Home How-to Articles Easier and Safer Way to Replace Motor Mounts on a Jeep® YJ or TJ Wrangler and XJ Cherokee

Easier and Safer Way to Replace Motor Mounts on a Jeep® YJ or TJ Wrangler and XJ Cherokee

by Moses Ludel
A common repair on the Jeep® YJ and TJ Wrangler and XJ Cherokee models is motor mount replacement. A support bar (shown) can stabilize and lift the front of the engine to remove and install motor mounts.

Replacing Jeep YJ and TJ Wrangler or XJ Cherokee motor mounts can be done easily and more safely. Before you attempt to change motor mounts with a floor jack and block of wood under the oil pan, consider using an engine support bar as we demonstrate in this how-to video. We saved time, reduced risk of injury and avoided parts damage while performing this common repair.

This XJ Cherokee was recently purchased and had worn motor mounts. Amazingly, the only symptom for this defective driver’s side mount (left) was a slight shudder when releasing the clutch in reverse with the vehicle on an incline. A loose right side mount would be more obvious. Despite their stability and smoothness, the 4.0L and 4.2L inline six-cylinder engines eventually wear out motor mounts. This pair of mounts lasted 200K miles. Don’t let your front engine mounts reach this stage before replacing them!

When raising or supporting the engine, a floor jack can dent or even collapse the oil pan. The oil pan gasket is always at risk when supporting an engine’s weight on a floor jack. The better method is an engine support bar that offers stability, controlled lifting and better visibility when raising the engine to remove motor mounts. A support bar works far better than an engine cherry picker/hoist and is able to control and stabilize an inline/upright four or six-cylinder engine. The bar’s legs have rubber pads for careful placement on solid areas of the fender ledges. See the video for details.

An inexpensive engine support bar is the optimal tool for support and raising the engine during a motor mount change. The engine can be tilted slightly or lifted straight up by two hooks with chains, adjusted independently with wing nut handles. 1,000 pounds capacity, this Harbor Freight tool easily lifted the engine in a controlled manner. (See video.)

Using an inexpensive (currently $85 when not on sale) Harbor Freight Engine Support Bar, we quickly and easily lifted the 4.0L XJ Cherokee engine just the right amount to slide out the worn mounts and install new ones. Importantly, we lifted just high enough at each side to do the job, which took an hour and a half using air tools. At no point were we at risk of physical injury although goggles are highly recommended for the steps beneath the vehicle. Watch the fan-to-radiator and shroud clearance during this repair.

New motor mounts are readily available in the aftermarket, we went with Crown parts available at Summit Racing. Omix-ADA and others offer these parts. Read the reviews and choose wisely.—Moses Ludel

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