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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So basically I hate the 3.7L and the 4 speed tranny combo I have. The car is just too heavy for this engine. This is one of the slowest feeling cars I have ever drove lol but I love everything else. The unique look, the interior, etc. So I'm determined to swap it for something better. Ideally a 5.7 hemi. I can't find ANYTHING about this except a couple of questions and the SEMA 5.7l that I'm sure everyone here knows about. The only answers to this seem to be "it can't be done" or "only if you have a big stack of cash" but no explanation. If this can not be done why? And what engines could be swapped? If it takes a big stack of cash, how much? Would 10K do it?

On a separate note, I was talking to a friends cousin who lives in south Florida and he says there is a shop there call Afterhours mopar (or something) and from what he figures they may be able to do something like this. No one answers the number he gave me. Has anyone heard of this place?

Thanks ahead of time for any help. It's very much appreciated and hopefully everyone had a good weekend :)
 

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07Lifted,4X4,6sp-man,3.7L
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The biggest hold back to an engine swap, is going to be all the computers involved.
This is when the "If's" come in.
If, you can find a used engine (for 10K) and if you can somehow integrate the donor vehicles TIPM, WCM, PCM, CCN, SRS, the gauge cluster, and the rest of the computerized components, which ran the engine, into, or along with, the Nitro computers, then it could be done. You would also need the original keys from the donor vehicle. The problem with this approach is Dodge is not releasing their codes and the available after-market "programmers" are not good enough to guarantee any outcome. You could throw a bunch of $$$ at this project and end up with a bunch of parts that just won't work together. Now, Maybe you can approach Dodge and see what it would cost for them to put together a set of the "SEMA" 5.7 Nitro computers for you to purchase?
Also, I believe the SEMA Nitro was only a 4x2. If you have a 4x4, you may need to find a 4x2 front end to swap out as well.
I'm not saying it can't be done. As we all know, with enough $$$, almost anything can be accomplished. The real question is, who has enough $$$ to toss into this kind of project with all the "If's"?

Another option is to go "old-school" and remove all the computers and use an older V8.
 
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Another option is to go "old-school" and remove all the computers and use an older V8. :):):):):):):)

Liking this idea Scar0 :smileup::smileup::smileup: chevy small block ???
 

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Hi, go for it. You can do anything with the right mix of money, time and skill!.
Your in the best place, I subscribe to several US, hot rod, street rod mags which show several stand alone ecu’s suitable for such conversions, maybe leave the nitro system untouched and add on the extra stand alone one, not as easy as it sounds but could be done.
One issue maybe, do you want 4x4 or just rwd. Which limit the gearbox choice.
Consider buying an accident damaged V8 vehicle and transferring all the bits, jeep srt8, v8 commander etc.
My wife runs our Nitro, a diesel and im lucky enough to have a hemi 300c, the nitro would certainly be fun with the hemi in but don’t get into conversations about fuel economy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
now we're getting somewhere! good ideas and good explanations!! thanks everyone. the $10k is the budget for the whole project. so maybe ill need to start adding to that. the 5.7L i had in mind is from a dodge charger that was totaled in an accident. the complete motor with low miles was a little over 2500.

can you explain this stand alone ecu a little more?
 

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The Univalent Radical
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If you have already found a Hemi, I say go for it. But, if your search should continue, you might want to consider the 4.7 V8 also. Since our 3.7 is basically the 4.7, less 2 cylinders, you might have less problems getting things to fit, as the 2 engines share many parts. Towards the end of its' life, Chrysler poured a lot of money into this engine, I believe starting in 2008, where new heads and a different intake were added boosting the HP to over 300. The easiest way to tell if what you are looking at is the newest version of the 4.7, it will have 16 spark plugs, just like the Hemi. The 4.7 is a OHC design, whereas the Hemi is still a push rod V8. Just more food for thought. Rock on.

:git:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hmm....that gives me something else to think about. 300 hp would be plenty to get this thing moving. And easier usually means cheaper. I do remember hearing that a 5.7 might be an easier fit than the 4.7 because the hemi 5.7 was tall and narrow as opposed to low and wide for the 4.7. I don't remember where I may have read that but does anyone have some insight on this? Or would a 4.7 be an easier fit?
 

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The Univalent Radical
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Hmm....that gives me something else to think about. 300 hp would be plenty to get this thing moving. And easier usually means cheaper. I do remember hearing that a 5.7 might be an easier fit than the 4.7 because the hemi 5.7 was tall and narrow as opposed to low and wide for the 4.7. I don't remember where I may have read that but does anyone have some insight on this? Or would a 4.7 be an easier fit?
You just answered your own question. The 4.7 is our 3.7 with 2 more cylinders. So, width wise, you are fine. The length would be of concern, but this would also be the case with the Hemi. There is space between our water pump and the radiator. The motor mounts might be the same, but not necessarily in the same location on the block. The 4.7 would be higher and wider than the Hemi because of the OHCs, but the 3.7 already is a fit! I am not sure about the bell housing, but if the 3.7 and 4.7 share this, then finding a transmission would be easier. The 4.7 was available in the Jeep GC and Commander, the Ram, Durango and Dakota. All of these were available in 2 and 4x4, so finding a transfer case just got easier, if you want 4x4.

:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the link. I emailed after hours mopar and performance innovations to see if they could do this and what it would cost. If they say no or that it would cost more than I am willing to pay I will abandon the hemi idea and explore the "old school" idea.
 

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The Univalent Radical
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This is as much as I know. The original Liberty was the first Jeep to have an independent front suspension (IFS). (if you want to get technical, the Jeep Wagoneer had IFS as an option in the late 60's - I am a Jeep freak and read a lot about them!) Jeep calls it SLA - Short/Long Arm, a modified strut. The GC (Grand Cherokee) was next to get this, and the Commander was a GC, with a different body. The Nitro is a Liberty, with a different body. The reason I am telling you this is that these vehicles all share common parts. The engine bay of the Liberty/Nitro was designed for an OHC V6: the 3.7, so the 4.7 would be an easy fit, if, length wise, there is enough room for the 2 extra cylinders. If the front suspension components are shared by the Liberty and GC (not the current GC; it is based on the Mercedes Benz M series), then you already have the needed support for the extra weight.
Try and locate a 4.7, and measure the length. Measure the 3.7, and see if the difference is about the same as the distance between the front of our 3.7 and the radiator.
As far as tuners go, the word "Hemi" has much more meaning, an aura about it, something that makes it special, so people tend to think about the Hemi first. I just think it would be a much easier job to retrofit a 4.7 instead of the Hemi, simply because there are far more common parts/assemblies between the 3.7 and the 4.7. Believe me, I am not an expert when it comes to this, but the 4.7 is actually a forgotten engine, because of the Hemi. The original 4.7 was made for the Jeep GC, to replace the old Mopar 318 and 360, if you can believe it. They were still being used in the Dodge trucks.
If you decide to go this route, try to find the 2008 or newer. But, back around 1999 - 2000 the GC had a 4.7 HO, which had different heads, and intake, but it did not put out the same HP as the newer one with the 16 spark plugs.

:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the help dhh3. While calling to get prices on the 4.7 the idea of going "old school" was brought up again. Getting rid of the computer issues is really appealing to me. A Chevy 350 with the 383 stroker kit will cost me ~$4K. Which might not be bad without the cost of comps and headaches. Could this work? Here's the dimensions: L = 29.42" W = 20.08" H = 22.01" from what I can find.

Any issues anyone can think of?
 

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The Univalent Radical
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1. 4x2, or 4x4?
2. Transmission/Transfer Case?
3. You can probably make your own motor mounts.
4. The drive shaft in our Nitros, I believe, is a hollow aluminum tube, so it can probably be cut to fit.

You have more guts than I :rep: , but I would love to be involved in a project like this. And, I like the idea of "old school".

:smileup: :smileup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
1. It's 4x2
2. I have the 4 speed auto

I think I'm going old school! The hemi has a certain "charisma" to it but I think the benefits the old school brings to the table have left me no choice. Later today I'm gonna hit the parts yards in search of the little things like bigger brakes and so on. I'm aiming to order the engine/trans by march. Hopefully by then I will have found a shop that knows something about this.
 

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The Univalent Radical
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1. It's 4x2
2. I have the 4 speed auto

I think I'm going old school! The hemi has a certain "charisma" to it but I think the benefits the old school brings to the table have left me no choice. Later today I'm gonna hit the parts yards in search of the little things like bigger brakes and so on. I'm aiming to order the engine/trans by march. Hopefully by then I will have found a shop that knows something about this.
I have a feeling that a 4.7 would bolt to our transmission. I love beating a dead horse! When searching for bigger brakes, the Commander and Grand Cherokee might be a good place to start. Once you start this project, keep us informed as to your progress, and take pictures, and post them as you progress. This may up being a lot easier than any of us imagined. Good luck.

:smileup: :smileup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the tip. I haven't got anything done today because its been basically non stop rain all day but I planned to look for the brakes off of a gc srt8. Those should do the trick :) still trying to get the physical measurements of our 3.7L. Nothing on the Internet that I've been able to find and no help from the people who sell remanufactured engines. So I called the dodge corporate office and the lady I talked to emailed there technical department and said she would call me with the info by Monday at the latest. So when I get that I'll post that info for anyone who may be looking for it. Might give us a better idea as to whether or not space would be an issue. I really appreciate all your help and I will keep updating as I go.
 

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Thanks for the tip. I haven't got anything done today because its been basically non stop rain all day but I planned to look for the brakes off of a gc srt8. Those should do the trick :) still trying to get the physical measurements of our 3.7L. Nothing on the Internet that I've been able to find and no help from the people who sell remanufactured engines. So I called the dodge corporate office and the lady I talked to emailed there technical department and said she would call me with the info by Monday at the latest. So when I get that I'll post that info for anyone who may be looking for it. Might give us a better idea as to whether or not space would be an issue. I really appreciate all your help and I will keep updating as I go.
Have you gotten any reply’s or info yet ??
 
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