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Old 11-02-2011, 06:15 PM   #1
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4cyl Jeep Candidate

Hey all!

I'm considering getting a 2000-03ish 4-cylinder Wrangler. I do a job a few days a week where I monitor traffic at intersections for several hours. I need something that is efficient to drive and idle, can get over a curb, and fit in a tight space.

I'm hoping to touch 19-20 mpg driving 60-65 on the freeway with a manual transmission on a stock unmolested Wrangler. Maybe have a top speed of 75.

I like the idea of the 2.5L engine, because I do my own repairs. Plus I can maybe wedge in a bigger radiator to cool it, and it doesn't generate enough torque to easily overstress the drivetrain.

This wouldn't be my only car. I've got a 2003 Dodge Ram Hemi 4x4 I've owned for 8 years. It's given me 125,000 trouble free miles. It's a real gas guzzler. I'll keep it for hauling horses and hay. Plus I've put a lot of years into keeping it nice. It's just impractical as a primary vehicle. I also have a sport touring motorcycle.


I keep hearing negatives about 4cyl Wranglers, which makes me apprehensive. But I don't need 33's and I don't want to tow with it, and I don't drive fast in 4x4s.

I will take the baby Wrangler off road. I can pick a line and get as far as I ever want to go with 235/75r15s. I'm sure it'll outdo my quad cab truck.

Frankly, an Altima with a 2.5 will burn as much fuel idling all day, but it won't get over a curb or be as easy to wrench on.

If I can pull 16mpg cruising at 60mph in my V8 Hemi powered 7,000LB 4X4 32'AT clad Dodge... then surely I can do 19-20mpg on the freeway at 60mph buzzing in a Jeep
Plus the Wrangler will look better on the farm next to the Ram, versus a stinking Honda CRV.

Do the 4cyl Jeeps stink that bad?
Are my expectations reasonable?

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Old 11-02-2011, 07:19 PM   #2
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I have a 97 2.5 and love it. It has enough power for me , I do mostly city driving, Its not lifted yet but i run 30 inch tires and it does well on the highway as well.

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Old 11-02-2011, 07:55 PM   #3
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i bought mine pretty much for the same reasons you are looking. used to have a 3 hr commute daily and my hd2500 CC, long bed with an 8.1L is not good on gas but i have a 35' travel trailer so getting rid of it is not an option. depending on how i'm driving i get somewhere between 17-22 mpg. mine is a 98 4 banger, manual and 100% stock. i find it fun to drive, fairly economic-only replaced a cam sensor and wheel cyl's in a yr(besides normal maint) and it's a champ in the winter. even the wife has come around and likes it top/door less and even got her own jeep(07 compass-she loves it).
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:53 PM   #4
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i don't see a 2.5L doing 19-20mpg on the highway. mine got better mileage in the city. most people who have driven both say the 4.0L will average the same and i agree.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:59 PM   #5
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Mine averages right at 19 mixed driving. Its all stock except 235/75/15 tires.
http://www.fuelly.com/driver/wwch99tj/wrangler
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:18 AM   #6
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I never got over 18 or 19 in my stock 98 2.5l; the newer 2.4l may be more fuel efficient but I don't have any experience with them. And those 18-19 numbers were if I was really babying it. I actually got around 22+ MPG out of my 2004 4.0l auto driving normal for the few months I had it before I lifted it, which is much more than I ever got from my 4 banger. I think you'd be fine either way, but if I was you I'd look for around the same year you're thinking only a 4.0. Many people make the mistake thinking the 4 cylinder will get better mileage simply because it's a smaller engine, but in reality its just working twice as hard to push that box down the road. Other than that, I think a Jeep will suit your needs nicely.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:30 AM   #7
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I had 20+ MPGs average on my stock 04 rubicon prior to the 33's. I still see 16+ with the larger tires. Wranglers are not light vehicles. A smaller engine does not always equal better fuel economy. The 2.5 L engine may have to work harder in order to pull the weight of the wrangler. I have heard many times that the 2.5 L and the 4.0 L engines are virtually equal off-road. However, this does not hold true on the highway.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:26 AM   #8
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Driving down the freeway is a function of physics. To move a 3500lb box at 60mph is going to take "X" amount of energy, regardless of source. The energy comes from the fuel the engine burns. Whether using a 4cyl or a 6cyl, the energy required to propel it will be nearly identical... which means the fuel burned will be identical. In theory, when rolling under power, the only time a 6cyl will burn more fuel is when it's generating more work than the 4cyl is capable of generating. There is a small fuel use increase with the 6cly since it weighs a little more, and requires more mechanical energy to turn over, etc... but it should be negligible. All in all, the freeway mileage at moderate speeds should be comparable between the engines.

However, parked at an intersection, snuggled up next to the traffic control box, idling all day... won't the 4cylinder burn less fuel?

Sitting at traffic lights, won't the 4cyl burn less fuel?

Plus, I feel the 4cyl will be a more simple design and lend itself more to backyard wrenching jobs, right?

If I intend to spend 12 hours per week idling in place, does the 4-cylinder become a viable option?
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:33 PM   #9
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My 97 2.5 with 31s was getting between 18-20 mpg doing highway and in town. Just put on the 32s with a fresh tank of gas so I am waiting to see what effect they'll have. You will probably see some issues with speed going up hills or when the wind is blowing pretty good, overall mine does just fine for me.

T
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:38 PM   #10
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I had a 2.5 on a 91 yj.It was a fantastic motor and cheap to maintain,got 127,000 miles then sold it.....easy to work on also...
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:39 PM   #11
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I have a 2002 and i get 23 on the highway if i dont go over 60. I get 19 beating around town and out on the trail. i love my 4 banger and has plenty of power for what i do. If i wanted horse power and spped i would buy a sports car and if i wanted to tow or haul i would buy a truck. I love my jeep because it is what it is and thats what i got it for. Mine is bone stock but plan on doing alot to it after the holidays
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonduke5
I have a 2002 and i get 23 on the highway if i dont go over 60. I get 19 beating around town and out on the trail. i love my 4 banger and has plenty of power for what i do. If i wanted horse power and spped i would buy a sports car and if i wanted to tow or haul i would buy a truck. I love my jeep because it is what it is and thats what i got it for. Mine is bone stock but plan on doing alot to it after the holidays
This is probably one of the best responses I've read about the 4 banger. I love mine too and it works great for what I do with it.
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:40 PM   #13
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Finding a jeep with fuel economy worth discussing is easier than finding a virgin in a whore house.

(hope I did not break any rules)
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:44 PM   #14
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I enjoy my 4 banger. I also really like they fact that it only takes 4 qts of oil. Dirt cheap compared to my full size diesel that takes 3 gallons. LOL
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyCutter View Post
Driving down the freeway is a function of physics. To move a 3500lb box at 60mph is going to take "X" amount of energy, regardless of source. The energy comes from the fuel the engine burns. Whether using a 4cyl or a 6cyl, the energy required to propel it will be nearly identical... which means the fuel burned will be identical. In theory, when rolling under power, the only time a 6cyl will burn more fuel is when it's generating more work than the 4cyl is capable of generating. There is a small fuel use increase with the 6cly since it weighs a little more, and requires more mechanical energy to turn over, etc... but it should be negligible. All in all, the freeway mileage at moderate speeds should be comparable between the engines.

However, parked at an intersection, snuggled up next to the traffic control box, idling all day... won't the 4cylinder burn less fuel?

Sitting at traffic lights, won't the 4cyl burn less fuel?

Plus, I feel the 4cyl will be a more simple design and lend itself more to backyard wrenching jobs, right?

If I intend to spend 12 hours per week idling in place, does the 4-cylinder become a viable option?
that's only assuming both engines make the same amount of power from X amount of fuel, which they don't.
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6InARowMakesItGo

that's only assuming both engines make the same amount of power from X amount of fuel, which they don't.
Correct.
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:23 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by 6InARowMakesItGo View Post
that's only assuming both engines make the same amount of power from X amount of fuel, which they don't.
Burning a given quantity of fuel generates a given amount of energy. Most is lost to heat, some is converted into mechanical work. Most internal combustion engines are comparable. I learned much of this studying internal combustion theory, and I saw it in practice in the marine industry, where the same boat hull can be purchased with 2, 3, or 4 different engines. When cruising at the same speed, they all use nearly identical amounts of fuel per hour.
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:23 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by DaisyCutter View Post
Burning a given quantity of fuel generates a given amount of energy. Most is lost to heat, some is converted into mechanical work. Most internal combustion engines are comparable. I learned much of this studying internal combustion theory, and I saw it in practice in the marine industry, where the same boat hull can be purchased with 2, 3, or 4 different engines. When cruising at the same speed, they all use nearly identical amounts of fuel per hour.
it doesn't mean they are both going to put the same power to the ground.
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:48 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by DaisyCutter View Post
However, parked at an intersection, snuggled up next to the traffic control box, idling all day... won't the 4cylinder burn less fuel?

Sitting at traffic lights, won't the 4cyl burn less fuel?

Plus, I feel the 4cyl will be a more simple design and lend itself more to backyard wrenching jobs, right?

If I intend to spend 12 hours per week idling in place, does the 4-cylinder become a viable option?
back to your questions. yea i think the 4 banger will burn less fuel while just idling.

the 2.5L and 4.0L are really similar. the 4.0L just has more cylinders. they are both simple and easy to work on.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:16 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by wwch99tj View Post
This is probably one of the best responses I've read about the 4 banger. I love mine too and it works great for what I do with it.
Thank you for helping me decide, iv been on the forum for the past days struggling with this question.
im test driving a 4 tomorrow



Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonduke5 View Post
I have a 2002 and i get 23 on the highway if i dont go over 60. I get 19 beating around town and out on the trail. i love my 4 banger and has plenty of power for what i do. If i wanted horse power and spped i would buy a sports car and if i wanted to tow or haul i would buy a truck. I love my jeep because it is what it is and thats what i got it for. Mine is bone stock but plan on doing alot to it after the holidays
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:03 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by DaisyCutter View Post
Burning a given quantity of fuel generates a given amount of energy. Most is lost to heat, some is converted into mechanical work. Most internal combustion engines are comparable. I learned much of this studying internal combustion theory, and I saw it in practice in the marine industry, where the same boat hull can be purchased with 2, 3, or 4 different engines. When cruising at the same speed, they all use nearly identical amounts of fuel per hour.
You’re incorrect in your assumptions. A 4 cylinder and 6 cylinder engines will not have the same fuel consumption even if both of the engines had the same displacement. You could run both of the engines, a 2.5l and 4.0l on test stands in dyno booth and feed the exact amount of fuel flow in to them you would find the 6 cylinder would run a at a less RPM than the 4 and most likely at a less HP. Change that to having both engines run at the same RPMs and the 6 cylinder will obviously use more fuel to obtain the same RPMs as the 2.5l but will most likely develop more HP.

Now apply that same test with the same parameters to the ground and it comes down to simple mechanics. The 6 cylinder weighs more and has more parts to move; which engine is going to get better MPG? More weight and drag requires more HP and more HP requires more fuel.

To answer your original question will the 2.5l use less at an idle? Yes, but your MPG will be skewed quite a bit, you’re going to get worse MPG parked than moving; MPG is ratio and with no miles to offset the consumption your MPG will show less.
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Old 11-14-2011, 01:50 PM   #22
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You’re incorrect in your assumptions. A 4 cylinder and 6 cylinder engines will not have the same fuel consumption even if both of the engines had the same displacement. You could run both of the engines, a 2.5l and 4.0l on test stands in dyno booth and feed the exact amount of fuel flow in to them you would find the 6 cylinder would run a at a less RPM than the 4 and most likely at a less HP. Change that to having both engines run at the same RPMs and the 6 cylinder will obviously use more fuel to obtain the same RPMs as the 2.5l but will most likely develop more HP.

Now apply that same test with the same parameters to the ground and it comes down to simple mechanics. The 6 cylinder weighs more and has more parts to move; which engine is going to get better MPG? More weight and drag requires more HP and more HP requires more fuel. A couple extra connecting rods is negligible compared to fighting wind resistance and the vehicle's weight.

To answer your original question will the 2.5l use less at an idle? Yes, but your MPG will be skewed quite a bit, you’re going to get worse MPG parked than moving; MPG is ratio and with no miles to offset the consumption your MPG will show less.
Oh jeez.

The dyno is an interesting approach.

Put the 2.5l and 4.0l each on their own dyno, feed them the same amounts of fuel, and each should do a similar amount of work. RPM is not really germane.

When both engines are producing 50hp, then the fuel consumption rate should be roughly equivalent.

When both engines are producing 100hp, then the fuel consumption rate should be roughly equivalent.


The 4.0l can perform more work, faster, and at a higher fuel burn rate than the 2.5l. However, within the performance boundaries shared by both, the fuel consumption rate should be similar.


To push a 3500lb Jeep at 60 mph, requires ## amount of energy (say 70hp, hypothetically). That energy comes from the gasoline burned in the engine. Either the 2.5 or the 4.0 can make the same Jeep go 60mph, AND WHEN THE JEEP IS GOING 60MPH, BOTH ENGINES ARE GENERATING THE SAME EXACT HORSEPOWER. If one engine was producing more or less, then the Jeep would be going faster or slower.


RPM has nothing to do with horsepower.



Above is a picture of my Sprint ST1050. It can generate a peak power of ~115hp at the rear wheel at ~9400RPM. I can also whack the throttle open in neutral (unloaded) and make about 6hp at 9400RPM. Despite being at 9400RPM in both instances, the fuel consumption rate would be vastly different.


At any rate, I'm still looking. I kinda favor old 4cyl 4Runners too. But a Jeep Wrangler IS a Jeep Wrangler. A 4Runner is a SUV.

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