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Ditchdrift's 98 2dr 4 cylinder build thread

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Ditchdrift's 98 2dr 4 cylinder build thread

Old 02-11-2019, 12:44 AM
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Default Ditchdrift's 98 2dr 4 cylinder build thread

A couple weeks back I picked up one of those unicorn 2 doors. It's a 1998 2 door, 4 cylinder, 5 speed, 4x4, a/c, manual windows/locks, full skids, 110k miles.
The previous owner took apart the engine because of some unknown problem, and attempted to rebuild the engine while it was still in the chassis. Luckly it came with almost all the parts to put it back together. There was a rebuilt head in the back along with a new set of pistons, rings, bearings, 3 sets of engine gaskets ???, new balancer, etc. After inspecting the block, they beat up the crankshaft by forcing the pistons in without protecting the crank, they broke one new compression ring, gouged up the new rod bearings because they mixed up the caps. Lol
I ordered a new set of Mahle moly rings off of eBay for cheap, salvaged one set of rod bearings and ordered the other 3 from Napa, bore mic'ed the rods until I matched up the caps, filed the crank journals, then polished them with sand paper, found a 4.0 throttle body in my stash, ground out the intake to match that, slapped the engine back together and it runs like a top, well as good as a 2.5 can run.
Haven't really looked it all over yet, but the clutch grabs, brakes seem to work, windshield leaks and filled up the passenger floor board. I guess that's what happens when something sits for 3 years in the same spot. Not too sure how much I'll mod it out. It is pretty clean and a cool rig. I do know I'll be swapping the engine out in the future.

When the tow truck dropped it off




When I fired it up. Yea, 4 cylinder radiator hoses are no longer available when equipped with HD cooling and a/c. Both hoses are Jerry rigged.


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Old 02-11-2019, 01:09 PM
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Well, the fan clutch seemed fine when i put the engine back together. I guess not? lol

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Old 02-23-2019, 10:36 PM
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Been driving it for the past two weeks and I really enjoy how good the mpgs have been. Noticed clunking in the front end so I stuck new bushings on the sway bar and put new links on as well. Only thing that has been annoying has been the horrible sounding exhaust. Found out the cat converter is empty and it's contents are stuck in the muffler rattling away as I accelerate. These 4 cylinders have a weird exhaust setup. It has a 2.5" down pipe from the manifold to the cat, after the cat it necks down to 2.25" and then after the muffler it is 1 7/8" tailpipe. Gonna stick on a new carb approved 2.5" cat to a 50 series flowmaster and a 2.5" tailpipe from performance curve. Should sound okay.
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I also gave it a bath and reinstalled the oe radio. I still need to clean up the carpet.









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Old 02-24-2019, 05:05 AM
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Dude, I dig it! I would love to have a 2.5 5sp 4x4 for some reason. Maybe it's because of the gearing ot the MPG. I just think they are neat.

I also basically have the 4.0 version of your rig. Everyone loves the 2dr!
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:19 AM
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It's nice to see another 2 door 4 cylinder!

My 4 cylinder also needs a new exhaust in it's near future, so I'm curious to see how your setup works out.
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Old 02-24-2019, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Battle View Post
Dude, I dig it! I would love to have a 2.5 5sp 4x4 for some reason. Maybe it's because of the gearing ot the MPG. I just think they are neat.

I also basically have the 4.0 version of your rig. Everyone loves the 2dr!
​​​​​​Yeah, it's got the 4:10 gears in it and I've been getting great mileage. Where my diesel would have chewed up 10 gallons of diesel, I've used maybe 4-5 gallons of 87. I love the simplicity of this one. That's what drew me to it.

Originally Posted by 4BangerDanger View Post
It's nice to see another 2 door 4 cylinder!

My 4 cylinder also needs a new exhaust in it's near future, so I'm curious to see how your setup works out.
Thanks! It's a fun truck. I'll take vids and pics of it. Should have it in by late this week. I wonder if I'll loose any torque from going 2.5 manifold back tho. From my experience, no. But this is the first ohv 4 cyl I've personally built. We will see.
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Old 02-25-2019, 01:05 PM
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Took a quick vid of the stock exhaust sound. Wow, worse than i thought now that i hear it from the back. Can't wait to redo it. I ordered up all the parts and should be here by thursday.

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Old 02-28-2019, 04:57 PM
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Here's the new exhaust, excuse the smoke. this was the first time i really revved it and all the new oils and such are burning off.

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Old 02-28-2019, 05:04 PM
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Here's the stock exhaust, yuck



and the new




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