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  #1  
Old 09-23-2011, 02:59 PM
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Jeep Grand Cherokee Engine Question

My brother's 99 Jeep Grand Cherokee's engine went out yesterday. I'm talking through his options with him. I don't know a ton about these cars but it seems 99 was the first year of this series. Would the earlier years' engines work in his 99? How about later years? He has the 4.0 I6. I'm assuming the V8 from the same year would work easily. I would be looking for something as plug and play as possible with as little mods as possible.


Here is what I told him he could do-

-Sell it to the parts yard as is
-Get the engine rebuilt
-Get a used engine put in by shop
-Us put a used engine in
-Part it out then scrap what is left
-Any other things I'm missing here?


So basically I'm looking for what engines (and year range) will work for this car.

Thanks!
Ryan

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  #2  
Old 09-23-2011, 03:15 PM
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Those I6s were made for years and years and years. They did update it in 1997 to a "high output" version (like 20-30 more hp IIRC), but basically any Cherokee 4.0 will fit in there, but you'd have to worry about emissions. Those are also very simple engines...when you say the "engine went out" what do you mean?
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by tbomachines View Post
Those I6s were made for years and years and years. They did update it in 1997 to a "high output" version (like 20-30 more hp IIRC), but basically any Cherokee 4.0 will fit in there, but you'd have to worry about emissions. Those are also very simple engines...when you say the "engine went out" what do you mean?
He doesn't know for sure. He said he was driving it with a "tick" for a long time and the tick starting getting louder the day it went out. I don't know any more specifics than that. He said he was able to coast into some Chrysler dealership near where he was. But that is some 90 miles away from his house or mine.

Would everything plug up and sit the same on a pre-99 swap? Would I have to change any accessories/electronics?

I've found a low miles 96 I6 4.0 for sale locally. If it will swap easily I think I would recommend we get that one. But I do not know if it will work.
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graplr View Post
He doesn't know for sure. He said he was driving it with a "tick" for a long time and the tick starting getting louder the day it went out. I don't know any more specifics than that. He said he was able to coast into some Chrysler dealership near where he was. But that is some 90 miles away from his house or mine.

Would everything plug up and sit the same on a pre-99 swap? Would I have to change any accessories/electronics?

I've found a low miles 96 I6 4.0 for sale locally. If it will swap easily I think I would recommend we get that one. But I do not know if it will work.
Ouch, sounds like it could be a main bearing. But heck, could also be the alternator bearing and finally seized. I am not sure HOW backwards compatible those engines are, I would have to imagine that it is not plug and play, if anything for the emissions stuff on the later engines. Also, in many states you can only legally do an engine swap if the engine you are swapping in is newer than the one you're replacing, so check the laws regarding that. Chances are, finding an engine from a comparable WJ chassis would be your best bet, and even moving up to the V8 might not be too hard, but I'd check the Jeep forums on that. Those I6s are nearly bulletproof (I typically compare them to the OM617).

Here are some links you'll probably find useful, and probably have better answers than I do:
WJ Grand Cherokee Forum - JeepForum.com
North American Grand Cherokee Association
ZJ/WJ Grand Cherokee Forum - JeepsUnlimited.com Forums

Lots of resources on those engines and Jeeps in general since they have such enormous followings.
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  #5  
Old 09-23-2011, 04:47 PM
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I have or hadmost of the variations of this engine. Sort answer is the '96 4.0l would drop right in. The engine from 96-98 is the same. There were some changes to the '99, I think cam profile. In '00 the head changed. I think there were some bearing changes around '00 to '02. I have an '03 and the mounting bosses are a bit different, but adaptable.
So, as I said, any eninge from 96 to 99 will bolt right in. An engine from 91 to 95 would work to. There is an extra coolant port in the head, and then EPA regs as far as earlier motors in later vehicles.
'00-up, the exhuast ports are a lot smaller. Still, the engine would bolt right in. I think 96-99 4.0L usualy bring $350 to $400 or so. Some of the latter ones bring a bit more.
Tom
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:31 PM
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4.0 liter I6 is a very solid engine. They WILL make noise--especially tappets. Bottom end is strong unless oil changes were irregular.
Note that the 4.0 Liter from a Wrangler will not bolt into a Grand Cherokee. At least that's what the guy I bought the 4.0 Liter for my company Cherokee said. He had bought it for swapping into a Wrangler, but sold it to me when it didn't work in the Wrangler.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:53 PM
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Its hard to find any used engines in junk yards since they are robust. I would rebuild the current one if the rest of the vehicle isn't a clunker.

Or drop in a 617, that was popular I hear.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:16 AM
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One of the most robust motors from what my mechanic says.I would find a wrecked cherokee either at the yard or online and buy it whole.You can always send the remainder back to the yard ,this is just encase youll need a different wiring harness or computer to run for that yr model .Youll want something wrecked that hasnt damaged the motor ,some kind of hit that put it off the road and is whating for someone like you to pull that motor or trannie to be put back to work on the road.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:29 AM
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I would also suggest delving into the engine a bit more to be certain what the problem is. A ticking sound does not sound like a main bearing to me. A main bearing sounds more like hitting an anvil with a sledge hammer dampened with a piece of cloth. A very deep clunking problem.

As noted above could be something simple or just in the head for example.

I once bought a mercedes for parts which was sold to me with the description of the engine was Locked up. It turned out the cam only was siezed.

Another time I went to look at a volvo wagon for sale which had been described as not running. I decided to try to start it. First thing I did was pull out the manual choke. The seller said "what is that?".

It started right up.
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  #10  
Old 09-26-2011, 03:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
I would also suggest delving into the engine a bit more to be certain what the problem is. A ticking sound does not sound like a main bearing to me. A main bearing sounds more like hitting an anvil with a sledge hammer dampened with a piece of cloth. A very deep clunking problem.

As noted above could be something simple or just in the head for example.

I once bought a mercedes for parts which was sold to me with the description of the engine was Locked up. It turned out the cam only was siezed.

Another time I went to look at a volvo wagon for sale which had been described as not running. I decided to try to start it. First thing I did was pull out the manual choke. The seller said "what is that?".

It started right up.
Or hitting a 50 gal drum 1/2 full of water with a sledge hammer when they get bad !!!

A ticking sound is more like a crack in a piston or valve gear.
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  #11  
Old 10-06-2011, 06:47 PM
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He towed it back home. He stopped at a shop on the way and they told him the engine was locked up. I haven't had a chance to look at it yet. He has decided to find a used engine to swap in. He wouldnt mind having the V8 if we can find one and make it work. I'm going to get on to the Jeep forums and do some asking over there.

He decided to buy a 2012 TDI (but keep the jeep to tow his boat).

Thanks guys.
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:15 PM
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Make sure he gets the recall taken care of.
VW and Audi recall nearly 170,000 TDI diesel models
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  #13  
Old 05-13-2012, 08:19 PM
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Just thought I'd update-

After much contemplation and considering scrapping it, my brother decided to do an engine swap. He found a 99 4.0 from a WJ with 130k on it for cheap. He is picking it up next weekend. He is bringing the Jeep and engine over to my house next weekend and we are doing the swap.
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:40 PM
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130K?
I'd pull the pan and check the con rod bearings, at least. Maybe replace the tappets, too. Other wise, its a great, reliable engine.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:13 AM
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The 4.0 is great in the XJ Cherokee but the Grand Cherokee weighs about 1000 pounds more. Cash for clunkers had the right approach for these dogs.

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