that this job should be done right because it is harder
to do over and when you are out on the trail it can leave you stranded. Also
make sure it’s legal where you live to do this because if you have vehicle
inspection in your area you may have done all the work for nothing if it
won’t pass inspection.
Some good resources:
Adapters Adapters and accessories.
Enterprises Adapters and accessories, this site also provides
a lot of information about converstions.
Auto A great resource of staff that have done these swaps before.
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