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5.9 Engine Build on the Cheap

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Old 06-04-2012, 11:46 AM
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Default 5.9 Engine Build on the NOT SO Cheap!!!

Well I had a nice intro typed up last night but then my computer restarted and I have to start over.

So a little history, This engine is going to be installed in my 97 Jeep Wrangler TJ. I was deployed to Iraq in 2004 and was wounded in the leg. So when I got back and was phyisically able I built this Jeep into what I thought would be a great trail rig. I made me get up each day and helped me to strengthen my leg. I installed a 5.2 out of a 98 Dakota & a 44RE tranny.

When I was all done with my Jeep build I had a pretty killer rig. Except for one thing..................That Dang Nab Engine I had installed wouldn't run right. I tried 3 different ECM's and still nothing. The thing was a dog and couldn't hold 60 MPH going up a hill. So I ran it like this for 3 years trying different things to boost the power. First thing I did was fix a plenum gasket leak. Not long after that an engine that use to run at 210* all day long no matter what I was doing started to overheat. I tried everything I could think of to get it to not overheat. And to start with it didn't do it everytime. I installed a FlowKooler water pump, pulled the intake off twice to make sure I hadn't screwed something up. My last try was a aluminum radiator that helped some but the engine was still running hot. Now I have tried to do compression tests and pressurized the radiator but could never find a true problem. So this brings us to where we are now.

I had bought a 5.9 from a shop on the other side of the state. When I asked the guy I bought the engine from what was the reason they pulled the engine he couldn't really remember. I was buying the engine to make a 408 stroker out of. But as we all know there are times family gets in the way of our wants. I have already bought EQ heads with large valves (2.02 & 1.62), a Hughs Air Gap intake manifold & Harland Sharp roller rocks in a 1.7 ratio. So I do have some bling parts.
When I bought the engine I had planned on bringing it home tearing it apart and sending it out to get cleaned up and any machine work needed done. This never happened and I just figured it was better to sit there together than having a bare block which could then rust. But this weekend I had figured out that the 5.2 in the Jeep really was shot so I started taking the 5.9 apart. I wasn't real happy about what I found as it came apart. First off the shop had left oil in the engine and it was now a milky mess from water contamination.

Click the image to open in full size.

The next thing was that the plenum gasket was blown on the intake. Now not a big deal but other than that issue I haven't found a reason for them to of pulled this engine.

Click the image to open in full size.

The heads look like crap but I am not going to be using them anyhow so don't really care.

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and then the last thing is the cylinders themself. I had rust in two of them that had the engine locked up until I started rocking the crank back and forth.

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So the plan at this point is to get the block tanked or cleaned somehow. Then I am going to install new rings, rad & main bearings. After that I will bolt on all the fun parts I already have. Then in the next year or two hopefully I can gather all the funds I need to rebuild this engine and make it that 408 I have been wanting.

Here in the next few months I will have a stock intake, a stock intake with a Hugs plenum plate & some truck exhaust manifolds to get rid of. Everything will be priced on the budget side so be watching if you need any of that stuff.
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Last edited by Wildman4x4nut; 06-05-2013 at 05:12 AM.. Reason: Build has gone from a cheap rebuild to GETTING EXPENSIXE!!!!
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  #2  
Old 06-04-2012, 12:58 PM
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Subscribed, I will likely be pulling my 5.9 in a few weeks, keep up with the good pictures!
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:08 PM
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OOoooo, This is gonna be an interesting one. Looking forward to watching this.

Any machine shops nearby? Strip the block, have it hot tanked, cleaned, and checked out. They will let you know what it needs beyond that, and having them do it, is cheaper than buying the tools to do it yourself. Unless you plan on doing this kind of thing regularly.....
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:20 PM
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Moochoff,
No worries about the pictures, I am a photo *****. I like to take tons of pictures

HeyYou,
I am looking right now for a place to get it tanked at. If not I will have to drive over to Seattle (about 100 miles) as I know a few places in that area. I do want it tanked before I try to put the darn thing back together.

Just to show what this engine is going into.

Click the image to open in full size.

This was the engine bay right after the swap was done.

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Old 06-04-2012, 11:54 PM
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Looks sweet man! Good luck with the 408 build, please post parts list, prices, and sources as you go...
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:20 AM
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1972,
I wish I was doing the 408 build right now. Funds aren't there but I need an engine for my Jeep. So I am going to rebuild (if you want to call it that) the 5.9 for right now on the cheap. All I am going to do is install new rings, rod & main bearings.
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:14 AM
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Well I got bored tonight and went out to the garage and played for a while. I have the block tore down now to the point where I will hook up the engine hoist tomorrow and take it off the stand. Then I can pull the crank and tak the flex plate off.

Click the image to open in full size.

Crank journals all look good.

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Rod bearings all looked good too.

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This bearing came off #2 hole and is the worst looking one.

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Main bearings look good too.

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My improvised valve train holder.

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Parts all lind up and ready to be cleaned.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

I have new EQ heads with 2.02 & 1.62 valves, Harland Sharp roller rockers with 1.7 ratio and a Hughes Air Gap intake waiting to go back on. Also just picked up some 22lb injectors to go back in instead of stock.

Question- If I can find a place to get the block tanked to I also take them the pistons and crank? Do I put the main caps back on when I take the block to be cleaned?
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:17 AM
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Bring everything with you. Have the main caps in the correct position on the block. Make sure everything is numbered, so you know where it all goes. You want the caps on the block so they can check the alignment of the crank bore.
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:00 PM
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Good nes is I found a machine shop that is closer than Seattle. It is only 50 miles away so I will be taking them block real soon. Then the build will be on. Figure sometime next week I'll have it back from the shop.

Keep throwing ideas, suggestions and helpful tips my way so when I do get the block back I'll be ready to Rock & Roll.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:11 PM
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Heres my idea: Do the 408 while you are in there! You can get the whole rotating assembly for about a grand, and then you can upgrade more later when you have the cash.

http://www.rpmmachine.com/shop/index...uct_list&c=156
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:48 PM
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while its at the machine shop, aside from the cleaning, I would have them at least hone the cylinders to give new rings something to seat into. They may even recommend boring the cylinders and going .05 over pistons, or maybe more depending on if the cylinders have any deep scoring or not..


Now if it was my jeep, I'd go for a cummins 4BT swap! but that's just me...I'm a bit of a diesel nut lol.

speaking of, if my 4 banger ever dies in my S-10...that bitch is gettin a 4BT! course a 4BT weighs a bit more than a v8 does, but they make up for it in torque and fuel economy!
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jigabop View Post
while its at the machine shop, aside from the cleaning, I would have them at least hone the cylinders to give new rings something to seat into. They may even recommend boring the cylinders and going .05 over pistons, or maybe more depending on if the cylinders have any deep scoring or not..


Now if it was my jeep, I'd go for a cummins 4BT swap! but that's just me...I'm a bit of a diesel nut lol.

speaking of, if my 4 banger ever dies in my S-10...that bitch is gettin a 4BT! course a 4BT weighs a bit more than a v8 does, but they make up for it in torque and fuel economy!


Gahhhhhhhhhhh.... Ive seen a few wranglers with the 4bt swap....
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:59 PM
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Click the image to open in full size.

I must say, that is one clean and very professional looking Cummins 4BT swap!

thing looks like it was made to be in there!

and don't underestimate its power just because its a 4-cylinder... 4BT's can be turned up just as easily as my 6cyl cummins in my sig..

I could build a 400+hp 4BT no sweat...head studs, injectors, turbo, few tweaks on the fuel and timing screws, done. lol
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:16 PM
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Making me wanna spend money now lol
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:01 PM
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Sorry no stroker kit right now. Even the "CHEAP" kit that was $1000 turned out to be $1,500 after I added the stuff it needed.

Sure a 4BT would be nice and I know all about being able to turn it up and get some real power out of it. But AGAIN this is a build on the CHEAP and I mean CHEAP. The block and crank are going to get cleaned in the hot tank. New cam bearings and freeze plugs because they have to be replaced.

I am a diesel fanatic too but that swap isn't in my budget no way no how. And I don't have a JK I have a TJ. When I contacted Bruiser Diesel (the ones that did that swap) they don't offer a DIY kit and I am not paying someone $14,000+ just in labor for someone to swap an engine. My wife just got a JK and I would like to drop a 4BT in it but not until they offer a DIY kit.
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:16 AM
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Well nothing exciting to report at this point. Had a buddy come over today and he helped me load the engine into the bed of my truck. I will take the engine over to the machine shop on Monday. Then we will see what the machine shop has to say. Fingers crossed that the block will be good and this will stay a cheap for now build.

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Old 06-09-2012, 09:28 AM
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Snag some new lifters, or at least take the ones you have apart and clean em up.
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:46 AM
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I want a stroker......
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:57 AM
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^^^ +1 on that homeboy.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:58 PM
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I want a stroker too....................Anyone want to donate to a disabled vets engine build project? I will build a stroker sometime in the next two years (I Hope) once I get moved and then the wife gets a new job. This fixed income thing sucks.

The more I work on this engine the more I really think what happened to this engine was that it was using oil and not running right because of the amount of carbon built up. Now I am not an expert engine builder and I have only rebuilt a few engines. But this engine has had tons more carbon built up than any I have seen before. I have seen engines that had worn cylinders and a ridge built up at the top of the cyl that didn't look as bad as this engine.
I have been cleaning pistons the past two days and finished them off today.
Here is one of the last pistons before I cleaned it. I wish there was a way to show you guys just how much carbon there is coming off these pistons. And take my word for it that this piston is one of the cleaner ones.

Click the image to open in full size.
Some of the pistons had so much carbon and crud built up that the rings were stuck in the pistons.

Last edited by Wildman4x4nut; 06-11-2012 at 12:19 PM..
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