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Why? How? And Yes
Q: I have a '92 Jeep Wrangler YJ (four-cylinder). I have already installed a Powertrax No-Slip in the Dana 35 rear axle. Would it be OK to install the Powertrax in my Dana 30 front? Do I need lock-out hubs for this? If so, where can I find them? I plan to run 31-inch tires and install a 4-inch lift. Will these changes affect my Powertrax system? How will the 31-inch tires affect my gear ratio? I drive this vehicle daily. Why are there so few performance parts for the '92 four-cylinders, such as carbs and headers? Love the magazine.
Salamanca, New York
A: Steven, Powertrax offers its No-Slip Traction System for the Dana 30 front axles, so we see no reason why you wouldn't benefit through the use of one. Be advised that most front axle locking differentials have the tendency to alter on-road driving characteristics and ratchet through turns, though we've been told these effects aren't as noticeable with the Powertrax unit, except during tight U-turns. Larger tires will exacerbate the issue, but you should be fine with 31s. So should your stock gear ratio.
No lock-out hubs will be necessary. Although, you can pick up a set from Warn Industries, (800) 910-1122, www.warn.com. Considering performance parts for your '92 four-cylinder, there are actually quite a few available. Clifford Performance, (909) 734-3310, www.cliffordperformance.com, offers a bevy of parts from headers to carbs and more. Additionally, Tri-County Gear, (909) 623-3373, www.tricountygear.com, sells its Jeep four-cylinder Inertia Ring designed to add weight to the flywheel and boost torque by helping the flywheel maintain its movement between strokes of the piston.
Isuzu Power Gains
Q: I have an '86 Isuzu Trooper II with a four-cylinder engine. I was wondering if I would be able to swap a V-6 into it? I have tried to find information on the internet about my options or the work involved in a project such as this, but I can't find anything. I was hoping you would be able to help or direct me to some help. I don't know too much about what I can put into it, but I was thinking of something a little newer and fuel injected. Right now, the engine is bad, and because I have to fix it soon, I was thinking about just swapping the engine rather than rebuilding the weak four-banger. Is there anything that might bolt up to the transmission, or would I have to just swap everything?
Canon City, Colorado
A: Steve, there are quite a few engines that will either bolt directly to your transmission or do so via an adapter. One of the more common swaps in getting rid of the 2.3L Isuzu four-cylinder is upgrading to the late-model 2.6L fuel-injected four-cylinder. All that's necessary for the change-over is an engine, a wiring harness, and a computer. Calmini Products Incorporated, (800) 345-3305, (661) 398-9500, www.calmini.com, offers many performance parts for the Isuzu four-cylinders. The Isuzu 2.8L TBI V-6 is also said to be a viable candidate, though a tranny swap would also be necessary, since it doesn't share the same bellhousing bolt pattern. Aside from the Isuzu offerings, we've seen everything from Chevy 3.4L TBI V-6 crate motors from GM Performance to the Cadillac Northstar 4.5L DOHC V-8, both of which happen to have a similar bolt pattern to that of the Isuzu 2.8L V-6. In most cases, however, you'll have to fabricate motor mounts and deal with fitment issues, but if you're jumping in, you might as well jump in. Though it doesn't offer Isuzu specific conversion kits, Advance Adapters, (800) 350-2223, www.advanceadapters.com, is a great source of swap knowledge and will certainly be able to offer a wealth of information on the subject. You also might check out the Isuzu Trooper Owners Guild (www.itog.com) because the company seems to know a thing or two, as well. Good Luck.