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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First post on the forum, so go easy on me :)

I bought a 2000 TJ with a 2.5l 4cyl last summer from a car lot (my first Jeep) and immediately got hooked! I was new to the Jeep experience, and I admittedly probably didn't do my due-diligence on the inspection/homework side -- can't change that now :-/

Jeep test-drove with no issues, but the engine developed overheating issues not long after I started driving it regularly. I replaced the radiator, thermostat, and water pump. The old water pump was toast -- blades were literally gone, which tells me the Jeep probably had overheating issues for quite a while before I purchased it. After replacing all these items, it ran perfect for about 3K before the #3 piston skirt gave out. Engine still runs great --- except for the knock (I've only ran it since it started knocking for diagnosis purposes). Now I'm trying to figure out how to proceed.

Reviews are sketchy on the remanufactured engines that I can afford, so that option is out. I know a local engine builder who is top-notch, but he quoted $2100 to machine and rebuild...maybe more if there's additional issues upon inspection. Though there's no obvious evidence, I'm afraid the head might be cracked/warped upon inspection considering the condition of the old water pump. However, I've also found a used 2002 2.5L engine with 73K at a salvage yard for $1400. Obviously, not knowing the engine history is a concern with this option. I don't want to get involved in a 6 cyl changeover....don't have the money or time, and I'm fine with the 4 cyl., so I kindly ask everyone's responses to be based upon the 2 options I've presented (rebuild or used).

I respect the opinion of the more experienced Jeepers on this forum, so I thought I'd pose the question here. All advice is appreciated!
 

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Alot of Used engines will come with some kind of warranty, I'd check to see if that one you are looking at might have a warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The used 2002 engine I referenced in the original post does have a 6mo./6K warranty (whichever comes first). My Jeep is not a daily driver, so reaching 6K would take a while, but worried that it still might not be enough mileage to get a true sense of the engine condition.
 

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I think 6,000 would be more than adequate to see what you have. If I went that way I would use the Jeep for my DD to put some miles on it before the warranty was out. I don't think many used car lots would give that much warranty.
 

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$1400 for used 2.5cyl seems high to me. I would post in the forum classifieds to see if another Jeeper is planning an 6cyl upgrade. You can also network with a local Jeep club. Although the used motor only has 73K miles, I am more leery of a warranty from a salvage yard. I can see them just swapping another 2.5 used motor(if any is available) if there are issues along with a no refund/exchange only policy. Between the two choices, I'll pay more for a complete rebuild.
 

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I'd find the local/state facebook page for a jeep club and keep watch. People practically give away 2.5s around here. Just saw a 4 0, 5 speed, and transfer case for $500 get posted
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Is there a 'Classifieds' link/page on this forum? Searched for a while and connot find one. If anyone can point me in the right direction, it would be much apprecited -- I'm definitely showing my 'Newb' status now :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Got some pretty good news today. By chance, I learned that I have a distant in-law in the machining and rebuild business. He has offered me a really good deal to machine, pressure test, and rebuild my engine as a side project, and to also let me 'assist' (ie: watch and learn) as he puts the engine back together. Heard through the grapevine that he is a first-rate, highly-regarded engine rebuilder in his neck of the woods. Looks like my patience has paid off, and I'm super-excited to be able to learn the ins-and-outs of a complete rebuild from someone who really knows his way around an engine!
 
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