Swaps - LS3 vs Hemi

jruss

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I don't think there's evidence to say that a 3.6 or a 3.8 with a supercharger is going to be more reliable than a Hemi. I think they're both pretty reliable from what I have seen.

You're right about emissions -- it will be difficult to pass in certain states such as Nevada and California where referees are involved, etc. My Hemi TJ went through the emissions process in Nevada, and it was time consuming. However, the swap was done right and it passed without problem. California is trickier (and an LS swap will never pass). Have had no issues in Arizona but that should not come as a surprise.

That said, saying that both are trash swaps is a bit of a dramatic statement (not even sure what that means, so I'm guessing). If done by a reputable shop at this point, you really should not run into any major issues, assuming you are sticking to the formula that's been repeated over and over -- including any tuning requirements. Also, the harnesses have also had their foot print shrunk to the point where it's pretty much plug and play. Stray from that repeated formula and ALL bets are off. Also, cooling capacity is extremely important, and things like fender liners, grill modifications, winches blocking air inlet, and weight will creep up FAST.

But yes, it requires more headaches, more money, and more time! However, for those wanting something unique -- it's worth it for many. But you need to know what you're getting into. For ~99% of people, the supercharger option is fine.
This guy did it on his tj so it should be pretty straightforward on a jl. Good luck.
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guarnibl

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This guy did it on his tj so it should be pretty straightforward on a jl. Good luck.
TJ and a JK. I probably wouldn't swap a JL yet (you're a guinea pig if you do). I clarified my original post to ensure that's explicitly stated though. I'm curious to see how the RIPP does with the new 8 speed. I wish there was transmission tuning.

Overall though, give it a bit of time. They will have the formula down faster for the JL than it took for the JK.
 
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jruss

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TJ and a JK. I probably wouldn't swap a JL yet (you're a guinea pig if you do). I clarified my original post to ensure that's explicitly stated though. I'm curious to see how the RIPP does with the new 8 speed. I wish there was transmission tuning.

Overall though, give it a bit of time. They will have the formula down faster for the JL than it took for the JK.
Sorry, I have way too much hands on to put a Hemi in an apple or want to put an Ripp supercharger on a go cart. I am happy all of this has worked out well for you though. My mileage has greatly varied, but I’ve been on the other end of the wrench.
 

guarnibl

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Sorry, I have way too much hands on to put a Hemi in an apple or want to put an Ripp supercharger on a go cart. I am happy all of this has worked out well for you though. My mileage has greatly varied, but I’ve been on the other end of the wrench.
Yeah no worries. BTW, I thought we were talking about JK's since you were mentioning the 3.6 RIPP kit... which RIPP does not have a kit out for the JL. Thus why my comments were made... man, I would *HATE* to be a customer getting a swap done on a JL right now unless I absolutely knew everything that could possibly go wrong was probably going to go wrong.

When we initially did our JK swap, the harness was massive. We actually just replaced it with the latest gen and it's incredible how far it's come. If you are sending a JK (4 door) to get swapped today, with either a basic hemi (5.7-6.4) or LS3 (hot cam or stock), the kits really have come a long way, and alleviate a lot of the complexity/issues that people saw in the past. I am not sure I would call it straight forward -- as that's too generic of a statement. But it's nowhere near the nightmare it used to be (as you have personally experienced).

Also here's what a crazy LS7 swap sounds like in a JK.
 
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Kevin Mojito

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As someone with a Hemi TJ, next go would be the LS swap. The GM product swap out much nicer then Mopar. You can change GM tranny's (4, 6, 8 and 10 speeds). That's a no go for Mopar. After a few years, you fine yourself looking for 40-100 hp more. Big money for a Hemi, just a few buck for LS stuff. Need a custom tune, no problem with GM stuff, every shop tunes LS motors.

As side note:
I always hear " who needs a V-8 for a Jeep" "Jeeps are not for street racing"
This is the farthest thing from the truth. My 5.7 Hemi gets out run from soccer mom SUV's all the time. I think my 19 Rubicon 8 speed will out drag race the 5.7 Hemi TJ. This is no joke. I will put the 2 of them up against each other soon. What the Hemi has is endless Torque ( big tires no gearing and it don't care ) .

The new 8 speed auto really helped out the little 3.6. so far I'm really impressed with street driving. I hit the Oregon Sand dunes, that's when I will know for sure if a V-8 is in the future or not on the JL.
 

guarnibl

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As someone with a Hemi TJ, next go would be the LS swap. The GM product swap out much nicer then Mopar. You can change GM tranny's (4, 6, 8 and 10 speeds). That's a no go for Mopar. After a few years, you fine yourself looking for 40-100 hp more. Big money for a Hemi, just a few buck for LS stuff. Need a custom tune, no problem with GM stuff, every shop tunes LS motors.

As side note:
I always hear " who needs a V-8 for a Jeep" "Jeeps are not for street racing"
This is the farthest thing from the truth. My 5.7 Hemi gets out run from soccer mom SUV's all the time. I think my 19 Rubicon 8 speed will out drag race the 5.7 Hemi TJ. This is no joke. I will put the 2 of them up against each other soon. What the Hemi has is endless Torque ( big tires no gearing and it don't care ) .

The new 8 speed auto really helped out the little 3.6. so far I'm really impressed with street driving. I hit the Oregon Sand dunes, that's when I will know for sure if a V-8 is in the future or not on the JL.
See above post (instagram link) re: the Jeeps are not street racing comment HA! It's not exactly a sleeper though given the exhaust.

Yeah, the TJ 5.7 isn't all that fast. Mine isn't anyway. It's only making 375 horsepower (stock tune). It's faster (significantly) to 60 though than the JL (I might have drag raced them!) No doubt if I didn't have to deal with California, I would go with the LS over the Hemi. My '98 TJ is light though... 33's, stock bumpers, soft top.

But honestly, I think with the Turbo 4 performance and the 8 speed, and with the diesel coming eventually -- there's going to be a lot less reasons to swap a JL in the future. You're essentially just pissing 90% of that money into the wind.
 

Silver TT

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Great thread here. I am deep in this decision process right now. Have talked to Jeff and Rick at Bruiser and Dan at Dakota Customs. Both great guys who really know their stuff. Also as others have pointed out not a cheap option and definitely don't expect to get all your money out (unless you find another crazy person like yourself and the people on this thread to take it off your hands for 50% of what you invested).

Knowing that I am still interested and currently trying to decide if I will be happy with the base LS 6.2L or need to step up to something more insane like an LSA or even Hellcat. Dakota does the Hellcat for $60k which sounds completely ridiculous (and maybe it is) but it requires a LOT of custom parts to get it all to work plus you are replacing the tranny with the upgraded SRT 8spd so it starts to almost make sense but not really. Then again 707hp/650tq and the sound of that blower is so damn tempting.

I figure the "base" 6.2L at more like high 20s / low 30s is probably enough and can always do whipple down road but then would need the SRT 8spd which is $9k plus labor and maybe some new parts / programming / cooling and you are likely so you are probably coming in around $45k all in for that. Correct me if I am wrong for guys that have done it. At that point might make more sense to just drop the 60k and have something really unique in a Hellcat Wrangler. My guess is you'd get more money for a Hellcat Wrangler than an LSA swapped Wrangler - but again none of this makes anybfinancial sense so just need to go with what makes you happy and hope someone else is as crazy as you and agrees with your choice down the road. People are paying $200k for coyote swapped Broncos which couldn't hold a candle to even a base LS3 Wrangler I don't think.
 

DeVoTee

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Dan, before you make your decision, take a look at Motech in Las Vegas..... I believe Robbie is top of the game in engine swaps. I have a 17 JKU in Vegas now getting an LT1 Gen V 8l90 w2 spd Altas swap. I believe he was the first to do a new Gen V GM swap in a JL. Extremely, Extremely thorough. Has videos on youtube.
 

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Great thread here. I am deep in this decision process right now. Have talked to Jeff and Rick at Bruiser and Dan at Dakota Customs. Both great guys who really know their stuff. Also as others have pointed out not a cheap option and definitely don't expect to get all your money out (unless you find another crazy person like yourself and the people on this thread to take it off your hands for 50% of what you invested).

Knowing that I am still interested and currently trying to decide if I will be happy with the base LS 6.2L or need to step up to something more insane like an LSA or even Hellcat. Dakota does the Hellcat for $60k which sounds completely ridiculous (and maybe it is) but it requires a LOT of custom parts to get it all to work plus you are replacing the tranny with the upgraded SRT 8spd so it starts to almost make sense but not really. Then again 707hp/650tq and the sound of that blower is so damn tempting.

I figure the "base" 6.2L at more like high 20s / low 30s is probably enough and can always do whipple down road but then would need the SRT 8spd which is $9k plus labor and maybe some new parts / programming / cooling and you are likely so you are probably coming in around $45k all in for that. Correct me if I am wrong for guys that have done it. At that point might make more sense to just drop the 60k and have something really unique in a Hellcat Wrangler. My guess is you'd get more money for a Hellcat Wrangler than an LSA swapped Wrangler - but again none of this makes anybfinancial sense so just need to go with what makes you happy and hope someone else is as crazy as you and agrees with your choice down the road. People are paying $200k for coyote swapped Broncos which couldn't hold a candle to even a base LS3 Wrangler I don't think.
It's not as simple as just "Add a whipple" later on. FYI. If you spend $25k to do the 6.2, expect to spend nearly that (honestly, probably more) if you decide to add a Whipple later. It gets a lot more complicated and expensive past a basic LS3 Hotcam. I'd be curious to talk to someone who has a hellcat Wrangler and what their long (ish) term ownership experience has been like. If you really need more than LS3 hot cam, my vote goes to LSA. I think it would be significantly cheaper than doing the 6.2L + Whipple... which my guess would be around the same cost as the Hellcat option. You'd probably end up spending money twice in some areas otherwise.
 

guarnibl

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Also my recommendation is whoever you have decide to do the swap, ensure you speak with customers that have had it done who are willing to share their unbiased experience, if possible.
 

roaniecowpony

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Wise words guys. Supercharger with some good reviews would be ideal.
Edelbrock is working on a JL E-Force kit.
 

DanW

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As much as I love the LS V8's, I'd go with the Hemi. I'd keep everything in the same gene pool. That way, everything electronic plays nicely with each other and any Jeep/Ram dealer should be able to work on it.

AEV does lots of Hemi JK conversions and the ones I've seen run perfectly, no overheating or unusual issues.
 

colorado25

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I am just saying a lot of folks think if they build a Jeep and they spend $30k swapping a v8 into it, that they will get some of that back (i.e., $15-$20k). Not the case. Maybe $5k... it's essentially a mod, and mods going with the vehicle return 10-20% of their original spend at most. Rare exceptions of course =)
Totally agree. I believe this is why you see these v8 swaps listed for sale for months and months. The sellers are trying to get nearly all their money invested and it just ain't happening. Other than the JL, I've been very interested in a LS swapped JKU but most don't even have the axels to support the power and they are asking $60-$70k Basically new purchase price plus the $25k for the swap. I just dont have the heart to make them an offer since it wouldn't even be close to their asking price. Coming from someone that has modded many vehicles over the years to think you get even 10% return on aftermarket parts is a stretch. Kinda stinks but just the way it is.
 
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JC7

JC7

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Totally agree. I believe this is why you see these v8 swaps listed for sale for months and months. The sellers are trying to get nearly all their money invested and it just ain't happening. Other than the JL, I've been very interested in a LS swapped JKU but most don't even have the axels to support the power and they are asking $60-$70k Basically new purchase price plus the $25k for the swap. I just dont have the heart to make them an offer since it wouldn't even be close to their asking price. Coming from someone that has modded many vehicles over the years to think you get even 10% return on aftermarket parts is a stretch. Kinda stinks but just the way it is.
If you’re not hardcore wheeling would you really need Dana 60s?
 

colorado25

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If you’re not hardcore wheeling would you really need Dana 60s?
Not one bit but I run across guys that don't even have their 30 or 44 beefed up. Motor swap, lift, wheels/tires. Done.
 
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