1997 jeep wrangler tj ls swap
Engine - 5.7L V8 346 cu. in. LS1
Power - 345hp @ 5600 rpm 350 ft-lbs @4400rpm
Drivetrain - 4 Wheel Drive
Tires - 35/12.50/17 LT Toyo Open Country A/T
Wheels - Pro Comp Series 05 17x10 Offset -6
Two Brains, One Heart
Two brains and one heart. It sounds like something out of a Sci-fi movie wouldn't you agree? This is definitely a monster we have created and are excited to announce that the completion of the LS Wrangler has come. The vehicle feels like something out of this world now.
Here at NFI Empire the factory power plant was removed to make room for a 5.7L LS1 Camaro motor. With the new heart this Wrangler is capable of 345 hp and 350 ft-lbs. of torque. This has made the power to weight ratio increase from a 16.2-1 to 8.9-1. To give you a better understanding it is a 155 hp and 125ft-lbs of torque gain over the factory engine. To accommodate this added power an upgraded race clutch was installed to minimize the risk of any failure.
It wasn't all fun and games through this build though. The frame needed to be modified to fit the larger components. We notched the front section to make room for the A/C compressor and welded in new brackets for the motor mounts that were required to secure new engine. Oh, did I mention that everything is still functional as it originally was all the way from the power steering to the air conditioning. No shortcuts were taken in the build to bypass anything.
Back to the engine and electronics. Painless Performance was able to help us out with a custom engine wiring harness to adapt the LS1 to the Wrangler. A new set of custom tailored gauges were also installed and mated to the dash to give proper readings from the new power plant. The Camaro ECU controls and engine by itself while the Jeep ECU controls the rest of the vehicle. With this being the case we installed a second OBD-II port along with a second check engine light incase the issue ever occurred where diagnostic codes needed to be read.
Lets talk about some of the more custom things about this Wrangler. Side exit exhausts were fabricated to keep that race inspired exhaust note as well as the old school racing appearance. The whole exterior of the jeeps look was also altered for this project. It was outfitted with a complete Fishbone Exterior kit. A Fishbone front winch bumper with LED's was used in place of the original bumper. As a winch was not installed at this time it did give the customer the option to have one in the future. The round LED's fitted in the front work fantastic as new auxiliary lights and they look great as well. 3 inch flared tube fenders were used on all four corners. The fronts have perforated side panels for allowing excess engine heat to escape keeping it at a cooler running temp. At the rear end it is equipped with a Fishbone rear bumper and tire carrier. You can safely take the 35 inch spare around with you anywhere this Wrangler may go. The carrier swings out for easy access to the rear cabin compartment to keep it functional. These fenders as well as with all the exterior Fishbone pieces are made from high quality steel and were given a textured black powder coating treatment making them durable for the abuse a Jeep may endure on and off the road.
The suspension had a new refresh done to it with a Pro Comp 4 inch lift to make room for the Toyo Open Country A/T’s. Using the Pro Comp Series 05 wheels in a 17x10, we wrapped them with a 35/12.50/17LT to add a bit more ground clearance.
The Wrangler received a fresh coat of its O.E. color Flame Red to give it that new showroom exterior quality and look. The Fishbone fenders were also custom color matched to give the affect of being there from the factory. All of this gave this Jeep one badass appearance when said and done. We have delivered the LS1 to its owner but we still aren't sure whos more excited about the finished product.
Between the LS1 power plant and the rest of the custom accents on this Wrangler it really is something from out of this world!
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