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-   -   Mods: Best Bang for your Buck??? (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/mods-best-bang-for-your-buck-21360.html)

Timberman 09-10-2008 01:53 PM

Mods: Best Bang for your Buck???
 
Hello from Oregon Everyone!

I just recently purchased my third Jeep and am already off and running with mods..

I just upgraded the stereo and installed an AEM Brute Force Intake w/ Spacer over the weekend... After the installation of the intake I was mildly disappointed as it pretty much sounded like the stock intake.. You can most definitely hear the engine sucking air and she seems to be running even better, but every "write-up" I read included a statement about how much deeper it sounded. So, it has come to my attention that reviews people write about mods on the web tend to be a little misleading, so I would really like to hear some "real world" opinions on my next mods.

So, with that being said; my next modification is going to be exhaust/Header and I am almost sold on the Banks system. I spoke with Banks yesterday and they said that when the Torque Tube is installed with a Monster Exhaust, users can realize up to 30HP and 20 pound feet of torque. Has anyone here realized such gains?

I also need some advise with a bumper with a swing away before she sees dirt, so please advise which ones to purchase.. I am leaning towards a traditional Smitty Built classic. I am somewhat constrained by a budget here, so i wish to know where to i find my best bang for buck with the above mods.

Thanks to all and I am happy to be part of this forum!

AzTrailRunner 09-10-2008 02:55 PM

mods
 
If you look at the stock exhaust manifold, it's about as close to an aftermarket header don't you think? So I went with a flowmaster muffler and a custom tailpipe. And secondly I recommend the Warn swing away tire carrier/bumper. Especially when someone is on a budget because you can buy bumper separate and the carrier later like I did. It seems to be very durable for me so far

GrnTJ 09-10-2008 04:54 PM

I wouldnt really suggest a header unless your super worried about it or yours has a crack (which is a common problem). If your jsut looking for tone then get yourself a Flowmaster 40 series or the like and have it welded up with a 2 1/2" exhaust and it will sound plenty good. I think power mods on a 4.0L are mostly worthless unless you go straight for the big dog and just stroke it to a 4.7L or swap in a V8. It already produces good power and great torque and little tings like that usually arent going to make as big a differenece as they say. Plus, headers are very expensive and the $$ can be much more well spent. Thats my take, an intake and a muffler and thats really about all you need. For rear bumpers, you have a LOT of choices. The smitty is a great bumper and a pretty good deal. As Az said, the Warn is also great. Most of those bumpers do what they are intended to do at it almost comes down to personal preferance. Look around at what you like and forget about the headers unless your really dead set on them.

P.S.
Good choice of winch. Im on my third winch now and my 8274 is by far my favorite.

Timberman 09-10-2008 07:14 PM

Thanks for the input guys..

Now, i just got back from a road trip with my Jeep and finally "goosed it" with the AEM Intake and let me tell you.. IT ABSOLUTELY MAKES A DIFFERENCE!! I was told 13-15HP with that mod and I can ABSOLUTELY FEEL IT.. Like most of you know; 65+ mph with 33" tires can be a struggle, but with this intake, it was effortless.. I wasn't even at half throttle.. I was disappointed with the AEM Brute Force post-install because all i heard was a little sucking when I give it gas.. During my drive, I was all over it in the city and on the Highway and I will now say that this is a "MUST HAVE" for all Jeeps L6 engines.. You can really hear it when you wind up the engine and you can actually feel the difference.. GO AND ORDER ONE NOW!!! autoanything.com has them for like $268 w/ the throttle body spacer shipped. The install was a little out of my comfort zone when removing the throttle body, but I am about as close to a mechanic as I am a genius. I was able to get it done in less than 2 hours without assistance.

As for the Header; it is a necessity as my manifold does have a small crack much like my 98 Sport did.. I can hear the faintest of ticking when i get close to embankments and such.
I am only into performance and economy here.. If i was into sound, the Flowmaster 40 series would be my choice bar-none, but I really believe the banks system is going to get me what i need.. The parts are guaranteed for life according to the rep at Banks even if the install is done in my garage.

As for the Rear Bumper; I wish there was a bracket i could mount to the existing bumper because I would really like to retain the stock look if at all possible.. I love the way Jeep Wranglers look out of the factory (with a lift of course).

Thanks again guys

1BLKJP 09-11-2008 03:24 AM

In my opinion if you are looking for performance and economy then there is no need for you to do a Banks setup. The cost to benefit ratio just isn't there over a 90 dollar ebay manifold replacement. I've done a lot of these kinds of mods mainly because I ended up getting them for free one way or another. The only one that has even made me think twice about actually telling people to spend their money on it is the 62mm throttle body and programmer module from Edge. Even my friends that own shops here in town notice a difference in my rig and the dyno didn't lie with it on there.

mr4x4 09-11-2008 06:24 AM

X2 on the 62mm throttle body

ygohome 09-11-2008 11:30 AM

And dont' forget about nitrous! :D

Timberman 09-11-2008 11:34 AM

Thanks ALL!

I am now really confused... My local shop who is about as useful as a sack of hair also recommended the Edge programmer... I was just about sold on the Banks System as I have been reading NOTHING but good things about it until i arrived here.. :)

So, I spoke with Banks and they said 25hp w/ the TT Header and Monster Eshaust and I was able to validate that from actual dyno results posted in a couple of reviews.... Are they misleading?

I have very mixed feelings now.. The AEM really woke her up and I was figuring that the Banks system would just be the icing on the cake....

So, how could a new header and cat-back from banks not produce noticeable horsepower? You are increasing flow and reducing back pressure right?

Thanks again everyone for all the useful info!

blkNyellow 09-11-2008 12:25 PM

doesn't reduced backpressure mean less torque?? that's what i've always been told/heard

rrich 09-11-2008 12:32 PM

How 'bout a little "reality check?"

1. The TB spacer - does NOTHING. The purpose of the spacer is to get more time for the air and fuel to mix - increasing the effective area of the plenum chamber. Some even have swirls cut in the insides to get the mixture swirling, supposedly to help keep it atomized. BUT you have ported fuel injection - there is no fuel up there. Fuel is injected at the last minute just as the air enters past the valve. By the time the air gets down through the intake manifold runners it's stopped swirling anyway. Once inside the combustion chamber you do not want any swirling at all - any movement of the gasses will only serve to blow the flame out or leave unburned areas. You want it stopped!
Carbs and Throttle Body Injection where there is fuel mixed in the carb or throttle body spacers can help - sometimes, but sometimes they can hurt the flow (too much swirling or turbulence is effectively a restriction.) Each case is different.
Picture stirring your coffee BEFORE you add cream and sugar.
It's all hype.

2. The "custom" intake - Chrysler has modified and changed their intake slightly many times over the years, trying to optimize it. The thing aftermarket stuff does not have to contend with is OEM has to make it work at all temperatures, altitudes, humidity, and pressures. If there is any "real" increase in performance that someone invented, don't you think Chrysler would be on it like a duck on a June bug? They are always striving to make things better, not worse. Any improvement in "flow" will be at the higher RPM anyway, probably 5000 and above.

3. Exhaust - the stock exhaust uses a huge muffler - it has to comply with new car noise laws, plus it has to be built heavy to last the 70,000 mile emissions warranty. Yes, it's part of that emissions package. Remember it's right behind the cats, that's a very hot place! One reason it's huge is so the inside area is effectively like a reservoir - it smooths out the exhaust pulses for noise.
The specs you see Banks and others, are those of vehicles that were compared to stock.
Reality - ditch that 500 lb stock somewhat restrictive long lasting muffler, but you don't need a whole new system. Go to a muffler shop and get a regular muffler installed. They are cheap, unless you go to a rip-off chain like Midas. $50-75 should do it.
But it'll be a little louder and won't last as long. Saving all the stock muffler's excessive weight will probably be the biggest improvement.

Increasing pipe size won't make much difference except at very high RPM = like maybe 8,000 and above? If you've modified the engine enough to do that then you already know the tricks. If you go to a straight pipe or glass pak type - you'll probably find it only actually increases HP a tiny bit at one particular RPM, not through the entire range. But the loud noise will impress JR High school kids (by high school they've realized noise is not power and will laugh.)


But then, don't believe me, what do I know? I only had 3 shops that specialized in high performance stuff like that, but only 2 of them had dynos.

Increasing the ability of the system to get more air by ditching the factory airbox and going to a non restrictive fresh air intake will be your best bet. For a normally aspirated system it's doing about all it can do.

If you are serious about increasing power - look into the several superchargers available. There's lots of hype there too. Some claim a 200 HP gain - bull. If they lie, steer clear.
You want a moderate boost, maybe in the order of 3 to 5 lbs, more than that will kill the engine quickly.
You can get some nice set-ups for less than $2000 - complete, not just a few bits and pieces. Expect a possible 80-100 HP increase at WOT.

Maybe someday I'll take the plunge.

BILLG 09-11-2008 12:54 PM

If you are taking it off road spend your money on skid plates and armor.

IslandTJ 09-11-2008 01:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BILLG (Post 263366)
If you are taking it off road spend your money on skid plates and armor.

Great advice! Also look into items relating to recovery. That is, if you off-road.

Timberman 09-11-2008 07:01 PM

How 'bout a little "reality check?"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rrich (Post 263360)
How 'bout a little "reality check?"

1. The TB spacer - does NOTHING. The purpose of the spacer is to get more time for the air and fuel to mix - increasing the effective area of the plenum chamber. Some even have swirls cut in the insides to get the mixture swirling, supposedly to help keep it atomized. BUT you have ported fuel injection - there is no fuel up there. Fuel is injected at the last minute just as the air enters past the valve. By the time the air gets down through the intake manifold runners it's stopped swirling anyway. Once inside the combustion chamber you do not want any swirling at all - any movement of the gasses will only serve to blow the flame out or leave unburned areas. You want it stopped!
Carbs and Throttle Body Injection where there is fuel mixed in the carb or throttle body spacers can help - sometimes, but sometimes they can hurt the flow (too much swirling or turbulence is effectively a restriction.) Each case is different.
Picture stirring your coffee BEFORE you add cream and sugar.
It's all hype.

2. The "custom" intake - Chrysler has modified and changed their intake slightly many times over the years, trying to optimize it. The thing aftermarket stuff does not have to contend with is OEM has to make it work at all temperatures, altitudes, humidity, and pressures. If there is any "real" increase in performance that someone invented, don't you think Chrysler would be on it like a duck on a June bug? They are always striving to make things better, not worse. Any improvement in "flow" will be at the higher RPM anyway, probably 5000 and above.

3. Exhaust - the stock exhaust uses a huge muffler - it has to comply with new car noise laws, plus it has to be built heavy to last the 70,000 mile emissions warranty. Yes, it's part of that emissions package. Remember it's right behind the cats, that's a very hot place! One reason it's huge is so the inside area is effectively like a reservoir - it smooths out the exhaust pulses for noise.
The specs you see Banks and others, are those of vehicles that were compared to stock.
Reality - ditch that 500 lb stock somewhat restrictive long lasting muffler, but you don't need a whole new system. Go to a muffler shop and get a regular muffler installed. They are cheap, unless you go to a rip-off chain like Midas. $50-75 should do it.
But it'll be a little louder and won't last as long. Saving all the stock muffler's excessive weight will probably be the biggest improvement.

Increasing pipe size won't make much difference except at very high RPM = like maybe 8,000 and above? If you've modified the engine enough to do that then you already know the tricks. If you go to a straight pipe or glass pak type - you'll probably find it only actually increases HP a tiny bit at one particular RPM, not through the entire range. But the loud noise will impress JR High school kids (by high school they've realized noise is not power and will laugh.)


But then, don't believe me, what do I know? I only had 3 shops that specialized in high performance stuff like that, but only 2 of them had dynos.

Increasing the ability of the system to get more air by ditching the factory airbox and going to a non restrictive fresh air intake will be your best bet. For a normally aspirated system it's doing about all it can do.

If you are serious about increasing power - look into the several superchargers available. There's lots of hype there too. Some claim a 200 HP gain - bull. If they lie, steer clear.
You want a moderate boost, maybe in the order of 3 to 5 lbs, more than that will kill the engine quickly.
You can get some nice set-ups for less than $2000 - complete, not just a few bits and pieces. Expect a possible 80-100 HP increase at WOT.

Maybe someday I'll take the plunge.

Great Info rrich.. It sounds like you know a thing or two on this subject.. So, you think that the AEM intake is about all i need??? and Yes, she is going to see tons of off-road!!!

What about just doing the Banks cat-back alone?? Would I get anything out of that other than sound?

If the cat-back may give me some increases, I will do it, but if not I will keep the $800 i was going to invest on the system and invests in other things..

Thanks again Sir!

Warpman89 09-11-2008 08:19 PM

I was on the borla website and they say their headers have a one-million mile warranty. i think that despite the price it should be the last header you would ever have to buy, even if no power is gained

1BLKJP 09-11-2008 08:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Warpman89 (Post 263503)
I was on the borla website and they say their headers have a one-million mile warranty. i think that despite the price it should be the last header you would ever have to buy, even if no power is gained

Yeah, but honestly how much do they run now? I've had my Ebay replacement manifold on my rig for going on 4 years now with no problems at all. Including shiping it only ran me 90 bucks. Even on the off shoot that I had to replace it again I'm only in it for 200 bucks max instead of to Borla or Banks for around 400.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all about spending money on my rig. Hell I'm probably 15k deep in mine over the years. I'm just not down with spending it in places that it won't do any good. for about 150 bucks you can have a perfectly well built manifold and a new muffler of your choosing that will give you a better flowing exhaust system.

nicolas-eric 09-11-2008 09:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BILLG (Post 263366)
If you are taking it off road spend your money on skid plates and armor.

x2 :D

GrnTJ 09-12-2008 12:27 AM

For $800 bucks you can put alloy shafts in the rear and lock it up. Look at the super 35 kit with Detroit locker. I think you will be FAR happier with the effectiveness of that mod compared to ever so minimal gains you'll get with an exhaust system.

rrich 09-12-2008 03:36 AM

Spend a few bucks on a good muffler at an independent muffler shop.
A few more on a decent air filtration system - snout & K&N. You can even cut yours off and fit the K&N on the end.
That leaves lots for things that you will really need -= Hi Lift, Winch, Tires, Lift etc.

Timberman 09-12-2008 10:22 AM

Ok.... I think I will just look for an inexpensive Manifold replacement and check out a less restrictive muffler.

Thanks again for saving me some cash here fellas!

Timberman

rrich 09-12-2008 12:11 PM

Inexpensive manifold?
Exhaust or intake?

I noticed in your first post you selected the intake you have based on the SOUND, not performance. But you were dissapointed in the performance.

???? Which is important?

The stock intake - and the stock exhaust manifold - has been designed for best performance over the entire operating range, not just one speed.
The intake "log" may look low performance, but they really aren't.
The stock exhaust headers are the same way.

Any slight improvement would not be worth the cost. And it certainly will not get you unstuck!

1BLKJP 09-12-2008 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rrich (Post 263643)
Inexpensive manifold?
Exhaust or intake?

I noticed in your first post you selected the intake you have based on the SOUND, not performance. But you were dissapointed in the performance.

???? Which is important?

The stock intake - and the stock exhaust manifold - has been designed for best performance over the entire operating range, not just one speed.
The intake "log" may look low performance, but they really aren't.
The stock exhaust headers are the same way.

Any slight improvement would not be worth the cost. And it certainly will not get you unstuck!


You are definitely right here Rich, but he had said closer to the beginning of the thread that he thinks he is developing a crack in his exhaust manifold and wsa one of the reasons he was looking at the Banks and Borla. We had all basically just suggested the Ebay replacement manifolds with the expansion joints.

rrich 09-12-2008 01:25 PM

Oops, I missed the crack statement.

E-bay replacements with expansion joints? News to me. I haven't seen one of those - sounds like a good idea to stop the cracking.

Gotta do a search, thanks.

Jerry Bransford 09-12-2008 01:40 PM

Definitely stick with a replacement header that has had the flexible steel bellows (expansion joints) added on both sides. I see those on eBay quite a bit.

Avoid Banks and Borla headers. Not only are they overpriced because of their brand names, they don't have the expansion joints and are prone to cracking just like the older OE headers were. I know they have a lifetime warranty but one of the guys I talk to quite a bit is on his third Borla header due to cracks. Sure the replacements may be free but your labor isn't. :)

sean42069 09-12-2008 09:34 PM

dont waste money on throttle body/exhaust mods
like it was said earlier, a longer throttle body does nothing for a MPI engine, its more of a hinderance than anything.
your exhaust and valve timing work together in sorts.
during the scavenge period of the cycle, both intake and exhaust ports are open at the same time to draw in as much clean air/fuel mix as possible.
it can also have an inverse, if you dont have exhaust restriction the scavenge cycle will just draw your air/fuel mix right out the tailpipe w/o giving it a chance to produce power. and its hell on valves.
you even notice cars with oversized/dual exhausts sound like hell?(except for the ones who put in a proper cam, they sound sexy) misfiring like crazy, engine barely running, 30,000 dollar ricers burning massive amounts of oil?
my jeep came from the previous owner with a flowmaster 40 on it, sounded great!
due to my triangulated rear uppers i had to cut my exhaust off at the skid, sounded like sh!T! it misfired and sputtered like crazy, i wouldent even use the engine to slowdown anymore, i'd push the clutch in and use the brakes.
finally got that taken care of, i had a muffler shop make a new tailpipe and put in a cherrybomb glaspack, still sounds like crap, but at least i can use the enigne braking w/o having it sound like a plane was going to crash.
get recovery gear, suspension, armor, axles, steering in any order of your liking, thats just how im doing it, axles and steering are next ;)

Timberman 09-13-2008 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sean42069 (Post 263786)
dont waste money on throttle body/exhaust mods
like it was said earlier, a longer throttle body does nothing for a MPI engine, its more of a hinderance than anything.
your exhaust and valve timing work together in sorts.
during the scavenge period of the cycle, both intake and exhaust ports are open at the same time to draw in as much clean air/fuel mix as possible.
it can also have an inverse, if you dont have exhaust restriction the scavenge cycle will just draw your air/fuel mix right out the tailpipe w/o giving it a chance to produce power. and its hell on valves.
you even notice cars with oversized/dual exhausts sound like hell?(except for the ones who put in a proper cam, they sound sexy) misfiring like crazy, engine barely running, 30,000 dollar ricers burning massive amounts of oil?
my jeep came from the previous owner with a flowmaster 40 on it, sounded great!
due to my triangulated rear uppers i had to cut my exhaust off at the skid, sounded like sh!T! it misfired and sputtered like crazy, i wouldent even use the engine to slowdown anymore, i'd push the clutch in and use the brakes.
finally got that taken care of, i had a muffler shop make a new tailpipe and put in a cherrybomb glaspack, still sounds like crap, but at least i can use the enigne braking w/o having it sound like a plane was going to crash.
get recovery gear, suspension, armor, axles, steering in any order of your liking, thats just how im doing it, axles and steering are next ;)

Sean,

I will politely disagree.. The AEM Brute Force absolutely woke that engine up!! I was chasing after a couple of coffee can exhausted hondas today and I was with them (really right on their A**es) up until 40mph.. I has given me performance that I can feel at about 2500rpm +..

Jeepers,

Well... I learned one thing.. Listen to you guys! My Bro-in-law and I had a conversation today and I hold him in the highest respect with regards to all things cars.. That is pretty much all the credit i will give him... He did marry my younger sister.. :) Kidding, he said that the cat-back and header would probably hurt my torque due to lack of back pressure.. Not that i was doubting you guys; I listened, he just validated.

THANKS FOR SAVING ME THE $800 Fellas.. My bro and I are going to do dual ARB air lockers in march and that $800 savings is going to take a big bite out of the price of the lockers..

So, I will be lifted, locked, and done by March of 2009.. My Jeep Will BE DONE... RIGHT????? :)

Barrie 09-13-2008 06:41 PM

Jeeps are never done.:rofl:

Timberman 09-13-2008 06:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Barrie in Maine (Post 263951)
Jeeps are never done.:rofl:

Yeah, every time i open my garage door i hear........CHA-CHING!! My garage door is completely silent.. I don't know where that sound comes from.... :)

rrich 09-13-2008 08:35 PM

Back pressure being good is a rumor. If it was, then why do headers work?

Headers utilize the NEGATIVE pressure pulses right behind the positive pressure pulses. The result is NEGATIVE BACK PRESSURE in the chamber. The negative pressure sucks out the old spent gasses. Leaving them in only replaces new unburned air and fuel.

Try jogging with a rag in your mouth to experience back pressure.
Or try running when you are badly constipated!

jdhallissey 09-13-2008 08:36 PM

Rich I have not been here that long but you seem like the type of guy that would try to run constipated along with the rag in his mouth:D:wavey:

rrich 09-13-2008 09:37 PM

Nope - but you can.

Just use two rags one in your mouth the other --.

If it doesn't help your speed after half way around the track, - try switching them.


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