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View Poll Results: What should I do with my engine?
I rebuild it, no warranty, timeline=who knows!, ~$1200 35 44.30%
Local Machine Shop, 1yr warranty, ~$1650 22 27.85%
Remanufactured, 3yr or 5yr warranty, ~$2200 22 27.85%
Voters: 79. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-15-2006, 09:43 PM
JPSwapMohn's Avatar
JPSwapMohn JPSwapMohn is offline
304 AMC
Join Date: May 01, 2004
Location: CO.
Posts: 1,523
Angry rebuild or remanufactured?

Edit: Thanks for all the input! Please keep it coming.
One thing I should probably mention is that I made a deal with my step daughter that she got my YJ once the GW was on the road..which it was last week. I am trying hard not to take it back from her, but right now I dont have another "spare" vehicle. THIS is the reason I had 4 vehicles before I got married..just for me.
So, time is important. I could take a week off of work, but question whether I could get it all done, including machine work, within the week. With the time, I would prefer to rebuild. I have not done a full rebuild in the past, but have redone the top end of a 74 buick 455 back in the early 90's (should have kept that car!)

Orignial Post
The Sob Story:
After little more than a week, my LT1 has spun a bearing!

We were cruising down the highway at the end of a trip down to Lenoir NC last weekend. About 25 miles from home, there was a rattle from the passenger side engine compartment. I let off the gas, the rattle stopped, I sped back up and all seemed well for a couple of minutes, then the engine started loosing power and shut down.

Oil pressure - The gauge said I had a little over 40 psi. I did not see any change until the engine started loosing power. It started bouncing at that point. (new jeep sending unit attached to the engine and ran to stock guage)

RPM's - I dont have a tach, but did not feel like I was cruising at high RPM's. There is a high stall converter in it (was in the car I pulled the engine/trans out of). But at 75mph, it did lock and the engine did not seem stressed.

Engine - pulled from the car with unknown mileage. After pulling the valve covers and oil pan, decided not to rebuild since everything seemed very clean. Compression was good on all cylinders. Pulled drivers side head off due to an exhaust manifold bolt. The cylinders looked good. Did not even have a lip around the edge. Mechanic guessed it may have 15 to 20K on it.

If anyone can explain how this happened just cruising down the interstate, please help me understand it.

My poll:
1. I pull and rebuild it in my spare time. ~$1200, no warranty, who knows how long it will be before I get back on the road..

2. Local machine shop. ~$1650, 1 yr warranty

3. Remanufactured (Jasper or similar). ~$2200, 3yr for Jasper, have seen some online w/ 5yr warranty
One day I will wake up and realize that my jeep is day, I just know it.

88Wag, LT1/4L60E/NP242, F150 fuel cell, discs, J20 axles, Truetrac & Grizzly, 3.73
95YJ, STaK 300, D44's, SOA, ARB's, 4.56s, Bilsteins, 35" KM2's
50 CJ3A
77 J-10, 360/T-18/D20, SOLD

Last edited by JPSwapMohn : 12-16-2006 at 12:04 PM. Reason: Added Details
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Old 12-15-2006, 10:09 PM
Kaiser's Avatar
Kaiser Kaiser is offline
Gear Head
Join Date: Jan 14, 2006
Location: Sandy, OR
Posts: 642
Voted for you to build it. Its amazing how much one learns about thier rigs if they tear things apart themselves. That, and Ive seen too many remanufactured motors go bad. The warranty only applies if THEY install it themselves (and usually only good for vehicles that had the same motor to begin with). At least you'll know what was done, and that it was done right...but, it also depends on $ and time!
Either youve got time or $. Rare to have both!
1965 Kaiser/Jeep Gladiator J300 7600 GVW
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Old 12-15-2006, 10:16 PM
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crazydog crazydog is offline
350 Buick
Join Date: Nov 19, 2005
Location: Permian Basin
Posts: 865
I have been having the same debate with myself as late. Get a reman 401, or rebuild the one I just scored. I have yet to price all of the machine work, but I am sure I will save some bucks even after I go crazy with aftermarket parts. My vote is to rebuild it yourself.
1979 Cherokee - Built 401, NV4500, Dana 300, 6" BJ's Lift w/ Bilstein 5125 Shocks, Goodyear Wrangler MT/R 35X12.5R15, Front Brake Upgrade w/ GM 2500 Calipers & EBC Pads, Rear Disc Brake Conversion, Z&M Jeeps Dash Insert w/ VDO Series 1 Gauges, Tad Rack, Ramsey Hidden Winch w/ REP8000, Hydroboost, CS140

1967 J3500 - Making plans
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Old 12-15-2006, 10:17 PM
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FSJ Thing FSJ Thing is offline
Propane Protagonist
Join Date: Aug 25, 2002
Location: Granite Falls, WA 98252
Posts: 3,824
Rebuilding it yourself is the only way to really know what's in there. Second choice is to have a machine shop do it, but watch them and stop in every day to see the progress, ask random questions and check the work.

I did the second on a Chrysler 360 I had build a few years ago and still got burned though. They didn't break in the cam, and when I went to take it back, the building they were in was up for lease.

Just my $0.02
The Cherowagladabego Project. Updates coming as soon as I do something update worthy.

Bring back Junk Yard Genius! he may have peed in some of your cornflakes, but everything he told me was helpful!
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Old 12-16-2006, 06:15 AM
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jeepfan93 jeepfan93 is offline
Bleedin' Gasoline
Join Date: Feb 07, 2006
Location: machester, New Jersey
Posts: 2,100
I voted for the manchine shop. If you haven't done it before best to leave it to a pro. Find a shop that has been in your area for a while. Go talk to repair shops and dealerships find out who they use. Another option if you have the room is find another used engine or buy an old car with the LT1. Around here you can but an old cop car or caprice wagon for around $500. That'll hold you over until you can rebuild it properly. Don't skimp on parts to get it together. My .02
Jeeps are Jeeps, keep Jeepin
>It's not about the ten hour drive to get the rust bucket jeep, it's about where your your going when it's done
87GW 99 Durango 5.2 drivetrain, SOA 35in Falken Wildpeak. MT rims
1997 Ram 1500 5.2 33in Falken Rocky Mounts for haulin
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Old 12-16-2006, 06:36 AM
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wrigley wrigley is offline
Join Date: Oct 18, 2004
Location: Berkshire County, MA
Posts: 114
Machine shop. As has already been suggested, find the best engine guys in your area by asking around and let them do it -- it'll be right and done in a timely fashion. (Getting things done in a reasonable time frame is the usual problem in rebuilding it yourself). But if you have the time and inclination, sure, do it yourself.

'63 CJ3B, "Woodchuck"
'65 J3800 Gladiator Dually (currently torn to pieces)
'69 J3700 Camper Special, "Buttercup"
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Old 12-16-2006, 08:56 AM
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shadowjeep shadowjeep is offline
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Join Date: Apr 09, 2000
Location: Hazard KY.
Posts: 2,495
i voted to do it yourself. i just rebuilt my 360 (with some help) and i feel that i can do it again by myself and i plan on doing a 401 soon as i find one. youll get a lot a satisfaction out of doing it yourself.

but it all depends on what you fell comfortable doing and if you have the time and money to do it. also if you have a place to put it while your doing it. it took me all summer to get my ducks in a row before i was done.
Rick C.
87 GW/360/727/5.22/6.72/46s(ShadowJeep)
coming soon stak 3 speed, rocks
2003 Chevy Silverado
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Old 12-16-2006, 09:16 AM
Rogue's Avatar
Rogue Rogue is offline
360 AMC
Join Date: Nov 17, 2001
Location: FLORIDA
Posts: 3,439
build it yourself if you do it right you don't need no stinkin warrentee
Jeff - 74 Cherokee S 401/400/QT - basically stock
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Old 12-16-2006, 09:18 AM
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a440plus6® a440plus6® is offline
Join Date: Nov 05, 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 170
I vote do it your self......that way you will never have the "I wonder" in the back of your mind. You will have the warrenty that you know it's done right.
Does the warrenty from machine shop cover removel and I'm sure.
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Old 12-16-2006, 09:30 AM
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jaber jaber is offline
Dragin Az
Join Date: Oct 17, 2003
Location: Chino Valley, Arizona
Posts: 8,094
I also chose the do it yourself choice. It dont relate to yours, but I did it this way so I could do the oil mod on my 360 and the shop that cleaned/ bored my block wasn't firmilliar with it, so I chose to do it myself. This was my first rebuild, and between friends with knowledge and THIS SITE I did it all by my self. I was intimidated at first, but was not too bad. Maybe I'm just a gear head.....

43 cj2a

51 Willys p/u
'51 Willys Parkway Conversion
'74 CJ5
'75 J-20 Wrecker
'75 J-20 Cummins service bed
'77 J-10 p/u
'79 Cherokee
'88 Grand Wagoneer
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Old 12-16-2006, 09:50 AM
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Rogue Rogue is offline
360 AMC
Join Date: Nov 17, 2001
Location: FLORIDA
Posts: 3,439
I'll put it this way on warrenteez and guarenteez - 14 years of hands on experience here - all that small print you pay for has enough disclaimers exceptions and maybes in it to pretty much get them out of paying you anything if you don't do it exactly their way which is total BS - I once argued with a $%$%^$%$ rep about a Jasper warrenty once and the #$%%$ is telling me they won't reimburse the customer because he didn't buy new plug wires at the time the engine was installed - I explain to this $#%$%$# that the wires were less then 6 months old at the time and I was certified stupid and all this other crapola - let's just say the customer had to make several inconvenient phone calls just to get them to honor a warranty that only covers up to $30 an hour ( which is less than half most standard shop rates these days ) to replace their shoddy workmanship which they tried their best to get out of!!! needless to say if time isn't an issue I always rebuild it myself!!! like Chris Farley said in that Tommy boy movie if you need a guarenteed POS I got the time!!!
Jeff - 74 Cherokee S 401/400/QT - basically stock
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Old 12-16-2006, 02:20 PM
Heep80's Avatar
Heep80 Heep80 is offline
Grease Monkey
Join Date: Apr 27, 2006
Location: evanston, wy
Posts: 260
I lean towards doing it your self. I went through a couple of motors, and got screwed on the fine print.. cause i didn't have a certain shop install, speedo wasn't working..ect. Plus the time off to bump in at odd times and watch the shop..still dips into the work/time off factor and is really annoying on your part. I vote get some friends over and buy beer/pizza
80 J-10 with 3in RC lift,1 in. shackles, buckshot M/T 33's. dual glasspack exhaust,eldobrock intake/carb/valve covers/aircleaner k&n, autometer tach, spare tire mount w/ fullsize spare,tool box, 40gal spare tank, grant steering wheel, rhino grill,DPA (Not installed Doug T's Headers, Hi lift jack, cobra cb,tie rods, & dual timing chain
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Old 12-16-2006, 03:13 PM
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Crazy_Jeepman Crazy_Jeepman is offline
Sloppy Shifter
Join Date: Jan 16, 2001
Location: Norway Michigan
Posts: 15,996
If it ran good, prior to this. I would just pull the pan check what rod went bad, if it is a rod bearing that went. Pull that head and remove the the piston, re-rod that piston, remove the crank have it reground if it will clean up with regrind, install with all new rod and main bearings. Pay attention to the condition of all the other rod and main bearings as well.
Daily Driver 2008 Wrangler Sahara
Going, Gone, or Thinking Fishing
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Old 12-17-2006, 10:19 AM
JPSwapMohn's Avatar
JPSwapMohn JPSwapMohn is offline
304 AMC
Join Date: May 01, 2004
Location: CO.
Posts: 1,523
I will at least have it delivered to the house to put in my garage (trying to get it cleaned out now..). I think I will try to get a few days off of work and pull the engine. Will go from there. Depending on how bad it looks when I get into the bottom end, I will let that help me decide.

Time is still an issue, but I will try to get part of it done myself. I just dont want it sitting in the garage for another 6 months..

One day I will wake up and realize that my jeep is day, I just know it.

88Wag, LT1/4L60E/NP242, F150 fuel cell, discs, J20 axles, Truetrac & Grizzly, 3.73
95YJ, STaK 300, D44's, SOA, ARB's, 4.56s, Bilsteins, 35" KM2's
50 CJ3A
77 J-10, 360/T-18/D20, SOLD
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Old 12-17-2006, 12:19 PM
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DieselSJ DieselSJ is offline
304 AMC
Join Date: May 19, 2003
Location: QC, AZ
Posts: 1,925
Do it yourself or have the machine shop do it. I have used several "remanufactured" engines and none were worth a crap. The remanufactured are assembly line processed by minimum wage monkeys who do not give a crap because they will never have to deal with a customer face-to-face. At least with the machine shop you can talk to the person who is machining and assembling and IMHO they will do a much better job than the production remanufacturers. If you have more time than money, do it yourself. If you are in a time crunch, spend the extra and have them do it. If you have never done one before, then it might be worth the extra $$ to have the machine shop do it.
-87 Grand, 6.5L diesel, MHI TE06H turbo, Water/air intercooler, Art Carr 700R4, CS-130, hydroboost. 21/24mpg, dead 229 [Custom 242 on the way]
-99 XJ Limited.
-Jeepspeed 1717 -Built 4.0, FAST EFI, Rubicon Express, Bilstein, Rigid Industries, 4 Wheel Parts, G2 Axle, Currie Enterprises
-Member, FSJ Prissy Restoration Association
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Old 12-17-2006, 01:41 PM
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HARDCORE pacer HARDCORE pacer is offline
Master Mechanic
Join Date: Feb 07, 2005
Location: usona alberta
Posts: 877
I agree with crazy jeepman no point in doing a whole rebuild when it may just be one rod.
78 pacer on 75 chero frame thats shortened 10\" and shackle reversal, D60 front with spool,14ff with detroit locker 4.56s in both,500 hp/500 ftlb torque 401,built 727,208 to divorced 205 doubler,on 46x21 ag tires
78 cj 360, 3spd, scout 44s with detroits SOAed with 36"tsl and beadlocks
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Old 12-17-2006, 02:08 PM
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tgreese tgreese is offline
Join Date: May 29, 2003
Location: Medford MA USA
Posts: 11,675
I picked the local shop, but you could do it yourself depending on how much you trust your work, how much time you have, and whether you like to do this sort of thing.

If it's one rod bearing, you could fix it up without a complete tear-down ... With a cast crank I think you may as well do a complete disassembly. I'd clean and inspect everything, unless I was really pressed for time (I enjoy engine work, so it would be no great hardship for me).
Tim Reese
Maine beekeeper's truck: '77 J10 LWB, 258/T15/D20/3.54 bone stock, low options (delete radio), PS, hubcaps.
Browless and proud: '82 J20 360/T18/NP208/3.73, Destination ATs, 7600 GVWR
Copper Polly: '75 CJ-6, 304/T15, PS, BFG KM2s, soft top
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Old 12-17-2006, 02:34 PM
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drlocke drlocke is offline
Roadside Mechanic
Join Date: Dec 29, 2003
Location: Western MA
Posts: 9,725
I voted DIY. Maybe the spot repair as Crazy_Jeepman suggests. You won't know how bad the involved crank pin got chewed until you drop the pan and pull the bearing caps and look.

That's assuming it's a bearing a-tall. I'm not quite sold on that it is.

Did the engine lose power because of excessive drag on it? Is it unusually hard to turn withe a breaker bar with the sparkplugs removed?

Something tells me you should do a thorough examination, pull the other head and check all cylinder walls for signs of scoring, etc. A ring could've broken and made a lot of noise and then settled back in place. If it was an oil control ring that did it you would not necessarily lose compression.

Except possibly for the "bouncing" gauge I can't blame a bearing based strictly on the info provided.

Last edited by drlocke : 12-17-2006 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 12-17-2006, 02:42 PM
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jeepsr4ever jeepsr4ever is offline Chief
Join Date: Dec 28, 2002
Location: OOHH NOOO Im from minnesota
Posts: 3,823
I say if you have the experience you can have machine shops do the tough stuff and you can put it together saving hundreds. If not then definately have a shop rebuild the motor.
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:29 AM
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crispyboy crispyboy is offline
Bleedin' Gasoline
Join Date: May 14, 2002
Location: Alexandria, Kentucky
Posts: 2,311
When my truck engine needed rebuilding I opted for a local motor shop. I sought one out that had AMC experience. I probably would have done it myself but I know that there is a lot more to it than slamming some parts together. Maybe if I had someone to hold my hand through the experience but then again I was burned by a 2.8 litre engine in my Ford Ranger years ago. I opted for quick DIY rebuild. Thought I did a good job but I missed a major component. The bolts that hold that crankshaft bearings in place were stretch bolts - I did not know this and had a lot of oil pressure problems. The rebuild cost me at least as much if not more by the time I was completed.
Some jobs I am happy leaving to the pro's though with the right kind of help and tools I'm sure I could accomplish the job.
Steve<br />1986 J-20 360 cid/auto, trac-loc, custom efis tbi, flowkooler, aluminum cross flow radiator, rhino-liner, working AC. <br />1990 GW trac-loc, Engle cam and aluminum cross flow radiator.
<br /><br />\"The best Jeeps came from the past when gay meant you were happy and Aids was an appetite suppressant"
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