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Thread: 1983 CJ-7 258 to SBC engine swap

  1. #1
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    Default 1983 CJ-7 258 to SBC engine swap

    First post is a bit of reading with a little history of why I am doing this.

    Well guys, I started out with the "NORMAL" CJ-7. 258 straight six, T-5, dana 300. Pretty much everything was stock. Hard top/doors, sitting on a set of 31 worn the hell out tires. When it rolled up to the house third was gone in the trans and th PO had removed the trans to do the rebuild. The t-case was laying in the front floor board, parts were scattered all through out the jeep and grease was on everything. So I did what everyone else would have done, cleaned the garage and started pulling all of the parts out of the jeep and cleaning them. Once I finally found a suitable donor trans, I went and pulled it. Once home, I commenced to tearing the old trans and the new trans apart. Long story short, after a lot of cussing and bleeding I got the CJ back together and hit the road. After about a month of the new trans I realized that I really didn't want the 258 in there so I started searching again. I was over at a friends house and low and behold a 304 laying in the garage that he pulled from his CJ to put a TPI 350 in. After a little bit of horse trading (set of seats out of a sahara), I got the engine. Went home took the CJ apart and installed the 304. Drove that around for a little bit, and another guy at work had bought a CJ-8 and had to have the 304, offered me $1000 for it and that weekend the 304 was gone out of my jeep, (Couldn't turn down $1000 for the free sahara seats that I had traded for the motor in the first place). Well that brings me to now. I am in the process of installing a 358 sbc that I built in the garage. A Sm420 from a previous project that I had and the Dana 300. The axles are still the stock AMC 20 and Dana 30 that came in the jeep. Have a 60 and a 14 bolt for it but they will have to wait until I get back to SC here in the next month or so.

    What I have done so far is take the front end off and the interior out. Got the trans-dapt motor mount, hedman headers, purple hornie exhaust(yeah its gonna be loud), Novak sm420 to dana 300 adapter, completely rebuilt a 350 punched it .040 over, installed a 280h Comp cam, weiand intake and 600cfm carb. Bought the aluminum radiator from Summit Racing (25 3/4" x 19" x 3" unviersal two row 1" tube). Got a serpentine setup and march pulleys from a 94 blazer off of another buddy for free along with the heads. Should have got the fuel injection setup while I was at it but I'll save that for another day. Complete hei setup w/ MSD components inside, blaster 2 coil, and 6AL ignition box. Got the motor, trans, and t-case all bolted together last night and set the engine in for placement. Got the mounts welded in and the motor set. Because the combination is shorter than the stock AMC setup now I have to build the trans crossmember. Can't use the stock skid plate. Will be working on that tonight. Have a question for anyone that has done this before and used hedman headers, did your passenger side exhaust collector turn back in towards the frame? Called Hedman this morning and they can't tell me why, all I got was that is the way the jig is set and the way we make them. I will keep you guys updated on the build and load the pictures that I have tonight. All comments are welcome and any help will be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member HillBillE's Avatar
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    Are you going to clock the T-case? Some adapters for the D300 are designed so you can clock them.

    Frees up a lot of space in the belly


    As long as the people remain armed,
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  3. #3
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    Right now I have the case in the next to last hole from being clocked flat. As that was the last hole that I could put in in before having to cut the unused ear off of the t-case shifter tower. It will be cut off here in the next day or so and then the currie twin stick will be bent to clear the trans. I also have to do a little clearing of the floor pan for the t-case to be clocked flat. I raised the engine about as far as it would go to keep the oil pan from setting below the frame rail. its getting a flat skid there too. Talked to a buddy of mine about 30 min ago and he has a torchmate cnc plasma table and he is going to cut me a flat belly skid and engine skid for it and then when I give him the dimensions for the 8274 and the bumper that I want he is going to cut the metal for that too. He has really good prices for the steel and the work. When I get something from him I will post a pic of it on here for you guys to see and if ya'll want something from him I will give you his number via PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member HillBillE's Avatar
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    Sweet! I have a 1" BL and the stock 258/T4, so I didn't need to cut the floorpan any. There's about 1/4" between the T-case and the floor

    I did cut the extra ear off the T-case shifter.

    I have to run the 1 1/4" front drive shaft to clear the starter, but that's fine with me. It was only an extra $50 compared to the heavy wall 2" shaft.

    As soon as I redo my exhuast, I'll be able to move my skid plates up to the frame rails, right now they hang down 1 1/2". Still better than the stock 'stump grabber' T-case mount/skid

    Waiting on pics! Sounds like a cool project!


    As long as the people remain armed,
    government knows that it cannot rule over the people by force.
    Those who stand in defiance of unconstitutional laws
    do so out of duty, honor, oath and love of country.


    "Certified Jeep Junky!"


  5. #5
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    Yeah, I am looking into a 1"BL right now. With it I may be able to get away with not having to cut the floor. Looks like I am going to have to make a visit to the driveline shop here pretty soon. The SM420/Dana 300 is about 1 1/2" shorter than the T-5/Dana 300. But oh well, I have a cv that I was wanting to run in the rear with a little longer spline for the drop out. Everything seems to be coming together nicely, but nickle and dime'n me to death on the conversion. Wanted to put all new stuff in but the Pick-n-pull is starting to look nicer and nicer every trip I make to the part store.

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    Well guys sorry that it has taken so long to add more to this build thread but I have been trying to get it where I can load it on a trailer. I have been trying to tie up all of the loose ends with me getting out of the Navy and moving back to South Carolina. It has been really tough to get on here and add some pics and stuff of the build. I will update everything as soon as I get to South Carolina.

  7. #7
    Administrator korisu56's Avatar
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    thanks for checking in bro. good luck on your travel.

  8. #8
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    Oh and there is one thing that I wanted to add before I get off here, there is nothing painless about a painless performance wiring harness...............

  9. #9
    Administrator korisu56's Avatar
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    hahah. with a great trail off on the end. i'm guessing we'll find out

  10. #10
    Member bluedragon436's Avatar
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    Sounds like an awesome build.... Looking forward to seeing some pics... good luck and safe travels... Can't wait until I can move back to SC also!!!

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