We have seen some pretty wild LS swaps over the years. From domestics to exotics and everything in between. However, these vehicles usually have something in common. Most are not new, and the owners were looking for a more dependable powerplant. However, this 2019 Jeep Rubicon from Mexico breaks all of those rules.
We were digging through the depths of Instagram the other day searching our favorite hashtag, #lsx, and stumbled across pictures of a 2018 Jeep Rubicon with the popular tag. If you’re familiar with Instagram, you already know that thousands of vehicles are tagged with #lsx or #lsswap that are not even LS-powered. We try not to get our hopes up when we find something cool because we have been let down a time or two. We reached out to Bueno’s Racing, the page the vehicle was posted, to get the details on the build. Within a matter of minutes, Erick of Bueno’s racing responded to our question.
As it turns out, Erick’s shop, Bueno’s Racing, is located in the real Mexico, not the factious one where the Street Outlaws race. And the tagged #LSX Jeep is, in fact, LS-powered, but there’s more than meets the eye. This 4×4 vehicle is wild and has not one but two power adders to make sure it has plenty of power to get the two-door JL moving.
The Jeeps owner reached out to Erick to see if he would be interested in taking on this project. Erick said, “He sent a 2015 Jeep to California for a complete build with a full tube chassis and an LSX twin-turbo setup. After a year and a half into the project with no real progress, he decided to buy a new one in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. A 2019 Jeep Rubicon 2 door, showed up at our shop and the owner said he wanted this Jeep LS-swapped, slicks on all four corners, Holley ECU, and ready in 8 months.” Erick agreed to the terms and got to work on the 4×4.
The first order of business was to get everything out of the new Jeep that wasn’t needed. As you can imagine, it was a long list. The engine, wiring, transmission, transfer case, rear axle, exhaust, and seats were all scrapped for this build. After the machine work was done by Bruce Racing Engines in Houston, Texas, Bueno’s Racing started assembling the short block. The LSX 427 block received a Callies Dragon Slayer crankshaft, Callies rods, and Diamond Racing pistons. A set of Chevrolet LSX heads were used to top off the short block with an Edelbrock intake manifold, Holley 102mm throttle body, and Injector Dynamics fuel injectors. A Holley Dominator controls all of the engine functions.
If you’re going to build a Jeep for drag racing, you might as well add a couple of power adders. The guys selected an F1A ProCharger for the 427 with an air-to-water intercooler. The centrifugal supercharger cranks out a healthy 24-pounds of boost capable of 1,200-plus horsepower. If that not enough for you, Bueno’s Racing also added a single-stage Nitrous Outlet wet system capable of an additional 400 horsepower. This system utilizes off two 12-pound composite nitrous bottles and operates off of a progressive nitrous controller.
All of that power is useless if you can’t get to the ground, so Bueno’s Racing made sure they wouldn’t have any problems when it came to the drivetrain. A Level 6 FTI TH400 was the transmission of choice equipped with and Meziere flexplate, M&M Shifter, Derale cooler, and an Inland Empire Driveline aluminum driveshaft. A Hero transfer case puts the power down to the front, rear, or all wheels depending on the selection. A Strange Engineering Ultra Case was used in the back with a spool, 40-spline axles, and 3.70 gears to match the front axle.
Other modifications include custom made headers from Scorpion Headers Shop at Guadalajaradual, 3-inch custom exhaust, Magnaflow mufflers, chrome-moly wheelie bar, King shocks, and Aerospace brakes. The Rubicon is fitted with RC Components wheels on all four corners, including 15-inch on the rears and 17-inch on the fronts wrapped with 28-inch Hoosier slicks.
According to Erick, the Jeep drives and handles amazingly. Since it’s used as a Grudge racing vehicle, we don’t know how fast it is. But, we are willing to bet this Rubicon will fly. Who’s up for a trip to Mexico to see this thing run?