VM 2.8 turbo diesel frame-up TJ build

#1
I teach in the Auto Shop at a high school not far from where I live in Ontario, Canada. Last August I bought a 2000 TJ with a blown engine as a project for my students in the auto shop. I was going to have my students repair or replace the 2.5 litre and be done with it but about two weeks after buying the jeep I got a text from a buddy of mine letting me know of a Diesel Jeep Liberty that he saw for sale online. Long story short I bought the Liberty for $1,200. My students and I are about to scratch build a 2000 Jeep TJ and power it with the Liberty's 2.8 litre turbo diesel engine and 545RFE 5 speed automatic transmission. It has taken most of this current semester to take the TJ completely apart. Over the Christmas break I sandblasted, epoxied and painted the frame and it is now ready for assembly. Found a TJ salvage yard in Albion Indiana that had two completely rust free tubs but with quarter panel damage on opposite sides for the unbeatable price of $250 each! Out of the two tubs, we'll build one. Lots of technical challenges ahead but I think I have everything covered. We are going to use the instrument cluster from the Liberty as well as a ton of other stuff including the Chrysler 8.25 rear axle, ABS system, steering column, wire harness, fuel tank etc...

Will post more pictures as the build progresses.....hoping we can wrap it up by the end of the school year in June...stay tuned!

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Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
33,286
20,462
Salem, Oregon
#5
Will keep it forever.....it will be mine! School isn't paying a nickel for anything.
Well hey now, I think you've tapped into something here! Getting all those students to help you with your project! Damn... I wish I had a situation like that ;)

Seriously though, I look forward to following this swap. Should be cool to see one of these CRD Liberty engines in a Wrangler. If you know how to work on them, they are a good engine!
 
Likes: KCNoDots

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
33,286
20,462
Salem, Oregon
#7
Only thing I hear about the 2.8 is that the timing belt (or is it chains) really sucks, or something along those lines.

I remember almost buying a Liberty CRD once, and the one thing that people warned me about was that not many mechanics knew how to work on it... not that it mattered of course, since I would have done all the work myself.