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Old 06-16-2019, 12:48 PM
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2008 JKU X with a sprung rod in engine

Background first.... I had a 2014 JKU but sold due to having a third child. Obviously 3 car seats wouldn’t fit. Well I’m missing my Jeep and am now looking for an older one to maybe make a project over the next couple years until my daughter gets into a booster seat. I found a 2008 JKU X that the guy said he sprung a rod In the engine and said it needs to be rebuilt or a new engine put in. He’s at $7,500 for the Jeep. It has 105,000 miles on the current engine. My question is, has anyone swapped out an engine on these and would it be a good buy? Not sure on what cost could look like for a new engine plus labor...advice or suggestions appreciated!

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Old 06-16-2019, 03:29 PM   #2
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That seems high for a Jeep needing a new engine/rebuild.

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Old 06-16-2019, 04:03 PM   #3
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Never heard the term "sprung" rod but $7500 Sounds about right for a good running jeep with that mileage.
As for the engine is it rebuild-able or scrap? The 3.8 engine is an easy engine to change and readily available used or rebuilt tho not the best choice to spend a lot of $ on. If your looking for a project consider a small block or LS swap JMO
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Old 06-16-2019, 04:33 PM   #4
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It's called a "thrown rod" and usually "windows" the block (big hole) making the block un-rebuildable. Call around and see how much a 3.8 long block would be to swap in. Don't forget it has a well worn, weak 4 speed tranny.

V8 swap is $20k, you can buy a 2012+ for that with 285hp and a 5 speed.
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:23 PM   #5
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I would look up the value of the Jeep as a good running Jeep and then subtract at least $7,500-$8,000 for the engine replacement. He may not want to take that little, if not, walk away. KBB shows the 2008 Wrangler X with 105,000 with Auto and standard equipment has a private sale value between $11k and $13K.

Based on that, $6,000 would be closer to a good value.

You must also consider the fact that if the maintenance resulted in a thrown rod in 105K miles, what else is there that may be ready to give up the ghost. When was the last diff service, the last radiator service, the last transmission service (and how often was that done?).
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:51 AM
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Great advice. Thanks!!
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:07 AM   #7
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Walk away
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:03 AM   #8
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Never heard the term "sprung" rod but $7500 Sounds about right for a good running jeep with that mileage.
TJ maybe, JKU no way.

Wrecking yard probably has a 3.8 in the $700-900 range, takes about 8 hours to pull and swap a 3.8 at home. Have to be extremely careful with those old plastic connectors or they will break.
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:32 PM   #9
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^ There is a comment in the Wikipedia discussion about the AMC 4.2/4.0 engines that they have recorded some going to 300K before a rebuild. Not bad for a basic engine that was introduced in 1964 and first used in the CJ-5 in 1971 with 232 Cu In (3.8L). The 4.2L (258 Cu In) was used from 1971 to 1990. The '91 YJ was the first to use the common rail EFI 4.0L. My '91 YJ has the same HP with 242 Cu In as my '90 Dodge W250 had with 318 Cu In (TB Injection instead of Common Rail).

If it weren't for smog emissions and the weight of the JKU, we might still have that engine.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:39 PM   #10
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^ There is a comment in the Wikipedia discussion about the AMC 4.2/4.0 engines that they have recorded some going to 300K before a rebuild. Not bad for a basic engine that was introduced in 1964 and first used in the CJ-5 in 1971 with 232 Cu In (3.8L). The 4.2L (258 Cu In) was used from 1971 to 1990. The '91 YJ was the first to use the common rail EFI 4.0L. My '91 YJ has the same HP with 242 Cu In as my '90 Dodge W250 had with 318 Cu In (TB Injection instead of Common Rail).

If it weren't for smog emissions and the weight of the JKU, we might still have that engine.
JFYI the 08 JKU with the 3.8 V6 Minivan engine, Many were problem free but a few were real turds that were assembled wrong at the factory and consumed oil from day one and lacked the torque to perform the job and yes the AMC 4.0 and 4.2 were a much better choice for a wrangler, that is why I would never recommend spending a lot $ for a3.8 replacement engine
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:33 AM   #11
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I just finished replacing a 3.8 long block in a 2008 JK. (I have a build thread).
If you buy the rebuild from a reputable builder, they will address most of the shortcomings of the 3.8.
My engine runs great and has plenty of power once the gear ratios were addressed.
I gave $7k for a Texas clean 2 door with lots of upgrades. Lift, wheels, bumpers, winch etc.
IMO I am in the Jeep right and it has a fresh bullet. Bonus is that I have the pride of building it



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