How Much Performance Was A Gear Swap Worth?

In the last article “Gear Swap – From Turtle to Faster Turtle” I broke down some of the “why” a gear swap makes sense. Today I want to talk actual numbers.

Ludicrous speed?

No, we definitely didn’t turn a Jeep into a Tesla off the line. What it did do is make taking off from a standstill easier. In a perfect world, you let out the clutch smoothly and apply throttle at a similar rate to move forward. When done properly it feels pure and smooth. When you lack enough gearing to move the weight it’s more of a 1 step forward 2 steps back operation.

Hills were also a lot tenser before the swap. Not knowing if your vehicle is going to take that moment for the anti-stall to kick in and actually cause a stall is fun. The programming for that function in a Wrangler does not like clutch/throttle feathering. Frankly, if I could turn that feature off I would. I would also turn off the start/stop, and traction control, but that’s a whole different discussion.

OK, but what are the numbers?

Background collection of colourful preschool numbers for your schooling, learning, teaching or education concept

Calculated horsepower and torque using our trusty GTech Pro measured at the rear wheels went from 165HP and 180TQ to 177HP and 224TQ. That’s a heck of a jump in the overall torque number. This is the primary reason to make that gear swap. The multiplication of power delivered to the rear wheels.

Performance gains explained.

Let’s get a few things out of the way. Your vehicle does not make more horsepower or more torque than it did before. You are making better use of the performance it always had boosting your measured power at the wheels. It’s things like this that I wish math teachers would talk about. Percentages are a lot more interesting when calculating horsepower.

Having said that I am impressed. For what seems like a small change in gear ration we got a nice bump in performance.

What’s the cost?

Somewhere between $1200 and $1800 bucks for parts and labor. This depends on the brand of gear, labor rates, and whether someone is running a special. I leave it up to you to decide if it’s a worthwhile investment. IMHO it’s a buy every time.

As always thank you to RnR Auto and Off-Road for the great install and to Revolution Gear and Axle for the new parts.

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4 Wheels and a Motor