Many Jeep fans are now gathering up the email torches and pitchforks they keep locked away just for this sort of moment. We’re talking about supercharging a Jeep. We’ve seen them on the trails doing some pretty phenomenal wheeling, and regardless of which way you go on this matter, there is no denying the power gains available. They’re not for everybody or every Jeep, but if you’re looking for more power, a supercharger can make that V-6 feel like a V-8.
We recently had the chance to join the guys from ProCharger as they installed the company’s supercharger system designed for the 2018-and-up Jeep JL Wrangler with the 3.6L V-6. Having developed a supercharger kit for the 2012+ Jeep JK years ago helped ProCharger be first with the same for the 2018+ Jeep JL. The kit is based around the ProCharger P-1SC-1 centrifugal-style supercharger that features a self-contained oiling design (no external oil lines required) and helical instead of straight-cut gears (an option included for this Jeep JL build) for quieter and smoother operation. It also has a billet aluminum impeller and gear case, and for this application it runs at 7 pounds of boost.
The heart of this power-adding system designed specifically for the Jeep 3.6L V-6 in the 2018-and-up Jeep JL Wrangler is the P-1SC-1 ProCharger supercharger. Running 7 psi of boost, the blower features a self-contained oiling design (no external oil lines required) and is designed to operate in extreme temperatures, making it ideal for the Jeep enthusiast.
The parts list for the complete system takes up four pages, ranging from the main and alternator brackets with all their associated mounting hardware to the intercooler and all of its hoses, tubes, brackets and their collections of hardware. You get a new MAP and adapter, new spark plugs and fuel injectors, complete new inlet and air tube kits, surge valve and filter, wiring looms and extensions where needed, and more tip-ties than we knew what to do with. In fact, other than tools and coffee, the ProCharger 1JL214-SCI supercharger system kit for this 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL 3.6L V-8 came with everything we needed.
This installation burned up a good day and half (most pro shops can do it in a day), and although it’s a semi-complicated job, the instruction book was highly detailed and well illustrated. We’ve hit the highlights here and offer a few tips and tricks we learned from doing this installation with the pros from ProCharger. Take a gander at how we got the job done.
There are nine basic groups of steps to this installation. The first begins with the disconnection, disassembly, loosening, or removal of the battery, engine cover, air inlet tube, airbox, air pump on the alternator bracket, pulley belt, alternator, radiator, and grille. We went one step further and pulled the electric fan and shroud assembly on the back of the radiator for more elbow room when working.
The first move in the second group of steps is what we called “spark and fuel” because the removal of the upper intake manifold and throttle body as a single piece must be done to replace the spark plugs and injectors with new and upgraded replacements from the ProCharger kit.
So that nothing stupid (you know, like a screw falling down into the engine through the open ports of the lower intake manifold) happened, we immediately covered the ports with strips of painter’s tape.
After unplugging all the injector and coil connectors, we pulled the factory coils so we could get down into the tubes and pull out those factory spark plugs.
This is where the right tools really come in handy, because the spark plugs you need to replace are deep down under the coils. A magnetic plug socket on a long extension was used to pull the factory plugs and replace them with the NGK 1422 plugs that came as an option with our kit. If getting your own plugs, ProCharger recommends one heat range colder than the stock plugs, gapped at 0.035-inch. A drop of antiseize on the new plug threads was applied just prior to installation.
The T-30 Torx fuel rail screws were removed so the fuel rails could be pulled loose. It’s a good idea to have rags ready to soak up spilled fuel during this operation.
We unplugged the injectors, flipped the fuel rails over, and replaced the factory injectors. The new fuel injectors included with the ProCharger kit are rated at 50 lb/hr, which is a serious upgrade from the factory injectors. A small amount of grease was applied to the O-rings on the new injectors before installation.
The fuel rails were reinstalled with the same T-30 Torx screws that came out of them, the injector connectors hooked back up, and then the coil connectors were re-fastened and hold-down screws were reinstalled. Now the upper intake and throttle body assembly can be reinstalled just as it came out.
Alternator relocation is the third part of the ProCharger installation on this 2018 Jeep JL. What you’re looking at in this photo is the new alternator bracket (left) and the stock alternator bracket (right). The idler pulley on the factory alternator bracket will be removed, saved, and reinstalled on the kit’s main bracket later.
This shot from below shows how the factory alternator was relocated to a position near the steering box. The crescent moon–shaped alternator bracket is mounted to the timing cover using kit-supplied hardware to replace two factory timing cover bolts. A kit-supplied stiffening brace was also added between the far end of the bracket and a tapped hole on the engine block using supplied hardware.
Main bracket assembly and installation is the fourth part of this ProCharger Jeep JL application. In this photo, you can see the idler pulley from the factory alternator bracket has been relocated to the passenger side of the new main bracket. The driver-side idler pulley will also removed from the timing cover and reinstalled on driver side of the main bracket.
The exploded diagram shows the backside of the main bracket assembly and how the hardware and the two reinstalled idler pulleys are configured on the main bracket. The main bracket will be installed with the idler pulleys facing the timing cover.
With both idler pulleys now attached to the timing cover side of the main bracket, the kit-supplied hardware (and one factory bolt removed from the alternator) was used to install the main bracket. The belt was then threaded through the inside of the two idler pulleys for the next step—the installation of the ProCharger head unit.
Fifth in the series of procedures is installing the ProCharger head unit. The first of those steps was to fill it with the 6-ounce bottle of supercharger oil supplied with the kit. You will need to burn up all the old fuel (or at least have no more than a quarter tank) in your Jeep before running this blower though, as anything less than premium (91 octane) gasoline can cause detonation.
The ProCharger head unit has a dipstick so it can be routinely checked for oil level. According to ProCharger, the head unit’s oil should be completely changed for the first time at 500 miles, and then at 6,000-mile intervals after that. The hex-head drain plug on the underside of the head unit can be removed to drain the oil.
Nestled into the main bracket, the ProCharger head unit was held in place until a couple of its six kit-provided mounting bolts that come in from the back of the bracket were finger tightened. Two of the six mounting bolts (meant for the bottom of the head unit) are hex-head, allowing easy tool access with an open-end wrench. The top four of the six bolts are socket head cap (Allen) style and can be accessed with a ratcheting wrench. Once all those were tight, a 1/2-inch breaker bar was used to pull the tensioner pulley toward the driver side so the belt could be slipped over the ProCharger head unit’s pulley.
The air pump and its bracket were then relocated onto a pair of threaded holes on the bottom of the ProCharger head unit main bracket using the factory air pump bracket bolts.
The sixth major group of steps is the installation of the intercooler and the tube routing. Again, it’s a good thing the instruction book is so detailed, because there are about a dozen things to be done before the intercooler can be installed, ranging from the removal of radiator support bars, plastic air deflectors, air inlet tube, and the radiator cover to installation of radiator support spacers and brackets. All this has to happen before a 3/8-inch hole can be drilled in the two lower A/C condenser tabs to allow the fitting of kit-provided clip nuts to all four A/C condenser tabs.
We loosely mounted the intercooler brackets to the intercooler, and then loosely bolted the brackets to the clip nuts installed in the a/c condenser tabs.
A bubble was used to make sure the intercooler was mounted perfectly level before all the intercooler’s mounting hardware and brackets were fully tightened.
With the horns back in place (their mounting tabs had to be bent just enough so that when reinstalled the horns don’t touch the intercooler), the two molded rubber tubes for the intercooler were inserted through the openings on each side of the radiator. The rubber tubes were then secured to the intercooler with hose clamps but left loose until final adjustment.
At this time, the fan and its shroud had been reinstalled so we could check for clearance around it when installing the new tubing for the intercooler system. Some minor cutting for “clearance” had to be done for the air inlet that was installed later.
The IAT sensor that had been carefully removed from the factory air inlet was plugged into the ProCharger tube that fits between the driver-side molded rubber tube coming from the intercooler and the throttle body tube.
The rubber elbow-shaped throttle body tube was slid over the 3-inch end of the IAT sensor tube and then connected to the throttle body. Once all three driver-side tubes going from intercooler to the throttle body were adjusted and properly aligned, all hose clamps were tightened.
Finishing out the passenger-side tubing from the intercooler to the ProCharger head unit wrapped up the installation of the intercooler and its tubing. Part of that passenger-side three-part tubing system was a surge tube in the middle with a 1 1/2-inch rubber hose that leads to the surge valve.
We assembled the surge valve, surge valve filter, and 1 1/2-inch rubber surge valve hose before installation.
The surge valve and its filter were installed so they were clear of any moving parts, the valve’s barbed fitting was oriented so later it could be reached by a vacuum line coming from the new kit-supplied vacuum manifold, and we made sure the valve linkage was unobstructed. Then the valve was zip-tied to the frame.
Seventh in the nine major groups of installation steps on the way to having a ProCharger supercharger on this 3.6L V-6 engine is putting the PCV system back into play. Reassembly involves reconfiguring the PCV hoses and adding a kit-supplied vacuum manifold that connects to the throttle body and supplies vacuum to the brake boost system and the new surge valve.
Putting together and hooking up the air inlet and filter system to the ProCharger head unit was next. A bit of “clearancing” had to done on the fan shroud to get the air inlet tube to fit in. The 5/8-inch PCV hose installed earlier was connected to the 3/8 NPT x 5/8-inch 90-degree hose barb installed in the center tube of the air inlet system.
The ninth and final major step in the ProCharger supercharger installation was to double-check and secure all PCV hoses, swap in the new kit-supplied MAP sensor and MAP adapter, and hook up all the electrics, such as the alternator, air pump, and battery.
Of course, some final reassembly (such as reinstalling the front grille) was required, as well as filling up with high-octane gasoline before we could testdrive the newly ProCharger-supercharged 2018 Jeep JL Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon.
The before (top) and after (bottom) installation dyno charts clearly show the gains in horsepower and torque from the ProCharger supercharger kit. A quick drive after the installation gave us a very positive seat-of-the-pants impression of the altered performance output of the ProCharger-upgraded 3.6L V-6 in this 2018 Jeep JL Wrangler. There were big smiles on all our faces.
Open-end wrench set (standard and metric)
3/8-inch and 1/2-inch socket sets (standard and metric)
3/8-inch hex bit set (standard and metric)
8mm nut driver
Torx bit set
1/2-inch breaker bar
Can of WD-40