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LS swap questions

Old 02-08-2018, 09:41 PM
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Default LS swap questions

First of all let me say this.. I am an LS guy. I've been running LS engines for over 10 years in my drag cars, but this will be my first swap in a JK.

I see most guys running the motec and rpm extreme setups when they do the swap, but Im not too fond pf spending 5k on the harness, mounts, etc. My question is...has anyone done the swap without using the custom harness, but still made their factory gauges, ac, heat, stereo work? My jk is a trail rig that I drive on the street as well, but it is more of a trail rig than anything so I'm not too concerned with the factory gauges working. I do want to use the heat and stereo though. If there is no way to keep those things operational I will just wire up the heat so it works and I will swap out the factory head unit for an aftermarket head unit. For gauges I will use a tablet or edge CTS2 monitor like I have in my dodge.

I'm also trying to decide on the best headers to use.


Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old 02-09-2018, 01:55 AM
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I can't answer your questions as I used an RPMextreme kit. You need to call and talk to Jon at RPM and talk about what you are wanting as he may be able to meet your needs with what you are after.
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Old 02-09-2018, 04:09 AM
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Ametzker has a current work in progress thread (link below) going on, where I believe that he has the same plan but I'm not sure if he's far enough along.
https://www.jk-forum.com/forums/modi...8/#post4304283

I'm just waiting for someone with much more experience to come along and let us know what can and can't be done without one of the conversion kits.

I like knowing what $5K gives me in return when I eventually do my LS swap.

Last edited by Rednroll; 02-09-2018 at 04:19 AM.
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Old 02-09-2018, 04:29 AM
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DaMangler - Are you the same fellow from FB who asked this? If I remember correctly, you basically want a trail rig, not a street legal rig? If trail, loose the Jeep CANBUS system and just run aftermarket gauges.

If you want street legal, I'm seeing two methods.

1. You have to figure out how to tie into the CANBUS system of the jeep. This allows access to the ECM and to the TIPM so your gauges and turn signals and all that stuff works.

2. Loose the Jeep CANBUS entirely and re-wire your jeep to run on the GM ECM. That means new gauges and wiring your own amenities (turn signals, brake lights, heating controls, etc).

I'm running a 2011 L96 w/6L80E that MoTech installed for me, so I've got their box that allows the GM and Jeep ECMs to work with each other.

If I had it to do over. I would have found a salvage title JKU and gutted it. Then installed an LS and wired the rig myself. (Did this with a 72 Cuda that now runs a 6.1L Hemi with a 4L60E trans)

That's not a knock against MoTech. The work they did on my rig is better than factory looking and works without flaw. I've just reach a point on my rig that hardly any of the original jeep is left other than the tub.

Regardless, create a build thread and post up because I'm very interested to see what direction you go. I like to see folks do something different (like my Cuda with a GM transmission).
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by jedg View Post
DaMangler - Are you the same fellow from FB who asked this? If I remember correctly, you basically want a trail rig, not a street legal rig? If trail, loose the Jeep CANBUS system and just run aftermarket gauges.

If you want street legal, I'm seeing two methods.

1. You have to figure out how to tie into the CANBUS system of the jeep. This allows access to the ECM and to the TIPM so your gauges and turn signals and all that stuff works.

2. Loose the Jeep CANBUS entirely and re-wire your jeep to run on the GM ECM. That means new gauges and wiring your own amenities (turn signals, brake lights, heating controls, etc).

I'm running a 2011 L96 w/6L80E that MoTech installed for me, so I've got their box that allows the GM and Jeep ECMs to work with each other.

If I had it to do over. I would have found a salvage title JKU and gutted it. Then installed an LS and wired the rig myself. (Did this with a 72 Cuda that now runs a 6.1L Hemi with a 4L60E trans)

That's not a knock against MoTech. The work they did on my rig is better than factory looking and works without flaw. I've just reach a point on my rig that hardly any of the original jeep is left other than the tub.

Regardless, create a build thread and post up because I'm very interested to see what direction you go. I like to see folks do something different (like my Cuda with a GM transmission).
Yes that was me on fb. I plan to talk to Jon @ RPM when he gets back in town from KOH. His shop is only 10 minutes from my house. Not sure when i will start this swap but it will definitely be sometime this year. I already have an aluminum 5.3 but I need to decide on a trans and case. It would be nice to keep the factory stuff working, but it is not a must for me. I can put a nice switch panel in it and wire everything into that if I have to.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by DaMangler View Post
I already have an aluminum 5.3 but I need to decide on a trans and case.
You've got the 4:1 Rubicon case, so you're good there, unless you want to step up to a twin stick Atlas or the like. I'm planning on keeping the Rubicon case, but I've also got hubs on the front Dynatrac, so there isn't that big of a benefit in a twin stick for me. To me, the biggest appeal, aside from an extra couple hundred ponies, is a 6 speed transmission behind it. Going with a GM transmission as well when I pull the trigger.
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Old 02-10-2018, 07:44 AM
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I'd talk to Motech...IMO best option if your wanting JK elect integration done right.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jordy View Post
You've got the 4:1 Rubicon case, so you're good there, unless you want to step up to a twin stick Atlas or the like. I'm planning on keeping the Rubicon case, but I've also got hubs on the front Dynatrac, so there isn't that big of a benefit in a twin stick for me. To me, the biggest appeal, aside from an extra couple hundred ponies, is a 6 speed transmission behind it. Going with a GM transmission as well when I pull the trigger.
yeah I will probably keep the Rubicon case for now until it breaks or I can buy an atlas. I will probably run a full manual 700r4 trans. This rig won't be on the highway all that much so no need for a 6spd trans.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by caryt View Post
I'd talk to Motech...IMO best option if your wanting JK elect integration done right.
The whole point of this thread is because I don't want to spend that kind of money because I don't really need all of the jeep stuff to function. I'm just going to do the swap the old fashioned way. All I need is lights, radio and heat to work. No need to spend 5k on a swap kit just for that.
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by DaMangler View Post
The whole point of this thread is because I don't want to spend that kind of money because I don't really need all of the jeep stuff to function. I'm just going to do the swap the old fashioned way. All I need is lights, radio and heat to work. No need to spend 5k on a swap kit just for that.
I saw an article in, I think, JP Magazine where a fellow did this. Gutted the JKU down to a tub. Installed a v8 and built his own dash and wiring harness.
Edit - here's the article
http://www.fourwheeler.com/features/...ed-earthquake/

Edit - Edit - hands down one of my top 3 JKU rigs ever.

Like I said before... if I knew then what I do now, I would have found a salvage title JKU. Gutted it and built from scratch.

Last edited by jedg; 02-13-2018 at 09:57 AM.
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