FJ60 V8 conversion Colorado

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by tak1234, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. tak1234

    tak1234

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Aspen, CO
    Hey everybody,

    Thanks for any help. I'm sure this subject has been beaten to death but I'm ready to drop a V8 in my '85 FJ60. I'm on a budget and I don't like to drive auto's so I was going to keep my 4 speed. Also from the research I've done looks like a used 5.3 LS1 is the way to go. I live in Colorado and was looking for a good mechanic to do it.. Any recommendations? Also I'm sure many of you have gone through this before but any tips would be appreciated.

    I live in the mountains and don't drive much but it would be nice for some more power when I drive to Denver or any long distances... I have two cruisers, '74 FJ40 and 85 FJ60. The 60 is so versatile for camping, driving over passes and for everything else I can't see owning another car. The specs are as follows:

    178,000 miles
    Safari Gard bumber
    Warn XD9000
    Confer 6" roofrack
    Old Man EMU 2.5 lift
    32 x 11.5 BFG Mud Terrains,
    And she's in good shape hardly any rust an all around nice truck.

    Also there is no emissions up here.

    Thanks for your help,
  2. RMP&O

    RMP&O OCD

    Messages:
    1,136
    Location:
    BFE - Wyoming
    My suggestion....

    get a Ramjet! You can do it yourself as it will be super easy to wire. Only fab issues will be doing motor mounts and getting it to sit where you want in the engine bay. The Ramjet is a super simply motor which is one reason I like it. You can bolt it (or any other Chevy v8) to your 4spd by using the Ranger OD box. This keeps your 4spd & t-case in the stock location so no need to fab anything for that. I hear the adapters to fit a v8 to the stock tranny are a real pita. The Ranger gets rid of any adapters keeping things simple and in the stock locations. With the Ranger you will also have a nice hwy cruising gear.

    Granted the Ramjet is not a cheap motor and the Ranger box also carries a fairly big price tag.

    my 2 cents
  3. tak1234

    tak1234

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Aspen, CO
    Hey would love to drop the engine in myself but I don't have a garage.. No one in their right mind would let me borrow their garage for a month...
  4. Elbert

    Elbert SILVER Star

    Messages:
    6,746
    Location:
    AL, USA
    ramjet = cool, price = $$

    I woudl go 5 speed or GM overdrive auto trans if swapping to a V-8.
  5. philthyphil

    philthyphil SILVER Star

    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    VA
    Proffitts Cruisers is a good bunch of guys and likely closest to you (not knowing exactly where you are). They can at least answer some of the questions you have if you just give them a call or shoot them an email. They are usually pretty busy, but they have a nice big garage. :grinpimp: I have been very happy with what they've done for me. I love my 5.3 vortec on the passes around here and on the highway plus off road performance.
  6. Kurtis

    Kurtis

    Messages:
    1,390
    If your paying to have someone do the swap the difference in cost between keeping the 4spd and going with an overdrive trans will be negligible. The 4spd puts you at 3500rpms at 75-80 and stock tires and gears. the sweet sport of a 5.3 is 1900-2400 for mileage and longevity. Whoever does the swap would also have to rig the vss with a funky homemade adapter. Either way you need an ecm reprogram.
  7. Desertrunner

    Desertrunner

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Carson city
    why not just a stock 5.7 with an edelbrock intake and carb linked to a 4L60E? Now youve got a fully chevy power train that you wouldnt have to worry about RPM ranges and such... my .02
  8. Elbert

    Elbert SILVER Star

    Messages:
    6,746
    Location:
    AL, USA
    if you want to go old school with auto trans you will have to go with 700R4 or back to a turbo 350 or 400. 4L60E and and new style auto trans are electronically controlled.
  9. rover67

    rover67

    Messages:
    1,331
    Location:
    Boulder, Co
    Where are you located? Proffits may be your best choice.

    I did my swap and could help with any questions you've got if you're close and want to swing by. mine's a 5.3 with an H55F
  10. ntsqd

    ntsqd technerd

    Messages:
    4,791
    Location:
    Upper So. CA
    My first decision in considering the swap was not what engine, but what trans did I want. Having driven a 700R4 in my 3/4t Sub I knew that was the trans that I wanted in my FJ. All other decisions made revolved around that one. Had I wanted a manual it would have been an NV4500. Helped a friend rebuild his and am impressed with them.

    Any GM trans which has a model name/number ending in "E" is an electronically controlled unit. Same tends to be true of Ford autos. There are/were 4L60's (which is a slightly revised 700R4), but to my knowledge there were never any 4L80's, only 4L80E's.
  11. Sethro60

    Sethro60

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Edwards, CO
    Call Hugh at Safari Ltd. in Grand Junction. They do great work.

  12. workingdog

    workingdog

    Messages:
    598
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    They dropped the E from the end of the transmission once the non-electronic transmission were no longer being made. So the 4L80 is the same as a 4L80E.

    I have the 5.3 4L60 in my 60 and it's a good combination. The advantage is that you can get the whole shebang together usually. I have not idea what issues there are mateing a 700R4 to a 5.3 LS1.

    The
  13. tak1234

    tak1234

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Aspen, CO
    Thanks, I want to keep a four or 5 speed... I'm looking for a motor tranny combo now. But I'm running 32's MT's and going to swap them out for 33 10.5 AT's for better highway driving... I wonder what my rpm's will be running a taller tire like that..
  14. Kurtis

    Kurtis

    Messages:
    1,390
    Randy's Ring & Pinion. RPM Calculator.

    Plug in your numbers and it will tell you.
  15. philthyphil

    philthyphil SILVER Star

    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    VA
    X's 2 on Hugh at Safari. Very good, reputable dude and craftsmanship. As previously discussed, I'd go five speed, cost for upgrade is minimal with everything else.
  16. WallyWagon

    WallyWagon

    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    StL
    If you're like me, you've already seen this post a thousand times, but it's worth a try 5.3 Vortec, 4L60, NV 236 all zero miles

    I know you're leaning toward keeping the manual - you could always go with just purchasing the motor. If I were to go with a gasser I'd lean toward a flex fuel like this one and it's from a fellow LC owner.
  17. RMP&O

    RMP&O OCD

    Messages:
    1,136
    Location:
    BFE - Wyoming
    Expect to pay $10,000 or more to have it installed and that is if you supply the engine and trans! That is also the cheapest out there for a good quailty job. A guy I know in my area charges $25,000 but he supplies the engine & trans. A thousand bucks might just get you a garage for a month! :rolleyes:

    A ramjet is $5300 in a crate. Most other new engines are about the same price, including Turn Key engines. The ramjet is the easiest for the do it yourselfer imho. New H55s I have looked at are no less then $3,000 with most in the $3,500 range. Perhaps you can find one cheaper. The Ranger box is your best bet to keep the stock tranny be it 4spd or 5spd. It is roughly 2-3x the cost of an adapter kit but much easier to install and give you an OD gear.

    It is your money, spend it how you want. I will never pay somebody that kind of cash again though (yes I have in the past) to do work on my trucks. I would rather spend the cash on tools and parts and **** it up myself.

    :cheers:

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