2002-WJ-Jeep Grand Cherokee (4.7) Engine swap




So, I bought a WJ on kijiji (Canada’s more popular craigslist), according to the add, and the PO the truck needed a head gasket. I suppose I should know better then to listen to a strangers diagnosis, and I took them at their word. My intention was to flip the truck after the head gasket re and re. This also speaks to my novice mechanic skills as I should’ve probably suspected something was up when the truck was missing as bad as it was when I picked it up. I noticed the miss, but thought there was a chance the truck could be losing compression between two cylinders, or maybe as simple as a spark plug/coil pack not working properly. Anyway, got the truck on the trailer, and drove it to my place. Unloaded, and started diving in to see what the problem was. Another thing that was weird, was there was no codes, nothing – I thought for sure something should come up for a miss like this – that should’ve been my clue to a mechanical failure – I missed it. Anyway, finally found that there was no compression in cylinders 1 and 2 (the two front cylinders on each bank). I then decided that I needed to do a leak down test, but did not have a leakdown tool, and I couldn’t find one in town. So, I googled leakdown tool and found that it was merely two gauges, a regulator, and an orifice between between the two gauges to show the drop in pressure. So, I glued this together and got to work. Found leakage on cylinder two was to the intake pretty badly, and also leaking to the crank case. Number one was just leaking to the crank case. (I should mention that each cylinder tested must have the piston positioned at tdc on compression stroke). So, with that the engine basically needs to be rebuilt, or replaced – and then I started ripping and tearing.

I have actually enjoyed myself over the past couple of days. At work things are usually fairly busy, we are rushed, and I am not taking the time to make my own diagnosis, often I will bounce ideas off the more experienced mechanics because I feel like time is short, or I don’t want to make a wrong call and cost the customer extra money, or cost our company money in a faulty decision. Here though, it’s all me – I can make my own calls, right or wrong, and though it is a little stressful, I’ve actually been enjoying it. I remember how much I like doing this stuff, and how relaxing it is to “tinker”. So, I’ll update as things progress. Oh yeah, one thing that makes working at home a little trying at times is the tool selection – I am so appreciative of the tools I have collected while working professionally that my armature tool collection adds some extra difficulty at times. But, thankfully I have a rotation at work where I will be able to bring tools home for what I need, and this won’t be too difficult. That being said, a while back there was a socket set at Canadian tire (the one in the picture) and it is wonderful! I love how nice and organized it is, how simple, and easy to get a socket out, return it, and how visibly appealing it is to see all its little pieces nestled in their corresponding home. The simple things.

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