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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone recommend a good remanufactured crate engine supplier? I have a functioning 4L 1992 YJ with 260,000km but am doing a complete frame off restoration.





I’m debating whether it is wise to do an engine rebuild locally or to trade the core in on a remanufactured engine.

My local shop can get me an ATK replacement for what I deem to be a reasonable price. However some google searches don’t tell me a good story about ATK.

I’d like to hear it anyone has recommendations. Rebuilding locally is still an option however shop rates here in Calgary are very expensive. I expect the price of a local rebuild or even just a machine shops assistance will be just as much money.

What I don’t want is taking a fully functioning 4L and replacing it with one that has issues I need to fix.
 

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I have heard more bad than good about ATK engines. If the 4.0 runs stick it back in.
 

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Nothing but problems with ATK engines.... I'll agree with agalloch, just put it back in if it runs good. Something to consider too is that if it is a long term project, the assembly lube and grease will slowly drain away from a rebuilt engine which will make for a bad engine break-in when it is finally put back together. This is especially pronounced with the camshaft and lifters which are the main things that need to be broken in.... If you really want a rebuilt motor, stay local with a good warranty on the work and make it the final part of the project.
 

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Engine

Years ago I sold Jasper rebuilds (engine, trans etc) and they were good product.
 

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I have heard more bad than good about ATK engines. If the 4.0 runs stick it back in.
Who goes online to boast how great a product is?

Entire internet is full of complaints. The people happy with something don't feel the need to go online...
 

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JohnnieMo, you don't state where you're located nor what your budget is.

260,000K = 161556 miles. If you have access to a Jasper motor and aren't concerned about the cost, I suggest that's what you do.
After a frame off restoration, there's bound to be bugs that need to be worked out. With a re-manufactured motor, that's just one less bug to be concerned with.

Good Luck, L.M.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies guys.

To re-iterate, I'm in Calgary, Alberta. If we are looking at Canadian dollars, an ATK 4.0L is $3000 shipped to Calgary if I sent the core back to them. So that is a re-manufactured motor in my garage.

Jasper does look good, however the price on those is $5200 USD!!! That's not even shipped from what I can tell. I can't fathom how they are worth twice as much.

My budget, well that's complicated. I'm building a Jurassic Park replica Jeep. So that means keeping it stock ride height, performance and of course, aesthetic. I don't mind making minor improvements here and there, but it has to stay as a 4L.

So I am doing a complete dis-assembly, powdercoating the frame, refinishing the body, brand new interior, powdercoated red wheels etc etc. All told I am spending about $20,000 CAD on this. I know everyone will say that is insanity. They will question how on earth it could cost that much. To them I say, come to Canada.... the great white north of taxes, shipping and losing 35 cents on every dollar. But whatever.

To those that say use the old engine - sure that makes sense for a trail rider or a "just keep it going" vehicle. I'm building a show piece. It will go in parades and car shows. It won't ever go off road. So I want a fully functioning engine, that is completely spotless and painted. It occurred like that would be easier to do with a reman. I'm just not sure anymore. So yes, the existing engine is fully functional, but I'm not putting it back in as is.

So that's the whole story. The reviews on ATK I keep seeing are dreadful. Maybe a local rebuild, even for more than $3000, is still worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you really want a rebuilt motor, stay local with a good warranty on the work and make it the final part of the project.
Thanks for this... I didn't know that. My hope would be to have the engine running by June. Is that too long to wait if I ordered it for Feb?
 

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Thanks for this... I didn't know that. My hope would be to have the engine running by June. Is that too long to wait if I ordered it for Feb?
It depends on the builder, if they use assembly lube, it'll drain away from the camshaft and lifters in about 2 weeks. A good assembly grease will stay put basically indefinitely but does dry out some. Just get a good quality break-in oil or additive (I prefer Joe Gibbs) and make sure you prime the oil with an oil primer very well before firing and all should be okay. Also look up flat tappet camshaft break-in procedure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It depends on the builder, if they use assembly lube, it'll drain away from the camshaft and lifters in about 2 weeks. A good assembly grease will stay put basically indefinitely but does dry out some. Just get a good quality break-in oil or additive (I prefer Joe Gibbs) and make sure you prime the oil with an oil primer very well before firing and all should be okay. Also look up flat tappet camshaft break-in procedure.
Thanks.

I oscillate daily on rebuilding the engine myself (with associated chemical baths and machining from a local shop) to just dropping my credit card down on the ATK. I do know a high end local performance shop (they've done other cars for me) but then don't normally do Jeeps. So I contacted a Jeep shop and they said it would be smarter to buy the ATK. So that is the dance.
 

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If you're satisfied with the work done by the local performance shop, I suggest you go and speak with the owner/manager.
If I had a repeat customer come to me and ask me to do a build that I don't normally do, I'd do all I could to figure out a way to keep that customer coming back.
Jeep 4.0 motors are real basic and easy to work on. The only issue with 4.2 and 4.0 motors is the flat tappet camshafts. They need a bit of additional zinc during the break in period.
As c5wagner suggests, look up flat tappet cam break in procedure. It's not complicated.

Good Luck, L.M.
 

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Who goes online to boast how great a product is?

Entire internet is full of complaints. The people happy with something don't feel the need to go online...
I had a chevy 350 block from them that was going in my dad's blazer that they never installed 4 very important expansion plugs in so there was no oil pressure. My buddy's jeep 4.0l engine from them came with a piston that looks like the didn't get the wrist pin in all the way the right way with a rod heater, pressed it out and re-used the piston which of course broke and put a hole through the oil pan during break-in. On a ford block for another friend they didn't bother lapping the valves...... Going through their warranty is also the worst. I personally would never recommend them.
 

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Seriously, unless there's something obviously wrong w it, just verify condition w a compression test, steam clean it, slap in some new seals and gaskets and timing chain and run it...

I would MUCH rather have a good 160k mile oem engine than any crate engine... trail, daily, show, makes no difference...
 

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Well Bud, it's your money if you want to waste it on an ATK that's your choice. You have read many bad reviews plus the ones added here on ATK.

If I were in your shoes I would go talk to the performance shop or spend the money and find a Jasper Engine dealer/installer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for those taking the time to reply. At this point I am ruling out ATK. They just have miserable reviews.

Jasper looks fine, but at $5200 USD, I can't justify such an expense.

I will talk to my local shop and see what he says. They have built up two vehicles before for me and do impeccable work. It can't hurt to ask right?

I'll also look into testing the engine I have. It's true there's nothing wrong with it. A clean up and some seals may be all it needs. This Jeep won't have a hard life. I just want it pretty and shiny.

A dark horse option is S&J Engines. They have the same 4.0L re-man for around $2k USD. Shipping to Montana is $125. They only do a $250 core charge. I could easily sell my engine for more than that here, and then I don't have the added shipping expense of returning a core from Canada. I could just drive down to the border and pick it up with all my other stuff.

I need to chat with S&J and understand how their warranty applies in my situation, but they have a nice YouTube video series showing the steps they take with every engine. That calms me down a bit.
 

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'89 YJ 4.2 with MC-2150 Carb & HEI, 2-1/2" Ex. AX-15, NP231 SYE, Adams shafts, F&R ARB, 3
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I priced out a Jasper 4.2 for 4k after core, Makes an LS all that more attractive.
 
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Seriously, unless there's something obviously wrong w it, just verify condition w a compression test, steam clean it, slap in some new seals and gaskets and timing chain and run it...

I would MUCH rather have a good 160k mile oem engine than any crate engine... trail, daily, show, makes no difference...

really hard to argue with this post. these are tractor engines that many get 300,000 + from.


if compression is good, easy to change out timing components, gaskets, water pump, oil pump and seals, maybe have head checked over.


decisions, decisions.


it's only money.:)


really interested how this goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
really hard to argue with this post. these are tractor engines that many get 300,000 + from.


if compression is good, easy to change out timing components, gaskets, water pump, oil pump and seals, maybe have head checked over.


decisions, decisions.


it's only money.:)


really interested how this goes.
I had a nice chat with S&J Engines. They called me Monday morning after I sent them an email on the weekend. They have 7 year non-depreciating warranty. They had a good website with a lot of helpful videos to ease my mind. He had answers to all my questions. They also claim to have a warranty rate of 1.7%. I ordered the engine, shipped to Sweetgrass. Since I'm so close, its only $125 to ship, and takes 24 hours.

ATK on the other hand never returned my request for information after several weeks. That helped make the decision for me.

Part of my decision to go re-manufactured was the time it would take to get the old engine up to snuff. My entire project is massive, and if I can trim out a couple weeks of refreshing an old engine, that's worth something to me. I can focus those efforts on other parts of the build.

Now the question is: What is my tractor/invincible OEM engine worth? I'm going to sell it locally and help pay back some of this.

If anyone of you want to follow along, I'm posting youtube videos at www.johnniemo.com
 

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