We've got an 86 Cherokee Pioneer that we bought in late 99.It has been basically "problem free" for us, we've put less than $500 into it--but, it has had problems with oil leaking/oil loss since shortly after we bought it.We have heard that this is a pretty common problem, especially in this year/model.
The people that we bought it from had the motor & tranny rebuilt, about 40,000 miles ago.Other than having to keep an eye on the oil, its been fine--up until 2 days ago.We live in upstate NY, about 12 miles from the PA. border--where cigarettes are much cheaper.So,my friend & I went on a cigarette run in the Jeep.We got there with no problems, made 2 stops, & headed back.
The route that we drive is mainly a 40 to 65MPH route, until we get off of the highway- about 1 mile from home, where you hit "Main St." (30 MPH/red lights) About 1 mile before we got off of the highway, the Jeep started to "feel funny", like it was running rough.I slowed down, checked the gages, & saw that the temp gage was a bit high.It wasn't showing any signs/smells of overheating, but there was a slight knocking noise.I got off the highway, & hit a red light.When the light turned green, it stalled, & died.The temp shot up almost all of the way, but still no signs of overheating--steam, smell, etc.I put the flashers on, put it into "N", & tried to keep my temper in check because we had several cars (with men in them) blowing their horns while they watched 2 100 lb. women push a Jeep out of their way.
Anyway, we managed to get it onto a side street, & I called my husband to break the news.He was in the shower when we called, so it took him about 45 minutes to get to us.He brought water, & oil, but the water level was fine, & the temp gage had gone down to normal.It needed oil, but it was far from "bone dry", so he put oil in it, & it started right up.The knocking continued, so we called our mechanic & dropped it off.He said that he tried to "get it to overheat" but it wouldn't.His verdict--"A rod is knocking, its terminal, drive it as little as possible, & put it in the paper for $500 or $600--a motor would cost you $1700 to $1800-- pulling it, sending something out, putting motor in.
My husband isn't the "mechanic type", & our mechanic has always been fair.But tonight, my friend's husband (the friend that was with me when it "died") asked if it was a "push rod" or a "rod bearing." We have no clue.He said that a push rod is fairly easy to repair, but a rod bearing is a pain.
If this is not a $1700 to $1800 repair, we might get it fixed--if it is, its obviously not worth it.Any info/input/advice would be greatly appreciated.
I have done rod bearing jobs before, their not hard. I don't know why he's saying that changing a push rod is easier than doing a rod bearing. That makes no sense. You still have to pull the pan in either job. In fact, to do rod bearings, that's all you have to do, to physically change the push rod, you have to also take off the head.
However, I dont think that just changing your rod-bearings would solve the problem. When I have done rod bearings, I was only able to do them because I had recognized they were worn long before any damage was done to the crankshaft or the engine. I was simply able to finish the crank surfaces with emery paper, install the new bearings, and I got a ton more life out of the motor.
In your case, unfortunately, it sounds like you need much more than that. If the engine was knocking that bad, and getting that hot, you've got some serious internal friction happening. Sounds like you could possibly have spun a bearing, or even blown a rod or piston. It's probable that the amount of driving since it happened has damaged the engine internally enough that it wouldn't be worth fixing. The amount of "tearing down" that would have to be done would justify a total rebuild. You could buy a short block already rebuilt pretty cheap and have your mechanic do the swap. But, yeh, it would end up costing you about $1700-$1800 with the labor, etc., unfortunately
So, not an easy situation, unfortunately, sounds like it's not a quick/easy/inexpensive fix.