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Old 04-28-2011, 06:30 PM
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Buying a YJ Soon - Got A Question

Alright, first off I want to say this... I know Jeeps get horrible gas mileage and it's better looked at as fun per gallon, but I would like to try to get the best I can out of my future Jeep. I already own a '95 Cherokee 4x4 and it gets around 18mpg, but I've decided I'll be selling my Trans Am and getting into a Wrangler YJ. So already I'm not looking for anything major, but my question is this...

What motor would you recommend? I've seen that the factory spec'd 4.2L gets 15mpg from the factory and with 200k miles or more it's probably going to be more around 8. The 4.0 reads around 17 highway and the 2.5L around 20. I would like to have enough power to play in the mud on weekends and all of my paved driving is going to be highway.

Knowing my question, what engine would you recommend for me? If it helps, I'll be running soft top most of the year with it off at every chance I get and hard top in the winter.

Thanks in advance, folks.

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Old 04-28-2011, 06:36 PM   #2
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I would go with the 4.2 if you have the opportunity...200,000 miles seems like a lot tho.

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Old 04-28-2011, 06:38 PM
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What are the pros and cons of the three engines? I've got a chance to buy an '88 YJ that looks to be in great condition for $3k, but it's got 220k. All stock, but needs a little bit of carb work to idle correctly. Recommend it or keep shopping?
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:44 PM   #4
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Sorry I didnt realize that the 4.0 was an option in your list. I think you will be sorry if you went with the 2.5 because of a lack of power at highway speeds/or hilly drives. Whats the mileage on the 4.0 look like? Is it carb or fuel injected?
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:47 PM
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I've not been shopping around much, but I've found a '94 with a 6" lift with 160k on the 4.0L. Not sure if it's carb or FI. I haven't gone out to look at it yet. Asking $3.6k for it. The '88 4.2L is stock.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:14 PM   #6
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Go with the 4.0. It's fuel injected. Love my 4.0. Lots of torque and power for a Jeep. I've got a 92 YJ with the 4.0 and 127K on it. Runs like a champ, even after drowning it in water. They're bulletproof and will go for 250K plus if you take care of it.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:33 PM
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Alright. I'll keep my eyes focused on the 4.0L. Hopefully it gas mileage won't kill me worse than the Trans Am does, but I'm kind of doubting it unless something is wrong.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:40 PM   #8
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x200000 on the 4.0 fuel injected.. remember 1987-1990 = 4.2 carbed or 2.5 FI.. 1991-1995=4.0 FI or 2.5 FI
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:43 PM   #9
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4.0fi or if its a trail queen 4.2 on propane
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:48 PM
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Going back over all the ads now I see that most of these YJs are all 2.5s. Hope I can sell my car soon to get into the YJ. Can't wait.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:01 PM   #11
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thats the exact same problem i ran into, all 2.5s and everyone wanted their weight in gold for em..
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Old 04-29-2011, 11:56 AM   #12
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I have a 93 2.5L 5sp. I have averaged 19.22 MPG since I've owned it. It does lack a little power going uphill on the highway, but I love it. Never needed more power off-road.
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:34 PM   #13
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I have the 2.5 in my YJ. It does fine in the mud, but hills kick it's a**. I don't regret getting it at all, still fun and love how it drives, but my next one will be a 4.0, JMHO.
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:36 PM
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I'm looking more into the six cylinder now. I'll grab a 2.5L if it's my only option, but I'm looking at an '88 4.2L right now. It's got 220k on it, but they're only asking 3k for it. If it checks out and I think I can get it going, I'll snag it.
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:03 PM   #15
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I'm looking more into the six cylinder now. I'll grab a 2.5L if it's my only option, but I'm looking at an '88 4.2L right now. It's got 220k on it, but they're only asking 3k for it. If it checks out and I think I can get it going, I'll snag it.
hey i got a 1990 4.2 the factory carbs suck ass but i put on a MC2100 carb and what a world of difference. Go with the 4.2 if you like the low end torque and they do really well on highways aswell and look into the Nutter Bypass Modifcation (Not kidding check it out). Mine has 180000 on it and not burning oil and the only thing i've other than the carb and bypass is the regular tune up and intake gaskets and exhaust. What a nice running jeep and yes about 15mpg's and they are so easy to work on compaired to the 4.0 fuel injected but both aren't really hard anyway.
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:21 PM
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Yeah, my Cherokee has the 4.0L HO. So easy to tinker with, but it comes naturally after spending years tinkering with the Trans Am. The only thing I'm worried about is gas mileage, but just about anything will be an improvement over the Firebird. I've been dying for a Wrangler ever since we bought the Cherokee. Started playing with that 4.0L and bam... I got the bug. I used to be a major muscle can enthusiest and for the most part I still am... but I've since given up on restoring my '86 and figured I'd get a Jeep for now and have some fun in the woods until I have to cash to get something really worth restoring. Feels weird to be a Chevy guy and buying a second Jeep, but I digress... I love these things lol
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:21 AM   #17
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Yeah, my Cherokee has the 4.0L HO. So easy to tinker with, but it comes naturally after spending years tinkering with the Trans Am. The only thing I'm worried about is gas mileage, but just about anything will be an improvement over the Firebird. I've been dying for a Wrangler ever since we bought the Cherokee. Started playing with that 4.0L and bam... I got the bug. I used to be a major muscle can enthusiest and for the most part I still am... but I've since given up on restoring my '86 and figured I'd get a Jeep for now and have some fun in the woods until I have to cash to get something really worth restoring. Feels weird to be a Chevy guy and buying a second Jeep, but I digress... I love these things lol
cool well they are alot of fun to tinker with and they are built for that too. Not like a new ford where it takes lots of skin and patience to work on them.
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:40 AM   #18
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If you do buy a Jeep that is modified, and on anything larger than 31" tires, I would check the axle gearing. If it hasn't been regeared then you are going to be lacking in power and downshifting pretty often. If it hasn't been regeared and has something like 33's or 35's, you can use that as a bargaining chip to knock the price down, then pay for the regearing yourself. Just a thought.
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:11 AM   #19
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Dont buy a four banger.My 94 has a 4.0 with 200,000 plus miles.im running 32 inch tires and still have lots of power.
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:17 PM
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Thanks for that tip InverChaos. I'm thinking for now I'll try to find a stocker 4.0 YJ, but I'm planning on doing a 2.5" lift at least and sporting a little larger tires. Probably about 31". I've got a pretty low budget so if I see one with all that done within my price range I'll snag it, but it would probably be worth the learning experience to do it myself.
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Old 04-30-2011, 06:22 PM   #21
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I own a 90yj 4.2 and rebuilt it for under 2500.. it will b good for another 200k miles.. the gas milage sucks (around14-15mpg) but unlees you do alot of high speed freeway driving you'll b having too much fun to worry about it.>>
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Old 04-30-2011, 06:58 PM   #22
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there is no choice but 4.0 FI.

Gas mileage for Jeeps threads... ah...
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:41 AM   #23
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4.0l FI is the only way to go. I drove a 2.5l owned by a buddy last week and there was no comparison to a 4.0l. He's a city driver though, so Gas Mileage was more important.

I asked him why he hadn't bought a SmartCar instead (and then ducked)...
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Old 05-01-2011, 01:53 PM   #24
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Just sold my 95 YJ 2.5 Rio Grand to get a 87 YJ 4.2 and a hardtop.
The 2.5 was great around town and loved the soft top but at 65 on the frwy it was screamin" and yest I almost did not get back up a few hills.
The 4.2 "I HOPE" will give me that little extra power and hard top security but I'm sure gas mileage will suffer.
Compared to my Motorhome at 6mpg,1 ton chevy @10 mpg it wont be bad.
My 95 trans am gets 31 on the hwy in 6th gear @75mph
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:25 PM
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The Trans Am gets 31mpg with an LT1? That's a shocker.

I'll be willing to take the 13-18mpg of a Wrangler though... since my '86 Trans Am now gets about 12mpg. It'll be more fun for the time being. The Trans Am is old and still needs a lot of work to be a great toy and after sitting down and planning it all out the expense is going to be so great to fully restore it and make it a nice one that I'd just rather have an older '69 Camaro for my toy. So I'm just going to wait it out and get a Wrangler for now. =)
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Old 05-02-2011, 03:07 PM   #26
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Kind of new to the Jeep World, bought an '89 last September with 176,000. Since then I had to get rid of the original carb, Motorcraft Carb made a big difference. Have noticed that looking forward going to rebuild engine with 4.0 head conversion. The ablility to "tinker" with pre FI 4.0's is amaising. I got luck in the one I found. I paid a bit much for it but it was really the going price for a YJ in really good shape for Texas. Good Luck!

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