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Four angry squirrels, or the TJ 2.5's and 2.4's

billiebob

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Oct 31, 2015
3,723
Kootenays, BC, Canada
Good information! I've currently got an 03 SE w/ 2.4L Auto. 4" Short arm, 33x12.50s. Down here in South Mississippi I was looking into a magnum swap if that state allows swaps with their emissions. So if anyone is from there and can shed some light on what other stupid laws they have up there that would be great.
This is a real wild guess but I'm thinking an '03 just has to meet '03 emissions so if you pick an '03 or newer V8 from a "passenger" vehicle, not a light truck, and retain ALL the stock parts, computers, cats, etc..... when done if that V8 still conforms to the original emissions requirements, you should be OK.... at least in BC, Canada that works.
 

Rob5589

Certified video trained differential rebuilder
Supporting Member
Aug 29, 2016
6,205
W Sacramento, Kalifornia
Good information! I've currently got an 03 SE w/ 2.4L Auto. 4" Short arm, 33x12.50s. Down here in South Mississippi I needed the 33s because I was bottoming out on the 31s everywhere I went. Got the lift and tires and now this thing is a dog. I was planning on re-gearing it but the ole girl started showing her ass and has been laid up for a while waiting on time and funds to free up (kids ain't cheap by the way). Now I got orders taking me up to Maryland so after a deployment I was looking into a magnum swap if that state allows swaps with their emissions. So if anyone is from there and can shed some light on what other stupid laws they have up there that would be great. Just like with their gun laws it's pretty difficult getting a straight answer on anything (bumper heights, tire width, aux lights, etc.). Either way the trooper has done me well and even though it is pretty gutless I have grown to love it.
Great first post, welcome aboard. A V8 swap is awesome but it is a rabbit hole you want to explore fully before diving in. You'll need to do something about the axles as well, ie, new or beefed up. And tossing in a V8 does not mean you won't still need a gear swap.
 
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Kelly Butler

Member
Aug 22, 2018
46
Stark NH
Thanks Chris. I'm hoping that other SE drivers drop in and add to it.
I am a new SE owner and I always think I'm revving my engine to high before I shift but that's where it likes to be! I'm new to the Forum and I'm having a few issues with my TJ I just need to figure out where to post it to get answers.
 

Rob5589

Certified video trained differential rebuilder
Supporting Member
Aug 29, 2016
6,205
W Sacramento, Kalifornia
I am a new SE owner and I always think I'm revving my engine to high before I shift but that's where it likes to be! I'm new to the Forum and I'm having a few issues with my TJ I just need to figure out where to post it to get answers.
Cool man, welcome to the forum and SE life :D Revving to 4k or so for shifting isn't an issue. My usual shift points are generally around 3.5k but jumping on the fwy I will be at 4K or a touch more. I run 4.88's so it hits that point sooner than a stock geared TJ.
 
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Kelly Butler

Member
Aug 22, 2018
46
Stark NH
Cool man, welcome to the forum and SE life :D Revving to 4k or so for shifting isn't an issue. My usual shift points are generally around 3.5k but jumping on the fwy I will be at 4K or a touch more. I run 4.88's so it hits that point sooner than a stock geared TJ.
Thanks for the reply! I'm a brandy new Jeep owner and I need to find a manual so I can rent on my own Jeep. Any suggestions? I have a bad vibration in my Jeep and also front end issues when I go over a bump I feel like I'm going to crash. Not sure how to post my issues if I have to find a thread or not any help will be appreciated.
 

Rob5589

Certified video trained differential rebuilder
Supporting Member
Aug 29, 2016
6,205
W Sacramento, Kalifornia
Thanks for the reply! I'm a brandy new Jeep owner and I need to find a manual so I can rent on my own Jeep. Any suggestions? I have a bad vibration in my Jeep and also front end issues when I go over a bump I feel like I'm going to crash. Not sure how to post my issues if I have to find a thread or not any help will be appreciated.
First check would be a dry steer test. There are YT vids on it. Basically, have someone inside move the steering wheel back and forth while you lay under the front end and look for loose components.
 
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Kelly Butler

Member
Aug 22, 2018
46
Stark NH
First check would be a dry steer test. There are YT vids on it. Basically, have someone inside move the steering wheel back and forth while you lay under the front end and look for loose components.
I will try that. Any suggestions on a paper repair manual for 2003 TJ 2.4 liter
 

Badmfbri

Member
Nov 4, 2018
50
Denver,CO
Off roading an SE. The four bangers off road just like any other TJ, with some points to consider. We've built our SE small and light right? The implications of that are you are not going to go through or over stuff that the bigger TJ's can. This is where the thinking mans TJ comes in. Get down in the gears. Don't be afraid of low range. Keep the RPM's up. Pick your lines with care and drive around stuff, rather than over or through. Use your winch for steep or really rough terrain. Using proper caution, don't be afraid of dodging between trees and rocks, or going under stuff. The beauty of a small and light build is that you can go places that bigger rigs physically can't. Let you're suspension and tires do their jobs. Finesse your way through obstacles rather than using brute force. The up side of this is you won't break nearly as much stuff as the brute force crowd. With an upgraded SE and the proper attitude, the SE is as capable and reliable as the day is long.
I don't drive a four-banger, but I read this thread anyway. This last part that I am replying to is especially true. Sun Tzu said something very similar and he didn't drive a small TJ either.

Nicely done! This was very well thought out and concise.
 
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Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 9, 2015
10,625
Escondido California
I will keep that in mind. I treat my jeep like it's my baby.
As above, you're shifting at too low of an rpm. On top of their description of the torque and what rpms it is best at, driving an engine too conservatively like that is a sure-fire way to clog it up with carbon deposits. Carbon deposits form inside the combustion chambers reducing their volume, causing the fuel to ignite prematurely from being over-compressed. That's what causes pinging/premature detonation. It's actually better for an engine to be driven more aggressively than less aggressively. It stays clean more easily and deposits are far less likely to form.
 
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Don Ashcraft

TJ Enthusiast
Nov 13, 2018
138
Kalamazoo, MI
Man, this is fantastic stuff! I was thinking I was going to be super disappointed with the 2.4 after having two 4.0 Cherokees before it. I was so wrong. I love the gas mileage and in the city, or on country roads it’s great. I’ve taken it in a 5 hour highway drive to upper Michigan recently and just accepted 65 uphill was going to be the norm. No regrets. Love my Jeep. I’m really glad I was referred here. Thanks for this. Hopefully I’ll be adding something of substance soon. Cheers!
 
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SOMD-JeepFan

Member
Nov 6, 2018
54
Hollywood, MD
StG58,

Thanks for the great write up. This is a lot of useful information especially for a new Jeep owner such as myself. There seems to be a lot of great recommendations for me to do to the Jeep. Unfortunately, the weather is turning against us in the northeast, so many of the recommendations (coolant system, frame cleaning) will have to wait until things warm up. Also, it's hunting season, so my time is limited. I have National Guard duty this weekend, so I may take the Jeep on 95/495 around the DC area to see how she does.
 
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OP
StG58

StG58

Backwoods Amateur
Supporting Member
Oct 29, 2015
6,096
Orygun, the wet side...
StG58,

Thanks for the great write up. This is a lot of useful information especially for a new Jeep owner such as myself. There seems to be a lot of great recommendations for me to do to the Jeep. Unfortunately, the weather is turning against us in the northeast, so many of the recommendations (coolant system, frame cleaning) will have to wait until things warm up. Also, it's hunting season, so my time is limited. I have National Guard duty this weekend, so I may take the Jeep on 95/495 around the DC area to see how she does.
You're very welcome! I'm betting you'll enjoy the heck out of your TJ.

The TJ is good at telling you what it actually needs. In the grand scheme of things, that's not much for most people. Maintenance, care, and driving...

The CJ2A had 60 HP and a comparatively fragile drive train with a very primitive suspension. They used to, and still do, go places that will amaze you. Our TJ's are orders of magnitude more capable. It mostly boils down to driver skill and experience, with a little crazy thrown in for good measure.
 
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Ehallspqr

New Member
May 14, 2019
3
Wa. State
Old Thread but great reading it. Love my SE 4 banger of all the Jeeps and 4x4’s I’ve owned. Cheap, light weight and the TJ’s are smallish compared to the JK and JL. Had both the 2.5 5-spd and my current 2.4 6-spd. Much prefer the later. Upgraded Squirrels are much peppier. I agree with the consensus to keep the weight down, 33’s or less and have the correct gearing. Mine originally had 3.73 but I changed to 4.56 and it’s about right. I live in a hilly area but have no problem keeping up with traffic. It takes a bit more attention and you can’t be afraid to wringe the engine out a bit.

93870



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OP
StG58

StG58

Backwoods Amateur
Supporting Member
Oct 29, 2015
6,096
Orygun, the wet side...
I don't drive a four-banger, but I read this thread anyway. This last part that I am replying to is especially true. Sun Tzu said something very similar and he didn't drive a small TJ either.

Nicely done! This was very well thought out and concise.
Thank you.

I read that and thought about writing a thread titled "Sun Tzu and the art of Squirrel Wrangling". Tips and tricks for herding four angry squirrels through life's highways and byways.

Hmmm...where's my copy of Sun Tzu...