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Unread 03-14-2014, 08:09 AM   #1
bilr514
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2003 Renegade Locked Engine Rebuild

I acquired a 2003 Liberty last November (138K) that I was told by the previous owner has a "locked up engine". They said they were driving down the interstate in Feb of 2013 and heard a loud bang and saw white smoke coming out of the tailpipe. They had it towed to a mechanic who told them he thinks one of the cylinders "exploded". Turning the key, you can hear the starter click and trying to engage the engine, but it won't turn over.

I am now in the process of pulling the engine but have a couple of questions.

Anyone have any thoughts about the transmission and transfer case?

When the engine blew and the Jeep is coasting to the side of the road, any chance the transmission was damaged? Any way I can check while the engine is out? It'd be easier to deal with it while I have the engine out rather than having to pull afterward.

Transfer Case - As far as I'm concerned, there are no known problems with the transfer case, but again, I'd like to address any potential issues while I have it apart. Should I pull the transfer case and swap it for a known working one? Should I have this one checked out? How much am I looking at to have it rebuilt so that it is 100%?

Also, how do I tell which transmission I have? I know there are a couple different ones that are in the 03 Liberities (42RLE and 45RFE). I have a photo of the ID tag on the side of the transmission but don't have it with me. There are no numbers similar to the ones above.

Thanks,
Bill

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Unread 03-15-2014, 01:11 PM   #2
bilr514
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Drained the oil today and there was a significant amount of coolant in the oil. I now suspect a blown head gasket or cracked block.
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Unread 03-15-2014, 08:25 PM   #3
TwoBobsKJ
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Sorry about the engine. Check out my thread over on JeepKJ.com in the How To section on swapping in a newer 3.7.

As for the tranny, the 42RLE has 13 trans pan bolts, the 45RFE has 15 trans bolts.

Bob

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Unread 03-16-2014, 04:57 AM   #4
Walston
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I suspect that you can find a 3.7 at a local salvage yard with lots less than 138K on it, may be the fasted way to getting back on the road. If you have a lot of coolant in the oil the engine block may very well be destroyed beyond repair. Could have had a valve break off and the piston crashed into it and threw a rod piercing the cylinder wall into the jacket. A blown head gasket would not cause the engine to stop at speed. Good luck.
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Unread 03-16-2014, 05:55 PM   #5
92JEEPWRANGLERY
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I purchased the 02 Liberty that my daughter drives now with a "locked up" engine also. The PO was on the freeway when the radiator let go. When the engine started making noise, you turn the radio up, right? Drove it until rod #5 and #6 came thru the block. The engine locked up solid. When I pulled the engine I had to leave the Torque Convertor on the engine 'cause I couldn't even turn the engine over to get to the TC bolts! The TC, transmission and transfer case are just fine. The TC should unlock and take the stress of the engine seizing. Kinda in reverse from how it does normally.
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Unread 03-16-2014, 09:55 PM   #6
olliehopnoodle
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Yeah, the transmission and transfer case should be fine. You might have to do what 92jeepwrangelry did and if so, I would consider replacing the torque converter as well.

There are a few tricks to pulling the engine, nothing major. A few of us documented the process:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f28/h...ngine-1379706/
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Unread 03-19-2014, 08:27 AM   #7
bilr514
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I've done a little research on this...Most people suggest pulling the transmission and engine as a single unit and then splitting them once they are out of the vehicle to prevent damaging the torque converter. I've not pulled a transmission before and I haven't done much research on the level of complexity so I'm not sure the process. Is it worth it to go threw those steps? I'm trying to weigh the cost and benefit of doing so. Buying a torque converter as Ollie suggests is not an inexpensive proposition. They seem to run around $400. Are you suggesting that I replace the torque converter because I would be pulling it out with the engine and without the transmission? If so, I'd rather pull the transmission with the engine.

92Jeep, did you replace the torque converter?
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Unread 03-19-2014, 03:32 PM   #8
olliehopnoodle
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I am not an 'expert'. Typically the torque converter is left in the transmission when you remove the engine. You unbolt it from the flywheel. It never occured to me you could actually leave it attached and pull it out with the engine. I just think it might be hard on the converter as you most likely will not be able to pull the motor straight forward to get the torque converter cleanly off the input shaft. It seems to me it would probably damge it. But $400 is a lot of money too.

Can you turn the engine over by hand? You might go ahead and try that. Remove the spark plugs to make it a little easier. If it doesn't turn over by hand pull the valve covers to see what you can see. I would spend a little time trying to avoid yanking the motor with the torque converter attached but, again, I am not an expert.

if you can't, yeah, I would probably pull them both at the same time. You will have a better chance at getting a clean split between the two.
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Unread 03-19-2014, 08:05 PM   #9
92JEEPWRANGLERY
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I did not replace the convertor. When I pulled the engine, I unbolted the motor mounts off of the engine block so I had a little more wiggle room in the compartment. I jacked up the front of the trans until it was touching the bottom of the firewall. I was able to slide the engine far enough forward and tilted up in the front that the convertor slid off the input shaft of the trans without much trouble.
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Unread 03-20-2014, 09:24 AM   #10
bilr514
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I put a socket wrench on the crankshaft pulley and gave it a quick tug (though not too hard as I was in my work clothes). It didn't budge a bit. I haven't take the spark plugs out yet...I'll try that this weekend to see if that helps. It would certainly make this process go a lot smoother if I were able to spin the flywheel to get to those bolts.
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Unread 03-20-2014, 03:33 PM   #11
olliehopnoodle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 92JEEPWRANGLERY View Post
I did not replace the convertor. When I pulled the engine, I unbolted the motor mounts off of the engine block so I had a little more wiggle room in the compartment. I jacked up the front of the trans until it was touching the bottom of the firewall. I was able to slide the engine far enough forward and tilted up in the front that the convertor slid off the input shaft of the trans without much trouble.
That's good to know and a smart approach.
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Unread 03-22-2014, 03:19 PM   #12
bilr514
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Great news guys. I removed the spark plugs today and got the engine to turn over fairly easily so that I could get to all of the flywheel bolts. Good to know that the piston hasn't welded itself to the cylinder wall so my block may not be trash after all assuming it isn't cracked.

Very first plug I pulled out was badly damaged and had metal shavings on it. All plugs had rusty tips. I included photos. Thoughts?
image-3047755812.jpg

image-60954655.jpg

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Unread 03-22-2014, 07:22 PM   #13
92JEEPWRANGLERY
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I would guess the infamous valve seat dropping in the cylinder that the plug is damaged in. Hopefully the cylinder wall isn't damaged so the block will be good. Head maybe done though. Hopefully not. Let us know when you get it out and the heads off. Good luck!
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Unread 03-22-2014, 10:08 PM   #14
olliehopnoodle
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You might get lucky. Perhaps the valve seat was pressed up against the spark plug keeping you from being able to turn the motor over. Seems like a bit of a stretch but you won't know till you take it apart.

Once you get the intake off (needed to pull the engine) you can look down the intake ports and might be able to see some of the damage. When our valve seat dropped you could see it holding the valve open. I got super lucky that it only bent the valve a little and didn't damage my freshly rebuilt engine.

My engine guy didn't replace the HLA (Hydrolic lash adjusters) or the timing chain tensioners. Both of which gave out not long after the rebuild. I suggest you have them replace them. It will add a couple hundred bucks to the cost of the rebuild but will save you a bunch of hassle later. In the very least, make sure to have them replace the tensioners.
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Unread 03-23-2014, 06:29 PM   #15
bilr514
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Got the motor out today. My daughter's 02 that I pulled was much easier than this one since it was only 2wd while this one is 4wd. I haven't pulled the valve covers yet or started any tear-down...It's been a long day. I'll let you know how it goes when I do get started.
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