1. #1

    Freakin ridiculous!

    So I've had my '99 Wrangler for almost 11 years ... have long rued my decision to get the 2.5L 4-cyl (vice the 4.0L 6-cyl) ....

    Never really gave it much thought until '02 when I drove it across country from New Orleans to Seattle ....

    Coming through the Rocky Mountains (and the Cascades to a lesser extent) it just got to be ridiculous ...! Couldn't maintain the legal speed limit going up some of the steeper inclines ... couldn't keep ahead of fully laden semi tractor trailers ...!

    Well ... just came back East through the same mountainous terrain and it all came flooding back ....

    So, what's a guy to do? I was about set on trading it in for a 2010 Rubicon (2-dr) ... but, not really all that hip on incurring a car note payment on the 'delta' between my trade-in value and the best price I can negotiate ....

    Nothing really wrong with the '99 that about 50-100 additional hp wouldn't cure ....

    Figure my options are pretty much as follows:

    - the ol' standby--engine swap for SBC, SBF or 318/360

    - 'goose' the 4-banger with a few of the 'tweaks' ... throttle body spacer, electric fan, maybe a cam (if I can find an old one lying around--or maybe have one custom made?), Borla or similar free flowing CAT/exhaust, ... I think I saw where you can now find 4-cyl header (?) ... do they make a fuel injection optimizer system for the 4-cyl ... maybe I could sweet talk Dobeck into making one for me .... Still probably would not squeeze out even 30 additional ponies do you suppose ...?

    - go with a supercharger ... recently saw that Avenger makes a system for the 2.5L Jeep ... also, thought about maybe going to Paxton and talk to them about adapting one for my application (or look at similar centrifugal superchargers) ... in discussing the pros and cons of the positive displacement blowers vice the centrifugal, they note: "In situations where you demand performance from your vehicle, you are spending most of the time in the mid to high RPM ranges." ... like when I am driving at hwy speeds (65-80 mph) at 3,300 - 4,000 RPM and need the additional power to sustain my speed while progressing up an incline.... (Anyone know of other centrifugal supercharger mfrs who might have one for the little fella?)

    Any other thoughts or experiences that I might be overlooking ...?

    Actually, I figure it would be about $3,000 to $5,000 or more depending on how much of the work I end up doing myself and where I can find the parts ....

    Not really looking to do much else performance-wise ... just really need some more power ....

    Oh, by the way, the leg of my trip through the mountains I was getting between about 10.5 and 12 MPG (normally get about 17 - 18 on the hwy) ... salt in the wound!

    R/
    'Chop

  2. #2

    Re: Freakin ridiculous!

    My thoughts...

    "- 'goose' the 4-banger with a few of the 'tweaks' ... " Nah, just not enough bang for the bucks invested. Bottom line is that a 4 cylinder was, is, and will be...a 4 cylinder.

    "- go with a supercharger ... " Certainly a possibility but bear in mind that if you're going to bolt on that kind of compressor on the top end, make sure the bottom end of your engine can handle it! After all, you've got an 11 year old 4-banger that sounds like it has seen some useage.

    If you have the knowlege, skills, ability and facilities to do a lot of the work yourself, I'd look into an engine swap, along with all that entails.

    A great place to start for some book knowledge is Novak Jeep Conversions at Novak Jeep Conversions - Home. Tons of info.
    -Phil

  3. #3

    Re: Freakin ridiculous!

    If your willing to spend $5000 on upgrading than look for a 98 Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited in good condition, they run from $5000 - $6000 depending on condition. Do that and you'll have more than enough power to go any where plus some.

  4. #4

    Re: Freakin ridiculous!

    plenty of wrecked Grand Cherokees around to donate their 318s. and being the same company you might have to outsource less than you think. Dakota v6 and V8 stick transmissions are the same as jeep stick transmissions except the bellhousing meaning no hassle with T case placement or driveshaft issues. and the Dakota V6-V8 bell will bolt up to taht 318.
    For sure the motor mounts (the part that attaches to the frame) would have to be either bought from someplace like Advance or Novak, but the wiring, computer etc should be the closest match to what you have, being another Jeep. and if youre in a smog test area, that may be your best swap possibility.

    Me? Especially with the recent jump in license and title fees here, I am "that much" ahead, to do what ever it takes, to keep what I have already. Add that to interest on the note (in my case that alone was more than several of my past vehicles' purchase prices combined!) If you otherwise like what you have then keep it and make it into "your" ultimate Jeep. You could always sell yours and buy a 4.0 YJ or TJ; if you work it right you should come out with more power for very little cash outlay or even "make" a little bit on the deal. In my case I have another vehicle to drive; even if it is a 2WD 3/4 ton truck. If you don't have that option buy the replacement 1st then sell yours and take the proceeds and put them straight towards payback of any loan that you need to buy the replacement.
    Don't be in "a hurry" to buy and a deal will come your way.
    I just had to replace the wife's XJ 2 weeks ago (16yo son had his "1st wreck") and am now wishing I'd have made her drive our TJ for those couple weeks; but though she can drive a stick and occasionally does, she got rear ended in the TJ 5 years ago and went from driving it all the time to "only when she HAS to".
    I didnt do too bad on the replacement XJ; but I did go against one of my own rules and bought the 1st one I looked at. Very nice Jeep, but I could have done a lil better yet on price. especially since I had to put tires on it right away.

    DON'T sign on the dotted line for the brand new one. Besides the comments about the V6 (it ain't no inline, as far as power goes) the loss in value as soon as you leave the lot is the killer. my 97 TJ, when I bought it, was the newest thing I ever had; (remains so; it wa s3 years old with only 19K miles) and it cost as much as ALL of the vehicles I had before it combined, with taxes and bank fees figured in. 3 months later they had the 1st ever "60 months zero interest"; I'd have been cheaper to buy a then-brand-new 2000 model.
    but I plan to run the wheels off every vehicle I currently have unless something radically changes around here. whatever it takes. I have already reframed my 97 TJ because the frame rusted out. (perfect body though) so its here for the duration.
    If I could not do all my own work on them though...... could be different story. I refuse to pay anyone $80-90/hour to touch my vehicles.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Virginia Beach VA
    Posts
    8,116

    Re: Freakin ridiculous!

    I wouldn't spend more than a couple of hundred trying to pep up that 4 banger. I say sell your Jeep and take the 5K you would have spent on a super charger and buy a 4.0 Jeep. You can get 2001 4.0 Wranglers for $10,000 all day long (if you are still in Seattle, here's one 2001 Jeep Wrangler Sport 6cyl 5 speed )
    My 2005 Wrangler Build Thread

    “He who is without oil shall throw the first rod.” -Compressions 8.7:1

  6. #6

    Re: Freakin ridiculous!

    Just saw on craigslist a pickup as follows:

    "Good running truck; it has a 69' small block chevy stroker motor in it with a cam, headers, Edelbrock aluminum intake, Holley dual feed carb, 12 bolt Rear End, etc.

    It has a new Turbo 350 Transmission(rebuilt), water pump, brakes, wheel cylinders, brake hoses, altenater, starter, radiator, Accel Distributor, Dual Dynomax Exhaust, etc.

    It needs a new carb.

    Get it and show it some TLC.

    $1,200 - Every offer will be taken into consideration.
    Clear Title"

    - looks like I might have found a donor V8 and trans ... hmmmmm ....

    * * *

    Just saw a stock Jeep 4.0L and trans from an '02 posted for $800 ... this might not be as bad as I originally thought ....

    R/
    'Chop
    Last edited by SURFOR Chop; 01-19-2010 at 02:18 PM.

  7. #7

    Re: Freakin ridiculous!

    Quote Originally Posted by SURFOR Chop View Post
    Just saw on craigslist a pickup as follows:

    "Good running truck; it has a 69' small block chevy stroker motor in it with a cam, headers, Edelbrock aluminum intake, Holley dual feed carb, 12 bolt Rear End, etc.

    It has a new Turbo 350 Transmission(rebuilt), water pump, brakes, wheel cylinders, brake hoses, altenater, starter, radiator, Accel Distributor, Dual Dynomax Exhaust, etc.

    It needs a new carb.

    Get it and show it some TLC.

    $1,200 - Every offer will be taken into consideration.
    Clear Title"

    - looks like I might have found a donor V8 and trans ... hmmmmm ....

    * * *

    Just saw a stock Jeep 4.0L and trans from an '02 posted for $800 ... this might not be as bad as I originally thought ....

    R/
    'Chop
    Small block Chevy..... Yawn

  8. #8

    Re: Freakin ridiculous!

    How about a big block? I'm about to put my '82 C20 with Edelbrock 454 up for sale here in Seattle (by next month unless I get my Honcho running sooner)

  9. #9

    Re: Freakin ridiculous!

    if it were me, I would consider the cost of modifying the 4cyl, problem is, you are quickly going to exceed the useable strength of the AX5. you could swap in a Toyota case that is considerably strong, but keep that part of the cost equation. Don't get me wrong, I like a hot rodded 4cyl and 6cyl, but personally wouldn't do it because of the cost.

    Personally, I would look for a injected chevy motor, either 4.3l 6cyl or a 4.7l, 5.3l or a 6.0l ls motor. the cost of a good 5.3 has come down considerably since it now has been in production since 98 and they are everywhere. plus the aftermarket support is there by the boat load (which can not be so much said for the 2.5l) plus just about any gm transmission will bolt up.
    It used to be a jeep Thing,
    But all that stuff broke

    -Johnny-


  10. #10

    Re: Freakin ridiculous!

    Hate to be a wet blanket on my own post, but I think I may just let this one go for a while ... being something of a skinflint, I want to make sure I'm getting the most 'bang for the buck' ...

    And, while there is a lot to be said for the satisfaction and learning experience of doing it yourself, there's the trade off for the convenience factor ...

    - Is there a kit? ... A commonly used set-up for which there is a relatively easy 'work around' ...? [Yeah ... I checked out Novak and some other sites with kits and parts support ....]

    - Although going with a small block chevy may be cliche' it would seem to easily fit the bill as far as parts support and relative ease (with kits, etc.) ....

    - I understand the issue with Ford motors is the forward sump on the oil pan and clearing the frame cross-member ... also, it appears that some of the Mopar options are not straight bolt-ons either ... that's why the 4.0L with trans seemed like not a bad idea (straight bolt on) ....

    - Since I'm not riding in the mountains, the aggravation of the lack of power is starting to fade ... the interstate on-ramp pick up is almost adequate ....

    * * *

    On the other hand, I had been considering going with a new Jeep anyway and have kind of been mentally preparing myself for the prospect of a car payment again ....

    But, for now ... I guess I'll just chill and see what develops ... my original post was just a rant I had to get off my chest ....

    I appreciate all your input and ideas ... have come up with some options to tweak my existing motor; and, in case I decide on a little more radical work with what I have ....

    R/
    'Chop

  11. #11

    Re: Freakin ridiculous!

    have you ever heard of megasquirt?

    widely used easy to do self built engine management system. google it and ask around. that system and a supercharger from an 80s t-bird sound like just what you are looking for. or a small turbo from a mitsubishi or other 4-6 cylinder car



    Sent from my MB200 using Tapatalk
    no more jeeps at this time. next time it will be a cj with a v8

  12. #12

    Re: Freakin ridiculous!

    I think if I was in your situation, I think I would sell the Jeep with the 2.5 engine and take the money I would use to beef it up, add it to what I got for the small engine Jeep, and purchase a newer used Jeep (cash, no payments) that came with a 4.0 from the factory. I think it will lead to more dependability down the road.
    If I couldn't afford to do that, I would continue to drive the Jeep I had been driving for the last eleven years and wait until I could.
    But, that's just me. Experience has shown me that I am better off getting something that was built to do a job than to try to rebuild something that wasn't. We're all different.

  13. #13

    Re: Freakin ridiculous!

    Fixed my problem ... traded on a Rubicon X a little over a year ago ... (don't get on here much lately) ... a couple of fairly recent photos attached ...

    R/
    'Chop
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Freakin ridiculous!-14-rubicon-snoqualmie-forest.jpg  

    Freakin ridiculous!-14-rubicon-tilamook-forest.jpg  


  14. #14

    Re: Freakin ridiculous!

    I feel your pain, drove my old '88 Wrangler across the country from StL to Seattle with the tired 4.2L engine. I fondly remember semis passing me up the mountain grades. Drove the same Jeep back pulling a loaded uHaul trailer and it was even worse. Still a great experience I wouldn't trade.

    Nice looking Rubi. Glad you didn't go with the '10, you wouldn't have liked the lack of power in the 3.8L engine.

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