Off Roading Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello guys I could use a little help. I have a 1979 Cj7 with a rebuilt 258. I have added a Howell FI system, RV cam, Clifford intake and header, and a DUI ignition. The problem with all those goodies is I’m having problems with smog. I live in CA and you all know what a pain the smog laws can be. I have researched this some already and I would almost have to replace all my after market stuff. So what I’m thinking is a smog legal engine swap.

With that said what do you guys think would be the best year to use? I have been thinking something from an 86 Chevy 350. Anyone know of something better? Any idea would help a ton.

I have tried searching the info on the site but did not have much luck. I’m sure someone asked this before.

Thanks

1979 cj7
258 I6
Howell FI
Crane Rv cam
Clifford intake and Header
Dui Distributor
TH400
AMC 20
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Don't swap the engine, sell your aftermarket bits (Or give them to me!!!) and get the mopar fuel injection system, Completely CARB exempt! 50 state legal.

The problem you run into tossing a chevy 350 on there is you choke the heck out of it on a 2 barrel carb, which is the LARGEST option the 79 jeeps came with to my knowledge, again, to remain C.A.R.B. legal, you cannot replace or modify your fuel system with any part that was not originally offered by the manufacturer, whether or not this applies to engines is often up to the inspector at the facility, but to be safe, CALL them with your proposed changes and get it in writing.

Then go to your local inspection pit... and GET IT IN WRITING!

Then, before you get the parts to make the swap... GET IT IN WRITING!

Do research regarding the specific alterations you will be making. Headers? Borla, 50 state carb legal. Carb/FI? Some are 50 state, some are exempt. Holley is a manufacturer notorious for their lack of C.A.R.B. allowances, and most Holley kits will NOT be an option. research your VIN as well... and if your motor had an air pump, make SURE it's there if you keep the 6. Removal of that air pump could get your rig branded as 'Off-Road Use' for the rest of it's natural born life.

C.A.R.B. laws and regulations are strict and confusing, some stuff they WILL allow to slide, some stuff they definately will not, which is the reason I say, talk to them, and GET IT IN WRITING! Keep it with the vehicle!
 
G

·
Legend has a good idea with one option...going Mopar MPI....
But I don't agree on the other options....
I just finished an SBC swap of a 5.7LTBI into my 84 and I had ZERO problems getting it approved by the smog ref...in fact, he even helped my solve one of my engine sensor problems....

You have several options...no matter what, don't even consider anything less than fuel injection....and I would shoot for 96 and newer...

Options...
Ford 5.0 - about 100 lbs lighter than the older Chevy Gen I (cast iron) motors and about 3" shorter...good power, plenty of parts, but not as many options on trannys.
Chevy SBC (5.7L or 5.2) - You won't find more parts or options. The latest Gen III engines are all aluminum and put out over 300 HP.....a vortec out of a truck is a great option
Chevy V6 - (4.8L I believe) Get one out of an S10 Blazer and not only do you have plenty of room but it puts out about 220HP stock.

Personally, I would go the V6 route...less problems with the drivetrain and plenty of power.

What ever you get, try to get the donor veh...you will need the engine, wiring harness, computer and a few misc items...mostly related to the fuse block. Overall, the wiring is easy.....at most, I had to hook up about 8-10 wires on my beast....my biggest problem was that the guy who yanked the engine didn't get the fuse block or VSS buffer...

CA is happy to see you put a newer engine in a veh...all you have to do is hook it up exactly like it was for the original donor...in my case, my 84 CJ now tests as a 93 Chevy P/U.

Novak has a tone of info on doing the swaps...

I would also suggest giving serious consideration to going with the Auto...In my case, I have the 4L60E which tougher than any stock manual transmission found in our jeeps from the factory....I love it...and my wife can drive it as well...best part, I can now drink a cup of coffee while getting on the fwy....

The other advantage is that most donor engines will also have the auto tranny and with GM, the computer controlls both....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the good info. Now to go on the hunt for that engine. As for the auto I'm running a TH400 now but realy would like the 4th speed so I'll look into that. I think the only real problem I will have is if I replace the trans I'll have to find a new transfer case. I'm running the old Borg warner case you found in the full time 4x4 jeeps. For the record I did not pick that one it was in my cj when I got it LOL.

Thanks again.

Chris
 
G

·
Check out Novak.....they have a long list of adapters to fit the most tranny's to just about any xfer case.

If you get a GM, you will love the 4L60E (electronic ver of the 700R)

I would be willing to bet that you can make enough money off parting your engine mods and tranny to pay for a good donor engine...

If you go this way....once you find an engine and tranny, chim back in...there are a few of us who have just done it so we can give you a lot of good input....basically, you get to learn from our mistakes....

Good Luck
 

·
Official Historian
Joined
·
8,339 Posts
If you replace the transfer case, you'll also have to replace the rear axle.

You can get by without adapters if you find a TH400 for a chevy and swap your output shaft into it.

If you want a 4l60/700r4, advance adapters does make an adapter for it to the quadratrac. You'll have to use a non-cv driveshaft though. You'll have to find a 26 spline yoke. A dana 44 yoke for u-bolts is one source for it. If you put a larger diameter than stock front driveshaft in, you'll have to put a wider front axle in that has the diff farther from the centerline.

You have several options to go but once you start swapping parts, it gets expensive.
 
G

·
Quadrtrac? Replace the rear Axle?
Did I miss something here?
I thought this is what he has?
[ QUOTE ]
1979 cj7
258 I6
Howell FI
Crane Rv cam
Clifford intake and Header
Dui Distributor
TH400
AMC 20

[/ QUOTE ]
 

·
Official Historian
Joined
·
8,339 Posts
TH400 was only used with the quadratrac which has an offset rear output and thus an offset AMC 20. Your list was missing one thing.

1979 cj7
258 I6
Howell FI
Crane Rv cam
Clifford intake and Header
Dui Distributor
TH400
Quadratrac
AMC 20
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Doh yep i missed that. You right and by having a Q-track I have an off set diff. Talk about your special jeep. I was thinking of swaping the amc20 for dana 44. Sorry about leaving that little detail out. Thanks guys for all the info I'm still putting a list together off all the little mods I'll have to do when i make this change over. I'm going out this Thur to find one hope I get lucky.

Thanks again
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,563 Posts
[ QUOTE ]
I can now drink a cup of coffee while getting on the fwy....

[/ QUOTE ]

Two things you officers are not short of down there: Freeways, and coffee! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

John, you are getting too comfortable!
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top