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No, it’s not feasible to fit a Jeep Cherokee’s engine into a Wrangler; however, you can install a Jeep Grand Cherokee’s engine into a Wrangler.
Both the Grand Cherokee and the Wrangler have pretty much the same engines. The Wrangler is mostly a manual model with very few automatic settings, whereas the Grand Cherokee comes solely with automatic mode, with a few exceptions of the past.
The question begs to be answered; will a Jeep Grand Cherokee engine fit in a Wrangler? The simple answer to this question is yes, the Grand Cherokee’s engine will surely fit in a Jeep Wrangler.
With that said, there are certain things you need to consider before moving forward with the engine swap.
There are several different engine options available. The regular base model of both the Cherokee and the Wrangler comes with a 3.6 naturally aspirated V6 engine.
The higher models, such as the Rubicon, get the V8 Hemi, which is exactly what you find in a Grand Cherokee Trailhawk.
As such, you must find a donor Grand Cherokee model that has the same engine as your Wrangler. That option would be the most feasible as it eliminates the need for grinding to complete the swap. Doing a direct match engine swap will make things a great deal easier than any other kind of swap.
If you’re keen to try out a different engine, you can go with a 5.2 magnum, 5.9 magnum, or even a Dodge Dakota engine.
There are several tutorials and guides available that will help you with the build. Make sure that you have the whole plan laid out in detail before you move on with the swap. Just so you know, it won’t be a walk in the park.
The older models have a widely accepted engine swap, the 4.0 L inline 6. This engine is reliable and used in many different Jeep models, including the Wrangler and the Cherokee.
When you swap your stock engine with a bigger and beefier engine, you must replace the stock axles. The stock Dana 35 won’t be able to handle all that extra power.
Managing all the electronics, including the sensors, wiring harnesses, and motors, is highly frustrating. And if you are doing this swap in your garage, you have to be really patient because the process can become complicated.
Starters, alternators, distributors, fuel lines, transmission, etc., are what you have to look into when strategizing your game plan. Your engine bay won’t be ready for the upcoming engine, so make sure to put in what is required to go with the new one. You will need to arrange all new electronics if you’re planning on switching the engine. Making sure that you have all the compatible electronics for your new engine is an essential part of the process.
Some in the market even allow you to adjust the timings with a very user-friendly interface.
With some head-scratching and lots of failed attempts, you will be able to learn the art of tuning. So, don’t forget to take some tuning lessons. Or, you can just pay a professional to do the job for you.
Lots of Modifying
It’s a fact that a lot of stuff won’t fit into the engine bay, and you will have to make a lot of modifications. So you should expect cutting, grinding, welding, hammering, soldering, zip tying, etc., to form part of the process.
Each build is unique, and as such, you need to get to work making bits and pieces that make it work. This can end up costing you a lot if you don’t already have the right equipment. If you have the right equipment, you can save yourself a lot of time, money, and effort.
Engine swapping your Jeep is not easy; we cannot stress this enough. If you have the whole budget planned out, double that budget because that’s how much you will end up spending.
Most of these projects take seven months on average, which may increase significantly given how much you are spending. And not to mention the amount of work that’s involved.
When you look at all of that work, the time, and the money you spend — the results are incredibly satisfying. When you finally crank it, and it fires up just right, the smile that creeps across your face will go a long way.
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