Originally Posted by wiseguy52
Ok, so I have a 98 TJ with 65000 miles on it. I was having cooling issues with it and to make it short, I put a radiator, thermostat, and head gasket on it. The latest word is that the block or head is cracked. Coolant is getting into the oil now. So the garage I took it to said they could put an engine in it for $2500, another shop said not to bother and buy a new one. I have several questions that I hope the forum can help me with.
1. How much would a good condition 98 TJ hardtop, automatic, with a bad engine be worth to sell for parts? approximately?
2. Would it be worth the $2500 for a 2.5L engine or spend approximately $5k to have a Vortec V6 put into it?
3. Cut my losses, part it out and buy a newer Wrangler?
Thanks for any advice given.
Heres my opinion, or take on it if I were in your shoes.
1. worth a lot, kinda. Part out is a big time consuming endeavor. I am assuming its a 2.5L, auto tranny, NP231 transfercase, D35c rear end and D30 front, with 4.10 gears. (i am not positive on the auto drivelines configuration) but not an issue because after the initial rush of requests for parts, big and small, with multiple shipping quotes (that never pan out or low ball offers) you will be left with a lot stuff that will trickle out the door. If you have the room to store it, and take parts off as needed until they are mostly gone, you can make a lot of money. But you will not get it all back at once, meaning you will have to buy something with different cash, and let the old one pay you back slowly. I'd say a complete driver with bad engine would make you 2500-3500 over time parted. there are some folks that will buy it with a bad engine for the 2000-3000 range depending on the condition if they want a project jeep.
It all depends on how much time you have to invest in it, but on ebay, on forums, etc require shipping, and boxes, and tape and trips to the post office...it all adds up. Some days you may be boxing up a 5 dollar part, with 3 dollars worth of packaging material, and a two dollar trip to the post office
2. I know i can search right now and find a 2.5L complete, running for 500 or less (most are from v8 swaps). If you trust the source you can put it in with out opening it up, you've got >500 in the engine, and labor at 90ish an hour might be 900 more. If you have the money you can have a shop go over it for a extra $$ amount (check compression, main seals, pull the top end off and look at the valves, lifters, gaskets, etc) doing that and having it installed puts you in the 1500 range, or less. A I4 swap is ideal for the cost effective route, computers, mounts, tranny bell housing, accessories, are all the same.)
A lot plays into your personal situation, do you have enough cash to get it done, how soon do you need it running, can you part it out slowly or do you not have the room. can you sell it outright and put the cash plus some for another. Are shop rates high around you, are they low?
It a big decision, because once you pick a path, your following it to the end.
Personally I would find a 2.5L, have it looked over and have someone swap it in, and drive it. Parting leave a huge mess, occupy's alot of your time, and once you've sold of some parts, hard to reverse. And non factory swaps are ideal, but require the financial moneys to get it done. For 5000.00 for vortec V6, or even a I6, or V8, or even V10 for that matter...is still 5000.00. You can find complete TJ's for that price.
It's my opinion on it.
I guess you can ask yourself this. If i pm'ed you right now and said shipping cost is no object, and I want the seats and complete dash, can you physically remove them in a timely fashion, get them on a pallet and shipped (i'm paying premium) and then look at your jeep and think "only another year of this"