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Jeep Built Engines - Smack In The Box

Posted in How To: Engine on March 25, 2008
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Some of us like to make our pancakes from scratch, some of us grab the Aunt Jemima box, and some of us just drive to I-hop. no matter which type you are, if you're contemplating a serious Jeep build, chances are you'll be yanking the stock engine for a high-horsepower replacement. You'll have tons of choices, from a scratch rebuild to a ready-to-run crate engine. here are 10 really good choices for anything from an early flattie to a prerunner J-truck.

You may be asking yourself what a 60-degree V-6 that cranks out 160 hp and 194 lb-ft of torque is doing in a high-performance crate engine story. but if you're the unlucky owner of a 2.8L-equipped Jeep vehicle, those numbers look pretty good. the ht 3.4L offers up 50 hp and 46 lb-ft more than the 2.8L turdlinger and it uses the same exhaust, front accessories, and motor mounts, making for an easy upgrade. the 3.4L gets its 204 cube displacement with a 3.62-inch bore and 3.31-inch stroke, culminating in a zippy 9.0:1 compression.

contact: Gm Performance Parts, 800/577-6888,

Yes, it's a perfect trophy truck engine, but we're sure there are some Jeep guys with deep pockets out there who would consider katech Performance's all-aluminum, 500 cube Ls engine. based on a Dart t-6 aluminum block, the engine features highlights such as forged 4.205-inch pistons, forged crank and rods, a dry sump oil system, aluminum heads, and several different induction, front accessory, exhaust, and electronic packages. the Desert Attack 500 makes 700 hp and 700 lb-ft of torque, but the company also has less aggressive, less expensive options available.

contact: katech Performance, 866/kAtech1,

There's a reason everybody puts a small-block chevy in his or her Jeep. Parts are cheap and easy to come by, and the aftermarket is flush with support. but do us a favor and leave the wheezing 305 at the door. the ZZ383 uses a 3.80-inch, 4340 forged-steel crank, sturdy powder metal rods, and hypereutectic pistons to squeeze the mixture to 9.6:1 with GmPP's excellent Fast burn aluminum cylinder heads. A serious 222/230 @ 0.050, 0.509/0.528 lift hydraulic roller cam handle the 2.00-intake and 1.55-exhaust valves to the tune of 425 hp and 449 lb-ft when outfitted with a single plenum manifold and 750cfm carb.

contact:Gm Performance Parts, 800/577-6888,

At first, $8,500 sounds like a lot of coin for an Amc engine, but speed-o-motive's 401 torque master actually proves to be a good deal. consider the fact that even used 401 cores can fetch up to $1,000, and then realize that the torque master comes fully assembled from carb to pan, features edelbrock aluminum heads, intake and 750cfm carb; forged crank, h-beam rods, and hypereutectic pistons; and even an msD ignition-and you'll see that it's a big bang for your buck. Each speed-o-motive torque master is broken in and dyno-tuned, and shipping is free, though there is a $150 crating and insurance fee. Best of all, the durable 401 will pump out more than 400 hp and 425 lb-ft all day long.

contact:speed-o-motive, 626/869-0270,

Now that banks is offering brand-new 6.6L Duramax crate engines for $14,989, we want to see what you build with them. these are new, "as shipped" Duramax engines, assembled by Dmax-Ltd in moraine, ohio, and include the following key components: cylinder block, cylinder heads, Rotating Assembly (crank, pistons, rods, etc), Valvetrain (cam, valves, lifters, springs, etc), VG turbocharger, eGR system, Fuel system (cP3 pump, injectors, HP rails), oil Pan, Water Pump, Flywheel housing (w/ Gm bolt pattern), engine Wiring harness, Flexplate, and Front Damper. You'll need to provide the ecU, fan, A/c compressor, alternator, and starter.

contact:Banks Power, 877/278-0213,

We see a lot of them in Jeeps, but honestly, we don't understand why we don't see even more Ram Jet 350s out there. Just hook up a few wires and fuel and you've got one of the easiest injected engine setups out there. besides the ability to run upside down and at angles, the Ram Jet 350 offers insane off-idle torque, awesome top-end power, and razor-sharp throttle response. the engine's 350 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque don't disappoint. And now that the meFI 3 computer controller has been replaced by the meFI 4, closed-loop operation for improved performance through altitude changes is even easier.

contact:Gm Performance Parts, 800/577-6888,

When we originally came up with the name for Jp's Project murderous overkill it was because we planned on running a Ram Jet 502 big-block. It's a long story on why we went with an olds 455 instead, but there's no denying this monster's 502 hp and 565 lb-ft of torque, all from an easy-toset- up injected big block. hell, the thing makes over 500 lb-ft at just 2,200 rpm! cappa has admitted to being scared when a Jeep equipped with one just idled past him.

contact:Gm Performance Parts, 800/577-6888,

We've been friendly with turn key engine supply for years now and with good reason. the company puts together some really killer, ready-to-run Ls-based engine packages. Although turn key engine supply has packages ranging from 630hp Ls7 and twin turbo 770hp Ls2 setups, we really like the company's 6.0L LQ9 package. the LQ9 package uses a cast iron block, aluminum heads, the truck-type intake manifold, and a performance cam and valve springs to deliver 470 hp and 450 lb-ft. As with all turn key engine supply packages, the 470hp 6.0L LQ9 includes a full harness, computer, fuel pump and filters, front accessory group, air filter, and even engine oil. Just fuel it, wire it, and fire it.

contact:turn key engine supply, 760/941-2741,

We're not really going to try to narrow down hesco's inline six crate engine offerings to just one because the field is so divided on the subject. Some people just won't give up their trusty 4.0L displacement. others say there's no other way to go than a 4.7L or larger stroker. We're not into debating, but we will say that hesco seems to go the extra mile, whether it's a stock-type 4.0L long block or a fully built and dyno'd 5.0L stroker with hesco's aluminum head (shown). several Jeepspeed guys are winning with their hesco engines, so if they can stand up to the rigors of baja running, your daily commute should be a breeze.

contact:hesco, 205/251-1472,

Both making 360 hp and 360 lb-ft, you can pick your poison with either mopar Performance's carbureted or throttle body injected 5.7L crate engines. either comes with a plug-and-play wiring harness, controller, flex plate, production exhaust manifolds, and water pump. You'll need to add the front accessory package (alternator, etc) that fits your chassis. We'd drop one in front of a built Grand Cherokee five-speed auto with a Dodge nP241 t-case and have at the dunes.

contact:mopar Performance,

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