Daubies at home HEMI conversion


TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Jun 13, 2017
Cntrl, IN
Alright, I'm going to try and give this thread a go..

I too am also trying to do a hemi conversion on my 05 Rubicon. I literally started mine the month before the whole world shut down for covid 2 years ago. Then I got laid off for 3 months and wasn't sure about how stable my job was after that. Then early last year I had a post frame building built. About the time time it was being finished my wife got covid in July and was on the hospital until October and has been going through physical therapy since then. So I guess needless to say the Jeep HEMI swap has been on the back burner.
So this November I thought I would get back to doing this conversion since I don't drive the TJ most of the winter.
As fair warning I'm better at reading posts than posting them, so go easy on my lack of a good thread poster.😋 But I'll give it a try...

I guess if there's a theme to my build is to make it as close to what it would have been from the factory had it been an available option. Won't be doing any hard core off-roading, so the RUBICON factory add ons will suit my needs.

So a couple of photos of what I started with..


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With having a lift, my best friend that owns a body shop told me it is easier to remove the body than just the doghouse and would give much better access to everything on the chassis. I wouldn't have tried that without his encouragement (and of course the lift). He was right. He does this very frequently at his shop doing frame replacements on wrecked vehicles.
Basically you unhook/unconnect every thing you needs undone, then watch carefully as you raise the body and unhook any remaining things you missed.




A few days after pulling the drivetrain the weather was nice enough to pull the chassis outside and cut off the original motor mounts and get the new motor mounts welded on.
It was quite a bit bigger job to cut the old ones off than I had anticipated with only having a cutoff wheel, sawsall and chisel, but got it done. I think a plasma cutter would make short work of it.

The Advance Adapters HEMI mounts make it very easy to locate and install.







A few days later I lowered the body down to check for any clearance issues that would need to be addressed before continuing on and bolting the enigne/transmission in.
Didn't see any issues at this time, so lift it back off and continue on..




Next up was to fab/build a transmission cross member so I could drop the skid plate without supporting the back half of the drive train.
It looks a little funky with one side being offset but it seemed to give plenty of clearance around all the moving parts and still be about an inch and a half above the skid plate if I ever want to do a mini tummy tuck.






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The latest thing I built part of yesterday and today is the exhaust system. I had been forwarned by several that this is one of the more challenging projects on the conversion... Really, it's just exhaust pipes, how difficult can that be.??
Well, very.😳 At least for someone who's never built one from scratch.
The most difficult thing is how tight the available space is especially on the driver's side getting over the driveshaft and under the transmission. I ended up redoing most of the drivers side to make more room for the driveshaft.
It's no work of art but I think it'll do the job intended. I also made my own 2 into 1 muffler since I couldn't find the one that I wanted to use.
I have dual 2 1/4" in and will have single 3" out. I don't have any 3" pipe right now for the tailpipe so I'll still have to make that. I want to try and take back out to the stock location. If I can't get that done then I'll just run a turndown tip.





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On Wednesday the 28th I received a notification from Hotwire that my harness had been shipped and would be delivered today.!!!😁
That's about half the time or 6 weeks earlier than I was quoted when I sent it in. Obviously not ready for it just yet but I'm very glad to have it. Only took a quick look at it because wanted to stay focused on the exhaust build to get it done.
The harness looks very good and is at or above factory quality from what I seen.


Very cool, I'll be watching!
It looks I'm still in the significant minority in wanting to go with a 5 speed instead of the auto.

Edited to add: What did you use for exhaust manifolds? I'm planning similar to you in that I'd like to make it look as stock as possible, and utilize stock parts everywhere I can.
Manifolds are from a Grand Cherokee/Commander with the 5.7.

You can do the manual but I don't think you can use the stock TJ manual, but you might double check.
The 545RFE is a good transmission that in reality is a 6 speed. It has 2 second gears and picks the one that matches the load it's under at the time. Also the top 2 gears are both overdrive ratios.
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Looks really good and a clean install. I know all about trying to make my own custom exhaust system. i decided to make my life harder by using shorty's instead of block hugger headers this time around.

I can say I truly wish I had a 2 post lift and the space of that shop. Will be following.
Looks really good and a clean install. I know all about trying to make my own custom exhaust system. i decided to make my life harder by using shorty's instead of block hugger headers this time around.

I can say I truly wish I had a 2 post lift and the space of that shop. Will be following.

Thanks for the nice comments..
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Slept in this morning after being up way too late last night, but still went out and did a few things..

First thing was to install the alternator, AC compressor and serpentine belt. Should have waited.

Cleaned dust and dirt out of the AC condenser and applied a light coat of paint.

Made a couple of brackets and mounted the transmission cooler on the front of the grill support.



Finished making the bend mods on the steel transmission cooler lines. I then cut them off up by the harmonic balancer and slightly flared the ends to help keep the rubber hose from coming off.


Laid out the new engine wiring harness and loosely plugged all the connectors in (except for one, more on that shortly) and everything fell right in place on the engine and transmission.
The one plug I didn't plug in is the engine temp sensor and that's because it's under the AC compressor and you have to remove it to get to the plug..☹️ So I'll have to take it back off..