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Old 01-28-2011, 01:04 PM
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olllllo olllllo is offline
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Grand Wagoneer Cummins 4BT swap

I thought some of you might be interested in my project. After getting a quarter million miles out of my AMC 360 (at 10-11 MPG!) I decided it was time to finally begin converting it to my dream rig with a Cummins diesel. After a sordid history of Jeep projects over the past 20 years, and a number of them that I was in WAY over my head, I opted to find the right guy for the job this time and pay someone to do it the way that it should be done, so I don't look back with regret at all the little things I wish I would have done differently.

I tracked down an incredible guy named Aaron Reeves (www.aaronreevesgarage.com), who has a diesel swap business down in Mabank, and after a few conversations back and forth it became abundantly clear that he was the right guy for the job. I am not sure that I have ever spoken to someone how is more enthusiastic and passionate about their job. Since he has had my rig, he has treated it like it's his own, has been really amazing to deal with, and I really can't say enough about him.

As he and I worked out the initial details of the swap beforehand, we ultimately decided to try to keep some of the stock equipment in tact, keeping the stock NP229 transfer case right where it is and building forward. The Grand Wagoneer comes with a TF727 3 speed auto. Unfortunately, getting that to bolt to the 4BT was going to be an effort that wouldn't be worth the cost. After doing a little research, I found that some Dodge trucks came with a Dodge version of the TF727 as well, and specifically a diesel version with proper shift points in some of the old D300 trucks. If we take the front half of it, it will bolt up just right to the 4BT with a Dodge adapter, and by swapping out the tailshaft with the AMC TF727 I can still bolt directly to the 229. Cool huh?

So, I found a guy in California parting out a military D300 that had 24K on it.

I found a donor transmission from a military rig that had 24K on it. As luck would have it, he was selling other parts to a guy that was about to drive to OKC. For a hundred bucks, the guy took it up there and I drove the 3 hours up to pick it up. On top of 250 for the transmission, I think I came out pretty good on it.

The next step was acquiring the engine itself. I met a guy on the 4btswaps.com forum that had a few engines and I put a down payment on a complete engine, from radiator to transmission, with all accessories. This coming Monday (1/31), Aaron Reeves and I are going to drive up there to pick it up from him.

I dropped the Jeep off at Aaron's shop last Sunday (1/23). He started by sending it directly to the car wash on Monday morning.



Making things that looked like this:


look like this:


Once it was a little less miserable to work on, he created this video: YouTube - Jeep Diesels - 1986 Jeep Wagoneer Jeep Diesel Conversions. He is documenting the whole swap with pics and video, so I will have lots of goodies to share along the way.

Next, he began the task of labeling and taking notes on all of the wiring. And then, he began disassembly:




He sent me these pics late last night. Very exciting to see the progress!






On Monday, Aaron and I are driving up to Tulsa to pick up my new engine, so look for pics of that soon. That's all I have for now. I believe he is pulling the engine today, so perhaps I will have more to share later.

Last edited by olllllo : 03-17-2011 at 08:14 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2011, 01:08 PM
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TPICherokee TPICherokee is offline
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AWESOME!
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  #3  
Old 01-28-2011, 01:24 PM
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Diesel YJ Diesel YJ is offline
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Great build and I too had the thought of using the dodge version of the 727 to keep things about the same in the jeep. Cant wait to see the progress and final product. Keep us in the loop on the build.
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Old 01-28-2011, 01:44 PM
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Very cool, (I would think hard on getting a OD tranny swapped in at the same time)

Mike D.
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Old 01-28-2011, 01:47 PM
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olllllo olllllo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdill
Very cool, (I would think hard on getting a OD tranny swapped in at the same time)

Mike D.

I actually have thought about it, but as I weighed the cost/benefit, I eventually ended up where I am at as a first swag anyway. With my gearing and tires, I am going to running a little higher RPM than I would probably like, but on the other hand, not terribly unreasonable. I am going to give it a shot for a while and see where I stand. I may actually see about getting a little higher gears if it ends up being a big concern.

Time will tell!
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:18 PM
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That's great! Also nice that he send you pics of the work!
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:46 PM
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Mikel Mikel is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olllllo
I actually have thought about it, but as I weighed the cost/benefit, I eventually ended up where I am at as a first swag anyway. With my gearing and tires, I am going to running a little higher RPM than I would probably like, but on the other hand, not terribly unreasonable. I am going to give it a shot for a while and see where I stand. I may actually see about getting a little higher gears if it ends up being a big concern.

Time will tell!

What gearing/tires do you have?

With a slow revving diesel, the more gears the merrier... I have a NV4500 and I wish I had less spacing between gears.
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:08 PM
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olllllo olllllo is offline
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I have 3.31s and 33"s, which puts me at 2314 at 65mph. If I swap in some 2.73s, that number drops to 1909! I am also considering an axle swap and a little bigger tires about a year from now, so who knows. If I decided to go SOA, running 3.31s and 37"s (which is kind of what I am thinking), my 65mpg would be about 2064. Of course that brings in the issue of strength of the 229, and God knows what else, so I'll have plenty of options to consider then. Until then I am going to run it, see what it needs and adjust from there.
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:10 PM
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olllllo olllllo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brizio
That's great! Also nice that he send you pics of the work!

Very cool! It is great having a guy work on it that is as excited about it as I am. It is plainly obvious that he LOVES what he does. I told him I was going to post pics and he said that he actually has about 200 or so already! He has kept me very updated with txt messages and pics, so even though it's 1:40 away from me, I don't feel completely disconnected from the process.
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:54 PM
GaJeep94YJ GaJeep94YJ is offline
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would you mind telling about how much you have in part and in labor?
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:28 PM
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im watchin!!!
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  #12  
Old 01-31-2011, 10:26 AM
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olllllo olllllo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaJeep94YJ
would you mind telling about how much you have in part and in labor?

I better talk to Aaron before publicizing his labor rates, but I will tell you that my gross cost is coming in just a hair under $7K as things stand right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinder
im watchin!!!
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:25 PM
Mavawreck Mavawreck is offline
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This is great, would love to do this to mine as well.
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:03 PM
GaJeep94YJ GaJeep94YJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olllllo
I better talk to Aaron before publicizing his labor rates, but I will tell you that my gross cost is coming in just a hair under $7K as things stand right now.



good enough, that was what I was curious about.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:42 PM
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olllllo olllllo is offline
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Aaron, his wife Emily, and I drove up to Oklahoma today to pick up the engine from a guy in Tulsa that sells a lot of 4BTs. Aaron took it home tonight, is going to take it apart to replace bearings, replace seals, pretty it up and get it ready for its new home.




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Old 01-31-2011, 10:53 PM
lastjeepstanding lastjeepstanding is offline
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Man you are spot on lucky to find someone with that much interest and enthusiasm. Wish I lived closer to TX cause I would bring him a 12v 5.9 and a 76 Cherokee Chief.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:02 PM
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They just sent me a txt letting me know they were home and the engine is all tucked away in the shop. Love that shot of my Waggy in the background.

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Old 01-31-2011, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lastjeepstanding
Man you are spot on lucky to find someone with that much interest and enthusiasm.

I agree and feel pretty fortunate. Hanging out with them on a road trip today, it is clear that they are just really into doing this stuff, and Aaron appears to be exactly the right guy for the job.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:47 AM
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Aaron got held up a bit last week with a failed engine lift, and dealing with the weather, but things are rolling again this week. The engine/tranny/t-case came out yesterday. Look at all that room under there!









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Old 02-08-2011, 09:18 AM
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Very cool.
I'd really like to see a video of it running and driving after it's done.
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