stock 258 & 304 side by side- which is better? -
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Unread 01-25-2002, 11:49 AM   #1
Matt Graham
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2001 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: LaGrange, Georgia
Posts: 1,529
Post stock 258 & 304 side by side- which is better?

I'm sure there are some very different opinions on this subject, but if there are two jeeps sitting side by side, your trying to choose between them, and everything else is the same other than the motors (assuming they are both in similar shape). Which one do you go with? Primary use will be driving around 5-10 miles a day, and trail use on the weekend. So which is preferable?

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Unread 01-25-2002, 01:44 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Cherry Point, NC
Posts: 127

Matt - my preference is the 258. This is a biased preference because that is what I have - so to all the nay sayers let me start this post off by saying that this is my OPINION!!

Examples of stock motors from 1981 below:

81 - 258 110HP and 195Torque
81 - 304 125HP and 220Torque

- Now - factor in the weight difference in what these two stock motors provide - edge definitely goes to the 258.
- The 258 will produce greater torque at lower RPMs vice the 304 - edge goes to the 258 for rock crawling - if you like mud the V8 would get the nod in this category.
- Mods for 258 are generally less expensive. There is an abundance of readily avaliable OEM and after-market parts. The 258 is a dream to work on with easy access under the hood and a really simple engine in general. The 258 is stronger by design with 7 main bearings.

- My word of caution - the factory carb is a real piece of junk. Weber offers a good solution if you want to stay with a carb. Holley Projection makes a reasonably priced throttle body fuel injection kit and then there is the higher priced Mopar fuel injection system.

- My primary use of my Jeep is off-road and my 258 performs and does what I require it to do with no problems.

Good luck,
Jeep - its a job - not an adventure
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Unread 01-25-2002, 02:46 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Oregon
Posts: 30

Have you driven both of them? The biggest opinion is yours. I was looking at a CJ-7 with a 258 and 5 sp. It had suprising power. I didn't end up getting it, but I did like the power. You would get better mileage out of the 6 and with some mods good hp. If you don't plan on going really big with it, get the 6.
78' CJ-5 in process of frame off, 84' V8 Ranger
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Unread 01-25-2002, 05:21 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: FL
Posts: 162

There are a lot of cool mods for 258s out there, but a v8 is a v8. You can get a lot of power out of the 304 if you spend enough money doing so. I love my 258, and plan on building it up. New Intake manifold, New Cam, porting the head, and the usual exhaust crap. I get really bad gas milage, but I have 136K on my motor. Call me shallow, but its cool to have a V8 and the 304 sucked because of all the emisions gizmos they stuck on it, get rid of all of those, and you will be ready to build a killer motor. Good luck.

95 YJ 2.5L 5 Speed

Fightin a war against Florida Rust!
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