Jeeps hold a special place in many people’s hearts. They are a popular and iconic American vehicle brand, and one that is much-loved by the military. These days, Jeep’s primary target market are individuals that want SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles). Sure, the military still uses them. But, most of Jeep’s customer base is in the form of private customers.
Something that most people assume is that today’s Jeeps only have limited tuning potential. But, if they spend some time researching the subject, they’d learn something shocking. More Jeep owners are tuning their models than ever before!
Today’s Jeeps are similar in many ways to standard cars. They have engines controlled by an ECU or Electronic Control Unit. It’s this little magic box that gives tuners almost unlimited potential. So, if someone were to ask you whether a Jeep is tunable, you can provide them with an affirmative answer.
Here are some examples of the modifications that you can do to improve a Jeep’s power and fuel economy:
Select a modern example
All cars built today come with an ECU. They first became mainstream from the mid-90s. And all models manufactured from 2000 onwards will definitely have an ECU. So, it doesn’t matter whether you get a brand new Jeep Renegade or a 10-year old model. It will be capable for you to have it tuned.
In general, newer models will come with extra features that you can enjoy. But, if you want to save money or prefer a more spartan example, you can opt for an older one.
Install a more efficient induction system
Any engine requires air to work. The more air you can put into an engine, the greater its efficiency. One of the first steps to tuning any Jeep is to improve its induction system.
You could fit a replacement air box panel filter, for example. Or you can install a cone filter with extra cold air feeds. Another option is to install an aftermarket inlet manifold as well.
Fit a stainless steel exhaust system
Now that you’ve taken care of the induction side of things, what about the exhaust? The faster you can expel exhaust emissions, the more efficient your engine.
Many Jeep tuners recommend fitting a custom stainless steel exhaust system. You can specify the diameter of the bore. Plus, you can fit smaller silencers for better gas flow.
Upgrade the turbocharger
If the Jeep in question has a turbocharged engine, one further mod is to upgrade it. There are a couple of options at your disposal. The first is to fit a bigger turbo. But, you may suffer from turbo “lag” at times.
A better option is to go for a “hybrid” turbo. In a nutshell, hybrid turbos offer a quicker boost response at lower engine RPMs. That means there’s no surge in power like you sometimes find with standard turbo engines.
Remap the ECU
Once those modifications get carried out, it’s time to have the ECU parameters reprogrammed. The work gets done by an engine tuner using a laptop and specialist software. There is no soldering iron in sight!
When the remap gets completed, the Jeep can then go on a “rolling road” (dynamometer). The purpose of that stage is to measure the Jeep’s new performance and torque values.