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  1. #1
    Member Cyriac's Avatar
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    My 5.2L ZJ AX-15 5-speed swap - No Check Engine with stock ECU

    Hey everyone,

    You might have noticed my engine relocation thread that naturally developed in a full thread about my swap but mostly questions and answers so here's a thread/write-up collecting all the details pertaining to the swap.

    I decided to do the swap because I didn't like the auto, sure it’s really decent when it works and driving in town but I felt like it really wasted the 5.2's stock potential and sucked on fuel economy. Also, I hate maintaining an auto transmission, very expensive and such a hassle… Granted, a clutch job is also quite expensive but at least it's clean! lol
    My 44RE gave up on me when I towed a trailer with overdrive activated (didn’t know it was bad for it) so it overheated and everything went to hell in the weeks following that until I suddenly lost all gears…

    Also: 5-Speed RWD V8… Period.

    But first, I am in France. There are no Dodge Ram trucks in my country to salvage nv35xx’s from so that option was simply impossible. I discovered that AX15 swaps were possible and I quickly researched my available options. I actually found out that our European 2.5L Turbo Diesel XJs all had 5-speeds which are… AX15s!! I started looking into this and realized that ZJs also had the diesel option and after some quick research determined that it was actually the same driveline, namely an AX15 manual transmission and NP231 transfer case.
    Therefore, most will not be able to reproduce my swap because it involves buying a 2.5L Turbo Diesel ZJ and I believe the option was not marketed in North America…
    However I suppose the transmission can be salvaged from many other vehicles including a Dodge Dakota or 4.0 XJs..

    I quickly decided that this would be my choice for a swap because buying a donor ZJ for cheap would provide all the necessary and auxiliary parts such as the pedals and hydraulic clutch assembly which otherwise would have cost me an arm and a leg or prove impossible to find!

    I found a donor with a bad head gasket and bought it for 500€, it actually was the most uneventful Jeep retrieval of my life: everything worked fine despite the bad gasket, I had no problems making the 300mi journey home! lol


    My V8 ZJ, or more technically a ZG because it's an export model assembled in Steyr, Austria, is a 1997 Limited with 170,000 miles. It is stock with no engine or suspension mods aside from WJ front control arms.

    Anyway, here's the result!



    And here goes!!

    I WILL BE EDITING IN MORE PHOTOS AS I TAKE THEM!

    PARTS REQUIRED:

    Here is a list, all parts assumed SAME YEAR unless otherwise stated:
    - AX15 transmission and shifter.
    - Dodge Dakota 3.9L V6 5-speed bellhousing
    - Dodge Dakota flywheel and clutch master kit
    - Throwout bearing (universal P/N 53008342)
    - Clutch fork (universal P/N 52107555 or 53006388)
    - Pilot bearing (I used the one provided in the clutch master kit)
    - Hydraulic Clutch Master/Slave Cylinder Assembly (I highly recommend the stock ZG/diesel/export model P/N 53054360 because it incorporates a connector useful for NSS wiring explained below)
    - ZJ Clutch pedal and bracket, smaller Brake pedal.
    - Dodge Starter (for your bellhousing)

    Optional interior parts: shifter boot, doghouse cover.

    I bought the bellhousing from a vendor on car-part.com (American Import Auto, CO - excellent customer service by Shawn!). Make sure to ask for the inspection port cover and all the relevant hardware (block/bellhousing, flywheel/crankshaft, flywheel/pressure plate bolts). I forgot to do so and battled later with hardware suppliers to find it all (see below)...

    I bought the starter as a remanufactured unit from eBay, so far so good...

    Exhaust manifold is up to you to choose but you need a center outlet manifold because the stock 5.2 one exits just above the relocated starter… :-(

    Block huggers are a good choice if you can afford them, I went the cheap route and bought a late 1960s Dodge/Plymouth 340ci center outlet manifold. I can only suggest getting the -albeit very rare- early manifolds because they have large 2.5” outlet ports that match the stock Magnum manifolds. I have the smaller 1⅞” outlet because I didn’t know. It still works fine.

    You will have to fabricate your own downpipe but I found it easier to do than I thought, most of the stock Y-pipe can be reused...



    THREAD SIZES:

    I had a very very hard time with thread sizes because European stores only supply metric hardware and special SAE hardware is only available via an internet suppliers…

    Here is this info that I found with great effort!! lol

    - Crankshaft/Flywheel: 7/16” UNF
    You will need 6 longer 1" bolts to secure the flywheel and flexplate to the crankshaft because the stock flex plate bolts are much too short.

    - Flywheel/Pressure Plate: M8x1.25
    These bolts were NOT included in the clutch kit and I had trouble finding the right thread size. I thought it would be SAE so I tried 5/16” UNC but they wouldn't screw in right: too small. I finally realized they were M8x1.25 but the threads were ruined. I finally drilled through and tapped them to M10.

    - Block/Bellhousing lower bolts: 7/16” UNC
    You will need 2 longer 3" (or more) bolts because the stock ZJ bolts are too short.

    - Bellhousing/Clutch Slave studs: 5/16” UNC
    You will need 2 nuts and washers.

    - Pedal bracket studs: M8x1.25
    You will need 4 nuts and washers.


    That is all the extra hardware you will need. That's what I needed anyway.


    REMOVAL OF AUTO:

    I’m posting this section because I had a very hard time learning about 44RE removal procedure, I didn’t have an FSM at the time... Since it wasn’t obvious to me I researched it and explain it here.

    I started by gutting the interior, it’s not really necessary but it gave better access to the doghouse and also kept everything super clean for future re-assembly. Also I hated the idea of ripping the carpet.
    I removed the seats, center console, and carpet. Don’t forget to adjust your seats far enough forwards to uncover the rear bolts before you disconnect the battery…
    The rear bolts will be seized up good! I recommend spraying whatever penetrating lubricant you have beforehand to avoid breaking them!! (Happened on the diesel donor, took it as a warning from the universe…)

    The transfer case and gear selector bezels are actually a whole assemblies that you can pry and unclip off from the console, don’t start disassembling them layer by layer!! To remove the gear selector knob, you just have to pull it upwards, setting it in 1 or 2 saves you from banging your hands on the dash when it comes off… Pro tip!

    For the center console there are 4 screws under the gear shift selector bezel and 2 under the armrest at the bottom of the box.

    I suggest removing the carpet to avoid tearing it up and having better access to the doghouse.

    Disconnect the cables attached to the gear selector. Underneath, disconnect the transfer case shift linkage from the lever: pry the rods off their bushings with a screwdriver or a wrench…

    Unscrew the doghouse cover then pry it off the transmission tunnel to detach it (it is glued).

    Remove the driveshafts then all the connectors and breather lines.

    Support your drivetrain with a jack and remove the crossmember and the transmission support bracket. Unfasten the transfer case and when nothing else holds onto it (shift linkage?) remove it.

    Disconnect all cables and connectors from the transmission. Remove cooler lines too. Remove the starter and inspection port cover.

    Unfasten the torque converter from the flexplate by removing the 4 bolts accessible from the inspection port, you will need to turn your engine over by hand to access all of them, I found it easier to do than I thought.

    You may start unbolting the transmission from the block, lower the drivetrain slightly to better access the top bolts.
    The passenger side bottom bolt was sent from Hell itself because you need to remove the oil filter to extract it. Messy messy messy!!! ;-)

    Once the transmission and torque converter are unbolted and all connectors, linkages, cooler lines are off then you may proceed with the removal of the transmission, call a buddy to help you out if you are cheap and don’t have a special lifting equipment because that big lady is mighty heavy indeed!!! Hehehehe

    Drop that ATF-gurgling unit to the floor and send it to the goulag, it’s probably broken anyway if you’re doing this swap…

    Remove the kick-down cable and gear selector cable. Hello precious weight saving!

    Unbolt the flexplate from the crankshaft and set aside for later use…

    If I forgot to mention something to remove, sorry… A lot to recall!!!

    You should have a beautiful transmission-less engine block looking at you and lusting for a mate… Time to give it to… it? Moving on.


    PREPARATION:

    Take your Dakota flywheel and remove the tone ring. You should be able to do so with an adequately sized wrench and hammer, pry it off or if you are lazy just cut a notch in it and spread’er whyyyde open!!
    We’re doing this so we can reuse the stock flexplate by mounting it with the flywheel so that all will be good in the Crankshaft Position Sensor’s world!! He’ll be oblivious to the change and you know what they say: ignorance is bliss… BAM!



    Install the flexplate with the flywheel over it onto the crankshaft using your duly acquired 1” bolts that you will fasten to spec. Check that your pilot bearing fits the crankshaft bore and the AX15’s shaft, you never know! (The copper bearing supplied by the clutch master kit fit both like a charm, the needle bearing, not so much…)
    Continue with clutch disc and pressure plate installation using the alignment tool and torque to spec.

    On the AX15 side: bolt up the Dakota bellhousing onto it, add the fork and throwout bearing and finally the pilot bearing.
    I’d also remove that shift lever if I were you, Bubba…


    NOTE: This is NOT my photo, credit to "samwise" at nagca.com. My pilot bearing was a copper ring too only much thinner.

    ASSEMBLY:

    Check you have all the block/bellhousing hardware, the pilot bearing still on the input shaft and the transmission in gear (so that you can play around with the output shaft to align the input shaft splines with the clutch disc).
    Bring a buddy over again, lift it up and mount that tranny!!!
    Secure it with 2 bolts finger tight while said buddy is holding it up (do it quickly!) then have him catch a break and fasten the rest of the bolts including your duly acquired longer 3” bottom bolts! Torque to spec and don’t forget your washers! ;-)




    Mount your transfer case, be it the original 249 (meh..), a 231 (hey hey hey!) or 242 (lucky bastard...).


    For the transmission support you may have to improvise your own solution depending on the origin of your AX15. I reused the diesel’s crossmember and support by extending the transmission support bracket.
    Ideally, one should reuse the stock auto support and fabricate a custom bracket for the transmission, it was designed for a V8 engine. Consider upgrading to polyurethane bushings...


    Left: The original diesel support was just an inch off... Right: The extended bracket.

    Secure everything and install the rear driveshaft although a slightly longer rear driveshaft is preferable in my special eyes. The front stock one will be too long to reuse without shortening.


    NOTE: This is not the V8's driveshaft although it did fit. It's just that it was too short in my eyes so I mounted this 2.1L XJ driveshaft which is about 1" longer. Drives fine without vibes up until 120 MPH...


    You can now put the doghouse cover back on.




    CLUTCH AND PEDALS:

    Remove the brake pedal.
    If you have one: disconnect and remove the Speed Proportional Steering module because you will have to remove its metal mounting bracket. It is spot welded twice, do what it takes, soldier, but that bracket has to come down one way or another!!!


    Left: the diesel firewall. Center: V8 Steering module bracket. Right: ... during the amputation operation, a bit messy...

    Once the area is clear you will need to drill the holes for the master cylinder from the engine compartment inwards. There are dimples and a nice circle marking the drill locations. Fire at will.


    Left: The diesel firewall. Right: The V8's

    You can now mount your clutch pedal bracket.



    For the hydraulic line you will need to remove the steering shaft (do it with your steering wheel locked!!!!! otherwise bye-bye clockspring) and unbolt the ABS module to slip the line underneath it. Rest it under the brake booster and feed the master cylinder into its new home.
    Secure the the slave cylinder to the bellhousing.
    Secure the master cylinder rod to the clutch pedal.


    WIRING:

    - Reverse Lights

    Find your NSS connector (3-pin circle connector) and snip the outer 2 wires, connect (I soldered and shrink wrapped) them to the reverse light switch pigtail connector on the AX15 (upper passenger side). Polarity isn’t important but if you are a perfectionist like me you will match the cables because they are the same colors (on a ZJ AX15 anyway).

    Reconnect the rest of the connectors and do what you will with the now useless transmission connectors (Solenoid Assembly and the Output Shaft Speed Sensor connectors, FYI). I’d remove them from the underbelly harness.

    - Neutral Safety Switch

    You have several options:
    #1 - Ground it forever: Permanent Neutral state, you will be able to start in gear but lose cruise control.
    #2 - Wire it to a switch: Manually set Neutral state on or off. Can Start in gear. Enables Cruise Control but no automatic shut-off.
    #3 - Activated by the clutch pedal. Cannot start in gear. Enables Cruise Control and Cruise Control automatic shut-off.

    I reused the 44RE gear selector cable grommet to pass the wire through the floor into the cab.


    AVOIDING CHECK ENGINE LIGHT:

    Thanks to an accidental discovery I made, I have found a workaround to replacing the ECU with a 5-speed Ram unit because of a Check Engine Light (a risky and expensive solution). It involves wiring the Clutch Interlock Switch (green 2-pin connector next to the Speed Proportional Steering).
    It is present on all 96-98 ZJs regardless of transmission type.

    I have not yet confirmed the presence of this switch on earlier ZJs (haven’t checked other FSMs or other ZJs). I have been told that early ZJs with the 5-speed and inline-6 do NOT have automatic Cruise Control deactivation or a Neutral Safety Switch leading me to believe that this connector is not present… making this workaround impossible for them… It would be cool if you could check yours and report back!
    Anyway, Jeep standardization scores once again! Albeit only for 96-98 ZJs apparently…

    For this workaround I highly recommend a switched clutch master cylinder like the ones mounted on all diesel ZJs (see above for P/N).
    Normally, the clutch master is connected to the wiring harness and it serves as a Neutral Safety Switch (anti-start feature) as you can only start the engine with the clutch pressed in.
    I suppose this fix is possible with another type of switch if you are unable to find or afford a switched clutch master. I haven’t tried but I suppose it should work!

    I unexpectedly found this same connector on my V8 ZJ. First I connected the clutch master to this connector just like on a diesel and grounded the NSS. The jeep started without a CEL! If I disconnected it the CEL would pop up.

    In the end I tried to keep it as stock as possible and connected the NSS wire to the clutch master connector and connected the second wire to one of the Clutch Interlock Switch’s wires.

    It’s as simple as that. Really... I can only start with the pedal pressed, like the diesel and the Check Engine Light never comes on. Saves me from replacing the ECU… ;-)


    LEFT: My current setup, the NSS is wired via the clutch master cylinder to the Clutch Interlock Switch connector. RIGHT: The Clutch Interlock Switch in detail.


    EXHAUST:


    I won’t really talk too much about this part because I didn’t do any of the welding so I feel kind of like a fraud for giving instructions…
    Basically, remove your Y-pipe and the driver’s side manifold. Do what you can about the studs, the nuts should be rusted enough so that the studs unscrew from the head. WD40 will make the nuts unscrew from the studs so you choose your course of action.


    Comparison of Magnum and 340 manifolds, ports are almost identical but the outlet size will be smaller if you have a 70s manifold (smog laws :-( )

    Mount your chosen center dump manifold and fabricate your downpipe! Luckily, a friend had a spare piece of tubing with 2 bends that fit almost perfectly so I didn't have to buy any tubing. A friend with more welding experience made this.

    I recommend using a band clamp between the 2 downpipes because otherwise the whole Y-pipe can't be removed! As you can see, mine is a crappy one with cheap chrome paint on it.

    It’s a good idea to add an exhaust support to the AX15 support bracket. I cut the stock one off from the auto support bracket and welded it to the stock AX15 bracket. Works like a charm, simply effective.



    MISCELLANEOUS:

    Don’t forget to reconnect all the remaining connectors to your transfer case such as the Speed Sensor and the breather line.

    The ZJ AX15 shifter needs to be slightly extended between the 2 bends. I’d say an inch or so. As you can see I cut it and welded and extra piece of rod in between.


    Install the Dodge starter with the 2 ZJ block/transmission bolts because they are the same thread. Extend your wiring making sure to isolate it well from anything, including hot exhaust pipes…!

    I have not yet reinstalled the transfer case shift linkage, I’d say it’s possible to reuse the stock linkage with slight modifications.



    Stay Tuned for updates...
    Last edited by Cyriac; 07-26-2014 at 10:52 AM. Reason: Added photos

  2. #2
    Member Cyriac's Avatar
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    More info about this mysterious Clutch Interlock Switch...

    Here is an extract from the FSM...



    Funnily enough I used to have an automatic transmission but I still have a green connector like a manual... Bizarre...

  3. #3
    im super special x10radsponge's Avatar
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    C,
    I must appologize for not looking at this earlier as a 5 sp swap has never been on my horizon. That being said your post is excelent and full of great information. The pictures are great, your write up is clear. Thanks for doing a great job.

    How is it going? Do you happen to know what years the early dodge/plymouth headers are on with the 2.5 inch opening?

    Once again, great work.

    ~Kevin

  4. #4
    Member Cyriac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by x10radsponge View Post
    C,
    I must appologize for not looking at this earlier as a 5 sp swap has never been on my horizon. That being said your post is excelent and full of great information. The pictures are great, your write up is clear. Thanks for doing a great job.

    How is it going? Do you happen to know what years the early dodge/plymouth headers are on with the 2.5 inch opening?

    Once again, great work.

    ~Kevin
    Hey Kevin, thanks for the kind words, I did my best!

    So far so good! Still no Check Engine Light, I'm doing 24 MPG at 55 MPH. My only noises are the exhaust leak at the manifold. These early manifolds need a gasket to seal but I didn't know and mounted it anyway. I'm running it like this until I get one.

    I have a little ticking noise in the clutch, it disappears when I engage it so I guess it's the throwout bearing. A mechanic told me it's not an issue and there's nothing that can be done about it anyway... It's only audible when idling, once on the road you can't hear it. I'll get used to it...

    Should be receiving Monster Motor Mounts in a week or 2 so I'll finally be able to keep my whole drivetrain still! ;-)


    To my understanding, the 340 manifolds with larger outlets are the 1968-1970 ones, but basically the earlier the better.

    Here is a list of casting numbers for the 340, I can't seem to find a pre-1970 manifold with a center dump.

    340 1968-70 A, E-Body, Right 2863549
    340 1968-71 A-Body, Left 2863553
    340 1970 E-Body, Left 2863553
    340 1971 B, E-Body, Left 3418621
    340 1971-73 A, B, E-Body, Right 3418623 - This is the one I have with a 1 7/8" outlet.

    The rest of the list are manifolds that are not center outlet though I believe that they have a larger outlet size. I can't seem to find a large center outlet manifold with these casting numbers. We may need to look into the Dodge truck world...
    Youtube Channel

    1997 ZJ 5.2i "V8" 5-speed manual (Write-up)
    1989 XJ 4.0i "Ghost"

  5. #5
    im super special x10radsponge's Avatar
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    I have been told that the earlier vans had larger e-manifolds that will work. Not sure if center dump but supposedly better flow.

  6. #6
    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by x10radsponge View Post
    I have been told that the earlier vans had larger e-manifolds that will work. Not sure if center dump but supposedly better flow.

    I think the Ramcharger trucks might have had center outlets mannies too - although that may be the same as the van ones you mention Kevin.


    Cyriac, do you remember what vehicle your manifold was from?

  7. #7
    Member Cyriac's Avatar
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    I actually don't know for sure because the casting number I was looking for was mounted on many models, mine must have been on a Dart or Barracuda. The casting # is 3418623 and as you can see they were mounted on A,B,E-bodies... That covers loads! lol

    As for performance all seems right, but I don't think I'd be able to tell if I had a loss of power because of the small outlet manifolds. For high performance applications I'd definitely go with aftermarket headers...

    BTW, did you receive my PM response? Did you try my workaround or look under your dash?
    Youtube Channel

    1997 ZJ 5.2i "V8" 5-speed manual (Write-up)
    1989 XJ 4.0i "Ghost"

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    Member Cyriac's Avatar
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    A quick update.

    Have done a thousand or so miles with the swap and so far so good! My mileage hasn't improved at all (dropped slightly) and that's because of the higher ratios... It's a shame because it has become really fun to drive! That may be why I'm not getting good mileage! lol

    I have mounted IronmanFab's Monster Motor Mounts and I'm very mixed... The drivetrain is really stiff now and it feels good when revving hard but the ride quality at highway speeds (2000 rpm) is appalling and I will return to stock engine mounts...
    Youtube Channel

    1997 ZJ 5.2i "V8" 5-speed manual (Write-up)
    1989 XJ 4.0i "Ghost"

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    Member Cyriac's Avatar
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    2015 Update!

    So far so good the transmission holds up perfectly and I have gotten used to it's operation, I do not regret it on bit over the automatic.

    It seems as though the poly engine mounts have softened up slightly and therefore make the ride a little more comfortable.

    I'm looking into swapping the gears in rear and I will be swapping in 3.07 gears. Rear first since this is a highway-only ZJ and front perhaps later.

    Also I have found a solution to my transmission overheating alert, I just grounded the temperature sensor wire that is in the Solenoid Control harness. I also cut off the rest of the wires and isolated them and tucked them back in the harness to protect them from the elements (the engine gave me a couple jumps in heavy rain on the highway).

    One of my crazy friends now wants me to buy a second 5.2 and stroke it... Arrg!! That's for much later!


    Anyway, so far so good! It has been 8000 miles since the swap.
    Youtube Channel

    1997 ZJ 5.2i "V8" 5-speed manual (Write-up)
    1989 XJ 4.0i "Ghost"

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    Member Mark 318 ita's Avatar
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    hi your 5.2 looks very cool,
    how many miles were on that ax15 before the installation? did you rebuild it? did you ever tried some gear banging, drag racing or something?
    thanks
    98 ZG 318 limited: np 242 swap, aussie locker, shift kit, optima red, 170lbs reduction, 5.9 vents, tcase skid, kn air filter, air ram, 1.7 HS RRs, SCT 93 oct tune, magnaflow muffler 12255, magnaflow hi-flo cat, spectre air hat, 2x52mm tb, 5.9 efan swap, ngk fr5-1 plugs, mopar perf wires, new cap 'n rot, maxxperf coil, iat relocation, roof lights, pirelli scorpions on masitaly 16x7 rims ET=0, ome HD coils +2",rubic exp +2"shocks, skyjacker ss, rubic exp adjustable front arms, jks rear+procomp front trackbar, prothane engine n tranny mounts, prothane sway bars bushings, drilled n slotted rotors, aeronautical front brake lines, purple led into front grill, hella h4s 100/55w, osarm h3s 55w.
    my channel
    https://www.youtube.com/TommyVercettism/videos

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    Member Cyriac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark 318 ita View Post
    hi your 5.2 looks very cool,
    how many miles were on that ax15 before the installation? did you rebuild it? did you ever tried some gear banging, drag racing or something?
    thanks
    Thanks! :-)

    The AX15 had around 150,000 km (93,000 miles) so i'm quite happy with that. Did not touch it, it's stock. Never done drag racing but a couple hard starts... The clutch actually slips before the tires do so I guess this saves the transmission! lol
    Youtube Channel

    1997 ZJ 5.2i "V8" 5-speed manual (Write-up)
    1989 XJ 4.0i "Ghost"

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    Member Mark 318 ita's Avatar
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    ok thanks
    98 ZG 318 limited: np 242 swap, aussie locker, shift kit, optima red, 170lbs reduction, 5.9 vents, tcase skid, kn air filter, air ram, 1.7 HS RRs, SCT 93 oct tune, magnaflow muffler 12255, magnaflow hi-flo cat, spectre air hat, 2x52mm tb, 5.9 efan swap, ngk fr5-1 plugs, mopar perf wires, new cap 'n rot, maxxperf coil, iat relocation, roof lights, pirelli scorpions on masitaly 16x7 rims ET=0, ome HD coils +2",rubic exp +2"shocks, skyjacker ss, rubic exp adjustable front arms, jks rear+procomp front trackbar, prothane engine n tranny mounts, prothane sway bars bushings, drilled n slotted rotors, aeronautical front brake lines, purple led into front grill, hella h4s 100/55w, osarm h3s 55w.
    my channel
    https://www.youtube.com/TommyVercettism/videos

  13. #13
    Member Cyriac's Avatar
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    Hello Again!

    First off, here's a brief video I did as an overview of the changes in my ZJ.



    Second I wanted to talk about gearing....

    3.73 stock gearing makes the ZJ accelerate like a mother****** that's for sure but honestly it sucks on highway mileage and it's a shame because my ZJ is essentially a roadtrip machine and it's main purpose is highway trips... I guess it's the only con to an AX15 swap, the shorter than usual 0.79 5th gear (44RE is 0.69 and NV3500 is 0.75 for reference).

    So I looked into the vehicles which had an AX15 and what gearing options they had. Here are a few:

    Jeep TJ 4.0 - 3.07
    Jeep XJ 4.0 - 3.07
    Jeep XJ 2.5 Diesel - 3.73
    Jeep ZJ 4.0 - 3.55
    Jeep ZJ 2.5 Diesel - 3.73
    Dodge Dakota 3.9 - 3.21 or 3.55

    As you can see... There are MANY gearing options, ranging from the shortest to the tallest... Crazy!

    I was thinking that getting the V8 to work with 3.07s would be ideal on the highway, it would return the cruise RPMs just a tad lower than stock with the auto and I guess the V8 has enough torque to compensate for the ultra tall gearing.
    However, 3.07s never found their way into a ZJ D35 axle from the factory and I'm still wondering if the TJ differential with 3.07 ring and pinion will mount in a ZJ D35 housing I acquired...

    So in the meantime, because my D44a is so worn out, I have to look for a 3.55 D35 from an auto ZJ and mount that instead. I'll try to get the 3.07s mounted in the spare housing I have and see if the engine likes it. According to my calculations, 80MPH would be at a steady 2200 RPM! Smooth....

    Anyway, wish me luck! I hope you appreciate all the visitors this thread is getting from my Youtube videos! ;-)
    Youtube Channel

    1997 ZJ 5.2i "V8" 5-speed manual (Write-up)
    1989 XJ 4.0i "Ghost"

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    Nice work on the swap, and the video write-up!

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    Very nicely done!

  16. #16
    Member Cyriac's Avatar
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    Happy Easter everybody, just a quick update!

    I finally got around to fixing my clockspring and I have recovered my Airbag and Cruise Control!



    Cruise Control works fine but unfortunately it doesn't cancel out when I press the clutch, I think I would need to do some special wiring in order to make it happen...

    Anyway, 2 problems cleared, now I need to fix more stuff but that was a big issue finally crossed out!
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    1997 ZJ 5.2i "V8" 5-speed manual (Write-up)
    1989 XJ 4.0i "Ghost"

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    Excellent work!! I'm slowly but surely gathering parts to put a 3550 behind my 5.9. Do you have any leads on where I can get a shift boot for my 98?

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    Member Cyriac's Avatar
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    Hello everyone! It's a July update for you all!

    Well, disaster struck and I had a clutch control problem far away from home... Basically the pedal was soft all of a sudden. I managed to start it in gear so the clutch itself wasn't shot. I unbolted the clutch slave cylinder and the fork was loose in the bellhousing! We dropped the transmission and it was actually the throwout bearing which broke and came off the fork...
    I had to order a new one (Timken) from Rockauto and have it express shipped to me. We put it back in, greased it well and payed attention to the orientation of the fork and set it so that there was the least possible amount of lateral movement of the throwout bearing along the fork.
    We put everything together and now the pedal is even smoother than before! :-)

    By the way, I have a spare Hydraulic Clutch Master/Slave Cylinder assembly for sale. $200 without shipping. This is one is with a connector so it could be used to wire up the NSS like me.
    PM if you are interested! :-)




    Quote Originally Posted by Lycaon1349 View Post
    Excellent work!! I'm slowly but surely gathering parts to put a 3550 behind my 5.9. Do you have any leads on where I can get a shift boot for my 98?
    Thanks friend! :-) Sorry about the late reply, for a shift boot I think only diesels would have them. Unless you can find one locally your best bet would be on ebay UK! I guess I could also find one for you because here in France diesels are more common!
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    1997 ZJ 5.2i "V8" 5-speed manual (Write-up)
    1989 XJ 4.0i "Ghost"

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    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyriac View Post
    ....By the way, I have a spare Hydraulic Clutch Master/Slave Cylinder assembly for sale. $200 without shipping. This is one is with a connector so it could be used to wire up the NSS like me........
    That's an interesting piece. I don't think we have that (with the switch) available over here


    Glad you got it back on the road!


    Just finished putting a new clutch in my 3550. Got it driving but I'm waiting on a few more parts.

    I have some IronManAndy motor mounts on the way. The stock mounts were so beat that the bolts on the driveshaft's CV joint were hitting the bottom starter bolt under certain torque conditions!!

    I've had this thing for around 7 years and this is the first time I really looked into it in depth, LOL. I learned a lot during the process.

    My trans mounting setup is of course way different from yours as we don't have the diesel setup over here.
    My 3550 uses the stock AX15 mount and an early ZJ cross member, but the mount and xmember don't bolt right up to the holes in the frame rail as the length of the V8 is different. Original builder "solved" this by drilling new holes in the frame rails to relocate the tranny crossmember by about an inch.
    I don't like that setup at all!!! There's reinforcement there but I don't think it's enough to tap for the strength needed - especially with the manual tranny. It needs welded nuts like a stock setup.
    I drilled a third hole and added a bolt coming down from inside the frame rail and a nut from the bottom so it's got three per side. Still not feeling warm and fuzzy about it though

    Looking at mine and rockauto.com I also found out the ZJ AX15 trans mount comes as one piece rather than two like an auto trans mount. Autos have a bracket that bolts onto the tranny and a separate mount that bolts between that bracket and the xmember. The early ZJ AX15 mount has the trans bracket as part of the mount.
    I compared that to my late ZJ auto trans mount setup and there's a pretty big height difference between the two mount/bracket setups, with the auto trans bracket being a lot higher - so I can't just shorten or lengthen my bracket like you did.
    It looks like it could be done, but it would require trimming the vertical "ears" of the mount a bit and drilling new holes, plus a few other corrections and a bunch of welding. I'll probably try that in the future as I'd like to use the factory frame rail location and be able to use Andy's trans mount too.

    I also threw in my ZJ pedals as the modified TJ setup just wasn't cutting it. On the TJ setup both pedals mount off the brake pedal bracket. The clutch pedal didn't quite line up with the master and required an extension. I didn't notice until I got the old setup out but it was actually causing stress cracks in the brake pedal bracket! Yikes! LOL






    Quote Originally Posted by Lycaon1349 View Post
    Excellent work!! I'm slowly but surely gathering parts to put a 3550 behind my 5.9. Do you have any leads on where I can get a shift boot for my 98?
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyriac View Post
    .... for a shift boot I think only diesels would have them. Unless you can find one locally your best bet would be on ebay UK! I guess I could also find one for you because here in France diesels are more common!

    Cyriac - do you have a pic of the lower boot installed on the doghouse? I'm not sure exactly what they look like.
    Also - do you have a picture of the center rubber section of the tranny mount by itself?

    Lycaon - you should be able to use the tunnel cover (or dog house as Cyriac called it) and the factory boot from an early ZJ 5spd but I think the setup might require some modding because of the different lengths between the 4.0 and the Magnums.
    You need the pedal setup anyway, so you should just look for a complete ZJ to get the parts from.

    In effect, to get the boot to line up correctly over the shifter you might have to move the hole, LOL!
    I honestly don't know how easy this would be - I'm picturing cutting out roughly an inch or so around the section with the hole, cutting the tunnel cover back (or is it forward? Whatever, lol) to line it up and adding sheet metal to fill in the empty area. You might even be able to cut sections out of your original tunnel cover to fit it.

    Again, no idea if the contours of the tunnel cover lend itself to that. Original builder just cut the tunnel top for the shifter so I don't have that early ZJ tunnel cover piece to compare it to.

  20. #20
    Member Cyriac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z88Z View Post
    That's an interesting piece. I don't think we have that (with the switch) available over here

    Glad you got it back on the road!

    Just finished putting a new clutch in my 3550. Got it driving but I'm waiting on a few more parts.

    I have some IronManAndy motor mounts on the way. The stock mounts were so beat that the bolts on the driveshaft's CV joint were hitting the bottom starter bolt under certain torque conditions!!

    I've had this thing for around 7 years and this is the first time I really looked into it in depth, LOL. I learned a lot during the process.

    My trans mounting setup is of course way different from yours as we don't have the diesel setup over here.
    My 3550 uses the stock AX15 mount and an early ZJ cross member, but the mount and xmember don't bolt right up to the holes in the frame rail as the length of the V8 is different. Original builder "solved" this by drilling new holes in the frame rails to relocate the tranny crossmember by about an inch.
    I don't like that setup at all!!! There's reinforcement there but I don't think it's enough to tap for the strength needed - especially with the manual tranny. It needs welded nuts like a stock setup.
    I drilled a third hole and added a bolt coming down from inside the frame rail and a nut from the bottom so it's got three per side. Still not feeling warm and fuzzy about it though

    Looking at mine and rockauto.com I also found out the ZJ AX15 trans mount comes as one piece rather than two like an auto trans mount. Autos have a bracket that bolts onto the tranny and a separate mount that bolts between that bracket and the xmember. The early ZJ AX15 mount has the trans bracket as part of the mount.
    I compared that to my late ZJ auto trans mount setup and there's a pretty big height difference between the two mount/bracket setups, with the auto trans bracket being a lot higher - so I can't just shorten or lengthen my bracket like you did.
    It looks like it could be done, but it would require trimming the vertical "ears" of the mount a bit and drilling new holes, plus a few other corrections and a bunch of welding. I'll probably try that in the future as I'd like to use the factory frame rail location and be able to use Andy's trans mount too.

    I also threw in my ZJ pedals as the modified TJ setup just wasn't cutting it. On the TJ setup both pedals mount off the brake pedal bracket. The clutch pedal didn't quite line up with the master and required an extension. I didn't notice until I got the old setup out but it was actually causing stress cracks in the brake pedal bracket! Yikes! LOL

    Cyriac - do you have a pic of the lower boot installed on the doghouse? I'm not sure exactly what they look like.
    Also - do you have a picture of the center rubber section of the tranny mount by itself?

    Lycaon - you should be able to use the tunnel cover (or dog house as Cyriac called it) and the factory boot from an early ZJ 5spd but I think the setup might require some modding because of the different lengths between the 4.0 and the Magnums.
    You need the pedal setup anyway, so you should just look for a complete ZJ to get the parts from.

    In effect, to get the boot to line up correctly over the shifter you might have to move the hole, LOL!
    I honestly don't know how easy this would be - I'm picturing cutting out roughly an inch or so around the section with the hole, cutting the tunnel cover back (or is it forward? Whatever, lol) to line it up and adding sheet metal to fill in the empty area. You might even be able to cut sections out of your original tunnel cover to fit it.

    Again, no idea if the contours of the tunnel cover lend itself to that. Original builder just cut the tunnel top for the shifter so I don't have that early ZJ tunnel cover piece to compare it to.
    Actually you do! Found it available on most parts websites... It's just super expensive at 300+ USD... But I don't know if it has the connector for sure...

    Those motor mounts will be awesome, I complained about their vibration-causing stiffness earlier but it has much improved since and no one complains/notices (it's a Jeep after all). The shift lever just will not budge when revving, it's magnificent!

    Good thing that you're looking into your rig! There's room for improvement so that's awesome!

    To be perfectly honest I'm not 100% satisfied with my transmission mount setup because as you may remember I said it was temporary... In the end, it still hasn't budged either so it might stay like that... I thought about putting the IronManAndy trans mount but a friend warned me that poly-u trans bushings would hugely increase the amount of vibrations inside the cabin and that stopped me dead in my tracks. No way I'm giving up the small amount of smooth ride I have left for even less driveline wobbliness... Though I must admit that I think that on bumpy roads the transmission bounces a bit... I'll have to look into it.

    The diesel bushing is the best solution in terms of comfort since it's a one piece rubber bushing. I'll try and take a picture eventually but these days I'm driving a lot with the ZJ (daily driver). I'll try and find a store page instead.
    Perhaps I should look into swapping a TJ/YJ transmission support bushing? They look sturdier than the diesel's? Also they made poly-U versions of those just in case...
    Wait, maybe not... The 6cyl also moves the driveline around... Damn...

    I remember the stock auto mount quite well and it's a good design! If you can adapt it! It must be low profile because otherwise the shifter will hit the tunnel... I had to lower the whole xmember with the diesel mount by 3mm (0.11 inches) to clear the shifter...

    Remember the engine relocation thread??? Man if it had been possible we wouldn't need to deal with this crap! lol (or a deeper bellhousing)

    ZJ pedals are almost mandatory... TJ and XJ pedals would just be a hackjob that would of course not stand the test of time...!

    The tunnel cover boot is more or less like any manual Jeep cover, a layer of rubber with a metal trim around the side with a ribbed center section and a hole in the middle for the shifter. I'll also try to post a picture soon.

    The tunnel cover does not need to be relocated but the boot does need a little modding depending on the shifter (AX15 or NV). I wouldn't move the tunnel cover forward because that would make your center console go forward as well including all the transfer case stuff etc etc...

    As we have always said... a donor ZJ is just better than hacking everything! :-P
    Youtube Channel

    1997 ZJ 5.2i "V8" 5-speed manual (Write-up)
    1989 XJ 4.0i "Ghost"

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    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    I saw the pics of your Jeeps in the Member's Gallery - they look great!


    We have clutch master/slave assemblies for around $75 to $120 at rockauto, but none of them have that switch included. It must be a Euro-only part.

    Kolak might be able to get one but last I knew he needed a VIN to order parts for non-US ZJs.
    It was like that when I was trying to get the small harness section that goes from the Junction Box to the power antenna connector for a 98. (US ZJs lost their p/antennas around 94 or 95, so we don't have any with p/antennas plugging into OBD2 ZJ electrical systems)


    I wasn't meaning to relocate the whole tunnel top. Just cutting an inch or so around the keyhole shape of the shifter hole, then moving that back (or is it forward? LOL) and using a bit of sheet metal to fill the gap.
    Welding it back into one piece would be nice but riveting or sheet metal screws would suffice. I'd have to have the piece in front of me to see if that's actually do-able though - contours might not line up, etc.


    Same with the tranny x member. It's more about being able to use the factory holes with the welded nuts. I don't like the idea of tapping the frame rail too much - even with the bit of reinforcement there.

    With the ironmanandy motor mounts, maybe you don't need the added stiffness of using his tranny mount. Per talking to him when I ordered mine, he doesn't make an early style mount btw.
    I was thinking of it more as a way to use the factory frame rail holes, but now that I'm looking at it it seems like I could possibly redrill the factory AX15 mounting plate.


    I just finished installing my Andy motor mounts yesterday but I'm doing a few other things and I haven't been able to drive it yet

    Mine needed a bit of trimming on the driver's side mount. It didn't fit inside the machined area of the ears on the block where it's relieved for the factory mount. I thought it was just because of the awkward angles - luckily I have a spare 5.9 drivetrain sitting there so I threw the Andy mounts on that and it lined up just fine. Took them back to my 5spd figuring it was just an illusion, but nope - they didn't fit. Turns out the machined relief isn't the same on all the blocks. I'll have to mention that to Andy.

    If it needed to be stiffer but you didn't want to go to the effort of doing the fabbing to use the late xmember and tranny setup, you could always go with the filler method on the early trans mount. I think it's window setting urethane or something like that - add it into the donut style mounts to stiffen them up.


    Here's some pics of my AX15 mount/early xmember setup. (it's an NV3550 but evidently it bolts up with the same holes as the AX15)

    You can see it's very flat and very close to the top of the xmember.







    Early ZJ AX15 factory mount as sold by rockauto. I notice that it is in two pieces, but for some reason they sell it as a complete unit.




    Here's the late style auto tranny mount for comparison. Notice it's way higher than the 5spd mount. It would take a lot of cutting drilling welding to be able to use this type. - if it's even possible! LOL




    Last edited by Z88Z; 07-14-2015 at 01:01 PM.

  22. #22
    Member Cyriac's Avatar
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    Thanks! :-)

    I see but Lycaon told me that he'd buy his assembly from http://www.jeep4x4center.com/clutch-...-53054360.html but this one does not feature a connector (not on the photo at least).
    Strange... Yet the page says it's a Euro spec part.

    Yeah I remember discussing p/antennas with you, one of the most american options taken away from an american vehicle! :-O

    I see... Maybe it's possible but for an AX15 you need a whole inch... If you look at my tunnel top photos above you'll see that it's going to interfere with lots of stuff... WE NEED TO MOVE THE ENGINE BACK (LOL).
    Maybe I should try and source another diesel tunnel cover and try and modify it to relocate the keyhole boot and enable it to make a proper seal... But there isn't enough leeway to push the hole forward (that's the one) enough I think without bumping into the edge of the tunnel hole.

    To be honest just by extending the S-shape of the lever has been fine for me. It's just that the boot doesn't line up and doesn't make a seal... Engine and tranny heat is sucked up into the cabin when windows are rolled down (but not when rolled up)... Very unpleasant in the summer! If only there were a way to adapt a different tunnel cover boot to make a proper seal.

    Definitely agree with you about using factory welded nuts...

    Oh yeah those motor mounts don't like early block castings, I think he designed them on later models. I had the problem on my 4.0 renix XJ where I had to snip part of the outer poly-u bushing with a knife to make it fit... the metal parts don't touch you just need to compensate the relief of the block's ears in the bushing.


    I definitely don't need more stiffness, it's really great as it is! And they've softened up very well: you get used to the slight vibration. What I need is transmission support because I really think the stock diesel bushing has lived its life... I love the early ZJ AX15 mount you showed me from rockauto, I'd just need to extend the bracket, but how do I attach it to the crossmember? It's a longitudinal bolt! ... Early x member??? Isn't there a small bracket that I could use to mount on my crossmember?

    The photos you show me, is it the same mounts used on autos? The crossmember with the longitudinal bolt? I have a friend who has a 93 ZJ 5.2 auto (can't go earlier than that!) so he may have that style mount?

    I'm seduced by that style of mount because it allows some side to side motion but not up and down and with that setup my transmission wouldn't bounce up and down on bumpy/uneven roads!

    This is what I need! (with the associated x member mount)




    Yep very familiar with late auto setups: I had one! Very high indeed! Almost impractical for use with a manual... I still have the auto's support bracket lying in a junk pile.
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    1997 ZJ 5.2i "V8" 5-speed manual (Write-up)
    1989 XJ 4.0i "Ghost"

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    Forum CONDUCTOR Man Z88Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lycaon1349 View Post

    Interesting! I wish they showed a pic of it attached to the crossmember.


    They mention having to drill to mount it, but it almost looks like the holes could line up with the two holes for the trans bracket plate that the early tranny mount uses.

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    this shows how it fits, the one this guy has looks different than the one on the site, not sure which is the prototype and which is the production model

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvyRSsFfJig

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