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Old 10-03-2009, 07:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hemi vs LS2 for Swap?

Hello all,

This is the same post I placed at AEV's website but didn't really get the answers I was looking for:

New member here, but a longtime jeeper. My current project is a 2004 wrangler unlimited. It's on 37 inch mtrs now and I'm not planning on ever going bigger. I'm at the point where the stock motor just doesn't cut it. Obviously I am considering a hemi conversion at AEV which is why I'm here. However, I was wondering if any INFORMED individuals could tell me why a hemi swap is/would be better than say, an GM LS-series engine swap. I have been reading as much info as possible on the subject for the last few months and can not seem to find a direct comparison between the two. Obviously many people at this site are probably somewhat biased toward the hemi, however I keep reading that a GM motor swap into a jeep is cheaper, provides significantly better gas mileage while providing just as much (if not more) real world horsepower and being FAR more supported in the aftermarket. Any legitimate posts would be fantastic, I'm just hoping not to see things like "keep it mopar," or "in the jeep family" or dumb stuff like that. I mean lets be honest I just want the best engine value for the money, I really dont think any of us care about keeping our jeeps stock to begin with (tires, lift, seats, etc.) The "cool factor" of a hemi just doesn't concern me. I'm interested in knowing if the hemi swap is the best engine value for my dollar and what type of mpg/cruising ability/acceleration i can expect with my 37s and 4.88s.
Thanks in advance for all who post.
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jtrain1978 View Post
Hello all,

This is the same post I placed at AEV's website but didn't really get the answers I was looking for:

New member here, but a longtime jeeper. My current project is a 2004 wrangler unlimited. It's on 37 inch mtrs now and I'm not planning on ever going bigger. I'm at the point where the stock motor just doesn't cut it. Obviously I am considering a hemi conversion at AEV which is why I'm here. However, I was wondering if any INFORMED individuals could tell me why a hemi swap is/would be better than say, an GM LS-series engine swap. I have been reading as much info as possible on the subject for the last few months and can not seem to find a direct comparison between the two. Obviously many people at this site are probably somewhat biased toward the hemi, however I keep reading that a GM motor swap into a jeep is cheaper, provides significantly better gas mileage while providing just as much (if not more) real world horsepower and being FAR more supported in the aftermarket. Any legitimate posts would be fantastic, I'm just hoping not to see things like "keep it mopar," or "in the jeep family" or dumb stuff like that. I mean lets be honest I just want the best engine value for the money, I really dont think any of us care about keeping our jeeps stock to begin with (tires, lift, seats, etc.) The "cool factor" of a hemi just doesn't concern me. I'm interested in knowing if the hemi swap is the best engine value for my dollar and what type of mpg/cruising ability/acceleration i can expect with my 37s and 4.88s.
Thanks in advance for all who post.
Not exactly sure why you are asking a question when you have answered it in your own post...
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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When I was first laying out my Commando project I was very interested in using an hemi....but..after looking at the low rpm torque on dyno graphs and seeing the considerable difference in mpg the GenIII/IV motors were the clear winners.
The aftermarket support (hardware and software), multiple transmission options and knowledge base for the GM motors is exponentially greater than the Hemi..
If I was starting a new project today I would look closely at an L92/6l85e combo...
Just FYI I took my commando out for it's first test drive yesterday.....the LS2 f'kn rocks!!
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Old 10-04-2009, 06:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Both LS & Hemi motors are overkill in a Jeep, so it's up to you. Are you asking to be talked outta the Hemi and into a LS motor, or to be brought back to your senses to Keep it Mopar?

GM's Gen-III/IV motors are really coming into their own as to aftermarket support, so it's getting to be pretty easy to build up big power at a reasonable cost. I did it and would do it again in a heartbeat.

YMMV
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Old 10-04-2009, 07:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Not exactly sure why you are asking a question when you have answered it in your own post...
The reason I am asking these questions is because there is a million BS opinions on the internet and I don't want to spend $15-20K on an engine swap only to regretful afterwards. Displacement vs displacement (stock), it seems the hemi beats the ls series. I am not an expert on either engine and wanted to know about other characteristics. Items such as: is the hemi/ls factor hp rating accurate? (I have heard that chrysler overrates the hemi hp), mpg, real world acceleration/cruising ability, ease of repair/modification, etc?
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Old 10-04-2009, 07:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I've got a buddy that runs the Hemi and buddy that runs the newer LS2 motor. I watched both run the same trails. It appears to me that my buddy with the Hemi really has to wind the motor up to get over the same obsticles. Both are similarly geared and have manual transmissions. The only differences in the vehicles and suspension. The Hemi in a CJ7 and the LS2 is in a Unlimited.
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Old 10-04-2009, 07:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jtrain1978 View Post
The reason I am asking these questions is because there is a million BS opinions on the internet and I don't want to spend $15-20K on an engine swap only to regretful afterwards. Displacement vs displacement (stock), it seems the hemi beats the ls series. I am not an expert on either engine and wanted to know about other characteristics. Items such as: is the hemi/ls factor hp rating accurate? (I have heard that chrysler overrates the hemi hp), mpg, real world acceleration/cruising ability, ease of repair/modification, etc?
How many threads on LS or hemi builds have you searched on this board? From the attitude you are projecting and the questions you are asking I am guessing the answer would be NONE. If you don't want a million BS opinions on the internet than stay off of it
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jtrain1978 View Post
The reason I am asking these questions is because there is a million BS opinions on the internet and I don't want to spend $15-20K on an engine swap only to regretful afterwards. Displacement vs displacement (stock), it seems the hemi beats the ls series. I am not an expert on either engine and wanted to know about other characteristics. Items such as: is the hemi/ls factor hp rating accurate? (I have heard that chrysler overrates the hemi hp), mpg, real world acceleration/cruising ability, ease of repair/modification, etc?
My point was that you have already said you have read that the LS engine gets better mpg, has better aftermarket support, is cheaper to swap, and has more hp. So you are asking the exact same questions that you already have answers for.

Also, unless you are doing this swap yourself it isnt exactly hardcore. Paying a shop to swap in an engine for you is a good way to spend a whole lot of money you dont need to.
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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GM engines DO NOT interface very well with 03 and newer Jeep electronics. Unless it's a backyard redneck swap and you don't care about keeping everthing working and keeping your jeep smog legal don't use the GM engine.

No BS just the real truth!!!
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Old 10-04-2009, 10:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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How many threads on LS or hemi builds have you searched on this board? From the attitude you are projecting and the questions you are asking I am guessing the answer would be NONE. If you don't want a million BS opinions on the internet than stay off of it
Hey smart guy/God of all four wheeling knowledge,

I've searched ALL (repeat: ALL) the hemi swap posts/threads on this site and many others. Why the hostility? To respond to your reply: Many people assume the stance of "hemi is a mopar product and jeeps are a mopar product, so keep it mopar." I think this alone is a REDICULOUS reason to do a hemi swap. Additionally many people are unfairly biased towards one engine or another. I was simply looking for an unbiased opinion from someone who may have seen both of the swaps in action and are capable of answering my question. Also, it seems that as far as late model jeep swaps go, the hemi is the "cool" kid in town, and do not want to be caught up in a fad. Lastly I don't understand why many people on this site are so quick to judge others who are looking for honest help. We're all wheelers' here right? Just some basic human courtesy is often overlooked by many of the degenerates on this site.
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Old 10-04-2009, 10:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:15 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I am very happy with my 5.7 Hemi, everything works/looks factory, passes smog with no extra BS. There are enough do it yourself complete kits out there that you could easily do it yourself and save a lot of money. I get 12-14 mpg with 4.88 gears and 40" MTR's. I admit the Chevy motor would probably be more fun but for all the reasons listed above the Hemi was the way to go for me! Hemi is still plenty!!!
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:35 AM   #13 (permalink)
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painless wiring, everything adapts. hell they have the harness to do the chevy swap into my 07 unlimited.....SMOG LEGAL!!
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I am very happy with my 5.7 Hemi, everything works/looks factory, passes smog with no extra BS. There are enough do it yourself complete kits out there that you could easily do it yourself and save a lot of money. I get 12-14 mpg with 4.88 gears and 40" MTR's. I admit the Chevy motor would probably be more fun but for all the reasons listed above the Hemi was the way to go for me! Hemi is still plenty!!!
12-14 mpg w/hemi and 40s sounds amazing! Thats better than I get with 37s and 4.0. Did you do the swap yourself or have a shop do it?
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:48 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I'm on my way to an LS2 swap in the near future. I chose LS2 because it's 125 lbs lighter than the 4.0 I6, it has great aftermarket support, 400hp/400ftlbs, and all the other things before mentioned. Gas mileage really isn't a reason for doing the swap but I've heard of people getting 16 to 19 mpg on 37s, sounds like good figures to me.
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Old 12-22-2009, 12:48 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Only reason for the HEMI Swap would be you can retain your factory transfer case if need be.

Depending on which platform it comes out of the Like the LX, Grand Cherokee SRT8, or Truck decides how much it will cost to make it work.

Perferred motor comes out of a SRT8 Grand. All others have allot of parts to swap. Also the most used trans is the 545RF.
On a personal note HEMIS are a bitch to tune if you search for more horsepower. Not allot of support for the HEMI. Cost allot to make horsepower on the HEMIs for what we do. Now if you were drag racing one than my awnser would be differant.
The ones that we have done just don't have the ASS of the LS motors we have used.
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:24 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The only hemi worth the swap is the 6.1L.
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:32 PM   #19 (permalink)
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lq4 or lq9/Cheap, easy, tons of tech support, tons of aftermarket, big power.
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:30 AM   #20 (permalink)
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lq4 or lq9/Cheap, easy, tons of tech support, tons of aftermarket, big power.
^^^^ = truth

Not sure what prices are like in your area but for me it was a no brainer to go with the GM motor since the hemi was twice as much coin. You can keep it looking stock if you want to run both the jeep and chev computers but you will have to get your tach re-wired by a company like Dakota Digital since the jeep one won't work with the chev tach signal.

I'd love to have gone with the LQ4, but couldn't find one near me so I went for the LQ9.
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:47 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Not to derail your LS2/Hemi comparison, but I'm quite partial to a 5.9 swap:




Engines are cheap and readily available, simple to wire, all gauges work, stock T-case bolts up. Good aftermarket following and take well to performance parts with SCT tuning. Should have mine on the dyno in the next couple weeks, but so far the performance is incredible.

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Old 12-27-2009, 10:27 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Here's my $0.02, do some research on the hemi...it's not really like an old school real hemi it is just a name they patented. An ls swap has three times the aftermarket suport. If you ever wanted to sell I think the ls would be worth more and would be WAY less money to swap. Like many have said you already answered most of your own questions. I'm swapping a 5.3 and will not have over $4.000 in it doing it myself. It is all up to you but I love the advice of others who have been there and a shop will always tell you what will make them the most money unless you have a good relationship with them.
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:23 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I think people put hemi's under the hood because of smog/emissions. I Know in IL the motor needs to be the same year or newer and the same manufactor.
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:36 AM   #24 (permalink)
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go with the ls2. much better low end torque than the hemi and as stated before, many more options all the way around on the engine than the hemi like transmissions, transfercases, etc
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Old 12-28-2009, 05:49 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I've got a 5.7 Hemi in my 2006 Ram with a manual 6 speed. The motor has some balls for it's size, but not until it gets over 4K RPM. I kinda like it, it always gets the job done, but I'll never buy another one. It's perfect for a car, but not a truck.

I'd consider swapping my hemi into a Willys Wagon if I totaled my truck, but not a trail rig. I'll never bother doing a motor swap in a smog controlled vehicle.
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