350 swap: I've decided; now I need some advice. - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-05-2002, 02:58 PM
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350 swap: I\'ve decided; now I need some advice.

Hiya,

Most of you have no doubt been waiting with bated breath for my next update to my jeep project. Sorry for the delay; here is the next episode, after which you can breathe a sigh of relief and go back to living your life. [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

I have a 1973 CJ5 currently undergoing renovation. Call it reincarnation, rather, as there will be not much left stock by the time I'm done. I bought an SM465 tranny and NP205 case, and was going to mount them on a custom frame, keeping the stock body, engine, axles and assorted doodads.

While waiting for an adapter bellhousing to bolt the AMC304 to the SM465, I started thinking, why go through the pain an additional expense of adapting to the 304 when a 350 will bolt right up with no additional expense? I had thought I may make that swap at some point in the distant future, why lay out $400 unnecessarily for the adapter bellhousing when I can just cough up the cash for the 350 and do it now?

So, I think I've pretty much decided to swap to the 350. What I need to know now is: new crate engine, or rebuild an old one? Fuel injection or carburetion? Performance mods?

Here are the pro's and con's I have now:

crate engine pro: new, warranty con: expensive
rebuilt engine pro: built to my specs, perhaps cheaper con: perhaps more expensive if I go for serious mods, perhaps no warranty, time involved in finding, deciding what specs.
carb pro: simple, reliable, easier to work on (pro for trail riding) con: less performance than FI, difficulty with inclines(true???)
Fuel Inj pro: better performance con: more expensive, difficult to work on, less reliable
Performance Mods pro: better performance con: expense

So...right now I am leaning toward getting the crate 4 bolt main, putting edelbrock intake and carb on it, putting headers on it and worrying about mods some day in the future. I'm thinking "I already have a project" and don't need another [img]images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Any input from those who have been there?

P.S. If I do this, I'll soon have the OEM AMC304 + t15 tranny + dana20 xfer case, all bolted together, for sale. Any offers? Whats a good price? The tranny may need some work (small parts kit rebuild), but it would be great for someone building up a CJ5 who wants to stick with jeep parts.

Thanks!!!!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-05-2002, 03:48 PM
 
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Re: 350 swap: I\'ve decided; now I need some advice.

With no financial concerns, a built, new, 350 with fuel injection and all the bells and whistles.
Really depends on what you plan on running it for primarily. Wheeling, Mudding, Crawling? Traveling? Mostly cold? Hot?
What's your technical level? Do you want to mess with it?
Since i spend a good deal dreaming about this very dilemma, i can say it really depends on the person, the use, and the money.
This bulletin will have much input i'm sure. Good luck.

Scott...
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-05-2002, 04:18 PM
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Re: 350 swap: I\'ve decided; now I need some advice.

Better double check on the warranty issue on the 350. I bought my 350 crate engine from Scoggins-Dickey in Texas and the fellow that took my order asked what vehicle it was going in. When I told him it was a Jeep CJ7, he said officially the engine would not carry a warranty, since it was not made for a jeep. He did however say that if I had any problems with the new engine, to call him and he would make it right. Don't know what he could/would have done, if the engine had a problem since mine worked ok.

Something to think about.

Greg J.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-05-2002, 05:09 PM
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Re: 350 swap: I\'ve decided; now I need some advice.

My vote would be to buy a complete used one from a salvage yard. That will give you all the accessories and brackets. Later you can do the crate/rebuilt.

Too many rodders wound up blowing up those crate motors on the strip or wherever. Now the policy is they are only warrantied in a vehicle they were offered in.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-05-2002, 05:30 PM
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Re: 350 swap: I\'ve decided; now I need some advice.

Taz is right. A friend gave me a 4-bolt 350 block. I have a set of vortec heads and marine intake for a carb. Looks like I am going to spend a grand on it after I rebuild it and buy the accessories. [img]images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-05-2002, 08:47 PM
 
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Re: 350 swap: I\'ve decided; now I need some advice.

I wouldnt waist my time with a carbuerated engine swap.
You stated that FI's were more difficult and less reliable,...where did you get those stats from?
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-06-2002, 07:55 AM
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Re: 350 swap: I\'ve decided; now I need some advice.

I am in the middle of the same kind of dicisions. I am thinking of going with the 350/sm465/ 205twinsticked or 208.
And I am trying to figure out if I want carb, or FI. I have all but decided that I am going with a carb. My most fav type of wheeling is playing in the mud, and throwing Goo. Carbs like that. I like some other stuff too, but mostly mud. I also use my Jeep to pull logs out of the woods for Fire wood. Can sometimes get pretty tippy, but I think a carb will like that too.
Also the reason I like the Jeep so much, and the reason I am scrapping the 2.5L for the 350 is because I find it fun. And I find it fun to work on. And I think that carbs are kind of fun. (I have one on my Grand Wagge) Yes I B!tch about it when it needs work because it breaks. But I think that deep down I actually like it. Or I wouldn't have it.
As long as you have an intake that is designed for a carb the power #'s will be about the same. And with a carb, there is always the option of a nice simple N02 system later on. With N02 you can really throw goo.

My big dission is if I should go with a 208 for the lower low, or a 205 so I can twin stick, and have on the the ruggedest X cases every made. Still up in the air there.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-06-2002, 10:42 AM
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Re: 350 swap: I\'ve decided; now I need some advice.

I'm really confused with the love afair with the carb...?

Carburetors are archaic period. Anything a carb can do, FI can do more efficiently.

FI is more reliable, less mechanical parts, computer controlled, and when setup correctly should far outrun and outlast any carb setup. How can a carb like hills, mud, cold, hot, etc. better than FI? FI takes into account dozens of variables like temperature, altitude, air intake, engine load, ignition timing, etc, and adjusts accordingly. A carb does not. FI has no bowl, floats, metering tubes, etc. A FI engine can run upside down, sitting in water as long as the air intake is above water, and the distributor is waterproofed. FI setups are also much friendlier to nitrous, or forced induction.

The ONLY reason I can even fathom for choosing a carb setup over a FI setup is money.

Mike
post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-06-2002, 01:11 PM
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Re: 350 swap: I\'ve decided; now I need some advice.

Yeah...whoops...my bad....should not have listed "less reliable" as the cons to a FI setup. However, I do believe a carb setup would be easier for me to work with. I guess what I was thinking was, I'm on the trail, no access to a shop with the right equip. etc...which is the most likely setup that I can fix?

Also, money is a concern at this point. If it were just the engine I were doing, I'd say yeah. But, I have to think about getting this jeep going...the engine is just one part of that. Like I said, "I already have a project" :-)

Besides, in my opinion, more important than carb vs. FI for me is the fact that I've made the plunge and gone with the 350. I appreciate all of the advice so far!

Thanks folks!!
post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-06-2002, 01:55 PM
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Re: 350 swap: I\'ve decided; now I need some advice.

I do somewhat agree that the Carb would be easier to "fix" on the trail. The beauty of FI is how darn reliable it is when setup correctly, and most computer controlled FI setups have a "limp home" mode that allows your engine to run (poorly) incase of major sensor failures, etc. BUT, barring major tragedy, the carb setup would be a bit easier to pull a MacGyver act on in dire emergency.

It's all about what you're comfortable with tho. Personally, I'm in the dark with carb setups. They give me nightmares at night. FI makes much more sense to me, and with diagnostic tools, there is practically no guesswork about what the problem is (bonus). Good luck with your swap!

Mike
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