Jeep Cherokee (XJ): Pistons and connecting rods

REMOVAL

(1) Remove the engine cylinder head cover.

(2) Remove the rocker arms, bridges and pivots.

(3) Remove the push rods.

(4) Remove the engine cylinder head.

(5) Position the pistons one at a time near the bottom of the stroke. Use a ridge reamer to remove the ridge from the top end of the cylinder walls. Use a protective cloth to collect the cuttings.

(6) Raise the vehicle.

(7) Drain the engine oil.

(8) Remove the oil pan and gasket.

(9) Remove main bearing cap brace (Fig. 76).

Fig. 76 Main Bearings Caps and Brace
Fig. 76 Main Bearings Caps and Brace

1 - BLOCK
2 - MAIN BEARING CAP BRACE

(10) Remove the connecting rod bearing caps and inserts. Mark the caps and rods with the cylinder bore location. The connecting rods and caps are stamped with a two letter combination (Fig. 77).

Fig. 77 Stamped Connecting Rods and Caps
Fig. 77 Stamped Connecting Rods and Caps

1 - CONNECTING ROD CAP
2 - CONNECTING ROD

(11) Lower the vehicle until it is about 2 feet from the floor.

CAUTION: Ensure that the connecting rod bolts DO NOT scratch the crankshaft journals or cylinder walls. Short pieces of rubber hose, slipped over the rod bolts will provide protection during removal.

(12) Have an assistant push the piston and connecting rod assemblies up and through the top of the cylinder bores (Fig. 78).

Fig. 78 Removal of Connecting Rod and Piston Assembly
Fig. 78 Removal of Connecting Rod and Piston Assembly

1 - PISTON
2 - CONNECTING ROD
3 - BLOCK

INSTALLATION

(1) Clean the cylinder bores thoroughly. Apply a light film of clean engine oil to the bores with a clean lint-free cloth.

(2) Install the piston rings on the pistons if removed.

(3) Lubricate the piston and rings with clean engine oil.

CAUTION: Ensure that connecting rod bolts DO NOT scratch the crankshaft journals or cylinder walls. Short pieces of rubber hose slipped over the connecting rod bolts will provide protection during installation.

(4) Use a piston ring compressor to install the connecting rod and piston assemblies through the top of the cylinder bores (Fig. 79).

(5) Ensure the arrow on the piston top points to the front of the engine (Fig. 79).

Fig. 79 Rod and Piston Assembly Installation
Fig. 79 Rod and Piston Assembly Installation

(6) Raise the vehicle.

(7) Each bearing insert is fitted to its respective journal to obtain the specified clearance between the bearing and the journal. In production, the select fit is obtained by using various-sized, color-coded bearing inserts as listed in the Connecting Rod Bearing Fitting Chart. The color code appears on the edge of the bearing insert. The size is not stamped on inserts used for production of engines.

(8) The rod journal is identified during the engine production by a color-coded paint mark on the adjacent cheek or counterweight toward the flange (rear) end of the crankshaft. The color codes used to indicate journal sizes are listed in the Connecting Rod Bearing Fitting Chart.

(9) When required, upper and lower bearing inserts of different sizes may be used as a pair (refer to Connecting Rod Bearing Fitting Chart). A standard size insert is sometimes used in combination with a 0.025 mm (0.001 inch) undersize insert to reduce clearance 0.013 mm (0.0005 inch).

CAUTION: DO NOT intermix bearing caps. Each connecting rod and bearing cap are stamped with the cylinder number. The stamp is located on a machined surface adjacent to the oil squirt hole that faces the camshaft side of the cylinder block.

(10) Install the connecting rod bearing caps and inserts in the same positions as removed.

CAUTION: Verify that the oil squirt holes in the rods face the camshaft and that the arrows on the pistons face the front of the engine.

(11) Install main bearing cap brace (Fig. 76).

Tighten nuts to 47 N·m (35 ft. lbs.).

(12) Install the oil pan and gaskets as outlined in the installation procedure.

(13) Lower the vehicle.

(14) Install the engine cylinder head, push rods, rocker arms, bridges, pivots and engine cylinder head cover.

(15) Fill the crankcase with engine oil.

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