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The One Easy Jeep Diesel Conversion Step or Many Painful DIY Steps

You got excited and pumped diesel into the gas tank of your Jeep. Now you’re going to have to go through with that jeep diesel conversion project after all. The easy way is to hire a diesel conversion specialist to do the work for you.

If you’re determined to go at it alone, here’s what’s coming next:

Find All Your Parts

With enough gumption, you can stuff a Ford, GM, or Cummins diesel motor in your Jeep, but crate motors don’t come with everything you need.

Here’s a partial list of everything you’re going to need to find on your own:

  • Engine Accessories – pumps, generators, manifolds, intake, exhaust, ducting
  • Cooling System – radiator, fan, shroud, intercooler
  • Fuel Delivery – tank, lines, delivery pump, sending unit
  • Powertrain – transmission, mounts, drive lines, upgraded joints, and gears
  • Electronics – wiring harness, control module, battery

A diesel Jeep Wrangler conversion kit comes prepackaged with the extra parts. These kits make home projects much easier to get started.

Set Up Your Shop

Create a workspace for your engine swap. A two-car home garage is adequate but uses both bays for your equipment and supplies.

Speaking of which, these are the essentials:

  • Vehicle jack and stable set of stands
  • Engine hoist and chain
  • Complete set of basic mechanic’s tools
  • Safety equipment like gloves, eye protection, and face masks

A professional gas to diesel conversion mechanic already has the shop and supplies to get the job done.

Yank the Old Motor Out. Gently.

Strip the older parts out by following removal instructions in your repair manuals. Buy a manual if you don’t have one already.

  • Disconnect coolant hoses, fuel, and oil lines
  • Unplug the wiring harness and mark the locations of connectors
  • Unbolt the transmission bell housing and torque converter
  • Support the engine with hoist and chain
  • Release the motor mounts and carefully lift the motor out
  • Remove all other components you won’t need any more

You might be tempted to go through like a wrecker and smash up the used bits of Jeep you’re tired of, but don’t do it. Those old parts come in handy, and you might just need them again. Tag and store the leftovers.

Work Your Install Project

Even a simple B4T Cummins conversion kit estimates at least 60 hours of total work time on the project from start to finish. It’s likely to take you longer depending on how much bodywork is required.

  • Measure and cut away excess fender and firewall to make space
  • Measure and cut away excess fender and firewall to make space
  • Install your upgraded drivelines and transmission
  • Carefully lower your engine and seat it on new mounts
  • Install accessories, hose, and electronics in reverse order from removal

When you finally finish, and the last bolt is tight, it’s time to add your fluids and test your motor's operation. Make sure the garage is ventilated and follow the manufacturer’s recommended break in procedures.

Take it easy driving on your new engine for the first few weeks. It’s likely you will find mistakes that need correcting and some errors can lead to catastrophic failure.

Get Help When You Need It

If you’re not confident in your skill level, hire a professional mechanic to install an engine conversion kit for you. At 4WD.com, we help you find all the components you need for your project. Browse our online inventory and send a message with your questions.