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Unread 10-08-2013, 10:05 PM   #1
wsmutch
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Engine cross roads

My hand is finally forced. I went for a short drive this afternoon and parked on the street. Later I came out and stated it up to spray some carb cleaner on the choke. I heard a fast knocking from the motor. The sound is like some one hammering on the block with a small hammer. It speeds up when I rev the motor. The motor has had a valve tick that came and went. Oil pressure was about 20-30 lb and it dropped down to nothing at idle after a long drive. It never burned oil and the temp ran on the cool side. I'm trying to decide what to do now. The block number indicates that it is not the original motor and dates to around 1979. I'm not a hard core off roader or speed demon, any more anyway. I like the 258, but I'm not sure if machining and a total rebuild wouldn't cost as much as a new re-manufactured motor that would include a warranty. I want to keep my T176 trany. I had hoped to milk this engine until next summer as I blew my jeep budget rebuilding my tranny. I'm not married to the original engine, but I need to decide a coarse of action. You guys have a lot of experience, and I'm sure many of you have faced this same situation.

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Unread 10-09-2013, 06:12 AM   #2
gmakra
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I would go with a re manufactured crate motor for a couple of reasons one is the warranty and the other is that machine shops can be hit and miss on quality. The Jeep in line 6 is an easy engine to rebuild however there are some quirks about the engine that if the machinist is not aware of can cause you problems.
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Unread 10-09-2013, 06:19 AM   #3
2Xtreme
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmakra View Post
...however there are some quirks about the engine that if the machinist is not aware of can cause you problems.
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Unread 10-09-2013, 06:45 AM   #4
Matt1981CJ7
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I'm torn on this one...

I spent probably twice as much on my re-build (on parts and machining alone), than I would have on a crate engine. That stung a little.

With that said, I'd do it all over again. It was an incredible learning experience, and the satisfaction of rolling with an engine that you built yourself can't be beat. Plus you can spec your own parts, do custom modifications, and pay attention to details that are mostly overlooked with a crate engine.

Good luck,

Matt
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Unread 10-09-2013, 08:01 AM   #5
swatson454
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While a warranty sure sounds tantalizing, imagine the nightmare of having a failure, going round and round with the company, pulling the engine and shipping it to them and then trying to predict which excuse they'll use to blame you for the failure?

I think my money would go to a competent, local machine shop who will hopefully pay attention to details without the "assembly line" mentality.


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Unread 10-09-2013, 08:30 AM   #6
2Xtreme
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I find this to be a timely post.

After a little more diagnosis, I think I will be at the same crossroads.

Interested to see what additional input members have.
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Unread 10-09-2013, 09:21 AM   #7
CSP
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If budget is a concern, it's not that hard to find a well running, used 258.
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Unread 10-09-2013, 11:44 AM   #8
Gigemags05
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I went a little different route.

When I bought my jeep, the P.O. gave me a 1992 4.0 engine he was going to swap into the jeep. I knew absolutely nothing about engines, but with a little help I was able to completely rebuild the 4.0 for around $1k.

I know it isn't original, but I have fuel injection, more power, parts are easy to find, and I was able to take my time building the engine because the 4.2 was still running in the jeep, although really tired.

I was also able to sell my old engine for just under $600.
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Unread 10-09-2013, 12:29 PM   #9
Matt1981CJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigemags05 View Post
I went a little different route.

When I bought my jeep, the P.O. gave me a 1992 4.0 engine he was going to swap into the jeep. I knew absolutely nothing about engines, but with a little help I was able to completely rebuild the 4.0 for around $1k.
I'd like to see a list of parts and the machining that you had done for that price.

With all due respect, I find it hard to believe that you "completely" rebuilt your engine for $1k, considering the average master rebuild kit goes for around $500, and the machining (including dipping, bead-blasting, boring and honing, 3-angled valve job, and head assembly) typically goes for at least $800-$1000 in labor, at least in my neck of the woods.

Add to that some new external components, like water pump, timing cover, alternator, starter, carb, ignition system, etc, etc....and it's damn easy to rack up $3-4K in costs, or more.

Matt
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Unread 10-09-2013, 12:58 PM   #10
Gigemags05
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rebuild kit: $400 using a 20% coupon
valve job: $70 at a local shop (different than machine shop I used)
decking, honing, blasting, etc. at local machine shop: right at $500 (not the cheapest I found either).

water pump, timing chain, alternator, coil, distributor, oil pump, thermostat housing, new sensors, belt, new radiator are all new or factory reconditioned but I wasn't including any of that in the price. I was talking about the actual engine. Those parts are very easily accessed (with the exception of the oil pump) and wouldn't be included in any engine purchase.

I had a new starter donated with the 4.0, no need for a carb (fuel injected), ignition system is not new (nor is it part of the engine).

I did all the disassembly and assembly work myself, painted the block myself, etc.
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Unread 10-09-2013, 01:11 PM   #11
Dngrs1
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In my limited experience of wrenching on my own vehicles (40 yrs.), I have learned one or two things about replacing engines.
If you rebuild the engine yourself, you are the only warranty. If it breaks, you fix it. This is also the least expensive route.
If you take your engine to a reputable machine shop, you have input into any special work you want done or parts you want installed. Unless you have the engine installed by an ASE certified mechanic, machine shops will only warranty the work THEY did if the engine fails. This can be hard to prove, sometimes.
Crate engines can be bought stock or customized. May not be warrantied unless installed by an ASE certified mechanic. You don't know the origin of the block or heads. Have the heads been resurfaced?, the cylinders bored or resleeved?, the crank journals bored with oversized bearings?
I have gone all three routes and personally I prefer the machine shop rebuilding my engine.
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Unread 10-09-2013, 01:35 PM   #12
jay-h
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I went the reman route on my 258 YJ. I recommend it, a good reman shop has a lot of experience. Also you're facing less of a wait.

I did not want to do the swap myself, since my local mechanic is a Jasper dealer I went with that. As it turned out the replacement engine developed lifter troubles. Once my mechanic documented the issue they authorized full replacement (not just lifters and cam) ..they covered the full replacement cost.
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Unread 10-09-2013, 01:36 PM   #13
Matt1981CJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigemags05 View Post
water pump, timing chain, alternator, coil, distributor, oil pump, thermostat housing, new sensors, belt, new radiator are all new or factory reconditioned but I wasn't including any of that in the price. I was talking about the actual engine. Those parts are very easily accessed (with the exception of the oil pump) and wouldn't be included in any engine purchase.
Well, that makes more sense. Thanks. I think most people would consider many of those items as necessary costs of a rebuild, especially those swapping a 6-banger for a V8.

Your point about those items not being included in a crate engine is valid.

Your machining cost are lot cheaper in Texas than around here.

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Unread 10-23-2013, 06:39 AM   #14
2Xtreme
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OP, where do you stand on your decision here?

I was all set to do my own rebuild (minus machining), but the lower cost of a crate motor sure would leave a lot of money on the table to be spent elsewhere....
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Unread 10-23-2013, 07:09 AM   #15
Matt1981CJ7
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Originally Posted by 2Xtreme View Post
OP, where do you stand on your decision here?

I was all set to do my own rebuild (minus machining), but the lower cost of a crate motor sure would leave a lot of money on the table to be spent elsewhere....
BAWK BAWK BAWK.......

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