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Old 04-05-2009, 07:36 PM   #1
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New to forum, engine install time

Hey everybody. This is my first post, and I'm going to try to keep the unimportant stuff to a minimum. So, without further delay...

I have a 1988 Jeep Wrangler that was purchased used some time ago. For reasons beyond my control, it has no engine. When it last had an engine, it had a 4.0 liter L6 engine in it. The registration says it is a 4 cylinder, so I have to assume that an engine swap was performed at some point.

The last engine is completely gone (not as in dead, as in physically nowhere near me and does not belong to me), and the assumed 4 cylinder is also gone. That being said, I do have parts like a carburettor, exhaust manifold, MAYBE an intake manifold, and a few other parts (like a busted intake, which will have to be replaced). We have no wires or electronics that I know of, but I'm not sure. I want to install a new engine in it. I'm open to either the 4 or 6 cylinder. This vehicle is not going to be doing any serious offroading (if any at all). We're looking to get the engine used someplace (and I'm open to any other suggestions anyone may have). Installing an engine in this thing is a project my father, brother and I would like to do during the summer, so we have a substantial amount of time to do it. Taking it to a shop and having an engine put in is something I really want to avoid.

Not that it should really matter (as I'm determined and willing to research and learn to do anything, as are my family), but our mechanical experience is decent. My brother and I have done clutches on compacts without engine hoists (though we're planning on getting one for this project), transmission replacements, various electrical work, head gaskets, you know, pretty routine stuff. Our primary concern about this install is the wiring - when the assholes who tore out the last engine took it out, they ripped a lot of stuff up and didn't keep track of where anything went. I don't know if they left any electronics in there because I'm really not sure what to look for, which is why I'm posting here.

Our available tools include sockets/ratchets/wrenches, an air compressor with an air ratchet/impact, a to-be-purchased hoist, and a lot of other miscellaneous stuff I'm forgetting. So, where should I start with this? Where do you guys think we should get the engine? What resources on wiring/hooking it up are there available? I've of course been researching this via Google, but it's always best to ask the experts. Thanks.

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Old 04-05-2009, 07:49 PM   #2
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welcome to another yj guy.

here's where i'd start. 4.0 i'd stay away from putting a 4.2 in it which would have been the 6 cyl of that year. definately no 4 cylinder.

i am putting a 4.0 stroker in an 87 that came with the 4.2. i found on ebay a 4.0 engine, complete, all manifolds injectors all accessoreies and brackets on the front, all wiring, not hacked up, computer, and it even came with some bonuses like bell housing and a decent radiator. all for $400

you can find a complete driveline also, engine trans and t case from jeeps people are completely changing. thats where i'd look. you need wiring and computer

also might wanna consider a donor regular cherokee, find one with a running driveline that has been hit. this can be done for $500 easily or less. then you have every part to make it run.

just thought of this, make sure you have a worthy project jeep. is the frame and body solid? yj's will rot in certain areas, rear of frame, body floor rockers windshields etc...

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Old 04-05-2009, 07:54 PM   #3
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So what year range Cherokees can be used to swap the motor with my 88? Will all of the mounts and everything line up, even with the registration saying it came with the 4?
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:57 PM   #4
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here's the thing, if they did put a 4.0 in it the motor mounts would have been moved up, because the 4 cyl motor mounts do have to be moved to install a six. so that should be fine, cherokee (from now on referred to as xj) driveline will bolt right in. t case clocking is a little different, but not a problem, and way down the line.

i'd find any cherokee that you find complete. kind of a toss up, newer xj's had improved horspower, older ones had less computer crap. my preference would be 91-96.

also check your local emission laws and junk and make sure there's no stupid requirements for this thing. some states have laws about changing motors, or having the on board diagnostic system in working order. hopefully you don't have to deal with it, here in illinois if its 95 or older you can now do whatever you want. 96 and up vehicle there's hoops to jump through.
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:54 PM   #5
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Oh come on Doc let him put the 4.2 Im sick of bein the only one with the factory set up engine in this place that still has the 4.2 where it belongs- IN IT WHERE IT BELONGS! lol
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:57 PM   #6
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^haha, if it was already there, or he had one in posession that would be one thing.

but since he needs all new parts, might as well skip the headache of your life.
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:00 PM   #7
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Funy doc, mines been nothin but a dream to me, my pathfinder needed more maintence than this engine lol
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Old 05-07-2009, 11:14 PM   #8
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I put in some poly motor mounts along with the tranny mount and am happy with them. The noise is a little louder from the tranny mount now. Oh well its just like my previous s10 parts,but its fine

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