Converting a Jeep from a 6 cyl to a V8

QUESTION: So I have a 79 CJ-5 that the original 258 motor is blown, that’s a story in itself. I found a 360 out of an 85 Wagoneer for cheap, so I said why not put this in my CJ-5. Yeah right, now that I have it apart and in a million pieces I found out the hard way why you just can’t put a V-8 in a Jeep. So here is my list of questions for you…

ANSWER: Yes, it’s is not just a pop it in swap but it is one of the easiest conversions since you can use all OEM stuff.

1. What motor mounts do you use? I have the actual motor mounts that are made of rubber. I also have a set of frame mounts from a CJ-5 that originally had a 304, will these work? I am having a hard time trying to get it to sit INSIDE the frame. So, do I need different motor brackets (it still has the original wagoneer brackets on the motor, or do I just finesse it a little? If it does where do I get them?

ANSWER: You will have the easiest time using a set of motor mounts from a V8 equipped CJ. If you want to upgrade MORE makes complete “bomb proof” mounts. OEM style mounts can be found from OMIX. See links below about contacting these companies. Your Jeep may have a T-18 if it has a 4 speed. The T-176 wasn’t really used until the 80’s. If your Jeep is a 3 speed it’s a T-150. Installation tip: You should free the transmission of the skid plate since the V8 may cause the transmission mount to change a bit, this depends. Basically mount the engine to the frame and then figure out the skid plate/transmission mount. It probably won’t change.

2. How in the world do you go from an automatic tranny to a 4 speed T-176, (that is what tranny I currently have, I think?) I cannot find anyone with the right answers, or any answers for that matter.

ANSWER: You would need a flywheel from an AMC V8 and the proper clutch disc/pressure plate. Go with new stuff here since it’s not the easiest place to get to. Get the flywheel turned. The Centerforce clutches are real nice in a Jeep. Since your Jeep year was available with the V8 just order a clutch disc/pressure plate for that year Jeep with a V8.

ANYTHING you can help me with would GREATLY be appreciated. Oh, by the way, your 78 looks AWESOME I bet it tries to outrun those tires. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Tony “The lost Jeeper” Jones

Thanks for the great question and with some patience and attention to detail you should come out OK. Send us some pictures!

Resources:
OK Auto – They can get you the proper parts you need from MORE and Omix. Give them a shout.
jeepfan.com 1978 CJ-5