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daholl01

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A couple weeks ago the engine in my car (1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee) started making this hollow knocking sound, I brought it in to a Monro to have it checked out, and it was diagnosed with low end engine noise, which I understand to be not good. Rather than have them tear it down, I decided to bring it in to a Jeep dealer repair shop and they diagnosed it with a damaged connecting rod in one of the cylinders. They said they do not typically do any major work on older engines (mine is at around 98,000 mi.) and their only recommendation is to replace the entire engine (quoted at around $4,500 which is about what my car is worth).

I really do not know anything about engines, and I am guessing someone around here does. Is a problem like this really needed a entire engine replacement?
 

Ryanh1801

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I would look around at junk yards and E-bay thats probably your best bet. Also I would have a local reputable shop do the work and not a dealership you will save a lot of money by doing that. Or if you have the tools do it your self, replacing an engine is not to bad of a job if you have the right tools. Good luck with it.
 
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daholl01

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Ryanh1801 said:
I would look around at junk yards and E-bay thats probably your best bet. Also I would have a local reputable shop do the work and not a dealership you will save a lot of money by doing that. Or if you have the tools do it your self, replacing an engine is not to bad of a job if you have the right tools. Good luck with it.
Would a damaged connecting rod merit an entire engine replacement? Is there any way to just have that replaced?
 

Fingers

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daholl01 said:
A couple weeks ago the engine in my car (1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee) started making this hollow knocking sound, I brought it in to a Monro to have it checked out, and it was diagnosed with low end engine noise, which I understand to be not good. Rather than have them tear it down, I decided to bring it in to a Jeep dealer repair shop and they diagnosed it with a damaged connecting rod in one of the cylinders. They said they do not typically do any major work on older engines (mine is at around 98,000 mi.) and their only recommendation is to replace the entire engine (quoted at around $4,500 which is about what my car is worth).

I really do not know anything about engines, and I am guessing someone around here does. Is a problem like this really needed a entire engine replacement?
If it's already thrown the rod there could be extensive secondary damage caused by the rod clanking around. Sometimes they punch a hole right through your engine block (but you'd probably notice a spectacular failure like that) or bend the crank. In any case, the repair is extensive and if you can't do it yourself an engine replacement might be the cost effective way to go.

Here's an option. If your car is only worth the price of the engine, buy a puddle jumper and a set of full service manuals for your Jeep. Teach yourself to do the job. You'll learn something and in the end you can sell your little car and recover the money. The skills you learn and the confidence you build will more than pay for everything.
 

menschmaschine

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Damaged connecting rod doesn't sound good. I'm not a pro car mechanic, but I'm pretty sure that needs an engine overhall or new engine. I worked on helicopters for 4 years and am pretty mechanically inclined, but that's more trouble than I would want to get into (unless forced to financially). That's sad... 98,000 miles. That's nothing on today's vehicles. Every time I hear about a massive failure on a car with relatively low miles, it's always an American car. This tells the story: http://www.theonion.com/content/news/gm_introduces_new_2008_line_of
 

Fingers

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daholl01 said:
Would a damaged connecting rod merit an entire engine replacement? Is there any way to just have that replaced?
Usually the bearings need to be replaced and you will probably have to replace the piston and rings and hone the cylinder wall. If you do one, you might as well do the rest. If the crank races got scored, you'll have to send it out to get turned. It really needs to be fully pulled apart to assess the extent of the damage.
 

capcrnch

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Its times like these that im glad I can work on a car.
Its times like these that im not to happy I can work on a car.

The problem you're going to have is, you don't know how much damage was done. Like Fingers said, you can have a crank issue now, bearings, etc etc.. Not to mention that you don't know if that rod was knocking against the block and could have done some damage there.

Either way, best of luck!
 

Ryanh1801

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daholl01 said:
Would a damaged connecting rod merit an entire engine replacement? Is there any way to just have that replaced?
No, and all it sounds like is a barring, but for the cost of a low mileage used motor it would cost about the same, maybe cheaper. See you can't just pull the motor a part and replace the barring, well you could but, thats not the right way. In the long run I think you would be better off with a low mileage used motor.
 

brauhaus

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you can buy jasper engine replacements for cheaper than normal engines (basically they are rebuilt motors)

i bad rod is never good for your engine, it can lead to scaring of the cylinder walls, holes in your block and severe internal damage...

Monro isn't the greatest place to go, and the dealer is going to rape you... try to find a local garage and a local mechanic who can give you another quote...

and one last thing, don't drive it more than you have to... the more you drive it, the increase in risk you run in damaging the internals.
 
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daholl01

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Fingers said:
Here's an option. If your car is only worth the price of the engine, buy a puddle jumper and a set of full service manuals for your Jeep. Teach yourself to do the job. You'll learn something and in the end you can sell your little car and recover the money. The skills you learn and the confidence you build will more than pay for everything.
You are saying buy a cheap car and put the engine into my Jeep?
 

Klainmeister

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Seems like you'd be able to find that engine for $900 or so if recall right. The only thing about dropping in a new engine is the prospect of perhaps having another problem spring forth. Sounds like no matter what you do here it's going to be a bit of gamble...
 

kornkob

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menschmaschine said:
Every time I hear about a massive failure on a car with relatively low miles, it's always an American car. This tells the story: http://www.theonion.com/content/news/gm_introduces_new_2008_line_of

Then I'll give you 2 for a car that isn't American:

1) Friend of mine bought a brand new, factory fresh Subaru around 2004. Now, he's NOT a racer and was buying this car as a nice safe vehicle for his wife's daily driver. No after market stuff was ever added and he and his wife were in the process of babying it through the first 3000 miles when the unthinkable happened.

As he and his wife were going to dinner one night there was a VERY loud bang and then all the lights went out, car stopped running and the radio turned off. They threw a rod. The rod punched through the block and entered the tranny. They had 1100 miles on the thing.

The dealer was astounded and made all kinds of accusations about them abusing the car or racing. When they finally convinced them that they had been babying the car the dealer gave them a loaner and sent them home. The next week they replaced the entire drive train. The engine was on a stand in the service manager's office when they picked up the car because Subaru was sending a tech out to inspect the engine. Last he heard they crated it and sent it back with the tech to have it stripped down and worked over. They gave him an extended warranty and free oil changes for 3 years in exchange for the trouble.

2) My father, a mechanic for his youth and a mechanical engineer who has been an expert witness for plaintifs in automobile engineering failures (including the Toyota Tundra Rollover cases) watched a 1999 Ford Focus drive off the dealer's lot. It got a few hundred feet and started squealing and spewing smoke. Suddenly the car slamed to a halt. Dad said, 'That f*kin thing is toast. Got $20 says that the transmission is bone f*kin dry.' Service manager says 'yer on, friend, but I feel bad takin your money-- I win, you get your next 3 oil changes here. You win, I pay for your next 3 oil changes.'. Dad said, 'Deal-- but I'll just take the $20 when I win.'

Long story short: Pissed off lady in car. Lots of apologies all around. And the service manager walked up and handed Dad a $20 without saying a word.


There's 2 horror stories. I didn't see them but I did get them from people I trust.
 

knarfks

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I have owned a jeep in the past. It is always a good idea to have an extra car when driving a jeep. And good to know how to fix it. I didn't have any major problems, but things were constantly breaking $5-$20 at a time which is annoying every 2 weeks.
 

capcrnch

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I drive an '03 Grand Cherokee.
It's been a great truck and I really love it, but....

In the year and a half that i've owned it, it's been a love/hate relationship.
I've replaced both of my o2 sensors, CPS, my passenger front window regulator, a gas cap (bad seal - couldn't figure a stalling problem out, took it to a shop for fogging, total cost? 100.00. FOR A DAMN GAS CAP).. And some other little things.
Very agitating.

But, living in Michigan with the snow and ice, owning a boat that I tow, a track car that I tow and an occasional utility trailer, I love it.
 

Bedlam

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Hubby and I are moving from Texas up to NorthEast TN in the coming months and were talking about getting a Jeep for some winter driving fun. I've just never been crazy about jeeps, though. Not sure why, just never have. Might be that the Dukes of Hazzard was an integral part of my upbringing and I strongly disliked Daisy Duke as a child. I'll have to explore that with my therapist later. :p

But hubby is an old Dodge guy (we've got a 1968 D100 stepside and a 1962 Townwagon in the drive right now), so I think I've talked him into getting an M37 as our next project vehicle. :ban:

He asked me if I'd worry about looking like a lesbian in one of these:




But I told him, Nah...some of my best friends are lesbians! :D

But back on thread...hubby says for you to go to an independent mechanic and get a rebuilt engine dropped in. Probably run you about 1/2 what the dealer said he'd charge. I know we got an engine rebuilt recently for about $850. Best of luck!
 

MikeFlynn74

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Spun bearings damage the rod and crank. The time and money involved in getting a new crank and rod and then having them machined along with all the other rods so that the new crank will mate correctly with the older parts makes the entire process more costly than replacing a cheap reman engine.
 

Donasay

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I also own a jeep and I love it, it is a great car. The thing about cars and car repair these days is that materials cost less than a good mechanic. It probably won't cost you much to repair your car if you do it yourself, only the parts, but if more than a few things are wrong it will take you a wile. If you send it to the mechanic, they may be able to get away with repairing it quickly and cheaply, but if a bunch of stuff is wrong they are going to have to spend a lot of time working on the thing and their time is expensive. You don't want to get into an open ended commitment with a mechanic if you don't know what is wrong. The dealership may be right in suggesting puttin in a new engine. If the engine costs 4,500 that would be the equivalent of 60 hours of a mechanics time at $75, without parts, if the project takes longer than that it is better for both you and the mechanic to just get the new engine and throw it in the car over the course of the day.
 

shafferpilot

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I spent over 10 years in various professional auto repair shops. Here's the deal with a bottom end problem like your rattling rod. It's not that it could have caused other damage (which it certainly did), and it's not that a connecting rod couldn't be replaced cheaply (the bearing costs around $2 and could be installed in about 4 hours). The problem is that a spun bearing indicates systematic wear and tear reaching terminal levels. In other words, if one bearing is bad, the others are within days or weeks of becoming worn out. The pistons and rings are loose also. The cylinder walls are barreled and scored. the camshaft lobes are worn down. The valve lifters are collapsing. The valve guides are loose. The valve seals are weak....... etc. etc. etc....... The proper way to fix something like this is a complete engine rebuild. shops don't do rebuilds anymore. they either replace the engine with a rebuilt engine or a junkyard engine.

My recomendation is to take a look at your personal finances and decide if you want a new car. The hassle you'll go through and the expense involved with repairing this car will be high.... but you'll still have a car with 100,000 miles on it. Sure the engine is new, but the steering, suspension, brakes, transmission, power accessories, etc. are still quite old. If you can't afford a new car, I understand. But if the money is available, do yourself a BIG favor and get rid of that POS. No offense, but an engine suffering from catestrophic failure like this at anything under 200,000 miles is just simply junk.
 

david_42

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Another possibility is to look around for a vocational school or a high school with a good auto shop program and get the engine rebuilt. Should be no more than the cost of parts. I've done this with good results, but it does take longer.
 

Ryan_PA

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The cheapest option would be to source a junkyard engine yourself and have an auto repair school do the install. The only logistics you would have to figure out is removing the donor engine if it is a "You Pull It" yard, and you will need an engine hoist, and getting a school that can do the install. It will save you at least $3500 over the dealer quote.
 

pantherbrew

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I am a service amnager at a Dodge,Chry, Jeep dealer and Yes I would agree. THere is no sense in tring to band-aid it at that milage. I would tell anyone that came into my store a New or reman motor or a used motor. Not worht trying to fix the old one.
 

PeteOz77

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If it were mine, I would make a decision on whether or not I wanted to keep the Jeep once it is fixed, then decide how I am going to fix it.

If I wanted to get rid of it, I would have a look underneat and see if it is possible to remove the oil pan with the engine still in the vehicle. If it can be removed, I would pull the pan, find the offending con rod, pull the cap, remove the bearing (if there still is one) and replace just that one bearing. Take care not to clean the pan or anything else under the engine (So it's not obvious that the pan has been removed recently), and put it all back together.

This is a temporary patch, and will last quite a while if the rod and crank are undamaged, or just slightly scuffed. A lot of times, the outside edge of the bearing, which is a much harder material than the face of the bearing, is still in place and the rod is undamaged, even when it is knocking.

Put it all back togetherr, fire it up, take it for a good run, and come back home and listen for the knock. Unless the rod and/or crank are fairly damaged, this will cover you for hundreds of miles.

On the other hand, if the bearing is smeared out and gone, laying in the bottom of the pan, and has been out for more than a few minutes of running, the rod and crak both will need to be replaced/reconditioned.

Next step is get RID of it, prefereably at a dealership, as they will have to warranty it when they sell it, so the new owner is covered. I know it sounds like a ****ty thing to do, but dealers do patch up jobs like this on used cars all the time.

YES the single bearing replacement will work, I have done it many times, sometimes on a vehicle I plan to keep and just use occasionally (Dad's wood hauling truck).
 

MikeFlynn74

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Pete

You are out of your mind- You cant just replace a spun bearing. The Rod connecting end is now out of round and the crank is most likely damaged pretty bad. As soon as you turn the motor over you will spin the new one too.
 

PeteOz77

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MikeFlynn74 said:
Pete

You are out of your mind- You cant just replace a spun bearing. The Rod connecting end is now out of round and the crank is most likely damaged pretty bad. As soon as you turn the motor over you will spin the new one too.

Easy there with the insults mate. I'm not insulting you, so please show me the same respect, even if you don't agree with me:mad:

No one said it was spun, did they? I have replaced bearings that were knocking, but have not spun or been smeared out... MANY times. That's why I said he should pull the pan (if he can) and check to see if the bearings were smeared out into the pan. It's pretty difficult to spin a bearing without running the engine low on oil.

Or you can just blindly assume that the engine is ruined and replace it with a reconditioned one, spending a lot of money, and move on.... Of course if you really like the vehicle, and would like to keep it, then the recon. engine is the best bet.
 

MikeFlynn74

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Pete

I didnt mean to insult-

I grew up building 400CID Ponchos and other motors. One thing was when the rod bearing went so did the crank and rod. Id only seen it be serious issues, not fixable like you said.
 

Brew Runner

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If the engine didn't suffer oil starvation and didn't spin the bearing, then there is a good chance that replacing the bearing(s) will allow the engine to run fine a long time to come. If it did starve, then that means the bearing went dry, got hot, stuck to the crank, and spun. In that case, there is also a strong likelihood that other parts of the engine ran out of oil, too.

If this problem gradually appeared over a long time, then it's possible the bearing is just worn out. If it popped up instantly, then that is more indicative of a spun bearing.

If it knocks at idle, the old method to find the bad cylinder is to pull one sparkplug wire at a time while the engine is running. If the knocking doesn't stop, plug that wire back in and move on to the next until the knocking stops. This is risky due to the moving parts and high voltage of the ignition system, so doing it is at your own risk.

And Mike, Pontiacs, nay, GMs only self-destruct completely. There is no middle ground. ;)
 

RICLARK

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If you do not want to rebuild the motor, which can get expensive if you scratched the Cylinder, as well as the fact that other rods could be ready to go. I would recommend you find a jeep that has been wrecked with a good motor in it and swap it out. it really sucks that you lost that rod with an engine with that low of mileage.
 

MikeFlynn74

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Brew Runner

I never had an issue with my motor in 30K of driving like an idiot teenager with a muscle car. The rest of the car, 7 transmissions, 3 clutches, 2 stall converters 2 drive shafts, 1 set of rear gears....

lol-

Off topic- But aluminum case muncies dont like torque, My iron case saginaw was indestructable. Centerforce clutches suck too. I ended up with a solid iron clutch.

Memories........
 

EvilTOJ

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All this talk reminds me of why I got into computers instead of cars. With a catastrophic PC failure, worst you have to do is swap out some little boards and maybe a hard drive.

Hate cars. Hate them. A lot.

And Bedlam, get that jeep! They only way you'd look like a lesbian driving that is if you grew a mullet and started wearing hideous flannel.
 

Bernie Brewer

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menschmaschine said:
Every time I hear about a massive failure on a car with relatively low miles, it's always an American car. This tells the story: http://www.theonion.com/content/news/gm_introduces_new_2008_line_of

I have two thing to say about that. First, the article was in the Onion. 'Nuff said there......

Second I think it's about time we got over this "American, Japanese, German" car thing. Everything is so global nowadays it simply doesn't matter where the car was built. Sure the car may have been "built" in America, but the engine was possibly made in Japan, or Mexico. And Toyota and Honda have plants in the U.S. You can say "buy American" all you want, but when it comes down to it, it doesn't matter anymore.

As far as your Jeep goes, it's living on borrowed time. Replace the car, or replace the whole motor.
 

RICLARK

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Bernie Brewer said:
I have two thing to say about that. First, the article was in the Onion. 'Nuff said there......

Second I think it's about time we got over this "American, Japanese, German" car thing. Everything is so global nowadays it simply doesn't matter where the car was built. Sure the car may have been "built" in America, but the engine was possibly made in Japan, or Mexico. And Toyota and Honda have plants in the U.S. You can say "buy American" all you want, but when it comes down to it, it doesn't matter anymore.

As far as your Jeep goes, it's living on borrowed time. Replace the car, or replace the whole motor.
+1 Not to mention that it does not matter who makes the car, yuo can put 3 cars that are Identical side by side and cars 1 and 2 could be fine but car 3 could be a lemon. Sometimes its just the luck of the draw.
 

Brew Runner

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MikeFlynn74 said:
Brew Runner

I never had an issue with my motor in 30K of driving like an idiot teenager with a muscle car. The rest of the car, 7 transmissions, 3 clutches, 2 stall converters 2 drive shafts, 1 set of rear gears....

lol-

Off topic- But aluminum case muncies dont like torque, My iron case saginaw was indestructable. Centerforce clutches suck too. I ended up with a solid iron clutch.

Memories........
That's why I didn't limit my stab at GM to only engines....;)

On another off topic mention, the Ford Toploaders are nearly bomb proof as well, especially the big shaft bigblock units. The 9" rears are the same. I have one of each under my lightweight Mustang with an aluminum flywheel and the clutch will get smoked long before the trans or rear. To bad they didn't design the small engine blocks like the rest of the drivline.
 
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