Jeep WK Grand Cherokee 5.7L Hemi Engine Swap

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Why it gained’t work in a ’99-’04 Grand Cherokee WJ

5.7L Hemi crate engine Wrangler with 5.7L Hemi ’05 Grand Cherokee Hemi

2004 was the sixth and final mannequin 12 months of the WJ Grand Cherokee and a whole lot of Jeep fans had been hoping for a high-performance engine possibility, identical to what got here out for the 1998 mannequin, the final 12 months of the ZJ collection. At the top of that mannequin 12 months, Jeep launched a “best-in-class” 5.9-Liter engine possibility for the Limited, an possibility that ended up being very fashionable and amassing gross sales of practically 15,000 items. Jeep had whetted everybody’s urge for food with the “HO” model of the 4.7-liter engine that was launched for 2002, however clients wished greater than the additional 30 HP that it supplied.

As the 2004 mannequin 12 months progressed, rumors stored surfacing with some sources saying that Jeep was the truth is testing WJs with the 5.7 Hemi engine. What they didn’t know on the time was that a few of these check “mules” had been truly 2005 WK Grand Cherokees, however with modified entrance sheet metallic from 2004 fashions. This was one of many causes that some business sources had been saying early on that the entrance finish of the WK was going to look practically an identical to the WJ. But early WK mock-ups and check mules used a few of the current sheet metallic till Jeep was able to stamp out new elements with the WK specs. The hood and fenders needed to be 4″ longer so as to accommodate the bigger Hemi engine.

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A few years in the past, not lengthy after the brand new 5.7 Hemi was launched, the engine was made obtainable in “crate” type, as is finished with most manufacturing facility engines. The engines, we’re informed, had been swapped into some older autos, however nobody had tried to attempt one in a contemporary manufacturing automobile till a Montana firm modified a Wrangler in 2002.

The Hemi Wrangler

The Hemi Wrangler was launched on the 2002 SEMA present in Las Vegas

At the Fall 2002 SEMA present in Las Vegas, present attendees had been handled to a particular shock – a 2002 Jeep Wrangler with a 5.7L Hemi engine beneath the hood. Featuring 355 horsepower and 375 lb/ft of torque one might think about how briskly this Wrangler would get you wherever you wished to go. The firm that carried out the modification was American Expedition Vehicles, the primary firm to retrofit the brand new 5.7L Hemi into a contemporary manufacturing automobile. AEV is a Montana based mostly firm specializing in award-winning customized Jeep modifications and has acquired three DaimlerChrysler Design Excellence awards since 1998. AEV autos have been featured at Camp Jeep for the previous six years.

Fitting and configuring a Hemi right into a Wrangler introduced a couple of challenges. The Hemi engines are designed with the NGC Bus protocol whereas the Wrangler featured JTEC. A customized laptop needed to be constructed to emulate a few of the Dodge capabilities to make all the things work accurately. Fortunately, the slender/tall Hemi engine was match into the engine compartment with only a few physique alterations, though very snugly. It is definitely simpler to suit the 5.7 Hemi engine into the Wrangler than a 4.7 which is decrease and wider. All different points had been overcome, with all the manufacturing facility capabilities and diagnostics retained.

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For extra details about customized Jeep conversions go to the AEV web site

The query is, if a 5.7 Hemi engine will be swapped right into a Wrangler, a “smaller” automobile, why can’t or not it’s completed in a WJ Grand Cherokee? As quickly as Hemi crate engines grew to become obtainable, WJ homeowners had been inquiring in regards to the potentialities of shopping for one and having it swapped into their Jeeps. When it grew to become obvious that Jeep was not going to construct a Hemi WJ model over the last mannequin 12 months, much more homeowners had been anxious to try to have this completed.

In early 2003 we contacted one of many engineers at Jeep and inquired about the opportunity of swapping a 5.7 crate engine right into a WJ. He informed us that it could be “main surgical procedure”, if in any respect even doable. First, your complete engine compartment must be repackaged. The ABS system and brake strains would all should be moved in addition to all the engine hoses and wiring. Since the Hemi makes use of an digital throttle (“drive by wire”) the Dodge PCM must be modified, or extra doubtless, an aftermarket laptop must be constructed and programmed for lots of car capabilities as was completed with the Wrangler Hemi. The advanced engine wiring can be one other problem as Dodge harnesses must be integrated and modified.

And that’s only for starters. Since the 4.7 engine is low and extensive, the taller and narrower Hemi engine can be a tough match. The suspension must be lifted and different engine bay modifications carried out as effectively. According to American Expedition Vehicles, the conversion of the JTEC to the NGC kind controller can be way more advanced for a WJ than what was required for the Wrangler. The Wrangler has lots much less function and programming necessities.

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Finally, there may be the difficulty of emissions (and CARB certification for some States), gauges, air con, cruise management and so forth. Did we point out value but? The Wrangler Hemi conversions prices round $18,000 (much less some credit score for current engine & elements). A WJ conversion would in all probability run effectively over $20,000.

The backside line, it seems, is that it’s not solely economically not definitely worth the swap, however maybe bodily and electronically nearly not possible. The finest recommendation for WJ 4.7 homeowners wanting much more energy can be to look right into a Kenne Bell supercharger, at beneath $5,000 the associated fee is about 1/fifth of a what Hemi swap can be (if it had been even doable). For these not wanting the hassles of conserving a supercharged engine “in tune”, and who gotta have a Hemi of their Grand Cherokee are left with one selection – to purchase a brand new 2005 WK with the Hemi possibility. No fuss, no muss, however it is going to set you again round $38,000 (MSRP). If funds is a priority, used Hemi Grand Cherokees will in all probability be promoting for round $20,000-$24,000 in about three years.

For info on the 2005 Grand Cherokee Hemi fashions head over to  WKJeeps.com

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