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Old 11-20-2012, 10:50 AM   #1
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Deciding between 2.5L and 4.0L

Ok so most people say get the 4.0L. In fact, everyone i've talked to has said get the 4.0L. Is the 2.5L just wayyyy underpowered or something? I'm probably going to do around town stuff mostly and some off roading, hopefully some rock crawling stuff, nothing insane but decent, once I put a lift and upgrade the necessities on the jeep. Just wanted some input on why the 4.0L is so much more important.

Also, i'm looking at a 2.5L w/ 90k in good condition for $5k and a 4.0L w/ 120k for $6500. Is it worth the price increase and miles increase to get the bigger engine? Will i just hate myself on the interstate trying to drive the 2.5L??

Thanks for the input guys!

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Old 11-20-2012, 10:58 AM   #2
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If the two you are looking at are in similar condition, then the 4.0L would be a better deal. I bought a clean and rust free 2.5L because I intend to install a V8....so for me it was silly to spend the extra money on a 4.0L just to yank its heart out.

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Old 11-20-2012, 11:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gov875
Ok so most people say get the 4.0L. In fact, everyone i've talked to has said get the 4.0L. Is the 2.5L just wayyyy underpowered or something? I'm probably going to do around town stuff mostly and some off roading, hopefully some rock crawling stuff, nothing insane but decent, once I put a lift and upgrade the necessities on the jeep. Just wanted some input on why the 4.0L is so much more important.

Also, i'm looking at a 2.5L w/ 90k in good condition for $5k and a 4.0L w/ 120k for $6500. Is it worth the price increase and miles increase to get the bigger engine? Will i just hate myself on the interstate trying to drive the 2.5L??

Thanks for the input guys!
After you lift it it will take up more airspace going down the road so the 2.5L will be under powered and it just piss you off if you spend your money it...
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:06 AM   #4
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:09 AM   #5
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4.0 no question
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:22 AM   #6
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I had a '93 with the 2.5. I actually liked it... initially. Around town, it was great. Highways? Not so much. Tackling any hills in the mountains I would have to be in 3rd to even maintain 50 mph. Having trucks blow past you while you struggle to maintain 15 mph below the speed limit is no fun. And sad. I hadn't even done any mods or a lift to the '93. I now have a a 4.0 and can't fathom going back to the 2.5.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:36 AM   #7
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I finally pulled the trigger back in March after always wanting a jeep.. Wish I had found this forum sooner.. Anyway, I ran across a 97 2.5 auto with hardtop that was still basically stock. Great condition and looked like it has never to been off road much.. First thing I did was throw some 31s on it and even though it was fine around town, it was a dog on the interstate. I could get up to 80, but would take awhile. Top speed is not the problem, I could cruise around 65-70 with a nice ride. It was getting on the interstate that was a problem or going up steep inclines where you notice being under powered. I even notice on backroads when pulling out somewhere with a slight incline, you better make sure no one is coming. Plenty of times I would pull out thinking had enough time, only to find someone right on my a$$. You do have to alter driving style with a 2.5..This is with a auto, 5 speed might be a little better..

Not wanting to offend anyone, but spend your money on a 4.0... Some will say you can regear after adding larger tires to get back some performance, but that is goin to set you back $1500.00 or so, which is basically the cost difference of a 2.5 an 4.0..

I did find this forum soon enough, before I started adding a bunch of stuff to try and get more power from my 2.5.. Also I did what everyone else said, save your money on Mods that dont really help the 2.5 and sell your 2.5 and find a 4.0.. Between the money I got out of mine and the $2000 or so I saved by not regearing and adding a bunch of bolt on mods that still leave you with a 2.5, I should be able to find a nice 4.0.

I do miss my 2.5, but as soon as I find me a 4.0 I will will not think twice about making the switch.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:20 PM   #8
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:31 PM   #9
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4.0....or v8
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:32 PM   #10
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Key word was interstate. Go 4.0 if she rides highway miles. 35's? Recommend 4.0! I like a strong (iron) 2.5, but if you run highway then really consider 4.0.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:32 PM   #11
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4.0L Without question!!!
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:43 PM   #12
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For a strictly trail machine, the 2.5L is adequate and in most ways equal to the 4.0L. On the highway, the 2.5L is constantly struggling to stay up with traffic... especially if you install larger tires and don't regear the axles. If it's a daily driver that will see much highway or freeway time, I wouldn't even consider the 2.5L. Not to mention that because the 2.5L has to be driven so much more aggressively on the highway that few see better mpg with it than they would the 4.0L that doesn't have to be driven aggressively to keep up.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:05 PM   #13
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I got an '01 with a 2.5L, 5 speed, 4:11's riding on 31's .... I have no problems on interstate rolling 75mph, it is a little slower than a car but it's a Jeep, if I wanted something fast I'd have gotten a Corvette ... I wanted to go anywhere anytime. 143k miles and still running great.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:27 PM   #14
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Thanks for the input everyone! Sounds like a 6 is really the way to go since i still do a fair bit of highway driving. Now to find one with sub-100k miles...
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:36 PM   #15
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Thanks for the input everyone! Sounds like a 6 is really the way to go since i still do a fair bit of highway driving. Now to find one with sub-100k miles...
Good decision. I had the 4 banger once so I know.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:10 PM   #16
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the 2.5 besides being underpowered will not last 1/3 as long as the 4.0....that motor is almost bullit proof.....I have 120K on mine and runs just as strong as when I bought it and doesn't burn any oil. A friend of mine has over 400k on his. Although I do get a little piston slap because the skirts aren't long enouhg....but only lasts until they warm up. I went to 4.56 gears with my 35's and she is quick. This is my daily driver and I get 15mpg to work and back.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:39 PM   #17
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I've got a 98 with 125k on her with a 2.5 and she gets it down the interstate with no problems and with the 4.11's in the back she'll crawl out of anything in 4L without lookin twice.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:03 PM   #18
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the 2.5 besides being underpowered will not last 1/3 as long as the 4.0....that motor is almost bullit proof.....
I respectfully disagree. The 2.5L is actually known to run equal or higher miles than the 4.0L....but regardless, much of it has to do with the abuse they are put through. I would never buy a 2.5L or a 4.0L that my certain buddy has owned.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:07 PM   #19
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Nah 2.5s are good to sell someone who has a blown one but that's it.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:16 PM   #20
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My '97 is a 2.5 rolling on 31's. It hasn't got much pick-up, but I can keep up with highway traffic without having to work the engine any harder than any other car or truck out there. Off-road, it performs as you'd expect from a Jeep. The toughest thing I've gone through are muddy trails and deep ruts. It's my daily driver, so I don't have it lifted or heavily modified.

Now, the 4.0 is an I-6, which is the most efficient design possible for maximizing your torque output. In fact, all Class A trucks have I-6 engines because no other design can beat it. Do you need a 4.0 Jeep on the highway? Not by itself, no. But if you're planning on pulling a boat, rock-crawling or mud bogging regularly, the 4.0 will be the better choice.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:22 PM   #21
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I would go with rt he 4.0, trust me you will need it.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:25 PM   #22
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I Have a lil' old 2.5. Ive taken it down the highway. Was is a race car? No. Did it get me where I was going? Yes. Most of my driving doesn't get over 40mph so for me the 2.5 works fine.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:55 PM   #23
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i just went threw the decision process and passed on a 98 2.5 se no options half doors that was actually in slightly better overall condition but opted for a 99 4.0 sport with dual tops and full doors sound bar tilt cruise newer bfg tires and it was less money.

The 2.5 just flat disapointed me on the test drives so i knew I would never be happy with it.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:17 PM   #24
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I finally pulled the trigger back in March after always wanting a jeep.. Wish I had found this forum sooner.. Anyway, I ran across a 97 2.5 auto with hardtop that was still basically stock. Great condition and looked like it has never to been off road much.. First thing I did was throw some 31s on it and even though it was fine around town, it was a dog on the interstate. I could get up to 80, but would take awhile. Top speed is not the problem, I could cruise around 65-70 with a nice ride. It was getting on the interstate that was a problem or going up steep inclines where you notice being under powered. I even notice on backroads when pulling out somewhere with a slight incline, you better make sure no one is coming. Plenty of times I would pull out thinking had enough time, only to find someone right on my a$$. You do have to alter driving style with a 2.5..This is with a auto, 5 speed might be a little better..

Not wanting to offend anyone, but spend your money on a 4.0... Some will say you can regear after adding larger tires to get back some performance, but that is goin to set you back $1500.00 or so, which is basically the cost difference of a 2.5 an 4.0..

I did find this forum soon enough, before I started adding a bunch of stuff to try and get more power from my 2.5.. Also I did what everyone else said, save your money on Mods that dont really help the 2.5 and sell your 2.5 and find a 4.0.. Between the money I got out of mine and the $2000 or so I saved by not regearing and adding a bunch of bolt on mods that still leave you with a 2.5, I should be able to find a nice 4.0.

I do miss my 2.5, but as soon as I find me a 4.0 I will will not think twice about making the switch.
This does a good job of explaining it. I wince every time I get passed by some old jalopy or truck. I don't really drive it on the interstate, but I don't look forward to that experience.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:51 PM   #25
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Thanks for the input everyone! Sounds like a 6 is really the way to go since i still do a fair bit of highway driving. Now to find one with sub-100k miles...
If you find a 2.4 four cylinder 6 speed I have no problems on the highway with my 2.4.
When I decided to buy my first Jeep I shopped for a four cylinder manual.
I wanted the best mileage I could get from a Jeep Wrangler and I heard to many nightmare stories about 13/15 MPG with the six.
The more I read threads like this Iím glad I found a 2.4 six speed .
Now when I have to change the timing belt I might be sorry.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:17 PM   #26
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I have a 89 2.5L TBI 5/spd with 33x12.50x15 tires. If you are not going to do anything but stock, go with the 6 cylinder.I wish I had found this forum before I bought.To get up a long not to steep incline I have to baet the tar out of my little baby in third gear to maintain 40 mph+.Now my options are regearing and the costs are not in MY budget anytime soon.Do yourself a favor and just get the six, you will be much happier.Oh by the way gas mileage SUCKS when you have to drive anything hard, to maintain highway speed.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:40 PM   #27
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I am yet to hear anyone say they wish they had gotten the 2.5L when they have the 4.0L, but hear a lot the other way around.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:03 PM   #28
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:28 PM   #29
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If you're going to get a 4 cylinder get the good one, the 2.4 from 2003 to 2006, very good engine. And if you're going to be picky about it get the good transmission - the 5 speed from 2003 to 2004. Six speeds is gear clutter on both the 2.4 and 4.0.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:35 PM   #30
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If given the choice, it's hardly a debate -- 4.0 all the way.

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