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V8 swap


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As 88pioneer has mentioned, cooling will be your problem. Lots of people have shoved Chevy small blocks into XJ and MJs. They ALL have cooling issues.

 

Do what you wish, but the Jeep 4.0L engine is a far better engine than a Chevy small block for Jeep-like purposes. I would rebuild the Jeep engine, either in stock displacement or as a stroker.

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If for some reason you absolutely have to have a V8 go with a Ford 289 or 302. They're 200 lbs lighter than Chevy and easier to cool. I put a 350 Buick in a '89 MJ and it runs pretty darn good, but I wouldn't do it again, unless there was an pressing urgent need to. Like just to see if it could be done.

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