2002 Jeep Liberty Engine Replacement - what else?

We are going to have the engine replaced (it threw a rod) in our Liberty.
(This is already decided…we love it and it’s much cheaper than going new. Everything else is in good shape
and we have a livable estimate from a reputable mechanic.)

The question is…what other things should be changed while the engine is being replaced?

Please indicate those that are mandatory and those that are just a good suggestion.

Thank you!

Rely on the mechanic’s advice. He’s “hands on” and can evalluate the condition of things. And if he’s just replacing the “short block” the needs will be greater, and the heads will be swapped over. Additionally, if it’s a manual the clutch assembly may be prudent, depending on how new it is.

He’ll likely want to change the belts.
I’m sure there’ll be coolant parts (like hoses) and that he’ll want to change too.

Good time to check the radiator. If the back side has missing fins between the tubes, get rid of it.

Does this Jeep have an automatic transmission?
If so, what is the maintenance history of that transmission?

I ask that question because…if the trans fluid of this 11 year old vehicle has never been changed, you can count on trans failure in the near future, and that will likely cost a couple of thousand $$.

So…I would strongly suggest a fluid & filter change while the vehicle is in the shop for engine replacement. Don’t believe the Old Wives’ Tales about the dangers resulting from changing old trans fluid. Old Wives don’t know much about cars.

If you’re going with a used engine then I would strongly suggest a new rear main seal on the engine and a new front pump seal on the transmission if it’s an automatic. JMO, but these seals are a must and many an engine or transmission has had to come back out at some point because this was not done while the opportunity existed.

Not meaning to come across a a preacher here, but you state the engine threw a rod. Other than a metallurgy failure (the odds of which are close to zero) a thrown rod is usually traced back to lack of oil, lack of oil changes, excessive revving, or wear due to high miles and ignoring any symptoms.

iI just put a 2006 engine in a 2003 jeep Liberty 3.7 L but the torque converter will not fit can some one please tell me why are the cranks a different size or did my mechanic not know what he was doing?

@whcunni the torque converter bolts to the flexplate

The flexplate bolts to the crankshaft

Perhaps you can use the 2003 flexplate on the 2006 engine?

If it had been me, I would have insisted on installing a 2003 engine in a 2003 car . . .

Was that not possible?

A quick look shows 2 converters for the 2006 models and 3 for the 2003 models with differences based on diameter, code and casting numbers, and so on with several different automatic transmssions available.

Are you saying the mechanic put this together and then discovered the difference?

Some of the Jeep Liberty 3.7L engines are notorious for having oil pump issues that can result in engine failure. The oil doesn’t need to be low or dirty for this to happen. If you decide to repair this vehicle with a used engine, you might want to have the oil pan removed and the oil pump replaced as a preventative measure.

Most car manufacturers seem to have solved the problem of random engine failures long ago. Chrysler/MOPAR isn’t one of them. I know people who have had dropped valve seats resulting in major damage, thrown rods, among other major issues. I know a few who had the 2.7L V6 used in the Intrepid and others. I know one changed the oil regularly and used Mobil 1 synthetic. The car started burning oil and smoking really bad, then a rod went through the block. The tow truck driver made a comment of “Wow, this one actually made it past 100,000 miles! They usually don’t go nearly that far before this happens.” This guy later became a cop and frequently comments on the disproportionate number of dead Chryslers on the side of the road. He was issued a HEMI Dodge Charger patrol car which dropped a valve seat at 4600 miles, resulting in a trashed engine. He said he didn’t even get the chance to run it hard and was just driving it around when the piston crashed into the valve, leading to a cascade of failure…

Yes, I would normally say that a catastrophic engine failure is related to neglect or abuse but not always with a Chrysler.

@cardummy2, you might consider having the auto transmission rebuilt while the engine is out. Even with good care, it is likely 100,000 miles or more closer to rebuild than when new. How many miles on the Jeep? The disassembly cost to get the transmission out is almost complete with engine removal. Get a price as an add-on to engine replacement and see if it makes sense. If you want to keep your Liberty until the wheels fall off, you will have to rebuild the transmission sometime.