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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,
Finally after a few years of waiting and getting side tracked with numerous other projects, I've started on the Hemi swap.
Last year (or maybe it was was 2 years ago) I worked on the axles and suspension. The axles are completely rebuilt with 5.13 gears and a locker bypass. I have a 2.5" Teraflex lift with Fox shocks and 35" tires.

The engine and transmission donor is a 2006 Commander. Which has a 160k miles. Yes, I know that's a lot of miles, unfortunately I'm on a very limited budget and that's what I could afford right now. Also I'm pretty impulsive with buying vehicles and if I waited to get something with lower miles, I'd likely just spend that money on something else.

The engine is getting a new oil pump, water pump, timing components exhaust manifolds/gaskets, rear main seal, plus a few other gaskets and seals and the usual tune up stuff. Transmission is getting new filters, sensors, and a new oil pan with a drain.

Commander was hit in the front and I did run the engine. I runs well with no unusual noises.
I have the JSS bolt in mounts, plus a few other items from them.
This will be a budget build and I'll do all the work.

I also think those fender flares look stupid, but that's for another time.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Spent a solid 10 hours today wrenching on the engine. Got a lot done, but a bit more to go. Still waiting on some parts so it'll be a couple of weeks till I'm ready for the actual swap. Plus there's some frame work I need to do on the Wrangler. It was wrecked, but does have a clean title.
Questions for now are:
How will the throttle work. The commander has an electric one.
Is anyone running the stock radiator with their swap. How's that working out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Maybe this is common knowledge, but it's new to me. An easy place to get your oil pressure for a separate gauge is a threaded galley just above the oil temp sender by the filter. This is connected to the inlet side of the filter, same as the stock oil presser sensor. It's the plug in the picture.
Easy. It's nice when something is easy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Found out that big ol' sender for the OP gauge will not fit because of the oil temp sensor. I considered adding a 90 or a 45 to move it out of the way, but decided to just swap locations. So I moved the OP sensor up and put the OP gauge sender in it's place. Now lots of room.
Will that work? I think so. Do I know for sure? Nope. Guess we'll find out.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I'm almost done with the engine and transmission. Did everything I mentioned above plus put in two new OEM coils in the cylinder 7 and 8, just because those are the hardest to get to after install and might as well do it now. Also put in a new knock sensor on the left side because the new engine mount is going to cover it. And the thought of having to remove the engine mount, just to replace a sensor is not pleasant.

So far, it's been easy. The "hardest" part has been to try and fit the steering relocation bracket from JSS. I spent a few hours trying to figure out why it didn't fit right and then realized the through hole has to be wallowed out so the pillow bearing will fit. I put the new bracket in place and drew out what need to be removed. I used a round file in a drill to file it out from the outside.

My impulsiveness got the best of me again and I just bought a truck, so now I'm out of money for the project and in debt. So the original plan to use a new radiator, fan and a custom exhaust have changed. Now I'm going to use the stock JK rad, fan and I'm going to make my own exhaust. This will save me about $2500.
If the stock rad and fan are not capable of doing the job, I'll change them out later, but for now I can at least make forward progress.
The pics are of how much metal needs to be removed to fit the relocation bracket, the drill mounted file, which worked great to do the job and the new placement of steering shaft. One of how much needs to be moved out of the way to be able to get to the steering shaft and pillow bearing under the dash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Remember that game of picking out the differences in two pictures. Here's a couple of pics, see if you can pick out the 12 differences.
Here's a hint...............It's the wrong transfer case adopter. I got the all wheel drive Commander because I needed the front diff for my Cherokee, didn't know the transmission to transfer case adopter would be different.
Got the right one (I hope) on the way. Mopar part number is 52119433AB. As I understand it, all you need is this adopter to make any 545RFE, including 2 wheel drive one's out of cars and trucks, fit the JK transfer case, this includes the 241 and 241OR. Verify this for yourself!!! 'Cause I may be wrong.

On a side note, I got the harness and computer from "hotwireauto" and the engine and trany mounts from Jeep speed shop.
Chris, the owner of hotwireauto will answers every call personally and immediately. I would recommend him without hesitation. FWIW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
There's not much left to do without the parts I need. One is the trany adopter and the other is O rings for the heater pipes. $8 each for OEM O rings!. But not taking chances with leaks.

I will build my own exhaust. I'll use the stock Commander Y pipe and tie it into a new cat back system I got. Here's a video from Todd at JSS, I will go this route. Not that I have a plastic trany pan, that must be for the new 8 speed, maybe.
I've cut out the fuel tank plate already and that'll get welded back in later, in approximately the position shown. It was nerve racking to cut it, but it all went well. There was one spot where I came way too close to the tank, but just missed.
Anyone know if I'll need to mess with the drive shafts? And do I have to have the battery relocation box sold by JSS?

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Did a coolant leak test today, after installing the new heater tube O rings and a new pump. All's good, no leaks.
Learned this lesson the hard way when doing a 5.9L Magnum swap in my TJ.
I got everything put together, new timing cover, water pump, etc, but when I filled it with coolant, it started to pour out, not just a little trickle. What happened is the timing cover water passage to engine block was badly pitted and since the FSM did not specify any sealant, I didn't use any. Water leaked out from the outside and also in to the oil pan, ruined a fresh oil change,.

So now I do a check before installing.
The lower pipe is higher than the upper which keeps the water from pouring out the bottom of the pump, I put water in from the thermostat housing, I also removed the inside of the T-stat so water can go in and I can use it's gasket to seal the housing. It's been holding steady for several hours now, so likely good, but I'll give it overnight to be sure. Also removed the oil pan plug, so if it leaks inside, the water can come out the pan drain and I'll see it.

Spoke with Todd from JSS, he confirmed that my stock drive shafts will fit, so that's awesome. That's a ton of money not spent on custom driveshafts.
I did run into a problem with the PS pump. I'm using the stock JK pump, but looks like the JK pulley is too big. I ordered a Commander pulley which is much smaller, so that should work. Hopefully the PS pump shafts are the same diameter, I think they are. The JK pump will also need to be moved out about 1" so the pully will align with everything else.

And since I'm putting in a 160k mile turd, figure I should at least put some sprinkles on it. And I like to see a nice, clean engine under the hood.
 

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