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1999 Jeep Wrangler 2.2L Kubota diesel swap

redveloce

Adventurer
I posted a teaser in the 'What did you do to your Expo Jeep today?' topic a while back, and promised to make a full thread about my swap once it was complete.

I have been wanting to swap a diesel engine into one of my vehicles for years, and finally this summer/fall, after over a year of research I bit the bullet and started wrenching. I had considered many options from the common Cummins 4bt and Mercedes OM617 swaps to something more exotic like a Deutz. The 4bt was ruled out, because the Jeep is relatively light, and I didn't want to deal with the extra size and weight. The Mercedes was eliminated, because I wanted a direct injection engine, preferably something industrial. I like weird and obscure things, and I'm a HUGE fan of Deutz engines. The only Deutz engines I could find within my budget would have likely needed complete rebuilds to be trusted, so I reluctantly passed on those as well. I briefly considered a Cummins B3.3 until I started looking for them and choked when I saw the price of the few I could actually find!

Eventually I stumbled upon some discussions between several people with Rangers and S10s who were swapping small Kubotas into their trucks with great results. The engines are 2.2L V2203 diesels that are used in a lot of tractors, Bobcats, etc. They were also the standard compressor engines in Carrier Transicold refrigerator trailers. California emissions regulations now require that refer trailer engines meet current standards, so all of the engines from any of these trailers that go into California are being pulled out and replaced by engines with more current certifications. There are hundreds (thousands?) of these engines floating around in surplus right now, making the price very attractive!

A quick search put me in contact with a local guy who had purchased the whole lot of surplus engines from a puller to sell and finance his own swaps. He made me a great deal and turned out to be a fantastic resource for ideas and help solving issues I ran into along the way.

Here is the V2203DI, all of 48hp@2000RPM naturally aspirated, and <400lbs.


Here's the Jeep
 
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redthies

Renaissance Redneck
Let's see some more! 48 horses? Can you tweak the pump on these? Cost of the engine? Looks like a cool project.
 

redveloce

Adventurer
Let's see some more! 48 horses? Can you tweak the pump on these? Cost of the engine? Looks like a cool project.
You can increase the rack travel in the pump, and change governor springs to turn higher RPM. There is no worry spinning them up to 3000RPM, but the best power/torque is between 1600 and 2400. Carrier has them tuned extremely conservatively because they have to run non stop for very long intervals. They regularly go over 30,000hrs.
 

redveloce

Adventurer
The first thing that people always ask is "Does it make enough power?".

I went into the project with very low expectations for power output. My only requirements were that it got better mileage than the original 4.0L, and that it would maintain 60mph. The power has far surpassed my expectations. The power/torque actually feels better than the 4.0L did on the bottom end. I commute into the city on surface streets, so the majority of my time is spent in the ideal RPM range. I can push it to about 85mph if I want to, but it's pretty wheezy over 50mph, which I also expected pushing a barn door through the wind. I'm going to increase the tire size when I get new tires this spring, which should put it perfectly in the sweet spot around 60 or 65.

OK, rewinding:

No one makes a kit to put this engine in a road vehicle, so there was a lot of custom work necessary. I have a lot of experience with vehicles, but this was going to push my boundaries, and I would definitely need help. Luckily, I have some very talented friends and relatives who love this kind of project.

Since no one makes any adapters, we decided to ditch the ridiculously heavy factory Kubota flywheel housing, flywheel, and starter. A good friend made an adapter plate and crankshaft/flywheel adapter for me, so I could retain the factory Jeep transmission, clutch, flywheel, starter, etc. This saved a LOT of weight, moved the engine back about 6", and allows me to get these critical parts from any auto parts store.

The adapters are a work of art. It's a shame they're hidden between the engine and transmission!


I added a couple little things along the way to help with power output.


There's an engine in there somewhere...


I fabricated the engine mounts and accessory brackets, teaching myself how to weld as I went. My welding skills have definitely improved, but my grinding skills got a lot more practice!
 

Haf-E

Expedition Leader
I think that is a bit harsh - sourcing a small diesel engine to transplant in order to build a simple, fuel efficient overlanding rig is not very common in the US. I am tired of reading about hemi V-8 transplants into jeeps - but I don't complain about them being posted.

Not everyone needs to go fast. I've driven to the arctic circle in a two cylinder 602cc 28 HP camping truck - and it was a great trip. I've had friends go to the top of very large mountians in Pakistan in 48 HP unimogs. It can be done.

So - if you don't have something nice to say - shut up and stay out of the way!

Christopher
 

redveloce

Adventurer
I've been commuting with it for 3 weeks now, and have put almost 1000 miles on the swap.

I initially had some issues with the belt configuration. The Kubota only has a single groove crank pulley, so I had to run the power steering from a dual groove alternator pulley. This caused issues with the alternator belt slipping, and also clearance problems between the belt and the intercooler pipe, requiring a back side idler pulley to push the belt under the pipe. For brake vacuum, I used a belt drive vacuum pump from a Ford diesel. The off balance pump caused a lot of problems cracking brackets, working bolts loose, etc.

My machinist friend came through for me again, and machined an original pulley from a parts engine I have at his place (he lives 4 hours away), and made an adapter to another set of pulleys.


I swapped in the new pulley set this weekend, and converted my brake booster and master cylinder to a hydroboost unit from an Astro Van. This allowed me to ditch the vacuum pump, and clean things up a lot!





 

UK4X4

Expedition Leader
So 48bhp before the intercooler turbo assembly - what do you think she does now ?

its a cute little motor thats for sure !
 

redthies

Renaissance Redneck
I think that is a bit harsh - if you don't have something nice to say - shut up and stay out of the way!

Christopher
Joaquin is one of the original ExPo members and regularly contributes relevant and thoughtful posts. I am going to go out on a limb and suggest he was either being sarcastic, or having a bad day.

There are a TON of newcomers to this community who bring nothing to the table, and cause problems. The OP is making a worthwhile contribution, while your telling a longtime contributor to "shut up" does nothing for anyone.
 
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Gaucho919

Adventurer
Joaquin is one of the original ExPo members and regularly contributes relevant and thoughtful posts. I am going to go out on a limb and suggest he was either being sarcastic, or having a bad day.

There are a TON of newcomers to this community who bring nothing to the table, and cause problems. The OP is making a worthwhile contribution, while your telling a longtime contributor to "shut up" does nothing for anyone.
Definitely noted the sarcasm.
 
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