Help with bearing and ring kit!! -

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post #1 of 5 Old 11-14-2012, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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1979 FSJ Cherokee 
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Help with bearing and ring kit!!

So I am about to order a ring and bearing kit for my 258 I think that this engine is an 87 but not to sure I bought it used. My question is, is there a difference in bearings and gasket's from 1970-1989? I ask because the the place I am ordering the the kit from has 3 to choose from I can get one for 1970-1980 or 81-85 or 86-90. All the kits have all the same parts but there is a $5.00 difference in price between them. I don't get it.

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post #2 of 5 Old 11-15-2012, 05:15 AM
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This article may help you.

Here's a quote from it:

"There are two generations of 258 engines. The first generation was introduced in 1971. This earlier engine has cast iron intake and exhaust manifolds with the two manifolds bolted together by 4 bolts and a gasket between. In 1981, AMC revised the 258 for lighter weight. A new block casting and fewer crankshaft counterweights were used. A new smoother exhaust manifold and aluminum intake manifold were introduced. V-belts were replaced with a serpentine belt, and a new lightweight plastic valve cover was fitted. Although these two generations have the same bellhousing and motormount attachments, and are mostly the same internally, the differences must be kept in mind when choosing used replacement parts.
The 258 can be identified by the 4th character of the engine build date code ("A", "B", "C" or "M"), stamped into the engine block below and between the number 2 and 3 spark plugs. An engine stamped with "B" is an early 258 with a 7.6:1 compression ratio. "A" and "B" are engines with 1-barrel carburetors, while "C" and "M" are 2-barrel. "M" originated in Mexico. Other codes ("E", "F", "K" and "L") are 232 engines."

Hope this helps.

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post #3 of 5 Old 11-15-2012, 05:59 AM
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Bearings will be the same unless it has been rebuilt before or is a re-manufactured engine. Don't purchase bearings until you can pull some of the crankshaft and piston rod journal bearings off and read if they are Standard, .010", .020", etc. They will be stamped on the underside if undersized. A used engine is anybody's guess unless you know the history of the engine from the PO.

As Matt has pointed out, there are differences in the engine gasketing and the engine code will tell you what year for sure. 1970-1980 engines for example had single barrel carbs and no intake heaters and had gaskets for both intake and exhaust. 1981-1985 engines have intake manifold heaters, 2 barrel carbs, 7/16" head bolts and no exhaust manifold gasket. 1986-1990 are the same as 1981-1985 with the exception of 1/2" head bolts and I believe, a different gasket for the valve cover.

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1984 CJ-7 Renegade

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post #4 of 5 Old 11-15-2012, 06:23 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the info guys. I looked at the bearings and they look to be standerd there is no marking showing .10 or anything like that. I will be running the engine id number today so I can order the proper kit.
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post #5 of 5 Old 11-17-2012, 12:36 AM
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Meant to say check out this thread, where I ordered the wrong bearings twice, but got some great advice

Can't link from my iPod, so search for this thread:
258 Bearing Swap - Not good so far...Help?

1980 CJ7 - The Grenade
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