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  #1  
Old 03-20-2021, 07:17 PM
'89_Wagon '89_Wagon is offline
232 I6
 
Join Date: Jan 01, 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 80
LQ4 4l80E NP229 Swap '89 GW

After successfully completing an AW4 swap, I realized the engine likely needs some bottom end work. After considering all the angles, a Gen 3 LS swap seems the best route. As many know, this is a well beaten path. That's good for me! I am disappointed though to get rid of the AW4/AMC 360 combo. It has been a good match.

Drivetrain and Theme
The drivetrain will be an LQ4, 4l80E, and a NP229. Snow traction is important and the NP229 really performs well in that regard. Also, this FSJ is used for vacations, joy rides, and other family occasions and not for off-road. The suspension is stock. The most weight it will see is a back full of camping gear. So, the theme for this build is reliability and good smooth performance.

Electrical
So far, I have prepped the engine harness and figured out some of the wiring integration. Many thanks for LT1swap for the guide and wiring diagrams. Honestly, it was easier to prep the harness for the LS swap than figuring out the AW4 wiring. On the gauge cluster side, I feel like I cheated a bit as I splurged on a Dakota Digital gauge cluster last year. That also came with a digital speed sensor that goes into the NP229. The GM ECU can read that sensor, and from what I gather that's important. Also, the gauge cluster just needs to plug into the OBD port to get all the gauges to work (other than the gas level). That really simplifies things.

I have two lingering things about wiring....

1. 4-LO switch. As far as I know, there's no electrical signal for the LS ECU to see on the NP229. Has anybody added a sensor for this on the NP229?

2. AC signals. There's something about high and low pressure switches as well as AC request signal. I'm wondering if this could replace the AC module or if I'll have to piggy-back off it. I think I've read the HP-Tuners can modify the AC parameters.... eg only monitor low pressure switch ect? I need to look into that more. This swap will have AC.

Cooling
I'm still undecided on whether to go electric fans or keep the mechanical. The GW has a newish 4 core unit in there now with BJ's aluminum shroud (Overkill? Yes!) so dumping another $500+ on an LS specific setup is hard to swallow, but so is a cobbled together radiator hose setup that could end up being unreliable.... unless there's a radiator hose combo that works well with the stocker?

Engine
Right now, my major focus is on freshening up the engine. I would like to take a stab at rebuilding this one. Currently, it's been taken apart in my garage. Like an idiot, I dropped a piston/rod on the floor and scuffed up the edges of the piston . I just want to replace that set and not worry about gouging the cylinder walls.

---Can I just grab another LQ4 piston/rod from another engine and avoid a rebalance? I don't plan to take this engine past 5500 rpm ever.

Current thinking on the engine is to build for 93 octane, low-end grunt, on a stock-stall converter. I think that would work well with what I do with the Jeep. I was thinking of going with rebuilt 706 heads and a drop in cam from summit (8712). I am new to this engine building stuff, but I think that would land me around 9:1 dynamic compression, 10.5 static.

What do you guys think would be a good choice for smooth drivability on 93 octane and a stock stall? Should I go bigger on the cam?
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  #2  
Old 04-21-2021, 10:27 AM
'89_Wagon '89_Wagon is offline
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Join Date: Jan 01, 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 80
A little update...

Been gathering up parts and also I need to share some pictures, which I'll try to upload later today.

The engine block is out at the machine shop waiting to be cleaned/honed and the crank polished. I have a feeling it's going to sit there for a while. As far as pistons, I'm just going to buy some replacements. I decided to keep the cam stock but will be putting rebuilt 706 heads on. Those have a smaller intake valve, smaller combustion chamber, and come off a 4.8/5.3 truck motor. It's very tempting to go with a larger cam but the HP increase in stock form is way more than my Jeep needs. The increase in compression and 91 or 93 octane tune should make me very happy.

For the radiator, I went with BJ's LS radiator and electric fan. I wanted a transmission cooler in the rad to keep the temps where they should be in hot and really cold weather. Novak didn't have that option. The radiator came in yesterday, but the radiator fill hole is off-center. I'll upload a pic later. I don't think it will impact anything, but I just expected more given the price.

I still need to put some thought into the AC and 4-LO wiring. I have some options with the AC, but I may need to get creative with the 4-LO switch.
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  #3  
Old 04-21-2021, 11:07 AM
MysticRob MysticRob is offline
258 I6
 
Join Date: Nov 26, 2019
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 498
I have no input here whatsoever except to say this sounds like a very ambitious project that I hope pays off for you.
While I'd love to swap in a newer drivetrain than the stock 360/727/NP229 I have, I have to be content now to just throw a Howell TBI on it and see what I can manage down the line.

I'd love to see an all-encompassing ~$5,000 purchase-able kit with everything necessary to do an upgrade to ~300HP, 15-20MPGs, and 4WD, but I've read stories like below and thought better of the kludged processes currently available that "always add up" to massive dollars spent:

https://www.hagerty.com/media/mainte...ssons-learned/

Really, what I've thought about more is at some point just throwing edelbrock aluminum heads and a 4bbl intake on it with an AW4 swap to get that 360 toward 300HP and get some better mileage with the TBI kit.
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1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer / Baltic Blue & Tan
2008 BMW 535xi Wagon / Deep Sea Blue & Tan

My build thread:
https://ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=189245
My Howell TBI Install How-To:
https://ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=189877
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  #4  
Old 04-22-2021, 09:44 AM
'89_Wagon '89_Wagon is offline
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Join Date: Jan 01, 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 80
I sometimes wish now I went the simpler route. I already have the TBI and AW4 too. But, I've read other posts where someone was at the same crossroad, decided to rebuild the AMC 360, and then wished they went GM Gen 3 instead. For me, I'm aiming for reliability and ease of maintenance. I think the GM drivetrain gets me closer to that than a rebuild.

Then there's the value.... GM Gen 3 has MPFI, serpentine belt setup, aluminum heads, OEM 4 speed, roller cam/lifters, healthy parts support likely for the next couple of decades, and there's a huge knowledge base out there.

As for cost, I'm looking at somewhere between $6k-$7k total, but that includes an engine rebuild and no labor. If I just rolled the dice and threw the engine in, I would have definitely been at that $5k mark (if it ran right).

I also read that Hagerty article before heading into this and that's what convinced me to tear down the engine first. If I heard the engine run beforehand, I would have just thrown it in. But, I picked mine up off a Facebook marketplace and it was already pulled out of the truck.
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  #5  
Old 04-22-2021, 05:45 PM
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cu4whln cu4whln is offline
350 Buick
 
Join Date: May 16, 2008
Location: Canton, Mi USA !
Posts: 1,316
Some research reading for you...

https://www.fsjnetwork.com/forum/vie...hp?f=35&t=9446
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1977 "401" 'Da Chief
1979 Chero: "Madness" [Sold]
1985 CJ : Renegade -locked and loaded
2005 Unlimited Rubicon - Built
2001 XJ : Driver - 2016 JK 2 door

'Da Chief here: http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showt...ighlight=chief

Round 2- LT Swap: 'Da Chief:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=188457

"Madness" build here:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=89280
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  #6  
Old 04-22-2021, 07:33 PM
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ProTouring442 ProTouring442 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 15, 2011
Location: Harriman, TN
Posts: 688
I did an LY5/4L60E swap with an NP229. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

https://www.fsjnetwork.com/forum/vie...hp?f=12&t=1850
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Old 04-22-2021, 07:35 PM
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ProTouring442 ProTouring442 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 15, 2011
Location: Harriman, TN
Posts: 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by '89_Wagon
4-LO switch. As far as I know, there's no electrical signal for the LS ECU to see on the NP229. Has anybody added a sensor for this on the NP229?

If you are using a speed sensor on the output of the transfer case, you don't need to tell the ECM you're in 4-low.
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Old 04-23-2021, 06:51 AM
'89_Wagon '89_Wagon is offline
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Join Date: Jan 01, 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProTouring442
If you are using a speed sensor on the output of the transfer case, you don't need to tell the ECM you're in 4-low.

That's very good to know! Thanks ! Will PM you with more questions.
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  #9  
Old 04-30-2021, 08:42 PM
mike_472 mike_472 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 22, 2016
Location: sacto
Posts: 4
be aware of some of the 706 5.3L heads made by castech had cracking issues where they slowly leak coolant the castech brand logo looks like a AA battery on its side, can be found under the rocker bridge
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  #10  
Old Today, 07:07 AM
'89_Wagon '89_Wagon is offline
232 I6
 
Join Date: Jan 01, 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_472
be aware of some of the 706 5.3L heads made by castech had cracking issues where they slowly leak coolant the castech brand logo looks like a AA battery on its side, can be found under the rocker bridge

Thanks for the heads up! I ended up going with rebuilt 862 heads. Some consider them inferior to the 706 but they are the same in terms of size/shape/spec. IIRC, the casting process is different between the two.

Still waiting on the machine shop. Will give them a call today.
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