Jeep has completely redesigned the Wrangler for 2018. As the successor to the long-lived JK series, the JL brings many advancements inside and out. If you missed the commercials from the big game, allow us to fill you in.
The first all-new jeep in over a decade, the JL series went into production just a few weeks ago. All the new features include aluminum doors, several roof options, and three engine choices. Suspension geometry is all new, and each version is 1″ wider. Some things remain, like the ability to fold down or even remove the windshield, doors, and roof. And the old 3.6 liter still makes 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque.
Why didn’t Jeep offer more power as a standard option? We are not really sure, but our friends at Bruiser Conversions have the answer. Bruiser received their new 2018 JL Wrangler a few days after it rolled off the assembly line. That’s when the months of behind-the-scenes engineering and development of the necessary engine brackets, transmission adapters, and other custom components were implemented to ensure correct drivetrain alignment and overall fitment of the LS3. The result is the first JL Wrangler in the world with a 6.2-liter Bruiser Conversions/GM Performance LS3 crate engine under the hood. Their proprietary tuning delivers a robust 450HP and 450 ft-lb of torque. Bruiser also offers a 3 year, 36,000-mile warranty on the engine conversion systems.
But swapping anything late-model between manufacturers is not an easy task. It takes serious guts to tear apart a brand new car, especially one that is as venerated as the Jeep. With surgical precision, the team at Bruiser disassembled and cataloged every component. They have built dozens of LS-powered JK Wranglers, but this would be a new adventure.
Once the JL’s upgraded LS3 engine and OEM transmission were in place, the team had to address the other critical aspects of the conversion. As with their JK engine conversion systems, Bruiser has fully integrated the LS3 engine with the JL, all standard options for cruise control, tap shift, hill descent mode, tip start, and on-board diagnostics are operated through the OEM Jeep engine control module. The instrument panel, transmission shifter, and other OEM control systems remain intact, ensuring that parts and service are available nation-wide through Bruiser’s Certified Installation Facility network or any Jeep dealership, if the need arises. This attention to detail is what sets Bruiser apart from the others in the industry.
Jeep and Chevrolet computers don’t speak the same language, they might as well be from alternate dimensions. Therefore, retaining the OEM functionality of the Jeep throttle pedal, the tachometer, speedometer, sensors, transmission shifter, and ensuring connectivity of hundreds of other ancillary wires is a tedious process, one that Bruiser has refined throughout their engine conversion system development. Jeep’s new 8-speed automatic transmission is more than capable of handling LS power, boasting a 561 ft-lb input torque capacity starting and a 4.714 first gear ratio. It also has a wider gear ratio spread than Chevy offers, so Bruiser decided to adapt the LS3 to the stock Jeep automatic. This process is proprietary to Bruiser Conversions, so we can’t offer details on the magic that was required.
TorqueFlite 8 (8HP70) Specs
- Transmission: Chrysler TorqueFlite 8 (ZF 8HP70)
- Max Input Torque: 516 lb-ft/700 N-m max engine torque, 561 lb-ft/760 N-m max input torque
- Max Input Speed: 5,500 rpm
- Max GCWR: 16,000 lbs
- Weight: ~ 207 lbs (2wd model w/ fluid)
At Bruiser, they never stop improving on the design. Their first LS swap into a JK was over 10 years ago, and along with the dozens of other custom engine swaps it has allowed them to become the Go-To source for repowering your Jeep. Some of their other builds include the 6×6 and the JK Crew, so stay with us for all the new Bruiser Conversion builds.