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Old 03-24-2011, 09:22 PM   #1
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Question turbo vs. cold air intake

I have an '01 wrangler with a 4.0 I6 a 4" lift and 33" tires. The engine just doesn't have enough power to maintain a decent highway speed in 5th gear. I'm trying to decide whether to get a turbo or a cold air intake. I can't drop thousands of dollars into this though. I wouldn't mind improving my gas mileage a bit from 11mpg either. Any thoughts?

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Old 03-24-2011, 09:23 PM   #2
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What's your gear ratio?

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Old 03-24-2011, 09:24 PM   #3
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best bet is to probably re-gear
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:24 PM   #4
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Simply regear your axles my friend, it'll run you 1400 tops for both front and rear if you have someone do it for you. Do you know your stock gearing?
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:26 PM   #5
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regear.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:29 PM   #6
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Not sure what my stock ratio is, have to check in the morning. I think I would rather increase performance though. If I understand how regearing works I would prolly end up with worse mileage to fix my speed problem, right?
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by eric_b993
Not sure what my stock ratio is, have to check in the morning. I think I would rather increase performance though. If I understand how regearing works I would prolly end up with worse mileage to fix my speed problem, right?
Wrong. You won't be lugging the engine in 5th on the highway anymore. More rpm does not necessarily mean more gas.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:35 PM   #8
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re-gear is your best bet. 4.56 if your gonna stay with 33's.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:37 PM   #9
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Regear..
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by eric_b993 View Post
Not sure what my stock ratio is, have to check in the morning. I think I would rather increase performance though. If I understand how regearing works I would prolly end up with worse mileage to fix my speed problem, right?
Let's review.

1. Turbo. 505 Performance sells the only kit. It's about $5000. You'll still need to regear to put the engine back in the powerband.

2. Cold Air Intake. $300 give or take. Completely useless for performance or power. Lets large quantities of dust into your engine. Absolute waste of money. You'll still need to regear to put the engine back in the powerband.

3. Regear. Costs about $1200-1600 and puts the engine back in its powerband, so your performance increases drastically.

Your decision.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:51 PM   #11
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A cold air intake will not give you enough horsepower gain to notice and is fairly inexpensive. The turbo will give you a decent amount of horsepower but it will definitely cost you 2000 bucks before it is all done if you do all the fab work and get a junk yard turbo from a Saab or other vehicle with one from the factory. That much money isn't worth the 40 horse you will gain. Neither one of those will give you better gas mileage. Gears are the most popular way to go and most likely the best bang for your buck. I know that's not what you wanted to hear but there is honestly very little you can do on wranglers to increase the horsepower an torque output without spending gobs of money and time. As far as the gas mileage...it's not gonna get any better the more you mod it. Good luck!
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:52 PM   #12
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I'm in central Iowa. Anyone know a good place to get the regearing done? What brand of gears do you suggest too?
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:54 PM   #13
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I'm in central Iowa. Anyone know a good place to get the regearing done? What brand of gears do you suggest too?
nows the time to decide if you want lockers and what size tire you want. no sense in paying labor twice
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:10 PM   #14
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Am I going to have to put on new axles with this then too? Price is getting a bit too high for me.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:27 PM   #15
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How do you think your going to do any of this if regearing is to expensive ?
You talk about a Turbo ($5,000) or cold air intake ($300) and you will need to regear anyway ?? Changing your gears is the cheap part ??

I live in Indiana (think flat) and have a 6 Cly 5 speed 32 inch tires and 3.07 gears . The Wrangler runs fine not ideal but fine . Do I need to chang gears MAYBE will I No . I keep it running at it,s best am in no big rush and like it as is .

It is not worth it to me to spend $1,5000 dollars ( to regear) to drive like I do anyway .


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Old 03-24-2011, 10:29 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by eric_b993 View Post
Am I going to have to put on new axles with this then too? Price is getting a bit too high for me.
If you want lockers, you'll save about $500-700 in labor if you install them when you regear.

If regearing is too rich for your blood, go back to 30" tires to regain performance.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:37 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by eric_b993
Am I going to have to put on new axles with this then too? Price is getting a bit too high for me.
No you won't. It just replaces the gears in your differentials. The gears them selves aren't too expensive its the labor that gets ya. But, its still cheaper than a turbo
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:40 PM   #18
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Regear.
I live in the hills, have 33 inch bfg's, 6cyl. with 5 spd and because I regeared to 4:56 gears...I have great performance on and off road and get 15 mpg.
It is the only real solution.
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:06 PM   #19
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Regear or ditch the big tires if budget is your main concern. If you want to keep the big tires.....you have to pay the price.
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Old 03-25-2011, 04:53 AM   #20
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Cheapest way - leave it in 4th!

5th is an overdrive - you don't have to use it all the time.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:34 AM   #21
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you dont want a turbo or any other high rpm performance mod to fix the problem of improper gears. Though at proper gearing, a turbo designed for the right rpm range could also increase you gas mileage a little bit as could an electric fan conversion or exhaust upgrade. A CAI is only useful for more power at 2.5-5k rpm IMO, should not really impact gas mileage.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:01 AM   #22
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:02 AM   #23
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Cheapest way - leave it in 4th!

5th is an overdrive - you don't have to use it all the time.
thats what i was thinking while reading this. its a temp fix until you save up enough to regear.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:02 AM   #24
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haha. This is like asking " should I buy a Ferrari or a VW bug? I don't have any money"
Anything that gives more power will cost more mpgs.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:17 AM   #25
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you do understand there is a world of difference between a turbo and a cai, in not only performance, but price, complexity, etc?
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:19 AM   #26
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haha. This is like asking " should I buy a Ferrari or a VW bug? I don't have any money"
Anything that gives more power will cost more mpgs.
not true at all. many performance mods (cai, catback, headers) add power by increasing efficiency, so in many cases, mpg goes up. but on a jeep, all these things will be a minimal improvement. the 4.0 is a workhorse and is about as optimized as it can be, especially taking into account where the engine started!!
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:21 AM   #27
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:17 AM   #28
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not true at all. many performance mods (cai, catback, headers) add power by increasing efficiency, so in many cases, mpg goes up. but on a jeep, all these things will be a minimal improvement. the 4.0 is a workhorse and is about as optimized as it can be, especially taking into account where the engine started!!
CAI has no increase in efficiency. I proved it with 18 dyno pulls. I would expect the same results from the exhaust parts. I've been in the performance world for about 6 years as an EFI tuner. I have yet to see ANY performance part make better mpg. Usually its the opposite. Turbos will get close if you drive really slow, but they won't ever be better mpg. Blowers suck gas. I lost about 5 mpg on my mustang, even when I stay out of boost.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:59 PM   #29
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I'm in central Iowa. Anyone know a good place to get the regearing done? What brand of gears do you suggest too?
Frontier 4X4 (frontier4x4.com) is the best in central Iowa. Give Luke a call and he will take care of you. Check out the local Iowa jeep club forum (jocci.com) Luke is a vender on there and they can help out also.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:51 PM   #30
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my 99 has a 4" lift and 33" street tires on it, im running 3.31 gears and i live in chattanooga (pretty hilly at times) it runs fine on the highway with 3.31, 70mph is about 2100 rpms, i do have to downshift for some hills if i want to keep it from slowing down but its not to bad


**EDIT** also i still get around 14-18mpg, depending on what im doing of course

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