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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2003, 03:12 PM
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Reputable 258 rebuilt engine?

First time post but I've been reading for a little while-great info here.
I am thinking about buying a rebuilt 258 for my basically stock 81 scrambler (my first jeep). 80k on the odometer but how accurate it is I don't know.
Has anyone had any good experiences with some of the companies out there such as ATK, PowerPro, Neco, etc?
Are there any companies people would recommend?

Why do I want to replace it?
I believe I need to have my head redone ( about $350) b/c I have popping, tapping and I always have play in the rocker arms no matter what position the main crank is in. I am blowing black and white smoke at various times, If I remove the pcv I can see white smoke puffing out as well as hear air escaping from somewhere.

From what I read on this board if I have a strong top end and a weak low end it is only a matter of time before the lower engine will go. So why not replace the engine now?
Also, when I replaced the oil pan gasket I found lots of pieces of metal in the pan-as big as 3-4mm. My compression is low in all cylinders-about 120 consistently last time I did it. First time a few months ago it ranged from 130-150 in all 6. She has that "phht, phht, sound from the muffler as well.

What have I done? Set timing 8 BTDC, replaced wires, distributor cap, fuel pump and filter, rebuilt carb, new air cleaner, added "engine restore", new intake/exhaust gasket.

What else am I going to do?
Check my timing chain for wear or stretching and possibly pull the head to check the head gasket.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. [img]images/graemlins/givemebeer.gif[/img]
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2003, 03:25 PM
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Re: Reputable 258 rebuilt engine?

Welcome aboard.

Sounds like you're covering your bases. It very my be time for a rebuild. I'm sorry that I can't recommend any rebuilders but I am sure someone here has had the experience and an opinion.

Air Force? Sound like any Army man to me. Me, too. Got out about 18 years ago. Believe it or not I miss it every once in a while. [img]images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

Good luck on your 258.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2003, 03:52 PM
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Re: Reputable 258 rebuilt engine?

1. Welcome to the forum.
2. Thanks for filling out your user profile.
3. Read the New Posters Message at the top of the forum.
4. Participate more often!
5. Two brains are always better'n one!
6. I've had good and bad results with Rebuilds...
7. If you do get a Rebuild,
8. Pay close attention to the warranty,
9. And get it from a National company... I prefer NAPA.
10. IMHO... the best of all worlds,
11. Is to get to know a local machinist,
12. Have the block machined,
13. Have the Heads rebuilt,
14. Buy the parts for the block,
15. Recommended for by the machinist,
16. And assemble the engine yourself...
17. If you bought one from a Junkyard,
18. You could be doing this in your "spare time"
19. And swap in a week-end.
20. IF you do the job right,
21. You'll have a better engine,
22. With better parts,
23. Of course the risk is...
24. Are ya man enough to do it?
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2003, 04:03 PM
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Re: Reputable 258 rebuilt engine?

Whoa! Too much time w/ Leve it appears... judging from what he posted while I was typing up my post, he's rubbing off on me. Thanks LEVE!

For the record: I did NOT plagiarize!! [img]images/graemlins/thud.gif[/img] [img]images/graemlins/burnout.gif[/img]


NO! You should have joined the Marine Corps... then you would have a chance of being up here in VA and we could be experiencing the same sorts of 'excitement' on our respective Scramblers... together! And, thereby learning from one another's trials & errors.

Besides, if you'da joined the AF, you would have to work on your Scrambler in one of their well-funded and equipped air conditioned auto hobby shops. If the Army's shop is like the MC's, yours has the nice sultry/humid air wisping through the decently-equipped shop... but definitely not as state-of-the-art as the AF's A-1 facilities. I'm happy w/ what we have though... better than nuthin'.

I've heard great things about Jasper engines (out of Indiana)... if you can afford it. Me, I'm buying up cheap 258's and am going to rebuild a motor in my garage. I'll piece out the machining and other technical stuff that is over my head (most), but try to do the grunt work myself. I've got to stop procrastinating though, my oil pressure keeps going, going, going lower and lower. I've got all of about 9 psi at idle now. Not much more time to spare.

My suggestion is to ask around and find a good mechanic who can mentor you there locally (Leve is a great mentor here and via e-mail). I found a local one (pre-Leve) via asking at my church and work. Same name came up from 3-4 different people. Great guy and fellow Christian - tough combo to beat.

Then watch the classifieds and eBay, and check the local junkyards for a rebuildable 258. They seem to be incredibly cheap these days. I have bought two 'good' ones in the past two weeks; one for $19.99 (eBay) and one for $25.00 from a post on this board. Buy it local (w/in a couple of hours drive) so you can pick up yourself and avoid shipping costs. Then just tear it down and rebuild - lots of help here on this board. This way you can continue to drive your Scrambler (I'm assuming it is your daily driver) until you are ready to swap in whole new engine all at once. Ouila! You're only 'down' for a day or two. Engine stands are relatively cheap, if you cannot corner one at the hobby shop for a few weeks.) Anyhow, that is what I'm doing...

Well, welcome to the board (and the military). I'm a newbie to the board myself, but like you, have already learned tons from just reading and searching. And, like Leve is fond of saying: Participate! You might think about documenting your 'inexperienced' experience of rebuilding your engine for the edification of the future new members of the board.(I would, but I'm so dang scatterbrained, I'd have even the old salts around here scratching their heads.)

Take care and good luck w/ your Scrambler. (Send me a PM sometime and tell me about it.)

Take care and Godspeed in your Scrambler work.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-16-2003, 08:37 AM
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Re: Reputable 258 rebuilt engine?

Two, or more, brains are definitely better than one. I appreciate the input and I think I will follow your advice-buy another 258 and rebuild it while I have the original in the scrambler.

The autocraft shop here at Ft. Stewart is ok-has all the lifts and what not but they always seem to be missing the tool that I need [img]images/graemlins/cussing.gif[/img]

The hours are odd and always seem to open when I am on duty. So far most of the guys there are dangerous-they know enough so they look like they know what they are doing, but don't know those little things that will make or break ya.

That's why this board and everyone's experience is invaluable for the do it yourself-er. [img]images/graemlins/40BEER.gif[/img]

post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-16-2003, 11:29 AM
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Re: Reputable 258 rebuilt engine?


I hear you on the 'open' hours and dangerous 'experts' at the auto hobby shop. When I was at Camp Lejeune the shop never seemed to be open when I didn't have to be at work - except the weekends, then it was always packed and you waited seemingly forever. Never had a problem w/ tools though.

Stewart is a pretty good sized base, you might want to see if they have a 4 wheel drive club around there. You may find some buddies to help you out. Also, go down to the motor pool(s). Sometimes you can find someone who lives to work on motors - any kind of motor. While their expertise in HMMV's and 5 tons may not be exactly on-point, much is transferable. They also may know good sources of information and technical knowhow... like some old grizzled motor-T master sgt. There's all sorts of sources... Check 'em out, run their advice through the wringer (your own knowledge & experience, other local so-called experts, and this board); it will soon be evident which, if any, of them knows what they're talking about.


R/ Jerry
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-16-2003, 12:44 PM
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Re: Reputable 258 rebuilt engine?

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
Reputable 258 rebuilt engine?

[/ QUOTE ]

I've never found such a thing from a mass produced rebuilder. Just about everyone will find an out rather then stand behind their work and if your a DIY'er you can pretty much forget about any warranty. Anything that goes wrong will be your fault and they will make you take it to a pro to do any testing anyway.

If you think about it the people at those places are just the average Joe off the street they hire to assemble them anyway they are not going to hire all machinist to do all the work.

I think you made the right decision in getting another engine and doing it yourself. Go around and talk to some local machine shops and find a friendly one that is willing to help you and answer your questions. Then use that one to do your work.

IMHO the best way to do it after you get a motor is:
1.) tear it down (take notes and mark stuff your not sure of)
make sure you keep track of rods(keep the caps with the same rod and the way the cap is on the rod), lifters, pushrods, rocker arms/bridges so they all go back in the same place.
2.) then place somekind of mark to ID your block &amp; heads so you know you get your stuff back!
3.) take block, heads, pistons/rods, cam to the machine shop and let them do the measuring etc. and they will let you know what needs to be done. Let them install the cam bearings too.
4.)Make sure you get some plasta-gauge and double and triple check the bearing clearances going back together.

About the only special tools you should need if you do it this way is a ring compressor and a good torque wrench beside normal tools. If you have anything your not sure of don't be afraid to ask there is a wealth of knowledge here to help you out. Once you get your motor and are ready for tear down put up another post or PM me and we can give you more specifics in the procedures.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-16-2003, 01:25 PM
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Re: Reputable 258 rebuilt engine?

Hey if you are looking for a 258 around Hinesville, you might check the Jeep Salvage place in Statesboro which isn't too far from you. I think the number is (912) 587-5918. I've not personally dealt with them but I understand they have a bunch of stuff. I've got a couple that I would part with up here north of Atlanta, but it's around 4+ hrs to get here.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 07-17-2003, 08:28 AM
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Re: Reputable 258 rebuilt engine?

Again, great feedback and I appreciate the suggestions. I can surely see how those companies void the warranty if you install the engine yourself.

So what seemed to be a choice is really no choice at all.

Thanks again,
post #10 of (permalink) Old 07-17-2003, 06:16 PM
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Re: Reputable 258 rebuilt engine?

Check out Jasper engines at jasper engines
My friend buys a lot of reman engines and trans from them with pretty good luck. Call and ask them if their warrantee is valid if you install it. The price was about $2250.00

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