2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ Build and 4x4 Conversion Thread (Lots of Pics) - JeepForum.com
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Unread 03-12-2014, 06:54 PM   #1
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2000 WJ 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: , Virginia
Posts: 68
2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ Build and 4x4 Conversion Thread (Lots of Pics)

Here she is the day I brought her home in August of 2013 for $1000.

A Patriot Blue Pearlcoat 2wd WJ with tan cloth interior a blown 4.0. The PO was some lady who kept driving it after it started knocking. Eventually it threw the number one rod through the block. This is a common problem in 99-04 4.0s. What happens is the piston skirt breaks and throws off the balance of the piston so it wobbles inside the bore. Not only that, but you also have the skirt cycling through your oil.

Everyone loves to see the damage
Hole in the oil pan

Hole in the block behind the A/C compressor

Oil Pickup tube

Number one piston and half of the rod

Crankshaft damage

I needed a new engine so I found a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo with almost everything you could get at that trim level. The problem was it had been in an accident a few years ago and it came from New Jersey so where it had been hit behind the rear passenger door was all rusted out. I picked it up for $800.

The first thing I did was an interior swap. I replaced the tan cloth with black leather. The whole interior of the 01 was in a much better condition. I swapped the EVIC with the homelink garage buttons, automatic headlights, the infinity sound system, leather steering wheel with audio controls and the 4x4 shifter.

The 2001 is the furthest away

2000 Cloth interior

Tan interior almost all the way out

Black interior swapped in (you see the 01 through the glass because I moved it to the other side to start pulling the engine)

Swapped the front bumper from the 01

4x4 Shifter and cable installed

From here all I did was pull the blown engine and swap front axles using instructions from a Haynes manual.

Engine and transmisson pulled from the 2000

2wd axle out

4x4 axle in and on the ground

Painted brake calipers red for decreased stopping distance

I didn't take many pictures of the 01. Here I pulled the engine transmission and transfer case. The 2001 didn't have reverse, so I thought no big deal, I will just use the transmission from the 2000. Wrong. The part that breaks is in the overdrive, which happens to also be the transmission to transfer case adapter. I didn't figure this out until I had it all together so I still need to pull the transfer case and get the overdrive rebuilt because as of right now I don't have reverse.

After I pulled the engine I started to disassemble it. There wasn't anything wrong with this engine. It only had 117,000 miles on it and it ran great. I removed the 01 pistons and installed pistons from a 93 4.0 I had in the garage. All new rings and everything.

Note: I did all of my research to make sure they would fit. When the pistons got thinner, they shaved metal from the insides, so they have the same bore.

The thickness difference in the skirt is what was changed. 93 on the left 00 on the right.

Tops of the two pistons

93 pistons in 01 block

I assembled the engine, transmission, transfer case, and starter all outside of the car and dropped them in as one. After I had it all put together and fluids in and everything, I went to start it and it didn't start. What turned out to be the crankshaft position sensor was improperly reading the signal for top dead center of cyl #1.

Eventually, when it did start it ran and still runs great. I had disconnected the coil pack and turned it over for a minute or so (not constantly, don't want to burn up the starter) to let oil pressure build up so when I started it, it immediately had oil pressure.

Now, I have a 2000 WJ Laredo with almost every option (no fog lights), and no reverse. I will probably get around fixing it soon because I just turned 16 and I get my license in mid April. Before anybody flips out because I'm so young, I just want to say I tightened everything to torque specs and lubed everything in the engine with engine oil. I've been helping my dad in the garage since I was like ten so that is where all of my experience comes from.

I have done a few mods to it while I was waiting for gaskets and stuff. I removed the roof rack and filled the holes with silicon. I kept the roof rack in case I ever need to use it but I like the roof line without it. I also made a thread that I will post the link to about what I did to the radio. I made an AUX input without having to use a CD changer. This will work as long as you have a cassette tape player in your radio.


I did all of this all by myself, only needing help once because the cherry picker was falling over, so I had to hold it up and call my dad for help. I couldn't have done this without this website, wjjeeps.com, and my dad. Sorry this turned into a thank you speech.

All in all, we have two grand into a car that blue books for $3500. Feel free to ask any questions.

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Unread 03-12-2014, 07:24 PM   #2
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2000 WJ 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: , NV
Posts: 924
That rocks great deal and experience, you know your vehicle inside and out and its your hands that built it up.
Wish I had the desire to do that at 16.
2000 Jeep grand Cherokee
I6, selectrac, dana 30 front 44a rear
Stock not lifted.
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Unread 03-13-2014, 01:08 AM   #3
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2002 WJ 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Orange county, CA
Posts: 882
Good job!
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Unread 03-13-2014, 10:51 AM   #4
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2000 WJ 
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Unread 07-31-2014, 02:33 AM   #5
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2000 WJ 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: , Virginia
Posts: 68
I forgot to update this thread after I did the reverse. There were three snap rings that needed to be replaced. The part numbers are 4461032, 4461066, and 4461065. It was not a difficult job at all. I pulled both drive-shafts and the transfer case and then removed the overdrive unit from the back of the transmission. Then using the instructions from these two threads and this youtube video I installed the snap rings:


The WJ just hit 120k this week and is due for its first real oil change. I've gotten the jeep muddy on multiple occasions and it does great in the mud. Both axles are open diffs and in 4wd hi I have a lot of confidence in it even with just street tires and no lift. The seats are very comfortable and I love the Infinity audio system, it has lots of bass with just the stock speakers and it sounds great. The jeep runs great with no lights on the dash. It's a great first car and just driving here around the city I'm getting 16.3 MPG on the EVIC.
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