Wants Scout Diesel-to-Cherkoee Swap
I have a 1980 Scout II diesel four-speed that I bought new and ran until the body fell off. I have been storing this vehicle hoping that someday I would "get around" to going through the truck and installing a fiberglass body kit.
Current economic conditions and parts availability have me thinking I'm not going to be able to do the Scout the way I wanted to. So as a form of project triage, I have considered pulling the SD-33T engine (doing my engine mods) and setting it into a Cherokee or other Jeep product of similar size and weight (as the Scout II) that had an inline-six engine.
This is where you come in. Since I have basically been anti-Jeep my whole life (nothing personal), I have no Jeep knowledge.
What years of the Cherokee might be the most suitable for the transplant? What will bolt to the SD-33T? My goal is to make a neat, safe, semi-emissions legal, long-lasting, fuel efficient, simple daily driver with an overdrive, lockout hubs, four-wheel disc brakes, 15-inch wheels, easily available parts, and at the same time not create an overly expensive fiasco.
My opinion is that it is not a very practical swap for several reasons. The Jeep Six is about 29 inches tall from oilpan to the air filter housing, and the length is about 25 inches from fan mount to bellhousing mounting flange. Now go measure your diesel. My tape says the height is 32 inches and the length is 36 inches. I am going to assume that you have already peeked under the hood of a Cherokee. Already have problems, right? Even if you modified the bulkhead that supported the radiator, and moved the radiator in front and against the grille, you're still going to be a bit short on room without modifying the firewall. My guess is that the stock radiator would also be marginal.
Here is the next problem: the AMC engine weighs in at about 500 pounds. Got any idea what the diesel you want to swap in weighs? My sources say some where between 780 and 800 pounds. That's about the same weight as the IH 392. Wow! Three hundred more pounds on the front axle. It's no wonder that Scouts came with heavy-tubed Dana 44 axles. I think that the extra 300 pounds might not be compatible with the Dana 30 front end. Plus, you would have to go to heavier springs to compensate for the additional weight.
Now we have transmission/transfer case problems. Okay, you can bolt up a Chrysler 727 automatic to the diesel-that is, if you can find the special adapter ring that goes between the transmission and the engine. My understanding is that there were only about 1,500 of these ever made. Okay, you don't have to use an auto trans if the Jeep you decide to use came with a manual. However, there are no adapters to the IH bellhousing. Part of the problem is that International used a very long-input transmission shaft, longer than anyone else's. So you're pretty much stuck with using the IH transmission-like their version of the T-18 or T-19. All you have to do is fabricate some clutch linkage. There is a company called Jesco (209/537-5057) that has a lot to do with the Nissan diesels, and they may have a transmission/transfer case solution.
What do you do about the transfer case? Nothing wrong with the Dana 300 that you have-in fact, it's a really nice unit. Well, there's nothing wrong with it other than the front driveshaft comes out the passenger side and the Jeep differential is on the driver's side. Two ways to solve the problem. Order up one of those "flip kits" that will flip the 300 so it's upside down and puts the front output on the correct side. Or, perhaps better yet, you could cut all the suspension brackets off the Jeep Dana 30 and weld them onto the Dana 44 that you have left over from your Scout. I am not really sure how the front axle will clear the steering components, but that can all be worked out with a bit of blood, sweat, and tears. While you're at it, you might as well swap in the rear axle, so you will have a matching bolt pattern for the wheels.
Still want to do this? I sure wouldn't.