The 2.4L Jeep Wrangler engine made its entrance in the 2003 model year, replacing the 2.5 liter motor. Named the PowerTech 2.4, the all-new Jeep Wrangler engine was based upon the same four-cylinder engine found in the Chrysler and Dodge Neon. The 2.4 Jeep Wrangler engine was later replaced in 2007 by the 3.8 liter V-6.
The 2.4 PowerTech four cylinder more power than the older 2.5 and ran seemingly smoother as well. The Jeep Wrangler engine made 147hp @ 5200 RPM and 162 foot-pounds of torque at 4000 RPM. It is widely believed that these increases in horsepower and torque can be attributed to the 16-valve, dual overhead cam design. The biggest drawback to the 2.4 liter Jeep Wrangler engine is the fuel economy observed. A Jeep wrangler with the 2.4 liter four cylinder would muster at best 18 miles per gallon city and 20 miles per gallon highway. Other Jeep lineups such as the new Liberty, Patriot and Compass however, boosted the fuel economy figures dramatically with some models getting close to 30 miles per gallon using more advanced variations of the 2.4 engine.
Although the 2.4 liter PowerTech Jeep Wrangler Engine was only available for a relatively short time, the engine is considered very reliable with no common major problems associated with it. Parts for the engine are still readily available however; this may change as time goes on.
Even though the PowerTech 2.4 was based off the passenger car versions of the four cylinder, a multitude of parts cannot be interchanged. Due to these incompatibilities, the Jeep's version of the 2.4 liter engine cannot share in the many performance upgrades the passenger car engine variations available. Certain modifications such as high performance computer chips and aftermarket exhaust can be obtained for the Jeep PowerTech however.
For those with an older, worn out or inoperable 2.5 liter Jeep engine, the 2.4 PowerTech can prove to be a sound alternative. The only problem with swapping out a 2.5 for a more advanced 2.4 liter PowerTech is transmission incompatibility. The newer 2.4 will not mate up to any transmission, manual or automatic, due to the completely different bell housing bolt patterns and spline shaft. The swap would also require the newer computer system from an originally equipped Jeep 2.4 liter engine as well.
Many people with an originally equipped 2.4 liter PowerTech Jeep Wrangler engine consider the power plant to be underpowered and desire to upgrade to the more potent 4.0 liter inline six or larger V-8. For some the swap can be very costly as the drivetrain and computer also needs to be from an original 4.0 liter powered Jeep.
The 2.4 PowerTech would make a great candidate for small weekend sand buggies as well as small rock crawling machines. The relative small size of the motor and smooth operation as well as reliability has piqued the interest of enthusiasts throughout the years.
Maintenance for the 2.4 includes changing the oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles and changing the timing belt every 90,000 miles. Changing the timing belt when recommended will help curb the potential of having it snap or disintegrate, resulting in major damage to the engine.
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