There are myriad methods to gaining more power for your Jeep Wrangler. Some owners choose to supercharge the factory gasoline V6, others look to LS or HEMI V8 swaps, and still others consider dropping in a small-displacement diesel power plant.
There are a number of supercharger packages available for the Jeep Wrangler, but that doesn’t do drivers any favors when it comes to fuel mileage, and most of the power gains are up high in the rpm range, not down low where you really need it for off-road activities such as trail driving and rock crawling. A V8 swap, whether it be an LS or HEMI can net the low-end gains Jeep owners are searching for, but the heavier V8 adds weight to the vehicle, and again, fuel consumption usually goes up.
There are also a few diesel alternatives, and these have become ever more popular due to a couple of main factors. A small displacement diesel will deliver the low-end torque bonus that makes Jeep owners very happy, and diesel engines usually offer greater fuel economy in comparison to similarly sized gasoline engines. One of the newest diesel options available for Wrangler swaps is the Cummins 3.8L ISF, an electronically controlled turbocharged 3.8L inline-four cylinder that is substantially quieter than it’s older brother, the Cummins 4BT which for many years was the go-to small-displacement diesel swap choice for Wrangler owners.
For the uninitiated, the Cummins 4BT is essentially a 5.9L 12v Cummins diesel, minus two cylinders, but uses the same pistons, injectors, connecting rods, and valvetrain design as the 6BT (5.9L 12v Cummins). The 4BT diesel has been used in commercial van applications and some construction and agricultural equipment. Abundant amounts of torque and a good reputation for durability, all in a small package, have made 4BT a common choice for engine swaps in Jeeps and small pickups and SUVs.
Bruiser Conversions of Clearwater, Florida, is now doing Cummins ISF swaps into 2012 and newer Jeep Wranglers. Its Cummins ISF turbodiesel swap increases fuel efficiency (they company claims 35 mpg highway) and the engine can run on alternative fuels such as WVO (Waste Vegetable Oil). The low-end torque (485 lb-ft at 2150 rpm) makes it a fantastic off-road engine. Bruiser Conversions’ standard ISF conversion includes a brand-new crate Cummins ISF, and the factory NAG1 is used with these conversions.
The only modification required with the Bruiser Conversions 3.8L ISF diesel swap that is not included in the price (call for specific price quotes) is at least a two-inch suspension lift to mitigate any interference with the deeper engine. The price is not included because many owners may already have a lift or are planning on one when they get the conversion.
Bruiser Conversions also makes it clear that its engine conversions done as an “off-road only” application. This is not due to any mechanical limitation, it is entirely due to differing compliance with federal regulations regarding emissions and motor vehicle compliance from state-to-state, and Bruiser Conversions suggest that for more information about registration of the converted vehicle, you should contact your local DMV. For more details about the 3.8L ISF turbodiesel conversion, or any of the company’s other engine swaps, check out the Bruiser Conversions website or call (727) 449-0800.