4.2 with 4.0 head or stroker?

CJ-8_Jim

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NW Chicago Suburb
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IL
#21
Where did you get your stroker?

I’m about to jump in the deep end and have one built locally.

But, then again, I might just get the new sniper efi for the 4.2. I really need to get a Jeep running reliably for the summer.
S&J engines built mine https://www.sandjengines.com/

They don't build strokers per se.... they remanufacture engines (of all types).

BUT.... If you send them your 258 crank, they will build a 94-95 4.0HO engine using your 258 crank.
And you can even pick the decking spec.

  • Make sure to specify whether you want your 258 crank shortened or left alone.
  • Make sure to specify the head you want (7120 is from 94-95)
  • I splurged for the minimal upcharge to port & polish.
The result was a budget stroker for essentially the same long block cost others were selling reman 94-95 4.0HOs

Having them shorten your 258 crank is an upcharge and then you have to spend time & money changing power steering, fan, pulleys, brackets, etc. over to S-belt from V-belt.

The budget route is leave it long nose -- V belt hasn't been an issue with me.

BUT you need to make it clear to leave the crank alone and NOT shorten it. Otherwise they will shorten because on their records, they are building a 94-59 engine which requires a short nose).
 

Domin8

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City
Astoria
State
NY
#22
1) I once looked into this, but it didn't seem worth the time hassle and $$$ to do the changeover.
I'm sure S-belt has benefits, but I didn't need those incremental benefits on a Sunday driver.

2) FWIW... see my post above. HESCO MPI is a HUGE improvement. When I later did 4.0HO head swap, I experience no improvement.

Maybe 4.0HO with carb (no MPI) has noticeable benefits?

But if I were you, I'd hold-off on the 4.0HO... it's easy enough to do later. Doing it later only costs you the extra time of swapping exhaust manifolds (which is easy). Everything else has to be done either way.
Thanks for your in-depth responses. There is nothing like first hand experience, and I am grateful to you for sharing it here.

My first thought was to just swap in a built stroker + the new Hesco MPFI, but then I started thinking that if my original block is in good shape, it would be nice to keep the original block in there.

I will find out once I open it up, but it's going to be a while yet. Thanks again!
 

ag4ever

Average Nut
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City
Richmond
State
TX
#23
S&J engines built mine https://www.sandjengines.com/

They don't build strokers per se.... they remanufacture engines (of all types).

BUT.... If you send them your 258 crank, they will build a 94-95 4.0HO engine using your 258 crank.
And you can even pick the decking spec.

  • Make sure to specify whether you want your 258 crank shortened or left alone.
  • Make sure to specify the head you want (7120 is from 94-95)
  • I splurged for the minimal upcharge to port & polish.
The result was a budget stroker for essentially the same long block cost others were selling reman 94-95 4.0HOs

Having them shorten your 258 crank is an upcharge and then you have to spend time & money changing power steering, fan, pulleys, brackets, etc. over to S-belt from V-belt.

The budget route is leave it long nose -- V belt hasn't been an issue with me.

BUT you need to make it clear to leave the crank alone and NOT shorten it. Otherwise they will shorten because on their records, they are building a 94-59 engine which requires a short nose).
I’ve got a ‘98 (I think) 4.0 from an XJ, so I have all the serpentine belt accessories. I’ve also got a 12 wt 258 crank and another unknown crank in a pulled 258 that needs a tear down. Since I have most of the components, I was thinking of using a local rebuild shops. I’ve got 2 shops close that look to build performance engines as their main line, and standard rebuilds as fill in. Spoke to both of them earlier this week. One has a backlog of 4 months, the other did not say, but I think it looked like they had a shorter backlog.

The idea of a stroker is cool, but not sure it is needed. After all, these are Jeeps, not Vettes.

The Sniper EFI looks like a clean and easy way to get rid of the carb.
 

CJ-8_Jim

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NW Chicago Suburb
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IL
#24
I’ve got a ‘98 (I think) 4.0 from an XJ, so I have all the serpentine belt accessories. I’ve also got a 12 wt 258 crank and another unknown crank in a pulled 258 that needs a tear down. Since I have most of the components, I was thinking of using a local rebuild shops. I’ve got 2 shops close that look to build performance engines as their main line, and standard rebuilds as fill in. Spoke to both of them earlier this week. One has a backlog of 4 months, the other did not say, but I think it looked like they had a shorter backlog.

The idea of a stroker is cool, but not sure it is needed. After all, these are Jeeps, not Vettes.

The Sniper EFI looks like a clean and easy way to get rid of the carb.
It all depends on what you want to do with the CJ when you are done. And if you want to enjoy your CJ this summer.:eek:

A stroker is not a LS/LT engine. Although with time and money, I hear it's comparable. But in that case, just find a cheap and low-mileage and complete GM engine with complete wiring that does not need rebuilding and put it in the CJ. Yes, it sounds like a holy grail, but one guy here whose day job is as an auto mechanic did just that!

I'm not going to sell you on a stroker.
I would NOT have done it but the 4.0HO with 258 crank was the same cost as a crate 4.0HO, and MPI was already in the CJ and I needed an engine.
Not having to miss that low end 258 torque every time I get underway (as I would with a 4.0HO crate engine) is definitely worth something too.

Do I read it correctly that you already have all the stroker components and you want to put a MOPAR engine back in your CJ?

For me, I found a place (see previous post for the high volume company that does remans in their sleep) that would find a 4.0 block/HO head for me and put my 258 crank in it (and a different cam) for the same cost as a regular reman (including shipping) +$300 core.
  • Actually their price turned out to be lower because I shipped them the crank and I did not want shortened. (y)
  • Plus, they quoted me "6-7 days to build it". (y)
  • All I had to do was bolt my existing MPI and components on to it.(y)

It was a no-brainer (and a great learning experience) for this shade tree mechanic to get back my low-end 258 torque and add higher end 4.0 HP. (y)(Definitely noticed the added HP going up Test Hill at Silver Lake vs. prior years... it was too easy).(y)

Plus, I crossed-off my bucket list: "Do an engine swap" and my young sons helped dad pull an engine (priceless).(y)(y)
 

ag4ever

Average Nut
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Richmond
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TX
#25
I just broke down and bought the Holley sniper Efi tonight. Figured it would be the fastest way to a reliable engine.

I also have a 5.3 L59 from a suburban I personally pulled, drove it to the house before pulling it, so I know it is a good runner. But that is earmarked for a more extensive project. The Efi will go on the overlander so I can play with it this summer.

Stroker will be a future project some day. I do have all the factory wiring, computer, aw-4, trans computer, sensors, etc... to do a like factory install.
 

CJ-8_Jim

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NW Chicago Suburb
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IL
#26
I just broke down and bought the Holley sniper Efi tonight. Figured it would be the fastest way to a reliable engine.
Cool. Create a thread on the install and your driving impressions. From the physical appearance of it, might that be an aftermarket design of the TBI typically pulled from donor GM vehicles. Would love to hear how it works for our next CJ!
 

BDCCLARK

Member
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City
gravois mills
State
MO
#27
Just saw this OP January post. Probably too late, but here's my 2 cents... I've had the options the OP is asking about.



- Stock 258 with 95 MPI: I had this first. MPI (and I suspect any fuel injection upgrade like TBI) is a HUGE upgrade in performance. It did have little predetonation when I floored it, but usually there was none with 87 octane.
Many (most?) people get a lot of predetonation when putting on MPI. An adjustable fuel pressure regulator didn't help me those times when I floored it.
I don't think TBI has predetonation issues, but some states DMVs won't pass TBI, only MPI (I got the HESCO MPI sticker).
  • NOTE: I can't speak to carb upgrades, but after years fiddling with an OEM carb on my AMC 304 1979 CJ-5, I swore off carbs (not the food)... life is short and I'm not a "Carb Whisperer".

- Stock 258 with 95 MPI and 4.0 HO head and stock exhaust and TJ OEM air intake.
Result: No noticeable difference. And the predetonation did NOT go away. And Yes, I had the 7120 HO head.
  • Upgrading the exhaust would have helped, but then again upgrading the exhaust without the HO head would have helped.

Fast forward 9 years.... then I cracked the block's water jacket at the weakest headbolt found on #6, so off I was to replace engine... cheapest route for my "around town family Sunday driver CJ-8" was a budget stroker:

- "Budget stroker" 4.0L block, 258 long nose crank, +30 over and decked to 0.013" head ported/polished ($2,296 including core and S&H in 2017) with '95 MPI, stock exhaust and TJ OEM air intake.
Result: An even MORE noticeable difference over 4.2 with 4.0HO head, but I definitely need to run 93 octane.
It runs great and I'm quite satisfied, but it is quite clear the TJ intake holds it back significantly.

If I wanted to spend the time and money to improve it further (I don't have a need to improve as this suits us just fine).... I would in this order:
- improve air intake (multiple options)
- improve exhaust (multiple options)
- use a later 4.0 intake manifold that is curved and not squared off like the '95

If I was going the budget stroker route again, I would deck it to 0.0" or close thereof for the sole reason that I might be able to run regular 87 octane. Maybe even as much as -0.010" (but I'd have to think/research that more). But it runs great decked at 0.013"

If you want to spend more $$$ and more time, get a short nose stroker so you can change over to S-belt, and maybe install a later FI system and maybe a later head casting (newer has more advanced engineering... no?).


Jim
Hey there Jim! Thank you for jumping in. I sold all of my 302 stuff so that idea has been scratched. I am definitely wanting to go stroker if it works out for me. I am looking for some real world driving results with stroker motors. You seem like you are the guy.

What cam are you running in your stroker?

Going back a step. I feel like the mpi improvements people get performance wise probably come from the electronically controlled distributor. The timing curve in the 258 engines is so bad, it's a wonder any of them can hold highway speeds.

What transmission, tires, gears and any other specs you care to share are you running with your stroker jeep?

Chris
 

designerRob

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Allen Park
State
MI
#28
The title says it all.
I have a 4.6 stroker, put together by Golen Engines, and I couldn't be happier. The build specs are on their website.
I previously had a 99'TJ 4.0 and always felt that the performance was lacking on highway driving/trips. So, when searching for a Scrambler I eventually wanted a V-8 or a stroked 6. I just happened to find this Jeep with the Golen already installed.:woot:
 

BDCCLARK

Member
LIFETIME
City
gravois mills
State
MO
#29
I have a 4.6 stroker, put together by Golen Engines, and I couldn't be happier. The build specs are on their website.
I previously had a 99'TJ 4.0 and always felt that the performance was lacking on highway driving/trips. So, when searching for a Scrambler I eventually wanted a V-8 or a stroked 6. I just happened to find this Jeep with the Golen already installed.:woot:
Thanks for responding Rob. Is your rig carburated or fuel injected? They build several different engines.
 

designerRob

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Allen Park
State
MI
#30
Thanks for responding Rob. Is your rig carburated or fuel injected? They build several different engines.
I have the Mopar efi. The previous owner also optioned the Edelbrock aluminum head when he bought the long block. 😁 I don't know how much of a difference that made but it sure feels good when you hit the go pedal.
 

tower210

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Olathe
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KS
#33
I have the Mopar efi. The previous owner also optioned the Edelbrock aluminum head when he bought the long block. 😁 I don't know how much of a difference that made but it sure feels good when you hit the go pedal.
This sounds like ALL of the upgrades on a AMC inline popper!! :evil:
 

CJ-8_Jim

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NW Chicago Suburb
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IL
#35
Hey there Jim! Thank you for jumping in. I sold all of my 302 stuff so that idea has been scratched. I am definitely wanting to go stroker if it works out for me. I am looking for some real world driving results with stroker motors. You seem like you are the guy.

What cam are you running in your stroker?

Going back a step. I feel like the mpi improvements people get performance wise probably come from the electronically controlled distributor. The timing curve in the 258 engines is so bad, it's a wonder any of them can hold highway speeds.

What transmission, tires, gears and any other specs you care to share are you running with your stroker jeep?

Chris
Hi Chris,
For my pavement pounder Sunday Driver I went with what I call a budget stroker because it was essentially the same cost as a 4.0HO crate engine (actually, maybe a little less).

The Cam is a Delta 991-248 which is a cam Delta makes just for S&J engines (I think)... it's the only cam S&J engines will put in a 258 stroker.

The rest of my powertrain numbers are what came from the factory: T176, 2.73 and 31" tires (I think 30" was OEM).

All I can tell you is that there is a noticeable performance improvement over the low mileage 258 with MPI & 4.0HO head that it replaced -- but no dyno numbers to share.

So my 2 cents is that simply putting a 258 crank in a 4.0 reman long block at 30 over and decked to 0.013 gave me an engine I'm quite happy with for the cost of a stock 4.0 crate engine replacement. The only downside is that I have to run premium (which isn't so bad on a CJ that gets at most 1,500 miles a year).

If you want to really customize and fine-tune a build, Jeepstrokers.com has a TON of info and expertise among its members. I would look there for advice on anything beyond the budget stroker route. (IIRC they also have a "budget stroker" recipe if you want to source your own rods, cam, lifters, valves, etc.).

Otherwise, I've always heard great things about Golan for those looking for more stroker performance than a budget stroker in a pre-built stroker solution -- Golan's done all the hard "recipe" work.

Hope this helps,
Jim
 

HighSierra CJ

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Ducor
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Ca
#36
I installed a golen in my scrambler a few years ago. Couldn’t be happier. No issues , and awesome power. Currently have about 12,000 miles on it with no issues.

Prior to my Golen engine, I Purchased a Titan stroker. It burned 1 quart of oil per hundred miles. I think the rings never seated properly. Now that motor is sitting behind my shop in a crate with about 5000 miles on it. I call it my boat anchor. Titan didn’t stand behind it at all, and Customer service didn’t want to deal with me.

Golens customer service is second to none, and their capabilities are through the roof as far as I’m concerned.
 

BDCCLARK

Member
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City
gravois mills
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MO
#37
Thank you both. I'm a builder so I will build my own. I'm not looking for crazy power. In the Golen range is fine. I am staying under 9:1 though so I can still run 87.
 

YJ-8

Basic User
City
Austin
State
TX
#38
I have a 258 with all the tricks (borla exhaust, hi-flow cat, 4.0 head, custom cam, Cherokee equal length, intake, Adjustable MAP sensor, MPFI, no detonation) and it runs great, but it is done by 4,000 rpm (really 3,800).

Dont get me wrong, its a great and it will surprise you with how hard it can pull, but If I did it over again I would go LS swap.
I don't think a Jeep I6 can compare to a modern V8, and I bet when you are finished the money is about equal for each.
 

tower210

Scrambler Junkie
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Olathe
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KS
#39
I have a 258 with all the tricks (borla exhaust, hi-flow cat, 4.0 head, custom cam, Cherokee equal length, intake, Adjustable MAP sensor, MPFI, no detonation) and it runs great, but it is done by 4,000 rpm (really 3,800).

Dont get me wrong, its a great and it will surprise you with how hard it can pull, but If I did it over again I would go LS swap.
I don't think a Jeep I6 can compare to a modern V8, and I bet when you are finished the money is about equal for each.
This isn't just the 258....Modern engines make amazing power; the ability to control every aspect (fuel amount, timing, variable length intake runners, intake valve timing, exhaust valve timing) has been a game changer.
 

BDCCLARK

Member
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gravois mills
State
MO
#40
I have a 258 with all the tricks (borla exhaust, hi-flow cat, 4.0 head, custom cam, Cherokee equal length, intake, Adjustable MAP sensor, MPFI, no detonation) and it runs great, but it is done by 4,000 rpm (really 3,800).

Dont get me wrong, its a great and it will surprise you with how hard it can pull, but If I did it over again I would go LS swap.
I don't think a Jeep I6 can compare to a modern V8, and I bet when you are finished the money is about equal for each.
Will it hold speed on the highway? I don't care about power above 4k rpms. I just want to make good and sure that I have enough power to go down the highway.
 
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