Jeep Wrangler Forum banner

1 - 20 of 305 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,847 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So it has begun and I decided to produce a build thread to document the work required for anyone else who may attempt this swap on their own. Maybe it will help them decide if this is something they want to attempt not. For me I have no concerns that this is something I can handle. No one has touched so much as a bolt on my Jeep other than me and I don't expect that's going to change.

Nemesis (my 2010 JK 2dr manual 6sp) has been modded up pretty good. 37" Nitto Mud Grapplers, 4:88 gears, ARB lockers, chrome-moly axles, 3.5" lift with all the good stuff, Falcon 3.3s, high steer Teraflex knuckles, 1 ton Rare Earth FAB steering, Aluminum flat fenders, Skids, bumpers, etc... but as the mods happened the 3.8L suffered... BAD! Driving around town was fine but any highway trips were more exciting than they should be. You are working it hard to maintain 70, downshifting with the slightest incline and flat out impossible to maintain speed when I'm up north of me here in the White Mountains. I decided enough is enough and I was going to resolve the one and only thing that I dislike about the Jeep.

So the plan to put some PEP back in her step? One word... Motech! I've talked to Robbie a couple times now. He has helped me select my motor and transmission and plan out my build. I have no doubt that they have done their homework and have created a package that will make this as simple as possible. I feel confident planning my build around their offerings. What is that plan? Lets talk about that.
This is NOT a no expense spared build with a fresh 480hp 6.2 and all the options. I don't have that kind of $$$ to invest into that extensive of a build. This is going to be a complete budget build. Complete budget build? Yup.. so what I mean there is there will be no hacking, no shortcuts, no emission issues. Everything will work in the vehicle as it is supposed to. Cruise, air conditioning, all the instrumentation and dash lights. It will pass Mass emission and inspection when completed and will be as reliable, safe, and powerful as it should have been from the factory. The motor going in is a low mileage (45,000mi) Gen IV LC9 all aluminum 5.3L and a 6L80E transmission out of a 2012 Chevy Silverado. So along with the motor swap I will be converting the JK to an automatic. I think I will miss the standard a little but welcome the auto off road. The Motech kit I will be using will be their recently tested and newly released EZ install kit. The only option I will be utilizing is the 52mm dual pass HD radiator. Robbie has actually told me it's unnecessary as the stock radiator will maintain temps on the 5.3l but I do a lot of crawling and slow wheeling so it seems like a good idea. Other than that I will be using all the rest of the Jeep as it is.

Timeline for the install. It's no rush. It's going to be a winter project. I don't drive my Jeep once the snow falls up here in the Northeast. I like to keep it out of this salt. So I'm collecting parts already which started with the motor and transmission and soon in the next week or two I will pick up the easy install kit from Motech. I have to find an automatic center console and a pedal assembly and that just about will take care of what I need. Motech kit is not cheap but it's very extensive and comes with 99% of everything you need to complete this correctly. So it'll be a few weeks till I start posting some stuff up on it. I'll be doing it in my garage which maybe I unfairly call a garage because it's more like a 2400 square foot metal fab shop. From what I know and the discussions me and Robbie had I won't need any of it but we will see. I'll be doing the swap with the body on which shouldn't be an issue and this should be a boatload of fun! Something I really haven't done before is document with video or photos something like this so I'll try to get everything I can and pictures of all the important stuff and will update this thread as I go. If you guys find these anything specific you want to see or questions you have go ahead and ask away. If I have an answer I'll certainly share it and if not I'll just make something up. Hahaha just kidding!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
I'll definitely be following along as you do this. The LS is clearly the best (not easiest) swap choice and the 6L80E should be the perfect pair. This should be a great winter project!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,847 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I'm looking forward to the project but mostly just having a more drivable Jeep. The event that really pushed me over the edge was a few weeks back when I went to the White Mountain Jeep Invasion. We made a weekend out of it and put some miles on her up there. Even though we were on paved roads driving through the mountain terrain was rough. Flored in 4th gear just to barely maintain 45mph at times and just constantly down shifting and high revs to stay with traffic. Then when it came time to convoy up Mount Washington I just felt bad for that poor 3.8l. With everything I have done to the Jeep it was all just too much for it. Time for the swap. Yes, it will be fairly expensive but it will really make the Jeep what I want it to be. Can't wait for that V8 rumble in the exhaust too...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,086 Posts
Sub'd


-Steven
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,992 Posts
Can't wait to hear about this new kit, no welding, grinding or cutting sounds great. I have a 2 door 2010 same color as you. I didn't see a price for the new kit? Please keep us informed, especially without lifting the body off too. I have the 6 Speed AUTO transmission in my wife's enclave and my camaro. It's a nice smooth, well spaced gear transmission. I will do this conversion in the future also. Maybe sooner if yours goes well........ :)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,847 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I'll definitely be following along as you do this. The LS is clearly the best (not easiest) swap choice and the 6L80E should be the perfect pair. This should be a great winter project!
I actually think this is the easiest route. My original plan was a Hemi swap but the more I researched it the more complicated of a swap it became. Take into consideration that the LS is a much more compact engine that leaves plenty of room for my dual batteries and actually weighs less than the 3.8 that's in it. I'm not 100% sure of the LC9 weight being an aluminum block engine but the iron block LM7 is 418lbs. The 6L80E has a taller OD but a much lower 1st gear effectively giving the sport 2.72:1 factory transfer case a an overall crawl ratio in 1st almost exactly the same as my stock drivetrain with my RockTrac TC but with my 4.88s but with a lower 70 mph cruise RPM. Now I can either go super low with my Rock Trac or sell it to pay off some of the swap costs. Overall it is a much better fit than the Hemi would have been. Of course it isn't a mopar drivetrain but I'll find a way to look past that..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,992 Posts
I actually think this is the easiest route. My original plan was a Hemi swap but the more I researched it the more complicated of a swap it became. Take into consideration that the LS is a much more compact engine that leaves plenty of room for my dual batteries and actually weighs less than the 3.8 that's in it. I'm not 100% sure of the LC9 weight being an aluminum block engine but the iron block LM7 is 418lbs. The 6L80E has a taller OD but a much lower 1st gear effectively giving the sport 2.72:1 factory transfer case a an overall crawl ratio in 1st almost exactly the same as my stock drivetrain with my RockTrac TC but with my 4.88s but with a lower 70 mph cruise RPM. Now I can either go super low with my Rock Trac Overall it is a much better fit than the Hemi would have been. Of course it isn't a mopar drivetrain but I'll find a way to look past that..
Jeeps came with all brands of power-plants in their history so no worries. Do you think you will have driveshaft angle issues being a 2 dr? I love the sound of a hemi, but in realty unless you were springing for an aluminum hemi there is no comparison, plus the transmission is a bonus. The LS has so much aftermarket support also. It really is the best V8 option, IMO of course...........
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,847 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
At least you didn't overheat! Although I'm sure that wasn't far off
I watch the temperature pretty closely going up Mount Washington. It never budged. I'm not sure what it would take to get it to overheat but thankfully it took more than that.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,847 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Jeeps came with all brands of power-plants in their history so no worries. Do you think you will have driveshaft angle issues being a 2 dr? I love the sound of a hemi, but in realty unless you were springing for an aluminum hemi there is no comparison, plus the transmission is a bonus. The LS has so much aftermarket support also. It really is the best V8 option, IMO of course...........
Your transfer case ends up within 1 inch from its factory location. You most likely can reuse whatever drive shafts you were previously running including factory shafts. I didn't have any Driveline vibrations before so I don't anticipate any after. I will be going to a set of Adams drive shafts during this swap as well. 1350 rear and 1310 front.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Great choice! I have 2000 miles on my 08 JKU w/ 6.0L LS/6L80e. Unbelievable difference! I built the motor up a bit and it dyno’d at 435rwhp and 430 lb ft torque. The 6 speed tranny makes highway driving much more enjoyable. I went with RPMextreme swap kit and it worked out great, but did require welding new motor mounts, etc. I have only had a couple of small issues, the largest a input/output shaft speed sensor in the trans. Shifting was a bit erratic, but it never left me stranded. Let me know if you have any questions, I’ll do my best to answer them. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
This sounds fantastic. I think we all dream of doing this someday. I'm either going to supercharge and wait for engine failure or go straight for a swap. I'm not sure which at this point. Your experience will be very helpful


Current build: 2016 JKUR Hardrock
#HardrockREVjku

Past builds: '79 & '81 CJ7, 93 ZJ, 04 TJ Rubi
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,847 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
MoTech's VID (Vehicle Identification Documentation) has been filled out and sent to MoTech.

This provides them with a fairly complete list of information on the Jeep, it's options and modifications, the engine and transmission that is being installed and a list of some options that they can provide such as HD radiator/cooling fans, OBD2 driven diagnostic gauges, Atlas transfer case, etc.. They need that information to accurately quote you your install kit, necessary brackets, programming etc.. that you will need to complete the install.

Lets see what happens next....

I have a feeling it is this.... $$$$
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,847 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Haven't received the quote yet from Robbie at MoTech but we have spoke about the build a couple times. I may need to give him a poke. Seams like he has a lot going on there at his shop when I talk to him.

On the other side of things I have collected all the parts necessary to convert the manual to an automatic center console. I also got a dip stick tube and fluid level indicator for the 6L80E and a brake pedal assembly for an automatic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Rich, I am in the same boat as you. Maybe one further. I got my quote back. I have my 6.2 completely torn down and started back together with a few goodies. Sounds like our projects will happen about the same time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RichL35

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,847 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Rich, I am in the same boat as you. Maybe one further. I got my quote back. I have my 6.2 completely torn down and started back together with a few goodies. Sounds like our projects will happen about the same time.
Awesome! I'm a little jealous!

Feel free to post a pic or share some info.

I am just so excited to do this. This is really the last thing I needed to do to get my JK where I wanted it to be. Wish I was doing the 6.2 also but I am pretty confident the 5.3 will be just fine. And I could always supercharge it. Haha
I have driven a friends Suburban a bunch of times with the LC9 5.3 in it and for being a huge, heavy boat I was impressed at how much power it had and how easily it cruised along at 80 mph. It didn't downshift excessively when you hit hills and was just very smooth and drivable. If my Jeep was 3/4 as good on the highway as that Suburban was then I wouldn't have touched it. I'm not trying to make it a hot rod or anything I just don't want to suffer every time I take it for a couple hour trip on the highway. It's so aggravating with the 3.8!
 
1 - 20 of 305 Posts
Top