Originally Posted by farfromovin
I'm a new member here, so feel free to hit me in the head with a hammer, and I come from a VW diesel background. One thing I've noticed is there isn't a lot of "OEM+" upgrades that people do with these Jeeps. In the VW community, people are all over swapping trannies with different gear ratios, into different generation platforms, etc. Swapping motors, ECU's, you name it. With the Jeeps I see a lot of "you're better off trading it in and getting a newer one".
Where's the adventure?
What you are describing is very similar to the Subaru community and the typical performance upgrade options. But sadly, what you are describing is generally no longer valid. Gone are the days when you could just swap an STI 6 speed transmission into a 5-speed manual Legacy GT because everything was a mechanical bolt-on.
Here's a few characteristics that communities where part swaps between models and model years are the norm:
1) Car manufacturers have a continuity of platforms, engines and transmissions across models. The same 1.8 L turbo, 2L turbo, 3L supercharged engines are found in everything from Skoda, Seat, VW and Audi. Same "chassis" used in Foresters, Imprezas and Legacy GTs allowed the mating of a 5- or 6-speed transmission to the same EJ255 engine. Sometimes chassis upgrades (e.g. 2005 Legacy GT) form the basis of future models (e.g. 2008-2013 STI).
2) Many of the cars that allow cross-platform swaps are 1-2 generations old (5-10 years old) and turbocharged.
3) Most of the cars that allow cross-platform swaps have manual transmissions and similar ECUs with little body and transmission integration. Often, transmission swaps from an Subaru STI donor to a Legacy GT donor was mechanically possible but locked the transmission into a 50-50 ratio as the DCCD controller was hard to integrate. Most people resorted to aftermarket solutions.
4) Most of the cars that allow cross-platform swaps were staged for performance separation between vehicles of the same brand. Differences in performance came from simple bolt-ons: e.g. STI > Legay GT > WRX > Forester due to a big > medium > small turbo and a similar intercooler set-ups.
Performance bolt-ons are possible for Grand Cherokees: one can get SD, HD or Brembo brakes installed on their ride. RA4 and RA3 radios can be swapped and people have successfully installed radios in cars that did not come with from the factory. I was (one of
) the first people to add a front camera to the RA4 radio. In the last few months a supercharger kit was developed for the 3.6 L Pentastar.
But until the same components make their ways in different cars and produce different performance levels, nobody will be adventurous to swap an 8 speed in place of the 5 speed nor will the intake manifold from the Pentastar Wrangler or Charger be considered an upgrade on the 3.6L Pentastar Grand Cherokee.