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Old 03-02-2013, 08:01 AM   #1
Fireaxe's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: METRO ATL
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Are you happy with your 4cyl?

Might get another Jeep and have never driven a stock / mild 4cyl.

Is there a big difference once you put on 31 in or bigger?
Do you find yourself with lack of power when in fast traffic, mountains etc?

Auto vs manual.....
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:12 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NW, NJ
Posts: 4,043
I have been driving 4cyl wranglers for many many years, power is fine I am in no rush to get anywhere and speed has been out of my system for years also. The big benefit, no more speeding tickets.

Retired my 94 YJ 4cyl 5spd @ 200K
Now in a 04 TJ 4cyl 5spd CV @120K+
Both as a commuter vehicle in NW, NJ
April 2012.downsized and now a 99er.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:12 AM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Kansas
Posts: 77
I have a 98 4 banger with 32" Goodyear Kevlar Wranglers. For a daily driver it would be underpowered on the highway. Around town no problem. Longest trip I take in it is 15 miles to the lake however. Flat tow it to the mountains, and on the trails it is good to go, use 4low in the bad spots. Running from trail to town is tough in the high elevation and climbing. It's doggy, but so is a 6 cylinder up there. I ran the trails around ourary, co last year with 4 other Jeeps, all 6 cylinders, 3 rubis and had no problems keeping up with them. Going back this year and probably taking it again vs. my wife's JKU. Don't want to tear her Unlimited up.

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Old 03-02-2013, 09:07 AM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Kansas
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Pictures from the Ouray trip last summer.


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Old 03-02-2013, 09:28 AM   #5
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Costa Mesa
Posts: 328
Love my 4cyl. Actually really great on the highway. Takes a while to get up to speed in town and people pass me all the time but whatevs. Only problem ive had so far was on a super steep hill going up to the top of the world in laguna. It barely would go more than 15 mph....
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:30 AM   #6
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Soddy Daisy, TN
Posts: 389
Like has been said ... they're a little "underpowered" on the highway. I can easily run 60-65 on the pavement, but anything over that seems to be working the little motor. Other than that, they're fine.
Just plain 'ole Steve.
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:12 PM   #7
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 32
'97 TJ with 168,xxx miles, 5 spd, 31x10.5's. Daily driver, 35 miles one way. On toll road I can't hold 75mph if you have a hill or wind at all. I'm lucky to get 65mph all the time and have to downshift sometimes to hold that. I wasn't running it much over 3,000 RPM for awhile when I first got it, but you have to if you want to get anywhere. I cruise at 3,000 RPM in 5th at about 75mph....

15mpg don't seem to matter if I'm doing 55mph or 75mph....

All in all, I'm ok with it. I don't get on the toll road much, just stay on the slower roads. I got it to 4-wheel, not road trip......
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:22 PM   #8
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Burlington WI
Posts: 1,187
Been driving a 97 Sport 4.0 auto with 3.55 gears and 31" for the last 2 years. Like it. Just got a 97 SE 2.5 stick with 4.11 gears and 28" tires. It is ok around town, but really it takes 15 or 16 seconds to get to 60. I had a head wind of about 30 and it was hard to keep it at 65 in 5th. I would not buy a 4 cylinder to keep. And in two months when I get everything fixed on this SE it is gone.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:54 PM   #9
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 9
I have had my 2.5L 4 banger manual with 135k on it for about 2.5 years now.....I got 31x10.5s on it and honestly as long as you don't push it hard the engine will do it's job...I can get up to almost 80 mph in good conditions...just don't expect to get up to speed very fast. I bought the jeep in Hawaii and have taken it up to more than 14,000 feet through switchbacks on the dormant volcano in Hawaii and she did fine. Ive also taken her about four times to Waipio valley where the road has a 45 percent gradient with no problems and plenty of power
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:14 AM   #10
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 17
I have a 99SE with 33"s and i will say that is it underpowered if compared to more modern cars (or even the 4.0L). I drive about 30miles one way to work on all interstate. It does take some time to get up to speed but once there I can keep up pretty well. Passing is almost a non-existant thing but as mentioned by others I'm not in a hurry. Plus where I am I only paid HALF of what I would have for a 6cyl with the same miles.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:05 AM   #11
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Chicago
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I have a stock 5 spd. 2000 SE 2.5L with only 48,000 miles. It is the most underpowered car I have ever owned. I bought it to flip, but wound up loving it. I put 30x9.5 Falken Wildpeaks on it - people say they are heavy, but I love em. I recently took the jeep out west for a ski trip. It was 1100 miles one way. I was able to reach speeds of over 80mph (gps) in Nebraska and averaged about 15 mpg with no issues whatsoever. I'm not going to say the highway miles were fun, but it wasn't unbearable. The foothills west of Denver were "challenging" for the little four banger. This is not a left lane vehicle on steep grades. Climbing Berthoud pass was no big deal. I just kept it in the right gear and wound up passing a few people on the way up. I didn't notice much if any loss of power up at 8600 ft elevation. All in all, I had a blast driving it up in the mountains, but I don't think I'll bring it next year. The 15 hour highway trip is a bit much.
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:53 PM   #12
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 16
It all depends on what you want to use to for. I did a ton of research on here before I bought mine about a month ago. I went with the 4cyl because they're cheaper to buy in the San Francisco area. I don't ever plan on lifting it. Fast traffic isn't an issue - I just run 65mph in the slower lanes. Like the other posters have said, it does take me a few seconds to get up to speed. I deal with our infamous hills daily and it never has a problem conquering those.

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