Will a 3.8l 6 cylinder turbo motor fit in a Jeep wrangler?

Posted on 2014-10-23
Last Modified: 2014-10-25
Where is the best place to find out if one motor will fit in another vehicle? I have a 3.8 L 6 cylinder motor from a 1987 Buick Grand National on a stand. Been there for years. I want to make a winter project out of it but I want to find out what vehicles it will fit in specifically a Jeep Wrangler 1988-2000. How can I find out?
Question by:artismobile
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 40401721
Interesting question.  Anything is possible.
You need to determine the dimensional needs if the engine is larger.  Then you need to find out the mounts.  Some engines will bolt directly in utilizing the factory engine mounts.  Other will require moving and welding new engine mounts, and possibly cutting and modifying the frame.  So even if engine physically fits, it is not the end of location problems.  
Mounting important.  Then need to make sure the engine leveled, tight and in the correct position.
In your specific example, I'd say yeah.  My buddy put a Viper engine into Wrangler.  That's 8L V10.  So yes, the one from Buick will fit physically fine.

Author Comment

ID: 40401870
Thank you for your answer, and encouragement! I have just a tad above novice skill but I have all the time in the world. Since the 3.8 is smaller I guess I should start thinking about mounts. I'm not a welder so if I have to move mounts or anything like that might be a bother...
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 40402251
I was actually wondering about it. Those jeeps came with 4.0 inline motors why would you want to go through the trouble of putting a smaller motor?
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Author Comment

ID: 40402380
I just have this turbo motor for years with no idea what to do it before I'm too old to care! My daughter just got into liking the wrangler. Kill two birds with one stone.  Then again It is a turbo motor...
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 40402543
I got ya.  Well the best way is to try to search online see if anyone has done a swap like that already.  But considering some of the wranglers came with a 4.0 inline stock, size wise it should fit.  Probably not worth all the effort though when you can just go get one with a 4.0 for not much money.  Plus smogging it would be a nightmare.
LVL 34

Expert Comment

ID: 40402590
"Will a 3.8l 6 cylinder turbo motor fit in a Jeep wrangler?"

No, not without a lot of refitting work.

Unless you can do the work yourself ( as a hobby ) then the expense of refitting it is not worth it.

The logical solution is to get the original engine serviced or replaced with a reconditioned engine.
LVL 34

Assisted Solution

Michael-Best earned 250 total points
ID: 40402650
The 3.8 L 6 cylinder motor from a 1987 Buick Grand National cannot be fitted to a Jeep Wrangler 1988-2000 transmission.

The 3.8 L 6 cylinder motor from a 1987 Buick Grand National including its  transmission will require massive refitting work such as cutting away the engine bay to fit new engine mounts & new transmission mounts and also will require a custom length drive shaft.

LVL 17

Accepted Solution

Tiras25 earned 250 total points
ID: 40403633
Depends with time and money you can put any engine in anything.  So depends what you want to put into it.  Advance adapters has all sorts of options for different things, if they have one it would be easy.  If not you are looking at getting a 2WD trans (like a 200r4) and doing a divorced t-case.  Not a lot of room for that on a wrangler, and the trans would have to be built to handle the abuse.  Since the bolt pattern on those is one of the weird 6 patterns.  Your better bet is to find one with a 4.0 and put a turbo or supercharger on it.

Having said that, I think that would be a fun project.
As said you will have to find an adapter for the bell housing.  You may have to fab up some motor mounts as well, but it will fit.  If I can put a SBC in a Toyota you can put a V6 in a Jeep.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40404016
Thanks again folks!

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