Part 6: Engine Upgrades
We were one of the first to tell you how barely adequate the Jeep 3.8L OHV V-6 is in the new Wrangler JK, especially in the Unlimited. Then we had to go and throw on bumpers, a winch, a suspension, wheels, and tires, and now we might as well cede on ramp-merging contests to, well, just about anything else. Was that a Vespa that went by? With one of the heaviest configurations offered (hardtop, Unlimited), the 'Con Artist was struggling to keep us up to speed after the 35s and the lift. Even with a drop to 4.88:1 gears, our JK still wasn't happy maintaining speed on highway grades as steeper climbs required dropping down to Third gear just to keep up with traffic. With power increases on the brain, we gave AEM and JBA Performance Exhaust a call to see if we could procure some parts that would not only help out our Jeep to offset some of its feelings of heft, but also to give it a little heartier exhaust note. We brought our Jeep down to JBA's Performance Center facility in San Diego, California, for the installs and dyno runs.
How It Works
We immediately noticed a seat-of-the-pants improvement after the installation of our intake and exhaust. The JBA muffler is barely audible at cruise, but provides a pleasing increase in sound, with a better tone, at idle and under load. There is no mistaking the AEM intake under the hood, which comes to life with a thunderous roar under wide-open throttle. Overall the Jeep is a much better daily driver and the gains were more than we expected.
|JBA + AEM||HP||TQ|