I have a 85 cherokee with the 2.8 in it. I bought the jeep for $300 as a project. I now need this jeep running asap as I am down to one car for me and my wife. The engine is blown spun two rod bearings and messed up connecting rods. I am in need of advice as to how I can fix realatively cheaply but I don't want to patch it up. i know the 2.8 is not a desirable motor so what will bolt to my 5 speed tranny and not have to change that. i am no stranger to making mods when I have to but I want this truck to be on the road by the end of november. This truck will be a daily driver and will also be my vehicle for running calls as a Volunteer fireman. So any help would be great.
I have no idea if it's possible but I'd look to see if a Vortec 4.3L out of an S-10 pickup or Blazer would bolt up. Much better engine and you'll be amazed at the power difference.
Other than that I'd look at older S-10's and see if any of them had the 2.8L in them and just do a direct swap. It's going to be the quickest method of getting you on the road. Maybe not as cheap as rebuilding the existing engine yourself, but sure as **** a lot quicker and easier.
1998 XJ on 37's.JK Rubi axles with chromo shafts and ctm's, 4:1 transfer case, etc etc etc.
2003 Range Rover HSE, 4.4 Quad Cam.
1998 Range Rover with a 6.0 LSx
1994 YJ, 4.3/700R4/OME SOA, etc
Western Star 4900EX 4 axle.
4.3/700r4/new frame buildup (YJ).... http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/swap-offically-underway-324622/
4.3 will NOT bolt up. I have an '86 MJ with turd point hate and it's either getting the better (late '86 and newer) 2.8 crate motor from my son's '87 Chev Celebrity wagon (along with it's EFI) or possibly the 360/T18A/NP208 from my '82 J10 stepside (unless I sell the drivetrain) along with an '88 Chev short/stepside box and J20 axles. But that all depends on what happens over the next few months (I need a shop first! Just put a well in this week and need to do septic and power before I can put in a REAL shop!)