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Author Topic: The full XJ to Eagle swap process  (Read 12758 times)

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Offline Nightpath

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The full XJ to Eagle swap process
« on: October 31, 2014, 12:20:04 PM »
The OBD1 Jeep Cherokee XJ is almost a 1 for 1 swap for a lot of parts. Minor modifications have allowed me to use almost all the XJ if I decided to.

With this project being done, I can safely say that I feel 100% that the Eagle was going to have the Jeep drivetrain, or was developed with it in mind. I have no doubt that they took the Eagle body and used it in the development for the XJ. The firewall in the 94 XJ is almost identical to the Eagle, with parts fitting into it like it's supposed to be there. The Eagle is a bit more narrow than the XJ though.

If you are thinking on doing this swap, get a whole XJ with either Renix or OBD1. I went with OBD1 because I got the Jeep on a steal. With OBD2 a lot of the XJ's stuff was changed and there would be a few more problems swapping over, mainly wires and sensors.

I'm still working on this project, it's taken 2 of us (1 a very skill mechanic) about 65 hours so far. We ran into a few problems with it and had to figure them out.

If you are thinking on doing this swap, I hope you have the fabrication skills. There is some fabbing required, such as the driver's side axle bracket, some transmission tunnel cutting and welding, and the transmission mount.


Drivetrain :

Engine/transmission : Oil pickup needs to be adjusted for the Eagle oil pan which needs to be installed onto the motor. Jeep oil pan will not fit over the front axle. The pickup will need to be adjusted a few inches to accomodate this change.

Install with the motor mounts on the engine prior to dropping into the car. I can't stress this enough. Do not put the transfer case on while installing it, do this afterwards. I would take the time right after the engine/trans is installed to size out where the transfer case will be and cut out the rear driver's side corner in order to fit it properly. It may be a bit easier depending on which t-case you go with. The NP242 is a bit beefier than the 231, other transfer cases may vary.

Axle mounts : For my engine, the header is 100% in the way. A bracket was fabbed up to bolt into the driver's side axle housing, then to the control arm (I think). Passenger side isn't an issue.

Transmission mount : Using the exisiting holes and bolts in the car to fab up a mount for the stock XJ mount to sit onto. This also provides a place for the exhaust tubing to fit. Will have pictures of it.

Driveshafts : Front : Most XJ's with a manual transmission will have a front driveshaft that should fit. For my swap a 29" max driveshaft is needed for the front. I am having a rear older XJ driveshaft cut a couple of inches for this.

Rear : a 38.5" driveshaft is needed. If I had a rear Dana 35 I might have gotten away with the stock Eagle driveshaft and the slip off of the XJ rear driveshaft, but the pinion on the Chrysler 8.25 is too long. I have about 1" max travel as it is now. It has been working, but I'll probably buy a Commanche driveshaft and have it cut/balanced.

Transfer Case : To get this to fit we had to cut a section out of the tunnel and fabricate it a bit so the NP242 would fit properly (just made it a bit larger). Might be able to get a NP231 to fit in without a problem, or with a few taps of the hammer on the bottom of the tunnel.

Electrical / Wiring

Battery :  I unbolted the battery tray from the drivers side, drilled holes in the same place on the passenger side and and just extending the battery cable across the engine (or where the headlight wiring strings across). Stock XJ fans are free to do their job, both mechanical and electric, without a problem. Have to do a minor bit of mounting work for the stock electric fan, not much.

Wiring harness : This takes a bit of play. It will fit in the Eagle firewall hole as they are identical in size. You have to remove the driver's side hood hinge and cut a small piece off the top right of the plastic from the wiring harness (doesn't affect it). The computer will be sitting where the charcoal container originally sat. Fuse box mount is ended up where the old ICM sat. Transmission control module is sitting in the passenger side kick panel, the harness allows this so I cut the rubber firwall plugs off the Eagle and XJ, swapped and BAM!

The cruise control vacuum module is sitting where the battery once sat, along with the engine coolant container. The washer fluid container is bolted to the shock tower on the passenger side. I swapped the pumps on the Eagle container to the ones from the Jeep, pumps are the same size but different connectors.

Lights : The rear lights from the XJ socket right into the Eagle spots, no problem except for 1 light on each side that needed to be changed for one of the Eagle rear lights (2 wire splice job). For the brake light switch I cut the small piece of metal that the stock XJ brake light switch was on, welded to the Eagle cruise control vacuum module bracket, and just used that. Fits like a glove.

Heater resistor : I grabbed one from an XJ since I used all the stock XJ wiring. The Eagle one will work if wires are spliced.

Wipers : This took a few minutes to figure out. Splicing wires and leaving 1 off allows almost full use of the XJ wiper options. Matter of fact, I think I have all options.

Rear wiper motor : The wires go from the motor to the front. I'm pulling them up and splicing into the XJ so I can install the XJ button that does the washer and wipers for a cleaner look when installed.


Fuel / Exhaust

Fuel pump :I just took the whole wiring harness that went from the front to the rear in the Jeep (I extended the 3 wires from the fuel pump about 12" ), removed the stock Eagle junk and swapped. Drilled a hole into the floor behind the rear seat, problem solved. The pump itself is another ordeal. I modified the XJ float and "sensor" to the Eagle pump parts, it reads low quite badly.

I have picked up an XJ tank and sender, and will either be refinishing the current Eagle tank (sand blast, repaint, cleaing inside) or attempting to install the XJ tank onto the Eagle. The XJ tank sits lower, about 3", so I may end up finding some diamond plate and fabricating a skid plate. Not sure on which straps to use. May fab up 2 lengths of metal about 6-8" long, put 2 90 degree bends on each end, drill them out and use them to extend the current Eagle straps(mine are almost like new). Much easier than finding an alternate strap to fit.

Fuel lines : was able to make use of the fuel line from the Eagle and one from the XJ (both were new) to make it all work. If you have any doubt about the lines just replace them.

Exhaust : The Cherokee exhaust from the front of the motor to the transmission mount will fit like it was built for the Eagle. It slides like a glove right over the front axle and into the mount notch. From this point just have the pieces made to fit to the muffler. Jeep uses 2 1/4, Eagle uses 2" pipe.


Misc - Steering / Suspension

Steering wheel : If it doesn't have an airbag you are golden. Remove the round bracket at the bottom of the Jeep steering column, remove the rag joint. Pull the rag joint apart, cut a few inches off (I think we did about 4-5") and put it back together. Use the Eagle brackets on the Jeep column (allows for some adjustment). It will slide in like it was meant to be.

Shifters : Transmission shifter slides right into the stock Eagle position perfectly. Just need to cut a long triangle of metal out to cover what's left of the hole and tap a new hole for fitment. For the 4x4 shifter, I cut a small section out to fit in a XJ shifter, but with the 242 it doesn't want to go into 4Low. I might look for a Novak shifter to get it working properly. The 4x4 shifter will be in the way of your leg (gives it something to rest on really). If I order from Novak, I might see if I can move the shifter up a bit so as to not interfere with my leg. Or find a stubbier shifter.

Lines : For some of the lines coming into the car, we removed and drilled some of the stock Eagle stuff. No longer using the air conditioning (was busted) so I remove the copper lines going into the car and we are using that for some of the harness work. For the throttle cable there's a few small fitment bosses on the firewall, we tapped one out and slid it in.

Suspension : Replaced the leaf under the main leaft with an XJ leaf. This boosted the car just a bit above stock with the Monroe 58510 shocks, but it still rides nicely, matter of fact it rides pretty friggen awesome. I am going to replace the bottom Eagle leaf with the XJ leaf and possibly add one above that as well to stiffen it up a bit more. I'm still waiting for my Monroe 5756 shocks for the front and deciding how I want to lift that a little.









« Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 10:22:39 AM by Nightpath »

Offline Nightpath

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Re: The full XJ to Eagle swap
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2014, 12:20:31 PM »
Reserved
« Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 09:58:10 AM by Nightpath »

Offline Nightpath

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Re: The full XJ to Eagle swap
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2014, 12:21:42 PM »
saving this spot too ;)

Offline Nightpath

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Re: The full XJ to Eagle swap process
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2014, 08:26:33 PM »
Found out tonight that the transfer case (242) will not fit into the trans tunnel without cutting while on the AW4.

Right behind the drivers seat front right bolt it needs to be cut away to make room for it. Not a hard fix, but something to be aware of.

Online vangremlin

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Re: The full XJ to Eagle swap process
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2014, 10:02:13 PM »
I think eaglefreek has a 242 in his wagon, he probably experienced the same issue.
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Offline Nightpath

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Re: The full XJ to Eagle swap process
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2014, 10:19:06 AM »
No doubt. If the AW4 was a few inches shorter it would have fit without a problem.

I think it I were to look at this again, I'd think about a head swap and either keeping the 129 or swapping for the 242 and leaving transmission alone.

Offline carnuck

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Re: The full XJ to Eagle swap process
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2014, 11:37:03 AM »
AW4 is 3.5" longer than T5, 9XX or 727.
AMC/Jeep gauges are for amusement only. Any correlation between them and reality is purely coincidental!

Offline Nightpath

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Re: The full XJ to Eagle swap process
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2014, 05:13:05 PM »
When I measured the aw4 it was closer to 5" longer. But I iirc there were a few updates to the aw4.

I was thinking that the few inches longer transmission and few inches shorter transfer case with the longer 8.25 rear axle would make the difference up between the shower 998/129 and the stock axle.

Hoping it will in the end but I'm having my doubts.

Offline eaglefreek

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Re: The full XJ to Eagle swap process
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2014, 10:29:22 PM »
I think eaglefreek has a 242 in his wagon, he probably experienced the same issue.
I don't recall having to cut anything, but it's been awhile. I did have to "massage" the tunnel for the speedometer cable. I went through 2 cables before I beat the floor with a hammer.
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Offline Billman

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Re: The full XJ to Eagle swap process
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2014, 06:53:55 PM »
pictures or it didn't happen
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Offline carnuck

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Re: The full XJ to Eagle swap process
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2014, 12:43:17 PM »
I'll probably use a Sawzall for mine to notch that brace.
AMC/Jeep gauges are for amusement only. Any correlation between them and reality is purely coincidental!

Offline Nightpath

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Re: The full XJ to Eagle swap process
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2014, 09:43:52 AM »
Minor updates...stepfather just passed away so I've taken a few days hiatus.

Rear driveshaft has to be 39" long at most to fit properly with the Chrysler 8.25. Front driveshaft is going to come from a Grand Cherokee with the V8 (29" long) for proper fitment.

I figure the rear driveshaft will have to be from a Ford Expedition since it's the same length.

Offline eaglefreek

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Re: The full XJ to Eagle swap process
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2014, 11:40:52 AM »
Not a whole lot of room up front for a regular size driveshaft. Do you think you'll have plenty of clearance with the exhaust?
1986 AMC Eagle Wagon 4.2L/4.0L head, AW4,NP242, Chrysler 8.25" rear.
1981 AMC Eagle Wagon As Seen On TV  Lost In Transmission


 

"I know he'd be a poorer man, if he never saw an eagle fly,
Rocky mountain high"  John Denver
Click for Fayetteville,TN Forecast" border="0" height="100" width="150

Offline Nightpath

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Re: The full XJ to Eagle swap process
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2014, 04:08:24 PM »
Yup. Stock XJ exhaust fits like a glove.

We made a bracket that doesn't use the engine to hang from.

Offline eaglefreek

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Re: The full XJ to Eagle swap process
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2014, 06:29:49 PM »
Yup. Stock XJ exhaust fits like a glove.

We made a bracket that doesn't use the engine to hang from.
Cool.
1986 AMC Eagle Wagon 4.2L/4.0L head, AW4,NP242, Chrysler 8.25" rear.
1981 AMC Eagle Wagon As Seen On TV  Lost In Transmission


 

"I know he'd be a poorer man, if he never saw an eagle fly,
Rocky mountain high"  John Denver
Click for Fayetteville,TN Forecast" border="0" height="100" width="150

 

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