I get many questions about so-and-so wanting to swap an engine into his/her Jeep. It seems so often that someone wants to do a swap based on an engine thats available at the time. Either they already have it, can get it for nothing, or it’s real cheap.
Doing a swap based entirely based on the cheapness of the engine is proabably a bad move. Especially if the engine is not something typically used in Jeep swaps. My advice stick with 3 makes. AMC, Chevy, and Ford.
I am assuming your swap involves replacing some engine in a Jeep CJ. YJ and TJ swaps are cool (I can’t wait to see a JK swap) but not nearly as common due to emission laws and the fact the 4.0L is such a good engine for a trail Jeep. Still, I like a V8. Also, I can’t possibly cover all the variables involved with swaps here.
AMC – Since this was available from Jeep in 72-80(ish) CJ’s this is probably your easiest swap out there. Find a set of Jeep V8 motor mounts and most components will bolt up. You may need a heavier raditor and to fix up some wiring, also a complete replacement of the exhaust.
More on AMC V8 Details: AMC Small Block V8 Engine Info
Chevy – Just about any imaginable thing you can put in and on an engine probably exists for a small block Chevy. Practically unchanged for a bazillion years, reliable, and very affordable. Several companies make products to make this swap a snap, Advance Adapters and Novak to name a few.
Ford – Almost as popular as Chevy with a loyal following. Also, several companies make products to make these swaps a snap, Advance Adapters and Novak to name a few.
Back to the cheap factor usually involving some strange engine, like a diesel or Cadillac V8. These swaps have been done, and done right, but usually require excellent fabrication skills and imagination. Not to mention the possible and probable “add-on” costs incurred by the dreaded nickle-and-dime items. I prefer to “not re-invent the wheel ” when doing an engine swap. I use my Jeeps, mostly on the trail, it makes for a long day when you are out in the middle of nowhere and your jury-rigged swap encounters Murphy.