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Old 11-11-2013, 01:06 PM   #1
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Rebuild or replace engine?

Well, new (to me) '89 yj is making a loud noise in the bottom of the engine now. Taking it in to have it verified, but I think the engine is about shot.

Rebuild the 2.5L 4cyl or put in a new bigger engine and transmission and why?

What else has to be changed out if I opt for the new engine?

Thanks for your feedback!

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Old 11-11-2013, 01:11 PM   #2
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Well maybe a video of the noise the engine is producing would help us answer your problem. What does the noise sound like? Is it a ticking noise? More info please.

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Old 11-11-2013, 01:51 PM   #3
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At low RPM, it is a louder version of the engine. I will shoot a video and post when I get home. Did not think to do this.
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:10 AM   #4
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The video I shot can be found at

2013 11 11 22 10 55 - YouTube

Sorry for the poor audio, I had to do it myself. Let me know if you need it better and I will get my wife to give me a hand.

Thanks in advance for your insight!
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:19 AM   #5
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Ya that sounds pretty bad. Sounds like rod bearing are toast maybe. You could probably find another 2.5 for couple hundred bucks for quick fix compared to rebuilding or upgrading to bigger engine. I know around here in i can pick engines up from $150 to $500 depending on mileage.
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:25 AM   #6
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Just call a salvage yard?
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:28 AM   #7
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Ya you could. They may be able to have u hear it run before they pull it. Or craigslist.
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:16 AM   #8
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No such luck on craigslist in Texas. Especially not for the $150-$200 range that RMN is talking about.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:09 PM   #9
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Ooo sorry guys. What do u have to pay for a used motor down there?
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:10 PM   #10
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Ooo sorry guys. What do you have to pay for a used motor down there?
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:45 PM   #11
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Easiest, quickest and cheapest would be to drop in another 2.5L engine (either used or rebuilt).

Depending on your plans for your Jeep, it sounds like a great opportunity to upgrade the drivetrain. You could drop in a Jeep 4.0L (or 4.2L) and AX15 transmission.

The 2.5L is generally a little under-powered, and it's AX5 transmission can also be fragile. Lots of folks here drop in Small Block Chevy (SBC) engines.

If you want a used engine, you could try "Jeep Parts" over in Ft. Worth - they have a bunch of parted out Jeeps. They aren't cheap IMO, and I have no first hand experience with them.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:04 PM   #12
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Sounds like a broken piston skirt. The 2.5 are known to do that. Hunt down a 2.5 or rebuild that one given you stop driving it now & avoid any further damage.

I think the general consensus is a v8 swap will run you in the neighborhood of 3-4k unless you have the drive train laying around already. Local builder says they will rebuild my 2.5 for less than a grand.

Hard to justify the cost of a V8 swap when the 4 banger has done everything I've asked it to do.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:59 PM   #13
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My 4.6 stroker + ax15 swap is about to be done and has run me under $2500. Motor is a brand new build, tranny is used.
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:18 PM   #14
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Dang. Did you already have majority of everything gathered up or find stuff as you went along? I would much rather do a stroker than a V8.
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http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...g?t=1411201524
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:34 AM   #15
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^ No sir. Started with a 4.2 jeep so I already had the "stroker kit," bought a core 4.0 long block for $100, core 7120 head with newer seats and no cracks for $100, all 4.0 accessories for the new serpentine setup from a local jeep junkyard $60, bought bearings/rings/pistons/double roller set/high volume oil pump/water pump/arp studs from summit, bought head gasket/tsat from rockauto, more misc seals and gaskets from parts stores, had crank ground and stuff hot tanked for $100, had my short block bored/align honed/minimaly decked/rods resized/assembled for $500, head done with mill, bronze guides, new valves, seats ground, seals, & quick port costing me $150, stock cam reground for $80, lifters $30, 4wdp HEI kit, brown dog super engine bracket kit $270, apn header $180 shipped, electric fan kit I had laying around that I got for free, using my stock intake and carb until I get around to a carb upgrade.

Also bought my ax15 for $80 and sold my peugeot for $220 so I made some back there haha.


As for the stroker vs small block comment, obviously I would too. I don't see the point of a v8 in this kind of rig. I run mountain trails and at times am lugging down below 300rpm. That's not small block territory, that's inline only. I love the characteristics of an inline 6 in a wheeler. And that's why I am using such a tame cam. Why in the heck would I care about making power at 3500rpm? I am rarely ever gonna be above 2 grand. Torque is the name of the game. I think more people should be doing this type of build. I am proving it can be done with lots of goodies for still less than many are paying for a naked golen long block.
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Old 11-13-2013, 06:37 AM   #16
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I'll prob turn my 4.2 into a stroker when it goes but for now I drive it n wheel it with no issues , 206,000miles on the clock!
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:08 AM   #17
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I had 225k on mine when the rear main went (which resulted in this project). I am amazed how nice the bore still is. No more than .003" of wear, no galling or anything at all. I wouldn't hesitate to just hone it and run standard bore pistons in it again if I were to use that block.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:30 AM   #18
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That's the route I'm gonna go when the time comes. I agree totally with your I6 vs V8 theory. I have no use for a V8 when the dang 4 banger does everything I need off road. A 6 would be nice for the added on road oomph.

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http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...g?t=1411201524
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