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Thread: IT'S ALIVE!!! (408 stroker buildup)

  1. #1

    Exclamation IT'S ALIVE!!! (408 stroker buildup)

    Almost a year later, the 408 is up and running like a dream. There were so many delays between getting the parts, the engine shop doing the shortblock (see below), and taking on a new job working 50-60 hr weeks.

    Complications:
    There were a few issues that I had while installing this motor that are unique to the ZJ. The biggest issue was the crank coming into contact with the oil pan as the ZJ pan is quite shallow at the front of the engine. I ended up swapping on a Durango oil pan which actually fit much better...except for the starter. I had to "modify" the D oil pan with a ball peen hammer and file the starter down a bit to get everything to fit.
    A flexplate from a 318 had to be used because I had my rotating assy internally balanced.

    Impressions:
    I am still in the process of breaking-in the motor, so I haven't been able to get on it much, but I can tell that there's a LOAD of power under my right foot. NOTE: I'm not installing the supercharger until the engine is thoroughly broken in & all the kinks are worked out & I've figured out an axle upgrade. I've been driving around with the gas pushed down around 3/4" (inch, not throttle) & next thing I know, I'm doing 50 on a back road. Silver Bullit was driving along a 2 lane HW next to me & I blew by him with the tach at 3k.
    The exhaust at idle is considerably louder...louder than I had noped. Sounds like a muscle car due to the cam (lub, lub,lub,lub), which is awesome, but it's pretty loud when crusing at 50. The motor shakes significantly (makes me want a shaker hood) and the entire cab was as well, but the interior vibrations are now gone since the initial break-in (motor mounts softened up).
    Had no codes for the first ~50 miles, but the check engine light came on last night. Around the same time, I had noticed that it started bogging when stepping on it at 2K. I think I may have gotten some oil/dust/coolant in my cat & clogged it up. Getting the PCM scanned this evening.
    The APS TC really suprised me a couple of times when I tapped the throttle a little too hard at 3K and it flashed up to 5K in the blink of an eye....not something that I wanted to do while I was breaking it in (OOPS!). Seems like a great unit, though...Thanks Wayne!

    What I would have done differently:
    Never go to a shop that builds racing engines in July and expect to have your engine before November. There are plenty of guys out there with more money than you who will throw down $15K to have a racing engine built because they just blew theirs.
    Because of the new job, I didn't have a lot of time to spend on this project. If I were to do it over again I would have had Hughes Engines, KRC Performance, or Dan "the fastman" Arcand assemble the entire longblock and possibly have one of the latter two shops install and tune the motor if the price was reasonable. Don't get me wrong, Hughes Engines has great parts and their head work is excellent, but they are only an engine shop & I don't know if they would do an install. All the other two guys work on are Magnum motors (...and now the 4.7) from radiator to roll pan, and they really know the Magnum specific stuff.
    At idle, the Hughes 55mm circle bore TB sucks so much air through the IAC bore that I get a whistle that sounds a lot like a supercharger. My plan is to radius the edge of the bore a little more to supress the whistle.

    Thanks to Nick(Kolak), Wayne440, Chuck(SleepinZJ), Rossi, Silver Bullit, Dave @ Hughes Engines, Marty @ KRC Performance, Dan "the fastman", Chris @ Advanced Racing, and all the guys on MoparChat for helping me bring this together.

    -Spaz

    P.S. I'll have some pics up later.
    04 G35c 6MT
    Injen CAI / Borla Cat Back / Stillen Sways / MRR GT-1s / 06 HLs
    1 3 5
    ├─┼─┼─┐
    2 4 6 R

    Stroked & Blown Jeep Grand Cherokee 6.7 Limited
    408cid Stroker / Vortech / Ford 9" / 20 Pistons of stopping power
    492RWHP/526FTLBS

  2. #2
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    WOW and congrats. Can't wait to see pics and then maybe some times.

    I have a 5.9 with all the usual mods and NOS

  3. #3
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    Very informative... I just bought a 5.9L short block today and I intend on doing a similar setup (mostly hughes). Can't wait to dig into it all. If you don't mind, how much did it all end up costing you? I really don't know how much of a bill to expect from a machine shop.

    Thanks,

    - Joe
    '94 Grand Cherokee 5.2L V8, 121k miles, Ford 8.8 w/ POSI, NV242, headers, custom-built 3" stainless exhaust, Mopar Performance ECU, K&N FIPK, custom-built 4 wheel disc brakes, Flowkooler water pump
    Import Performance Transmissions custom 46RH trans and torque converter

  4. #4
    SpeedFreaks ********* JerodR1's Avatar
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    Congradulations! I wish that I could do that, but I need the whole emmission thing... Hughes said that they could build me a 408 that would meet emmissions with no problem, but it definately would not pass the visual. Can't waite to see some times on that beast.
    1998 5.9 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited w/almost every bolt on aside from a blower...Solid high 13 sec Jeep. NOW SOLD.

    Just Sold..- 2004 E-Blue SRT4
    14.2 @ 101mph first run, best of 13.8 @ 103 stock
    Stage 2, Exhaust, and handling mods= 13.2 @ 107mph

    New Car- 2011 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited
    Shopping For- Next Gen SRT-8.

  5. #5

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    -=- originally posted by 94_V8_ZJ -=-
    Very informative... I just bought a 5.9L short block today and I intend on doing a similar setup (mostly hughes). Can't wait to dig into it all. If you don't mind, how much did it all end up costing you? I really don't know how much of a bill to expect from a machine shop.

    Thanks,

    - Joe
    I have a spreadsheet with all modifications & costs associated with them on my home computer. I'll post a generic breakdown later this evening.

  6. #6
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    That's awesome! If you have it excel format, would you mind emailing it to me when you get a chance? jgc26@cornell.edu

    Thanks man!

    - Joe
    '94 Grand Cherokee 5.2L V8, 121k miles, Ford 8.8 w/ POSI, NV242, headers, custom-built 3" stainless exhaust, Mopar Performance ECU, K&N FIPK, custom-built 4 wheel disc brakes, Flowkooler water pump
    Import Performance Transmissions custom 46RH trans and torque converter

  7. #7
    Go Ducks
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    Sounds like it is going to be one hell of a sweet ZJ... Pics and vids would probably make me grin.... I can't imagine my reaction if it was my personal ZJ. Any ideas of how long it will be until the superchager goes on..... Do you or Dino have an HP/TQ estimates?

    Me in the silly hat on the right

    13 Second 5.9 SOLD... :sadpink:
    05 Legacy GT

  8. #8

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    The supercharger will go on after break-in and all the gremlins are worked out (there don't seem to be too many right now ).
    I will be doing compression tests on a nightly basis.
    I have a 11# pulley, but I'm gonna O-Ring my heads and get Cometic gaskets & probably a WAIC before installing it.
    -Spaz

  9. #9

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    Hey I am sure it’s not the converter flashing it’s probably your tires flashing... HAHA... I am sure that the 408 will roast them with authority… when you shake it all down… Give us the Update I am very interested in the FULL STORY… Congratulations on your success

  10. #10
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    Just to let you guys know how fast this thing really is, I was driving next to Spaz and we were neck and neck for about half a second. I had my ZJ in second gear and was winding it out, and he was pulling on me. We got to our friends house and i asked him how much he had the throttle down and he said that the engine never revd above 3k.... This thing is way faster than any corvette that i've been in. I'm glad to say that my Best Friend has the Fastest Jeep on the planet.
    Best of luck
    -SB
    **SOLD**
    98 5.9ZJ Platinum
    Clear corners
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    H&R sport springs (1.4 inch drop)
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    18x8 Chrome Epic interceptors w/255/55VR18 Yokohama AVS S/T

    *NEW RIDE*
    2001 BMW 330ci l 5spd l Bav Auto sport springs l UUC Evo III SSK l 19" Hyperblack CSL's 235/35 (f) 265/30(r) l Color matched painted Roundels l 35% Tint l MTech II front bumper

    Winter Beater: 98 5.9l JGC Stone white 141k.... the workhorse

  11. #11
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    Spazboy:
    Not done but alive and that's a big step. Iv'e been watching for a while, you've lots of sweat in it and now there is lot's of time to get the sweet out of it....Congrat's. Bet it's tough to keep from tipping into it, but like I say you have time now and can enjoy.
    I like the chosen tools of "calibration" to get the oil pan and starter to "interface".
    The blower should be a real kick in that chassis if the N/A, unbroken-in, untuned version runns like it does:bugeyed:
    Enjoy and be careful with that Bad Boy
    Regards, W.J.Wheezer
    Current Car: '91 Audi 200 DOHC 20v Turbo Quattro, Prosche "Big Red" 993TT Brake Kit, Absolutly Cherry Car, She may be old but she AIN'T slow, 1 of 1500 imported to the US in '91 only for racing and SCCA Homologation, Currently Modding and working out the Turbo kinks for chipping
    *** ALL GONE ***
    2001 WJ,Laredo, QuadTracII,4.7L, V-8 Kenne Bell Supercharged, 298.3 HP@5500 RPM/311.5 TQ@4500 RPM at the wheels.
    2003 Ford Lightning PU, Dark Charcoal Grey, Granite interior, 23000 miles, PIAA, Clear Bra, Lowered rear, bed liner, Goodyear F-1's, XM radio, upgraded stereo with dynamat interior.
    2005 Audi S-4 Avant V-8....Gett'in Groceries FAST...Miltek cat back, Revo flash, BBS CH wheels, Stop Tech 13 1/2" big brakes, Neuspeed sway bars
    www.community.webshots.com/user/wjwheezer

  12. #12
    5.9 Elitist ptownTSI's Avatar
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    So are you still running 4wd on your 408?

    I am definitely planning on buying a junkyard 360, having it bored out to fit 408 pistons, get a set of heads build everything up and just before i put it in, take apart my 5.2 to get all the parts off of it. Is that most likely the best way to have it done. How much labor does it usually cost someone like Dan Acrand to put together the long block for you?
    98 5.9 Limited (my 2nd 5.9 and 3rd ZJ)
    Ice cream paint job
    Rear view mirror, Jumbo dice! Trunk hit hard like Kimbo Slice.

  13. #13
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    congrats on the 408!!!!!!!!

    I reckoned there some issues with the oil pan, but wasn't 100% sure. Seems like I need to go huntin for a new oil pan. Anyways, im glad to see you got yours running well.

    What cam did you end up getting? Also whats your compression? You gonna get a piggyback system to fine tune everything?

    I know Dan recommends getting the 408 tuned with some sort of piggy back system. One 408 he did picked up 40rw lb/ft torque and 20-30rwhp per wheel after dyno tuning it. Just an option you should consider.

    Good luck with everything!!
    96 ZJ Unlimited

    408 Stroker

    150hp dual stage NX

    Custom 46RE




  14. #14
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    -=- originally posted by Silver Bullit -=- This thing is way faster than any corvette that i've been in. -SB
    1996 Black V8 ZJ - Clayton 4-Link LA Kit, RE 4.5" Coils, Procomp MT 33x12.5s, 4.56 gears, Adco sway bars, PIAAs, B&M Tranny cooler, Tom Woods shafts, Currie Draglink and TieRod, JKS F/Track Bar, Kevins RP Sliders, Protofab bumpers, Bilstein shocks, Mopar Performance PCM, Mike Leach Headers w/ Carsound Cat + Magnaflow Muffler,
    5.9L engine and 46RE Tranny, M1 Intake Kolak Ignition, 3 Core Radiator, Elec Fan.
    Pic of my ZJ

    2002 Black on Black Z06 - TPIS Long tube Headers - YellaTerra Roller Rockers, Ported Manifold, Blackwing Intake, Random Tech CATS + X-Pipe- JL 10s & JL 500 Amp Pic of my Z06

  15. #15

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    Ptown,
    Yes, still running the 249.

    NX,
    I got the Hughes HER1828ALN, which is a 218/228 - .544/.544 114LSA. I ended up getting custom milled forged Diamond racing pistons at 8.3 compression. The FAST system is in the roadmap, but there are a couple of other priorities.
    04 G35c 6MT
    Injen CAI / Borla Cat Back / Stillen Sways / MRR GT-1s / 06 HLs
    1 3 5
    ├─┼─┼─┐
    2 4 6 R

    Stroked & Blown Jeep Grand Cherokee 6.7 Limited
    408cid Stroker / Vortech / Ford 9" / 20 Pistons of stopping power
    492RWHP/526FTLBS

  16. #16
    5.9 Elitist ptownTSI's Avatar
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    do you think your cam will pass smog where you live in MA ?
    98 5.9 Limited (my 2nd 5.9 and 3rd ZJ)
    Ice cream paint job
    Rear view mirror, Jumbo dice! Trunk hit hard like Kimbo Slice.

  17. #17

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    -=- originally posted by ptownTSI -=-
    do you think your cam will pass smog where you live in MA ?
    When you're doing a buildup like this, you have to know which inspection station to go to with some extra change in your pocket.
    I do not expect this to pass emissions, but I would be interested to see how it does.
    -Spaz

  18. #18
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    hey spaz we have to meet somewhere this summer, I got my 408 underway, motor should be out of machine shop this week. I went with the CAT rods and the Ross 10-1 pistons. You were right on about the oil pan, I got a 1999 durango R/T oil pan from the dealer, no problems. I had my crank balanced with the mopar performance weighted flexplate, and harmonic balancer installed it is alot cheaper this way, but since you are going blown, you probably made the right decision. I also got KRCs 408 cam to go with the set up, and a pretty pair of ported 2.02 r/t heads. I should be done by June.

  19. #19
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    tom,

    who ported your heads?
    96 ZJ Unlimited

    408 Stroker

    150hp dual stage NX

    Custom 46RE




  20. #20

    Default Internal Balancing

    Internal balancing is the best and in some circumstance, it's more cost effective too - in particular when you are swapping for a 318.

    You are going to have to balance your pistons/rods/crank etc. relative to whatever balanced and flexplate or flywheel you plan on running. The 360 has a heavier balancer and flywheel, therefore balancing will cost you less since they have to add less heavy metal to the crank to balance the assembly.

    In my case, I'm swapping a 408 into a 318/5 speed Dakota. A 360 balancer would have cost me $100 and a 360 flywheel would cost me $400, so $500 total and I still would have had to pay the machine shop to balance everything relative to each other.

    Internal balancing cost me $375, out the door. I get to use a 318 flywheel and balancer which I already had and which are designed for internally balanced motors to begin with.

    My motor is going to be mild by many 408 standards, but it's what I wanted:

    9:1 Compression
    Ross Pistons
    Cat H-Beam Rods
    Mopar Stroker Crank
    KRC 210 Cam
    1.7 Rockers
    2.02 R/T Heads
    M1 Two-Barrel Manifold
    55x52 mm F&B Throttle Body
    Mopar/Thorley Headers
    Carsound Cat
    Flowmaster 40 Original (I Like It Loud)
    21lb Injectors
    Holley Fuel Pump

    Other stuff too, but those are the basics. It should be fun, torque across the whole power band, but mild enough that I can run the whole setup with a Mopar Peformance 360 PCM and avoid using a piggy-back controller.

    Back to the original point, don't discount internal balancing (you may also hear it referred to as zero balancing). You may find it is more reasonable than you thought. And as you approach higher and higher power levels, it is the better way to go.
    Bill White - 2007 Commander Sport, 4x4, 4.7, Mopar RAK 6-cd Changer, Sirius Stratus

    http://www.revelation320.org

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