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Old 02-18-2014, 05:15 PM   #1
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no power in 4th and 5th 97 jeep wrangler 4cyl

before everyone jumps on me cos im sure some one has asked this question just take into consideration that im a new member as of today and a proud jeep owner as of last saturday. i purchased my jeep from alot that got it as a trade in. pics will be up after i get off work. i know it has a lift and off road tires and they are offset. im not sure of the size. going down the high way 1-3 work great. once fouth hits there is a noticeable decrease in power. push the accelerator in all the way and nothing really happens. shift into 5th and i lose some speed and the power is almost non existent. 227000 miles and i know the engine was replaced and has 10800 on it.

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Old 02-18-2014, 05:19 PM   #2
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Tire size plays a huge roll in a 2.5l. If it has not been regeared, then yes that is normal.


I have a 97 2.5l and lose power on 5th gear, but I never really drive it on the hwy so no big deal.

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Old 02-18-2014, 05:20 PM   #3
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before everyone jumps on me cos im sure some one has asked this question just take into consideration that im a new member as of today and a proud jeep owner as of last saturday. i purchased my jeep from alot that got it as a trade in. pics will be up after i get off work. i know it has a lift and off road tires and they are offset. im not sure of the size. going down the high way 1-3 work great. once fouth hits there is a noticeable decrease in power. push the accelerator in all the way and nothing really happens. shift into 5th and i lose some speed and the power is almost non existent. 227000 miles and i know the engine was replaced and has 10800 on it.
We need details, tire size, axle ratios, Engine, trans etc.......
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:41 PM   #4
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Tire size plays a huge roll in a 2.5l. If it has not been regeared, then yes that is normal.


I have a 97 2.5l and lose power on 5th gear, but I never really drive it on the hwy so no big deal.
most of my driving has been highway. jeep has a hard time getting past 50mph.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:43 PM   #5
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We need details, tire size, axle ratios, Engine, trans etc.......
i know the tire size is 33X12.5rX15lt

1997 jeep wrangler 2.4

as far as i know everything is stock.. and i have no idea what that normally is. ill post a picture of it tonight when im off work.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:43 PM   #6
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most of my driving has been highway. jeep has a hard time getting past 50mph.
Twice it was mentioned we need to know your tire size to know if your lack of power is caused by oversized tires.

What size are they... 28"? 30"? 33"? 31"?

And '97 TJs came with the 2.5L engine, not the 2.4L that didn't come along until later.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:45 PM   #7
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You're most likely running the stock 4.10 gears as long as its a manual so you're gonna struggle with the 33's...only way to get power back will be to regear it to 4.88
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:49 PM   #8
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yes its a manual. ive seen people mention re gearing and adding a cat back system and highflow air filters. the last two i understand how to do/ get done but not so much on the re gearing. and what is being regeared exactly.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:57 PM   #9
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Ok the reason for your lack of power is your 33" tires. The larger diameter tire has changed the effective gearing in your TJ so your engine is no longer turning over fast enough. Not as fast at, say, 50 mph, is it did when it was running its smaller 28" or 29" factory size tires when your TJ left the factory. With lower (too low) engine RPMs, that means significantly less engine power.

Regearing means to replace the ring & pinion gears inside both of your axles, total cost to do that is $1100 to $1300. Your existing axle ratio is 4.10 (which means the driveshaft turns 4.10 times for each wheel rotation) and for 33" tires, you need to regear to 4.88 which will provide a very DRAMATIC increase in power. Dramatic!

Don't bother adding a cat back, high flow air filters, etc., they will not help with this problem in the least... either or both of those would be a 100% waste of $$$ since your problem is not from a lack of air into the engine. It's caused by your 4.10 axle ratio not creating enough RPMs for the engine at any given speed.

Regearing to 4.88 is the only true fix for the problem and once done, you'll consider the money well spent. Again, the performance improvement from regearing both axles (both must be done) to 4.88 will produce a very dramatic improvement in power.

Regearing the axles to 4.88 is what is done to correct for the loss of power caused by installing 33" tires. It's commonly done, it works well and is the sole true fix for this issue.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:59 PM   #10
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yes its a manual. ive seen people mention re gearing and adding a cat back system and highflow air filters. the last two i understand how to do/ get done but not so much on the re gearing. and what is being regeared exactly.
Your front and rear axles need to be re-geared to regain the power that was lost when it went from stock sized tires to 33" tires. Regearing two axles will most likely run you between $1200-$1500 parts and labor. The alternative is to go with a smaller diameter tire or live with what you have.

Guess I'm a slower typer than JB...
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:09 PM   #11
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Ok the reason for your lack of power is your 33" tires. The larger diameter tire has changed the effective gearing in your TJ so your engine is no longer turning over fast enough. Not as fast at, say, 50 mph, is it did when it was running its smaller 28" or 29" factory size tires when your TJ left the factory. With lower (too low) engine RPMs, that means significantly less engine power.

Regearing means to replace the ring & pinion gears inside both of your axles, total cost to do that is $1100 to $1300. Your existing axle ratio is 4.10 (which means the driveshaft turns 4.10 times for each wheel rotation) and for 33" tires, you need to regear to 4.88 which will provide a very DRAMATIC increase in power. Dramatic!

Don't bother adding a cat back, high flow air filters, etc., they will not help with this problem in the least... either or both of those would be a 100% waste of $$$ since your problem is not from a lack of air into the engine. It's caused by your 4.10 axle ratio not creating enough RPMs for the engine at any given speed.

Regearing to 4.88 is the only true fix for the problem and once done, you'll consider the money well spent. Again, the performance improvement from regearing both axles (both must be done) to 4.88 will produce a very dramatic improvement in power.

Regearing the axles to 4.88 is what is done to correct for the loss of power caused by installing 33" tires. It's commonly done, it works well and is the sole true fix for this issue.
alright. and thats something that a shop would have to do right? not something a rookie should take on?
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:09 PM   #12
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Got a 4cyl wrangler myself sitting out back. It's not the tire size (it doesn't help but) it's the motor. Good and fun putting around town and off road but gutless on the freeway. 6 cylinders are better but wranglers themselves are geared away from high speed so just get used to the slow lanes. The 4 cyl will run just as long as the 4.0 far as durability.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:11 PM   #13
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Your front and rear axles need to be re-geared to regain the power that was lost when it went from stock sized tires to 33" tires. Regearing two axles will most likely run you between $1200-$1500 parts and labor. The alternative is to go with a smaller diameter tire or live with what you have.

Guess I'm a slower typer than JB...
thats alright i appreciate the help that everyone has on here. im 21yrs old and have wanted a jeep since i was a kid. found this one for 6k and had to get it.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:14 PM   #14
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Got a 4cyl wrangler myself sitting out back. It's not the tire size (it doesn't help but) it's the motor. Good and fun putting around town and off road but gutless on the freeway. 6 cylinders are better but wranglers themselves are geared away from high speed so just get used to the slow lanes. The 4 cyl will run just as long as the 4.0 far as durability.
eventually when i have the money can the 4cyl be swapped for the 6cyl?
i had seen people say that they can get up to 70+mph on the highway and thought that something might be wrong since i could barely hit 60 going down a hill.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:23 PM   #15
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Got a 4cyl wrangler myself sitting out back. It's not the tire size (it doesn't help but) it's the motor. Good and fun putting around town and off road but gutless on the freeway. 6 cylinders are better but wranglers themselves are geared away from high speed so just get used to the slow lanes. The 4 cyl will run just as long as the 4.0 far as durability.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:24 PM   #16
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Lol
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:25 PM   #17
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Internet lagging. It can be done pretty easily if you don't have to deal with smog.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:26 PM   #18
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The tires could be effecting your speed then. I can hit 80 in mine if I push it right but it doesn't like it
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:40 PM   #19
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eventually when i have the money can the 4cyl be swapped for the 6cyl?
i had seen people say that they can get up to 70+mph on the highway and thought that something might be wrong since i could barely hit 60 going down a hill.
major job Don't bother. Plus the 4.0L needs a different transmission tcase, engine computer etc..

Yes regearing requires a high degree of technical skills and specialized tools. The pricing I gave includes having a qualified shop install them.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:42 PM   #20
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wow. haha i can floor it and nothing happens in 4th and 5th. guess i need to save up the money to regear.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:43 PM   #21
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major job Don't bother. Plus the 4.0L needs a different transmission tcase, engine computer etc..

Yes regearing requires a high degree of technical skills and specialized tools. The pricing I gave includes having a qualified shop install them.
alright. Thanks so much. im sure i will have alot more questions later on.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:45 PM   #22
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alright. and thats something that a shop would have to do right? not something a rookie should take on?
If you have to ask about performing a regear then you should try it. Let a pro do it.

As for your problem, ie no power in 4th and 5th, I was in the same boat with my 98 tj. 2.5L, 5 speed, 4.10 gear and 33 tires. I regeared to 4.88 and it's like night and day. my ride to work used to be a combination of 3rd and 4th gear and struggling to make 55 mph. Now I just drive in 5th and have no problem going 70.
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:11 PM   #23
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The jeep
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:14 PM   #24
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If you have to ask about performing a regear then you should try it. Let a pro do it. As for your problem, ie no power in 4th and 5th, I was in the same boat with my 98 tj. 2.5L, 5 speed, 4.10 gear and 33 tires. I regeared to 4.88 and it's like night and day. my ride to work used to be a combination of 3rd and 4th gear and struggling to make 55 mph. Now I just drive in 5th and have no problem going 70.
That sounds great can't wait to get the money to do that. Did your gas mileage improve since you don't have to keep downshifting and staying in 4th
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:32 AM   #25
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I don't track gas mileage in the jeep. I wouldn't expect any improvements in mileage as the rpm's are probably not really changing, it's just what gear you have to be in to be at those rpms.

I.E.
4.10: 2800 rpm - 3rd - 50 mph
4.88: 2800 rpm - 5th - 50 mph

Those numbers are just for example sake, I have no idea what the real rpm to mph numbers are.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:18 AM   #26
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I am surprised no one has mentioned this yet, but there's a good chance your speedometer is off, and you are actually driving faster than you think. Not saying you don't need to regear, but you should have the speedometer checked out.
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Old 02-19-2014, 04:26 PM   #27
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speedo is probably off by no more than 3-4 mph at highway speeds tops.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:44 PM   #28
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I will get that checked out as well. Thanks everyone will keep y'all posted. Hopefully going to start putting some lights on does the jeep look like it's lifted or is it just the tires?
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:28 AM   #29
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speedo is probably off by no more than 3-4 mph at highway speeds tops.
Its off way more than 3-4 more like 8-10
Plug in the 2 tire sizes...
http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/tirecalc.php
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:29 PM   #30
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Its off way more than 3-4 more like 8-10
Plug in the 2 tire sizes...
Tire Size Calculator - Compare Tire Sizes
with stock 4.10 gears and 33" tires my speedo was off by maybe 4 or 5 mph. I assume the speedo gear is stock but it's possible it's not.

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