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I need your advice everyone, please help me out, I really need some guidance! I’ve been looking at this site for months now trying to decide what to do. Here’s my situation:

My neighbor had a ‘97 TJ SE 2.5 and gave it to me because he didn’t want the hassle of trying to get rid of it: cracked engine block, but only 92k miles.
Jeep was a dirty mess, and it needs a lot of cosmetic TLC. But, the frame is solid.
So I know I need an engine, but since the Jeep is free I want to do it right. It’s an automatic though, which I hate. Plus I do a lot of highway so will need to be able to cruise at least @ 70..
My mechanic wants me to do a Jasper replacement and all said and done it’ll be $4200.00. He’s a top notch mechanic so I know his install will be flawless and with the 3 year Jasper warranty, I feel good about having him do it. I posted some pics of the Jeep when I got it and after I cleaned it up a bit with my wife posing.

I have about $8k to play with and I was thinking since the engine is out anyway, why not upgrade to the 4.0 and switch the tranny to manual?

I asked him, and he said “ you can do it IF ITS REALLY going to make you happy”. But then he said I should just sell it now as is (with a cracked block?). And take the $ after all that and buy something used that has what I want.

But for what I want, I could just have him mod to a 4.0 and manual. Plus I’d have the Jasper 3 year warranty right? So basically I’d have a Jeep with basically a new engine and tranny, or I could buy one ready to go, although used @ no more than $8-9k, with no guarantee.

So should I try to sell mine and maybe get $1500 t0 $2k? Or just have him convert mine to what I want, or just swap for another 2.5 and settle for auto transmission, which I hate. Especially in a Jeep.

Thanks everyone!
 

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:welcome: to the Forum..:wavey:

Congrats on owning a Wrangler!
 
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Absolutely don't spend 'stupid money' to swap in a 4.0... That's not a simple swap... for not much more money you could do a v8 swap...

No way I'd personally spent $4200 on another 2.5 either...

I'd source another used 2.5 from a rusted out tj or even buy the whole jeep and part it out to end up w a free engine or even a profit...

If you want a 4.0 jeep, fix that one as cheap as possible and sell it. Then buy a 4.0 jeep... Otherwise you're just throwing away money....

IE spent $8k or more to swap in a 4.0 or buy a better jeep w a 4.0 already in it for $8k then fix that one for between $0 and $2k and then sell it for $4-6k..... end up with $2-4k in your 4.0 jeep instead of $8k or more
 

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Congrats on the gifted Jeep and welcome!

I agree with the suggestion to proceed with some caution and planning. I purchased what I thought was a "budget" Jeep and even with me doing the work the costs to get it to where I want it are mounting quickly.

Make a list of repair and upgrade expenses (gears, lockers, lift, wheels/tires, bumpers, winch, etc.) in light of final market value and value to you. It may be that the quick fix and flip may get you to your goal quicker and with less hassle and expense.

That said, it is sometimes about the journey. In any case, best of luck.
 

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I would try and find a local salvage 2.5, drop it in and clean her up, then sell it and trade up to a 4.0.
 

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Staying with the automatic trans would be the better option even if you do upgrade to a IL6, 4.0. The electronics aren't that much different and there would be no shifter conversions to make
 
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