Originally Posted by MOz
I've followed your project with great interest and my hat's off to you for pulling it off. Before I would dive into a project like this, I must admit, I do have a few concerns:
Cost Benefit: At some point it becomes cost prohibitive to retrofit a used vehicle with used parts and exceed the book value. There's also a cost to benefit ratio that I have not seen yet in this project... At the end of the day, how much did this project cost versus what the projected savings are. You are going to have to run a lot of miles to recover your costs on this project.
Another concern is the warranty issue. If I buy a new service replacement motor from Ford and have Ford install it, I get a warranty for parts and labor. If I install the same brand new motor myself, I just get a warranty for the motor. Installing a used setup opens the floor for issues. No warranty on parts and most likely no warranty on labor.
Although I find the idea of a Wrangler with a diesel very attractive, a veggie conversion to a truck that has a diesel already installed is probably more cost effective...IMHO.
Please do not misunderstand me, I love the idea...I'm just no sold on the idea. I do not have all the information to make an informed decision. I'd have to agree with 1BLKJP, it's a service at the going service rate ~ 60/hr, average install for a replacement motor ~2K (not including parts).
I will start by saying, I personally did not do this solely to "save money" on fuel.
My reasons for converting are as fallows:
1. I am a WVO nut so when my Jeep engine went boom I saw an opportunity.
2. We all know that diesel engines run a lot cooler even when the radiator is completely covered in mud. mine is around 160
3. Diesel is what I know best, I love the fun factor involved in this project.
4. The ability to idle up steep banks is amazing
5. The ability to idle down hills at crawl speeds, with out having to use the breaks is genius.
6. 30 mpg seamed like a good idea even with diesel higher than gas. ( I run used motor oil and WVO to of set the price).
7.The longevity of my 4bt is high, I am not a big fan of rebuilt engines, I personally do not consider them much better than used, Within reason i am not talking about a wore out engine. That opinion comes from my experience building engines for over 6 years.
8. The 4 bt is an engine I have seen run over 500,000 mile so I like them, and always wanted to put one in something.
Keep in mind these are simply my thought and opinions. This project is extremely personnel for me, I am not out trying to save the world with the next big thing.
To address the used vehicle with a used engine aspect. "I like MY
Jeep", and will own it forever. This Project is absolutely not for the person that trades up every few years.
Ok lets clarify the cost benefit or disadvantage,
My jeep cost me $3900 including tax $3900
my engine after I sold the scrap from the bread
truck was around $500 $500
Then I had to purchase an advanced adapter $250 $250
Then came the clutch, something like $175 $175
The rest was parts that you would normally replace
with an engine swap. Such as hoses a belt (serpentine) stc $300
$5125 is an estimate I am sure there were some other small coin items that I bought. In my neck of the woods $5125 dollars will buy you a pretty average yj. that gets 10-15 mpg.
over a year I have traveled roughly 10,000 mile in my Jeep. Devide that by 10 mpg and we have 1,000 gals. times that by $3.50 per gal. and we can see running gasoline in a 12 month period I spend $3,500 on fuel
With the diesel running the same 10,000 miles @ a conservative 25 mpg ( I usually get around 30) I will burn 400 gallons. deduct 50 % for used WVO and motor oil that I mix with my diesel. and we are down to 200 gallons in a 12 month period. Times that by $4.30 a gallon, and I spend $860 on diesel annually. thats an average fuel savings of $2,640.
So if you intend to own you Jeep for less than a year this would be a horrible decision for you.
If you like your Jeep and don't mind shifting before 3,000 rpms, losing a little get up and go ( which can be fixed with some tuning), Making a little noise, and talking to random strangers that approach you all excited wondering if what they are hearing is really possible. Then yes you might want to look in to this as an option.
As far as warranty my dad (a thirty year diesel mechanic) always says 30 days or thirty feet what ever comes first lol. Those are details that would defiantly have to be addressed. My workmanship is always backed up by my willingness to fix anything I touch that later fails.
In your situation you are probably right a diesel pickup with a conversion is your best bet. Which i have a lot of experience in if any one has a question about that. There is a certain amount of this that falls under the lines of modifying my Jeep to perform the way I like it.
You do not have to worry about offending me I step out of the box often and have become respectful of other peoples opinion.Like when everyone told me not to drop out of high school at the age of 16.lol Ive owned 3 business since then. Now 25
Thanks for the question and if you have any more fire away.