SO this may not be much of a “build thread” but I wanted to put together something to document this V8 project.
Most of you know the Jeep is a stock 4.0 with all flashy top end components and a supercharger that has been a total nightmare to tune properly.
The best I could get it was marginal reliability, powerful and occasionally overheated. In pursuit of plain-jane power, the motor is being cimpletely overhauled like a Golen (non-stroker) and will be sold at a later date to some lucky person who is building a Jeep.
As far as the V8 goes… I am choosing to do a class II swap meaning I will refurbish the donor engine (but not bore sleeve etc…) and it will get a proper tear down, paint and rebuild. Wear out parts like water pump, oil pump, belt accessories etc will be swapped. All adapters will more or less come from Novak as well as the cooling system swap.
End result is a clean, adapted V8 to my stock rubicon 6 speed and rubicon x-fer case. I chose the pricey upgrade to re route the A/C on an adapter from Novak. The family demanded it…
So far, Ricky has extracted the 4.0 and is probably 1-2 weeks away from having all major components for this.
After much debate, I decided against the Mopar DNA of the Hemi 5.7 and opted for a 5.3 GM V8. Most of this is due to weight and the fact there are about 1 million viable tuners for GM compared to anything else. The Novak support for the 5.3 (LSX) is superb and this would limit any major customization or space problems. I sourced a 2002 Avalanche GM engine with about 150K on the clock. This was chosen in the west and it came from a one-owner trade. This makes it a throttle-by-cable, LM7 iron block, aluminum head, truck intake, truck cam. Specs say 295 HP and 305 lb-ft TQ at the crank. While this is about 75% of what the S/C 4.0 was capable of, the displacement and relative fuel efficiency will make this HP easy to manage and about 100X more reliable compared to the fancy set up. If I really want to unlock another 40-80 HP I would need a cam and a tune which is one hell of a lot more simple than any of this S/C tuning nonsense I’ve been through to date. Question is do I need it? Well, I now can drive it and see what I really need or miss I suppose.
Easy EFI Solutions is taking this engine and performing all the rehab. Chris White is the lead guy there and I can tell you this was pound-for-pound the best deal going. Included in the rehab is the new components, fresh paint, intake manifold, TB and a wiring harness with all the EGR deletes and fan controls to make it a plug and play to the Novak gage adapters and ignition. They are very well priced for ECU and wiring and have a range of options for all build needs. I really like my experience so far.
Novak. Not cheapest I know, but they have a whole swap package and Ricky has a good relationship with them. Service and support is awesome and the quality is there. I guess I am chalking it up to insurance against reworks.
Again Novak… in this case I am doing the block hugger headers for space and to clear the A/C accessories which will also to block mounted for space. I think it will be a clean look when it is done. These will collect on the passenger side and connect to my existing 3" side out single exhaust. The long arm lift and LJ frame make the routing a bit tricky, but that work is already done.
Novak DIY is part of the package the filter will be on the passenger corner behind the headlight.
I’ll post some photos of the engine which as of 8/9/19 was crated for shipment. Fingers crossed that this will result in everything I hope it will be!