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Old 04-21-2012, 10:58 PM   #1
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New jeep dilemma !

We recently bought our 16 yr son a very nice 1998 Wrangle with just a little over 100k (Automatic with 2.5L) . Hard top with soft windows/low cut doors. The body and interior are in awesome condition. The engine and transmission are also extra clean, great condition and very strong.

He has expressed disappointment in the 2.5L 4 cycl. Can you guys give me some input?

What are the downsides of the 2.5L v. the 4.0L?
What are the UP sides of the 2.5L?

Can we put a 4.0L in it if we want to?

ALL input is more than appreciate!

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Old 04-22-2012, 12:12 AM   #2
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If you fill in the rest of your profile, we'll be able to help you better. tires/wheel size, transmission-auto/standard, gear ratio, lifted or not?

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Old 04-22-2012, 12:35 AM   #3
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The 4-banger is perfect for a teen driver. At least he won't be busted for doing burnouts! And if my parents gave me a Jeep instead of just loaning me their station wagon when I was 16 I wouldn't say a word about the engine!
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:36 AM   #4
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First congrats on the Jeep! Second he ought to be very happy you'd spring for a nice vehicle for 16 YO... lots of kids would like to be in his place imo.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with 2.5 for any age let alone a 16 YO. It's not going to be overly fast which is EXACTLY what you want for a first vehicle. It's also going to deliver decent gas mileage and with prices around 4 bucks the 4 cylinder is a good choice. Also that engine is almost bullet proof and extremely easy to maintain. If treated well should have a lot of life left. Certainly not worth even considering swapping out for the 4.0 imo.

I'm driving a 99 4.0 but owned a 95 2.5 which was a very nice ride. Bottom line many choose the 2.5 for the stated reasons. Absolutely nothing wrong what so ever with that engine and it's got more than enough power for anything he wants to do, except high speed runs. Don't forget Jeeps are bricks to start with so unless you're towing it's really irrelevant which engine imo.

Tell your son to count his blessings because lots of kids are driving NOTHING at all..... sounds like a nice vehicle and perfect for learning how to drive on his own! BTW just for the record I'm not opposed to having something with performance (own late model 650 hp supercharged vette) but for him all in good time. I'm also a state police officer and TOTALLY against giving young kids high performance vehicles based on professional experience with younger drivers!

Bottom line tell him to not worry about what engine and enjoy what you've provided him in the way of a very cool first vehicle....
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:01 AM   #5
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Truth is, 2.5's are just fine with a 5 speed, but pretty underpowered with an auto. With the hardtop and gear and 2 or more people, its going to feel even weaker. Its just not worth swapping to a 4.0. its easier and cheaper to sell the 2.5 Tj and buy another with a 4.0 or another Tj with a 5speed. I personally own a 5 speed 2.5 with tons of mods and just about everything that can be done to get the most out of it and it still feels a little weak sometimes. He should be grateful, but I have 3 boys and I know you want to do everything you can for them. My oldest is only 11 though. Well, best of luck to you and let us know what happens. Welcome to WF
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:03 AM   #6
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Also there isnt much difference in fuel economy between the 4.0 and 2.5.
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:12 AM   #7
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Just show this to your son and tell him to be happy.



And tell him that I said to stop complaining. I had to buy my first car, and every car since, all by myself. :-)
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkMack View Post
We recently bought our 16 yr son a very nice 1998 Wrangler ....... He has expressed disappointment in the 2.5L 4 cycl. Can you guys give me some input?
Seriously, you really don't want my input on this one, except to wish you good luck.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:30 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by MrHix
Also there isnt much difference in fuel economy between the 4.0 and 2.5.
So says you. I have the 2.5, my son has the 2.5, he previously had the 4.0 and I have several friends who currently drive the 4.0 and another friend who recently sold his 4.0. So not going on what I've read, but by close personal experience the 2.5 in ALL of THESE cases is 4-7 mpg better than the 4.0. That imo is a huge difference with gas at $4 a gallon.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkMack
We recently bought our 16 yr son a very nice 1998 Wrangle with just a little over 100k (Automatic with 2.5L) . Hard top with soft windows/low cut doors. The body and interior are in awesome condition. The engine and transmission are also extra clean, great condition and very strong.

He has expressed disappointment in the 2.5L 4 cycl. Can you guys give me some input?


ALL input is more than appreciate!
Sorry, but my input would be to park the Jeep and make his spoiled butt ride the bus for a few months while he ponders should he complain about anything on any vehicle his parents would give him at 16 yrs old.
After he has learned his lesson, no way would I do anything to the Jeep power wise for a couple of years. The less power a 16 yr old has under his foot the better.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:59 AM   #11
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Years ago my coworkers son insisted on a 6cyl wrangler form his parents. Fast forward a few weeks and what happened. Took a corner too fast and rolled it over a couple of time. Young drivers think they are invinicable until they learn the hard way. Have him ask his friends what they think about his new ride. My kids drove what I could find and they liked it or bought their own.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshaws21 View Post
Sorry, but my input would be to park the Jeep and make his spoiled butt ride the bus for a few months while he ponders should he complain about anything on any vehicle his parents would give him at 16 yrs old.
After he has learned his lesson, no way would I do anything to the Jeep power wise for a couple of years. The less power a 16 yr old has under his foot the better.
I'd all so tell Son to sell the Silver Spoon in his Mouth and start paying his
own way.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkMack View Post
We recently bought our 16 yr son a very nice 1998 Wrangle with just a little over 100k (Automatic with 2.5L) . Hard top with soft windows/low cut doors. The body and interior are in awesome condition. The engine and transmission are also extra clean, great condition and very strong.

He has expressed disappointment in the 2.5L 4 cycl. Can you guys give me some input?

What are the downsides of the 2.5L v. the 4.0L?
What are the UP sides of the 2.5L?

Can we put a 4.0L in it if we want to?

ALL input is more than appreciate!
Sounds like a nice Jeep. As you have read the 4cly is just under powered, and frankly there is not much you can do to increase that power. mated to the auto trans its even less of a performer. With a new driver the lack of power might be a good thing, but at the same time there are certain area's it could pose an issues, getting on the highway with a big rig coming up along side you and no power is not fun.

If your even thinking about an engine swap, sell the 4cly and just go buy an 4.0L. lots less headaches that way. The upside of the 4cly is that is will last well into the upper 100k mile range before needing much, assuming it has been taken care of. it In stock form it will get better mpg than the 4.0L. If you have big tires on it go back to stock or no bigger than 31x10.50x15. You could swap gears to get some more power but that will be $1000-$1500 and the MPG may go down.

Thus, drive it for a bit and see how it go's.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:19 AM   #14
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I agree with making him take the bus for awhile and see how much the 4 banger improves! my 2 cents
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:39 AM   #15
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Sixteen is not an age that I associate with good sense. More with showing off and trying to get laid. (For that matter, eighteen, 20, 25, the only thing that changes is experience and HOPEFULLY good sense.)

The four is a safer choice for him, and he ought to be grateful you gave it to him in the first place. How you make that plain to him is your business, not mine (thank God).
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:37 AM   #16
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My question is, does he have a job? A source of income?
If so, I would recommend that he do the Jeep owner thing and buy upgrades for his vehicle and install them himself...
The value of knowing your vehicle far outweighs just purchasing a vehicle to improve it...
my .02
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:18 PM   #17
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Seriously, you really don't want my input on this one, except to wish you good luck.
That was my original thought too. I would have pissed my pants with excitement if my parents would have given me a Yugo at 16. I had to work at a local plant nursery unloading topsoil to pay for my first ride. It was a 74 Dodge Charger and needed a o much work I never got to drive it more than 3 miles from the house.
Off my parents would have given me a car however, and I complained.... they would have responded with "fine, give the keys back and I'll sell it. You can walk."

Guess those days of tough parenting are gone. It's sad really. I had to deal with a friends kid (21) recently to sell him the old tires off my Jeep. What a nightmare. He acted like he was doing me a favor giving me $100 for a set of four 31" tires. Then it took him 2 months to pick them up because he had to schedule it to have a day off with his mom's boyfriend because he didn't know what to do with them.
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:35 PM   #18
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6 cyl is so much nicer, more power, speed. But all in all it's a jeep. i'd drive it no matter what. Maybe he's just not a jeep kid, sell the jeep and get him something less bad ass lol. to each his own, he's not gonna like a jeep if he likes speed.
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:37 PM   #19
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and people bitching about bad parenting really need to shut up and help the man out. He didn't post here to get parenting inputs. Just cause some people have the money and want to help their kids out doesn't make anyone bad. So the kid's learning what he likes and doesn't like with cars, he's allowed to make an opinion on the matter sheesh.
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:24 PM   #20
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When I turned 16 my grandmother bought me a 82 Monty Carlo Luxury sport and I complained my way into a 91 chevrolet cavalier. Now I realize ideas acting like an ass and got a pos for what was really an awesome ride when gas was .88. Lesson learned. I want to buy my son an old beat up jeep, set of tools, and a Hayes manual for his 14 bday. Of course I'd also have to learn with him at that point since I'm just getting into it myself.
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:58 PM   #21
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I got a 4.0 2002 tj when I turned 16, and my only complaint is the Dana 35 rear with 33" love the jeep and have already put tons of my own savings into it. And as far as those who are saying a 4.0 is too much for her son, I personally believe its up to the parents. I know I have had my lisence for 2 months now and have not once gone over the speed limit or tried to do some stupid stunt. In my case, a 4.0 is perfectly fine because I respect the jeep, its limits, and the law. I work all summer, and pay all my own gas and insurace. Its the least i can do to thank my parents!!! SOOO, I would just let the parents decide how mature their son is. If he wants the 4.0 and they believe he will be safe with it, more power to them! Yes, you can do a 2.5 to 4.0 swap, but it might be easier looking for a whole new jeep after you factor in the price of engine, random parts, and labour to convert it. Best of luck
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:04 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by techflork
and people bitching about bad parenting really need to shut up and help the man out. He didn't post here to get parenting inputs. Just cause some people have the money and want to help their kids out doesn't make anyone bad. So the kid's learning what he likes and doesn't like with cars, he's allowed to make an opinion on the matter sheesh.
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:12 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by kshaws21

So says you. I have the 2.5, my son has the 2.5, he previously had the 4.0 and I have several friends who currently drive the 4.0 and another friend who recently sold his 4.0. So not going on what I've read, but by close personal experience the 2.5 in ALL of THESE cases is 4-7 mpg better than the 4.0. That imo is a huge difference with gas at $4 a gallon.
Yea so says me, everybody i know with a 4.0 gets around 15, my 2.5 might get 16mpg. Stock vehicle will obviously get a lil better mpg, but any kind of tire upgrade and thats out the window. All the guys in our Jeeper group all agree. If youre gonna run 29" tires and never upgrade your jeep then maybe 4mpg. Not 7
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:25 PM   #24
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Better fuel economy with the 2.5l... 15-18mpg vs. 12-15mpg
It also suffers from an apparent "lack of power" when compared to a larger engine.
Yes you can install a 4.0 later, but the costs can be prohibitive. Check out Novak Conversions to get some idea of associated cost... Novak Jeep Conversions - Home

Hope this helps out some...

My 16 year old is learning that the maintenance of a Jeep is where the true fun is! He isn't in any real hurry to spend his money for parts and labor though Have fun working together on the Jeep and making the decisions for "the build"...
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:37 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by MrHix

Yea so says me, everybody i know with a 4.0 gets around 15, my 2.5 might get 16mpg. Stock vehicle will obviously get a lil better mpg, but any kind of tire upgrade and thats out the window. All the guys in our Jeeper group all agree. If youre gonna run 29" tires and never upgrade your jeep then maybe 4mpg. Not 7
If they get 15 in the 4.0, they aren't in the norm. My sons 4.0 got 10-12, several of my friends 4.0 get 12-13, one guy I know said he can only get 14 if he never goes offroad, just babies it on the road. I can get 19-20 if I baby my 2.5, 16.5 or so when half a tank or more is spent in 4 wheel low. And I have 32-11.50s on a 10" wheel. So yes in my experience, the 2.5 gets MUCH better mileage than the 4.0.
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:54 PM   #26
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Well, I for one think you're a great Dad. My wife and I bought all our kids their cars until they were out of college, and we paid for college as well. We didn't WANT our kids working- - other than school work. We made it clear to them that school WAS their job, and if they fail at that job, then things will be taken away.

Now, that said, I think your son may need a little attitude adjustment. You've already gotten some good suggestions. My guess is he's been on the internet and read some of the slams against the 4 banger. Or, maybe some of his buddies are riding him about it. Unless he has a rather lengthy interstate commute to school, there's no way he needs the 4.0.

Maybe after he learns to love what he was given, you can have a discussion about him taking care of it to where you would help him trade up when he gets out of college. Just a thought.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:37 PM   #27
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Wow! Thank you all! I shared these with my wife (she was a little more "concerned" than me.. you know mothers . We explained things to him before I made the post. He and I spent a little time outside with the jeep today and he understands more now than ever! Thanks again!
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:57 PM   #28
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my ol man got me a 1986 3/4 ton f250 2wd 4 sd with 460 big block my senior year of high school, had to pay him back for it so every pay check from mcdonnalds went to him till the whole $400.00 was payed off, not much now days but back in high school that was big $$$..lol. anyways he said the reason he picked that truck was i wldnd be able to afford gas back when it was .90 cents a gallon and he was right, but little did he know i wouldnt have it long enough to fill it up twice....big block motor+high school boy with lead foot+showing off for friends=one totaled truck and alot of walking untill i could get a good job and a loan....lol

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