Jeep Wrangler Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,542 Posts
It would be very costly. With everything that had to be changed it would make sense to do a hemi swap instead of the 3.6
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,428 Posts
Can 2010 jeep wrangler 3.8l be swaped out with a 3.6l motor?
The short answer is: Yes. If you throw enough money at the swap.

The slightly longer answer is: Because there were some very significant changes from 2010 to 2012, a whole bunch of things have to be modified. There are few to no off-the-shelf parts to perform the conversion. The computers between 2010 and 2012 (the first year of the 3.6) are not compatible. And since they run the whole Jeep and not just the engine, adapting one to the other will be "hard". Since the automatic transmission changed from 2010 to 2012, you'll either have to bring the transmission and transfer case with the engine (easier) or try to deal with reprogramming the computer (next to impossible for a swap like this). The manual transmission is not controlled by the computer so that makes the job easier. The wiring harness will be a nightmare to modify. Then there are all of the minor little detail things that come with an engine swap that quickly escalate the costs. You're looking at big money to do the swap.

However, while the 3.8 is not a good engine, the 3.6 is only marginally better. Considering the difficulty of the swap and the resulting cost, you won't get anywhere near what you pay for. This is why no one has made a kit to swap the Pentastar into earlier Jeeps. The kits to swap in V8's is cheaper (and easier) so that's where everyone doing engine swaps ends up.

There are three options that are used to compensate for the lackluster 3.8. In order from cheaper to most expensive, they are:

1) Swap gears in the axle. The gears that come from the factory are not really the best choice for the 3.8. Changing to other gear ratios makes the Jeep perform better overall. Swapping gears in your axles usually runs $1,500-2,000 or so, plus any upgrades you want to add while you're doing it.

2) Add a supercharger. This option bumps up the horsepower of the engine to "small V8" levels and makes a big difference. And as long as you get a good kit that keeps the boost levels reasonable, engine durability is not much different than stock. Kits for Jeeps run in the neighborhood of $6,000. They're friendly enough for a shade tree mechanic to do the install. A shop will probably take 10 hours or so to do the work at shop rates ($60+/hour).

3) Swap in a V8. There are many options for this. The one that is the most popular is to swap in the Hemi V8 from a Grand Cherokee or Dodge Ram from the same model year. Because they're from the same model year the computers are significantly easier to adapt. The wiring harness is also much easier to work with. There are several companies making entire kits that include everything you need to do the swap, except the engine and transmissions themselves. All of the custom wiring, motor mounts, cooling system, exhaust, and all the little fiddly bits are included. You just find the engine and transmission out of the donor vehicle and spend a weekend putting it in (or paying a shop to do it for you). The kits themselves tend to be in the $10,000 range. Used engines and transmissions are not unreasonably expensive. But finishing the swap for under $20,000 when it's all said and done is a challenge. Having a shop do it for you will add several thousand dollars. But when you're done, you have more than enough power to move your Jeep around. Certainly more than just adding a supercharger to the V6.

As an alternative, some people swap in Chevy V8s instead of the Chrysler Hemi. There are pros and cons to this swap but they both end up giving you V8 power for somewhere in the neighborhood of $20-30,000.

One last option that many people consider: Selling their 3.8 equipped Jeep and buying a 2012 or newer to get the 3.6.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,428 Posts
Another possible solution might be the 4.1L stroker from 505 performance 3.8L Jeep Stroker JK Engine - COMPLETE!!!
I didn't know there was a market for upgrading the 3.8. That would be an option too. Little to no modification outside the engine block and computer tune. Not a hard thing to do so it would probably be at or below the cost of a supercharger.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top