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Unread 10-13-2011, 08:52 PM   #1
wranglergirl42
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: , NJ
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Heart-broken - Engine is dying. Any advice?

I have a 4 cyl 5spd manual transmission 1995 Jeep Wrangler, with a 3 inch lift and 31" mud tires... In short, I am completely smitten with this truck. I made the fatal mistake, however of buying this jeep through Craigslist, and have paid for it dearly in many ways (shocks actually ripped off the body of the truck while driving it, roof leaked, etc) - all of these things I got fixed and replaced with all new items so the jeep was back to being my favorite offroading toy... until a few weeks ago.

Unfortunately, it hadn't been running well, and I took it to my mechanic, and he said my bearings in the engine are going, which will result in the eventual death of my engine. He also said I have an "engine knock" and an exhaust leak. He quoted me with roughly $3K to replace the engine entirely. I asked around to another mechanic and they quoted me with the same. I can't afford this, especially on a car that I purchased for less than that.

In your experience, do I have any other options? I don't want to get rid of this car, or junk it. I've put a lot of money into it already and everything else on it is replaced and perfect. I'm bonded with this car and would love to fix it, but a $3k pricetag is way beyond my capabilities.

Any suggestions?

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Unread 10-13-2011, 09:01 PM   #2
Jrama
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This is not going to be cheap or simple fix, your descision to keep the heep or junk it is made here. Even the best case scenario will still be costly for a older vehicle.

If you have any means of doing the work yourself and you are committed to the Jeep, you now have a new hobby...
If your on a budget, last resort is to bring your jeep to a shop when you can do it yourself

Otherwise move on, Even if i had the cash I wouldn't drop it on 4cyl 95 yj, again putting in more than you paid. Obviously this YJ is only perfect until it has its next issue
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Unread 10-13-2011, 09:23 PM   #3
AaronJ
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Wranglergirl, is there a Wranglerboyfriend, Wranglerdad, Wranglerbrother, or Wrandleroldersister-who-listens-to-KD Lang-and-likes-working-on-old-cars?

In other words, you need someone who can toss a used engine in there for you. It's the difference between getting your Jeep back on the road for a few hundred bucks and having to put more money in it than it's worth.

If none of the above apply, you can try looking for a fellow Jeeper in your area to give you a hand. At best you'll get your Jeep fixed cheap, at worst you'll get a stalker.

*shrug*, life's a gamble.
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Unread 10-13-2011, 09:23 PM   #4
DerGeist
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If you look at it as "dying one day", versus assuming it might be tomorrow, it *could* help with options/decisions...I.e. It's not yet a dead engine, so drive it as long as you can while saving toward getting a newer engine. Remember, too, that if you need a new engine anyway (now or whenever), you might as well consider options such as going to a 6 cylinder or the like. It would cost the same money, and possibly less, to source one of those as a decent used and/or rebuilt example, and depending on the deal might even get you a better transmission to go with it (again, for close to the same or less money, depending).

The other thing I can suggest is to think of how much more than the $3k estimate--which you suggested was too much for you right now--it would very likely cost to replace your Jeep with something else...Tagged along with that is that with a different vehicle you wouldn't know what all might need fixed on it, as well. It just seems, IMHO, that the seemingly costly fix for a Jeep you know and love is preferable to who knows how much for a different vehicle you don't know. Especially considering that you wouldn't have to come up with the $3k estimate funding this week--as your Jeep does still run at this point...knock on wood--you may very well have enough time to same up the money to fix your beloved Jeep, without taking quite as steep a hit financially in the near term as you might have been thinking.

Maybe I'm just an optimist, but that's my take on it all. Hope that helps.
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Unread 10-13-2011, 09:51 PM   #5
wranglergirl42
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Jrama, Aaron and DerGeist, thanks for your replies!

Jrama, I definitely see what you mean regarding putting more into it than its worth. I've already put more money into the car than I think I initially paid for it, with the new top, fenders, cover, tune up, rewielding of brackets for the shocks, new shocks, full tune up, etc, etc, etc... I feel like I've already replaced most of the things that can go wrong... a part of me asks what else could possibly go wrong with it once I fix the engine ... don't answer that

Aaron,
Unfortunately, I don't have a "Wranglerboyfriend, -dad, -bro... etc" to help me fix this car. Lol @ KD Lang... That being said, I wouldn't be against trying to do the work myself, since the end result will likely be a dead car either way. However, I don't know very much about repairing my car, let alone replacing the entire engine. Think there is a Youtube video that could walk me through it? Or maybe a stalker who might be able to schedule their stalking activities around my schedule to ensure as little impact as possible? I'm willing to negotiate for good mechanical assistance...

DerGeist, I love your optimism! However, after my drive home tonight, she was feeling a little weak and making new engine noises that she hasn't made before. I'm concerned that her engine is going to die sooner than later. However, I do like your idea to replace the 4 with a 6, if repairing is the route I take. I'm sure this will come off as a very novice question, but... moving from a 4 to a 6, is there anything else on the jeep that would need to be replaced due to the larger engine? I'm looking at some other options locally to see if I can find a '95 engine from the junk yard. However, once I have it, I have no idea how to install it... I wish I dated a mechanic!
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Unread 10-13-2011, 10:03 PM   #6
bharris68
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Barnettes Remanufactured: https://barnettesengines.com/

Find someone on Craigslist that pulls engines in their spare time and has their own tools. I have had good luck this way - just ask for references.

This may get you by for 2K or under. On balance - a well maintained 4Cyl in that little Jeep will get you 200K miles or more, easily. I have one - they are nearly indestructible
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Unread 10-13-2011, 10:38 PM   #7
DerGeist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wranglergirl42 View Post
Jrama, Aaron and DerGeist, thanks for your replies!

Jrama, I definitely see what you mean regarding putting more into it than its worth. I've already put more money into the car than I think I initially paid for it, with the new top, fenders, cover, tune up, rewielding of brackets for the shocks, new shocks, full tune up, etc, etc, etc... I feel like I've already replaced most of the things that can go wrong... a part of me asks what else could possibly go wrong with it once I fix the engine ... don't answer that

Aaron,
Unfortunately, I don't have a "Wranglerboyfriend, -dad, -bro... etc" to help me fix this car. Lol @ KD Lang... That being said, I wouldn't be against trying to do the work myself, since the end result will likely be a dead car either way. However, I don't know very much about repairing my car, let alone replacing the entire engine. Think there is a Youtube video that could walk me through it? Or maybe a stalker who might be able to schedule their stalking activities around my schedule to ensure as little impact as possible? I'm willing to negotiate for good mechanical assistance...

DerGeist, I love your optimism! However, after my drive home tonight, she was feeling a little weak and making new engine noises that she hasn't made before. I'm concerned that her engine is going to die sooner than later. However, I do like your idea to replace the 4 with a 6, if repairing is the route I take. I'm sure this will come off as a very novice question, but... moving from a 4 to a 6, is there anything else on the jeep that would need to be replaced due to the larger engine? I'm looking at some other options locally to see if I can find a '95 engine from the junk yard. However, once I have it, I have no idea how to install it... I wish I dated a mechanic!
Some things certainly would be different if changing to the larger engine, though with (at least in my area) the seeming greater availability of 6 cylinder YJ and CJ would-be doner vehicles, it could still work out cheaper to do such a swap. There might be other things, but off the top of my head: Engine (obviously...lol), transmission (with a few exceptions, though unlikely ones), motor mounts, fan shroud, and something else escaping me...I don't know off hand of any YouTube videos to help, but there are very detailed engine swap threads here on JeepForum which can help greatly.

If it helps, when I bought my Jeep she needed a replacement engine. I'd done work on various vehicles over the years, but never anything as involved as an engine swap. My Jeep had a blown piston, but she came included with a spare 4.0 litre injected engine (all wires, computer, etc.). I wanted to stay with a carb setup, for various reasons, so ended up trading that engine to a guy who was selling another of what I already had (though, clearly, one without a blown piston), which is a 4.2 litre 6 cylinder. He'd been asking, as I recall, $400 for the engine (71k miles, running when pulled, complete), and I was fine just trading the 4.0 for it straight across.

I read several threads here, bought a YJ Haynes manual, got a few headaches, sat for long hours staring at her during the swap, and somehow ended up being able to finally drive her recently.

I won't pretend it was all easy, especially doing almost all of it by myself, but it really wasn't hard. Just think of it as a more drawn-out version of pulling a few wires and bolts out and plugging them back in their proper places. In your case, if you stay with injection and a working computer (which I don't have, nor need, nor want), it will likely piss you off almost as much as it pleases you in the end to go through it all. I'm not so much suggesting you go the swap route as ensuring you're aware of other viable options.

Oh, someone mentioned, above, that you might seek out a local-to-you Jeep/off-road club...This could be very helpful, though some are better than others. Google might help find one, if the local/regional type sub-forum here doesn't serve well enough in that regard for you. Post what general area you're in here, in the event someone reading this thread can help, too.

Hope that helps.
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Unread 10-13-2011, 10:57 PM   #8
wranglergirl42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerGeist View Post
Some things certainly would be different if changing to the larger engine, though with (at least in my area) the seeming greater availability of 6 cylinder YJ and CJ would-be doner vehicles, it could still work out cheaper to do such a swap. There might be other things, but off the top of my head: Engine (obviously...lol), transmission (with a few exceptions, though unlikely ones), motor mounts, fan shroud, and something else escaping me...I don't know off hand of any YouTube videos to help, but there are very detailed engine swap threads here on JeepForum which can help greatly.

If it helps, when I bought my Jeep she needed a replacement engine. I'd done work on various vehicles over the years, but never anything as involved as an engine swap. My Jeep had a blown piston, but she came included with a spare 4.0 litre injected engine (all wires, computer, etc.). I wanted to stay with a carb setup, for various reasons, so ended up trading that engine to a guy who was selling another of what I already had (though, clearly, one without a blown piston), which is a 4.2 litre 6 cylinder. He'd been asking, as I recall, $400 for the engine (71k miles, running when pulled, complete), and I was fine just trading the 4.0 for it straight across.

I read several threads here, bought a YJ Haynes manual, got a few headaches, sat for long hours staring at her during the swap, and somehow ended up being able to finally drive her recently.

I won't pretend it was all easy, especially doing almost all of it by myself, but it really wasn't hard. Just think of it as a more drawn-out version of pulling a few wires and bolts out and plugging them back in their proper places. In your case, if you stay with injection and a working computer (which I don't have, nor need, nor want), it will likely piss you off almost as much as it pleases you in the end to go through it all. I'm not so much suggesting you go the swap route as ensuring you're aware of other viable options.

Oh, someone mentioned, above, that you might seek out a local-to-you Jeep/off-road club...This could be very helpful, though some are better than others. Google might help find one, if the local/regional type sub-forum here doesn't serve well enough in that regard for you. Post what general area you're in here, in the event someone reading this thread can help, too.

Hope that helps.

DerGeist, you don't happen to be in NJ, do you??? Haha.

Ever since I got the Jeep, I considered how amazing it would be as a 6-cylinder. Its sluggishly peppy as a 4 (yes, I realize what i just said). I'm just concerned about trading everything out to move from a 4 to a 6, and messing something up in the transfer, since it will be more than just the engine.... not to say that I could even do the engine alone.

Interestingly enough, I was googling around and just found the following links:

http://www.ehow.com/how_5883140_repl...ep-engine.html

Annnd... a youtube video, which is COMPLETELY unhelpful...

I also looked at Quadratec for pricing on their engines, and for a 95 wrangler, its looking like $1740... yikes. Junk yard, maybe?
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Unread 10-14-2011, 12:57 AM   #9
exige05
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Where in nj are u located? I make weekend trips to edgewater and have done many engine swaps from scions, subaru sti's, and my poor jeep is my current passion. Always willing to help a fellow jeeper :-)
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Unread 10-14-2011, 05:43 AM   #10
oldtime_ironman
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Or, you could just replace the bearings for now, until you get a chance to go completely through the motor. The bearings themselves are less than $100 for the set. It can be done without taking the motor out, although that isn't the easiest way, but it does work. It's the kinda thing I would do in my driveway on a Saturday.

1 - remove oil filter and starter
2 - drain oil
3 - unbolt and drop oil pan
4 - beginning at the front of the engine, unbolt rod and main caps. Pop out old bearings, in with new. Replace bearing caps as you go, finger-tight. Rotating the engine will be necessary a few times, with a wrench.
5 - torque all bearing caps to spec
6 - replace oil pan, filter, starter, and oil
.

.

Last edited by oldtime_ironman; 10-14-2011 at 05:53 AM.. Reason: basic idea
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Unread 10-14-2011, 07:53 AM   #11
Foundrydude
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If you dive into engine replacement be sure you're able to complete the task. The statement about already having a dead jeep is an excellent way to look at it, but also in real world terms the jeep has considerable value even with a blown engine. There's a lot of peeps looking for a jeep to swap a V8 into. The way that jeep is worth the most is when it's able to demonstrate the tranny, steering, and brakes even if it makes a bad knocking sound. If you pull the motor and give up it's probably worth $500-800 less than it sits today.

Throwing a set of bearings into the installed motor ought to buy you a year or more.

good luck with the project.
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Unread 10-14-2011, 07:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wranglergirl42 View Post
I have a 4 cyl 5spd manual transmission 1995 Jeep Wrangler, with a 3 inch lift and 31" mud tires... In short, I am completely smitten with this truck. I made the fatal mistake, however of buying this jeep through Craigslist, and have paid for it dearly in many ways (shocks actually ripped off the body of the truck while driving it, roof leaked, etc) - all of these things I got fixed and replaced with all new items so the jeep was back to being my favorite offroading toy... until a few weeks ago.

Unfortunately, it hadn't been running well, and I took it to my mechanic, and he said my bearings in the engine are going, which will result in the eventual death of my engine. He also said I have an "engine knock" and an exhaust leak. He quoted me with roughly $3K to replace the engine entirely. I asked around to another mechanic and they quoted me with the same. I can't afford this, especially on a car that I purchased for less than that.

In your experience, do I have any other options? I don't want to get rid of this car, or junk it. I've put a lot of money into it already and everything else on it is replaced and perfect. I'm bonded with this car and would love to fix it, but a $3k pricetag is way beyond my capabilities.

Any suggestions?
My engine swap was $500. then I had to buy the fluids. engine was $250 at a pick N pull. I asked around and found a local mechanic willing to do the swap in his garage.

this would be my suggestions. Pick-a-part used engine and start asking local mechanics. many would be happy to do the work.
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Unread 10-14-2011, 08:28 AM   #13
Hghgrad
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Around here, a used 2.5 goes anywhere between $50-500. If you can get some help, it can easily be done in a day with the proper tools. I just sold my 2.5 for $75 when I did the 4.0 swap a few minus ago.
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Unread 10-14-2011, 08:56 AM   #14
wranglergirl42
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Just for some perspective, how much might I be able to get for a '95 Jeep in decent condition (lots of new parts: serpentine belt, tuned up, brand new besttop soft top, trail cover, bikini top, new shocks, 3 inch lift, 31" mud tires with almost no wear on the treads, stereo system) with this type of engine issue? The more I read, the more I am concerned I won't be able to pull this off without some major mechanical assistance.

I have a few friends looking into finding me an engine, and a few feelers out for mechanics willing to do the job inexpensively... Its a shame that this is coming down to cost, but my daily driver (Ford Escape) is having mechanical issues as well, and affording repairs on both cars is really killing me.

Of course, if money were no object, we would all have completely refurbished, customized jeeps that ran like they were brand new.
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Unread 10-14-2011, 09:09 AM   #15
Hghgrad
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Around here...maybe $1500...

I paid $1000 for my 94, needed sheetmetal work but in pretty decent shape. Hard top, full doors, 2.5 that needed a freeze plug replaced in the back of the block.

I wouldn't have paid any more, and it wouldnhave been gone in hours if I wouldn't have jumped on it.
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