Livernois ECM Tune for Wrangler JL V6 3.6L (Australia)

Alamein.sajib

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I wrote the below in the tuner section, posting again in the local section as i know few of us in Australia were looking for a tuner for the JL Wrangler. Here is my review of Livernois Tune for Wrangler JL v6 3.6L after using my Wrangler JL for 380km with the tuned ECM Swap.

Disclaimer: Below review is my personal opinion of the Livernois Tune after testing it for one week. Any comments made against and or for are not to be taken seriously and is of my personal taste. I do not have any mechanical or engineering degree, just a humble driver that likes and appreciates what Wrangler has to offer while trying to squeeze the best out of it. Most of the testing were conducted via my highly tuned Butt Dyno.

Background: I own a Wrangler JL Rubicon V6, RHD Export/Australian market model, had it since October 2019 and got about 13,000Km on the odometer.
  • As much as I love how the wrangler drives off-road and on road my main griefs with the v6 petrol engine and the auto transmission were:
  • Harsh acceleration, it will shudder and surge in low speed traffic driving condition
  • Spongy feeling in the acceleration curve specially between 1500-2200 RPM
  • Throttle responsiveness left a lot to desire…had to buy a throttle booster
  • Transmission shift points, don’t get me wrong I like the 8-speed transmission but during any spirited driving condition the transmission will not shift down fast enough leaving that underpower feeling when you give the throttle a go...
Purchase Experience: Living in Australia and driving an American car (with very minimal presence in the country) means getting any part or mod is a significant undertaking. Most/if not all my parts for the Jeep needed to be imported from USA and had my fair share of experience dealing with USA vendors via email and various shipping challenges. I contacted Livernois via forum message after reading their tune experience in Ford Mustang world, and from the get-go Andy was nothing but exceptional. He knew the challenge of ECM unlock and shipping requirement for USA<>Australia and had a solution ready that required purchasing a blank ECM, code it to my VIN, Flash it with my current export Firmware/Software, unlock it and then ship it to me. This solution mean I will not have a single minute of downtime and it will be a straight ECM swap with factory ECM being a backup, in case I needed to swap back down the road. Andy replied to my email/message within 24 hours and I never felt worried about spending the $1,800 AUD+ without knowing if it will even work after I receive it. I would rate this experience a 10 out of 10.

Installation Experience: The actual installation, i.e.: swap of the ECM is a 5-minute job, unscrew 3 bolts, unhook 2 latches and swap around. However, connecting the Tuner to the OBD port and associated security bypass cable/Canbus took me a while to figure out. Weirdly Livernois did not include any instruction with the product, also no instruction manual detailing features of the products on the website. It seems Livernois were going for customer specific experience and would rather talk to each customer to understand there need and walk them through the process. With timing difference between Australia and USA that meant sometimes I had to wait over 12 hours to get a response on what the next step would be, which I could have done myself if there was an instruction manual/guideline. I would rate this experience a 6 out of 10.

Positives: Below “Opinion” of mine was based on using E85 on 93 Flex fuel Tune with Transmission option. I have not had the opportunity to use 98 RON (93) yet, I stupidly filled both my Main and Aux fuel tank with 140 litter of E85 and it will take a while for me use it up (with current driving restriction under COVID-19 here in Melbourne). I will most portably move to 98 RON as my daily driver due to the scarcity of E85 here in Australia.
  • Smooooooth Acceleration, that’s the #1 thing that stand out for me, (I removed the throttle booster/controller/so stock), its so smooth that I start looking at my speedo constantly to ensure I am staying within the speed limit. Its hard to explain, the acceleration is not jerky or require significant peddle input.
  • Butt Dyno does tell me there’s 51HP underneath, I have no way to prove it scientifically but my 0-60 MPH (97KMH) number is 6.37 second from previous 6.93 second (From tazer JL)
  • No more spongy feeling in the throttle (unless you are under 1500 rpm)
  • The transmission tune is “Relatively” aggressive, if you like spirited driving (which I do) then you will love this transmission tune, it down shifts very fast based on your input also I think it Rev matches the tune lot better specially if you are driving around a wavy road and your speed varies constantly.
  • No more shudder or engine pinging in low RPM driving.
  • This one is bit odd…you swap an ECM and download a Tune from the “Internet” into your relatively new Wrangler while praying to Jeep gods that lets not blow the engine up. I have not had a single bit of concern on how the engine runs since I have installed the tune, it feels….very Stock, like it belongs.
  • And that’s the best thing about this tune, it feels like this should have come out of the Factory, it really brings out the best of the 3.6L V6 and the ZF 8 speed transmission. The tune is not very aggressive (like you would get from custom race tune) nor the improvement is minuscule 5-7%. The improvement is big enough to notice but small enough not to blow your engine up…

Things that can be better and things to look out for:
  • Website can be improved to list additional functions of the Tuner, such as ESS/Start Stop turn on/off option in the tune – this is a big one that lot of Wrangler JL owner would be interested in, as some of us paid $500 AUD+ for a Tazel JL. The tuner also does Tyre size alternation. You only find out about this additional function if you dig in or you ask for it.
  • You don’t have to buy (my opinion again) the bypass cable, I tried my Tazer JL bypass dongle as well as Autel bypass cable, both works fine with the tuner.
  • A change log on the website to highlight when a new tunes/functions comes out so existing owner knows to update the tune, rather than asking for it.
  • After you swap the ECM and download the Tune first 15-20 KM the engine will sound bit different (bit more pinging on idle) you must let the ECM learn the new tune and get the reading of ethanol from your fuel for the tune to kick in so must drive slow (no WOT) for 15-20 minutes, I believe the same is also true if you swap between E85 and any non-ethanol blends 91/93/98.
My wrap up score for Livernois Tine will be 9.5 out of 10.0, I must have for any Wrangler JL 3.6 owner, it truly brings the best out of the engine/auto transmission combo and to my humble opinion this is how it should have come out of the Factory…





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Rubi D

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Great review. Thanks for your honest opinion and experience.
 

rubileon

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  • After you swap the ECM and download the Tune first 15-20 KM the engine will sound bit different (bit more pinging on idle) you must let the ECM learn the new tune and get the reading of ethanol from your fuel for the tune to kick in so must drive slow (no WOT) for 15-20 minutes, I believe the same is also true if you swap between E85 and any non-ethanol blends 91/93/98.
Thanks for the write up. The pinging you mention doesn't seem normal. The tune shouldn't need to learn anything new. Did you check with, Livernois?
 
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Alamein.sajib

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Thanks for the write up. The pinging you mention doesn't seem normal. The tune shouldn't need to learn anything new. Did you check with, Livernois?
I should have been bit more clear. Before the ECM swap i was running 98 RON. Literally as soon as i swapped the ECM i filled my tank with E85. Based on my limited understanding if you swap fuel (between ethanol and non ethanol) the engine need few KM of driving to get used to the new fuel.

The pinging (not loud) i was talking about happened during that 10-15 minute of low speed driving and ideal. it gone away soon after and have not heard that since.

I will move back to 98 with-in next few weeks to find out the differences between E85 and 98.

Also see below screen grab of the recommendation i received from Livernois regarding ECM learning and different fuel mixture. I am very few to flexfuel.


1598229764950.png
 

rubileon

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I should have been bit more clear. Before the ECM swap i was running 98 RON. Literally as soon as i swapped the ECM i filled my tank with E85. Based on my limited understanding if you swap fuel (between ethanol and non ethanol) the engine need few KM of driving to get used to the new fuel.

The pinging (not loud) i was talking about happened during that 10-15 minute of low speed driving and ideal. it gone away soon after and have not heard that since.

I will move back to 98 with-in next few weeks to find out the differences between E85 and 98.

Also see below screen grab of the recommendation i received from Livernois regarding ECM learning and different fuel mixture. I am very few to flexfuel.


1598229764950.png
Cool. Also in which way do you expect the performance to differ when you're back on 98?
 
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Alamein.sajib

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Cool. Also in which way do you expect the performance to differ when you're back on 98?
Well..Livernois recommends E85 to get the best HP/Torque out of this tune. I believe with 98 you loose few HP. I found the engine does run few degree cooler with E85.

Two reason I want to move to 98 1) E85 is hard to come by and expensive, about 30 cent more 2) I am getting 21.4L/100km with the E85 compared to 14.5L/100km with 98 before. that's quite a hit to the hip pocket for few extra ponies....
 

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Well..Livernois recommends E85 to get the best HP/Torque out of this tune. I believe with 98 you loose few HP. I found the engine does run few degree cooler with E85.

Two reason I want to move to 98 1) E85 is hard to come by and expensive, about 30 cent more 2) I am getting 21.4L/100km with the E85 compared to 14.5L/100km with 98 before. that's quite a hit to the hip pocket for few extra ponies....
21 is a shocker. I have only used 98 and can't seem to keep it below 14 for too long. Wonder if it's better with 95?
 

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21 is a shocker. I have only used 98 and can't seem to keep it below 14 for too long. Wonder if it's better with 95?
Gasoline will definitely be better, E85 uses about 30% more fuel than gasoline typically, so the reduction in economy on E85 isn't too surprising. In the USA, E85 is usually cheaper then 87 octane gasoline (or I believe your 91), and dramatically cheaper then 93 (your 98), so even though it uses more fuel, it's usually a fair bit cheaper than running 91/93, and close, or only slightly more costly than running 87.

But there is still a great bump in power on your 98 as well, so that will help in the cost side of the equation it seems.
 
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Gasoline will definitely be better, E85 uses about 30% more fuel than gasoline typically, so the reduction in economy on E85 isn't too surprising. In the USA, E85 is usually cheaper then 87 octane gasoline (or I believe your 91), and dramatically cheaper then 93 (your 98), so even though it uses more fuel, it's usually a fair bit cheaper than running 91/93, and close, or only slightly more costly than running 87.

But there is still a great bump in power on your 98 as well, so that will help in the cost side of the equation it seems.
I Also thought E85 would be cheaper vs 93 (98 RON). Its about 22% more expensive add 30% loss in efficiency for E85, you are looking at a significant price vs performance gap for E85.

I am almost done with my 1st fill of 140L of E85, will move to 98 next week, hopefully the experience will be same as E85...
 

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I Also thought E85 would be cheaper vs 93 (98 RON). Its about 22% more expensive add 30% loss in efficiency for E85, you are looking at a significant price vs performance gap for E85.

I am almost done with my 1st fill of 140L of E85, will move to 98 next week, hopefully the experience will be same as E85...
similar, but there will be a perceivable drop in power, but not a ton. And still worlds better than stock!
 

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Thanks for the review. I’ve been watching this tune, mostly because my JL pings at low rpm. Before the haters hate, it’s a common issue and Jeep won’t release a fix. There’s a few threads about it.
$1800 is a bit steep, but then again local diesel tuners are charging that.
What about any future updates from dealer service ? Is that still compatible with the new ecm and tune ?
 
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Alamein.sajib

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Thanks for the review. I’ve been watching this tune, mostly because my JL pings at low rpm. Before the haters hate, it’s a common issue and Jeep won’t release a fix. There’s a few threads about it.
$1800 is a bit steep, but then again local diesel tuners are charging that.
What about any future updates from dealer service ? Is that still compatible with the new ecm and tune ?
I have not had any dealer service visit since i swapped the ECM, saying that i been told that there's no issue with dealer doing any sort of flash to the unlocked ECM. My assumption, the ECM is responsible for lots of other functions then just the fuel and tune mapping. If dealers future flash to ECM do happen to touch the fuel/tune mapping then i guess you will loose the livernois tune and have to reload it from the handheld device, the unlocked ECM is a "Physical Mod/unlock" ECM flash should not lock it back again...

Now to your second question of the cost...i have had the tune for about 3 months now, have done around 3,000Km on that tune mostly on 98. If i had my way again i will happily pay $3,600 (double) the money for the tune. It feels extremely smooth, the power band is there when you need it and no weird feeling that the stock tune was giving me specially driving in city traffic. Best of all, this tune makes you feel you "Have Not" done anything to the Jeep, its hidden and does not remind you its presence, unlike a Suspension Lift, Snorkel or Roof Rack, that will remind you the "Mod" is there..

Everyone's mileage on money varies, from my personal point of view this $1,800 is the 2nd best expense (only 2nd to the long range fuel tank) i have done so far on my Jl Wrangler (out of $20,000 odd i have spend so far on mods). This 2 mods are the only items that gets used day in day out...
 

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I have not had any dealer service visit since i swapped the ECM, saying that i been told that there's no issue with dealer doing any sort of flash to the unlocked ECM. My assumption, the ECM is responsible for lots of other functions then just the fuel and tune mapping. If dealers future flash to ECM do happen to touch the fuel/tune mapping then i guess you will loose the livernois tune and have to reload it from the handheld device, the unlocked ECM is a "Physical Mod/unlock" ECM flash should not lock it back again...

Now to your second question of the cost...i have had the tune for about 3 months now, have done around 3,000Km on that tune mostly on 98. If i had my way again i will happily pay $3,600 (double) the money for the tune. It feels extremely smooth, the power band is there when you need it and no weird feeling that the stock tune was giving me specially driving in city traffic. Best of all, this tune makes you feel you "Have Not" done anything to the Jeep, its hidden and does not remind you its presence, unlike a Suspension Lift, Snorkel or Roof Rack, that will remind you the "Mod" is there..

Everyone's mileage on money varies, from my personal point of view this $1,800 is the 2nd best expense (only 2nd to the long range fuel tank) i have done so far on my Jl Wrangler (out of $20,000 odd i have spend so far on mods). This 2 mods are the only items that gets used day in day out...

To clarify a point on that, very fuel updates/service items do Need the ECM itself, and the dealer won't be able to overwrite the calibration by mistake on the engine (the transmission is a different story)

With that said, while not necessary, throwing in the stock ECM is the safest approach as it will allow them to not claim any issues during their work. And if they do update the original ECM with newer code, it won't impact the modded on at all since it can just be installed right back in its place.
 

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