2011 JK Engine Swap...HELP! - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-16-2016, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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2011 JK Engine Swap...HELP!

Hey guys. New to the forum so I apologize in advance if I am posting this in the wrong place. The motor on my 2011 JK with 55k miles just went. I was told it's either a bent rod or a blown bearing but in short just to officially diagnose the problem and repair it may run just as much (if not more once Pandora's box is opened) as sourcing a junk yard 3.8 (with less miles of course) and swapping it. I was thinking maybe I should just look into getting something with more power as these 3.8's are embarrassing. I'm looking to stay under $10k...really under $8k if possible....for the total cost and keep all gauge and electronic functionality. Does anyone have any good suggestions on a motor or is this something not even possible at this price range? Thanks in advance for the help.
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-16-2016, 07:11 PM
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That's a pretty tight budget for an ls or hemi. I'm finishing a 6.0l / 6l80 right now. Off the top of my head, I would say I have about 7 in my engine and trans alone and another 9?? in the Motech kit.... but I also got all of the Motech options and a few other upgrades too. I would not put a v8 swap in the "Budget swap" category.
If you really search, I think you could find a v8 donor for less than mine and pair down the Motech options and get under 15k maybe? But, that doesn't include all of the other miscellaneous parts you will need along the way. And your jeep will be down for weeks. Months more likely.
If this is something you are going to keep for a long time and there's no way to increase what you plan to spend now, my suggestion is to find another 3.8 to get you back on the road and build the budget to do it right. You can find good 3.8's for less than $500 being in the right place at the right time. The swap is really not that hard and you could be back up in a weekend.
if you're really considering a v8, find Motech's YouTube page( WranglerJKLS), watch all of their videos.
I can't tell you how an ls drives from personal experience yet, but I've done 2 3.8l swaps. I'm happy to help if you need anything.
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-17-2016, 07:03 AM
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With that budget in mind, an LS conversion is definitely out of the picture. But a 5.7 hemi conversion might just slide in under the wire.

An AEV hemi conversion kit is $6,300. Add maybe a $1,000 to that for a few additional parts needed - new power steering pump (this requirement may have gone away....) O2 sensors, other sensors, fluids, etc. $1,000 might be high if the new power steering pump is no longer required. But staying with that, you would be up to $7,300. Can you find a decent 5.7 and 545 trans for $2,700? Probably. The key is getting a COMPLETE take out, still bolted together engine and trans, with all front drive accessories and the motor mounts.

You need to pay attention to what year motors and transmissions from what vehicles will work best with the AEV kit. AEV can help with those issues. Or you could try one of the other hemi swap kits, like JSS. Probably cheaper, but you get what you pay for, IMO.

This of course assumes you do all the labor yourself. If you have a two post lift, taking the body off makes the swap pretty straight forward. Body on, PITA, but doable I guess. (No personal experience with the body on.)
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post #4 of 4 Old 10-18-2016, 05:01 AM
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First of, welcome to JKO. Be sure to introduce yourself in the Welcome Room.

x2 what Nucleo said. I had the same dilemma when my 3.8L bit the dust (spun main bearing). I went with the AEV kit, and found a complete take-out 5.7L with transmission from a wrecked Grand Cherokee. All in with a new power steering pump and 2 new O2 sensors, I am just south of $11k.

If you can afford to wait around to find a good deal on a complete motor / trans combo, and can do the labor yourself (I did my own swap in a standard 2 car garage with basic tools besides the welding, which I sourced out to a friend for a case of ) you could do the swap in less than a week.
If you have to get the Jeep back on the road quickly, you can find a take-out 3.8 online or from one of the swap shops (AEV, JSS, etc.)

I have been daily driving the Heep for over 5 years and 60k miles, and it still brings a smile to my face when I turn the key. The V8 swap (whether Hemi or LS) is the way to go, if time and cash allow. If you are having to pull out a blown motor, you are pretty much halfway to a V8 swap anyway, as far as the labor factor is concerned. My .02.


'07 JKUR, Steel Blue, Spun Main Bearing Mod @ 46k miles
My new engine is a four letter word ..............
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