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September 20, 2019, 01:35:53 PM

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Author Topic: 95 YJ 5.3L LS build  (Read 319 times)
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95lsyj
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Posts: 7
« on: August 31, 2019, 09:58:43 PM »

So I picked up a pretty worn out 95 Wrangler with a blown up 2.5L with a plan to do a 5.3L LS swap. The wife has been wanting a Jeep for a while and I finally talked her into picking this one up. After tearing the thing apart I quickly learned that this was gonna have to be a complete rebuild/restore and not just a motor and trans swap.

So overall the build consisted of these major pieces:

-2004 Yukon Denali 5.3L motor
--Used Pontiac G8 manifolds that I had in the shop from a previous car build (truck manifolds wouldn't clear for my exhaust setup)
-2001 4L65E trans w/B&M trans cooler
-V8 conversion aluminum radiator w/dual electric fans
-Novak transfer case adapter kit and motor mounts
-Stock YJ NP231 Transfer case (rebuilt)
-Ford 8.8 Rear w/disk brakes, 4.10 gears, and factory LSD
-DIY standalone engine wiring harness
-Autometer Phantom gauges
-B&M shifter
-Stock TJ seats with Bestop seat covers
-Grant steering wheel
-New 2" body lift to replace the falling apart home built body lift from previous owner
-New front and rear bumpers
-New front and rear fenders
-Rhino lined interior
-OME 2.5" lift leaf springs
-Quadratec 7.0 shocks
-Greasable shackles
-BFG KO2 33X12.5X15 tires
-Rock sliders/side steps
-New folding rear seat
-Rampage soft top
-M.O.R.E traction bar
-SYE kit w/new drive shaft
-Smittybilt 9500 XRC waterproof winch
-Locking center console and glove box
-New full 22 circuit harness

Still to do:
-Front D30 locker
-Rebuild D30
-Rear corner guards
-Budget repaint job
-New front seats
-Lift it another 2"
-8.8 rear axle brace/girdle
-New wheels and upgrade to 35's
-Cam swap and a few motor upgrades
-Rebuilt and upgraded 4L65E

Anyway on to some pics of the build progress...

What it looked like with a blown up 2.5L and busted AX5 trans




Gutted the interior to rhino line everything




Prepped the frame and everything for the motor swap




Test fit the motor and trans w/all accessories, radiator/fans, and core support




Motor's officially in and now to get all the other stuff together





Pulled the stock LS engine harness apart to re-pin it as a stand-alone harness for the YJ




Now to integrate the LS harness into the Jeep and rewire/declutter the stock YJ harness





Got the interior put back together




Pic of the final engine swap product



Rear pic and got the full top on to see how it fits



Some random shots of what the ole girl looks like after the work









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- 95 Wrangler YJ
5.3L LS swap, 4L65E, Ford 8.8 disc break rear w/LSD (4.10 gears), SYE, 4.5" lift, and a bunch of other stuff
Gr8Dain
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I HATE RUST!!!!!
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2019, 04:04:44 AM »

Very nice. How long did all of that take?  Any issues at this point?

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Dain

1984 CJ-8 Scrambler
3.5" lift
DD and trail toy

1949 CJ 3a - Stock - Garage queen

2015 JKU - Completely stock - Family mobile
95lsyj
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2019, 08:32:18 AM »

Thanks!!  Took me about 4 months total of working on it over the weekends.  Had a bad vibration in the drive train the first time I drove it and ended up putting the SYE kit on it the next weekend.  Smooth as silk ever since and no issues at all nowadays.  Been driving it off and on for 6 months now to include 80 mph down the highway without any issues. 

Really happy with how it turned out over all.

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- 95 Wrangler YJ
5.3L LS swap, 4L65E, Ford 8.8 disc break rear w/LSD (4.10 gears), SYE, 4.5" lift, and a bunch of other stuff
Gr8Dain
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BOD
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Posts: 11994
I HATE RUST!!!!!
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2019, 10:45:22 AM »

Great. A buddy of mine just put one in his commando. He had a 350 in it. Drove it on one trail weekend, started pulling it out and doing an LS. He is happier than a pig in sh!t right now. He is trying to convince me to do the same with my Scrambler.

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Dain

1984 CJ-8 Scrambler
3.5" lift
DD and trail toy

1949 CJ 3a - Stock - Garage queen

2015 JKU - Completely stock - Family mobile
VTJEEP17
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Member 2019 VA4WD
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Posts: 104
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2019, 08:34:10 AM »

Great. A buddy of mine just put one in his commando. He had a 350 in it. Drove it on one trail weekend, started pulling it out and doing an LS. He is happier than a pig in sh!t right now. He is trying to convince me to do the same with my Scrambler.

If you do Dain I have done a swap in a truck so I can assist if wanted.

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Roger
Stock 17 JKU Chief Blue OM Edition
Huh...I didn't know it could do that.
Gr8Dain
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BOD
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Posts: 11994
I HATE RUST!!!!!
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2019, 11:29:06 AM »

Great. A buddy of mine just put one in his commando. He had a 350 in it. Drove it on one trail weekend, started pulling it out and doing an LS. He is happier than a pig in sh!t right now. He is trying to convince me to do the same with my Scrambler.

If you do Dain I have done a swap in a truck so I can assist if wanted.

Thanks. I will let you know.

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Dain

1984 CJ-8 Scrambler
3.5" lift
DD and trail toy

1949 CJ 3a - Stock - Garage queen

2015 JKU - Completely stock - Family mobile
95lsyj
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Posts: 7
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2019, 08:24:48 AM »

I highly recommend this swap.  It's still a great daily driver and reliable, but 2X the power of the old 4 cyl. 

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- 95 Wrangler YJ
5.3L LS swap, 4L65E, Ford 8.8 disc break rear w/LSD (4.10 gears), SYE, 4.5" lift, and a bunch of other stuff
BuckeyeNative
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Posts: 18
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2019, 07:03:44 PM »

I recently brought a 95 YJ home and have been considering this swap.  Yours turned our really well!

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2006 Jeep LJ with a few modifications
95lsyj
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Posts: 7
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2019, 07:10:34 PM »

I recently brought a 95 YJ home and have been considering this swap.  Yours turned our really well!

Thanks!!  Overall it's not bad at all.  Pretty straightforward for the most part.  Repinning the stock LS harness was probably the most painful part.  Not hard work, just time consuming going unpinning the extra wires and removing the unneeded connectors.  Advanced adapters and Novak conversions have pretty all the swap parts and each provide some great info to help.  If you decide to do that swap and you have any questions please let me know.  I'll try to help however I can.

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- 95 Wrangler YJ
5.3L LS swap, 4L65E, Ford 8.8 disc break rear w/LSD (4.10 gears), SYE, 4.5" lift, and a bunch of other stuff
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