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Old 06-17-2009, 07:13 PM   #1
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"gutless" engine?

Looking to buy a 4dr Rubi. Have always wanted a Wrangler since the CJ-5 days. Have read many articles that call the new engine "gutless". How true is this? The new engine has very little h.p. torque seems okay. What are the prospects of a new engine that say gets 250h.p. and 265 torque??? How lame is the current engine? Comments much appreciated...Thanks!

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Old 06-17-2009, 07:47 PM   #2
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You'll win no speed awards with it. It is perfectly capable on road in day to day traffic (my previous car was a 333hp M3... so I set my expectations low when I bought my JK). However a little more hp would be nice. Personally, I'd love a diesel.
Off-road the power and low-end torque is not bad... and it pulls well out of the rough stuff.
But I am a noob. I'm sure more experienced JK'ers can add their $.02.

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Old 06-17-2009, 08:36 PM   #3
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I had a Dodge Durango, (V8, 4.7ltr) and when I got my Jeep, I definately noticed a difference in the engine.

I think the biggest difference, to me, is that the Durango responded better (quicker) when I needed more from the engine. Say, if I am on a road and need to pass someone going slower than they should. I wait until I get to a passing zone, and push the peddle down... the Jeep hesitates to give me the power... it eventually does, but the RPM's jump pretty high and the engine really has to work to do it. The Durango didn't have to put as much effort into giving me the extra push to pass someone and the acceleration happened fairly quickly.

It's not a big deal, but to me that is the biggest difference between what I used to drive, and the Jeep at this point. And I almost kind of expected it, but it just took a little getting used to.
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:01 PM   #4
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I traded my FJ Cruiser on a JK and theres a night/day power difference between the two. The FJ is noted as a 7.x 0-60 while the JK is over 10.

I knew that the JK wasnt a stoplight terror when going into it - but like most others, I wish there was a bit more power under the hood for daily driving duties. I really have to push it to keep it above 65mph.

But with the top down or along my favorite trail, I quickly forget that the powerplant is pretty much a minivan engine.
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:41 AM   #5
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Ive a 6 spd Rubi and love it. Has enough HP/Torque for what i need it to do. Actually i feel its better than my 06.
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:30 AM   #6
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i went from an 06 gmc yukon w/ 5.3 v8 and we still have a 04 toyota 4runner w/ 4.0 v6 and there is definately a difference in power of the jeep. specially running 35" tires.
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Old 06-18-2009, 06:25 AM   #7
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If you are looking for speed and raw power, I would suggest a Challenger SRT. I have owned many 6 cylinders over the years and I have driven some 8's. Of course there is a difference. When you mash an 8 it will jump for you. A six will get you where you need to go.

Not being able to maintain 65 is a load of crap. The first time my wife drove my Jeep, I had to let her know she was doing over 80. She didn't even realize it. The most powerful 6 I've driven (perceptually wise) was a GM 3.8 in my Buick Lesabre. That felt very close to an 8. After that I drove a 3.1 6 in a Chevy Malibu. There was no mistaking that for anything other than a 6. I would rate my Wrangler in between those two.

That being seaid, I love my Jeep. It's the first time I can say that about a vehicle since I owned a 1980 CJ7. Off-road, my Wrangler wins over the CJ7 hands down. It pulls through the mud and grabs the steep inclines like a billy goat.

Everyone's perception of performance will be different. You need to take a test drive to see for yourself. By all means do not compare a 4 dr Rubicon to a CJ5. The CJ5 was small and light and when there was a 304 V8 in one it was like a rocket. It is not going to have the power of a V8 Yukon or even a V8 Durango, bith of which will never see the places a Jeep can take you. Again if you want to power past every car on the road and blow everyone off the line, go with the Challenger and you won't be disappointed.
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:34 AM   #8
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^ Or do a Hemi swap

I have 2 JK's in the family now, and I'm not disappointed with the power in the 3.8. I grew up with a 2.5L 4-cylinder YJ, then a 4.0L TJ, and they were fine by me. Sure, a 4-door autobox JK is slow, but why are you asking for speed from a 2 ton+ 4-door convertible 4x4?

The 3.8 is plenty capable of daily driving duties. It's not gutless- the 4-speed autobox certainly doesn't do a good job of utilizing what power the engine makes, however. Get the 6-speed if you're concerned with power, and add the Superchips tuner on 93 octane. You WILL feel a decent torque increase in the mid-range (where you'll use it).

As for the FJ Cruiser, that vehicle has 200 more cc's in the engine, around 30 more HP, around 40 more ft.-lbs. of torque, and 3.91 gears (for the 6-speed- 3.72's for the FIVE-speed auto). It's got more guts on-road, but the IFS might limit you off-road. Also, you can't remove the top and doors in minutes, and it looks like a big toy (take it or leave it). There's also no MT tire option (Rubicon), and only a 2.56:1 low-range. Still a good vehicle, but not as focused as the Jeep.

As far as the "prospects" of an engine in the spec you mentioned, they are VERY good, but not for several years (2012 at LEAST). That'll be the Pentastar engine- coming in the 2010 Grand Cherokee, and moving on to other CDJ vehicles from there. Don't hold your breath- our Chrysler powertrain guy said it'll be at LEAST 2012 before it hits the JK.

If you want more power, you can always swap in a Hemi or supercharge it. Test drive one and see what you think- Mark W.
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Old 06-18-2009, 06:57 PM   #9
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It would be nice to have an SRT Rubicon, but it will never happen. Due to heavy government regulations, car manufacturers have to produce the most fuel efficient vehicles they can. By no means is the JK an econobox, but when chrysler produced this vehicle, they relied on what people were most likely to buy it for. The jeep wrangler is an off road animal. People will buy them for what their history is, an SUV you can rely on in any terrain or weather condition and also drop the top for some open air cruising. Enjoy it for what it is.
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:08 PM   #10
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Thanks for the feedback. Wasn't expecting much speed out of a wrangler, it just seemed like the h.p. numbers were real low even for a 6cyl. engine. Am looking to buy it as a daily driver with some off road use. If I were to tune the engine for a little more kick what suggestions would you have?...Thanks again.
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Old 06-19-2009, 06:43 AM   #11
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Thanks for the feedback. Wasn't expecting much speed out of a wrangler, it just seemed like the h.p. numbers were real low even for a 6cyl. engine. Am looking to buy it as a daily driver with some off road use. If I were to tune the engine for a little more kick what suggestions would you have?...Thanks again.
if you tune it you will only go slow faster. its not built for speed. btw i love driving my jeep.
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:06 AM   #12
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If you regear it, the Wrangler will hop a little more enthusiastically. But it's still a slug.

The only hope we have for more torque is if they decide to bring the diesel over here. It doesn't need more hp.
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:16 PM   #13
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^mine is diesel, auto, 2.8l engine, L4, 177hp@3.800rot/min.
I don't know how that sounds to you, I know I'm totally happy with it. That means I get to pass whatever car I have to pass nicely (it's more a matter of how I push the pedal than pushing it to the end) and although it doesn't feel (powerwise) like a Infinity or Cayenne (my boyfriend's and respectively best friend rides), I just love the way it claims a hill. That is power... Btw, it does accelarate quite nicely at over 80km/h, that for the passing others part.
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Old 06-20-2009, 10:43 AM   #14
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In terms of tuning it to get more out of it, the only bang/$ that actually gets results is a programmer (Superchips), drop in air filter (Mopar/K&N), and maybe a muffler (mostly useful to get the crushcan out from under the rear and make a bit more noise).

Gears/tires are also a good way to increase overall performance. Beyond that, leave it alone, or toss it in favor of a Hemi Mark W.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:35 AM   #15
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^mine is diesel, auto, 2.8l engine, L4, 177hp@3.800rot/min.
I don't know how that sounds to you, I know I'm totally happy with it. That means I get to pass whatever car I have to pass nicely (it's more a matter of how I push the pedal than pushing it to the end) and although it doesn't feel (powerwise) like a Infinity or Cayenne (my boyfriend's and respectively best friend rides), I just love the way it claims a hill. That is power... Btw, it does accelarate quite nicely at over 80km/h, that for the passing others part.
No diesel option for us in this "land of opportunity".

Unless we want to fork out huge money for the J8 Milspec kit from AEV.
AEV J8 Milspec First Drive Video - Expedition Portal Forum

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Old 06-24-2009, 06:50 PM   #16
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Any diesels for the Wrangler in 2010?
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:15 AM   #17
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Any diesels for the Wrangler in 2010?
That is a widely debated topic.
I don't think so because AEV has ponied-up money to Chrysler for an exclusive for now. Even though they'll only build 200 of the Milspec J8's, I think they'll want a year of exclusivity...
I'd love to see it though. Or a retrofit kit for the 2.8 crd to go in our US JK's. They meet emissions standards in 49 states, after all.
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:39 PM   #18
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Talking It isn't that bad

If I compare my 6-speed Unlimited X with my daily driver (AUDI Q7 V8) I have to say it isn't bad at all. After driving around a few month without any modification I installed an AFE cold air intake to see if it really makes a difference - and it actually does in 3 different ways. Sounds pretty cool, acceleration is a lot better especially from lower rpm and gas mileage improved 2-3 MPG. Next step is a throttle spacer but even if this thing is bogus I have no more need for speed. LEGO blocks ain't no race cars!
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Old 06-27-2009, 07:18 AM   #19
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Thanks!
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:23 AM   #20
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... gas mileage improved 2-3 MPG.
That's difficult to wrap my head around. Dyno results are far from impessive on every CAI but one that I know of; most CAI's cause the JK to lose HP and torque, especially without a header, high-flow cat, and exhaust.
I'd be looking at a different cause/effect for mpg increase.
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:02 PM   #21
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i wouldnt it happens to all my cars i put a cai on the mpg goes up a little.
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:11 PM   #22
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So you can buy a diesel that will fit a JK from AEV... what sorts of mods would you have to do to your stock JK? Plausible? If so, that would be a cool project.
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:29 AM   #23
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So you can buy a diesel that will fit a JK from AEV... what sorts of mods would you have to do to your stock JK? Plausible? If so, that would be a cool project.
I'm waiting those answers myself....
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:05 PM   #24
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:52 AM   #25
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I have a new Unlimited Rubicon with 35" tires and a 6 speed standard transmission. It is ok not the fastest vehicle I have driven and you don't get to use 6th gear very often. However it will move right along on the interstate in 6th but I have to down shift on hills.
It has enough power for what it is and is OK as far as I am concerned. If you are looking for power you are most likely looking at the wrong vehicle.
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:14 PM   #26
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You have to downshift from 6th on the highway???
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:21 PM   #27
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He has 35" tires and probably still running stock gears.

You wouldn't have that issue unless you do the same (big tires, no gear change).
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:33 AM   #28
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I have 33" tires, autotrans, and 4.56 gearing. If I don't disable the O.D., it gets shift-happy on 2-lane roads and my mpg goes south. On the interstates it drops two gears for a hill.
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:17 AM   #29
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I have the 6spd standard trans and the Rubicon stock 4:10 gearing. I can still use the
6th speed with out trouble although on hills I still have to down shift. No big deal.
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:54 AM   #30
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I have the 6spd standard trans and the Rubicon stock 4:10 gearing. I can still use the
6th speed with out trouble although on hills I still have to down shift. No big deal.
4.10's should've been stock on all of them and 4.56 on the Rubi....

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