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6.0 ls xj build!

Old 07-10-2017, 11:00 PM
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Default 6.0 ls xj build!

So I recently purchased a 2005 lq4 engine with wiring harness and a 4l60e trans. Last week I got my first xj! It's a 2001 sport with 161k miles on it. Absolutely no rust which is very rare for Iowa! Interior is in perfect condition except for the headliner will need replaced. There are some body dings and dents but I will address those later. I currently drive a 2003 wj limited with the 4.7ho so I'm not new to jeeps. I decided to do this swap to replace my wj once the xj is complete. I've never done an engine swap before but I've always been good with engines and enjoy a challenge. I have access to a large welding shop where most of the swap will take place. I will be fabricating some parts but mostly using Novak and advanced Adapters parts for simplicity and time.

I am currently rebuilding the lq4 engine just to have a fresh start. Owner said it has 150k miles but who knows. I will be using an ls6 cam and springs, ls1 intake manifold, ls1 water pump, lq9 flat top pistons to bump up the compression, and have already reworked the wiring harness to standalone with a few things left to do. The 4l60e will be stock for now.
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So for the swap I will be using Novak headers and engine mounts. I will try to use the stock xj shifter but if that doesn't work I'll us a lokar shifter. Also trying to use the stock xj gauge cluster but might upgrade to autometer setup if I can't get everything to work. I might piece together the corvette fuel regulator or just buy the one Novak sells. I don't have any experience with fuel supply so I'll figure that out. I will use the advanced adapters 4l60e to np231 adapter. Not sure what I'm gonna do for the radiator. Possibly Novak radiator plus Novak fans but that's around $700... I've been looking at the Griffin Pro Series 22x19x3 radiator which is supposed to be good for 400hp. I'd add some kind of electric fan to that. That would be around half the price of the Novak. Cooling is a big issue in these jeeps even without the V8! So I'm not afraid to spend some big bucks on cooling. I will use an aftermarket cruise control. By the way this will be my daily driver eventually so I will need ac and cruise!

​​​​​​Here's a price breakdown of everything so far if you guys are interested.

Jeep xj $3500
Lq4 and harness $1300
4l60e $125
Parts for engine rebuild $700-1000

So after I get the engine installed and running properly, I'll sell my wj and start with cosmetic stuff. My plan is 3in lift, 35in tires, 17in wheels, notch customs fender flares, jcr rear and front bumpers, low profile roof rack, some kind of light bar, and a few other small things. Last will be paint. Not sure if I'll leave it the stock color and try to restore it or just paint the whole thing. I'd like to go forest green, dark blue, dark maroon, or something along those lines. My grandpa restores old hot rods so I'm sure painting it wouldn't be an issue.

So I'm looking for advice from you guys. Anyone on here do a similar swap? I'll definitely have a lot of questions as I go along. I will be moving along on the swap as fast as the money rolls in.
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Here are a few points for discussion.

Radiator options. Griffin or Novak? Others?
Alternator relocation?
AC. Us the stock ac in the jeep and make a mount for the pull system or use the gm compressor with other jeep components?
Fuel supply. Probably stick with factory fuel pump which is supposedly enough for the ls.
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I'm up for any suggestions! I've done a bunch of research but I would like to have my own thread for specific questions. I will be posting this in multiple forums so I can get the most info possible! I will keep this updated with pictures as I go along!

Thanks for reading!





















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Old 07-11-2017, 07:11 AM
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my suggestions regarding the engine:

-leave it alone. but it looks too late for that.
-i wouldn't suggest an ls6 camshaft. they only make power over an fbody cam above 6k rpm. fbody cams are dirt cheap. ls6 not so much.
-if reusing the 317 cyl heads, mill them. a lot. no more than 40 thou as you will encounter port alignment issues
-idk about the xj fuel pump, but the lsx needs 58 psi min. since using a car intake; purchase a c5 fuel filter as it has an internal regulator. truck manifolds have a regulator on the fuel rail. i believe the fuel inlet on the manifold and xj are both on the drivers side. AN fittings and a short piece of ss braided fuel line and your fuel system is done.
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:19 PM
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Thanks for the advice! I didn't know the fbody cam was comparable to the ls6 cam. I'll definitely look into that. As for fuel system, I've heard the stock xj pump is good for 100 psi so I'll try the corvette regulator setup first and if I'm not getting the right pressure I'll change it up. My biggest worry is cooling. Seems people have had mixed results with different radiators

Also have you had bad experiences with the 317 heads without milling them? Will that bump up compression?
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:35 PM
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i recetly did a 5.3 in my 96 xj

my 96 factory pump supplied plenty for the 5.3L, i ended up going to a walboro 255lph pump since i had the tank out installing emissions equipment.

i went with al allstar 19x22 rad, works good in 100*+ weather. but i would choose the griffin unit for better hose placement, its what i will switch to someday

i vote use the gm compressor and wire it like factory gm, im in the process of putting ac in the lsxj now. i just need to wire everything and have 2 lines made


i also vote after market gauges. i personally think using the factory 97+ cluster is more trouble than its worth. you have to keep the jeep pcm in the loop with the gauge sender plumbed to 5.3, just seems to messy for me

look into lsbrackets.com for the alt/ps pump mount youll have to buy a new PS pump but it clear the steering box in an xj very well unlike the kwik performance bracket i used
Attached Thumbnails 6.0 ls xj build!-2017-07-07-12.04.50.jpg   6.0 ls xj build!-2017-04-20-18.57.29.jpg  
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:48 PM
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Awesome! Thanks for the pictures. So your ac compressor is in the stock location correct? I guess most people have trouble clearing the frame. Does the wiring with the gm unit go to the gm PCM or jeep?

Also the radiator I'm looking at has the hos placement top drivers side and bottom passengers side. How is your setup?
Here's the link to the radiator. https://m.summitracing.com/parts/gri-1-25182-x


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Old 07-11-2017, 08:04 PM
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gm pcm, just like the factory gm system is wired

low pressure cutoff, high pressure cut off, compressor clutch.
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:10 PM
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i would see about getting one with the passenger side inlet/ out let, theres not a lot of room in front of the motor making hose choices for the upper hose limited at best, i used an l99 water pump with a driver inlet rad and it just makes everything a pain
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:39 PM
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I'll definitely try to use the gm ac unit. What fan are you using for the radiator?
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:06 AM
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for the record - the fbody cam is only comparable in the lower rpms. id reuse what you have and mill the heads. a stock lq4 is easily good for 400/400+ crank with a tune, decent air intake and exhaust setup. i saw a junkyard pull with no accessories and long tubes make 430 on an engine dyno. not sure what you're after but it will make plenty of power. id look for a 4L80 if it'll fit. i'm not a fan of the 60.

as far as the jeep fuel pump - i would be concerned with volume as opposed to pressure. the vette filter will undoubtably give you the correct pressure. ive installed several on various swaps.
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by s346k View Post
for the record - the fbody cam is only comparable in the lower rpms. id reuse what you have and mill the heads. a stock lq4 is easily good for 400/400+ crank with a tune, decent air intake and exhaust setup. i saw a junkyard pull with no accessories and long tubes make 430 on an engine dyno. not sure what you're after but it will make plenty of power. id look for a 4L80 if it'll fit. i'm not a fan of the 60.

as far as the jeep fuel pump - i would be concerned with volume as opposed to pressure. the vette filter will undoubtably give you the correct pressure. ive installed several on various swaps.

​​​​​​Wow, didn't know the lq4 had that much potential with little mods. How do you suggest doing the tune? Does it need dyno tuned? I have not experience ls tunes.

I'd like to update to the 4l80e in the near future but this 4l60e was only $125 on Craigslist and it was close. So I'm gonna stick with it for now.
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:49 AM
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id pay someone to dyno tune it. prob run $500 +\-. we always used hptuners. any competent tuner should have a stock motor dialed in with a few pulls. if you're good with stuff like that you can do it yourself. invest in a wideband o2.
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by s346k View Post
id pay someone to dyno tune it. prob run $500 +\-. we always used hptuners. any competent tuner should have a stock motor dialed in with a few pulls. if you're good with stuff like that you can do it yourself. invest in a wideband o2.
Thanks! I'll have to see who can tune it in my area once the time comes.
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:59 AM
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where area are you in? id expect to see 340whp and 22+ mpg from it. the egine will be the easy part, adapting everything else will be the challenge. although it looks like most everything you need is available.
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Old 07-12-2017, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by s346k View Post
where area are you in? id expect to see 340whp and 22+ mpg from it. the egine will be the easy part, adapting everything else will be the challenge. although it looks like most everything you need is available.
I'm in the Omaha Nebraska area. I agree. The engine will be easy enough. I think the hardest part will be wiring.
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by barney3 View Post
I'll definitely try to use the gm ac unit. What fan are you using for the radiator?
it's a 2 speed Volvo fan with the Volvo controller and maxi fuses pc controls the Volvo unit

I've also got a 10" fan to the side for the trans/ PS fluid coolers and will eventually run when the a/c clutch is engaged
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