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Old 08-01-2009, 02:17 PM   #1
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Newby diesel advice/info

I have had restoring my Jeep in the back of my mind for a while, and have also been toying with the idea of sticking a diesel in it. While I know this won't happen any time soon, I love info. I plan to buy the engine (probably used, because of $), but I'm not sure what model/year I should get.

I want something that gets decent mileage if I baby the throttle, but can do moderate hauling if I hammer it. I am also intrigued by the idea of a "no electronics" engine, and just use mechanical controls (EMP-resistant!).

Another feature that lures me to diesel is the fuel compatibility. I have heard that a diesel (namely an old diesel) can run just about any fuel, from vodka to kerosene. I might have it rigged with a dual-fuel switch, to run propane or liquid fuel.

Again I have no experience with diesels (unless moving trucks count ) so any info/advice would be appreciated. What model/year diesel do you have? How has it held up over the years? What kind of maintenance do you need?
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Old 08-01-2009, 07:29 PM   #2
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Try 4btswaps.com for a whole bunch of crazy folks who do this sort of thing.

Personally, I'm getting quite addicted to the idea of a 3.3BT in an older Cherokee... 30mpg+ is reported.
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Old 08-02-2009, 06:45 AM   #3
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Well, if you plan to pick an old Cherokee, be sure to get one from pre-1987. That was the year that Chrysler took over and ruined the whole shebang.
This 86 seems to take a beating and come back for more, though. I think its a good choice.

And, yes, 30+ MPG in a small pickup catches my attention as well
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Old 08-02-2009, 01:27 PM   #4
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Old Renault diesels fit perfectly, such as the one in the Le Sharo Winnebago. In Europe during the Renault/AMC era, the CJ had a turbo diesel option.
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Old 08-02-2009, 06:40 PM   #5
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They did this on Xtreme 4x4, except it was a Suzuki Samurai. They used a VW TDI diesel engine, and converted it to run on WVO.
http://www.powerblocktv.com/site3/in...-03&ep_sea0801

There is a rare version of the TDI that is all mechanical injection.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:29 PM   #6
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I have been looking at my options, and here are a few more details.

I am fairly sure I want to stick with a 3 or 4 cyl, with no more than 3.3 or so liters. I was looking into a 4bt or 6bt, but found out that the 4bt weighs about 700 lbs! The Comanche was not built with very even weight distribution, so I want to stick with something a little lighter (than the 4bt).

I'll also want one from pre-90s because I want as much user serviceability and mechanical apparatus as possible.

One of the reasons that I am looking at an engine swap at all is because I want more power from a smaller engine. That's partially induced by the lack of power from the current power plant. I can't go over 60 up a slight grade without dropping into 4th! That's not helped by the bigger than stock tires.

Will a TX inspection station be able to give me a performance analysis? I would like to know how much power I'm getting from this engine, so I can try to look for something with ~150-200%. I'm also curious as to the power curve. Could I get that at a jiffy lube or would I need to call around?

I was looking at an 80s VW TDI but never looked much into it. What kind of HP and torque can I expect from one of those? I don't really want a heap more power, but just a little more than what I have now.

Mike: I know that the MJ/XJ also had a 2.1 diesel (not sure if turbo) in the states. Was that a reliable/economical/powerful engine? How hard is it to get a renault engine/parts in the states?

I guess that I am also lured in by the idea of getting great towing power AND great MPGs at the same time. Is this realistic? As you can see, I am not too partial to any one engine, but I want to stay away from Ford/Chevy/GMC.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:16 AM   #7
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During my repair, I found that this jeep has been in an accident. Although the damage is superficial, I don't think I'll be keeping this truck forever. I am a perfectionist, and if it isn't perfect (or I can't make it so) I don't really want to try. But I plan to keep this truck for awhile, and sell it when the time is right.

All that to say that I don't think this jeep will be the lucky winner of a new diesel engine. I might get a 60s small pickup and do it with that. That would be easier, anyway, because it wouldn't be a **shudder** unibody... and I could weld mounts right onto the frame.

OTOH, Here's a video of someone who has done something similar to what I want:
(He must be an Okie)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxnU3F6EM-0
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:39 PM   #8
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VERY IMPORTANT: If you swap engines, SWAP TRANSMISSIONS TOO!!! People who swap only the engine are invariably disapointed when they keep the gas transmission- VERY IMPT to have your transmission matched to the diesel, as the whole engine dynamics- RPM's, torque, most efficient HP range- are VERY DIFFERENT between gas/diesel!
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Old 09-23-2009, 05:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squirrl22 View Post
VERY IMPORTANT: If you swap engines, SWAP TRANSMISSIONS TOO!!! People who swap only the engine are invariably disapointed when they keep the gas transmission- VERY IMPT to have your transmission matched to the diesel, as the whole engine dynamics- RPM's, torque, most efficient HP range- are VERY DIFFERENT between gas/diesel!
Thanks for that advice, I'll be sure to keep that in mind for whenever I DO (sometime) get a diesel vehicle.


As far as the maintenance goes, the hood now has primer on it and is awaiting... another coat of primer, colour, then clearcoat.
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