Engine problems and decisions on where to go

Discussion in 'The Coffee Shop ~ Chit Chat' started by tbplus10, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Got a problem on a late 80's LT1 Roller Rocker Tuned Port engine.
    The engine is installed in my wifes 93 Jeep Wrangler, we installed the engine as part of a ground up resto/hotrod rebuild about 8 yrs ago, the drivetrain consists of a relatively stock low mileage LT1 (85K on it now), 700R4 Art Car Modified drag trans, Dana 300C T-case with a Currie twin stick conversion, and Dana axles front and r/r, all with roughly 11K since rebuild.
    The Jeep gets driven about 2K a year and lives in the garage, she's built to handle some pretty rough terrain but the worst it's ever seen was the curbs at the mall, it is my wifes truck.
    I was having a slight issue with a lifter tap at start-up (it gets started and run at least once a month whether I drive it or not) well now the lifter let go and bent a valve and who knows what else in the engine.
    I have a couple different engines available that'll bolt up with minor work, but thats where the delemma starts.
    Do I sell it like it is with a bad engine? This will mean taking a big loss in this economy, running it's worth at least $4500, not running who knows.
    Do I rebuild this engine? Not sure how severe the damage is and it could cost a chunk of change to get it back together.
    Do I drop a different engine in? I've got a fresh rebuilt 4.3 that'll bolt up, would a 6cyl be that bad? I also have a low mileage 305, low mileage 302, and a low mileage 5.3. The 5.3 would take a new computer so I'd have to spend some money for that but the wire harness is already swapped for a V-8 so most of that problem is taken care of.
    I can also get a low mileage 7.4 or a low mileage 6.1, again computer issues and these engines would also require suspension work and new motor mounts and transmissions so there pretty much out of the equation.
    I hate to sell mostly because I'm a car horder and this trucks Blue, my favorite color.
    Once my wife finds out it has engine issues she'll sell it to the first clown that knocks on the door with a $1000, she's done it to me before so I have no illusions about that.
    Any ideas or input?
  2. Coach24

    Coach24 Rockstar 3 Years 5000 Posts

    Personally with the small amount of use and the wifey driving you don't need a hot rod power plant, I drop the solid as they come 4.3 in and smile at the fuel economy for those three mile round trippers. Save the V8's for a better purpose. In the mean time tear into current power plant and repair for a better toy use
  3. aloxdaddy99

    aloxdaddy99 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    There was an article in JP mag (I think that was the one it was in) that a popular mod was to trow in the 4.3. It makes better power than the 4.0. Is a motor that will run for a long time. Plus it looks like it will be the lest amount of work to make it happen. Jeeps are light so you can get away with 2 less cyclinders. Now if you had said it was a regular wheeling rig I of course would say through some serious HP at it.
  4. ejohnson03

    ejohnson03 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Could not find your Long and Lat so not sure where your located.

    If your near Michigan, My buddy is an Engine builder.
  5. billnorman

    billnorman Rockstar 100 Posts

    It seems odd a lifter can go bad and bend a valve, because it should make more clearance, not less. I've bent a lot of pushrods, but no valves, but that's me. Be that as it may, if the lifter disintegrated, the cam is probably toast so you would need a new cam and new lifters. The head would have to come off and more parts and more labor, so there's some bucks. When you describe the drivetrain, a casual observer such as myself thinks the Jeep was built for competition, high rev use as well as high stress. A good used 5.7 could be purchased from a local boneyard or E-bay for less than a replacement vehicle. The 4.3 should bolt up, and if you are carbureted the carb you used should bolt up to a 80's pick-up stock 4bbl manifold if a quadrajet, or with an adapter if it's a Holley or such. You might consider a rev limiter tach, because it would keep heavy foots from overstressing any replacement motors. 4.3's are tough.
    You say your wife would sell the vehicle to whomever and for whatever she pleased. Unless she owns and built it, how is that? Give the lady some reliable wheels., As an unlicensed amateur psychoanalyst, she sounds frustrated with iron that doesn't do what it's supposed to do, which is run when started.
  6. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Yea I'm leaning towards the 4.3, it makes more sense because this Jeep is only street driven as a grocery getter.
    I actually have someone interested in buying the LT1, just the motor, after I told him it was having issues and needs a rebuild he got more interested so I might avoid half the work on this project and sell it to him cheep if he removes it from the Jeep.
    The Jeep was unintentionally overbuilt, at the time we built it I was big into rock crawling and the parts used were leftovers or take-offs from a competition rig I owned, I tried to keep the drivetrain all GM for easy parts availability since we had planned on the Jeep making many long trips. But priorities change and work got in the way of fun and the Jeep ended up as a springtime weekend driver. Like I said I cant bear to part with her so I'll probably drop the 4.3 in and keep it around.
    I also have a little issue that my grandaughter loves riding in it with the top and doors off, and I might have once or twice told her when she gets her license she could have it for her first car.
    No my wife isnt frustrated with iron that doesnt do what it's supposed to do, almost every one of my vehicles run except for a few project vehicles, she has an 08 HHR thats been pretty much left alone with very few modifications she drives to work, she just gets stupid ideas from her mother that "normal families dont own excessive amounts of cars, they just have 2 in their driveway", well were not normal and if you take away my vehicles then I'm gonna start spending my time at the bar instead of in the garage working on them.
  7. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Right-I agree with all ya'll.
    Drop in the 4.3.It will take the LEAST WORK.
    And it will keep your wife from selling it to me for $1000(maybe $750 when I tell her what a POS it is)!!
    Yeah you have to fix it quickly or someone will be picking your pocket.
    Lotta folks LOVE those Jeeps- not me- but a good deal is a good deal!!
    He'll-the buyer-will tow it home- pull the head-find very little wrong-and fix it for a few hundred $$.
    He'll have your fancy trans transfer case nice dana axles that twin stick whatever(sounds expensive) probably decent(expensive) shocks- nice enough interior- I assume it is not a rust bucket-lotta Jeeps seem to live in rust bucket land!!
    Yeah fix it-switch in the 4.3- quickly-$200 or so for fluids and gaskets.
    Fix the V-8 at your leisure
  8. Coach24

    Coach24 Rockstar 3 Years 5000 Posts

    While you contemplate the issue, could I please get your wife's phone number@ work?
    I have a little money burning a hole in my pocket and I need a new toy.
    Lol. Just kidding I couldn't do that to a club member. Oh wait is your wife a member?
  9. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Yeah, you'll get home today just in time to see it getting towed down the street!!
    Few months from now a forum member will be bragging about the Chevy powered Jeep he stole from some woman!!
    Better hide that title!!
  10. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    You notice I dont have the Suburban listed on my vehicles anymore, I didnt drive it for a few months so one day while she was home from work some guy came by asking if it was for sale, she sold him the damn truck for $1500, I had easily 3x that amount into it, it was titled in both our names, I wont make that mistake again.
    When I asked her why she sold it she said I was having a hard time getting my HHR in the driveway past it, and you couldnt ask me to move it to the otherside of the driveway? You had to sell it?
    We've got an uneasy truce where the vehicles are concerned, but I see her eyeballing a few of my toys so I'm getting skittish.
    No Charlie it isnt a rust bucket, I replaced one inner fender liner during the rebuild because it had a dime size rust hole but other than that she's clean, probably cleaner than the day she first left the factory.

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