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2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7 Hemi Limited, 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.0 Laredo, 2017 Jeep Wrangler
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Impressive, engine work is on the one hand challenging but very rewarding. I did a top end overhaul on our old Chevrolet 4.3 in our boat and learned a lot.
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Banned
2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7 Hemi Limited, 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.0 Laredo, 2017 Jeep Wrangler
Joined
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1,226 Posts
What you get out of it besides some cool pix is knowledge in your head not everyone has. And can point to those pix and say "I did that!" It's especially satisfying if all you have done before is just basic maintenance and repairs like oil changes, tune ups, brake jobs, replace a radiator or 2. When I did my top end rebuild of the old Chevrolet 4.3 V6 (replaced both heads, head gaskets, upgraded exhaust system, etc) the repairs were necessitated by blown head gaskets and water in a cylinder. When I started it after the rebuild, it started up so fast it actually startled me! I kind of half-expected it to NOT start lol. First time I ever set the hydraulic lifters on an engine, I had done mechanical valve lifters many times before.
The things I learned:
Keep the old parts you will re-use organized and labeled, so the same rocker arm goes with the cyl it came from, pushrods, lifters etc. Clean, clean and clean some more. Get a good set of thread chasers to clean threads in the block for the cyl head bolts. Find a good machine shop to work with you will need their expertise. Learn how to check old parts, take em to the machine shop if you have any doubts. Get a good clicker torque wrench, much easier to use than the beam type. Learn how to check cyl heads and block decks for flatness using a straight edge and feeler gauges. Its not as hard as it seems. GM's spec is less than .003".
A good electric impact gun works great for removing cyl head bolts, I did not break one even though this engine was raw water cooled in salt water for about 15 years before I had to take it apart.

Of course, these old school GM engines are far simpler to take apart and repair than just about everything that is being built and sold today, they are a backyard mechanic's dream, simple, rugged, with inexpensive parts everywhere. And I'm sure Mopar engines of the same vintage are about the same as are Fords, it just so happens because of the hot rod and marine industries, the small block Chevrolet in all its variants is as popular as ever, if not more so due to low cost.

Dropbox - top end rebuild 4.3 test run.MOV - Simplify your life (at https://www.dropbox.com/s/55j6h4dd1u8fv0k/top%20end%20rebuild%204.3%20test%20run.MOV?dl=0 )
 
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