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Unread 05-08-2014, 07:15 AM   #1
ccb_dan
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Educate me on 1987-1990 YJs

So I am looking to buy a Wrangler...I have owned several Jeeps in my life including a 1980 CJ5, 1994 YJ and a 2007 JK. I have never owned an older, carbuerated YJ and I am curious.

It's my understanding that Jeep introduced FI into the Wrangler sometime in late '89 so some '89 models had it and most '90 models had it. Is this correct?

So what are the upsides and downsides of the older, carb'd Wranglers? Was the stock carb decent? Do most people replace it with a Weber?

What should I be wary of in an older YJ?

Saw this one in south FL (which is about 3 hrs from me) and was considering it but the price seems high...can you have a peek at the mods and see if this all sounds technically and mechanically solid?

http://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/cto/4444743686.html

Any info is much appreciated.

Thanks,
Dan

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Unread 05-08-2014, 07:23 AM   #2
JohndKc
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I personally don't see any advantages of carburetors over fuel injection. If an opportunity arose that moved me to fuel injection, I would take it. With that said I replaced my carter with a motorcract 2150 with the 1.21 venturis. I had to replace my cracked intake with an offenhauser, which clocked the carb 90 degrees from normal. Had to build a custom linkage that has really crappy throw due to limited space.
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Unread 05-08-2014, 07:25 AM   #3
mitchs1224
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my sons first car is an 89 yj w/ carter carburetor, mostly stock, we've had it for 2 yrs and it runs well has been pretty solid. were in the processing of replacing the carb and distributor with an weber and hei system (started yesterday) the stock set up was fine but the upgrades are due to him leaving for college in a few months and the stock system is over 20 yrs old so i wanted a little piece of mind before he heads 3 hours away. I've read post where owners talk about the carter carb saying that they can run forever just fine or cause all kinds of problems, . the fuel, carb and emissions systems on these is extremely over complicated by emissions designs, and can be simplified pretty easily to made back into a basic straight six. good luck
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Unread 05-08-2014, 08:30 AM   #4
yjcrawlr
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91 is the year the yj got fuel injection. No real advantages to carb'd yjs at all. Many will say they like the simplicity of carbs but fuel injection is more reliable, performs better, requires less maintenance, and is easy to diagnose.
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Unread 05-08-2014, 08:53 AM   #5
roadyrob
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nice looking jeep, price is a little high though but most are in south fla. its an 88 so it has the weak pugeot trans unless it been swapped.
the original emissions have all been removed, most consider this to be a good thing, the msd ignition is nice.
carb vs fuel injection, most consider fuel injection to be better for offroading and everyday trouble free driving. the carbed motor is more easily modified so if your a hot rodder you might prefer it.

edit. I see its an automatic so forget what I said about the trans.
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Unread 05-08-2014, 09:54 AM   #6
Old4X
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On the 6 cyl YJs, 91 was when they went to FI, the 4.2 had a carb.

On the 4 poppers, they all had some form of FI.

If you are looking at early YJs, the 90 was the first year the 6 cyl units all had the good transmission (5 speed AX-15). There were some of these used on late 89s as well. The other trannies on the 4.2s and all the manuals on the 4 cyls were problematic.

BTW, if you are competent with maintaining carburated fuel systems, no need to shy away from the carbed 4.2 YJs. Very good performance and service can come from these units with a little maintenance and attention.
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Unread 05-08-2014, 09:56 AM   #7
Beachcruiser
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As mentioned, stay clear of the stock manual trans models unless you feel like swapping in a later AX-15 (pretty easy, actually).

I'm originally from florida & bought my 87 there. That's a nice rig, but way too pricey, IMO. I'd look north of you & inland (less salt). I found mine just south of Jax for 3800 & it was in fantastic shape...tho no hard top. Check the 4X4 clubs, too.
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Unread 05-08-2014, 09:58 AM   #8
Old4X
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If you are looking at an auto transmission, beware they need to be modded if you will be going in water (like fording a stream near the top of the tires) . The breather in the transmission is about 3" above the input shaft, well below the top of the transmission case. Water in your auto transmission = transmission overhaul.
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Unread 05-08-2014, 10:45 AM   #9
bpounds
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccb_dan View Post
So what are the upsides and downsides of the older, carb'd Wranglers? Was the stock carb decent? Do most people replace it with a Weber?
If you've owned a CJ, you pretty much know about dealing with the carb. An '88 - '90 is almost exactly like an '85-'86 CJ as far as the engine goes.

I chose my '88 with the carb purposely. I guess nostalgia clouded my judgment. In my younger years carbs were all we had, and I lived the the mid-80's hellish years when they were trying to reduce emissions on carbed vehicles. Once we entered the FI era I was sure I would never ever want to own another POS carbed truck. But memory fades, the good ole days started sounding good again, and I find myself with one.

The 4.2 has better low end torque which was another factor for me.

Once I got this thing, I spent a lot of time working on repairing emissions stuff, rebuilding the carb, and tuning. I've got it running pretty danged good with that carb, but I am convinced I will have problems at smog check time. Running great does not equal running clean, unfortunately.

I still like that 4.2 a lot. In the next couple of week I will be installing a Howell EFI kit, so that carb is going away. I have enjoyed working on this thing for the year I've owned it. I'm going to enjoy installing the Howell kit too. So I do not regret going with my '88. Someday they will roll forward the smog exemption date. Can't wait for that to happen.

So don't fear the carbed years. You can always work around issues. And if you don't live in CA, yes a Motorcraft is a smart replacement.
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Unread 05-08-2014, 10:55 AM   #10
yjcrawlr
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I agree with those saying don't run away from the carb'd yjs. I just think all things equal between a 90 carb'd and a 91 fuel injected I would choose the 91. I still own many carb'd vehicles and they have their merrits. I worked on my carb'd 4.2 much more than my fi 4.0. If you go with a early yj you will love the 4.2s low end torque.
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90 YJ 102 in wb stretch, SOA, dana 60, 14 bolt welded,4.56s, 37in Parnelli jones dirt grips, currie twin stick dana 300, york oba, tractor link traction bar, full custom armor,poison spyder tube fenders, 95Cherokee High Output 4.0
2014 JKU, modified Rubicon Rails, RC stubby with warn 8000m, 2" leveling springs and OME trim spacers, Superchips Flashcal, Spidertrax wheel spacers, rubi shocks, and Lots more mods soon!!!
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Unread 05-08-2014, 11:04 AM   #11
YJacob
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I have an 88 that originally had the 2.5L TBI motor, and I swapped in a 4.2 carb'd. I much prefer the carb'd over the TBI. Nutter bypass eliminates any computer system, so no messing with sensors, as well as having nearly double the torque which is what matters with any good size tires.
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Unread 05-08-2014, 11:16 AM   #12
jay-h
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I ran a carb for years on my YJ. It's not that hard to keep them running if you take the time to understand them and
don't hack around.
I eventually converted to FI and that pulls better but it's not a necessity.

As long as it hasn't been abused, the torqueflite 999 is durable and strong. Better than the early 5 speeds. There is a deep water weakness but if you don't do deep water (like 18" or more) you should be ok.
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Unread 05-08-2014, 11:25 AM   #13
superj
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price is way toooooooo high on that one in the craigslist ad. i have a carb'd and my wife used to have a fuel injected 93 4.0 yj. never worked on the engine on the 93 the whole time that we owned it, that i can remember. sold it with over 200k mile for the same thing we paid for it.

i work on my 87 pretty regularly, not on the carb though. any carb stuff i do is for the fun of it, trying out other carbs. i have a holley four barrel on it now. the 87 is a solid dependable jeep that has never left me on the side of the road. the fuel pump stopped on the highway in the middle of nowhere on christmas eve a few years back. i reversed polarity on the wires a few times and it cleared itself and i kept driving. mine has an electric fuel pump mounted in the engine bay so its easy to work on but if the manual one quit on me, i could have hung a soda bottle off the windshield and kept driving too.

both have benefits and issues but for just something to run around in and enjoy, you might want to look for the fuel injection. you will have way less problems because the jeep will be newer and the gas mileage is better then a carb'd one.
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Unread 05-08-2014, 11:31 AM   #14
YJacob
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I had far more problems with my 2.5 than my 4.2, and I have been much harder on the 4.2
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Unread 05-08-2014, 11:39 AM   #15
ccb_dan
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Awesome info! Thank you all very much.
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