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Unread 01-12-2002, 11:55 PM   #1
Ryan McMenamin
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In over my head -- 88 YJ -- HELP

I'm new not only to this board, but also to Jeep ownership and any type of vehicle maintenance.

I bought a 88 YJ 258 I6 about four months ago and it neeeds a lot of work. In order to understand just how much, I've started to take it apart, following along my trusty dusty Chilton and Haynes books.

I've gotten to the part about checking push rods and rocker arms. I took the valve cover off and cleaned EVERYTHING. Fourteen years of crap. Unfortunately, I think the crap was holding everything together.

Now, the rocker arm closest to the passenger compartment is not firmly seated and has play in a lateral motion. I can't tighten it more and I have tried to reinstall just about everyway I can think of.

I know it isn't right (cause I put everything back together, started it, and it sounded horrible -- a pull of the sixth spark plug verified it was in this area), but I don't really know what to test next.

Would a new rocker assembly and push rod purchase be in order? Is it possible that that push rod isn't in the right place (still)? Could it be the valve spring instead?

Any help is greatly appreciated, and if you are in the Bay Area, I'd gladly pay in beer or like for onsite assistance.

Best,

Ryan

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Unread 01-13-2002, 03:04 PM   #2
Ryan McMenamin
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OK.. So it isn't the rocker arms or the push rods.

When I watch the full rotation of the engine, the rocker closest to the front of the Jeep will move, but the one closest to the passenger compartment (the one I can't get "tight" enough) never does.

Any ideas? Valve spring problem? Valve problem? Lifter socket problem?
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Unread 01-16-2002, 11:44 AM   #3
jerk with a jeep
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Ryan,
If I were you I wouldn't try to piece meal this thing together, I would do it right.
It sounds like it has a lot of miles on it, it's probebly time for a rebuild. I know you probebly don't wan't to hear this but.....
At the very least I would replace the cam and lifters and have the valve springs checked.I am doing the same thing on my YJ. A place here in Tacoma sells cam and lifters for 80.00-90.00. I've used thier cams several times in the past and had very good luck, no problems and these are reconditioned cams.If you do this it realy doesn't matter what is wrong, you will be correcting the problem. I laso replaced my rocker arms with competition
rockers. Zero problems after that. This was on a big block I had , but I intend to do the same on my 258.I would check around and look into a well recommended cam dealer in your area. If you don't have one, the place I got mine is Delta Cams out of Tacoma WA. If you need Address or Phone# Post it here or e-mail me and I'll get it for you. If you decide to go this route you should be able to everything for under 200.00 Gaskets and all. This doesn't include valve job. If I can help
let me know, good luck. Dave

89 YJ 4" lift soon to be rebuilt 258 headers,
weber carb,RV cam, Port matched head, juice box ign. mod and Nutter by-pass.
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Unread 01-17-2002, 11:21 AM   #4
Nightclaw
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It sounds to me like you have a collapsed lifter. This happens occasionally, especially on high-mileage engines. However, I also agree with Dave - sounds like a very high mileage mill in need of a rebuild. If the cam lobes and lifters are worn, chances are that most of the rest of the bottom end is worn too.

If a rebuild won't fit in your budget, replace the lifters and pushrods, and possibly the rocker arms too (as Dave already mentioned ).
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Unread 01-22-2002, 11:57 PM   #5
jerk with a jeep
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Ryan, what is the status on your jeep? I'm curious as to what the problem was. I haven't started mine yet. I am at least going to do the cam, lifters,pushrods and have the head rebuilt and I'll match the ports at the same time, might as well since I have it apart. Let me know how it turns out.
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Unread 01-23-2002, 10:07 AM   #6
Ryan McMenamin
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I am waiting for parts (unfortunately). I have lifters, push rods and rockers on order.

In talking with different people by post, the general consensus was that I have a collapsed lifter (thanks Nightclaw).

I decided to try and get by without replacing the cam because the rebuild really doesn't fit in the budget. I know that it would be a good thing to do, but don't have the tools (or experience) to properly do the job. If it comes down to replacing the cam being a necessity, to the local garage the Jeep may go.

Parts should be here in time for the weekend and I'll keep you posted on how (likely miserable) the results were.

Best,

Ryan
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Unread 01-23-2002, 04:23 PM   #7
Brendan
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Jerk with a jeep:
are/have you ported the 4.2 heads? How is the power increase? I'm really interested in this mod.
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Unread 01-24-2002, 09:54 AM   #8
jerk with a jeep
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Ryan, Don't even think about replacing the lifters with out replacing the cam, every one I've talked to and everything I've read state that you need to replace the lifters and cam as a set, other wise you may end up out all the money you spent on the parts as well as not correcting the problem.

Brendan, How's it going? I haven't done the head yet. What I am going to do is match the ports to the manifold using the gasket as a template. I've talked with several people and they say it's better to just match up the ports and clean up the chamber a bit instead of polishing the ports. Polishing the ports helps your top end but does nothing for the torque of the engine. They say you want some turbulance to atomize the fuel in the chamber.If any one has a different school of thought let us know. C U later.
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Unread 01-24-2002, 02:41 PM   #9
Ryan McMenamin
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Crud...

Yeah.. I was trying to "ignore" that sentence in my manual.

OK... so I'll pull the hydraulic valve lifters, check them out and see if cleaning them up helps any.

If it doesn't, then I guess I'll take it to the garage. I really don't want to -- cause I want to fix it myself -- but I don't have the support network here to begin the process of removing the engine to do both the cam and the lifters.

Thanks for helping me make better choices.

Ryan
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Unread 01-24-2002, 11:36 PM   #10
jerk with a jeep
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Ryan,
I think the hardest part of doing this job on your engine is getting the distributer in correctly, at least that has been the case with me. I have rebuilt several engines in my garage and I didn't think I could do it. The first thing you need to do is put the chilton and Haynes in the corner . Now go out and buy a real shop manual with good exploded views and pictures. Get your camera and take pictures of your engine from different angles, this will help some when you put this thing back together. About the only special tool you will need is a torque wrench. If you have a jeep you must have the basic tools, right? I am by no means a mechanic but I've rebuilt engines, if I can do it anyone can.
If you have a problem go to the net and ask like you've done here. Just about any well established jeep after market shop is more than willing to point you in the right direction. I'm not talking about after market wholesalers so much. They deal in volume and don't really have time for some one that is trying to do it himself.
I know you can do this, I was right where you are when I did my first rebuild. I rebuilt my first engine because I couldn't afford to have it done, I did it out of necessity. If you have a good manual you can do this especially if you have a friend that has a mechanical back ground to help you out if you get stuck. I'm going to do mine pretty soon, I'll let you know how it is going.
You just need to go slow and step by step and double and triple check each step, I think you my suprise yourself. Mark everything as you take it apart. You have a welth of experience in this forum,these guys are very sharp. I hope I don't give you a feeling of false confidence but think abuot it. There are also several books on the 258 out there that would be a big help. By Jerk with a jeep
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Unread 01-24-2002, 11:41 PM   #11
jerk with a jeep
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You don't have to remove the engine from the vehicle to change the cam and lifters.
C U JWAJ
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