5.0 HO into a CJ-7
Note: I&#8217;m currently deployed at sea. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to write me at: [email protected]
I&#8217;m a 27 year old Naval Aviator that flies SH-60B seahawks. I got orders to Hawaii and came out with my Nissan 300ZX sportscar. After one trip to the beach and an hour of cleaning sand out of the leather, I figured I was in need of a more practical vehicle. After shopping around I found an &#8217;82 CJ-7 with hardtop for $5000. It has zero rust, but 210,000 miles on it. I can do mechanical, but not body work so I used my shrewd bargaining skills and paid the $5,000 for it.
The inline 6 worked awesome on the trials, but being a daily driver, lacked highway power. It would top out at 50mph going uphill on the highway. It also stalled on steep inclines. Walking through a local junkyard for fun (It&#8217;s a great pastime), I spotted an &#8217;86 Lincoln MKVII. Inside I found a complete 5.0HO engine. Two weeks, $600, and a few greasy hands later, the engine was in my driveway.
I planned on doing a basic tune-up of the stock engine and running it as is. After a week on the engine stand, I decided to start taking it apart just to clean it up. After a few sleepless nights, I decided to rebuild it so I would only have to do this swap once. I tore it down and took it to the machine shop.
1986 is the worst year for a 5.0 HO. It has crummy heads, flat top pistons what won&#8217;t work with aftermarket heads, smaller throttle body, and speed density injection. I had it blueprinted, balanced, forged pistons added, ARP rod bolts, ARP main studs, oil pump, and degreed the cam at the machine shop. I went with Aluminum Edelbrock Performer heads and BBK shorty headers. I kept the stock roller cam and intake to maximize low end torque.
I went with a new Stewart Components water pump, AGR power steering pump, and Powermaster 140 amp alternator. The Lincoln alternator is huge, and cost $400. I went with a $20 mustang bracket and $180 alternator to save some money.
The flexplate was removed and a ford flywheel and centerforce clutch added along with an Advance Adapters pilot bushing, and stock mustang bellhousing to mate with the World Class T-5 tranny.
I used MORE&#8217;s bombproof ford V-8 mounts ($220). They fit perfectly. They accept 6 bolts per mount through the frame rail. I used grade 8, shouldn&#8217;t be going anywhere. The mustang bellhousing puts the tranny at a tilt, so a shim is needed under the tranny mount. I had to clearance the floor a little bit for the transfer case shifter. This was later a non-issue after adding a Daystar 1&#8221; body lift.
The clutch fit just right. My friend Laurance who restores jeeps and is an very good welder was enlisted to help me hook up the linkage. He came up with a pully mounted behind the dashboard and had the stock mustang cable come from the firewall, around the pulley, and then bolted to the pedal. This resulted in an probably a 100 pound pedal push. The jeep was practially undriveable and after a week the cable exploded shifting into third. I got it started in gear (low range) and parked it nearby, then towed it home the next day.
I found www.autoworks.cc
that sells WC T-5 swap components for old mustangs. They had a bracket and slave cylinder for the T-5 and it bolted right in. I also used a master cylinder from &#8220;Parts Mike&#8221; on the jeep forums and mounted that to the firewall. Now I have a smooth and easy clutch pedal.
I called Ford Motorsport to see what I would need to buy to drop this engine in my jeep. He said the whole page! I ordered the main harness, engine harness, sensors, mass air package, injectors, and spark plug wires. The harness is awesome! Fits right in. Every connector is different, so it&#8217;s a foolproof install. The oval hole that needs to be cut in the firewall for the computer just happens to be the same size at the pre-cut hole that is plugged just below the battery in the jeep. Fit right in. The computer is mounted on top of the heater box behind the dash. I did loose my glove box interior though. Just a note, if you get a &#8216;89+ donor engine, you only need the ford main harness ($255 from summit racing). The rest will fit right in.
I dropped the tank and used 3/8&#8221; fuel injection rated rubber line ($8 a foot) to a Holley inline pump mounted to the floor of the jeep, just above the axle. A K&N billet filter is mounted inside the frame rail. I bent a 3/8&#8221; stainless steel hardline up to the engine compartment. This was clamped to the shortened factory steel line just below the alternator. I used the stock 5/16&#8221; delivery line as the return line, replacing the rubber sections with fuel injection rated line.
After a few weeks the Holley pump started screaming so I purchased a $300 OEM quality inline pump from autoworks.cc as well. This pump was very quiet for three weeks then also started screaming. I relocated the pump lower to no avail. It now looks like I need to switch to in intank pump. I purchased both a mustang and jeep sender/pickup unit. I&#8217;m trying to figure out how to graph them together. The mustang unit would work on it&#8217;s own, but it does not have a fuel float for the gauge. Still working on this issue.
There&#8217;s only about 10 wires that need to be hooked up, mostly different power wires (Always 12v, ignition only, crank only, etc.)
Power steering lines were fabricated at a hydraulic supply place. The AGR steering box leaks so I used a NAPA unit
The engine runs! It gets hot, around 220-230 on the highway. I swapped the crumbling 3 core radiator for a brass 4 core unit. Temperature is under control. 190 in town, and up to 210 uphill on the highway. I installed Flex-a-lite&#8217;s twin 12&#8221; electric fan assembly and it works great. I should hope so for $310!
There is a horrible intake whistle and sticky throttle situation. I thought it was due to the ½&#8221; size difference between the 65mm BBK throttlebody and stock intake. $550 later, there&#8217;s an Edelbrock performer intake manifold on the engine. I take it out for a drive and the problem is still there!
A quick check on the mustang forums and I find out that the BBK throttlebody isn&#8217;t worth the aluminum it&#8217;s cast from! Back to Ebay to find a &#8217;93 cobra 65mm throttlebody for $120. That fixes both the whistle and the sticky throttle.
I run the jeep on the local dyno. Keep in mind there are 2.73 gears and 33&#8221; mud terrain tires on this jeep. It dyno&#8217;s out at 225 ft/lbs of torque and 200HP. The HP numbers were a lot lower than I expected, but the torque is above 200 ft/lbs from 2000 rpm to redline. Sounds about right for a stock Lincoln roller cam. Since I don&#8217; t need anymore HP out of the engine, I&#8217;ll keep the cam in there. This was also with 87 octane, so the computer might have pulled the timing back. I&#8217;ll make another trip with I have the 4.11 gears and the timing bumped up.
Any questions or comments, email me at [email protected]
Pictures will be available after the conversion is complete