How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Jeep Wrangler Engine (Explained!)


A Jeep Wrangler is a sturdy, durable, and cool SUV. It’s the kind of vehicle that you don’t throw away if you’re just dealing with a few engine problems! But changing an engine can be expensive, so it’s not the kind of thing that most people can just do on a whim.

Replacing the engine on a Jeep Wrangler can cost anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 dollars. This will have to cover both labor and materials. The lower estimate is for replacing the engine with cheap materials by yourself, and the higher is paying a mechanic to use expensive materials.

Depending on who you are, this situation and cost can either be extremely distressing or come as a huge relief. However, there is a huge range of options for both the frugal or extravagant driver when it comes to replacing a Jeep Wrangler engine. Let’s first take a look at why the cost can get so expensive depending on what you do.

Where Does The Money Go?

As mentioned above, the money that you spend on replacing your engine will largely be going one of two places: labor and materials. These come at an enormous range of prices, from free to premium. How much you’ll be spending on each of these things will depend on several factors including your car’s age, your connections, and your skills.

When it comes to labor, you’ll usually be paying somewhere between $90 an hour and $150 an hour unless you do it yourself. If you aren’t an experienced mechanic, it’s usually better to get someone else to do it. However, if you do have the skill, then feel free to do it on your own!

Otherwise, at the labor rates listed above, you’ll be paying somewhere between $1,000 and $1,800. This can be quite a bit to add to the cost of the engine itself.

Depending on the kind of engine you use, you could be spending anything from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. This is because Jeep Wrangler engines are incredibly long-lasting, meaning that sometimes you can find perfectly functional engines that have been thrown away when something else went critically wrong with the original vehicle.

However, you can also find engines on the market that are brand new and perfectly compatible with even quite old versions of the Wrangler. These new pieces can end up costing you quite a bit of money, although, if you’re switching the engine to one of these chances are you’re just trying to boost your horsepower.

There are other materials that you might need to do the actual change. If you take your vehicle to the shop, they’ll probably charge you for those out of your bill, and compared to the other costs you’ll incur, they’re negligible.

To replace the engine yourself, you’ll also need to have oil, coolant, and a variety of different tools (not to mention an engine hoist!) on hand, and if you don’t you’ll need to go buy them. But unless you need to buy everything, this shouldn’t add more than a few hundred bucks to the overall cost.

Types Of Engines

The cost of the engine will likely be the biggest cost that you’ll incur. Unless you just so happen to already have the engine that you need just lying around, you’ll need to buy one either used or new, and the type of engine that you look for will have a big effect on how much that engine costs.

Different types of engines also tend to have their own pros and cons, which you might want to keep in mind while making your decision. You might also choose to just get the same engine that your car had before, and this would be a perfectly fine choice. Whatever you do, as long as you get that new engine in there you’ll be fine.

4.0L 6 Cylinder

As with all six-cylinder engines, the extra cylinders give the 4.0L an increased lifespan. In fact, reliability is probably the best thing that can be said of the 4.0L, which is great if you need a reliable vehicle. The engine is only average on most other fronts, but it will last nearly forever!

Depending on where you get the engine, they tend to cost between 1,900$ and 2,190$ online. This is pretty average for online retailers, although if you’re brave enough to explore the physical world you might be able to get a slightly better deal. This is going to be true of pretty much all the engines I mention here.

3.6L Pentastar

This engine exists and you can put it in your car! Is it good? Like the 4.06, it does tend to be fairly reliable at least. It doesn’t seem to be remarkable in any other ways, and it does also tend to be a bit more expensive coming in at anywhere between 2,700$ and 3,600$.

If your last engine hurt you and it was a 4.0L, then the 3.6L might be a better option, emotionally speaking. Otherwise, it doesn’t really do anything to stand out from the crowd.

5.6 Hemi

Stuffing a Hemi into your jeep will make it so strong. Hemi engines are powerful beasts that will send your horsepower through the freaking roof. Whatever is in your car now, a Hemi will probably blow that weak one out of the water.

The Hemi is simply an absolutely wild machine. Its biggest downside is that it’s expensive. Hemi engines can cost between $5,000 and $8,200, which is a huge investment. Adding in the cost of labor, and you might be spending up to $10,000 when you could be spending something closer to $3,000 with labor for a simpler device.

Honestly, this is probably a bad choice if you’re just replacing your old, broken-down engine. However, if money is no object, and you, like me, just like a big, strong, fast car that has a lot of power, then this may be the perfect engine for you.

6.2L Hellcat

Now, if you thought that a Hemi was going to be expensive, allow me to introduce to you the 6.2L Hellcat, a big machine that costs a lot of money but will pump up your horsepower significantly.

The Hellcat costs $19,530, which will set you back about 38 Energy Star Stainless Steel refrigerators with the freezer mounted on top. That’s a lot of refrigerators you could buy instead of this one engine to replace your old one!

The advantage to the Hellcat, however, is that it’s fairly compatible with the Jeep Wrangler without having to make many modifications. That’s not true of all powerful engines, which makes the Hellcat seem like a much better choice than certain LS Engines. But hang on; what’s an LS Engine? Let’s talk about it below!

LS Engine Swapping

All the engines we’ve looked at up until this point have been specific kinds of engines that you will probably have to buy from someone, and this option will also probably involve you buying an engine from a person. However, the world of engine swapping is a little more complicated than just picking up a new engine off of eBay.

First off: What is LS Engine Swapping? Essentially, LS Engine Swapping is a method of increasing a GM vehicle’s horsepower by taking the engine out of a powerful Luxury Sports vehicle (hence the LS) manufactured by GM and installing it into your less luxurious vehicle.

Jeeps are a great candidate for this since they’re already kind of like an SUV. However, there still is quite a bit of extra work in putting an LS engine into a Jeep, especially if it’s an older model. This isn’t a guide on how to perform an LS engine swap though, and the question we need to ask is: How much does it cost?

This question is actually quite difficult to answer. LS engines come at all levels of price from free to blindingly expensive. If you just happen to already have an LS engine lying around, then the only thing you could be paying for is labor.

For the rest of us who aren’t quite that lucky, we’ll probably be spending at least between 1,000$ and 2,000$ if you can find an older low-end model.

If you aren’t on a budget, you can definitely go a little crazy with these by getting an engine that’s either from a brand new car or from a fairly recent model. Like installing a Hemi, this is a great way to soup up your vehicle at a high price.

Of course, you have your regular 7,000$-8,000$ range, but you can also end up working with engines that cost up to 25,000$, which is most certainly not budget-friendly.

However, it will fit in the engine cavity and it will make that car go fast, so if you have your heart set on sheer power then maybe that high price point is worth it.

Is It Worth It?

This is hard to say. There’s no way to put a monetary value on the feeling of having a good engine under your hood, so I’m not even going to try. Instead, I’ll compare the price of replacing the engine to the price of scrapping your old jeep to buy a used one of the same make and model.

A used Jeep Wrangler will cost about 1,000$-2,000$ less for each year that has passed since it was manufactured, meaning that if you get a model from the late 90s or early 2000s you’ll be looking at about 10,000$ to replace your old one.

This wouldn’t be worth it, but you can probably sell your old one either to someone who likes fixing cars or by scrapping it for parts, which might be able to recoup some of the costs of the new car.

Now, how effective this will be will depend on a large variety of factors, but it seems possible that you could be able to find someone who will take it for around 3,000$, which would make just replacing the whole car cost about the same as replacing the engine in the long run if you need to go to a mechanic and you want a slightly higher-end engine.

However, it’s equally possible that you’ll only be able to get about a thousand dollars for your broken Jeep, in which case replacing the engine is by far the better option.

You also need to think about how much longer the used vehicle will last. Jeeps are known for being durable cars, but if you replace your old Jeep with another used Jeep then you run the risk of needing to spend a huge amount of money on repairs and replacements over the next couple of years.

If you’ve kept good care of your old Jeep and the only problem it’s had has been this engine problem, this could be extremely frustrating.

Plus, if you need to replace the engine on a newer model, the price of simply replacing the whole car will end up being much higher, meaning that the newer your Jeep is the less likely it is that replacing it will be a viable option.

Because of this, I would probably say that for the Jeep Wrangler, it’s very unlikely that replacing the engine will be more expensive than just replacing the whole Jeep if you’re being smart with your money and not trying to get expensive luxury engines.

In fact, if you have the skills to replace the engine yourself, then replacing the engine could be saving you a good couple thousand dollars when compared to the alternative, and that can get even better if you can find an engine at a cheaper than usual price.

It’s hard to get a straight answer to these kinds of things. Trust me, I’ve tried too, and the stress of trying to figure all this out can be a lot for sure. I hope that this article has been able to help you out at least a little bit. Here’s to getting our engines replaced at a reasonable rate!

Will Turner

Will has an absolute passion for 4x4s and loves discovering all of the small details about each model. Will joined the Four Wheel Trends team in early 2021 and has been a valuable contributor ever since!

Recent Posts