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Old 08-23-2011, 07:54 AM   #1
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Unhappy Fix? Replace? or Sell? Need Advise....

So I have a dilemma... I have a 2004 Wrangle 2.4L that has a blown engine. My parents got it for me for graduation and we had it for maybe a year before the engine blew. About 3 weeks from getting it we had to replace the clutch (which is normal maintenance, i know), then a month and a half later the ECU acts up. Fixed that, the about 3 months later the cams start locking during driving and kill the engine. Turned our to be the Cam sensor. Then about another 3 months later the oil leaks and empties, but the oil gauge was broken and still said it was full. The engine doesn't like that and cylinder #4 kills its self. I still haven't taken apart the bottom half of the engine yet, so i don't know what condition that's in.

Unfortunately my parents don't know anything about cars and got scammed by the dealer into paying $18,000 for this troubled car. And we've put about $4000+ into it so far just to get where we are now. Don't get me wrong, I'm really grateful and I LOVE my jeep and i want it fixed so bad... i just don't know what i should do now. Oh yeah, and we're still paying on it....

So tell me, what would you guys do:
1. Put a inline-6 in it and replace pretty much everything (engine, transmission, diffs and all else) for $4500-$5500+.
2. Fix the crappy 2.4L for $800-$1200+.
3. Sell/Part/Junk it out and buy another Jeep.
4. Other...

1. Pro- Have working car, have power and torque to do things with it.
Con- Lots of money and time and it still may not work XD
2.Pro- Have a working car, Cheaper fix.
Con- Stuck with a low powered and very problem ridden engine.
3.Pro- Make some money to buy something else.
Con- Piss off parents, Could take a while to part, Have to get ride of my Jeep =(

Any advise, comments or criticism is most appreciated. =)

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Old 08-23-2011, 08:07 AM   #2
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think i'd fix what you have(take the cheapest route) and see how it works out. you already have quit a bit tied up in it and doubleing it doesn't make much scense. go the other route, you could have just about got a new one. if after you fix it and drive it for a while, you can always swap out the engine, axels etc over time instead all at once, or get a different one. as it sits now, you won't get much for it if you decide to sell/part it out.

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Old 08-23-2011, 08:14 AM   #3
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I will guess you still owe a larger amount on it, which I will also guess is far more than you can sell it for. That being said if it can be fixed for the 1200 and that will be the end of it, do that.
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:23 AM   #4
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my first thought was to say pick number 1---but new parts/maybe new crate motor for 4 cylinder is probably cheaper fix.

There are a lot of people on this forum that have the 4cyl and have no real issues with it. Realisitcally almost everything that is "major" has already happened-'cept tranny (not to jinx you) but the biggest advantage you will Know the Jeep and how it has been taken care of since "new/rebuilt" . It sounds to me as if PO did no maintenance and it is starting to show it's age-and ill use.

Good Luck
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:25 AM   #5
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Replace the 4 banger and drive it. Once it's paid for or you have the money and can afford the downtime, swap motors then. You'll never part it for what you have in it and unless you owe very little you will probably not even get pay off for it. No reason in spending a ton of money to go to a 6 cyl right now. The biggest questions are: do you really need a bigger motor, can you really justify spending that much more for a bigger motor, do you have the ability to fix it yourself, if not do you have a reliable shop that can do it.

If it were mine, I would rebuild/replace the 4 banger and keep on driving till it was paid for.
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:32 AM   #6
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Ok, your best bet would be drop a used engine in it.
The oil gauge does not tell you if it's got oil in it, it tells you the pressure of the oil.
And unless it was a catastrophic failure that caused the leak, it sounds like you don't pay attention to the signs of needed repairs.

You will need to start learning to look after your jeep, cheap and easy, or pay someone who knows jeeps to do it for you, not cheap.

And I'm thinking if you have spent 4000 so far for the work you listed, not only did the dealer scam your parents, who ever is doing the repairs is sticking it to them too.

Find a Jeep club in your area, and find out the consensus of who they trust to work on their jeeps. And drop whoever is taking your parents to the cleaners, and start using the recommended shop.
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:50 AM   #7
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Replace the engine for sure I got a 99 I just replaced my 4 banger. I would go with a crate engine rather than used, you never know what your getting with a used engine I got like 1600 in my engine swap but I replaced the clutch and things that hadn't seen light in a while I had 215000k on my original engine when it went. I also did the work myself so that saved me money. You don't need any real special tool to work on a TJ I did it with a 100$ craftsman tool kit
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:44 AM   #8
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The 4 banger certainly isn't glorious, but it is in no way a problem ridden engine. You simply got a lemon; it sounds like the dealer stuck your parents with a bad deal. I'm not saying you should replace it with another 4 cylinder, that's totally up to you, but you could easily find another 2.4l for a decent price and have a relatively trouble free vehicle. If you don't have the money and are still paying on it, I'd probably swap in a good used/rebuilt 2.4l and call it a day. Swapping in a 4.0 could probably be done for cheaper than what you've said, but it takes time and some serious know how. Sticking with the 4 cylinder is probably going to be your best bet.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:07 AM   #9
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This is a no-brainer. Craigs List will always have 1 or more 2.5s for sale in any given month. I see these for roughly $500 for a solid average mile motor and sometime it's the whole drivetrain included. Find a nearby Jeep friendly shop and start a plan going.
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:21 PM   #10
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New/rebuilt 4cyl. Don't put more into the jeep than the pile of money you already have. You will still have a good jeep with the relatively inexpensive replace rebuild of the 4 cyl
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:01 PM   #11
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Hold onto what you've got and get it fixed. I don't have a 2.4, but I haven't heard bad things about them either so I'd stick with that motor.

Good luck!
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:05 PM   #12
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I'd say just fix the 2.4. If you didn't get your jeep repaired and instead bought another one, chances are the new jeep also needs repairs.

You wouldn't be able to get close to what you paid for the Jeep so no point in getting rid of something you've poured so much money into.
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:47 PM   #13
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I'm another vote for fixing the 4cyl. You can probably get a decent deal on a used one from a wrecking yard. have that dropped in, and learn to do some basic maintenance such as oil changes yourself. You'll get to know your vehicle better this way, and catch things before they get bad. It doesn't make economical sence to part it out, or spend more money putting in a different engine needing lots of other costly parts.
Not sure i'd classify changing a clutch as normal maintenance.. They should last for years. I have over 240,000KM on the original in my YJ now, and have never had a car that needed one with less than 160,000KM. The previous owner of your jeep must have been hard on it/didn't know how to drive to accumulate this much wear. These engines are not the most powerful things out there. Once fixed, don't make a habit of pushing the rps high to try and make power, then shifting hard. Smooth and steady is what will get the max life out of it. Good luck with the fixing!
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:57 PM   #14
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Fix it then sell the jeep when you are done and buy a 4 liter. Jus wondering how many miles were on the engine when you blew it?
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:01 PM   #15
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Well...... look at it this way - - are you going to be albe to REPLACE the vehicle for the $5500 - no - - so if you can afford it - buy a rebuilt in line 6 and replace the 4 banger. You'll have a car you love, one you can trust - and will carry you well into the future
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:54 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by NickTheRealtor View Post
I'm another vote for fixing the 4cyl. You can probably get a decent deal on a used one from a wrecking yard. have that dropped in, and learn to do some basic maintenance such as oil changes yourself. You'll get to know your vehicle better this way, and catch things before they get bad. It doesn't make economical sence to part it out, or spend more money putting in a different engine needing lots of other costly parts.
Not sure i'd classify changing a clutch as normal maintenance.. They should last for years. I have over 240,000KM on the original in my YJ now, and have never had a car that needed one with less than 160,000KM. The previous owner of your jeep must have been hard on it/didn't know how to drive to accumulate this much wear. These engines are not the most powerful things out there. Once fixed, don't make a habit of pushing the rps high to try and make power, then shifting hard. Smooth and steady is what will get the max life out of it. Good luck with the fixing!
I agree with you on fixing it. However, your advice to keep the revs down are sometimes difficult to do with the underpowered 2.5L. I have one and if I'm in the mountains, flogging the thing is the only way to get it up the hill. The 4.0L is a much better choice for hilly or mountainous terrain. I'm selling my TJ but if I were to keep it, I'd find a 4.3L GM motor to stuff in there. While at it, I'd change the tranny and keep the transfer case. Just about any motor will burn less fuel than the 2.5, and again most any motor will have more power.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:57 PM   #17
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Like said above, definitely can't keep the RPMs down on a 4 banger, it's the only way to make it up hills. If you live in a flat area maybe, but around here it's very mountainous. If it were me I'd probably take this opportunity to swap in a 4.0l, but I'm not sure he has the ability to do it himself. A shop would probably charge an arm and a leg for all of the work.
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:01 PM   #18
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Arrow

some of you all missed the pertinent info.. the OP has the 2.4 liter engine...

heres a used one in ohio with a 1 year warranty..
http://www.automotix.net/usedengines...6wo161083.html
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:43 PM   #19
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I vote for engine upgrade to a 4.0 if you plan on keeping it and actually getting into going offroad and running trails and stuff, but if you just want it back on the road a new 4 banger sounds like the best option. You might be able to find a cheap "take out" from someone else that upgraded their 4 banger to something else.
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:18 PM   #20
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Sorry to hear about you situation. Sucks that you guys got taken like that. Best of luck with whatever you do but my advise would be to get a rebuilt or new crate engine. I had a 86 Cherokee with the 4cyl auto and it wasn't that bad. The 4.o isn't that good either. Depending on where you live you might be better off putting a carberated v-6 or v-8 in it. Just a thought.
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:20 PM   #21
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First off thank you all for commenting! Thanks Shelby427 for the good advise about the clubs, I'll defiantly look into that. And i do take full responsibility for the fact that it blew, it was all my fault.

@n00bkiller944- The miles were at ~65,000.

And I live in Washington. Hills are everywhere, so it's pretty hard not to rev it somewhat high. Nothing like redlining it, but up there. Also yeah i have the 2.4L. Same one thats in a PT Cruiser... = ( lol

thank you Vector6 for that site! that's a huge help.

NEXT QUESTION!
So I'm going to put a new 2.4L in there. Any advise on engine swaps?
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:17 PM   #22
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Take pictures of the engine bay and/or label all the connectors with tape so you don't have lots of trouble remembering what went where. A Haynes or Chilton manual would be a good idea to buy and review they aren't the best but that's all I used when I put mine in a couple months ago. Good luck and don't be afraid to ask a question on here lots of knowledgeable folks to answer and point you in the right direction.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:08 PM   #23
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Get someone to record the disassembly if you have a camera, or take many pictures and label like said before. Good luck.
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:29 AM   #24
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Sorry to hear about you situation. Sucks that you guys got taken like that. Best of luck with whatever you do but my advise would be to get a rebuilt or new crate engine. I had a 86 Cherokee with the 4cyl auto and it wasn't that bad. The 4.o isn't that good either. Depending on where you live you might be better off putting a carberated v-6 or v-8 in it. Just a thought.
I've got the TJ with the 2.5L and an 01 Cherokee with the 4.0L, both with auto, both 4x4. What a world of difference in getting up a hill. The 4.0 doesn't need to be floored or downshift to go up a steep hill. The 2.5L on the same hill will sound like its maxed out. And yes, I agree with you on dropping a V6 or even a V8, but I doubt the poor guy has the ability to do it, or pay someone to have it done. He's in a jam and all things considered, fixing the gutless 4 banger may be the cheapest way out.

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