Jeep Wrangler Diesel Conversion Cost (Is it Really Expensive?)

With the ever-rising cost of diesel, many Jeep Wrangler owners with diesel engines are considering a diesel engine conversion so they can burn less diesel and more biomaterials. Biomaterials in bio-diesel are derived from plant oils and some animal oils. The average driver can save about $2000 each year on fuel costs if they convert and begin to use biodiesel.

The biomaterials are safer for the environment because they help to reduce pollution created from the emissions of the normal diesel engine. That is another great reason for making the diesel conversion.

How Much Does it Cost to do a Diesel Conversion in a Jeep Wrangler?

Blue and White Jeep Wrangler in a garage

To answer that question, we must explain that there are a lot of diesel conversion variables that have to be considered. You could spend anywhere from a thousand dollars to ten thousand dollars converting your Jeep Wrangler.

One of the factors that increase the cost of the biodiesel conversion is whether you do the work yourself, or you hire a professional mechanic to do it for you. Professional mechanics can normally do the conversion faster so your Wrangler will be out of commission for a shorter amount of time.

On the other hand, the traditional mechanic makes anywhere from $25 to $75 an hour. So hiring a professional to do the diesel conversion for you is going to drastically increase the amount of money it cost to get this process done. If you can do the work yourself, or if you have friends that could help you do the project you could potentially save hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Jeep Wrangler Diesel Conversion Kits

Jeep Wrangler Diesel Conversion Kits

When you want to do a diesel conversion you have to either purchase a kit that is designed for this process, or you have to gather everything needed separately. Many people feel that they will save more money if they gather their items separately instead of relying on a kit that has everything already in it.

The people who choose the conversion kits over the gathering method like the fact that the kit contains everything they need, and they do not have to spend time finding each component.

What it Takes to do the Conversion

  • Pumps
  • Manifold
  • Intake
  • Generator
  • Exhaust parts
  • A radiator fan with an intercooler
  • A shroud for the radiator and intercooler fan
  • A transmission
  • A battery
  • A control module and wiring harness
  • Upgraded drivelines
  • Fuel tank
  • Sending unit for fuel tank
  • Delivery pump for fuel tank

Do not panic when you see that list. A lot of the items you need to do the conversion are already in place on the Wrangler that you drive. One reason so many people prefer to purchase the conversion kits is the extra pieces they need are in the kit and they do not forget to buy something and they do not overspend and buy something they really do not need.

You also need to have plenty of working room before you begin the process. You need a garage that is large enough to house two vehicles. The garage must be ventilated properly because the fumes during the process could overpower you or make you sick.

How Long Does the Conversion Process Take?

a man driving his Jeep wrangler on the Icelandic roads

You are looking at a detailed project that generally takes between 100 and 120 hours. The cheapest mechanic would cost you about $2,500 to do the work if they were fast. That is why so many people prefer to do the changeover for themselves.

You must remember that during the conversion your vehicle will not be operational. If you only have afternoons and weekends to work on the project your vehicle could be sitting in the garage for several months without moving.

Make sure you can do without the vehicle long enough for you to complete the project. Also, make sure that you will not need the garage space to park another car, or do something else while the conversion is underway.

It is not unheard of for a diesel conversion to cost as much as $25,000 on some models of vehicles. Different variables like whether the engine is a turbo-engine, the make and model of the vehicle, and whether the vehicle has to have any repairs before the process can be completed will weigh into the final cost of the job.

Jeep Diesel Conversion Cost (DIY Projects)

There are a lot of talented people who can and will do their own diesel conversion. If you are one of those mechanically inclined individuals then you will need to do the following things to make the fuel switch over.

  1. Unplug all of the coolant hoses on the engine
  2. Unplug all of the oil lines and fuel connections on the engine
  3. Disconnect the current wiring harness. While you are doing this take the time to mark the locations of the connectors so when you go to reconnect the harness it is easier to do. Do not rely on just your memory for where each connection is made.
  4. Unfasten the transmission bell
  5. Unfasten the torque converter
  6. Use a chain attached to a motor lift, or something above the engine to support the engine and keep it from falling or shifting while you work.
  7. Remove the motor from the vehicle
  8. Look over the remaining parts and remove any parts that are no longer necessary
  9. Measure the excess fender and the firewall to make sure you have ample room for the changes you are making.
  10. Install the new drivelines from the conversion kit and install the transmission
  11. Lower the engine back into position. Make sure you have new engine mounts to hold the engine in place.
  12. Install the new parts from the conversion kit. Do the installation in the reverse order of the removal. If you removed coolant hoses first then replace the coolant hoses last. 
  13. Once everything is attached securely then put motor oil in the motor.
  14. Put water in the radiator
  15. Place fuel in the new fuel tank.
  16. Try out the engine to see if it cranks and runs as it should.

Tips from the Jeep Wrangler Experts

A diesel conversion is a lot of work. If you are not 100% sure that you know what you are doing, and the know-how to connect and reconnect all of the parts and accessories then do not try to do the conversion without professional guidance.

Most diesel engines in the newer model Jeep Wrangler series can already be operated on biodiesel fuels. These vehicles need very minor adaptions before you start running biodiesel.

The mileage you will get after making the conversion may not be as good as the mileage you were getting before the conversion. 

Some vehicles are going to have to be fitted with a filter that cleans the biodiesel to make it acceptable for the engine. You need to ask a diesel mechanic if your vehicle is going to need this filtration equipment.

Final Thoughts

Switching over to burning biodiesel will save you money on fuel and will help improve the air you breathe. This conversion is one that should only be made after careful consideration and preparation has been done. This is not a quick job, but it could be very beneficial to you.

About Brendan Burnett

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