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XJ Rail Sale!The Ruffstuff NOT Universal 4 Link Kit!Vanco Big Brake Kit Promotion!

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Unread 05-02-2013, 02:56 AM   #1
tcook95beast
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New jeep owner

I have always been interested in jeeps especially YJ model. I recently purchased my first jeep, a 1995 with a 2.5L motor. I am trying to research ways to get a little more power out of the 2.5L 4cyl motor. Any comments anyone has on the topic would be greatly appreciated.

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Unread 05-02-2013, 03:09 AM   #2
SunDevilJeeper
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Welcome to the club!


There isn't much you can do, you can swap a throttle body from a 4.0 and that gives it a little more pep. A CAI makes so little difference that it's not really noticeable. A lot of times just doing what would be considered the FI version of a tune up will give you a little more power. There's not much aftermarket support for the 2.5.

Regearing is expensive, but will restore a pretty decent amount of power after adding bigger tires.

All engines are different in one way or another, so some people might have a little better luck squeezing power out of their 4 banger. I had no such luck, hence why I'm in the middle of a 5.2L V8 swap.
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1992 YJ - 5.2L V8
2003 WJ Limited - 4.7L H.O. V8

Still not enough power.
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Unread 05-02-2013, 03:18 AM   #3
tcook95beast
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Thanks sun devil for the post.

I have read some real crappy reviews for CAI and throttle body upgrades.

Maybe a 5.2L V8 swap would be the way I need to go also. That seems like it's gonna be pretty pricy though.
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Unread 05-02-2013, 05:03 AM   #4
SunDevilJeeper
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Certainly welcome!

If you ever consider a V8 swap, one thing I can tell is that the price all depends greatly on how much of a bargain hunter you are, and a little bit of luck. Some people have done V8 swaps for less than 2k, some people have blown upwards of 10k+ doing it.

I'm right around the $4,000 mark, mostly because I'm rebuilding my drivetrain before it goes in. There's a lot of new parts that I'm putting into my new drivetrain for piece of mind. After all this work, I really don't feel like having to tear back into it to fix something when it could have been easier when it was on the work bench.

I was going to go with the LT1 originally, then I saw the price of a distributor, and that gave me an idea of how much it costs to modify, and maintain that engine. Some time went by and I looked into other engines, like the 5.0, and eventually I started to become a Mopar fan for some reason. At that point I chose to do a Mopar engine and keep it in the family. So I started looking into Mopar V8s, I looked into the WJ 4.7 because a close friend of mine has a spare laying around. After looking into the electronics issues involved with the swap, I looked at the ZJs, seemed pretty simple. My dad chimed in on the 5.2 because he had one in his old Dakota when I was a kid, that thing did haul some serious *** as I remember.

So I decided on the mighty 318. I've also heard some legendary stories on how hard of an engine it is to kill. It turns out to be one of the easier swaps as well from what I've researched. It's mostly small things, but it's a bit easier mostly because you can retain almost all stock parts.

Does the 5.2 have as much power as the SBC and SBF engines? No, not stock for stock, but it sure as hell makes more power than the 2.5!
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1992 YJ - 5.2L V8
2003 WJ Limited - 4.7L H.O. V8

Still not enough power.
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Unread 05-02-2013, 05:30 AM   #5
tcook95beast
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That's a lot of good information. Sundevil.

I too am a big mopar fan. I have owned nothing but mopar vehicles for the last 10 years. Everything from a dakota with V6 magnum to the full size ram with the 5.3L Hemi. Never done a motor swap though. So this would be a exciting challenge. Obviously a lot of research is going to be required first off.

I have a pretty good connection in the mopar industry. I may have to hit him up about pricing for a new motor.

Gonna have to wait a little though. Gotta spread my projects out so the wife doesn't completely lose her mind. Lol

As far as commuting, have u had any issues with the 2.5L on the interstate or hwy?
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Unread 05-02-2013, 05:47 AM   #6
SunDevilJeeper
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If money and time wasn't really an issue for me, as well as having the proper tools, I'd swap in the 5.7 Hemi out of a Ram or Charger. If I had an unlimited budget? A 392 Hemi from a Challenger would be going into my Jeep. Damn that'd be nice... mod it to where a lot of the torque goes to the low end of the RPM band too.

A happy wife is a happy life, but I wouldn't know, I didn't even make it past an engagement.

You can pretty much tell at this point that I like power, so for me, the 2.5 just wasn't cutting it at all. A lot of people on here will tell you that 5th gear is useless with bigger tires, and the AX5 (4 banger manual tranny) loses 5th gear for many. Mine sounded like dozer tracks at first, literally, then after a while it disappeared, 5th gear I mean. I'd put it in 5th and it was like putting it in neutral. I broke it open and 5th gear was toast.

Even without a broken 5th gear, you're still gonna be driving a 4 speed essentially, if you have bigger tires. I have 33s and the stock 4.10s, no balls at all. I got my *** kicked by a Prius once the light turned green one time... slowest drag race ever.

My speedo was off, and I didn't hook up the transfer case stuff when I rebuilt the tranny, so I never really knew my true speed on the interstate, but keeping the flow with traffic meant WOT, and about 3000 cruising RPMs. God forbid I started going uphill.

To give you an idea, I was driving from Phoenix to Los Angeles one night. As I was passing through Palm Springs, there's a valley where there's some serious winds (hence all the windmills there). Well I caught a head wind early in the morning. It was so bad that I ended up slowing down to 35mph on the interstate while smashing the throttle as far as it would go. Eventually I pulled over and it still lost speed, so I gave up. The wind started pushing my Jeep backward on the shoulder, so I waited for 2 hours for a suitable semi truck to pass so I could draft off the back.

I ended up drafting off the back of a flatbed driver all the way into the Inland Empire before I could maintain anything above 55mph on my own. The 2 hour wait was because I couldn't pick up speed, and they were all going 55+, merging onto the interstate at 35mph is dangerous, so I had to wait for a really long opening.
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1992 YJ - 5.2L V8
2003 WJ Limited - 4.7L H.O. V8

Still not enough power.
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Unread 05-02-2013, 05:52 AM   #7
SunDevilJeeper
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Some people on here have had better luck, some have had worse than mine. But everybody with bigger tires and a 4 banger can agree, the 4 banger sucks on the highway. Off road? It's ok and does the job perfectly fine.

Just don't anticipate setting any land speed records with the 2.5.
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1992 YJ - 5.2L V8
2003 WJ Limited - 4.7L H.O. V8

Still not enough power.
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Unread 05-02-2013, 06:07 AM   #8
msprooch
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Welcome! I'll put in my 2 cents.

I have a four banger that my dad gave me way back in highschool. I had a good job at the time so I lifted it 4 inches and added 33x1250 tires. Well like the other guy said no fifth gear and WOT on the highways. So I spent a good amount of money on cai, throttle body spacer, and full exhaust. At first I told myself that it made a difference but I still couldn't use 5th and was WOT about all the time.

Finally I decided to save up my pennies and regear it. That made a big difference. Since then my money has been going to making the jeep more off road capable.

Moral of the story, if I had to do it all over again. I would have skipped all the after marked bolt ons and just regeared. The only thing the aftermarket stuff did was lighten my wallet and make my jeep load as hell. YMMV
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Unread 05-02-2013, 06:20 AM   #9
dedYJ
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I drove my 95 YJ for about three years. I only had 31's on it and had still lost fifth gear. With some of the hills we have around here, I lost fourth and third too! After considering the cost of regearing, I decided to move up to the 4.0 and bought a TJ.
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Unread 05-02-2013, 09:11 AM   #10
tcook95beast
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So regearing it sounds like the way to go if I can't do a complete motor swap.

Thanks everybody or the input. If anyone has anything else they wanna by all means I am open for any advice
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Unread 05-02-2013, 09:15 AM   #11
tcook95beast
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Does anyone know average cost to regear?
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Unread 05-02-2013, 09:40 AM   #12
jokerchief462
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I was quoted $1500 front and rear Adams Driveshaft Henderson NV.
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Unread 05-02-2013, 05:16 PM   #13
SunDevilJeeper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcook95beast View Post
Does anyone know average cost to regear?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jokerchief462 View Post
I was quoted $1500 front and rear Adams Driveshaft Henderson NV.
Lol like I said, it's not exactly cheap.


It is cheaper than a whole V8 swap however.
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1992 YJ - 5.2L V8
2003 WJ Limited - 4.7L H.O. V8

Still not enough power.
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Unread 05-02-2013, 10:05 PM   #14
msprooch
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Location: Kokomo, IN
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I bought the gears and install kits and a local guy did it for 150 an axle.
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