VM 2.8 turbo diesel frame-up TJ build

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Mike Alfano

Mike Alfano

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Put the tail gate on....the quarter panel that is clamped on is leaning in a little over 1/8". Going to jack it out, leave it under pressure and then tack it. After all the welding is done on the tub, off it will go to the body shop for prep and paint.

20190118_144529.jpg
 
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Mike Alfano

Mike Alfano

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Nov 4, 2018
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Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
Actually my daily driver is a 2006 Liberty CRD with that VM 2.8L cummins engines. So I can give you some input on that motor!

First off get an EcoTune from Green Diesel Engineering, best $700 I spent, I went from 20mpg to 28 ~ 30 mpg instantly!!!!

Second if you don't know when the timing belt was done, just go ahead and do it when you pull the engine for the Wrangler. It's a #*$&$#( because there are no timing marks and you need a special tool to keep the cam gears held in place. I bought the official tool used by Jeep second hand on eBay for like $500 and it saved SO much time but still a hassel!

Third there is a guy that makes a replacement billet aluminum thermostat housing that can have the thermostat replaced, it would like $300 I believe but worked SO much better on heating up the Liberty and in the winter and I've never had a problem with it keeping the engine cooled even while towing a Wrangler on a 14' car trailer.

I have a ton of respect for the VM 2.8L in my Liberty CRD, I've done all the maintenance and minor turbo upgrade with better bearings and a slightly better impeller and I love mine.

Truthfully I'm debating getting a JKU four door Wrangler and doing the CRD and 545rfe transmission swap along with the part-time/all-time 4x4 transfer case from my Liberty.

Yes I'm doing a Kubota Swap into my RHD Wrangler and I should be mounting the Kubota V2403 in the engine this weekend which I'm really looking forward too!!!

Great looking project and wonderful start! Can't wait to see how things come along!

-Grant
I'm actually gonna miss the Liberty when it comes time in a month or so to take it apart....im driving it currently.....there were a few codes i wanted to correct so that when we swap it we can rule out any previous codes. I like the high torque....and the tj is about 1000 heavier than a tj...should be sweet!
The lady i bought the liberty from said that they sent the pcm away and got it back with a Ecotune and a scanner/programmer...she told me that it was tuned for better economy...not sure how to verify...but she did give me the programmer which i still have.

Regards
Mike
 

Wildman

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Havent accurately measured....but approximately .75 inches wider than the Dana
Yes the Liberty rear axle is a good option for swapping into a TJ and many came with disc brakes unlike the XJ version. I like that you are going to use the NP242 also. I am going to be swapping on into my daughters TJ this summer to help her with winter driving.
 
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Chris

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That's one hell of an interesting looking engine, that's for sure. Are you going to do any maintenance on it while it's out? Probably makes sense to do so, huh?
 
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Mike Alfano

Mike Alfano

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Chrysler 8.25 rear axle has been converted for use in the TJ. One technical snag is that we're going to have to bore a hole into the top of the differential for an ABS sensor. The 05 Liberty uses a 3 channel ABS system with only one sensor in the rear end instead of one at each rear wheel in the 06. The rear axle we're using is out of an 06 and it doesn't have a hole for an ABS sensor in the differential. Luckily we have an amazing machine shop teacher that has offered his help with this problem. His class is going to take the axle into the machine shop and bore a hole into the top of the differential for placement of an ABS sensor. The casting mark is there so he says it will be easy. Today we removed the carrier assembly out of the rear axle in the 05 Liberty and placed it in the 06 housing to make sure it will fit.....the 05 carrier has a toner ring that is needed for the sensor. Should have a rolling chassis by the end of next week.

20190328_144840.jpg
 
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Chris

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Just our of curiosity, why are you swapping the 8.25 axle in? Why not just keep what you already have in there?
 
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