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Discussion Starter #1
Considering replacing my 1995 Grand Cherokee engine this winter. It has approx 250 000 miles on it. It runs very smoothly....does not overheat....does not burn oil .....does not leak fluids. It just seems to be lacking in power when going up the mountain roads in Colorado and Wyoming....often slowing to 50 mph (or even less) on the hills. Does this sound like a reasonable thing to do? If I get my engine rebuilt (or replaced with a rebuilt one) , will this improve?
If I do this this winter...would it be the best idea to rebuild/replace the transmission too?
Any recommendations for businesses to have rebuild my current engine or purchase a rebuilt engine/transmission ? I will remove and replace them myself.
I've owned this critter since new and want to keep it around for a lot more years.....license plates for new vehicles are $$$ in WY and this project would pay for itself in only a couple of years!

Thanx! Jeff C Sheridan, WY
 

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Depending on how much you wanna spend, you can drop a crate engine down in there that has more displacement, but for a higher cost. Those engines are know as strokers and you can buy a really good one from golen, but iirc, those may run around $5k. They are built reliably, and everyone that has purchased one from them seemed to be quite content with their service as well.

As far as your stock engine now, I'd check compression on it, but chances are you're starting to lose power due to wear on the cylinder walls and rings.

If you wanted to rebuild the engine, your best bet would be to find an engine shop that can do the works to the block, ie cleaning it, magnafluxing it and then doing cylinder bore and hone work, possibly even a minor block decking. They may even be able to source parts and assemble the engine also, which would be your best bet.

You'll want to find a transmission shop to do the trans. They'll be able to get everything that you need to have it rebuilt. I'd say with that many miles, it wouldn't be a bad idea to rebuild it if you're going to do the engine, and want it to last reliably.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanx, Mike... little unclear on you last statement: I'd say with that many miles, it would be a bad idea to rebuild it if you're going to do the engine, and want it to last reliably.
Thanx, Jeff C
 

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I concur ^
Does it seem like the tranny is slipping going up hill or the engine doesn't have power? Take it to a reputable transmission shop, have them check it out. I sure it needs the bands adjusted. And a good filter and fluid change.
If the engine doesn't burn oil, you may just Need a good tune up. Plugs( champion copper core) wires,distributor, cap,rotor button. Get some mopar combustion chamber cleaner and clean the throttle body and upper intake. A new fuel filter wouldn't hurt.
In the Fwiw column, all the "racers" have their engines rebuilt over the winter, it snows here. So the engine shops get slammed in the winter.
 

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Thanx, Mike... little unclear on you last statement: I'd say with that many miles, it would be a bad idea to rebuild it if you're going to do the engine, and want it to last reliably.
Thanx, Jeff C
My post was edited for clarity. Sorry I have fat fingers and the phone doesn't like it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanx, Guys.... I have in recent mileage, replaced the fuel filter, spark plugs and wires and distributor cap and rotor and coil and wire as routine maintenance. I tightened the bands in the tranny a year ago or so when I changed the fluid and filter. I think it is time for a compression check ! The tranny doesn't seem to be slipping... the engine seems to need more ooomph! It WILL go faster up the big hills, but I really have to push it to do so......it does not overheat when doing so.....just takes a lot of revs and a downshift ....didn't seem to be that way a lot of years back...... Thanx for your help so far ! Jeff C
 

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yeah, I would see what that compression test says, but also I would think about a few upgrades to the motor first before having it rebuilt/replaced. Hotter coil and wires, clean out all intake manifold sensors, neon injector swap, and I would try a new coolant temp sensor/switch. You wouldn't think that would do too much to your power curve, but an improper temp reading messes with the computer's pre-scripted responses.

My brother used to have an older 91 XJ with the AW4. I used to be astonished how much more power he had in his than mine(98 GC). I did some digging about ten years ago, and the GC's spark advance was severely retarded from where it should be at 3000 rpm and wide open throttle; almost 15* of timing advance was missing. The programming Jeep sent the GC's out with were nowhere close to optimal power production at RPM power curve. Now, I have a 98 and they are different from the 95's in a few areas, however, I live in CO and climb hills/passes all the time. The symptoms you are speaking about are somewhat normal in high altitude hill climbs at highway speeds given your overall mileage and age. Also, I would ask you what gear set you have. I am assuming 3:55's. If that is true, I would say that you're not missing too much trying to power up hills in the high desert.

Start with the compression check on the cylinders, and then maybe start looking to the sensors I suggested.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanx, DM.....will start with compression check....back when I have info! ~jc
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Had to order a compression check gauge....should be here tomorrow (Friday 9/11)
 

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Just my opinion.... If you don't burn oil, overheat, don't slip..250,000 ain't bad in mileage. Especially, if you have maintained your vehicle. I have a 95 xj with 321,000 miles, all factory components (motor, head, tranny, TC), runs like a champ ( only owner too). Compression test is excellent idea, I would like to test mine just because. But have you exhausted the simple solutions? I read that you have tuned up recently, what about your exhaust system? I.E. catalytic converter stopped up? Manifold leak? I live in the Tennessee Appalachian mtns, very hilly here. Mine began losing the power on the inclines, didn't want to pull them, I had a broken manifold and a stopped up cc, it was day and night after I had them replaced. It just sounds like you got a good motor there, I would hate to dig in when it was really unnecessary. Just my 2cents
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Good to know Tg ! Will check compression tomorrow to know for sure what is up. I have maintained this critter much like an airplane....regular routine maintenance and fix everything as soon as it breaks.....
 

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If you have an inferred thermometer, you can check exhaust temps before and after the cat, major differences is a good clue to a plugged up cat. Bleeping Jeep dida video on it.
 
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