Overhauling engines in classic cars is the norm. (My MG engine is fantastic!) But what about newer cars? I’m thinking of having my '99 Jeep Cherokee 4 litre six overhauled when I reach 250,000 miles. (I’m over 200K now.) The vehicle is in great condition, and its utility has been great. Why dump it when all it needs is freshening?
Has anyone overhauled the engine in a newer vehicle?
(FWIW, an older mechanic at Sears said he can do it for about $2,500.)
That engine will last 400k - it’s the straight - indestructible - six right? Is it red? I had a red one 98’ and sold it with 313,000 miles on it. Damn engine never gave out. I replaced the radiator, and a valve cover, but it lasted like bull.
Have you considered doing the overhaul yourself? It’s quite interesting, and not really difficult. There are kits available with all necessary parts, and really good manuals both in print and on-line.
It’s a satisfying feeling, and a great opportunity to acquire some really neat tools. If there’s no time or space pressures, you can easily to it all in your spare time over a long period. Another advantage is the opportunity to modify the engine somewhat – certainly more fun on a sports car, but still an interesting project.
There are parts of the project that might be better done by specialists, but there’s no reason you can’t do it all yourself. Come to think of it, I’ve got a cylinder hone you can use if you like.
Why does $2,500 sound high? There’s someone in GQ who was just quoted $2,000 just to change a head gasket. The overhaul will involve removing the engine, tearing it down, cleaning it up, replacing bearings, rings seals, gaskets, etc., etc. (FWIW, the '66 MGB engine cost less than half that; but it’s smaller and simpler.)
Danalan: I don’t have a garage, and little experience working on cars.
The 4.0 6 cilinder in a Jeep is as simple as it can get! Moreover, in an engine bay that large, there’s no need for the engine to be taken out I think. Just removing the head would do it. Needn’t cost 2,500.
You don’t need a garage, you only need a tarp. I’m presenting this as an opportunity to get more experienced at working on cars. It’s not just bragging rights: Doing a rebuild on your own is a cool accomplishment, and getting more rare nowadays. The mechanical skill set gained is not to be sneered at, also.
A quality, thorough job would be done with the engine removed, and would be quite reasonable, or even a bargain, at 2500.
Engine overhauls are less common than in years (decades) past because of improvements in engine design and oils. Often a good used engine is a suitable alternative for folks who aren’t trying to keep the same vehicle for another 200K miles.
My dad used to have a straight six Jeep grand cherokee, he always made me do the work on it (he always said something about i wasn’t a real man until I could fix a vehicle myself), it had 406,000 miles on it the day he traded it in.