2000 Jeep TJ 318 5.2 Magnum Swap Build


OP
Whitetrash

Whitetrash

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
189
Location
Fairborn, OH
In the process of doing an identical swap (5.9 instead of the 5.2) and from what I had read, it was easier to use the 5.9 harness and roll with that. What made you choose to keep the TJ harness besides just having it run along the firewall better? Don't know about you, but just about every sensor plug is different on the 5.9 vs my 2.5. So all that splicing and such would have been a lot more for me to tackle. I'm not too far into the wiring stuff to reverse and go the route you described if you can talk me into it. Also, what did you do for the dust shield on the transmission? I'm struggling to find the right part.
I chose to use the TJ harness and "blend in" the 5.2 harness for a few reasons. One, I don't think it would be easier to do it the other way, due to the fact that the firewall plugs are different, the 5.2 harness didn't have any fuel pump plug, there was just too much missing. MAYBE if I would have gone the route of an automatic, it MAY have been easier, but knowing my TJ was already a manual, and I was going to keep it a manual, blending in what I needed from the ZJ harness into the TJ harness was the easiest route. Not to mention my ZJ harness had some funky alternator connections being that it was a 98 and my TJ is a 2000. Lots of odd things like that, made me do it the way I did. There are tons of connectors that were different, but I just cut and spliced those. If you go this route, one piece of advice - depin the 4 injector wires from the TJ harness and discard them. Then, depin all 8 injector wires from the magnum harness and then just plug them into the TJ harness. This way your injectors will already have the correct lengths, and there wont be any measuring or extending of anything. Its extremely easy, I personally think people think too much into it, so much that some of the build threads people have almost made it sound scary, when it's not. Just take your time. I spent 12 hours on mine over the course of a week, and 20% or more of that time was spent delooming both harnesses. Im more than willing to help you out as much as I can.

To answer your second question, the dust shield for the transmission I used was 52107753AC, "Genuine Mopar Shield-Clutch Housing Dust." Here is an ebay think:
It fit perfectly, and it was cheap. I had to redrill 2 of the holes, which is literally nothing hard. After that, it fit perfectly.

Your third question - the drain plugs. They are just cheap amazon ones that worked great. Fit in the holes perfectly. Here is a link to that:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TCD5WMH/?tag=wranglerorg-20
Hope that helps! :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: TreverStevens

TreverStevens

Knows enough to be dangerous
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2018
Messages
461
Location
Wichita
Thanks for filling me in on your reasoning. I have the 5.9 harness at about 90% complete. I think I'm going to run that for now unless I come across a major issue and then I can resort to going back to my TJ harness and blending things if needed. Another reason for my rationalization of basing things off the Magnum harness is the donor vehicle was an '02 Durango and my TJ is a '97. Every plug is completely different and most are wired in different order between the 2 engines. Say for example on the 5.9 if cavity 1 is a green wire (sensor 1), cavity 2 is white (sensor 3), cavity 3 is purple (sensor 2), and cavity 4 is red and black (ground wire) on the TJ cavity 1 was like white but a ground, #2 would be purple (sensor 3), #3 purple and yellow (sensor 2), #4 green (sensor 1). So nothing really matched up and I felt like it opened my margin of error.

So did you use the TJ ECU? I have heard there's sometimes fuel issues by doing that, and it gets even worse when going to the 5.9 over the 5.2. Have you noticed anything like this? I got my ECU flashed so it now thinks it came from a manual instead of an auto, plus he "tuned" out a couple other little things for me and he claims his tuning will milk 2-3 better MPG and up to about 10% more HP.

Thanks for the help you've already given, I appreciate it a lot. It's been a long and slow process for me because I've never done anything even remotely like this before and working 2 jobs doesn't give much free time either.

If my exchanged part through Summit doesn't work out (they are claiming the replacement one will definitely work) then I'll give the one you linked a shot.

And thanks for the link on the plugs. Those are the same ones I had in my cart already.

Are you still running the factory axles? Any worries or plans to change those or will you just see how they hold up?
 
OP
Whitetrash

Whitetrash

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
189
Location
Fairborn, OH
Thanks for filling me in on your reasoning. I have the 5.9 harness at about 90% complete. I think I'm going to run that for now unless I come across a major issue and then I can resort to going back to my TJ harness and blending things if needed. Another reason for my rationalization of basing things off the Magnum harness is the donor vehicle was an '02 Durango and my TJ is a '97. Every plug is completely different and most are wired in different order between the 2 engines. Say for example on the 5.9 if cavity 1 is a green wire (sensor 1), cavity 2 is white (sensor 3), cavity 3 is purple (sensor 2), and cavity 4 is red and black (ground wire) on the TJ cavity 1 was like white but a ground, #2 would be purple (sensor 3), #3 purple and yellow (sensor 2), #4 green (sensor 1). So nothing really matched up and I felt like it opened my margin of error.

So did you use the TJ ECU? I have heard there's sometimes fuel issues by doing that, and it gets even worse when going to the 5.9 over the 5.2. Have you noticed anything like this? I got my ECU flashed so it now thinks it came from a manual instead of an auto, plus he "tuned" out a couple other little things for me and he claims his tuning will milk 2-3 better MPG and up to about 10% more HP.

Thanks for the help you've already given, I appreciate it a lot. It's been a long and slow process for me because I've never done anything even remotely like this before and working 2 jobs doesn't give much free time either.

If my exchanged part through Summit doesn't work out (they are claiming the replacement one will definitely work) then I'll give the one you linked a shot.

And thanks for the link on the plugs. Those are the same ones I had in my cart already.

Are you still running the factory axles? Any worries or plans to change those or will you just see how they hold up?
I did not use the TJ ECU, I personally think that would be impossible knowing that it was a 4 cylinder. I used an ECU out of a 2001 Ram, that will need replacing soon anyways due to an ECU failure code I'm getting (another story, that has nothing to do with the swap). I don't see how it would ever be possible for you to run a TJ ECU. Right now on ebay, there are 2 pretty rare 5.9 manual trans ECU's for sale. They don't come up too often since most of them are always automatic, you may want to pick one up now if you can. I wouldn't mess with flashing or tuning anything, just get the proper ECU and enjoy it when you get everything running. I don't see how 10% more HP would really be beneficial, I feel like even the 5.2 pulling 35" tires has plenty of power for a TJ :)
 

TreverStevens

Knows enough to be dangerous
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2018
Messages
461
Location
Wichita
I did not use the TJ ECU, I personally think that would be impossible knowing that it was a 4 cylinder. I used an ECU out of a 2001 Ram, that will need replacing soon anyways due to an ECU failure code I'm getting (another story, that has nothing to do with the swap). I don't see how it would ever be possible for you to run a TJ ECU. Right now on ebay, there are 2 pretty rare 5.9 manual trans ECU's for sale. They don't come up too often since most of them are always automatic, you may want to pick one up now if you can. I wouldn't mess with flashing or tuning anything, just get the proper ECU and enjoy it when you get everything running. I don't see how 10% more HP would really be beneficial, I feel like even the 5.2 pulling 35" tires has plenty of power for a TJ :)
I think the people I've heard of using the factory ECU ended up splicing injector wires together. I forgot you said you used the Ram ECU in your write up. I did a quick search for the 5.9 manual ECU's on eBay but no luck, if you still have those links I might pick one up just in case. I had been told that the 5.9 manual wasn't a combo you could get from the factory. And with how much trouble I had been having finding parts it made sense. But then I learned the 2500 and 3500's could come with the 5.9 Magnum and a manual (NV4500). I still got my ECU flashed because with how far apart in years my TJ and the engine were they wouldn't really "talk" as well. It wasn't much to flash it and the turn around was super fast. I wasn't seeking HP gains or MPG from it, but it's a perk of it all.
 

Nickgsjeep

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Messages
1,432
Location
Southern California
Just a random update. Over the weekend, I got a new set of tires installed. (Just about the only thing I pay a shop to do, because I don't own a tire machine). I purchased a set of Falken Wildpeak AT3W's. They ride SOOO much better than the old, dry rotted M/T tires that were on there. Matter of fact, when the tire tech was dismounting the tires, the old tires were literally just coming apart. One had a date code of 2004! Yikes!
All is good though, riding nice and smooth now. I did have a crankshaft position sensor go bad on me, and after some help from a few members troubleshooting, replaced it and all is well. Also installed the Novak transfer case shift linkage and Oliver's Driveline and Gear front driveshaft. Once Christmas is over, I'll start on some new modifications. As of now, I am going to enjoy all my hard work and just drive it! :)

A picture of the new tires, in my parking spot at work. Cant wait to hit some trails when I get some free time!

View attachment 128309
So sick.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Whitetrash
OP
Whitetrash

Whitetrash

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
189
Location
Fairborn, OH
Another random update. Blower fan switch went out, easy fix. Most of the time was troubleshooting/testing the relay, resistor and blower motor. Then saw that the fan switch had a nice, big bulge on the back of it.
Only REAL update here is that everything is great, drives straight, tracks straight, but I DESPERATELY need some adjustable rear upper control arms. Around 60-65 I start getting a nice vibration from the rear pinion angle not being set correctly. So that will be next on the list!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Blondie70
OP
Whitetrash

Whitetrash

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
189
Location
Fairborn, OH
Random update, ran a few tanks of fuel through it so far, and with 4.10 gears and 35" tires, im getting around 12mpg. That is half highway and half city type driving as well on both tanks. Honestly, that's not HORRIBLE, considering the tires. :)
side.jpg

Few new random upgrades....got some new headlights, after searching the forums and seeing the positive reviews, I got the Truck-lite knock offs. They are 1000x brighter than the stock junk.
headlights.jpg

Finally painted the back bumper as well, had to grind off the stupid bumper stickers the previous owner put on there, then hit it with some bedliner.
bumper.JPG

Reworked the shifter and made it insanely strong with some 5/8" bar stock, and topped it off with a tap handle shifter of my favorite beer. ;) Need to figure out a shift boot since the factory accordian style doesn't work too well anymore...
shifter.jpg

Just been enjoying it. Really need to get those flat fenders..
 
  • Like
Reactions: Blondie70

TreverStevens

Knows enough to be dangerous
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2018
Messages
461
Location
Wichita
I can't remember if you addressed it in your write up, but how did you go about connecting the fuel line? I obviously disconnected the fuel rail from the 2.5, but the fuel line doesn't really reach to the new fuel rail on the 5.9. And how did you do the throttle cable? One of the steel lines on the 5.9 was cut when pulled and the other runs to a diaphram kinda thing. I disconnected those at the unit on the side of the throttle body housing, but the wire from the TJ fire wall doesn't have the same kind of fitting on the end of the cable so it won't "latch on" to the stud on the unit. I can put pictures on later if none of that makes sense.
 

Notime2d8

Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
26
Location
Alabama
I can't remember if you addressed it in your write up, but how did you go about connecting the fuel line? I obviously disconnected the fuel rail from the 2.5, but the fuel line doesn't really reach to the new fuel rail on the 5.9. And how did you do the throttle cable? One of the steel lines on the 5.9 was cut when pulled and the other runs to a diaphram kinda thing. I disconnected those at the unit on the side of the throttle body housing, but the wire from the TJ fire wall doesn't have the same kind of fitting on the end of the cable so it won't "latch on" to the stud on the unit. I can put pictures on later if none of that makes sense.


Hope it's ok to reply to this. But the later model Magnum fuel rails are returnless and have a single fuel line hookup. My 2000 Tj line fit with bending but I later swapped to a Dodge ram with a Magnum engine fuel line. It fit and was bent perfectly. For the gas pedal I used one from a Dodge Durango with a Magnum engine. It fit my Tj firewall, gas pedal, and the engine bracket.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TreverStevens
OP
Whitetrash

Whitetrash

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
189
Location
Fairborn, OH
I can't remember if you addressed it in your write up, but how did you go about connecting the fuel line? I obviously disconnected the fuel rail from the 2.5, but the fuel line doesn't really reach to the new fuel rail on the 5.9. And how did you do the throttle cable? One of the steel lines on the 5.9 was cut when pulled and the other runs to a diaphram kinda thing. I disconnected those at the unit on the side of the throttle body housing, but the wire from the TJ fire wall doesn't have the same kind of fitting on the end of the cable so it won't "latch on" to the stud on the unit. I can put pictures on later if none of that makes sense.
For the throttle cable, you can use Mopar part number 53031602AB. This is for a ram, Durango, etc. The ZJ grand Cherokee throttle cable is different, I ran into that issue so I used the part number I just listed above, $40 brand new, shipped.
As far as the fuel line goes, I used a fuel line from a 2001 ram 1500, but you can use one from a 94-04 Dakota, 98-03 Durango, or 94-01 ram 1500 or 94-02 GAS 2500/3500. Hope this helps!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: TreverStevens

TreverStevens

Knows enough to be dangerous
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2018
Messages
461
Location
Wichita
For the throttle cable, you can use Mopar part number 53031602AB. This is for a ram, Durango, etc. The ZJ grand Cherokee throttle cable is different, I ran into that issue so I used the part number I just listed above, $40 brand new, shipped.
As far as the fuel line goes, I used a fuel line from a 2001 ram 1500, but you can use one from a 94-04 Dakota, 98-03 Durango, or 94-01 ram 1500 or 94-02 GAS 2500/3500. Hope this helps!!
So did you just disconnect the fuel line from the joint at the frame and then use the same stretch of line from the Ram?
 

YourWorstEnemy

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
299
Location
Flint, Texas
Random update, ran a few tanks of fuel through it so far, and with 4.10 gears and 35" tires, im getting around 12mpg. That is half highway and half city type driving as well on both tanks. Honestly, that's not HORRIBLE, considering the tires. :)
View attachment 132083
Few new random upgrades....got some new headlights, after searching the forums and seeing the positive reviews, I got the Truck-lite knock offs. They are 1000x brighter than the stock junk.
View attachment 132081
Finally painted the back bumper as well, had to grind off the stupid bumper stickers the previous owner put on there, then hit it with some bedliner.
View attachment 132080
Reworked the shifter and made it insanely strong with some 5/8" bar stock, and topped it off with a tap handle shifter of my favorite beer. ;) Need to figure out a shift boot since the factory accordian style doesn't work too well anymore...
View attachment 132082
Just been enjoying it. Really need to get those flat fenders..
So awesome!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Whitetrash

billiebob

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2015
Messages
5,558
Location
Kootenays, BC, Canada
***I'll try to keep this as updated as possible between work and my little girl***
I've never really given much thought into making a build thread, but after looking at some of the other builds, I figured since I take so many pictures while I'm doing things to various Jeep's I've owned, I might as well! This is the 1st TJ I have owned that wasn't my only vehicle. I've owned 3 TJ's and 1 XJ. All were fun, but I was limited on what I could do with having a daughter and needing to get to work or school when I was in college. Keeping in mind that I have so far taken 1,000+ photos, ill try to be as accurate as possible as far as a timeline is concerned.
Enough talk, now to the pics and info...

Several months ago, this sad little 2000 Jeep Wrangler SE (2.5 Manual) was owned by my old boss. He had let it sit for several years in this field due to having a broken piston skirt in cylinder 3. He mentioned one day he was going to take it to the junkyard, so I told him NO, and I would give him $400 for it, so he said deal. To ME, that is a deal of a lifetime!
View attachment 115817
View attachment 115819
Of course the day I brought it home, I stripped all the old nasty carpet and seats out of it, along with the ripped top, and I pulled the doors off. This gave me a better insight into what I was looking at.
View attachment 115818
Sold the top for $50, door surrounds for $100, and the full doors for $300. (I really am not a fan of full doors, had them on my other TJs, I would prefer the half doors if I have to have doors on at the time.
This is the best way to approach the SE. Although your goals are different the best way to improve an SE is to strip it and keep making it lighter...... Adding a V8 works too.

And I like this so much more than the Hemi swaps.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Whitetrash

billiebob

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2015
Messages
5,558
Location
Kootenays, BC, Canada
When I was on vacation I found a set of 35's on craigslist from another TJ for $150. The tires are in rough shape, but I mainly got them for the wheels. In the meantime it will be something to roll on.
View attachment 115850

Got home and threw them on
View attachment 115851

Sold the stock wheels and tires for $100 locally, so that basically paid for the 35s!
There had been some other things I had done, like cut the front fenders in preparation for some MCE 3" flat fenders, which can be seen in this picture:
View attachment 115852
Then I realized they were sold out for the time being so I figured I would just leave it like this for a while.
You win the award for building on a budget.... With that $400 purchase price I think you might sell it for double your investment. You should get the TJ of the year award.

I'm wishing you were my neighbour.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Mike Alfano
OP
Whitetrash

Whitetrash

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
189
Location
Fairborn, OH
You win the award for building on a budget.... With that $400 purchase price I think you might sell it for double your investment. You should get the TJ of the year award.

I'm wishing you were my neighbour.
Haha thanks! I got lucky on the find. Really it was just TONS of research and determination to get it the way I wanted :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Blondie70

Wildman

Over Analyzer Extraordinaire...............
Staff Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2015
Messages
11,037
Location
In the hills of WA
Something I don't see a lot of people talking about when doing the Magnum V-8 swap is setting the fuel sync. The Magnum engines use the distributor not for timing but instead to tell the injectors when to pulse and squirt fuel into the cylinder. Now if you don't know about this and turn the distributor trying to set the timing or if you added performance parts or a new cam you need to set the fuel sync with a scan tool.
Of course the EXPENSIVE way is to take it to a dealership and have them set the fuel sync for you. Now I don't know if they will set it to whatever setting you want or to factory settings. The next option is to buy your own scanner. I know there are many scanners that CAN do this BUT I choose to use a Snap On MT2500 like this one on Ebay.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-...0001&campid=5337789113&icep_item=333489856702

This PDF file explains it more.
 

Attachments

  • Camshaft Timing and Setting Fuel Sync.pdf
    25.3 KB · Views: 100
OP
Whitetrash

Whitetrash

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
189
Location
Fairborn, OH
Something I don't see a lot of people talking about when doing the Magnum V-8 swap is setting the fuel sync. The Magnum engines use the distributor not for timing but instead to tell the injectors when to pulse and squirt fuel into the cylinder. Now if you don't know about this and turn the distributor trying to set the timing or if you added performance parts or a new cam you need to set the fuel sync with a scan tool.
Of course the EXPENSIVE way is to take it to a dealership and have them set the fuel sync for you. Now I don't know if they will set it to whatever setting you want or to factory settings. The next option is to buy your own scanner. I know there are many scanners that CAN do this BUT I choose to use a Snap On MT2500 like this one on Ebay.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-...0001&campid=5337789113&icep_item=333489856702

This PDF file explains it more.
This is a great piece of advice, I never removed my distributor, and it runs extremely well so I really didn’t worry about my fuel sync. I do have a friend close by who has the program to read fuel sync though. This is some great information for anyone looking to do this swap and was watching my thread! Thanks!
 

Wildman

Over Analyzer Extraordinaire...............
Staff Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2015
Messages
11,037
Location
In the hills of WA
This is a great piece of advice, I never removed my distributor, and it runs extremely well so I really didn’t worry about my fuel sync. I do have a friend close by who has the program to read fuel sync though. This is some great information for anyone looking to do this swap and was watching my thread! Thanks!

For the cost of taking your rig to the dealer you can get one off Ebay. The price of the scanners has come down a lot in the past few years because they aren't used anymore. You just have to make sure you get the correct module for your rig. And then have the correct keys.
Glad to help out. If we all share info hopefully the next person trying to do this can use that information.