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1995 XJ 4.0 Inline Rebuild

Old 08-06-2018, 06:35 PM
  #46  
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Year: 1997
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Originally Posted by outersketcher View Post
Well.. if it helps your landlord soul a bit. We did scrub that bathtub afterward till it shone again. And I had lain those parts down onto a rolled out length of padded toolbox liner. I didn't want to scratch the porcelain surface of the tub.
ok but you pay the plumber when he comes to snake the trap at the road.
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Old 08-29-2018, 03:55 PM
  #47  
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Allrighty then... I've surmounted all the little problems that kept popping up. And got the beast buttoned up and ready to turn the key.
Turns out, draining the gas tank of the two-year old gas was simple and easy. Took less then an hour from start to finish. I pulled the fuel filter and let the tank-side of the fuel line dangle into a large, open bin I slid under the xj. I popped open the engine bay fuse box and pulled the relay for the fuel filter. And used a small piece of spare automotive wire to jump the connectors #30 and #87 together.. starting the fuel pump and letting it drain the tank. I pulled the wire out at 20 minutes and gave the motor about a 10 min break to cool down.. then put the wire back in till the tank was empty. I was careful NOT to let the pump continue to run once the tank was empty.





I drained out almost 10 gallons of old gas in about 30-40 mins


Once the tank was dry, I installed the new fuel filter and added four gallons of new, fresh gas.

Everything is hooked up. Tightened down, and lined up.

ohh.. I had to replace the distributor.. I had tightened down that 1/2" bolt too hard.. snapped the mounting tab.. (facepalms)

I've checked and double-checked the bolt torques.. checked belt tension..(can juuuuust turn the belt to 90 degrees), new gas, 5 quarts of conventional, 10-30 oil, removed the thermostat housing and filled up the block with coolant, drilled a hole in the top of the thermostat to allow trapped air to bleed through. Rechecked the spark plug fireing line up,, and made sure all the connections are nice and snug and tight.



Hobbes is looking GREAT! But.. but will the engine turn over and fire?.. dunno
Crikeys I'm terrified to turn that key.

I'll find out tonight once I get home from work.
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Old 08-30-2018, 02:24 AM
  #48  
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Got home from work tonight. Walked around the xj.. inspecting The engine bay.. eyeballing everything one...last....time. Then I watched three YouTube vids on how to start and break-in a rebuilt engine. Then read over the instruction sheets from the machine shop. Put the key in the ignition.. took a deeep breath.. another... then turned the key.

....
nuthen
....

???

Not even the starter.. not even a click.. nuthen.

So, I tested the battery with my multi-meter.. got 13.8 volts. Took the brand-new battery out and ran it to Autozone so they could test it under load. Battery was fine.
shoot.. okay.
Went back and re-installed the battery. Did some internet research. Realized that I might have a dirty Neutral Safety Switch (NSS). So, I put it in neutral, and turned the key.. the starter fired up and the engine turned over! WOOHOO!. But, it didn't fire up. Aaaaww....
I turned over the engine a few times.. nuthen. Tho I was happy to have the starter working, I was depressed that the engine wouldn't fire up.
So, finally.. dejected.. I shut down the garage, and went to bed.

At about 11:00 PM. I sat bolt upright in bed. Eyes wide. "I KNOW WHY IT WON'T START!!"
Throwing off the bed-sheets, I bolted out of the bedroom, and down the hall.. passed my shocked 17 year old son in the living room and shouted... "I KNOW WHY IT WON'T START!!"
He shouts back.. "DAD! You're in your UNDERWEAR!"
"DON'T CARE!!"..

I tore into the garage, and slipped my hand down in between the AC pipes and then felt under the base of the brand new distributor I had installed just the night before. Yep. There it was. I'd left that little plastic holdy-downy-thingie that keeps the distributor from turning when you install it. I yanked it out. And grabbed the drivers-side door-handle just as my son threw a pair of sweatpants at me. "DAD!.. put some pants on man!. You're KILLING me!"
Sweats on.. I dove into the drivers seat and turned the key.

RRRR, RRR,RRRVROOOOM!

"AHAHAHAHA WOOOHOOO!"
....
My son sat in the drivers seat and ran the engine at a somewhat steady 1,200 t0 1,800 rpm for about 20 minutes. Never letting it idle. Meanwhile, I squeezed and massaged that upper coolant hose.. trying to work out the trapped air in the cooling system.
I noticed that the electric fan wasn't coming on. Dang.
After that first 20 minutes. I drove the XJ out onto a lonely local highway made my first ever attempt at cycling an engine. Accelerating up to about 55 mph or so..then letting off the gas and letting the XJ slow down on the engine to about 30 mph.. repeat.. repeat.. at least ten times. I understand that doing so, helps set the rings properly. Drove home and parked. It was late, I was tired. I'll change the oil tomorrow. And put on a fresh filter and another 5 quarts of 10-30 conventional oil.
....
Hobbes is ALIVE!. And seems to run well!. No valve lash that I can hear.. no knocking. But all is not peachy yet.

PROBLEMS
1) Check Engine light is on. Why? what does that mean? I'll drive the XJ to Autozone and have them hook up a reader to find out what the code is.
2) Electric fan isnt coming on.
3) There is still air trapped in the coolant system. The engine heats up too fast. I'm going to park the XJ on an incline. Nose-up.. and run the engine while massaging the snot outa that upper hose.

Hopefully, the check engine light will be something minor.. we'll see.

HOBBES LIVES!

Last edited by outersketcher; 08-30-2018 at 02:26 AM.
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Old 08-30-2018, 04:37 AM
  #49  
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Takes a couple drives to get all the coolant in. As long as you keep topping it off and keep the fill bottle full, you should be good. Just did a valve job on mine, same thing.
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:08 AM
  #50  
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It never gets old... That first fire on a new engine is always exciting... especially your first build! I was wondering how this was coming along, thank you for the update.
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Old 09-03-2018, 11:28 AM
  #51  
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97grand4.0 and bugout4X4.. you are right.
I have been cruising the xj around and keeping an eye on the coolant level.. squeezing that top hose every time. The engine started staying cool. Just as you said. In fact, that hose busted, right at the connection point to the thermostat housing. Replaced it. Got the electric fan to work by staring at it a while while the engine was hot, then giving the motor a smack with a small hammer. (WACK...whiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrr) Works great now. Comes on consistently and stays running. huh.

I changed the oil and filter after the first 30 minutes and then driving around to set the rings. Took that oil to a local AutoZone and they gave it back to me. Angrily telling me they won't accept oil with water in it.

???... what?

I argued with the idiots and explained to them it was fresh oil from a new engine rebuild. But they just got all snotty, claiming I'd mixed coolant into the oil and stop trying to cheat them. I left, pissed off. And now slightly worried if perhaps there might actually BE some coolant in the oil.
Don't THINK so. I mean. The engine runs and sounds beautiful. And the rebuild was done by a reputable shop that has been building engines for over 30 years. And also.. wouldn't there have to be a failure that levels on the practically catastrophic for there to be coolant in the oil?.

How can I check to see if I have a coolant leak into my engine oil?

Last edited by outersketcher; 09-03-2018 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 09-03-2018, 01:40 PM
  #52  
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State and federal law, they HAVE to accept your used oil. Or loose their license to sell oil. You should look up your DMV or epa or somebody and drop a dime on them. -That's pretty miserable. -
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Old 09-17-2018, 11:34 AM
  #53  
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Update on Hobbes...

I forgot I have to get him licensed and registered for Washington. Gonna miss those California plates. I have Hobbes parked on a side driveway and noticed a puddle under the drivers side nose. Right under the power steering pump.
unngh.
So, I checked it out.. wriggled all the hoses.. they all see to be connected solid and are weeping. Also the leak seems to be coming from around the pully.. so.. I'm going to go ahead and just straight up replace the pump.

So far, the engine fires right up when the key is turned and he it FEELS like a colt, squirly and eager to run. I gotta tell you.I'm not going to do any wheeling in the trails till I've put in that first 500 miles. About a month of driving to work and back. I know that idling and lugging that engine is what will cause real stress and wear.. and we tend to do a lot of that crawling up hills and trails in the mountains.
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Old 01-27-2019, 09:13 PM
  #54  
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Okay.. been driving Hobbes around. I had to replace the power steering pump. Shoulda seen it coming. If you replace or rebuild part of a 20 year old system.. something else down the line is going to blow.
in this case, the power steering.
No problem. Was an easy, straight up pull, switch, and replace. The most difficult part in my opinion.. being the removal of the pulley from the old pump and re-installing it onto the new one. I just went ahead and bought myself a $16.00 pulley removal and installation kit at HB.
Witch.. is a junky tool to be honest.. after using it once.. the threads had started fraying and the nose had chewed itself up against the pulley shaft. Ehh... it worked. I expect I might get three, maybe four more uses out of it.. worth the $16.00 I guess.

So far, the XJ runs like a skittish little colt. loving it.
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Old 03-04-2019, 02:32 PM
  #55  
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Hey you all.. It's now the first week of March.. 2019. I got Hobbes registered and licensed. Have been driving around in the heavy snow we had this winter. HAHA.. its a lot of fun to grin as I cruise on by all the shiny street cars that had slid backwards down the icy inclined street up to our house. No one can get up.. not even the mail truck with chains. But Hobbes has no trouble.

hehh hehhh..

It had become a past-time of my kids this winter to sit at our large front room window.. and watch cars trying to make it up that hill.. and then.. come sliiiiding back down again.. squealing their drive wheels in panic.

Well.. anyways.. I got tired of having to start the XJ in neutral. I removed the NSS. I took my time, and only applied gentle, steady pressure to that large nut. I didn't want to strip those threads.. Got it off and sure enough.. the insides had become a congealed, and hardened mess. Cleaned that all out.. sanded the contacts till the copper shone bright. Then smeared everything with lots of dielectric grease. Reassembly was simple. And Hobbes now starts up in park and in neutral.

Thing is.. the engine light is still coming on.. I'm going to take it to a local Auto zone to have them read the code for me. I'd hoped repairing the NSS would make that light go out.
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