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  • In Iraq and dreaming

    I've been without my baby for 5 months and the whole time have been laying awake at night dreaming of upgrades for when I return. Ideally I'd like everything to be brand new, but I'm sure with a military paycheck thats not logical, here's what I already have.
    -A very,very old I6 4.2L that is in desperate, desperate need of a re-build (seriously lacks power climbing up hills highway speed), it has headers, HEI dizzy, MC 2100 carb, needless to say, lots of work and TLC have been put towards this engine.
    -Rear axle is the one and only Model 20 with drum brakes, one-piece axles, and a leaky pinion seal.
    -Front axle, I'm not quite sure, I think it's a Dana 30 or 35, it's stock, and hasn't given me any problems at all.
    -Not sure what tranny I have, it's all stock, it's a stick shift with 4 speeds

    Now here is where I write down my dreamsheet. (remember I'd love things to be new, but might have to go with the best bang for the buck)

    -I want bigger axles, which in turn, will need a bigger engine to turn them.
    -I want a 350 "type" engine V-8, maybe carb, maybe throttle body, I'd absolutely love to get a crate motor and slap it in, I have absolutely all the knowledge and tools to rebuild a used engine, but a crate motor will come with warranty, and piece of mind for me.
    -Will it be easier for me to just replace the engine, and tranny all in one shot, or try to "mesh" the new motor up with my current tranny with some sort of adapter? As of right now, my tranny hasn't had any problems whatsoever. Thoughts?
    -Now for the axles I want, anything bigger and wider than I have now, disc brakes all round would be nice, but lining up the stock brake lines, and the E-brake would prpbably be impossible. I'd like to stick with my 5X5.5 lug pattern so I wouldn't have to get different wheels, maybe they have an adapter for this too? What kind of gearing should I be looking for? This is mostly a road truck with occasional off-road action. Maybe 3.73 would be appropriate, not sure. I can weld on new perches no problem, but I again wouldn't want anything real old. What is a good swap with minimal ass-pain and $$?

    -I've been searching on craigslist daily for used parts, and there is a ton of axles, engines, ect..out there. Just thought maybe some of you experts out there could get me going in the right direction. Please don't laugh, but my budget is $1000-$2000, any more than that and I'll wind up divorced when I get home.

    -Is there maybe an entire vehicle out there rotting in some junk yard that would have all this stuff I want in it? If so, what kind of vehicle would that be?

    -I'd love any insight anyone might have about any of this.

    -Also would my old 4.2L be of any worth with all the upgraded stuff I have on it? If so, what would be an honest price I could ask? It's got 88,000 miles and no leaks, new head last year, it just seriously is a bear going up hills, or mountains at highway speeds, kinda blows a little smoke at times..

    -Thanks a ton!!
    Last edited by Alaskanbadfish; 05-26-2010, 03:55 AM.

  • #2
    First off. I did a wide trac axle swap because I wanted a bit more width. I didn't want to deal withoutboarding springs or major fabrication of an axle to make it mount up to Jeep springs. Many of the bigger axles have larger pumpkins and will lose ground clearance. I think the AMC 20 is strong enough unless you plan on going really big. Swapping a D44 in the front if you can find one the right width would keep things simple. You can do an 8.8 in the rear. They are supposed to be stronger than the AMC 20, but I am not convinced from what I have seen. The advantage to an 8.8 is it can have disc brakes on it already. Going too wide can get rediculous if you drive it on the street. My buddy got standard with 1/2 ton axles under his CJ and it is WIDE. The tires start at the outer edge of the body. It's just too wide. To chop the axles down shorter takes skill and or $$$. At this point finding the right width D44 makes more sense.

    I would swap the motor and tranny at once. It will be cheaper and easier. I would also consider what Transfer case you want as well. This would affect your tranny choice a bit. I know a couple guys that got a Chevy V8 with the Auto and a NP205 as one whole setup out of a donor truck and swapped it in. At that point, you just need driveshafts. I would consider this route if you really want a V8. It will be much simpler.

    As far as selling your old motor. It might be worth to sell the HEI, MC2100, etc and then sell the long block separate. If you find someone who wants the whole thing it would be easier. What it is worth. I have no idea. With an item that big it is limited to near where you live. People aren't going to pay shipping for that. Then it just becomes what people in your area are willing to pay.

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    • #3
      I found a guy selling a Dana 60 Front, and a Ford 9in rear disc brakes with a spool, gearing is 3.73, $500, does this seem reasonable and a good swap, I guess these where in some other off-road vehicle.

      Also, what is a spool? Are they good or bad?
      Last edited by Alaskanbadfish; 05-27-2010, 12:43 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Alaskanbadfish View Post
        Also, what is a spool? Are they good or bad?
        A spool is basically a locker that is locked 100% of the time. They are not pavement friendly as they eliminate the ability of the inner and outer tires to travel at different speeds as you go through a turn.

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        • #5
          So I've made up my mind. Once I get back to the states I'm going to search the junk yards and for sale sites for a newer, low milage chevy 350 engine. Rebuild the block, heads, get the bellhousing adapter to bolt it up to my T-4,and slap it in. I'm now on the ropes about what sort of intake to choose, either TBI, MPI, or carb. i know the fuel injected systems will come with a computer and wiring, sensors, etc. Has anyone delt with this? What would you all look for? Also will probably need a bigger radiator, are there any vehicles out there possible in the junk yards that are a direct bolt up to the CJ? I'll deal with the axles at a different point in this multi-year build up..Any suggestions on the intake I should look for?

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          • #6
            Does our host have bolt in radiators for a CJ that would be big enough to cool a V-8?

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            • #7
              I'm selling a 1997 Ford Explorer with the fuel injected 5.0 V8, I think the 8.8 already has a 3.73 gear in it and it does has the disc brakes. Only downside is it's the 5 on 4.5 bolt pattern. It has 212k miles on it, so the engine should be rebuilt, but it's still my daily driver and runs great! It's a complete vehicle and everything still works (computer, sensors, wiring harness, fuel pump, even a/c), so comes with a lot of nickle and dime things you could swap over, I considered doing this swap myself, but I'm just selling it and my old CJ and get a newer Jeep as my daily driver.

              When you're done with it, you can take it to a scrap yard and get some money back on it!

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              • #8
                I heard today, that an AMC 360 engine is a direct bolt in swap with no adapters needed, is this true? I'd need it to bolt up to my T-4, also I know a guy selling a "Ford 360" is this the same thing, maybe someone besides me is confused about engines? Will my T-4 tranny hold up with a V-8 in front of it? I have too many questions, and not enogh time, or money for everything I want done, story of my life I guess. Thanks for the help.
                Last edited by Alaskanbadfish; 05-31-2010, 03:42 AM.

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                • #9
                  Ford, AMC and Dodge all made a 360 cid engine. None of them interchange with each other.

                  An AMC V8 is your easiest swap with what you have for just the engine.

                  I search for a long time and finally settled on a rather different Ford swap. I like the Ford engines better for several reasons: distributor in the front being one of the biggest, and while I like the 350 for what it is, it is also a cliche engine to me...I like to be different. I found that a 5.0 or 5.8 (302 or 351) from an early 90's Ford pickup with a 5 speed will adapt to the Dana 300 t'case easily. The length of the transmission is good and you can fit a 351 in easily as it's just a about 2 inches taller than a 302 and shorter than a 258. This gives you an injected, modern V8 with decent power and economy, a stout 5 speed overdrive transmission and keeps the strong Dana 300 t'case. The clutch is hydraulic I think, so you don't have to muck with linkage too much.

                  Just an idea.

                  Theres tons of ways to swap in a 350 and tons of kits out there. 4WD markets the full kit I do think. Also check out Advance Adapters and Novak for more options and for some really good tech articles on the different choices.

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                  • #10
                    I've been doing a little research, and am leaning toward a LT1 engine from a caprice or corvette. I don't think my T-4 transmission will hold up to a V-8. I'm a stick-shift kinda guy so what are my options for a tranny that will bolt up with a 350, and my Dana 300? I've heard a NV4500 would work, but those are expensive and hard to find. Did Chevy come out with a manual transmission that's beefy? If so what should I look for? I'd like to stay away from having to buy adapters, but what are some options here?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Alaskanbadfish View Post
                      I've been doing a little research, and am leaning toward a LT1 engine from a caprice or corvette. I don't think my T-4 transmission will hold up to a V-8. I'm a stick-shift kinda guy so what are my options for a tranny that will bolt up with a 350, and my Dana 300? I've heard a NV4500 would work, but those are expensive and hard to find. Did Chevy come out with a manual transmission that's beefy? If so what should I look for? I'd like to stay away from having to buy adapters, but what are some options here?
                      Honestly if I were in your shoes I'd find a complete drive train either Chev or Ford to swap in. Personally I went with Chev because that's what I know. Pick up a pre 1986 350 mated up to a SM465 and preferably a NP205 and you'll have a stout driveline that is actually fairly easy to rebuild (just finishing up rebuilding my 465 and 205 now and it was actually very easy) as well as being able to twin stick the tcase.

                      The NV4500 is a MONSTER of a trans. I was with in a hair's thickness of ditching my 465 and swapping the 4500 in, but am now glad that I didn't. The 465 required a little trimming at the front of the body trans cover...about an inch or so...as well as dropping the skid plate about 2"...I can only imagine what the 4500 would require as it's about 2" taller and at least $1800 more than the 465 (ive seen used 465's for $50.00 and a complete rebuild kit is less than $200). No doubt about it...if you're looking for an OD heavy duty trans the 4500 is the way to go...but if you don't need the OD the sm465 will give you a stout trans with a decent deep 1st gear.

                      If you're set on an OD trans but don't want to drop a 200+ lbs NV4500 in you can also easily swap in a NV3500 or AX15 mated to a dana 300 or NP205. The AX15 and 3500 have gotten a bad rap and really are decent transmissions. They will easily put up with a mildly build Chev 350 and the weight of a Jeep. You will only run into trouble if you're going to run 35" or bigger tires and deep gearing...but even then you may not see any problems.

                      In my opinion if you're going to run a manual tranny it's the SM465 4 speed, NV4500 5 speed or either the AX15 or NV3500 5 speeds. The SM465 when properly built and maintained is as strong as the NV4500...and uses gear oil that is easily 75% cheaper than the "specialty" oil of the NV4500.
                      Last edited by mdwatkins; 06-01-2010, 08:42 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Hey thanks a lot, that post might have headed my project into an entirely different direction. There is a guy selling a SM465 4 speed with a np 205 with it. Will my Dana 300 mount up with the 465? Thanks again for the insight, I need some help, and direction with this, apprciate it..

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                        • #13
                          You can get the adapters to mount your D300 to the 465. Thats a great trans. 350's are good engines, I didn't want to sound like I was knocking them. I really like the 5.7 Vortec in my Suburban. The last of the 350's and one of the best IMHO.
                          Parts: http://www.4wd.com/productdetails.as...mpaign=product

                          Info on the Muncie SM465: http://www.novak-adapt.com/knowledge/sm465.htm

                          Engine mounts: http://www.4wd.com/jeep-parts.aspx?c...sid=8&plID=642

                          Radiators: http://www.4wd.com/productdetails.as...43&partID=9418

                          I agree on the NV4500: I'd seriously consider one in a full-size truck, but not in a Jeep. Too huge. I've also seen the Dodge version blow behind a Dodge small-block. Some had an internal design flaw that had to be retro-fitted. Something in the shift tower I think.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Alaskanbadfish View Post
                            Hey thanks a lot, that post might have headed my project into an entirely different direction. There is a guy selling a SM465 4 speed with a np 205 with it. Will my Dana 300 mount up with the 465? Thanks again for the insight, I need some help, and direction with this, apprciate it..
                            Just as gryphon said...you can get an adapter for the Dana 300. But the question becomes why? The 205 is gear driven and as strong if not stronger than the 300. The only advantage that I can see that the 300 has on the 205 is a better low gear ratio and the ability to clock up or down somewhat. But to get those you have the trade off of costs for the adapter. If the 300 bolted right up I'd say go for it. But dollar for dollar you'll get just as good a tcase in the 205 with all the options the 300 at comprable pricing if not cheaper in some cases ie rebuild kits twin stick or cable shifters etc.

                            It all comes down to cash and what you really wanna do with your Jeep.

                            I forgot to mention that I was looking at runing with a Dana 300 but then saw the pricing if the adapters. That's when I took a minute to think about where I eventually want to take my cj and that road lead to running an atlas down the road at some point. So the next thought was why spend that cash on the adapter and a tcase as (especially since I don't have a Dana 300 already) as well as a rebuild kit and shifters for it when it was going to get replaced eventually anyhow. Just an FYI on why I didn't run that route.

                            Gimme another few days and I will be able to tell you how I like the fresh rebuild on the 465 and 205 and if it was worth it.
                            Last edited by mdwatkins; 06-02-2010, 12:38 AM.

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                            • #15
                              205 it is then, you all where right about the adapters--$$$$.. After I change out my axles (in Nov) I'll be embarresed to call this beast a jeep.. Only stock things on it will be the interior,frame, and the body...heheheheh By the way, no one mentioned anything about the LT-1 swap, I've been reading about it, and 350 ponies stock sounds pretty sweet...I get back to the states in only 20 days and all my planning and prepping will go into full gear, my drive train will be this.....

                              LT-1
                              SM450 4 speed
                              NP-205

                              I'll be on the next cover of JP magazine LMAO...

                              Once I start this project (after a much needed vacation to Montana with my family) I'll be sure to post up with lot's of pictures and progress, thanks again for the help with directions..

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