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  #1  
Old August 29th, 2003, 13:46
Boz88xj Boz88xj is offline
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Engine rebuild

Im thinking my engine is having enough problems right now that a good rebuild wouldnt hurt.

She's only got 140k miles, but I dont think she was cared for well at all, ever since we got her used from the dealer she's had various problems, relating to previous neglect.

I'm pretty sure i have the technical skill to do it, and if I do it over winter break, I'll definitely have the time, but this will be my first rebuild so I have a few questions:


How much am I looking at spending, if I do do it over winter break, money isnt too much of an issue, cause I can save a good amount from now until then. Also, what am I getting myself into? CAN it all be done by me? Im pretty confident that mechanically I can get it done, but being taht its my first time working on an engine, its all pretty unknown to me.

Thanks for the advice,
boz
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Old August 29th, 2003, 14:50
HossHoffer HossHoffer is offline
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Why? rebuild

140 thousand isn't a lot for your engine and I wouldn't consider a rebuild yet unless you have check its health first. What is your compression reading? What color is your exhaust? Do you have crank or valve train noises? I would post the specific problems here for the great advice you can get rather than jumping into a rebuild just yet.
That said, I think anyone can rebuild an engine with a good manual. If you do it yourself, invest in a factory service manual specific to your year. Check the prices of long and short blocks depending on how much machine work you want them to do and how much time you have. There is an active thread now on rebuild prices. Around $1500 is right for a long block. By the way, winter break isn't really enough time for your first rebuid unless you have EVERYTHING covered before you begin!
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Old August 29th, 2003, 15:16
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Eagle Eagle is offline
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My first rebuild was an AMC V-8, in about 1974 or thereabouts. I was recently divorced at the time, so it was defintely done on a budget. It cost me $650, which included a new cam, springs and lifters but did not include boring or new pistons. Update that by 20 years at an average of maybe 3% to 4% per year and you're getting up to the cost of a professionally rebuilt engine.
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Old August 29th, 2003, 16:24
WillySLC WillySLC is offline
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We rebuilt ours and it was our first

Speaking from personal experience, as long as you take your time and are very careful about taking notes, you should be fine. It helps to have a couple of trusted friends handy to help.

That being said, about a year before the total rebuild we pulled the head and took it to a shop to be reworked. I would recommend trying this approach. It gets your feet wet without diving in all the way. Besides, the head will be reusable when you do go all the way down.

Also, when we did rebuild completely at 250K miles, the engine wasn't really in that bad of shape. Sure the bearings were pretty worn and stuff, but it wasn't THAT bad considering the mileage.

You will probably spend about $400.00 on an engine kit that will include pistons , bearings, possibly a cam shaft etc. You will have to have a machine shop rebore your block and it will have to be a bit oversize to reround and recenter everything. You should also have your crankshaft machined as well. You will probably spend a couple hundred here too. I don't think you save a bunch of money doing it yourself, but you have the satisfaction of knowing first hand how it all works and that it was done... well I was going to say right, but it was done by you

There isn't anything quite as satisfying as tearing your engine down to absolutely nothing, getting it back in, and having it actually start and run. (Even better if it runs good!).

I'd be happy to give you virtual support, if you decide to make the jump.

WillyS
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Old August 29th, 2003, 17:07
Boz88xj Boz88xj is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by HossHoffer
By the way, winter break isn't really enough time for your first rebuid unless you have EVERYTHING covered before you begin!
Umm, Winter break is about a month long... You're saying itll take me longer? :/ Doubtful, hehe.



I dont really know the condition of the engine, but like I said, I'd bet that its the worse for wear, even at 140k. I guess some diagnostic testing wouldnt hurt, to figure out just exactly is going on.

The wiring on her is also quite bad, as in, wires going no where, etc, although as far as I can tell, everything works on it, or at least everything critical.
Basically my goal for this rebuld was to fix everything in the engine that has been worn out through age and neglect while I have the time (winter break), and the cash. Summer break is absolutely no good for me, cause im at camp all summer. Think of this more as preventive maintenance.
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  #6  
Old August 29th, 2003, 20:25
HossHoffer HossHoffer is offline
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Quote:
Umm, Winter break is about a month long... You're saying itll take me longer? :/ Doubtful, hehe.
I wish that I was in your shoes again and had a month off in the winter. Alas, they think that I need to be at work 40 or more hours a week rain or shine. Hey, if you got a month go for it!
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Old August 29th, 2003, 22:11
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Eagle Eagle is offline
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A month sounds like a lot, but don't forget that you will have some down time while the block and head are at the machine shop. Be sure you have the shop lined up and that you can count on them, or your schedule may be toast due to lack of an engine to work on.
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Old August 31st, 2003, 19:36
Remus131 Remus131 is offline
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Thanks to many individuals on this website -- especially Eagle -- I installed a 4.0l into my '87 XJ that had over 215,000. The engine I installed was from an '88 XJ that had only 127,000. Before installing, I replaced every seal and gasket I could without taking the head off, replaced all injectors, and cleaned everything so well I could have eaten off of it. It was my first engine swap I ever did. In the end it cost me around $900 and took exactly a week. I still have the old engine on a stand in my garage -- planning on doing a complete rebuild on when I have the time. Anyway, the installed engine runs like a champ -- no leaks and very reliable. So if you don't have to crack the main part of the engine, I'd suggest replacing all parts that normally wear over time -- gaskets, seals and injectors. Good luck.
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Old August 31st, 2003, 23:23
rixXJphx rixXJphx is offline
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Re: We rebuilt ours and it was our first

Quote:
Originally posted by WillySLC
There isn't anything quite as satisfying as tearing your engine down to absolutely nothing, getting it back in, and having it actually start and run. (Even better if it runs good!).
Better yet if there aren't any nuts, bolts, or washers left over or missing.

BTW Boz:
We all have wires going nowhere in our XJ's.

Almost all wiring harnesses were identical for any given year.
If a power accessory wasn't an included option for your vehicle, the wire is still there waiting for it to be added. A/C, cruise, fog lights, whatever, the wire is there and dead-ended.
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  #10  
Old September 1st, 2003, 00:20
Steve88XJ Steve88XJ is offline
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yeah-- just how you can put a gauge cluster in with a tach if you took one out without one and it plugs right in and works!

I'd definetely advise you get the shop lined up, and a source for another head. You never know if yours is gonna turned up cracked or somethin'.

I'd suggest pulling the engine and trans out together--- but disconnect the transfer case. You'll need to take the crossmember and transmission mount off to get to all 6 bolts for the t-case.

It took me EIGHT hours by myself to pull my engine (seperated it from the trans) and only about an hour and a half to put it back with the transmission hooked up. 2-3 hours of that 8 was trying to find what the hell was holding the engine to the trans.

There are lots of bolts around the bellhousing, and you have to disconnect the flywheel-torque converter bolts.

Good luck! Sounds though that you're at 144,000 its not time for a rebuild. My '88 is at 199960 and I think it could have gone longer, if I had just replaced the leaky injectors/cracked exhaust manifold/ and cleaned the throttle body....

but I HAD to make it a stroker and downtime has span'd over a YEAR from all the crap that went wrong that I've had to deal with.

Should be done soon though!
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