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Thread: Hemi or LS?

  1. #1
    Under Observation sm_rubi's Avatar
    Date Committed
    Dec 2014
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    San Marcos, CA
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    27

    Hemi or LS?

    Didn't know what the meaning of "being at my wits end" until recently with the SuperCharger on my POS 3.8 but now I know...until recently I had planned to go with an LS as soon as I had the funds to do so but after talking to some who've installed Hemi's (without cooling issues) I'm thinking twice about what makes sense. So Hemi or LS and why?

    "Hemi swap is better option in a jk REGARDLESS of what media an Other shop owners say . Not One of my swaps overheat or have issues ."

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by sm_rubi View Post
    Didn't know what the meaning of "being at my wits end" until recently with the SuperCharger on my POS 3.8 but now I know...until recently I had planned to go with an LS as soon as I had the funds to do so but after talking to some who've installed Hemi's (without cooling issues) I'm thinking twice about what makes sense. So Hemi or LS and why?

    "Hemi swap is better option in a jk REGARDLESS of what media an Other shop owners say . Not One of my swaps overheat or have issues ."
    I'm going LS much cheaper to buy and I believe it's a bit lighter than the Hemi I had stopped in at Motech to check things out and Robbie was showing me around and was telling me how they have to beat the firewall in to get the Hemi to fit plus move some other stuff around where the LS just drops in with no issues. If you get a chance check out Motech there shop was full of rigs getting LS swaps most were 3.8's with superchargersd but had a few Hemi's owner calling it quits also.
    Ridin 44's with mud on the doors!

  3. #3
    I went Hemi and couldn't be happier.
    Installed a 5.7L in my '07 when it spun a main bearing in the 3.8L. I used the AEV DIY kit, and got a low mileage complete pull-out engine and transmission from LKQ. It was just north of $11k all in. Take out the $$ you can get for your old transmission, engine parts, wire harnesses, etc., and that price drops lower. I don't know what a complete, DIY LS swap would cost out the door. And the AEV is 99.8% complete, from radiator to exhaust. I had to buy a 6.1L power steering pump from the SRT Grand Cherokee, and a transmission adapter for a Dodge truck set-up, I believe. A couple of hundred bucks total. Everything else is included in the kit, and I had no issues with fitment of anything.

    The only mod to the firewall is opening up the steering shaft hole. The kit comes with a new bracket to move the steering shaft outboard about 1 1/2", to clear the valve cover. That, cutting and welding in the motor mounts and welding the transmission mount are the only mods needed.

    Weight wise, I believe the Hemi adds about 400 pounds over the front axle, above what the stock set-up weighs, but the kit comes with coil spring spacers to adjust for that. I have no idea about the LS weight.

    I have had zero overheating issues, and I live in the Southeast where we get plenty of days over 100 degrees. Everyday driving for the past 5 or so years, plenty of wheeling trips, and no mechanical issues with the drivetrain at all. Except for a broken stock rear axle shaft while wheeling .............. MPG wise, I have heard of people getting close to 18 - 20 with V8 swaps, but my heavy 4-door averages consistent 11 - 12 being a DD.

    I did the swap in my 2-car garage, with basic hand tools. It is definitely do-able for the average wrencher.

    I would go Hemi again in a heartbeat, but I can see the advantages of an LS motor as well. Just about the only thing I don't like with the AEV kit is that they "lock" their PCM, so that no tuning is possible. I have seen another Hemi JK brick the PCM because they tried to flash it with a Diablo tuner, and had to buy a new one from AEV. I personally have never been in an LS-equipped JK, so no real world comparisons for me. I guess it comes down to preferences: Do you want to keep it in the family and go Hemi? Or go with the LS, which I believe allows for aftermarket tuning?

    I still smile every time I crank up my Heep, and hear that Hemi come to life. More than enough HP and Torques for me, on road and off. In 4lo and locked, it will climb over just about everything that I have pointed it at. And spinning 37" MTR's into second gear can bring the happys as well. Go with either V8, and I think you will be glad you did.
    AMP




    '07 JK Unlimited Rubicon
    Steel Blue
    Lift, tires, bumpers, the usual mods......... and 2 extra cylinders

  4. #4
    Who is your daddy? dr.dirty's Avatar
    Date Committed
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    Driven many Jeeps with Hemis and not overly impressed. When I do mine it will be an LS motor.

  5. #5
    Haldol Shuffle MR LIKA's Avatar
    Date Committed
    Dec 2011
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    Mission Viejo, Ca
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr.dirty View Post
    Driven many Jeeps with Hemis and not overly impressed. When I do mine it will be an LS motor.
    Fuck you Dirty, no matter which one you pic, you will have heating issues. Well if you consider anything over the half way point on your temp gauge. Oh yeah fuck you dirty.
    Stock Sahara

  6. #6
    Haldol Shuffle MR LIKA's Avatar
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    Oops forgot. I do love my Hemi.

  7. #7
    Who is your daddy? dr.dirty's Avatar
    Date Committed
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR LIKA View Post
    Oops forgot. I do love my Hemi.
    It's ok I still love you. And your hemi hasn't leaked coolant on my floor the last few times so I guess I still love your jeep as well.

  8. #8
    Haldol Shuffle MR LIKA's Avatar
    Date Committed
    Dec 2011
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    Mission Viejo, Ca
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    741
    Quote Originally Posted by dr.dirty View Post
    It's ok I still love you. And your hemi hasn't leaked coolant on my floor the last few times so I guess I still love your jeep as well.
    Awe shucks, I love you tooooo.

  9. #9
    Under Observation sm_rubi's Avatar
    Date Committed
    Dec 2014
    Location
    San Marcos, CA
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    27
    Quote Originally Posted by dr.dirty View Post
    Driven many Jeeps with Hemis and not overly impressed. When I do mine it will be an LS motor.
    That's actually something I noticed with my friends Hemi of course he had cooling issues and the shop that installed it is known more for hype than results especially V8 installs so who knows. I'm sort of conflicted with this one because my first car was a 72 Challenger but through the years I've been a Chevy person.

    Thanks all for the feedback it helps me with some of the questions I have for the shop!
    Haters are a dime a dozen don't be afraid to think for yourself!

  10. #10
    Pastrami Prolapse Chris Hansen's Avatar
    Date Committed
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Southern Cal
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    2,646
    I think Lika's Hemi leaks more than my POS 3.8L. hehe

    Since you're in CA, another issue is seeing which one has the best chance of passing smog. I know that was a big hiccup in getting a lot of LS swaps done early on. But I'm with Dirty on my impression of the added performance of the Hemi. I'd go LS if I had the money.
    Get the hottest crime novel out now! http://amzn.to/Zovqkj or http://bit.ly/18N0Juv

  11. #11
    Under Observation sm_rubi's Avatar
    Date Committed
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCarr View Post
    I think Lika's Hemi leaks more than my POS 3.8L. hehe

    Since you're in CA, another issue is seeing which one has the best chance of passing smog. I know that was a big hiccup in getting a lot of LS swaps done early on. But I'm with Dirty on my impression of the added performance of the Hemi. I'd go LS if I had the money.
    Good points on the smog...current plans are to register at my MIL ranch which is in a rural area without the smog requirements. I've heard the Hemi is further along than the LS with regards to computer tunes and functionality post swap. Namely that the features you pay for in the JK like the power options etc. Not that it makes a ton of difference to me I've already lost some of the std functionality with my junkyard axle swap.

    I hear you about the cost which seems to be ridiculous, you can find the motor/tranny for as little as $3,500 but the harness is almost the same cost WTF!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by sm_rubi View Post
    Good points on the smog...current plans are to register at my MIL ranch which is in a rural area without the smog requirements. I've heard the Hemi is further along than the LS with regards to computer tunes and functionality post swap. Namely that the features you pay for in the JK like the power options etc. Not that it makes a ton of difference to me I've already lost some of the std functionality with my junkyard axle swap.

    I hear you about the cost which seems to be ridiculous, you can find the motor/tranny for as little as $3,500 but the harness is almost the same cost WTF!
    Might be worth a call to Motec and talk with Robbie as I believe he is the only one to have his LS swaps C.A.R.B certified.

  13. #13
    Under Observation
    Date Committed
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    I went with a LS. For me the transmission options with the LS made the descission easy. No overheating issues at all, even in Death Valley.

  14. #14
    Under Observation jordy's Avatar
    Date Committed
    Sep 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubydak View Post
    I went with a LS. For me the transmission options with the LS made the descission easy.
    That's one of the deciding factors for me. A 6 speed GM transmission? Yes please. I'm also a GM guy and have been my whole life. If I could shoehorn a Duramax and Allison in, I'd be all over it like a hobo on a ham sandwich.

  15. #15
    I'm going 5.3/6L80E.

    Anyone have input on who to go with for the swap kit?

    Motech is the 'go to' company for the LS swaps. Robbi is nothing short of spectacular with online support. His quote though is almost $6800 for the DIY kit (basic kit + trans case adapter).
    - His price was lower when tap shift and cruise control were optional. But this option is included in the others swap kits.
    - The trans adapter is an additional cost. Seems like a major part of the swap but he gave a good reason why it's separate. It's included in the others standard DIY kit.
    - New radiator is additional cost. This is included in JSS's kit. Because it's an additional cost from Motech, I would not opt for it immediately.
    - Engine is standalone so if the Jeep electronics shit the bed, the Jeep will still get home.


    RPM Extreme shows an online cost of $5283. This is optioning for their CAI and AC line adapters. It seems they communicate everything through CANBUS though so I'm not sure a Jeep electronic failure won't immobilize the engine as well. There also isn't much internet reviews on their kit.
    -Radiator is additional cost.
    Current features:
    * 100% New harness
    * EZ CanBus system
    * PRNDL display with 1-6 gears in manual mode indicated on the dash
    * GM TAP shifting using your factory Jeep cruise switch
    * Fully functional cruise control using your factory Jeep cruise switch
    * GM TOW_HAUL mode using your factory OD off button
    * Factory AC control with evaporator temp monitoring
    * Factory Jeep remote start functional
    * Full GM Emissions compatible
    * GM VVT and AFM-DOD compatible

    What is in the basic kit:
    * LS conversion harness
    * EZ CanBus module
    * Weld in motor mount plates
    * Transmission mounting bracket
    * Transfer case adapter 6L80E to Jeep 241J (non Rubicon)
    * Transmission mount
    * Transmission shifter cable bracket
    * Transfer case shifter cable bracket
    * Accelerator pedal bracket
    * Plug n play fuel line adapter
    * Jeep computer reprogramming
    GM computer reprogramming
    TIPM Reprograming

    JSS is seemingly the cheapest so far and includes as standard what the other two have as additonal costs. Also little in on internet reviews of their kit.
    Swap Kit Components $5200.00
    Includes:
    JSS AC Lines ALL NEW
    JSS Engine mounts
    JSS Trans mounting system
    JSS PRNDL switch
    Shifter bracket for Trans and for T Case
    JSS pedal & mount
    JSS Tach convertor
    Coolant reservoir
    Upper & lower hoses and heater loses
    JSS fuel line
    Hotwire engine, Jeep Harness for JSS, ALL NEW WIRING
    GM ECU programmed
    GM TCU programmed
    Reprogram JEEP Computer, JSS
    6l80E trans adapter, for the Jeep T Case 241J
    JSS Aluminum radiator
    GM Cruise control, JSS Module



    Since the major parts are listed, is the extra $1500 for the Motech kit worth it? Is it more refined to validate the cost? Or is the cost difference for the tech support?

  16. #16
    I spoke with Jon of RPM extreme today. His kit does make the LS standalone so if the jeep electronics fail you'll still get home. His kit also seems very simple to install. They provide a new harness where needed, so you don't have to send part of yours in. They get both canbus systems talking so I believe there is no redundant sensors.

    I'm waiting for a quote, but based on website costs I can get the kit, exhaust, radiator, and intake, (trans adapter is part of kit) for a few dollars less than the kit + adapter through motech.

  17. #17
    Derp, I was a bit off. Without the exhaust/manfolds both companies are about the same price. RPMExtreme does account for the radiator though at that price.
    Last edited by D94R; 05-06-2016 at 10:12 PM.

  18. #18
    I went with the LS swap and I used MoTech , the support was without a doubt more than I expected . Robbie , Ronnie and Josh always made time to explain every thing so that even I could understand .
    I have done more than my share of swaps , the one before this one was a real bare bones 5.3-4L60E in a CJ , but this one in a JK is a different beast if you want every creature comfort to work like it should . I went with the LS-3-6l80E 430 horse and would do it all over again . Before you decide , and put your money down do a lot of reading , I did a shit ton of research and talked to all the players more than once or twice , that exercise alone made me lean toward MoTech more so than the others , It just made sense .
    One other thing I would do is drive a few of them , that is very telling .
    Are you putting a 5.3 LS in a four door ? or a two door ?
    I drove a 5.3-6l80E in a 4 door and knew that it was probably OK but not overly impressive . Then I drove a 6.0LS6L80E in a two door and that was real impressive , my CJ didn't perform that well and the CJ is Much lighter . The transmission is what makes LS a winner . But the LS-3 is a real eye opener , It will be nearly impossible to not be embarrassed when you get out of it in a area that there are other people around , trying to hide the Chubbie is not something that that I have become adept at yet .

    Which ever V-8 you decide to go with will be an improvement over the Caravan Motor , Chrysler is missing a big chunk of sales because of underwhelming power in the Wranglers .
    The V-8 should be at least an option .
    Last edited by un lupus; 05-27-2016 at 12:48 AM.

  19. #19
    I'll be sticking with my 5.3 in the 4 door. I know the LS3 is tits, but I have no illusions of wanting corvette HP in my JK.

    Compared to the 3.8, the 5.3 gets the job done easily. But when compared with the 6.2 it 'feels' marginally better than the 3.8.

    I'm not out to have a hot rod JK, and I don't have the $5k premium for a crate LS3. I simply want the added cylinders, HP/TQ, and the tranny. Like you said, the 5.3 is still an improvement.

  20. #20
    Who is your daddy? dr.dirty's Avatar
    Date Committed
    Nov 2011
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    4,553
    I still plan on doing a 5.3 in mine someday.......................

 

 

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