Jku Engine Swap options

Stroked 550

Adventurer
Im sorry but the 3.6L is a terrible engine it cant get out of its own way if its life depended on it lol
I am looking at the following options for my winter project

Has anyone done the swap? What did you go with?

Cummins 2.8---- I know this is relatively new but does anyone have one? how does it perform? what kind of mpg are you getting?

LS 3 ---https://www.gmperformancemotor.com/parts/19420382.html

383 stroker ------ https://www.gmperformancemotor.com/parts/19418640.html
 

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NatersXJ6

Explorer
Better start with a CARB Referee.

Why wouldn’t the 5.7 Hemi be on your list?

There are also super charger kits available if you want to go from 3.6 to “blown“ 3.6. The last one I saw was described as able to pass “anything but a gas station”.
 

TheDriver

Observer
I've got a Motech L94 / 6L80 swap in my 2009 JKU and love it but it was not without it's challenges. If doing it today I'd do the Motech Single Module System and an L8T / 10L80. If you decide to go forward with an LS/LT swap ping me directly and we can talk - I've learned a lot over the last 3 years of having it.
 

Stroked 550

Adventurer
What gears are you running and how heavy are you? Weight loss and a regear would be cheaper than an engine swap.
I have stock gearing and I know I know thats part of the suffering but Ive driven jeeps with stock size tires and its the same gutless pig
 

Stroked 550

Adventurer
Better start with a CARB Referee.

Why wouldn’t the 5.7 Hemi be on your list?

There are also super charger kits available if you want to go from 3.6 to “blown“ 3.6. The last one I saw was described as able to pass “anything but a gas station”.

Ive driven the Ram 1500 with the hemi and wasnt really a fan of it

Ive looked into the super charger kits but it seems like they are really only effective at highway speed
 

Stroked 550

Adventurer
I've got a Motech L94 / 6L80 swap in my 2009 JKU and love it but it was not without it's challenges. If doing it today I'd do the Motech Single Module System and an L8T / 10L80. If you decide to go forward with an LS/LT swap ping me directly and we can talk - I've learned a lot over the last 3 years of having it.
That sounds like a nice setup, I bet it had its challenges doing the conversion
Thank you I appreciate that I can imagine you learned a lot during the process learning from your experience is priceless
 

Stroked 550

Adventurer
The 3.6 is nearly 100hp over the original 3.8, perhaps your problem has more to do with poor choices in tire sizes with 3.21 gearing?

thats how I bought it and I knew it needed it gears when I bought it..............regearing is in the works anyways its still going to be gutless
live ive said Ive driven them with stock tires and its an absolutely terrible experience
 

TheDriver

Observer
@Dan Grec I really enjoy your content and your engine swap tale was all too familiar. A lot of time, money, effort and some stress along the way to getting it where it needed to be. For your use (Overlanding outside the USA) I'd never recommend it and agree 100% with your conclusion that sticking with factory reliability is a much better path when venturing across the globe. In fact, all your common sense "don't build a rock crawler for overlanding" advice is spot on.

In my case my JKU is fun daily driver local runabout and camping / 4x4 rig and I've put the time and money in to be able to diagnose and fix (or have fixed) any issues. Definitely a "project" vehicle that will be that way from now on. Three points I'm not sure you covered that also argue against a swap are 1) you won't get the money back out of it and it will be expensive no matter how you slice it and 2) You can't insure it much beyond the non-swapped stock value so you are risking losing everything you put into in case of an accident, fire, etc. and 3) Depending on how you swap it you are deviating from the factory crash tested configuration and could have additional issues in an accident. These points apply to other expensive mods like suspension, armor, etc but in the case of an engine swap it's considered a salvage vehicle by lenders so you can't even trade it in at a normal dealership.

I'd only advise swapping if you have plenty of money, you plan on keeping the vehicle forever, and you enjoy working on and maintaining it as a hobby in itself. Think of it the same as building a classic muscle car or hot rod. You will connect with all kinds of great car enthusiasts well outside the overland and Jeep / 4x4 world (I've participated in local hot rod meets) and when setup right they can be a real pleasure to drive. By having Motech (who've done hundreds of these swaps over the past 15-20 years and invented a reliable kit) do mine in Las Vegas I ended up with a turn-key build that, other than some post-swap engine bay and exhaust heat mitigation work, has been 100% functional and reliable and runs and drives as if it was factory.

Cheers and look forward to more of your videos - they are some of the best out there!
 

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rnArmy

Adventurer
I don't even know if the Cummins 2.8 is an option for the JK. Check out Axis Industries - they seem to know what they're doing with 2.8 conversions.
 

Stepsride

New member
After looking into this myself there are very few options I thought were bullet proof and would be long lasting. I looked at doing a Ripp supercharger. However I am kind of a naturally aspirated fan. I looked at doing the 5.7 Hemi with my 6 speed manual and that was what I liked the most. The horsepower increase with the correct tire size and gearing this would be a very good upgrade to the JKU on paper. However the cost is very prohibitive for me. I decided to put my rig on a diet and regear to 4.88. I am not going to win any races but that was not the point of my rig
 
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