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Old 07-29-2010, 08:25 PM   #1
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4 banger loses power going up hill

Now, I've only had my 97 TJ for about 2 months now, and I'm not sure if this is normal for the 2.4 4 cylinder or if there is anything I can do to fix. Anyways, it is a 5 speed, and when going up hills, not even really steep ones, I tend to find myself having to shift down a lot. It has no lift kit, but does have the 31x10.5 tires. Is the drop in power going up hill normal for this, or is there anything I can do?

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Old 07-29-2010, 08:31 PM   #2
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Get used to it.

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Old 07-29-2010, 08:31 PM   #3
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Never owned a 4banger jeep ... but I had a 4cyl ford ranger.. and that's waht a 4cyl does in a truck/jeep.. especially with bigger tires then what the car is geared for.
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:11 PM   #4
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I have owned a 4.0 6cyl and recently purchased the 4 cyl. I feel your pain about the hill climbing. My big mistake was test driving it on flat roads. To quote Bob Segar..."I wish I didn't know know what I didn't know then". I will likely spiff mine up and sell it for a 6 cyl before long. Until then...get a good running start going into those hills!
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:18 PM   #5
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<<<< has a 4 cyl. As stated above /\ get used to it.....or hit the hills at 93mph. I said 93 as it won't go any faster. Or, drive around in 4th. I got 31" tires which also robs a little power, but if you go bigger you won't be able to keep 65 on the flat road. Myself I use it very little on the highway and trailing I don't need to go any faster then I can run so it's fine for what I do. If it's a DD you may want to have more torque so you may be wanting the 4.0 and that's cheaper if you buy another Jeep rather then replaciing the engine.
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:27 PM   #6
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Yup. The 4 banger is weak. I'm going to sell mine and get the i6 as soon as I paint it (looks like crap)
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Old 07-30-2010, 05:40 PM   #7
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x2 on the post above.

And i always have to down shift, mostly because i have 31"s... which is pretty big for a 4 banger could handle, but it does alright.
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Old 07-30-2010, 06:48 PM   #8
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I would think that regearing is cheaper than a new Jeep.
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Old 07-30-2010, 06:50 PM   #9
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I have 33's on my 4 cyl. I avoid the highway and all is good. I will be re gearing soon though so that should help a lot.
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Old 07-30-2010, 06:56 PM   #10
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Yep your four-banged is not a powerhouse so for it to struggle going uphill, especially with those larger 31" tires, is pretty normal. And your '97 has a 2.5L engine, not the 2.4L which came along later. I don't know exactly when it happened but I think the switch from the venerable 2.5L to the newer 2.4L van engine was made around 2005 or so.
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Old 07-30-2010, 10:17 PM   #11
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Yep your four-banged is not a powerhouse so for it to struggle going uphill, especially with those larger 31" tires, is pretty normal. And your '97 has a 2.5L engine, not the 2.4L which came along later. I don't know exactly when it happened but I think the switch from the venerable 2.5L to the newer 2.4L van engine was made around 2005 or so.
My bad on the 2.4 lol, thought thats what it was. Glad to know its nothing major and pretty normal. I plan on lifting and regearing later on anyways, but as for now I dont want to do any of that because its my daily driver and sucks gas as it is :P at any rate I do love my Jeep and do not mind downshifting at all to have it
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:55 AM   #12
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You can learn to shift more efficiently. When approaching a hill, shift into 4th at 60 mph.

I've had my '97 four popper almost six years. Five of those while living full time in Moab. I always had adequate torque. Nobody in a similarly built 6 or 8 cyl went anywhere I couldn't go.

Your mileage is 2 or 3 mpg better than a six. I do stick to 30X9.5 rubber. With those and a modest lift I do pretty well.
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Old 08-01-2010, 08:43 AM   #13
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I have an 2004 four banger with 2.4 and you just get used to it. It was like that when stock. When I got 31s it did not seem like a difference to me.
Hell, it seems like I'm in fourth gear more than fifth when on the highway.
I need to re-gear as well but......

oooh look a new smart phone!!!
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:18 PM   #14
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I just crossed Wolf Creek Pass in CO. Got to go about 45-50, some times went down to 3rd. What was really amazing is that I passed some people on the way up!! We also took Elridge pass about 12000on a trail. We went so slow that the speedo didn't register, from that idea we decided we didn't add any miles on the 14 mile climb since nothing registered!!??lol. By the way we have 31's and it really does well in Southern CO.
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:25 PM   #15
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I purchased my 04 specifically with the 2.4 so I would not exceed the speed limits. Way too many speeding tickets in the past and wanted to slow my ass down. When I need speed I drive the wifey's Mazda which has a turbo.
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:41 PM   #16
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My 2.5 does great after I regeared to 4.88 with 35/12.50 and heck of alot better surprised me
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:48 PM   #17
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Shift down to fourth on free way, and third on non highway.
Clean fuel injectors, airfilter, fuel filter, and put on a new exhaust.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:07 PM   #18
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I like my 4 popper! It goes anywhere anyone else does and I'm not into wreching on it all the time so, it's perfect because the drive train is designed to handle the power it puts out and I get little breakage. None yet. I do carry an extra set of rebuilt axels just in case, because of the oversize tires but, I can change one out in under an hour and be right back to wheelin.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I like my 4 popper! It goes anywhere anyone else does and I'm not into wreching on it all the time so, it's perfect because the drive train is designed to handle the power it puts out and I get little breakage. None yet. I do carry an extra set of rebuilt axels just in case, because of the oversize tires but, I can change one out in under an hour and be right back to wheelin.
I agree with you dude. I love my four banger
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:52 PM   #20
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I have a 92 YJ with a 2.5, a 6 inch lift & 33's. I feel ya on the highway/ hills issue. I beefed up my 4 banger and it doesnt have that problem anymore. The 4.0 throttle body bolts right too the 2.5. I also added bigger fuel injectors, throttle body spacer and a header. Hills are not a problem anymore.
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:53 PM   #21
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i also got the 4banger and well if its completly stock best thing is just prepare in advance for the hill nothing else to do. no matter i still love ma 4banger !
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:24 PM   #22
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You can get a few more ponies if you want to change the stock fan to an electric fan kit. I haven't seen any specs on it but those that have done it here claim to notice a real differance in performance although slight.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:40 PM   #23
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Even with my 6 banger and 33's I have trouble on hills. Heres what I do.

1. When I see the hill I start to gain as much speed as possible.
2. As soon as I hit the bottom of the hill and my speed starts to drop I down shift and hammer down!
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:41 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inscore77 View Post
Now, I've only had my 97 TJ for about 2 months now, and I'm not sure if this is normal for the 2.4 4 cylinder or if there is anything I can do to fix. Anyways, it is a 5 speed, and when going up hills, not even really steep ones, I tend to find myself having to shift down a lot. It has no lift kit, but does have the 31x10.5 tires. Is the drop in power going up hill normal for this, or is there anything I can do?

yes it is very normal for the fourbanger to loose power uphill im in the same boat, just get used to it.
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:10 PM   #25
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Never had a problem with my 4 banger. drove all over the country, hills, mountains, 80 on the texas I-10. Kept up with everybody. 6 speed manual. You have to act like an auto tranny and shift accordingly. anticipate whats ahead.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:20 PM   #26
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ive got the 4 banger with 31's on it running it in the foothills and mountains of NC. I was in the same boat but eventually got used to it and the down shifting. eventually when i get a lift and go with 33's ill re-gear it.

dont mean to jack the post but towing with the 4cyl. ive got a jetski and how bad is that on the transmission towing that?
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:27 PM   #27
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I'm in a stock 04 wrangler with the I6 and even I have to go down to 4th on hills if I don't want to lose speed. It's just part of the Jeep territory
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:01 PM   #28
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Stock jeep with i6 and you have to downshift?what are you climbing mt. everest?
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:06 PM   #29
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My 2.5 does the same and it's an automatic. I have 33's , 4:56 gears and I expect that from a 4 cyl. You and myself just need bigger engines. But don't worry off roading you'll be just fine.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:44 PM   #30
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Downshifting at the right RPM is key on the freeway. 3k - 3600 RPM's are my sweet spot.

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