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Two TJs: From 2.5 to Chevy 350


New Member
Jan 10, 2019
Big Rapids, MI
Hello all! I am new to the forum and thought I would share the build on my daughters two TJ's. I have never removed and engine from a vehicle before so I thought I would give it a go. The gray one is for my older daughter who is in the Marines and the Red one is for my other daughter in high school. The y both had the 2.5 engine and with the lift and larger tires I felt it was dangerously inadequate. Both could hit 70 mph on the highway down hill while drafting behind an 18 wheeler and could barely pull out into fast approaching traffic.

I decided to make it a family learning experience so I bought two chevy 350 crate motors from JEGS with all the fixins and starting pulling them apart. The gray one hd some frame rot so we installed new frame rails and safety caps along with the gas tank skid plate.

Then we started in the engine bay disconnecting everything in preparation to pull the 4 cylinder out. This was very easy to do and did not take much time.

I ordered two of everything because I was doing two jeeps. engine, intake, carb, radiator etc...

I am not big on typing so I am skipping a lot. If anyone has questions I would be happy to chat on the phone

We started to work on the red jeep while working on the gray jeep at the same time because there were times when we only needed one working on one of the jeeps so to save time we started on the red one.

the red one had a lot more rustt than the gray one. floor pans, torque boxes, frame. my sone is now a pro with the angle grinder. Every time I touched the grinder it liked to eat my fingers so he thankfully took over and didn't cut himself at all. You can see from the pics the rust was fairly extensive.

The gray jeep is on the road now and has approx 300 miles on it. Just breaking it in and working out any bugs from the install. I bought two AX 15 trans from DEADJEEPS as well. Since the girls won't be doing any heavy off road stuff, I found the AX15 to be sufficient. Time will tell...

Below are some pics. I apologize for the the lack of detailed info. if you have any specific questions I will try to answer the best I can. Just thought I would share that a novice can do these swaps. all you need are tool, time and money. I didn't keep track of how much I spent on doing this so I can claim plausible deniability when my wife asks....































Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
Salem, Oregon
First time I've actually see someone do this swap (other than just hearing about it). Should be a lot of fun!

What are you going to do about the gauge cluster and electronics since the new engine isn't controlled by a computer and what not?

Shane Mckinley

Supporting Member
May 31, 2017
Oxford, MS, United States
Impressive. I would love detailed information on the gauge implementation?

I suppose being a 350ci from Jegs just mechanical gauges all plugged in?

Those look identical the the gauges and block at least in both my old T bucket and again with my ‘69 Chevy with a 383 stroker

Good stuff! Fun with the family for sure. I have a 17 year old that wrenches with me. My other 4 boys and daughter could care less lol

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
2005 RHD TJ Sport
2010 BMW 528xi
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