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Advanced Fabrication and Engineering For when your build is going off the charts. Wildly modified vehicles and straight up buggies welcome.

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  #16  
Old June 26th, 2018, 19:25
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Re: Rock Solid Fab 5.7 Hemi Comanche

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  #17  
Old June 26th, 2018, 19:27
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Re: Rock Solid Fab 5.7 Hemi Comanche

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  #18  
Old June 26th, 2018, 19:33
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Re: Rock Solid Fab 5.7 Hemi Comanche

Alright...

So sorry for all the clutter. But I finally figured out how to make imgur work and have photos that are properly sized for viewing.

So on we will continue!

Anyway, back to where we left off with lining up the Hemi to the bell housing and all the stuff being in the way...















As you can see... a lot was in the way.
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  #19  
Old June 26th, 2018, 19:45
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Re: Rock Solid Fab 5.7 Hemi Comanche

I then began marking out the firewall where it needed to be trimmed to make room...



Then I started cutting. First thing was to move the steering shaft over as much as possible.



Once it was moved over and tacked back into place, we continued with the cutting process until there was enough room for the Hemi's heads.







Then it was time to test fit the engine again, and this time hopefully bolt it to the bell housing to locate the engine in reference to the transmission.















Once the engine and trans were bolted together, I was able to get an idea as to what was going to be required for engine mounts and fitting new sheet metal to rebuild the firewall and close it all back in.
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  #20  
Old June 27th, 2018, 06:42
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Re: Rock Solid Fab 5.7 Hemi Comanche

I am happy to see you have figured out the pic thing and are continuing this thread.

Thank you.

Now we can all debate the pros and cons of a Hemi swap vs. an LS swap.

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  #21  
Old June 28th, 2018, 18:50
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Re: Rock Solid Fab 5.7 Hemi Comanche

The engine hoist can really get in the way when trying to fab things up, and I knew I wanted the chassis side engine mounts to bolt on just like factory. I decided I should use as many of the stock holes as possible, so I utilized both the 4 cyl and 6 cyl mount holes/studs to help spread out the load of the more powerful engine. The Hemi weighs 30 lbs LESS than the 4.0 did, so that was a negligible difference, but with almost double the HP compared to the 4.0, I saw it fit to beef the mounts up. I started with CAD (cardboard aided drafting, although I do actually use computer aided drafting for most of the parts I make lol) and made templates on how the plate needed to be cut to fit. Once I had all my templates made, I began tracing them and cutting them out of 3/16 A514 Domex steel, which is 100,000 psi tensile strength (compared to your typical A36 which is only 36,000 psi and is used by most manufacturers). I then bent them and tacked them together to give me a super rigid mounting surface for the mount tabs.











Once the frame plate were all fit up, I finish welded them and bolted them back in. I then needed to have plates for the engine side. I dre some up in AutoCAD and cut them out on the torchmate for a clean design. I bolted them on the engine, then slid it back into the truck and bolted it back up to the transmission for the second time. With everything reinstalled, I moved on to connecting the engine mount plates to the frame mount plates. I utilized a sleeve with poly bushing typical of a Jeep lower control arm. then I just had to make tabs for each side to connect everything.









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  #22  
Old July 1st, 2018, 14:54
Ricky Rodder Ricky Rodder is offline
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Re: Rock Solid Fab 5.7 Hemi Comanche

That's looking fantastic. Looking forward to seeing more
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  #23  
Old July 10th, 2018, 18:17
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Re: Rock Solid Fab 5.7 Hemi Comanche

Once the engine mounts were finished up completely, I went ahead and reinstalled the engine again so I could move on to test fitting other things and boxing in the fire wall.







I was concerned about hood clearance from the start of this project. the Hemi is only a little taller than the 4.0 (from crank centerline) but it still was difficult to package. I needed to get the engine as high as possible so it would clear the track bar and drag link at full bump, but going too high put the bell housing into the tunnel. The clutch and flywheel are bigger on the Hemi, Magnum V8's, and 3.9 V6 than they are on the 4.0, so the bell housing is obviously bigger too. I raised it as high as I was comfortable with, leaving about 1/2" gap between the bell housing and the tunnel... then built the mounts pictured above!

I was eager to test fit hood clearance, but sorta expected to need an aftermarket hood. I installed the engine cover and slowly shut the hood. With the header panel off, it was very easy to see what was going on as the hood was lowered. To my surprise, it fit perfectly! There was about 3/4" at all places which is plenty of room.









Since the start, I wanted the finished product to look factory, so I didnt want to build a custom "cold air intake" (lol, more like hot air intake!). While scouting for parts at the local Junkyard, I found an 06 Charger with a hemi and the air box looked promising. I pulled it and the air tube out and ran over to a Cherokee... I pulled the stock airbox out of it, and test fit the Charger box. It appeared to be very promising! The fit was almost perfect. So now with the engine in the truck and the hood closing, it was time to try it out for real!



Turns out. it fit perfectly after all and the hood shut over it too! Although its close, there was no contact.

Next step was to start patching the firewall. I made templates out of poster board and then transferred those patterns over to some 18 GA sheet metal.







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  #24  
Old July 11th, 2018, 09:53
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Re: Rock Solid Fab 5.7 Hemi Comanche

Excellent workmanship and skills as usual. It looks great!
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  #25  
Old July 13th, 2018, 07:45
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Re: Rock Solid Fab 5.7 Hemi Comanche

Thanks Ed!

More pics will be on the way soon. I just don't have a ton of time... Currently working on a WJ brake/knuckle swap on a YJ and doing a built 6.4 Hemi in a 2013 JK...
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  #26  
Old August 5th, 2018, 11:22
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Re: Rock Solid Fab 5.7 Hemi Comanche

Sorry for the delay in pictures, I have been absolutely swamped with work. I haven't had a full day off in over a month but there is finally light at the end of the tunnel. But trust me, there are more tunnels.

Anyway... back to the story on how to install a Hemi into an XJ or MJ.

Since the firewall was modified, it wasn't possible to retain the stock HVAC box. I wasn't too worried about that since the stock A/C system wasn't very good anyway. I had literally replaced every single component with 95 Model year stuff when the 4.0 was in it, but the R12 style condensor was very inefficient for R134a so it really was terrible.

I decided I would look into an aftermarket system from Vintage Air. I was able to find a system that would fit perfectly behind the stock dash. I went with the Gen 2 Super as it was the biggest unit that would fit. I test fit it and made a few mounts.







I cut the bottom off of the defrost duct and made some small filler panels out of 18GA sheet metal in order to adapt it to the VA defrost flex duct. I also had to make a panel for the back side of the dash to allow the vent flex hoses to be inserted into it to allow the air to flow through the dash like factory.











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  #27  
Old August 5th, 2018, 11:28
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Re: Rock Solid Fab 5.7 Hemi Comanche

Sorry for the delay in pictures, I have been absolutely swamped with work. I haven't had a full day off in over a month but there is finally light at the end of the tunnel. But trust me, there are more tunnels.

Anyway... back to the story on how to install a Hemi into an XJ or MJ.

Since the firewall was modified, it wasn't possible to retain the stock HVAC box. I wasn't too worried about that since the stock A/C system wasn't very good anyway. I had literally replaced every single component with 95 Model year stuff when the 4.0 was in it, but the R12 style condensor was very inefficient for R134a so it really was terrible.

I decided I would look into an aftermarket system from Vintage Air. I was able to find a system that would fit perfectly behind the stock dash. I went with the Gen 2 Super as it was the biggest unit that would fit. I test fit it and made a few mounts.







I cut the bottom off of the defrost duct and made some small filler panels out of 18GA sheet metal in order to adapt it to the VA defrost flex duct. I also had to make a panel for the back side of the dash to allow the vent flex hoses to be inserted into it to allow the air to flow through the dash like factory.











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  #28  
Old August 5th, 2018, 11:51
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Re: Rock Solid Fab 5.7 Hemi Comanche

After mounting the HVAC system it was time to move on to the cooling system. I knew even the best 4,0 Radiator probably wasnt going to cut it for the Hemi, so I ordered a 19x24 2 core all aluminum radiator from Summit Racing and trimmed the front cross member so it could drop down into place and fit under the upper header panel support.



Using a hole saw, I placed a hole in the core support to allow the radiator cap to pass through.



Then I dug through all the radiator hoses at the local parts store until I found 2 that would fit perfectly after some minor trimming.



With the Radiator done, it was time to plumb the HVAC system up. I installed the VA firewall pass through and started running the heater hoses and A/C lines.









I mounted the new 97+ condensor (basically in the stock location just moved forward a little) and ran the A/C high pressure hard line.





The low pressure (suction) line was a total pain in the rear. I wanted to use the stock WK grand cherokee line but the bend was off at the compressor and it was hitting the steering shaft. I had to completely rework, weld, bend, and modify the compressor end of the hose, and then I basically had a Vintage air fitting welded to the firewall end. I took all of them to the local custom A/C shop to have all of the hoses and lines crimped and welded as needed.



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  #29  
Old August 5th, 2018, 12:40
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Re: Rock Solid Fab 5.7 Hemi Comanche

An often overlooked aspect of an engine swap is the fuel system. I didn't want to spend a bunch of money converting over to s return style system with billet fuel rails and braided aftermarket AN style hose and aluminum fittings. Thats over kill for this project, plus, it doesn't look stock. I also didn't want to run rubber fuel injection hose because its expensive, and also doesn't look stock. While at our local Hydraulic Supply company, I discovered that they stock the lines and OEM style plastic quick connect fittings designed specifically for fuel systems. But...the Hemi is returnless since late mopars regulate fuel pressure at the tank itself. It just so happens that the Hemi and LS engines operate at the same fuel pressure. I decided to run a Corvette fuel filter as it would add an extra layer of protection for the injectors plus it has the regulator built into it, giving me an inlet, a return line, and an outlet to engine. I mounted it to the firewall and plumbed it up using the OEM style lines from Hydraulic Supply.





I ran the lines from the stock hard lines on the frame up behind the engine to the filter on the firewall. I put them in heat protective sleeve to keep them from getting hot and melting.







Hydraulic Supply also carries the adapter fittings to convert Power Steering boxes and pumps over to a -6 JIC (same thing as a -6 AN) so I also had them whip up the pressure line for the power steering system.



I then needed to tackle the low pressure side of the steering system. The pump I used was from a Hemi Charger but they have a remote reservoir. I built a simple bracket to hold it and was able to use the OEM hoses from the Charger. It helped save money and they are pre molded so they fit very well and don't collapse.



To keep with the theme of "make it look stock" I wanted to run a stock air box but I knew the 4.0 box wouldn't fit or flow enough. I searched at the Junkyard and tried a few options by test fitting various boxes into a Cherokee. I settled on an air box that was also from a Hemi Charger... I wasn't 100% convinced it would work, but turns out with very minor trimming it was perfect. I was even able to keep the "cool air duct" functioning!



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  #30  
Old January 2nd, 2019, 07:07
XJwonders XJwonders is offline
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Re: Rock Solid Fab 5.7 Hemi Comanche

That’s a lot of killer work man. Keep that up.
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