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97 zj what to do advice

Old 12-04-2016, 11:07 AM
  #1  
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Year: 1997
Model: Grand Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default 97 zj what to do advice

ok peeps i picked up a 97 grand cherokee zj with bad motor and trans
got it real real cheap my options are limited to my income was wondering which way to turn v-8 auto or stay with 6cyl auto and just do a rebuild on motor and change trans out cuz i heard them trannies are very expensive to do anything with help an old man out peeps need your polite input thanks
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Old 12-04-2016, 06:52 PM
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Year: 2000
Model: Grand Cherokee (WJ)
Engine: 4.0L
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First of all, welcome to CF!

Changing to a V8 is impractical because you'd have to change all the electronics as well. It's not like in the old days where we could stick anything that would fit into a car and drive it, sorry to say. Those were good times. I'm 71 and been turning wrenches since I was 16. We built a lot of deathtraps that went like scalded apes!

Since the mid 80s with fuel injection and EPA standards, it's quite hard to build something and it gets more complicated every year.

Your best bet is to pull everything out and find what's wrong with it. If the engine will crank, do a compression test first and see if there's even a hint of oil pressure while cranking. If you can get it started, then you can see if there's any life left in the transmission. It's unusual for both the engine and trans to die at the same time. If the trans needs work, you can save a lot of money taking it out and giving it to a shop to rebuild.

The 4.0 is probably the most reliable engine AMC ever built. They've been known to go well over 250K miles without major work. Good luck and keep the faith.
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Old 12-04-2016, 08:41 PM
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Engine: 4.0L (AMC) Straight Six
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Yeah, the I6 is a tough engine, I'd focus on upgrading it to get more horsepower and better performance.
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Old 12-04-2016, 09:51 PM
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If you want MY opinion, don't waste your money modifying the 4.0. You don't gain a whole lot and it's got plenty of torque as is. I'd rather have an engine that fires up every time I ask it to than get a little extra horsepower.

I load my WJ with between 600 to 800 lbs of newspapers and it doesn't care. It's a little slow on braking loaded like that, but when I push the go pedal, it responds.
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Old 12-05-2016, 01:27 PM
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Year: 1996
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Engine: 4.0
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stroker kit might be an option since you are looking to rebuild the motor anyway.
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