5.3 Chevy or 5.2 Mopar?


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motomick76

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Technically an LS is an ls1, ls2, ls3, etc... all LS engines are aluminum blocks. They have many iron block engines but their ID does not start with LS. Nowadays everyone just calls a gen 3/4 chevy v8 an LS. I mean they aren’t wrong in a sense but there’s a significant price difference between an ls2 and an iron block 6.0 truck engine.

So a LS is ONLY if it is the aluminum block engine? What did they put in trucks and SUV's?

Mine being a 4.8 iron block, it's designation is LR4, and it is also used for the 5.3 designation. The only way to tell the difference from a LR4 4.8 and 5.3 is removing the head and look at the bore. The id on the block will not show if it is a 4.8 or 5.3. In general terms we call it a LS engine, but technically incorrect to call it a LS. A Gen III 6.0 iron is a LQ4 made in early 2000's, then the LQ9 is the updated version of the LQ4 which was put in trucks. Confused yet? :unsure: :)

I have access to both motors and transmissions. Which is best? Which is easiest? I have a 99 TJ with the 2.5l? I know there is a ton of info out there on kits and how to convert....I am trying to decide which path to take. Any advice is appreciated. I will be doing this swap sometime on 2021.

I just got done with my swap, if you want to do it yourself, better have 12-15K of disposable money. There is alot of custom fab work that needs to be done, and if you cannot do it yourself, gonna have to pay someone to do it. @Wildman is most knowledgeable on the Mopar stuff, and @toximus or I can guide you through the LS. Take a long look at our build threads also.
 
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Wildman

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Mine being a 4.8 iron block, it's designation is LR4, and it is also used for the 5.3 designation. The only way to tell the difference from a LR4 4.8 and 5.3 is removing the head and look at the bore. The id on the block will not show if it is a 4.8 or 5.3. In general terms we call it a LS engine, but technically incorrect to call it a LS. A Gen III 6.0 iron is a LQ4 made in early 2000's, then the LQ9 is the updated version of the LQ4 which was put in trucks. Confused yet? :unsure: :)



I just got done with my swap, if you want to do it yourself, better have 12-15K of disposable money. There is alot of custom fab work that needs to be done, and if you cannot do it yourself, gonna have to pay someone to do it. @Wildman is most knowledgeable on the Mopar stuff, and @toximus or I can guide you through the LS. Take a long look at our build threads also.

Well that helps a little. But unless I get another Chevy I'm not going to learn all these numbers and which they apply to. As I said I really wasn't impressed with my Chevy truck that has a 6.0 in it. Damn knock sensor went bad and while it isn't hard to change it is when it's 20* outside and that is where you're working. And the the gauges went totally apeshit. Got on a few Chevy forums and found out this was a common issue that the stepper motors went bad. I traded that truck off as FAST as I could.

There are folks on the other forum who scored by buying a wrecked or not moving rig. They were going to keep their manual trans so the fact the tranny went out didn't matter. Took out the engine and all the other needed parts and sold of the rest. They were into their swap $2-400 after selling the donor rig.

My build is a little different and since I was laid up for about 4 years I bought parts while I couldn't do much. So I have some high end parts that I normally wouldn't have bought. I'd budget $2K for the swap if you're going Dodge and $8K minimum if you are going GM. Over on the other forum there was one member who was doing the wiring himself.

Here is a 5.3 thread over on Pirate 4x4 it's 394 pages long. https://tinyurl.com/y6w4ylrd

This guy was trying to blend the two wiring harnesses. Here's his thread. https://tinyurl.com/y47ygq2w

Another LS swap: https://tinyurl.com/yy3aacjy

Here is a 5.2 V-8 swap.. https://tinyurl.com/y2h3wldw

Magnum Swap Pirate 4x4: https://tinyurl.com/yyuw7rsr


Also if you go with the 5.2 you need a PCM from a 98-2000 rig. Better if you find a truck with minimum of options or buy it from one of the PCM companies and make sure all the security is turned off.
 

downthepines

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Curious what type of HP and TQ you are hoping for? Both great options from what I understand. I think it would be pretty cool to do a 360 with some mods, 350 HP and 400 lbs or twist would be just glorious in a TJ.
 

Wildman

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Curious what type of HP and TQ you are hoping for? Both great options from what I understand. I think it would be pretty cool to do a 360 with some mods, 350 HP and 400 lbs or twist would be just glorious in a TJ.

All of the 5.9 (360) stroker builds I have read about are putting out 450 square or better. I'm running a torquer cam, block hugger headers, EQ Monster heads w/2.02 intake vales & a 6 pack intake manifold, If I could have found a Dodge M1 intake I might have gone that route. I had the Hughes Air Gap intake when F&B TB contacted me and said they had a used 6 pack intake that they'd let me have for a GREAT price. I had a 4 barrel throttle body I was going to run on the air gap. So I turned around and sold the air gap to a guy in Honduras. Then I sold they 52mm TB, Crane cam & Harland Sharp roller rockers to the forum member I gave the 5.2 to. I've still got the 4 barrel TB to sell at some point.

I'm running 10:1 pistons and this should be able to run on pump gas but high octane. But FRP said he can make me a tune for running 87 octane fuel also.

Now to derail this thread a little here is some EYE CANDY of the 6 pack intake.


IMG_3337_zpsxuxqzcjb.jpg



IMG_3347_zpsydb2kili.jpg



Ricks magnum 4_zps1fqydfce.jpg




Ricks magnum 6_zpsgvt4qegt.jpg



I'm hoping for north of 425 HP & TQ at the wheels with they way I'm building my engine. Should be starting on the assembly of it by this coming weekend.
 

Wildman

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I think the key that we're missing here is the OP said he's running 33" tires and I'm guessing stock gearing which is 4.10 but with 33" tires he should be at 4.88 or 5.13 gears. Then he'd be able to use 5th gear again. If you're set on doing this engine swap you are still gunna need new axles so you should build them as you are gathering parts parts for this engine swap. Adding a V-8 to the equation will give you the power to turn those 33" tires BUT it isn't the proper way to over come the effects of larger tires.

Use this gear calculator to see how different axle gearing can affect your RPM's. Gear Ratio Calculator (grimmjeeper.com)
Running in 4th gear with 4.10 gearing is what it would be like to have 4.88 gears but be in 5th gear.
 
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motomick76

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Now to derail this thread a little here is some EYE CANDY of the 6 pack intake

200.gif


Ohh, I can help with that! First thing that came to mind seeing the 6-pack is it sitting on a 340, in a A-body, 4-speed ripping through the gears! That would be fun!

200.gif
 
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Ephry73

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With I6 the stock power rating at 173-195hp and 220-235lb-ft (on a very good day) and weight of 515lbs(give or take), any gains are acceptable.

The 5.2 Magnum 230hp (172 kW) at 4,100 rpm and 295 lb/ft at 3,000 rpm and a weight of 570lbs fully dressed. Give or take a few, lighter with aluminum heads(more expensive) for sure. Power ratings listed are in basic stock form, but fall perfectly in the power band of my AX15 transmission.

Do a semi easy port match, use better exhaust and tune, and I am positive the motor can make another 10-15% more power and more efficiently.
 
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pcoplin

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I used to have a 5.9 and 46RE in my TJ. Swapped it into the Jeep in like 2007. It was great. Inexpensive, fairly easy swap. WIth ZJ fan and clutch, works right with the 4.0 shroud and bolt in conversion radiator. Best was like 12 mpg. Integration with the gauges is a definite plus. We have done 4 or 5 5.2/5.9 swaps into Wranglers. I even put a 5.2/44RE in my old Grand Wagoneer.

Fast forward to 2015 or so, and we put a 5.3 in my buddies YJ buggy. He would beat me in a drag race with 42s on his, and 35s on mine. SO I neded up swapping in a 6.0 and TH400.

The Chevys are more powerful, more efficient, and WAY cheaper to modify. But for a guy who wants more power, isn't going to cam or tune it, the Mopar is a very good swap.
 

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motomick76

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Here is an interesting test Hot Rod did recently of the 340 six pack - amazing numbers, highly underrated - right at 383 numbers.

Found some good 340, 4 speed action, beautiful music!

 

pc1p

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Using "LS" to refer to the overall platform of Gen III and Gen IV GM motors is such a common colloquialism that GM might as well start calling it that :) Anyways, I can chime in here too since I have some Magnum experience (with some Hemi experience coming up quick!)...

IMG_8685.JPG


The Magnum is a good swap candidate for many reasons that have already been pointed out: good power gains that respond fairly well to simple upgrades, reliable, easy to wire, works with factory gauges, works with factory fuel system, can use factory AX15 (though yours is an AX5), etc. I've built a handful and am currently rocking a ~500hp/575tq 408 Magnum in my 1993 RamCharger (which I'm also currently building - because nothing makes the Mrs. happier than two shitbox projects :))


On paper, few would say that the 5.2L is "worth it" for a swap candidate. The numbers simply aren't that impressive. However, any one who's driven a 4.0L and a 5.2L ZJ will quickly confirm that the driving experience is quite different between the two. The 5.2L makes power down low, has a nice wide torque curve and generally makes for a spirited driving experience. The 5.9L improves upon that, shifting torque down even lower in the RPM range and (in factory form) adding a bit of stall speed to the converter to make it much more fun on the street.

If budget is a concern, the Magnum wins. I picked up a running and driving Ram 1500 for $550. I took the engine, trans, t-case, harness, and ECM then flipped the chassis and made a good bit of $$ (that wasn't my intent of course, but certainly a nice benefit). I've picked up a handful of running Magnums for cheap - the complete 5.2L I put in my W150 was $400 and I got to drive the truck before stripping it apart. Keeping the EFI (so I had to buy a later year gas tank and fuel pump) and I was into that engine swap for a whopping $800. Oddly enough, this truck was the one I traded for my current TJ (I had gotten the RamCharger after the W150 after decided I wanted enclosed cargo space). The guy drove it all the way from AZ back to WI getting 16 mpg the entire time and is amazed at how smooth it starts and runs (all stock, except I adjusted fuel sync to +4 which seems to work best with ethanol-spiked gas).

IMG_2438.jpg


My recommendations on any junkyard swap is to of course fix the plenum and while you're in there, check the cam lobes. There are some mods you can do to help the factory Kegger intake manifold perform better (Check out UTAwesome Performance) as well as two "RV" cams that really wake these engines up (the Hughes version requires new valve springs which are fairly cheap). Freshen up the heads (at least valve stem seals) and add a Fel-Pro SD series head gasket and you're good to go for considerably more power at lower RPM's than your current setup.

For the transmission, you'll have to do some thinking. Now's the time to convert to an auto if you're rock crawling (or intend to). Note that any Dodge transmission or the AX15 with the Dakota bellhousing will require you to move the starter to the driver-side. This can cause some packaging issues with headers and manifolds, so sticking to a set of center dump shorties isn't a bad idea.

Now that said, I've swapped and built enough Magnums to be happy with my experience. I'm also on my 5th 4.0L and quite simply - I have had enough... It's a good motor, but at the end of the day it belongs in a tractor. I know that isn't a popular opinion since many hold the 4.0L on some sacrilegious pedestal, but it's true. I've picked up a 2012 5.7L Hemi with 65RFE for the TJ - it's time for a proper amount of horsepower :)

IMG_0357.jpg
 

pcoplin

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Now that said, I've swapped and built enough Magnums to be happy with my experience. I'm also on my 5th 4.0L and quite simply - I have had enough... It's a good motor, but at the end of the day it belongs in a tractor. I know that isn't a popular opinion since many hold the 4.0L on some sacrilegious pedestal, but it's true. I've picked up a 2012 5.7L Hemi with 65RFE for the TJ - it's time for a proper amount of horsepower :)


I like this guy!


Plus the 4.0 sounds like a high-strung sewing machine when trying to climb at full throttle. Or like a tractor with a bad power steering pump. Haha
 

pc1p

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I like this guy!


Plus the 4.0 sounds like a high-strung sewing machine when trying to climb at full throttle. Or like a tractor with a bad power steering pump. Haha
lol all true - I mentioned this on a FB page one time and you would have thought that I suggested killing puppies while turning vegan! People couldn't believe I wasn't a huge fan of the 4.0L...
 

Wildman

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Speaking of Magnum motors and better heads, this doesn't look like a bad option at all.

Performer Heads

Yes the Edelbrock Performer aluminum heads are some good heads but they are close to $2K for a pair and can go higher if you have any work done to them.

If you are looking for some good Iron heads for the Magnum small block here is a good shop to get them from.

IMMENGINES.COM

IMM Engines is also suppose to be one of the premier MOPAR shops in the country. From some of the threads on Dodge/Mopar forums guys from the east coast have him build an engine for them.
 
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pc1p

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Speaking of Magnum motors and better heads, this doesn't look like a bad option at all.

Performer Heads
I run these on my 408 - a great bolt-on option that flows decently enough for a truck engine. Mancini Racing typically sells their version (which uses the same P-casting as the Edelbrocks with the same Eddy parts) for about $1400/set a few times a year.
 
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