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Project Death Wobble: 2000 XJ 5.3l Swap

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Project Death Wobble: 2000 XJ 5.3l Swap

Old 01-13-2013, 10:31 PM
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Default Project Death Wobble: 2000 XJ 5.3l Swap

My poor ole' Jeep has been sitting for over a year since the head cracked on the 4.0L. After pricing out the machine shops here in Detroit, it just wasn't worth it to revive the old engine. At about a grand for machining and parts, it just wasn't cheap enough to justify. Then came the "If I'm going to spend the money I might as well make it better" idea...

I started out by buying a complete 5.3L from a 99 Silverado while I was home over Thanksgiving break. It came completely dressed with everything except for the MAF and the A/C compressor. In the time it took for the engine to get shipped, I picked up a 4l60e from a 2001 Blazer that was on CraigsList.

Here's a few pics before the real work started...
Attached Thumbnails Project Death Wobble: 2000 XJ 5.3l Swap-5.3l-pallet.jpg  
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:39 AM
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ill be watching this. someday my jeep with have a 5.3,6.0,6.2 in it
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:58 AM
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Have you seen my thread on NAXJA? It will save you a lot of time and money.
Hit me up if you need any additional info.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:48 PM
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Thanks for the info Frank... your build is the one that I've looked at time and time again. I can only hope this thread will be as helpful as yours. I'm taking a different route than most builds though, this build is based around keeping the driveshafts intact instead of the firewall. With cost being an issue, it is cheaper for me to buy sheet metal than it is to have driveshafts made. Not to mention all the money that will be saved by using "Homebrew Novak" mounts/ adapters.

So the trans has been assembled for a while with all the right parts in the transfer case. It has a the front case half, chain, input shaft, and gears from a NP231C and the rear case half, rear output shaft and front yolk from the NP231J. The stock (I think it was the Chevy) trans mount was re-drilled on the one side to bolt up to the stock cross member. This allowed the stock shafts to bolt right up and have the original spline engagement.

With the trans in place it dictated where the engine was going to sit. It turns out that a good chunk of the firewall had to be cut out and some remaining areas were massaged with the 4lb mallet . For the first fit you can see that there is still a little ways to go before the engine and trans bolt together. The trans tunnel will need to be moved up a little bit to let the trans mate with the engine. I removed the front springs, so the axle is at full stuff to make sure it never meets up with the oil pan. In the pictures, the engine is about a finger's width away from the axle.

More to come tomorrow...
Attached Thumbnails Project Death Wobble: 2000 XJ 5.3l Swap-xj-firewall-rough-cuts-5.3.jpg   Project Death Wobble: 2000 XJ 5.3l Swap-5.3-test-fit-xj-after-cutting-firewall.jpg  
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:24 PM
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It's been a few days of cutting and beating on the firewall and trans tunnel. We're taking a break for dinner, then to Harbor Freight for a new body saw. I'll get some pictures when we finish up for the night.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:44 AM
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The engine is finally mounted. They are shaped pretty funny, but that's what had to be done to make sure that the suspension didn't run into hit anything. To set the mounts up the engine was first centered between the frame rails then the hoist was raised/ lowered until the transfer case was at the same angle as the rear axle. Plates were made for each motor mount and then a piece of scrap was used to tack the two together. They were then taken to the bench to be gusseted and the excess square tubing was trimmed off and boxed in.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:55 AM
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The alternator was kind of mounted tonight too. It is mounted to the old tensioner mounts on the water pump. It needed to be shimmed .300" to align it with the rest of the pulleys. This was done with 4 $.23 washers. I took the calipers to the hardware store and mic'd them out till they were .301" thick. It needed a matching bolt that was 1.100" longer that the thickness of the alternator bolt hole to fully thread into the mount on the water pump. As for the top mount, two turnbuckles were used. The back one was straight while the front was used to for some triangulation. It looks alright, but they need to be shortened so the alternator can be rotated up to make more room for the exhaust...
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:58 AM
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And here's a good laugh...

The left one is the stock 5.3L throttle
You know what the center one is
The right one is the massive 92mm piece that is going on the LS2 intake
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:30 PM
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The turnbuckles have been ditched for a piece of flat stock that rotated the alternator up.

I'm going to order a L99 water pump tomorrow. It is the water pump from the current 6.2L Camaro that uses the 5.3L accessory spacing, but has a driver's side outlet instead of the one that hits the throttle body.

I also have to pick out a new power steering reservoir. Any suggestions?
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:41 PM
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I'm working on fixing the missing pictures...

Last edited by 00SportXJ; 02-07-2013 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:39 PM
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Very cool. I saw one in 70ies bronco at a local shop, pretty rad. Looking forward to see how this turns out.
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Old 05-07-2013, 12:44 AM
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So...Any progress made on this? I'm right in the middle of the same thing and it's a pain to stay motivated.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:28 PM
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So I obviously haven't been on CF in a while. This summer has been hectic with home improvement stuff. I just cleaned out the garage this past weekend and will be working on it next month. The manifolds are starting to come together. I'll keep you guys updated once it starts moving again (it will be easier now that I finally have a smart phone).
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by JeepDeep View Post
So...Any progress made on this? I'm right in the middle of the same thing and it's a pain to stay motivated.
How is you swap coming along?
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:33 PM
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This is how it sits today. The next step is to fab up the manifolds. The runners have been cut and notched so all I have to do is plasma the logs of the manifold so they can be welded together.

Project Death Wobble: 2000 XJ 5.3l Swap-forumrunner_20131126_223059.jpg
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