In the world of 4x4s, engine swaps are common in finding maximum power and torque on their tall riding cars. But these projects are always kicked off to finding the perfect balance in facing rough terrain in the deep bowels of the woods. And like most engine swaps, one of the most go-to engines to be thrown in has to be the ever popular 6-cylinder JZ love from Toyota. The typical misnomer to blatantly claim that certain cars are just not meant to be a good project car base is completely unbounded. Let’s be honest, all projects can potentially be of harm to your pocket with zero positive results; but just about any build has no guarantee of maximum satisfaction per dollar spent. And if we’re honest, interesting base like this Jeep Wrangler here is the perfect recipe for awesomeness!

The Wrangler YJ generation was the first of its kind, with production starting from 1986. Funny thing is, Jeep have always withstand against the test of time in this part of the world as the niche popularity has developed a thing of a cult. Although the brand itself comes and goes here in Malaysia, these cars are always popping up. Which translates into one thing, specialised workshops that have the technical know-how in keeping cars like these alive!

The 1JZ-GTE is fitted into the wrangler with a custom mount, mated to an R154 gearbox. Basic refresh was done prior to the installation, including an upsized Wiseco 87mm piston, ACL Race Bearings, high pressure fuel pump, and 2JZ injectors for the added bump on tune. Though the Turbo retains stock 1JZ turbos, the engine is managed courtesy of an Adaptronic Standalone ECU. Much of the work was done to optimise the car’s performance and weight, designed specifically for the road. Yes, this Wrangler 1JZ is made for the road!

If you notice, the custom suspension setup is sitting relatively low compared to most major 4×4 upgrades. Being an avid enthusiast, the owner has multiple Wranglers tuned for different setup. But this particular one is the car he uses for daily and weekend on-the-road fun. We love the efficacy in building something like no other, and we feel that a project like this Wrangler 1JZ here can inspire other car enthusiasts. A project car is just a mere blank canvas to make your wildest dreams come through!

Written By | Qhalis Najmi