My 97' Jeep XJ / 4BT conversion
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Thread: My 97' Jeep XJ / 4BT conversion

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    Default My 97' Jeep XJ / 4BT conversion

    Alright, I think its time to get a build thread going and I have some time to write it..LOL

    Long story short.. I am a Cummins diesel fanatic, Have/Had a 95' Dodge (now totaled) as a play vehicle and it was time for a new ride for my daily commuter. I have always been an offroad truck guy but the last 3 years I had a Mitsubishi Evo for my daily ride. I built it and put 400HP to the ground and it was fun but time to move on and get back to my roots..LOL I needed 4WD, good fuel mileage and something that can haul the baby and baby gear. The budget is around 8500 and I had my wifes blessing to do what I wanted. Somehow, someway.. I came across a 4BT swapped vehicle getting near 30 MPG and the rest is history...

    I started doing research to see what the best platform to work with would be and it seemed the be the Jeep Cherokee and the swap has been done before. And the search began for the right one.. I wanted a clean somewhat newer body style. I started to search craiglist and happen to find a gem that was close to me..A clean rust free 97' with 5 speed. Brand new 4.5" Rough Country lift. It was perfect.. Another long story short.. ended up driving it home for 2800.

    The engine is another long story..I was looking at diesel swapped wranglers and saw a video on youtube of one with For Sale with a phone number on the back window.. I knew the area code was local to me and on a longshot decided to send a text asking if he still had the Jeep for sale( video was a year old).. Later in the day I get a response... No, but I have an engine for sale and we began talking...Again, long story short.. 2 weeks later I have a complete 1999 P-Pump 4BT delivered to my garage with intercooler, piping, downpipe, the whole 9 for 3000. I actually had the engine before the Jeep ! I was putting it into something.. LOL

    My plan is to swap the engine in using the stock AX15 trans and transfer case and retain the stock location so I don't have to get into driveshaft and axle work right now. The AX15 is a pretty stout trans so it should be up to the task. Later on, I would like to swap in a Dana 300 twin stick or Atlas T-case and rebuild the axles to handle abuse. I want to retain the current suspension as much as possible but we will see what happens. I heard the starter might interfere with one of the upper control arms. I am upgrading the steering linkage to the Currie CurrectLink setup just to have some HD steering.

    So now I have the engine and the Jeep and it's parts gathering time... I love shopping !!

    Located a Ford Adapter plate/ bellhousing setup off the forum. Thanks Cobradriver !
    Dual 12" electric fans - 48.00
    Derale adjustable wiring kit- 48.00
    Cummins rear sump pick up tube and parts to flip the pan from front sump to rear- 86.00
    Genuine Cummins engine paint- 23.00
    Advance Adapters AX15/ Ford adapter- 280
    JD Jeeps engine mounts - 375 pricey but look good and should get it done.
    Correct pilot bearing
    New throwout bearing- STILL NEED
    New Slave and hose to work with Jeep master. Novak makes a nice one...STILL NEED
    Goodyear flex radiator hose/ maybe some plumbing parts.. Not a big deal.

    Well I think thats a good start! We'll go from here. ANY and ALL suggestions would be appreciated !! Here are some pics for now.. Thanks!






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    I'm definitely going to be following your conversion. I have a 92' with a 4.0L and AX15 and am thinking of a 4BT swap later this year. I want to keep the AX15 if possible as it is a very capable tranny, and keep the NP231 as it is a very capable and easy to rebuild t-case. Also since I already have a pretty new custom driveline and don't want to spend the money on a new one

    Side Note: $2800 for that Cherokee is a fine price, considering the lift, wheels, and tires. After buying my Cherokee (5 years older, 220k on the clock) and 31" tires, same wheels, and a 3.5" lift kit, I was about at the same price. And I got a discount on the parts. Or, in short, you made a nice find... bastard
    Last edited by Rebel_XJ; 04-16-2013 at 03:37 PM.

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    So for the slave and hose you are using the stock transmission right?...and if so you wouldn't need a new slave and hose. Even if you get a new slave chances are that you can take the roll pin out of the slave and put the hose in different slaves, when I put my 4bt in i ordered the hose from Jeff Daniels and it wouldn't work because it was ??AN 3?? on both ends so i pulled the pin out of my stock slave and put it in the slave for the t-19 that I had.

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    That is a SWEET ride. How did you find it rust free in NJ ????
    2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland with the 3.0L Mercedes Diesel
    2000 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
    1998 Dodge 3/4 Ton Quad Cab Long Box 4x4 Cummins Diesel
    All running, and loving B100.
    Bought a 1987 Isuzu 4BD1T, Bought a 2000 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab 4x4, now working on the swap.

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    i will be folowing this thread.... im looking to do this to my tj..
    good luck.

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    Ok.. It didn't come with those tires, it had 33" BFG all-terrains.. Seller originally wanted 3800, I had him at 3300 on the phone. I asked the tire condition and he said great, a couple small cracks.. When I went to see it, they were dry rotted pretty bad in the tread. No good for me, I drive 60 miles a day. BUT it was rust FREE! I was shocked. It's not perfect but it's solid. It has some other minor issues but no big deal, stupid ****. It was the perfect candidate! Considering the tire condition, I offered 2800, he said no way wont go below 3000. I walked away, drove away with my wife. 15 miles out, my phone rings and it's the seller asking if I was still in the area and that he would take the 2800 after thinking about it.. Wifie and I turned around and went back to get it. It runs so damn good, its ashame I yankin the engine..but I'm gonna try to sell it to recoop some funds.

    As far as I know, I have everything I need to do this. This is my daily driver so when I do it, it's gonna get done rather fast. Not sure when yet. I still need to plan it out with everything else I have going on in my life. Most likely the swap will take place in the beginning of June. I will be doing other small things from now and then to get ready. When the time comes, you will see the whole process posted at one time when I am done. I will try to take as many pictures as possible.

    Slave/hose - I also got the hose from Jeff Daniels. Yes, looks like -3AN, However.. I got 2 fittings that is suppose to make this work with the stock Ford slave and Jeep master. If it don't work, I'm gonna be pissed and someone is getting a phone call because they told me it would work and it's what they do.. Worst case scenario, Novak makes a slave that will work but it's 140 ish.

    Currently I am prepping the engine for a fresh coat of Cummins beige. And I WILL be restoring the emblem for the valve cover.. I don't have access to a hose so it's getting wire wheeled and a dousing of 2+2, Then paint. It's in great shape to start with. Thats the best I can do. I also need to flip the pan around to rear sump. That might happen tomorrow.

    My only real concern is upper control arm interference. I really hope I don't have to get into reworking the suspension geometry but it's gonna be what it is and I won't know until I drop it between the rails for the first time.

    Did a TON of research on steering and ordered the Iron Rock HD steering setup for the Jeep. Nothing but great reviews.

    Ohh, gauges.. I will be running boost, egt, oil pressure, water temp, and volts.

    Here's some engine pics and thats about it for now. Stay Tuned !




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    Nice to find an engine that still has all it's original ID tags in place. When you rotate the oil pan just remember you'll need a new pickup. While you have the pan off might be a good idea to check the torque on the rod bolts. Those little sucker have been known to work loose. Don't forget the KDP repair up front. Good looking engine and very clean Jeep. Should make a great daily driver.

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    Alright ... the conversion begins July 10th! Do or Die till the end..LOL I got the engine painted. I need to order some small items, new oil pan gasket, fuel filter, etc.. Ran into my first issue.. The power steering/ vac pump out of my old Dodge wont fit with the p-pump. The reservoir does not clear so I need to find a pump that will work with the Dodge vac pump or something. The pump that came with the 4BT has no cap to fill it and it has a HUGE return tube. Not so sure I can make that work but we will see.

    Now here is the BIGGIE and I'm not happy about it but it is what it is at this point.. When I pulled the oil pan to install the rear suction pipe and do the flip, I found a tiny little hairline CRACK in the block on the oil pan flange! It's probably been there a while, maybe even a casting flaw from the factory. Who knows.. The new paint made it pop out. It does not go all the way through the casting but not sure if it will get worse over time. Not happy about this but Oh well, nothing I can do about it..








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    The power steering pump differences..

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    Weld it or just drill a hole to stop the crack from propagating.
    1963 Jeep J300, 4BT/NV4500/NP200/D61/D71
    1969 Jeep M715 6x6 project, 6BTA/NV4500/NP205/D60/D70/D70

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    Very strange. Wonder if it's been blown up and rebuilt once already, or a casting flaw.

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    It is strange.. don't have a clue on what could cause that crack. Even if it blew... can't see it cracking in that spot and its an outside crack. I would think it would be an internal crack if it blew. I almost want to say a casting flaw.

    That's not so easy to just drill or weld..

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    Damn. wonder if it got dropped in shipping or hit. Doesn't look like there is grease or dirt in it now. Maybe grind a little "V" in it and JB weld or braze it.

    Love the fender flares on your ride.
    It will never be really finished 1965 GMC 1/2 TON 4X4- 4BT-M5R2 Divorced Rockwell Transfer Case. Dana 44 Front and Rear. 3200 Gov. Spring. TDC Fuel Pin. P/S -PB. On 33X10.50 X15 M/S. Rancho 9000

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    Day 6.. 65 hours of labor.. Engine is installed and was fired up for the first time time tonight !! Still have work to do but minor things.. I will post pics and details when I am finished..
    Here is a teaser shot of when it was off the hook for the last time....

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    Congrats man!

    From the "teaser" it looks alright I guess...

    Ha ha but you should post a video when you get it moving!
    *Finished!*
    1998 Jeep Cherokee - 1992 4BD2t - 2002 NV4500 (MW3) - 1994 K2500 NP241 SYEd w/ Jeep speedo tail shaft - 5.5" Lift - 34's - D44HP - D60


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    Thanks! Should be going for the maiden voyage today..lol

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    Default about jeep with 4bt

    to make the story short I have a j20 jeep 1982 with a 6 in line gas engine and wonder if I will need an adapter and were if I need it can find it, and how mucho willl it cost, the reasob is the pick up jeep is a gas eater and makes no room to plan a long trip.
    somebody help me please.

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    Quote Originally Posted by j20jeep View Post
    to make the story short I have a j20 jeep 1982 with a 6 in line gas engine and wonder if I will need an adapter and were if I need it can find it, and how mucho willl it cost, the reasob is the pick up jeep is a gas eater and makes no room to plan a long trip.
    somebody help me please.
    Welcome to the forum,

    It's best to start your own thread in the General sction rather than in another person's project Buildup thread. That way more people will see your questions.

    Also do some research, looking for other Jeep projects similar to yours. Many Jeep swaps have been done. There's a lot of information in the Stickies at the top of forum sections in the FAQ's, also in other sections of forum. Some research should reward you with lots of answers and info.
    Please, READ STICKIES at top of forum sections!

    1967 Dodge Town Wagon now D-200+ - CPL 858 - HTT Stage II/H1C 16cm2 Ex/58mm Comp wheel, no W/G, turned fuel pin, twisted screws, 3,200 spring, milled head, '92-'93 CTD intercooler [THANKS BILL!!!] Dodge NV4500, 4.10 DANA 60HD rear, '72 Dodge D-200 front axle, 1 ton+ springs, Air-Lift front airbags, front/rear swaybars, Tom Wood's driveshaft, Hercules All Trac A/T in LT 245/75-16.

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    Was unable to make the maiden voyage.. I could not get the clutch to release fully. Close but no cigar. The Ford 7/8 slave just didn't work with the Jeep 3/4 master so ordered the Novak 3/4 slave for the Ford bell. Should be ready to rock and roll after that

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    subscribed! I'd like to do this to my 96 XJ

    noticed you live in Jersey too... just out of curiosity, have you looked into getting the jeep through NJ inspection after swapping it to diesel? I've heard it can be an issue...

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    great project, sucks about the block damage.
    Duramax and LS based motor tuning

    > - Offering in House Custom CNC Plasma cutting services, we can take your idea from design to your doorstep - <

    are you doing a swap and need custom parts to get things fitting properly? pm me, i can help. parts are shipping out daily

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    Took it on a 30 mile trip yesterday. She runs great! Just some small details to take care of. I have a lot of pics I will upload when I get some extra time.

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    Excellent, congratulations!
    Please, READ STICKIES at top of forum sections!

    1967 Dodge Town Wagon now D-200+ - CPL 858 - HTT Stage II/H1C 16cm2 Ex/58mm Comp wheel, no W/G, turned fuel pin, twisted screws, 3,200 spring, milled head, '92-'93 CTD intercooler [THANKS BILL!!!] Dodge NV4500, 4.10 DANA 60HD rear, '72 Dodge D-200 front axle, 1 ton+ springs, Air-Lift front airbags, front/rear swaybars, Tom Wood's driveshaft, Hercules All Trac A/T in LT 245/75-16.

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    Alright, here we go..


    Now you see it..


    Now you don't...


    My original plan was to pull the engine separate from the trans but that didn't work out so the whole shebang came out in one shot...


    After getting it all split up and the trans and t-case on the bench, It was time to work on the AA adapter plate..
    Bell housing removal..



    Trans ready for plate to be installed..

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    new seal installed into the plate...


    Have to grind 2 notches into the tranny case for the new mounting bolts..



    A layer of Right Stuff RTV on the back of the plate and it's installed..




    Time to install flywheel, clutch and the bellhousing.. all straight forward with no issues. I used the Ford pressure plate with a new Jeep disc.




    Trans bolted right up.. no issues..

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    I got a set of the Jeff Daniels engine mounts. Talking to the guys over there, they had a set of used engine side brackets supposedly from a previous XJ build so they sent me those saying they would work. Well, long story short...they were horrible and I had to totally rework the driver side mount to work with the power steering pump. I wanted to use the Dodge vac pump I pulled from my 95 but that didn't work either so I had to stick with the remote reservoir P/S pump that came with the engine...




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    So now..with the engine mounts squared away and the accessories mounted, it's time to drop it in and see what we got! In the jeep chassis I removed the pass. side frame bracket. The driver side is involved with the suspension and track bar mount so decided to keep that there and utilize it for the new mounts. I cut the horn off with a sawzall and left the remainder bolted in.




    Alright it's in..LOL I got the transmission and crossmember bolted in. This will put the trans in the stock location and put the engine where it needs to be in the bay. It's a tight fit. The starter hit the pass. side frame rail and the P/S pump is close to the other frame rail.. but I can make it work, not to bad. Hours of up and down with the crane a tweaking this and tweaking that.. I got a plan.. I measure and mark out the location for the new mounts and out it comes..


    Last edited by mcm308; 07-26-2013 at 01:01 PM.

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    Ok, time to get the engine back out and get the new mounts welded in.
    Pass. side




    driver side..




    I had to make room for the starter motor.. Not much so I cut out the top and bottom of the frame rail, hammered it in and rewelded the seams.


    Then I had to cut a hole in the firewall/tunnel for downpipe clearance..


    Modifying the downpipe for a tight fit..




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    Then got everything cleaned up, primed, and painted red. Engine dropped back in..



    Its off the hook !!




    And now... for the MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION... Does the hood close????? and....

    Ahhhhhhh.... with about 1/8th inch to spare...LOL

    With it bolted down, its just a matter of putting stuff back together and hooking stuff up.







    To be continued later.. I have a bunch to write about the details and I have a couple videos to post later.
    Last edited by mcm308; 07-26-2013 at 01:40 PM.

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    I dropped the fuel tank, gutted the fuel pump, plumbed a new pickup tube, and there already was a return bung on the top of the tank to accept 5/16 hose so that was easy. Drilled out the filler neck to 1.125" to fit the bigger diesel nozzles. Attached 5/16 return and 3/8 supply diesel fuel rated hose, reinstalled the tank and ran the hoses up to the front.

    Coolant hoses- I was able to cut down and reuse the Jeep heater hoses. One of them needs a little redo at a later date. The upper rad hose is half Jeep and half Cummins step van with an exhaust reducer to connect the two, It works. The lower hose is the Cummins step van slightly modified. This one also needs a little redo at a later time.

    Cooling- Dual 10" electric fans on a thermo switch

    Wiring- This was easy as pie.. starter and alternator..LOL My Cummins has a Bosch internal regulated alt. so hookup was easy. Big charge wire to battery and an ignition hot to the D terminal. I did remove the entire Jeep fuel injection/engine harness to clean things up a bit. However... that included the speedo plug so I don't have a speedo right now but I will figure something out.

    Fuel shut off- I have a manual pull cable set up.

    Throttle cable- The jeep throttle cable has the square bracket fitting so I used part of the bracket off the Jeep engine and welded it to the fuel shut off bracket. Then I cut the ball off the Jeep throttle and welded that to the Cummins throttle lever. Everything works nice and smooth.

    Power steering- I got a Canton racing reservoir from Summit Racing and fit it onto the radiator support.

    Intake- I used the step van stuff cut down and modded a bit. Fits good.

    Intercooler- the step van unit turned out to be too big to fit on the front of the Jeep so right now I got the intercooler pipes connected behind the bumper. I need to find a nice little IC I can mount on the front.

    Vacuum- No vacuum yet. I might run a belt drive unit or an electric VW setup.. still undecided. It's not that bad without power brakes..

    Gauges- I had the triple pillar I pulled from my Dodge with DiPricol boost, egt, and trans temp gauges. I cut it down and it ended up fitting the Jeep A-pillar almost perfect with boost and egt mounted in this location. I have Auto-Meter Ultra lite pro comp mechanical oil pressure, water temp, and volts mounted in cups down on the center console. (waiting for cups to arrive in the mail)

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