OT: Opinions on the 2.5L TJs?

WildTurkeycj8

Legacy Registered User
CJ-8.com Member
City
richmond
State
va
#1
Got a line on a Jeep for my daughter, but need some opinions first.

Found a 1997 Jeep TJ with ac/auto/ new brakes, 118K, and overall vgc. It has a brand new motor installed 8,000 miles ago. $3800 obo.

Only problem is that it is a 2.5L motor, and I was thinking that the 4.0L would be better. 4.0 equipped TJs go for several thousand more, though, and since we are selling her 94 Integra to fund most of the new vehicle purchase, we can't go too high.

Well, what do you think? Would it be better to get an older YJ with the 4.0 or is the 2.5L motor gonna be ok? Can we go with a little bit bigger tires with the 2.5 without a gear change (not looking to jack this thing way up, but maybe just a little with bigger tires for a more aggressive look and for MILD off-roading).

Thanks for your quick replies...might road test it this afternoon!

-Mike W
 
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scott anderson

Old age Mutant Ninjaneer
City
Paragould
State
ar
#2
my brother has a 4 cylinder yj as a daily driver...he runs 35's..its a little doggy in high gear, but it was fine with stock tires. Remember the 2.5 has about 20 more hp than the 4.2l in our scramblers came with.


also his has 250k on it and still runs great
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#3
I know the couple that own www.goferitoffroad.com and they wheel with heavily modified 2.5Ls. They'll go anywhere you go in anything you'd drive short of 40+" freakmobiles. :D

I'd say go for it for sure, especially if you're staying near stock tire size. Can't beat a Jeep that actually gets decent gas mileage!

At the very least drive the thing and make up your own mind. I'd bet the auto doesn't help, but try it out...
 

CBRogers

Perpetual Parts Collector
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Yorktown
State
Va
#4
I had a 90' YJ with the 4 cyl. Not too bad as an arround town jeep, but highway with the 4cyl was hard.

Now saying that. 97 is the worst year for a TJ. It was the first year of production and several things are left overs from the 95 YJ and some are TJ. And ther eare some things that are only for 97's.

Also you are looking at an automatic and a/c. The two biggest draws on the engine.

Good thing is that by 91' the 4 cyl went MPI for more power. So it might be OK but not great. Basically take it for a drive and if it does OK then go for it. At that price you can add a 4.o later and it will not be that big of a deal.

Carl
 

jpdeuce

Basic User
City
Houston
State
TX
#5
My buddy has got the 2.5L TJ...I think it's an 01 or 02 though. He is used to more peppy cars so he has done a few things like better intake, throttle body spacer, better exhaust. It's helped some and I think it's peppy enough...but he drives it everyday. I do know they are just fine off road. Also, I wouldn't be too concerned about getting my DAUGHTER a more peppy car. Shoot...I'd be wondering about how to swap in a lawn mower engine or something. That's the last thing a young girl needs is more juice under the hood.

Anyway...I think it will be fine. I'd be worried about why it needed an engine swap so soon and what else could be wrong...rather than the engine being big enough.
 

txsbill

Legacy Registered User
City
Houston
State
TX
#6
I just drove one this weekend...

one of my customers brought his over Sunday for me to fix his windshield frame...It has about 3" of lift and 31's....i drove it and it did ok...It wasn't as quick as my Scrambler, but it was fast enough to get out of it's own way...you aren't gonna win any races with it, but then you don't want your daughter doin' that anyway.....for the money I'd say do it....
 

WildTurkeycj8

Legacy Registered User
CJ-8.com Member
City
richmond
State
va
#7
Well, it's kind of a dog with the 4cyl, but everything checks out on it just fine (pending carfax report) so I think we are going to go for it!'

It looks good, runs perfectly, no rust, has a soundbar and cd player, and half hard doors. Has pretty much new michelins on it with aluminum wheels. Offered the guy $3500 and he agreed to it. Seems like a good deal to me.

Do you think it would help the highway acceleration if we lowered the gears a little?

Thanks for all the replies!

BTW, this is the first TJ in the family! We have 2 CJs, 1 DJ (parts vehicle), a WJ (I guess?? Grand Cherokee), and we used to have a YJ.

-Mike W
 
City
Grand Rapids
State
MI
#9
I'd buy any rust-free, good-running TJ for $3500 (or $3800 for that matter) in a heartbeat. My '94 YJ 4-cyl. did OK with stock-sized tires. It was a great around-town Jeep, and did (just) OK on the highway.

Craig
 

WildTurkeycj8

Legacy Registered User
CJ-8.com Member
City
richmond
State
va
#10
Thanks everybody for the comments!

OK, here's the rundown:

It actually runs fine withthe 2.5L. Kind of slow between 45 and 55 but ok below and above that.

It has a remanufactured Jasper engine with 28,000miles or 1.5 years left on the warranty (i'm pretty sure I can get the warranty transferred for a $30 filing fee, but I need to verify that).

It had the tranny overhauled one year ago, including a new torque converter.

As I mentioned before, it has the cd, soundbar, ac, insta-trunk, and auto.

It runs like brand spankin new, no smoke no stutter, no nuthin!

It does need a new top.

total price $3500. :eek:

It's in my driveway now!

I'm pretty proud of my daughter, as the first thing she wanted to do was start taking it apart (LOL, well we removed the factory side steps aka rock magnets!). She also wants to register for the Va 4WDA trail run this year! :cool:

bigwalton said:
OH, just for you, my altitude-enhanced friend, see attached pic! :p

-Mike W
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#11
WildTurkeycj8 said:
I'm pretty proud of my daughter, as the first thing she wanted to do was start taking it apart (LOL, well we removed the factory side steps aka rock magnets!). She also wants to register for the Va 4WDA trail run this year! :cool:
Dude! I'm so thoroughly impressed! What a great way to look at improving the new ride straight off!

It does look new... very sharp. You ought to look for a set of Rubicon takeoffs and slap a 2.5" puck set in there. ;) Let the fun begin! :cool:

Maybe I could sell you my 235s off the XJ and I could move up to 31s, hmmm. ;)
 

ilovetrains

slightly backward
City
Lee's Summit
State
MO
#13
4 banger not the end of the world

Our club KCJeepClub.org president and his wife run 4 cylinder TJ's both newer, and both like them. Each has a BB qand 31's and the wheel the snot out of them, no worries.

You have a lte 97 by the front end, your sway bar is in front of the grill with a plastic cover like the 98 and up. One strange thing I have heard repeatedly about the 97 is the a/c head unit will go out. No idea why this might be true, but apparently it is too common.

FWIW - I would put the steps back on. I left mine on stock because I would rather lose one of those than get into the rocker. Until you can put on some rocker protection the steps may save you.
 

WildTurkeycj8

Legacy Registered User
CJ-8.com Member
City
richmond
State
va
#14
ilovetrains said:
You have a lte 97 by the front end, your sway bar is in front of the grill with a plastic cover like the 98 and up. One strange thing I have heard repeatedly about the 97 is the a/c head unit will go out. No idea why this might be true, but apparently it is too common.

FWIW - I would put the steps back on. I left mine on stock because I would rather lose one of those than get into the rocker. Until you can put on some rocker protection the steps may save you.
The guy said he spent some money getting the a/c fixed last year. He said it wasn't the compressor, but was "something else" that he couldn't remember. Anyway it works well now!

Good point about the rocker protection....I'll make sure she doesn't wheel it too hard until we either fab up some guards or get some for her. It's going to be a 99.9% street cruiser for her anyway.

-Mike W
 

WildTurkeycj8

Legacy Registered User
CJ-8.com Member
City
richmond
State
va
#15
GreatCJ8 said:
nice deal Mike!

are you thinking cage ;) :D
LOL. I need to cage the cj8 first!

Nice to see you back on the board, Mike (GreatCJ8). Seems like you've been MIA a bit lately, and after talking about selling your jeep, I was wondering what you've been up to.

-Mike W
 
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