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Discussion Starter #1
So, I've never been very active in the group here, but I wanted to post up a project I have currently underway. First, some backstory. I got my first XK, a used 06 Limited 4.7 with QDII with 58K miles back in 2009 with illusions of creating an extreme overland vehicle. Alas, life, money, job, wife, other commitments, and mayhem all conspired to keep my XK pretty much stock and limited to mild trail use and hitting the beaches in the OBX. Fast forward to November 2016 and I now have 142K on the Commander and have to make some serious decisions regarding spending a whole bunch of money on it to keep it going or go over to the dark side and get a JK Rubi. I like the Commander, by that I mean I SERIOUSLY LIKE it and decided while a Rubi would be fun, it's not going to be what I want, so Project UTAH was born.

I looked at the the old XK and started planning; wheels, lift, tires, suspension, winches, armor, steel bumpers, power adders, and added up all the stuff and made a budget. The one little issue I kept coming back to was getting more power from the 4.7, I always wished that I had gotten a Hemi. After talking to engine builders, looking at turbos, superchargers, engine swaps, all kinds of crap, and still not coming up with anything good and reliable I was ready to kick the whole plan in the garbage. Then the wife, who is obviously waaaay smarter than I, looks at me and my tons of papers, notes, and assorted detritus, says "Why don't you just buy one with a hemi, build it the way you want, then sell the old one dumbass?"...well maybe she didn't actually say "dumbass" but it was very strongly implied. Trying to find a Limited Hemi with QDII AND fit in my budget wasn't easy as she made it sound, but I eventually got a "new" Commander. Now the project is underway, and if anyone is interested, I'll post up the individual sub-builds and reviews of everything as it goes together.

Vehicle
06 Commander Limited, Hemi, QDII, Deep Beryl Green/Saddle interior, tow hooks, skid plates

Suspension
CB Engineering 2.5"(adjustable) Coil over lift kit (Fox remote reservoir shocks/Eibach springs)
CB Engineering Upper and Lower rear control arms
CB Engineering Heim joint steering tie rod ends
Rocky Road Outfitters UCAs
Rocky Road Outfitters adjustable track bar
JKS QD sway bar links (rear)
ProComp Series 29 La Paz machined wheels, 17x8.5, 4.5 bs
Nitto Ridge Grappler 265/70/17

Amor
JBA 4xGuard Matrix Bumper (full kit)
JBA 4xGuard Rock sliders
JBA 4xGuard Rear sliders
JBA 4xGuard Belly Guard
Steel Armadillo wheel well guards (both sides)
Color matched LineX front and rear bumpers, fender flares, and lower 1/4 of all doors

Performance
HemiPros Reman 5.7L (3yr/36K warranty)
aFe CAI
Magnaflow catted Y pipe and full exhaust
Diablosport Intune i2 programmer
Nitro 4.11 gears
Drilled/slotted rotors

Offroad Accessories
Smittybilt 10K X20 Gen 2 Winch w/synthetic line & Factor55 FlatLink
Smittybilt 2" reciever winch cradle
Warn front and rear QD winch power connectors
PIAA 520 ATP lights
Smittybilt Defender safari rack w/Smittybilt mounts
PoisonSpyder spare tire strap
HiLift jack w/rack mount
Smittybilt 6.5' awning
Garmin eTrex 20x GPS
Viair compressor
Lots of other little bits

Project UTAH is budgeted sub $20K for everything, including the Commander, and when completed it will be going on a two week overland tour of Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon and Grand Staircase/Escalante national parks and then some wheeling at Moab. I'll be updating as the Project progresses!
 

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That sounds wonderful! consider this if it isn't too late. I saw your "hemipros reman engine" up there, and I don't know what they're charging you, but I urge you to look into "Promar engines" they are legit, as that's where I got my SRT8 from. But I didn't find them until LONG after I went through someone else who used them, so basically he was a middleman and I didn't know, and turns out, Promar's prices are FAR better than anyone else I could even locate on my own for a long block. I already looked it up for you, and they've got your hemi for $3000 remanufactured.


Edit: Out of curiosity looked up the SRT from them and It's $3800 If you'd want to go that route, and being that you've already got a hemi it'd be a relatively simple swap, plus they may give a partial core refund for your 5.7.... please go this route. lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh, trust and believe I've thought about making my 5.7 into a 392! I skipped right over the 6.1, because if you're going to do it, go big right? I was under the impression that the SRT engine would not bolt up to the non-SRT transmission. I know there's issues with the exhaust, but a decent exhaust shop (or even me and my mig welder on a really good day) could work around the exhaust. I even considered Arrington Perfomance crate engines and/or their 392 stroker kit. That route just turned out to be cost prohibitive. As for HemiPros, I can get the Commander to them down in Elon, NC and 4-5 days later they'll have done a complete reman swap for ~$3600 out the door and that includes the warranty. If I could find someone to install a 6.4L or 392 stroker in a 5.7L for around $5-6K out the door with a warranty, I would be screaming "shut up and take my money" at them!!!:rocker:
 

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So, I've never been very active in the group here, but I wanted to post up a project I have currently underway. First, some backstory. I got my first XK, a used 06 Limited 4.7 with QDII with 58K miles back in 2009 with illusions of creating an extreme overland vehicle. Alas, life, money, job, wife, other commitments, and mayhem all conspired to keep my XK pretty much stock and limited to mild trail use and hitting the beaches in the OBX. Fast forward to November 2016 and I now have 142K on the Commander and have to make some serious decisions regarding spending a whole bunch of money on it to keep it going or go over to the dark side and get a JK Rubi. I like the Commander, by that I mean I SERIOUSLY LIKE it and decided while a Rubi would be fun, it's not going to be what I want, so Project UTAH was born.

I looked at the the old XK and started planning; wheels, lift, tires, suspension, winches, armor, steel bumpers, power adders, and added up all the stuff and made a budget. The one little issue I kept coming back to was getting more power from the 4.7, I always wished that I had gotten a Hemi. After talking to engine builders, looking at turbos, superchargers, engine swaps, all kinds of crap, and still not coming up with anything good and reliable I was ready to kick the whole plan in the garbage. Then the wife, who is obviously waaaay smarter than I, looks at me and my tons of papers, notes, and assorted detritus, says "Why don't you just buy one with a hemi, build it the way you want, then sell the old one dumbass?"...well maybe she didn't actually say "dumbass" but it was very strongly implied. Trying to find a Limited Hemi with QDII AND fit in my budget wasn't easy as she made it sound, but I eventually got a "new" Commander. Now the project is underway, and if anyone is interested, I'll post up the individual sub-builds and reviews of everything as it goes together.

Vehicle
06 Commander Limited, Hemi, QDII, Deep Beryl Green/Saddle interior, tow hooks, skid plates

Suspension
CB Engineering 2.5"(adjustable) Coil over lift kit (Fox remote reservoir shocks/Eibach springs)
CB Engineering Upper and Lower rear control arms
CB Engineering Heim joint steering tie rod ends
Rocky Road Outfitters UCAs
Rocky Road Outfitters adjustable track bar
JKS QD sway bar links (rear)
ProComp Series 29 La Paz machined wheels, 17x8.5, 4.5 bs
Nitto Ridge Grappler 265/70/17

Amor
JBA 4xGuard Matrix Bumper (full kit)
JBA 4xGuard Rock sliders
JBA 4xGuard Rear sliders
JBA 4xGuard Belly Guard
Steel Armadillo wheel well guards (both sides)
Color matched LineX front and rear bumpers, fender flares, and lower 1/4 of all doors

Performance
HemiPros Reman 5.7L (3yr/36K warranty)
aFe CAI
Magnaflow catted Y pipe and full exhaust
Diablosport Intune i2 programmer
Nitro 4.11 gears
Drilled/slotted rotors

Offroad Accessories
Smittybilt 10K X20 Gen 2 Winch w/synthetic line & Factor55 FlatLink
Smittybilt 2" reciever winch cradle
Warn front and rear QD winch power connectors
PIAA 520 ATP lights
Smittybilt Defender safari rack w/Smittybilt mounts
PoisonSpyder spare tire strap
HiLift jack w/rack mount
Smittybilt 6.5' awning
Garmin eTrex 20x GPS
Viair compressor
Lots of other little bits

Project UTAH is budgeted sub $20K for everything, including the Commander, and when completed it will be going on a two week overland tour of Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon and Grand Staircase/Escalante national parks and then some wheeling at Moab. I'll be updating as the Project progresses!
So, I just want to understand this:

You wound up buying an 06 XK with a Hemi.

The parts you listed are parts you already have?

Or parts you are going to buy for your new XK?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, bought another Commander with the Hemi. The CB Engineering suspension has been bought, waiting on delivery. The 4xGuard parts, minus the belly guard/rock rails have been installed. Wheels and tires are being transferred to the "new" Commander from the "old" Commander when the lift is installed. Almost everything else has been ordered, just waiting on delivery. I am going to do most of the work in the garage, but I will definitely not tackle the gears myself. Engine work will be completed when I can fit it into the schedule. I know, "pictures or it didn't happen", right?? LOL!!
 

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Yes, bought another Commander with the Hemi. The CB Engineering suspension has been bought, waiting on delivery. The 4xGuard parts, minus the belly guard/rock rails have been installed. Wheels and tires are being transferred to the "new" Commander from the "old" Commander when the lift is installed. Almost everything else has been ordered, just waiting on delivery. I am going to do most of the work in the garage, but I will definitely not tackle the gears myself. Engine work will be completed when I can fit it into the schedule. I know, "pictures or it didn't happen", right?? LOL!!
So most of what you listed is what you have ordered and you're waiting for the parts other than belly guard & rock rails and you're transferring the rims and tires from your old Commander.

I have Steel Armadillo super rock-sliders on my to-do list, along with JBA upper control arms & ball joints and a WAM custom front bumper with a hidden winch when I go home in April.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Congrats, you've read everything correctly.

Again, if anyone wants a how to guide, pics, or info on the quality/appearance/installation of any of the parts I'm putting on the Jeep, let me know. That was my intent with the post. Iknow lots of owners don't want to be the Guinea pig on aftermarket parts/mods. If I can encourage someone to improve their Commander by posting some of the build, that's what I'm offering. If no one wants the info or review, no worries. I know there were parts I was interested but I couldn't find anyone that had any experience with the part and I was very hesitant to buy something that was an "unknown". Hopefully, I can add to the knowledge base. Cheers.
 

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Congrats, you've read everything correctly.

Again, if anyone wants a how to guide, pics, or info on the quality/appearance/installation of any of the parts I'm putting on the Jeep, let me know. That was my intent with the post. Iknow lots of owners don't want to be the Guinea pig on aftermarket parts/mods. If I can encourage someone to improve their Commander by posting some of the build, that's what I'm offering. If no one wants the info or review, no worries. I know there were parts I was interested but I couldn't find anyone that had any experience with the part and I was very hesitant to buy something that was an "unknown". Hopefully, I can add to the knowledge base. Cheers.
Looking forward to seeing the build Rick and the transformation of your XK.

Post as much of your build & pics as you can, you can never have too much knowledge around here, the more the better.
 

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Oh, trust and believe I've thought about making my 5.7 into a 392! I skipped right over the 6.1, because if you're going to do it, go big right? I was under the impression that the SRT engine would not bolt up to the non-SRT transmission. I know there's issues with the exhaust, but a decent exhaust shop (or even me and my mig welder on a really good day) could work around the exhaust. I even considered Arrington Perfomance crate engines and/or their 392 stroker kit. That route just turned out to be cost prohibitive. As for HemiPros, I can get the Commander to them down in Elon, NC and 4-5 days later they'll have done a complete reman swap for ~$3600 out the door and that includes the warranty. If I could find someone to install a 6.4L or 392 stroker in a 5.7L for around $5-6K out the door with a warranty, I would be screaming "shut up and take my money" at them!!!:rocker:
So that is totally not true, my SRT8 engine is currently bolted to the 545RFE transmission found in 4.7 and 5.7 commanders, just not to anything else because I can't seem to get the motor mounts JUST right. The cool thing about it is that SRT8 models normally have the Mercedes Nag1 transmission which has a separate TCM. Anything with the 545RFE transmission, the TCM is built into the ECU, SO! a simple 6.1 tune on the 5.7 ECU will allow you to run the engine and the transmission without some severely complicated situation between the 2 or losing all your dash info or any other major inconvenience that comes with an engine swap into a late model vehicle that normally doesn't come with it. The 5.7 wiring harness is also either 99% correct or 100% correct for the SRT8 engine as well, but I haven't quite gotten that far yet, it was just conflicting things that I've heard, and since there's really not many people that have done this...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That could be very good news. As I said, I'm no expert with computer controlled engines, I'm totally comfortable with an old pushrod V-8. I know I will not be able to do the engine swap in my garage (Height limitations) so I'd have to farm out the swap. I know the newer engines have issues if you don't have the complete set of EVERYTHING or the CANBUS will not be able to control the components. Most of the shops I talked to were quickly exceeding my self imposed budget limit for this project. Any tech info you have would be greatly appreciated.
 

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That could be very good news. As I said, I'm no expert with computer controlled engines, I'm totally comfortable with an old pushrod V-8. I know I will not be able to do the engine swap in my garage (Height limitations) so I'd have to farm out the swap. I know the newer engines have issues if you don't have the complete set of EVERYTHING or the CANBUS will not be able to control the components. Most of the shops I talked to were quickly exceeding my self imposed budget limit for this project. Any tech info you have would be greatly appreciated.


Tech info as far as the an SRT swap or...? I'm not sure where you're looking for info or what you're farming out and what you're doing yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I will be sending the Jeep to a shop to do the swap, all of it. I don't have the height I need to do the swap. I'm so limited in height, that I'll be grinding off some of the garage door opener hardware to make this puppy fit in my garage!!
As far as tech info, I've heard that the newer engines need the entire CANBUS suite (gas pedal, fuel tank, trans, PCM, harness, gauge pod, etc) in order to work. If I had the space to do it in my garage, it wouldn't be an issue to take my time and work through all the issues, but a shop isn't going to tie up a bay, and I can't float an unlimited hourly diagnostic hourly rate. The best price I've found so far on 392 is about $6900, add in the swap and tuning, it starts to blow my budget. If cash wasn't an issue and I had unlimited time, I'd be the first guy to have a Hellcat Commander! ��
 

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I will be sending the Jeep to a shop to do the swap, all of it. I don't have the height I need to do the swap. I'm so limited in height, that I'll be grinding off some of the garage door opener hardware to make this puppy fit in my garage!!
As far as tech info, I've heard that the newer engines need the entire CANBUS suite (gas pedal, fuel tank, trans, PCM, harness, gauge pod, etc) in order to work. If I had the space to do it in my garage, it wouldn't be an issue to take my time and work through all the issues, but a shop isn't going to tie up a bay, and I can't float an unlimited hourly diagnostic hourly rate. The best price I've found so far on 392 is about $6900, add in the swap and tuning, it starts to blow my budget. If cash wasn't an issue and I had unlimited time, I'd be the first guy to have a Hellcat Commander! ��
So that's the thing, everything the 5.7 commander has, works with the 6.1 SRT (or 392) EVERYTHING, because you're using your stock PCM, your dash gages will work just fine, as well as the harness and trans. Not to mention for 6.1 and 6.4 restomod sales, the 545RFE transmission is usually the preferred choice of sellers over the NAG1, and has been proven to reliably handle up to 600HP. After all the research I've done, deductive reasoning has told me even the hellcat, would be an easy (albeit expensive) swap, thanks to the Hemi engine revisions in 2009. You would just need a PCM from a 2009 or 2010 commander, and slight harness alterations and you're set! of course I don't expect you to do that... aaaannnnddd... I'm gonna be the first with a hellcat commander. It's in the future when I'm out the navy with the job I want. Hellcat commander 6x6. this is actually the first I've mentioned it on this forum. But it will happen.
 

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Ok, so I was laying in bed at 2 in the morning this morning, and suddenly realized I had misspoke and gave you slightly bad info. I (clumsily) thought when you said "392" You were referring to the 6.1 even though I know the 6.1 is a 370. It would still be an easy swap, but because of VVT in the newer 392's, you would need a PCM/ECU and wiring harness from a 2009 or 2010 Commander, and thankfully the Hemi got it's revision during the Commander's lifetime (2009). Everything else would still be the same.
 

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Operation UTAH sounds like a lot of fun. Congratulations of finally getting it underway! I look forward to reading about your build.

Might I suggest that you create a garage thread where you document all the fun and games?
 

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You can also call Mopar Performance and they will build you a new PCM to match anything you have done. Last I spoke with them, it did not matter what you were bolting together, they can build a baseline PCM for you to be able to run the car. After that you have to go to a Dyno shop to get the base line data of the car running and send the file to Mopar and then they can dial it in for you.

All of these services are available if you have a normal 5.7 Hemi and you decided to buy a Stage I, II, or III kit (Stage III basically makes yours the SRT base for a Hellcat minus the super charger).

I think the 2009 blocks are made for the 'Apache' heads which the newer 6.1 intake manifolds fit. Although there is an adapter kit now for the 2005-2008 motors.

Basically, built it or buy a crate and you will be fine electronically if you re use all of your 5.7 stuff then get the new PCM from Mopar. They can also reprogram the TCM, FCM, and other modules if you want. I have already redone my TCM at my local Dyno shop.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Interesting, I had no idea Mopar had that level of support. I'll definitely look into that and see if that will fit into the budget. Who am I kidding? I'll blow the budget in a heartbeat for a 392!! Hahahaha!! Now I'll just have to find shop around here with a 4WD dyno...
 

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Mk153smaw
I'm familiar with the Mopar Performance Parts Catalogs, but not a Mopar Performance PCM programming service.
Do you have contact info for the programming service?
Thanks.
 

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Mk153smaw
I'm familiar with the Mopar Performance Parts Catalogs, but not a Mopar Performance PCM programming service.
Do you have contact info for the programming service?
Thanks.
If you have no luck with that my guy is one of the best in the nation.

Search AJHemiTuner. He's out of new york. He tuned my ECU, although it's yet to be proven yet seeing as my SRTMander doesn't yet drive.
 

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Mk153smaw
I'm familiar with the Mopar Performance Parts Catalogs, but not a Mopar Performance PCM programming service.
Do you have contact info for the programming service?
Thanks.
I will try to dig up my initial emails I had with the performance folks.

My first stop was with directly calling the performance folks who sell the Stage kits, dealership gave me the number.

Gimmie a couple of days to find my stuff. If I was home I would have it fast, I have the business card on my tool wall.

Dave
 
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