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post #1 of 29 Old 07-14-2010, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Power options for a JK newbie

I'm a JK newbie. I have always owned 4 cyl cars for their gas mileage. I have always wanted a Jeep (deciding to throw gas mileage out the window). I bought a 2008 2-dr, manul, X w/soft top a few years ago. I am not that impressed with the "get-up-and-go" of the V6 in the JK. A few of my 4 cyl cars had better acceleration. I have read similar situations on various threads: someone commented the JK has a mini-van engine?? I know the JK engine was probably designed for more torque than speed - is there a compromise solution to be found anywhere?

I know the Jeep is not a race car - however for the "thrust-to-weight" ratio, the V6 should move this vehicle faster than it is actually going - IMO. Am I wrong? Sure, its not aerodynamic in any real sense - but when I shift from 2nd into 3rd - I seem to loose power. Other vehicles seem to zip by. So there is my frustration. I love my Jeep - I just want a little more Zip...

I read that replacing the stock filter with a K&N drop in filter would generate more HP. I did this and noticed no difference. I then read that replacing the entire air intake system with a CAI would "unleash" the V6's hidden potential... I just installed an Air-Aid CAI...it sounds "different" and it might actually generate a few more ponies - only if I really step on the throttle. I think I was expecting more... a lot more. Especially for the price of the CAI.

Now I am wondering if the CAI needs to work in conjunction with a throttle-body spacer and/or cat-back exhaust. I have read on this and other sites a plethora of info on exhaust systems ranging from a $100 up to $700 - everyone has their favorite... So here is my question (sorry to ramble on)

Does replacing the stock exhaust with an aftermarket one - "really" generate more HP? I want to be able to pass through my gears and accelerate - as quickly - with the flow of traffic as possible. Will a different exahust help? Or do people buy these exhaust systems just for the noise?? - Thanks for your replies.
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post #2 of 29 Old 07-14-2010, 10:06 AM
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CAIs, throttle body spacers and cat back exhausts arent going to net you much gain.

You want power - Supercharger (Avenger) or Hemi swap.
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post #3 of 29 Old 07-14-2010, 10:08 AM
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All of those "little" things will add some power but nothing that you will notice while driving it. You'd be best served saving for a super charger or even a hemi if your wanting any real power gains.

A super charger system will cost several thousand and a hemi is easily 10k-15k at the cheapest if not upwards of 20k. Unless you got some good connections and/or skills to do it yourself.

Good luck.


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post #4 of 29 Old 07-14-2010, 10:19 AM
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What they said.

Or take a look at your gears vs tire size (you didn't mention if they were stock or not, or what they were) 3.21's are not a "performance" ratio. 3.73 is marginally better and 4.10 will get the job done unless your runnin 35's.

I'll also ask "how do you drive"? If you poke along or ease into the throttle, the PCM is going to poke along with you. If you drive it like you stole it, after a time, you should notice an improvement in your throttle response as the PCM "learns" your driving habits. Taking that into consideration also know that this 3.8L V6 makes power over 3k RPM. Under 2500 and it is a real dog. Just not enough torque down that low to make things move on the street. I've put 70k on my 2 dr 08 w/ 6 spd and I've never been afraid to crank it up to over 4 1/2 grand between shifts. Occasionally I'll hit 5 grand if I really need to juk & jive.


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post #5 of 29 Old 07-14-2010, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies - you guys are fast!!

My Jeep is pretty much stock - with stock wheels and tires. I wouldn't know how to change the gear ratio's and would that void the "lifetime" power-train warranty??

I do drive more on the consertative side - since this is my DD. My commute is about 70 miles round-trip. Most of this is open road going around 65/70. Its just when I want to kick-in the "afterburner" - I feel I have to wait for the V6 to "wake-up" or something. Your explanation of having more power past 3K rpm makes sense. I do not shift very fast either (manual) - I tend to baby it along.

I watched a YouTube video of a silver, 2dr, Rubicon with a Banks exhaust - "chirp" out of 2nd gear.... how did he do that?? Thats what I want (without the sound).
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post #6 of 29 Old 07-14-2010, 11:24 AM
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Yeah on this engine none of those mods are going to do much at all.
Youre going to want to regear or add a supercharger if you really want any appreciable power.

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post #7 of 29 Old 07-14-2010, 11:29 AM
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You might want to try adjusting the performance with a product such as SuperChips. If you have an auto you can adjust shift points. Under the performance settings you can also adjust throttle response.

It is quite a bit cheaper than a hemi or supercharger, although those options would totally kick ass if your pocketbook could support it. The SuperChips is not a replacement for significantly more horsepower.

2008 JK 4 Door Rubi, 37's and stuff...
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post #8 of 29 Old 07-14-2010, 11:40 AM
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Yea what he said,all the things you did didnt matter if your brain doesnt know. You gotta trick your brain to thinken hes a bad ass ie Supperchips! Brainwash your JK into thinken hes a bad ass.
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post #9 of 29 Old 07-14-2010, 12:03 PM
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My Jeep has an air intake on it and I am 100% convinced it is hurting performance. Too much air = a loss of torque.

I wish someone would swap me out for a stock one!

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post #10 of 29 Old 07-14-2010, 01:14 PM
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its a jeep. its not meant to get up and go. it has the aerodynamics of a brick and a mini van engine to push it. run a search and almost everything you read will tell you that theres nothing to gain from all the little BS like CAIs, throttle body spacers, etc. superchips is about the only thing that will net you a noticeable difference.

if you want fast get a supercharger or do it right and swap out for a hemi. neither are cheap options tho.

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post #11 of 29 Old 07-14-2010, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drykard View Post
I do drive more on the consertative side - since this is my DD. My commute is about 70 miles round-trip. Most of this is open road going around 65/70. Its just when I want to kick-in the "afterburner" - I feel I have to wait for the V6 to "wake-up" or something. Your explanation of having more power past 3K rpm makes sense. I do not shift very fast either (manual) - I tend to baby it along.

I watched a YouTube video of a silver, 2dr, Rubicon with a Banks exhaust - "chirp" out of 2nd gear.... how did he do that?? Thats what I want (without the sound).
Try shifting at 4.5k. You'll get a kick out of it just don't expect your clutch to last long if you do it often.

I would drive it with a little more foot in the throttle for a week or so and re-evaluate as the PCM learns your driving habits. Also try shifting around 3500RPM and don't be afraid to let it ride around 3k. You aint hurtin nothin.

Let that marinate for a few then if you're still not pleased, pull the trigger on a tuner.

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post #12 of 29 Old 07-14-2010, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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I'm glad I joined this site - thanks for all the replies. I'm pretty much convinced that "its a Jeep thing" and I won't get anymore than whats she's pushing out...(the v6 that is).

I'll leave the Airaid CAI on for now and see how that goes for a few weeks. I still have the old stock air filter assembly I could re-install later.

Its funny - my wife drives a 4dr Jeep (yes we both have jeeps) and she swears that I'm wasting my time and "allowance" trying to upgrade my engine, I guess I should have listened to her - first.
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post #13 of 29 Old 07-14-2010, 04:21 PM
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I went the upgrade route without much success. CAI, TB Spacer, exhaust, Superchips. It's better, but still nowhere near like the I6 4.0 in my XJ (even with 170k miles). And I have a Rubicon, so I have 4.11 gears, still with stock tires.

I'd like to go to 35" tires but I'm afraid I'll need a push to get up the hills I climb to and from work. And I'm in NJ -- so they aren't big hills.

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post #14 of 29 Old 07-14-2010, 04:49 PM
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Just go with the supercharger because all that other stuff really does not work.
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post #15 of 29 Old 07-14-2010, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcusRTJ View Post
My Jeep has an air intake on it and I am 100% convinced it is hurting performance. Too much air = a loss of torque.

I wish someone would swap me out for a stock one!
A few years back a friend of mine had a snorkel on his TJ and the opening pointed forward. Turning it around backwards increased performance. My brother (a bioscientist/general nerd) explained the physics of it better than I'm going to right now, but it's something like when the air is forced into the intake (by you moving forward) and the air is also going over the top of the intake at the same pace it creates a vacuum inside the tube. Turning it around backwards makes it more like a cowl induction setup, where the system is still going to be able to pull in cold air but it's pulling it in at the point where the air that was separated by the snorkel cutting the wind goes back together. Goes right down the tube smoothly instead of being forced in and improved performance and mileage to some degree. Not sure if I'm explaining it right, but it was something along those lines.
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post #16 of 29 Old 07-14-2010, 09:57 PM
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Kinda like putting your mouth on a leaf blower and trying to breathe. You get overwhelmed...

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post #17 of 29 Old 07-15-2010, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcusRTJ View Post
Kinda like putting your mouth on a leaf blower and trying to breathe. You get overwhelmed...
I'm not gonna ask how you know this.


But pics would be great.

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post #18 of 29 Old 07-15-2010, 09:57 AM
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You live in Florida...you know when you're blowing the lawn clippings and your lenses on the shades are full of sweat and you turn that bad boy on yourself for a not-so-arctic blast? That is how I know.

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post #19 of 29 Old 07-16-2010, 09:01 PM
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I drive between 6,000 and 12,000 feet all the time with no issues on speed, acceleration or power. Uphill climbing at 70 mph is no issue and mountain passes at speed are a breeze.

You have a 2 door with 6 speed and likely not at altitude so you need to push the skinny pedal more and shift higher and you'll be fine.

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post #20 of 29 Old 07-17-2010, 02:47 PM
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K&N experience

I asked everyone all the same questions before I finally bought my 2010 JK last month. I was used to my 1994 Cherokee's 4.0L for 300k miles, so I was really worried about the "mini-van V6."

In many weeks of searching a dozen or so forums, they all came to the same conclusion. There is not really much we can do. Barring the crazy ideas about $5000K superchargers or $15-20K HEMIs. (Heck, I only paid $26K for the new JK!)

So far, my own searches have boiled down to two "best" ideas from other owners- (yes, others will have their own opinions, but this is mine so far. But this is the reason we have forums!)

1) K&N air filter
2) Superchip

I know from my "other car" BMW experience, that a K&N air filter is always a good starting place and it is cheap. So I drove the JK for a few weeks at stock, took notice of "power feel" and gas mileage. Then put in the $50 K&N and drove another 3 weeks so far.

Results - about 1-2 higher MPG and a "feel" of more power. No, (before you ask) I did not put the JK on a dyno! But having driven many vehicles over 40+ years, I do think I feel a slight (real) difference. I don't think I am getting the 10-20% increase in HP that their ads claim, but I do think I got something. And since the slightly better MPG will pay for the K&N filter, this is a win in my view.

Next item on my list is the Superchip. A friend has this in his Chevy2500, and swears by it. Both for MPG and for being able to switch to "towing mode." Just waiting to have a spare $300 laying around.

for reference, my JK 4door is 6sp with 3.73s with 32" stock tires.
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post #21 of 29 Old 07-17-2010, 02:51 PM
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Damn, I should have done a "24 hour test drive" and swapped the hemi out of the 08 Charger I traded for the Jeep! Haha.
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post #22 of 29 Old 07-17-2010, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler57 View Post
I asked everyone all the same questions before I finally bought my 2010 JK last month. I was used to my 1994 Cherokee's 4.0L for 300k miles, so I was really worried about the "mini-van V6."

In many weeks of searching a dozen or so forums, they all came to the same conclusion. There is not really much we can do. Barring the crazy ideas about $5000K superchargers or $15-20K HEMIs. (Heck, I only paid $26K for the new JK!)

So far, my own searches have boiled down to two "best" ideas from other owners- (yes, others will have their own opinions, but this is mine so far. But this is the reason we have forums!)

1) K&N air filter
2) Superchip

I know from my "other car" BMW experience, that a K&N air filter is always a good starting place and it is cheap. So I drove the JK for a few weeks at stock, took notice of "power feel" and gas mileage. Then put in the $50 K&N and drove another 3 weeks so far.

Results - about 1-2 higher MPG and a "feel" of more power. No, (before you ask) I did not put the JK on a dyno! But having driven many vehicles over 40+ years, I do think I feel a slight (real) difference. I don't think I am getting the 10-20% increase in HP that their ads claim, but I do think I got something. And since the slightly better MPG will pay for the K&N filter, this is a win in my view.

Next item on my list is the Superchip. A friend has this in his Chevy2500, and swears by it. Both for MPG and for being able to switch to "towing mode." Just waiting to have a spare $300 laying around.

for reference, my JK 4door is 6sp with 3.73s with 32" stock tires.
You JK is brand new and PCM is still adapting to your driving style. I bet that is what accounts for you better MPG. Also check out the Diablo Predator instead of the Superchips.

5000K for a SC doesnt sound like an crazy mod compared to a 10K+++ hemi
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post #23 of 29 Old 07-18-2010, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron R View Post
A few years back a friend of mine had a snorkel on his TJ and the opening pointed forward. Turning it around backwards increased performance. My brother (a bioscientist/general nerd) explained the physics of it better than I'm going to right now, but it's something like when the air is forced into the intake (by you moving forward) and the air is also going over the top of the intake at the same pace it creates a vacuum inside the tube. Turning it around backwards makes it more like a cowl induction setup, where the system is still going to be able to pull in cold air but it's pulling it in at the point where the air that was separated by the snorkel cutting the wind goes back together. Goes right down the tube smoothly instead of being forced in and improved performance and mileage to some degree. Not sure if I'm explaining it right, but it was something along those lines.
nice i may have to try that. I get what your saying


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post #24 of 29 Old 07-18-2010, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drykard View Post
Thanks for all the replies - you guys are fast!!

My Jeep is pretty much stock - with stock wheels and tires. I wouldn't know how to change the gear ratio's and would that void the "lifetime" power-train warranty??

I do drive more on the consertative side - since this is my DD. My commute is about 70 miles round-trip. Most of this is open road going around 65/70. Its just when I want to kick-in the "afterburner" - I feel I have to wait for the V6 to "wake-up" or something. Your explanation of having more power past 3K rpm makes sense. I do not shift very fast either (manual) - I tend to baby it along.

I watched a YouTube video of a silver, 2dr, Rubicon with a Banks exhaust - "chirp" out of 2nd gear.... how did he do that?? Thats what I want (without the sound).

I have the same Jeep you do and i can "chirp" it in to third if you dont mind bringing it to 4500-5000. Note you dont want to do this all the time but it will do it. You just need to give her the onion.
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post #25 of 29 Old 07-18-2010, 10:03 PM
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it must be you sedan drivers bc my 2 door gets around no problem. yea its not a vette, but i also didnt sign the note for a vette.

and im sorry, but the 4.0 I6 was not more powerful. definitely a solid motor, but the V6 puts out more power, even if it isnt much more.

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