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Old 04-05-2015, 04:20 PM
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2.5 vs 4.0

I have a 93 YJ with 4.0. I'm looking at adding a 95 YJ to my collection but it has a 2.5. I have never driven a 4 banger, so I was wondering how much of a difference I'm going to notice between the 2? Both are going to be daily drivers, light trail raiding, nothing extreme. I guess I should just drive the 2.5 to see, I was just wondering what I could expect.

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Old 04-05-2015, 04:42 PM   #2
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I went from a 4.0 to a 2.5. There definitely is a difference but not all that bad, it depends on how big the tires are also. I got 33's with the 4 banger and obviously you gotta downshift on hills.

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Old 04-05-2015, 07:02 PM   #3
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I've had both in manual YJ's. Though it was several years apart.

Both are do able. I had 31's on my 4 banger and we wheeled pretty good. Never felt like it was under powered.

That being said, the 4.0 is better, more valuable and doesn't take much of an MPG hit. You'll have power in reserve.

If it's going to be a local run about and weekender trail jeep, I'd consider either engine. If you have some kind of mast build plan, I'd hold out for a 4.0.
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:21 AM   #4
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I've had 4.0 and 2.5 manual TJs. I did not rock crawl, just drove at the Cliffs and Badlands. Loved them both. Had 33s on the 2.5, didn't use 5th gear so much, and yes, downshift on hills. It was great off road, the T Case ratio and the 4.11 gears provided lots of torque. Never lacked for power, went where the bigger engine rigs went. On 31s it felt stock. Never went bigger than 31s on the 4.0 so can't compare apples to apples. It had 3.73 gears. I personally would not hesitate to get a 4 popper again, and they might be gotten for less because they are less in demand.
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Old 04-07-2015, 01:14 PM   #5
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I personally wouldn't buy a 2.5L unless I was planning to do an immediate engine swap...

There are a TON of people doing 2.5L to V8 swaps, 2.5L to 4.0L swaps, 2.5L to 4BT swaps, etc.

No one is swapping IN a 2.5L engine...that should tell you all you need to know...
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Old 04-07-2015, 01:21 PM   #6
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I personally wouldn't buy a 2.5L unless I was planning to do an immediate engine swap...

There are a TON of people doing 2.5L to V8 swaps, 2.5L to 4.0L swaps, 2.5L to 4BT swaps, etc.

No one is swapping IN a 2.5L engine...that should tell you all you need to know...
My 2.5 is tired due to lack of maintenance by the po. I would love to swap in a fresh 2.5...
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Old 04-07-2015, 02:39 PM   #7
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My 2.5 is tired due to lack of maintenance by the po. I would love to swap in a fresh 2.5...
That's a replacement...not a swap
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Old 04-07-2015, 05:17 PM   #8
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I personally wouldn't buy a 2.5L unless I was planning to do an immediate engine swap... There are a TON of people doing 2.5L to V8 swaps, 2.5L to 4.0L swaps, 2.5L to 4BT swaps, etc. No one is swapping IN a 2.5L engine...that should tell you all you need to know...
That's just bad logic.

I'll bet there are WAY more 2.5's running around than there are 2.5's that have been swapped out.

Sure - if your planning a swap look at a wrangler with a 2.5 because they can be had a little cheaper. And sure - if your project involves an engine swap, the 2.5 doesn't really make sense.

Still - that doesn't equate to 2.5's being useless engines that should be discarded. Truth is a YJ with a 2.5 is very driveable.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:06 PM   #9
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I've had a 2.5 since 95 and went from stock tires to 30's and now 33's. With the 33's there is a big dip in power in 5th but 1st through 4th are great and still a lot of power. Wheeling is still good and I run a 4" lift as well. Love my 2.5 and never really need to drive fast anyways. I still have the original 4.11 gearing in the doffs and can get up to 65-70 on the fwy. If you drive mountain roads frequently the 4.0 would be better, but the 4 cylinder does very well.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:56 PM
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Thanks guys. The 4 banger will be for the kid. He's got a year or 2 before driving, but I was planning on getting it as a project. He will take better care of it if he has to build it himself and work for the money to buy the parts. I was just wondering about the power difference
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:24 PM   #11
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Thanks guys. The 4 banger will be for the kid. He's got a year or 2 before driving, but I was planning on getting it as a project. He will take better care of it if he has to build it himself and work for the money to buy the parts. I was just wondering about the power difference
Perfect.

I put my kids in old jeeps when they started driving. 1988 XJ and a 1992 YJ.

Your boy won't know the difference between the 2.5 and 4.0. Also - many of the reports regarding lack of power from the 2.5 involve tire upgrades without regear. Same issues with the 4.0.
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:55 PM   #12
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Our boy drives a 2.5... He is in love with this YJ and has no complaints (of course not knowing the difference helps a lot). As parents we feel really great about it just because it's not a power house but still very drivable on the highway. Feeling like there is less trouble to get into with the four cylinder.
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:09 PM   #13
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Well, I'm it sure how much this will help, because everybody has already told you this, but... I started with a ford f150 6 banger. Not the fastest truck every, but I got around. I drove that for about 3 months, and then I found a yj 4 banger. My dad told me not to even go look at, because of the engine size, but I went anyway, and I saw no problem with the way it was power wise. I've been driving it for three weeks, and still have no power problems. The hills on the highway, aren't that bad, just get in the slow lane, and cruise at 65. I did drive my dad's 6 cyl tj, and I didn't like that it wasn't stick, but other than that there wasn't really a big difference on flat land.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:16 PM   #14
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Well, I'm it sure how much this will help, because everybody has already told you this, but... I started with a ford f150 6 banger. Not the fastest truck every, but I got around. I drove that for about 3 months, and then I found a yj 4 banger. My dad told me not to even go look at, because of the engine size, but I went anyway, and I saw no problem with the way it was power wise. I've been driving it for three weeks, and still have no power problems. The hills on the highway, aren't that bad, just get in the slow lane, and cruise at 65. I did drive my dad's 6 cyl tj, and I didn't like that it wasn't stick, but other than that there wasn't really a big difference on flat land.
Thumbs up, cruisin on the right
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:51 PM   #15
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Yeah, thats where most of the idiot drivers in my state are. I got the jeep past 70 today, today was a good day!
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Old 04-08-2015, 05:09 AM   #16
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That's just bad logic.

I'll bet there are WAY more 2.5's running around than there are 2.5's that have been swapped out.

Sure - if your planning a swap look at a wrangler with a 2.5 because they can be had a little cheaper. And sure - if your project involves an engine swap, the 2.5 doesn't really make sense.

Still - that doesn't equate to 2.5's being useless engines that should be discarded. Truth is a YJ with a 2.5 is very driveable.
I agree. The 4 cyl is just fine. If it came with the Jeep, go with it. Why waste money on a bigger engine swap. Seems useless to me. Want a 6 cyl Jeep, buy one. Want lots of power, buy a Vette.
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:02 AM   #17
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All you guys who have 2.5l engines are vocal and "love" them - that's great. But it is underpowered for anything but a lightweight and stock YJ. Put a few miles on the 2.5, and it loses power. I wouldn't recommend that anyone buy one...
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Old 04-08-2015, 07:19 AM   #18
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If I wanted I would find some duely truck or a sports car. Yours can I fast, mine can go anywhere.
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Old 04-08-2015, 08:45 AM   #19
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All you guys who have 2.5l engines are vocal and "love" them - that's great. But it is underpowered for anything but a lightweight and stock YJ. Put a few miles on the 2.5, and it loses power. I wouldn't recommend that anyone buy one...
I have 217k on mine and still is great!!!
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Old 04-08-2015, 08:47 AM   #20
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I have 217k on my 2.5 and still is great, have no issues with power loss. I guess just depends on how it's taken care of. I didn't know the difference when I bought it in95. I'm the original owner.
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:45 PM   #21
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My 91 2.5 has 178,000 and I run 31s with no issues or lack of power. Also, it gets better gas mileage and there's more space to work under the hood.
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:11 PM   #22
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Better gas mileage in a 2.5...... Cough cough bullshit. I have the 2.5 after having MANY 4.0's and if I travel out of town it sure the hell ain't In my 2.5. It's in my 4.7 GC
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Old 04-08-2015, 08:13 PM   #23
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All you guys who have 2.5l engines are vocal and "love" them - that's great. But it is underpowered for anything but a lightweight and stock YJ. Put a few miles on the 2.5, and it loses power. I wouldn't recommend that anyone buy one...

I don't have a 2.5. But I did have one in the past. Not advocating, just trying to provide real world experience that the OP asked for.
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Old 04-10-2015, 05:06 PM   #24
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It's funny how everyone is trying to pee in the cheerios of all 2.5 drivers. Drive what you want and want what you drive. If the 2.5 is doing it for you, great. I prefer and drive the 4.0, but I'm not going to tell the 2.5 driver he's not a real jeeper. Automatics on the other had.....jeez. This is America after all.
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:46 PM   #25
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It doesn't matter. 2.5 or 4.0. Makes NO DIFFERENCE. It's a wrangler. That's what matters. Get what you can afford and have fun with it.

My Cheerios are pee-proof.
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:19 PM   #26
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It doesn't matter. 2.5 or 4.0. Makes NO DIFFERENCE. It's a wrangler. That's what matters. Get what you can afford and have fun with it. My Cheerios are pee-proof.
Hear hear!!!
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:23 PM   #27
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Got dammit who pissed in my Cheerios? Guess I will just go feed it to my 4 angry squirrels!!!
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:03 PM   #28
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It's funny how everyone is trying to pee in the cheerios of all 2.5 drivers. Drive what you want and want what you drive. If the 2.5 is doing it for you, great. I prefer and drive the 4.0, but I'm not going to tell the 2.5 driver he's not a real jeeper. Automatics on the other had.....jeez. This is America after all.
I've got a 4.0 and it's an automatic. I still love it. :-)
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Old 04-13-2015, 01:24 PM   #29
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My 2.5 has 318,000 with no major issues. Top end was rebuilt and tranny replaced around 275,000. Fouls out the plugs about every 6 months. Maintains 65MPH in the NC mountains and sips gas on the trail. It is under-powered though. How fast do you want to go in a YJ anyway?
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Old 04-13-2015, 01:34 PM   #30
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92 2.5 Yj was my first jeep. It was a 5 speed on 31's. I had so much fun bopping around town in that thing. I am now on my 3rd jeep. It is a great starter for a young guy. You don't want to give them too much power cause they will sure as heck use it.

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