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Old 03-31-2011, 01:26 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
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4cyl vs. 6cyl

hey guys, i just recently purchased a 97 tj, with the 4 cyl, 5 speed, im thinking about reselling it and getting a 6cyl, is there any real advantages of having the 6cyl motor, i really want to have a good base to start building off of...thanks for any replies
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:13 PM   #2
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In Hawaii? I wouldn't honestly worry about it.

Your highway drives are not long and the speeds in town are well within what a 2.5L can do easily.

If you leave Hawaii and want to move some place with more hills and longer distances on the highway, then I could see a 4.0 in your future.

I have a 2.5L. While I wouldn't mind a 4.0L, the 2.5L has worked well for me and handled my wheeling offroad and DD duties just fine. Just plan what you want it to be and work backwards to see if the 2.5L base will meet your needs.

I knew I wouldn't go over 33's or a huge lift - my wife is 5'1" and I'm not into the real hardcore stuff - I have to drive it home. For that, the 2.5 works. I regeared, strengthened where I could given my budget and enjoyed every drive I've had in it.

The 2.5 can be a great starting platform for casual to moderate wheelers. Now if you plan to get into deep mud or rock crawling and plan to pound on it offroad, then go with the 4.0. The transmissions are stronger, the D44 is an option for a stronger axle, and you generally have a higher starting point than the 2.5 durability-wise.

I have tackled mud and rocks with mine as part of my wheeling, but I don't seek out the insane stuff and risk breakage.

To mine, I've done:
OME lift
JKS BL, MML, disconnects, control arms, track bars
corner armor
rocker armor
engine/gas armor
regear to 4.88 for the 33's
upgraded D35 shafts to Yukon 30 spline

Since doing all that, I have not had any mechanical failures or damages due to offroading other than a flop. But the 4.0 sheet metal is the same as the 2.5.


-97 TJ with a few mods. PM with questions.
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:42 PM   #3
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You get more Torque, more HP and you won't necessarily have to regear for 33's. You can still pass people on the highway and get up to 80 mph. You can also go bigger and it will be ok with the 6 cyl. without having to drop more on the engine or swapping that out until you absolutely have to. Bigger is better.
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Old 03-31-2011, 05:13 PM   #4
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Paul's words are gold here. Consider your eventual plans for the Jeep, both modifications and driving conditions. Work your way back to the engine and see if it still fits the bill.

Like Paul, I have the 4cyl. It does its job for now. I could not get as nice of a TJ for the price otherwise if I was set on a 6cyl only. A comparable condition 6cyl TJ was going to cost me thousands more, and that just wasn't worth it to me.

I'm on my 3rd TJ. The first was a 6cyl. It ran great with stock gears and 33" tires.
My current 4cyl ran like a dog with stock gears and 35s. That doesn't mean that it could not have run great with those tires, it would just require other modifications to make it happy.
Make sure gearing is in your plans if you're going up in tire size.
- Patrick
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