1957 Willys CJ5 engine swap


Knuckle Buster
Jan 6, 2016
First Name
Willys Model
  1. CJ
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
Hello, my name is Roger Wallis. I live in central Texas and own 2 old CJ5's, a 57 and a 69 with F head 134 engines. Recently the 57 started "using" water, about a gallon every hour or so with no visible leaks. I assume that it had a blown head gasket, cracked head or cracked block. I have a friend who has a 4 cy engine that he removed from a 1989 Wrangle when he installed a V6. His engine is in great shape with lots of new parts, etc.

Trouble i,s we can't figure out how to swap this engine into the 57 CJ5. The 89 engine used a Chevy bell housing and my friend used the bell housing to install the V6 into his 89 Wrangler. So far, we haven't been able to find any sort of adapter that will connect the 89 engine to the 57 drive train. Any ideas.

We plan to tear the 57 engine down first to see if it is repairable, but I am hoping to have a plan B, just in case the block is cracked.


Well Oiled
Jul 3, 2012
Gardner Kansas
First Name
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1958
howdy from ks.

is the engine from your friends rig the 2.5l 4cly? thats the only 4cly that i remember for the yj's. you would get about 30-50 more HP's depending carb, or fuel injection. i am not sure of a bellhousing to take you from that engine to the willys t-90. if you have to go switch to that engine i would try to find a tranny and x-case to go with it. but then you got to do different axels, which would give you better brakes. but now you have messed with the breaking and steering system. i am not sure what to tell you.

maybe find the tranny to go with that engine and an adapter to mate up to the willys x-case. that might be the easiest

there are some here who are better with trannys then i so hopefully they can be more helpful and tell you something easy to do.

beyond that all i know to tell you is advance adapters or novak