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Engine Swap Kit Buyer's Guide

Posted in How To: Engine on April 1, 2010
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Photographers: Courtesy of the Manufacturer

Engine Swaps: Planning to swap in a late-model powerplant? Here is a sampling of what's available from the aftermarket, from complete engine kits to packages for adapting engine to transmission.

Mopar's New Stroker Long-Block
Cruise the trails and Interwebs and you won't hear anything but praise for Jeep's venerable 4.0L inline-six. Indestructible, potent, reliable as all heck-so, of course, production stopped in 2006.

Cut to the present day. Mopar has finally made available a 4.7L stroker long-block engine assembly, which includes the 4.0L block and ported cylinder heads. It will fit 4.0L Jeep applications-all '91-to-'97 models and '98 Cherokee and '98 Wranglers (but not the '98 Grand Cherokee)-and will have an MSRP of $3,970.

Wait, why exactly did it take so long for Mopar to bring this to the market if the engine went away in 2006? Chrysler says the reason was because it considers "opportunity costs." In other words: Other cool performance stuff took priority. But thank the Mopar engineering folks for making it happen nonetheless. We always say there are serious off-roaders behind the coolest products, and that's the case here-the Mopar engineers like horsepower, torque, and wheeling.

The cast-iron engine is a direct bolt-in and will function with the stock vehicle systems-no special harness or mounts need to be purchased. It will also use the stock oil pan. Rings and gaskets are included in the kit, as are a new 3.9-inch stroke crankshaft, OE rods, new forged dished 21cc pistons, pushrods, a camshaft, lifters, a timing chain, timing gears, valvesprings, stamped-steel rocker arms, and a high-volume oil pump and pickup; a water pump is not. The engine weighs the same as the 4.0L-377 pounds-and with a compression ratio of 9.6:1. Power is estimated at 265 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. You can pick one up or learn more from Mopar Performance (888/528-HEMI,

What: LS1 throttle-cable bracket
Where: 877/469-7440, Wares: This billet-aluminum bracket mounts in the stock location and is designed to keep the throttle cable low and close to the manifold. Words: "The bracket is available with a single hole or a double hole for the cruise control cable."
Wallet: Less than $50.

JB Conversions
What: Billet adapter
Where: 337/625-2379,
Wares: T6 aluminum and designed extremely thin for best driveline angles.
Words: "Will adapt the GM TH400 or GH4L80 transmissions to the Jeep NP231 transfer case. We also offer the adapter packages for the GM TH700-R4 to a Jeep NP231, Atlas II, or Stak transfer case."
Wallet: Starts at $430.

BTB Products
What: NV4500/Chevy bellhousing adapter
Where: 702/568-1511,
Wares: BTB Products specializes in Toyota products. This aluminum bellhousing adapter will mount from a Chevy V-8 to an NV4500 transmission. The kit includes a new inspection plate, clutch arm, and clutch arm boot. Words: "The factory Toyota slave cylinder can be used."
Wallet: Under $400.

Offroad Design
What: Heavy-duty engine crossmember and comp-style motor mounts
Where: 970/945-7777,
Wares: The crossmember features wide-spaced, heavy-walled tubes that utilize the factory mount towers, and the motor mounts use heavy-duty urethane bushings.
Words: "ORD's engine crossmember works for '73-'87 trucks and '73-'91 K5s, Suburbans, and crew cabs in original GM big-block applications or engine swaps to any GM big-block."
Wallet: The crossmember is $189; call for pricing for the mounts.

The Detail Zone
A Division of Ron Francis Wiring
What: Wiring harness kits for late-model Ford and Chevy truck engines
Where: 877/968-7842,
Wares: Applications covered by the kits include late-model engines with wide-band 02 sensors.
Words: "Wiring harness kits that not only wires up that late-model engine, but allows you to mount the computer, fuses, and relays anywhere in the vehicle."
Wallet: Starts at $375.

GM Performance Parts
What: LS3 6.2L V-8 crate engine package
Wares: Includes LS3 wiring harness, a GMPP ECM, exhaust manifolds, catalytic converters, O2 sensors, air filter, an accelerator pedal, and a rating of 430 horsepower and 424 lb-ft of torque.
Words: "You're getting 160 percent more horsepower than the original small-block V-8 offered in 1955, but with emissions performance and efficiency that wasn't even dreamed of half a century ago."
Wallet: About $9,375.

Burnsville Offroad
What: High-performance Hemi JK kit
Where: 952/890-3990,
Wares: Includes mandrel-bent exhaust, radiator hoses, coolant bottle, battery tray, fuel and A/C lines, and a high-performance radiator.
Words: "Burnsville Offroad now has new Hemi programs that have increased power on the 5.7L by 45 horses and the 6.1L by 75 horses."
Wallet: The MSRP is $4,795.

American Expedition Vehicles
What: A kit for swapping a Hemi V-8 into an '07-'10 Jeep JK
Where: 406/251-2100,
Wares: You can get a kit for either the standard 5.7L or the '09-and-later VVT 5.7L as well as the 6.1L, in either manual or automatic applications.
Words: "It saves time and money and makes it possible for anyone with basic engine conversion experience to complete the installation, hassle-free."
Wallet: Starts at $3,999.

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