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  #1  
Old 01-16-2015, 11:30 PM
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RallyAlex RallyAlex is offline
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Who do you recommend??

I apologize if this is in the wrong thread. I am interested in swapping to a diesel to pull an RV trailer. I really want to keep the Wagoneer and not get an F-150 or other type tow vehicle. Is there anyone you guys would recommend to do the diesel swap? I am located in the Midwest but am willing to drive "almost" anywhere to get this done. Thanks! Alex
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Old 01-17-2015, 12:37 PM
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Rethink Plan A. Dsl swaps aren't for the light of wallet "especially" if you need a shop to do it. On a side note your GW is going to have horrible axle gearing for heavy towing. Heck stock GW gearing won't even run the dsl in the ideal powerband when you're not towing. Since you're talking shop work here plan on possibly another $2,000 for the axle gear swaps. For the costs of a drive-in/drive-out shop job. It's gonna be cheaper to buy a used dsl truck already set up for towing.
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:55 AM
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I agree. A FSJ is going to be limited more by the wheelbase/gearing/weight/brakes than by the engine when it comes to towing.

How much does this trailer weigh?
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  #4  
Old 01-19-2015, 09:49 AM
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Well, it "was" an Airstream, but, someone else bought it. Assuming I keep looking for the same type of trailer, it weighs about 3600. I also plan on using the Jeep to do some camping with my 6 and 3 year olds which is why I'd like someone to go through and/or replace the engine with either a diesel, a 401, or rebuild the 360 with a FI this time. Again, that is WAY too much for my limited mechanical ability which is why I would be grateful if any of you could recommend someone who is a good Jeep mechanic. Thanks again.
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:42 AM
joe joe is offline
 
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The midwest is a good area with lotsa car clubs. Talk with a few or a lot of them. Those guys usually know who or what shops do good work. During your search nail down a good local garage for continuing general maint. Even a brand new dsl motor isn't a pay big up front and then just drive for years w/o doing anything game plan. They all need scheduled and unscheduled periodic maint and repairs and dsl stuff is expensive. You can rebuild a boat load of gaso carburetors for the cost of having a shop rebuild or replace one injection pump.
I love dsl motors but they are not a 200,000 miles, no maint, 20mpg free ride.
Your Chicago area should have an abundance of gearheads to talk with. Most likely even an AMC club.
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:59 PM
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Carnuck Carnuck is offline
 
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3600 is nothing. I haul more than that with my Comanche (as long as it has brakes) My buddy thinks diesels are the end all be all which is why he's buying the Isuzu 4BD2TC from my NPR to put in his wag (it had a blown headgasket, but I bought it as a rolling shed)
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  #7  
Old 01-19-2015, 07:51 PM
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zmjeeps zmjeeps is offline
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Diesel Swap

Z&M Jeeps is not far from you in Maumee, OH. I did a diesel swap in Project Humpty that came out pretty nice. I can talk to you about some prices on what you want to do. Contact me direct or via PM. Thanks,

Zack
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  #8  
Old 01-20-2015, 12:12 AM
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DieselSJ DieselSJ is offline
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Wow. IMHO there is a lot of misinformation here. I'll say that a diesel with overdrive and the 3.31 gearing with stock tires is an excellent combination for towing and that 3400lb trailer will be nothing. Hydroboost upgrade with the diesel and do the front brake upgrade, install a trailer brake system and go enjoy your Waggy. But Joe is right that diesels aren't a 200,000 mile, 20 mpg ride...they are a 300,000 mile, 24mpg ride. And I have no idea what Joe is talking about with gearing, since I'm running 1800rpm at 70mph in overdrive. Towing at 65mph at 2400rpm in 3rd. You can't get much better for powerband than that with a 6.5. Go with a 6.5/Auto and use SBC adapter mounts and it isn't a difficult swap.
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  #9  
Old 01-20-2015, 02:56 PM
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TrenchFoot TrenchFoot is offline
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I've towed 16' and 19' Airstreams with my Waggy (w/ a tired 401). It did fine with stock tires and 3.07 gearing. Not great, and didn't scream up the mountains, but fine. The short wheelbase is limiting if you don't get some kind of sway control on the trailer. Get a load-leveling hitch with sway control (the Equal-i-zer does both). Otherwise, a trailer as short as a 19' can cause a FSJ to wag the tail. That's terrifying at 65+ mph.

I'm 3 years+ into a diesel swap. It may finally happen this year, but who knows. My 6.2 will be bolted up to a OD tranny and I'm expecting it to tow better than my 401.

I know this will ruffle all kinds of feathers, but I wouldn't invest in any upgrade to a AMC v8 other than FI. In hindsight, a diesel swap is probably more trouble than a modern GM v8 swap. If I were to start all over again today, I'd get a junkyard takeout LS engine (5.3 or 6.0) and matching tranny and wiring. I'd be done by now and it'll tow nearly as strong, efficient, and cheaper.
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  #10  
Old 01-21-2015, 03:07 AM
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I see lots of the diesel swappers getting 20 mpg. Not many getting more unless it's computer managed. My buddy has been driving a Ford with 6.9 and is screaming about the lousy 17 mpg when he was told they got closer to 30.
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  #11  
Old 01-21-2015, 07:14 PM
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RallyAlex RallyAlex is offline
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Thanks for all the input. At this point, I am in no hurry since the Airstream did not pan out. I did speak with Mercenary Offroad and he told me it would be about $30k in just parts. I was more than stunned, to say the least. I have a call in to Z&M. Thanks.
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  #12  
Old 01-22-2015, 11:17 AM
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That is a crazy estimate for a diesel swap. I could go get a new Dmax/Allison crate engine and swap it for less money than that.
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  #13  
Old 01-22-2015, 11:50 AM
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Yeah 30 grand tells me they really don't want to do job.
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:06 PM
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Yeah $30k is their way of saying no thanks, they're not even trying. My swap costs are rapidly approaching $8500. This is mostly parts with some labor for tranny and head rebuild and a placeholder for exhaust work. It'd be a heckuva lot cheaper if I'd just swapped in a running engine and trans instead of rebuilding everything.
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Old 01-22-2015, 03:57 PM
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RallyAlex RallyAlex is offline
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His explanation for the 30k is that far more was involved than just doing the engine swap. There is a youtube video of the Wagoneer with a diesel swap they did and it is very nice. Just not 30k nice. Plus labor of course. If you know of anyone else who is willing to do it, please forward me a name. Or, at this price, anyone willing to put in a 401 with FI. Thanks again you guys.
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  #16  
Old 01-22-2015, 04:44 PM
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DieselSJ DieselSJ is offline
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IMHO there is less to do with a diesel swap than a fuel injected engine swap. The wiring certainly is much less complex with a diesel (assuming old mechanical pump setup and not a modern computer controlled diesel).
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  #17  
Old 01-22-2015, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RallyAlex
Thanks for all the input. At this point, I am in no hurry since the Airstream did not pan out. I did speak with Mercenary Offroad and he told me it would be about $30k in just parts. I was more than stunned, to say the least. I have a call in to Z&M. Thanks.

Wow. For the last Cummins swap I did, we bought a rusted to oblivion $1800 1991 Dodge W350 that supplied 80% of the parts we ended up using.

A member at M715zone.com was selling a 4BD1T and NV4500, along with the necessary adapters, for $2500. A far better deal and a very sweet setup for a FSJ in my opinon.
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Last edited by Mikel : 01-22-2015 at 08:14 PM.
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  #18  
Old 01-23-2015, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikel
Wow. For the last Cummins swap I did, we bought a rusted to oblivion $1800 1991 Dodge W350 that supplied 80% of the parts we ended up using.

What he said. I wish I'd have listened to every post I'd read about "buy a complete, running truck. It'll be quicker and cheaper than buying parts separate."

Don't buy an engine, then a tranny, then that bracket, then that pump, then one thing after another that gives you the opportunity to get it new or rebuilt "while I'm at it". If you don't plan to do the swap yourself, buy a donor truck and DRIVE it to the shop.

Except maybe for the second half of Mikel's post, because it does sound like a bargain:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikel
A member at M715zone.com was selling a 4BD1T and NV4500, along with the necessary adapters, for $2500. A far better deal and a very sweet setup for a FSJ in my opinon.
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  #19  
Old 03-19-2015, 02:46 PM
Don in Missouri Don in Missouri is offline
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I'm very happy with my Cummins 4bt conversion. I get 20 mpg with mixed city and 75 mph highway driving. I can get 27-28 on the Interstate if I keep it under the local speed limit. But better than that is the improved performance relative to an AMC 360. I drove a 360 for a quarter of a million miles. I vastly prefer driving my diesel powered Wagoneer. The best fuel injection is diesel injection! The 2.73 gears and 31" tires are perfect with no overdrive. It took way more money and time to build this than it costs to buy a 3/4-ton Dodge Cummins. I towed a 31' Airstream with my Dodge. It towed fine, but I got rid of it, because I much prefer camping out of the back of my Wagoneer. It is easier to get in the back country that way.
I would expect to pay $15-$20k to pay someone to do a conversion like that. In fact, once you get done doing your own conversion you could easily end up with that much invested in parts, alone. That shouldn't discourage you. These conversions are totally worth it for a reliable, functional vehicle that will last forever. Just don't add up all your receipts at once, or it will depress you.
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  #20  
Old 03-24-2015, 07:46 AM
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Fuel injection is not a magic solution that gives you 50+ horsepower and 20 MPG. With that being said, when properly set-up fuel injection does give you a better daily driver that starts easier and stays in tune longer. However, all those things can be accomplished with a properly set-up carburetor. The people that have the most success with fuel injecting AMC engines have also spent the most time learning all aspects of their fuel injection system and can tune it themselves.

If you are looking for a turn-key trouble free system that other mechanics can fix you may be better off swapping in a modern engine and transmission combination.

I own two diesel trucks and they are each amazing. One truck is an 06 Ford F250 with the 6.0 Powerstroke Diesel that is supposed to be a timebomb. My son and I did an egr delete, free flow exhaust, studded the heads, and put a tuner on it. That truck runs like it is on fire and gets mid 20's on the highway. The Ford has 230K on it and when we pulled off the heads you could still see crosshatching in the bores. My other truck is a 12 Ram 2500 with a 6.7 Cummins. That truck is a great daily driver and tows my camper like it is not even there. However, the Cummins gets nowhere near the economy of the Ford (and is not near as fast). Of course the Cummins is bone stock and will be until it is out of warranty.

My Wagoneer has a warmed over fuel injected 401. I have a 23 ft hybrid camper that I can and have towed with the Wagoneer. Power or getting up to speed is not an issue. Stopping and the feeling of getting pushed downhill is what I didn't like when towing with it. I do have an equalizer hitch and I highly recommend getting one regardless of what vehicle you use to tow. From a safety standpoint, there is a night and day difference when towing with the Wagoneer verses one of my trucks.

I don't have any experience towing Airstream trailers with a Wagoneer but the relatively narrow width and the short wheelbase of the Wagoneer works against you when towing. I would recommend you try towing something similar to what you intend to buy with your Wagoneer before you dump a bunch of money in your Wag converting it to a tow rig especially if you plan to pay someone to do the work.
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Last edited by Woodchomper : 03-24-2015 at 09:31 AM.
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