When will the engine croak? - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2002, 04:50 AM
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When will the engine croak?

I'm looking to buy a jeep for my main vehicle.
At what mileage do the engines start showing problems.
I want a mileage that can still handle off-roading, a little bit of zippy driving, and a few years of normal get to work and back usage.

Thanks for any help,
Brandon
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2002, 10:31 AM
 
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Re: When will the engine croak?

Not a question that can be easily answered. Way too many factors are involved... it's kinda like asking when people will croak... many factors - ...smoke? ...eat fatty foods? ...drink coffee? ...exercise? ...eat fruit? ...bungee jump? ...eat red meat? ...talk back to your mother? ...eat vegetables? ...play in the street? ...feel the need to push the red button? Are you an Alaskan King Crab Fisherman? Any of these and more, together with how much of any or each, will affect how long and how healthy people will live.
Apply similar to an engine.
The 2.5L 4cyl and 4.0L 6cyl Jeep engines can start showing problems well under 100k miles if they are abused and/or neglected. However, either is also very able to provide reliable service well over 200k if given proper care and usage.

How old of a Jeep are you thinking? What kind of money are you thinking? Generally the Jeep engines are durable and will give many years of service if well cared for - key is care.

You should have some idea of history to determine life left. If you can't get history... inspect closely. How does it (the engine and engine compartment and transmission and underside of the Jeep) look? Evidence of oil leaks? Clean or messy? Does it look as if it was just cleaned or does it look like it has been kept clean? Any RTV around gasket surfaces? (valve cover, manifolds, timing cover, thermostat hsg... etc) This is indicator that work has been done to the engine - what work? why? Are fluids clean? Is a milky film on underside of oil fill cap? Air filter clean? Other filters clean? Hoses & belts in good shape or cracked/rotted? Look at the plugs and do a compression check if the owner will allow it? Question why if he/she says "no". How does it start, idle, run, drive when cold? How does it start, idle, run, drive when warmed? Any smoke when starting cold? Any smoke when warm? What does the exhaust smell like cold and warm(smell of oil, coolant, or unspent fuel could be not good)? Is exhaust steady flow (good) or it is random pops (not so good)? Hang a leaf or small piece of paper over the tailpipe outlet... is it blown by steady stream of exhaust (good thing)? or is it sometimes sucked back against the tailpipe (not good thing)?
IMHO - Buying any vehicle is a gamble. Used vehicles are more of a gamble. The more you know about a used vehicle's history the less risk in your gamble. Bring a mechanical friend with you to inspect. Do your best to ascertain current condition and past maint/use - the key.

Fill your profile. Post specific questions here about prospects... people on this bbs got the knowin' of alot of things ...maybe you could even get someone to go check out a Jeep with you.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2002, 01:50 PM
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Re: When will the engine croak?

In the area I live, I don't think anyone ever uses their rigs except for the concrete jungle, the city. Suppose it did have near excellent care, what kind of mileage would you see before it started having significant probs?

I was looking around on the net and I saw what they called the "chrysler surprise" or something similar, where the engines always start having problems after 100k.

I want to spend around $8000, but I guess I could go to a little over 10k. I'm shooting for a '97 TJ with slip differential (I consider this extremely usefull).

Thanks,
Brandon

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-11-2002, 10:24 AM
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Re: When will the engine croak?

I second what Trailisman said...it's a gamble one way or the other. That being said, the 4.0 HO is an excellent engine and can see lots of miles. I had a Cherokee that had 110K on it when I sold it and I didn't have a SINGLE problem with the engine. My buddy's got 150K on his '93 4.0 HO with no problems. If you're looking at a '97 TJ with upwards of 80-90K, odds are a lot of those miles are highway miles and shouldn't be considered "tough miles".

If you end up getting an older 4.2 258, odds are it will be in worse shape than a 4.0 HO with similar mileage. Any engine with a carb will have seen a little harsher life due to the fact that carbs (even electricly-controlled carbs) don't maintain a proper fuel/air mixture as well as fuel-injection.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-11-2002, 12:20 PM
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Re: When will the engine croak?

still though you can rack a lot of miles on a 232 or 258. and they'll take the abuse as well as any engine ive seen. If you wheel with it, but other wise take care of it, oil filter changes air filter changes, use good oil It'll do well by you. Old Skool inline sixes are tough to kill.

Jesse
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