2.5lt & 2.8lt TURBO DIESEL
The early model Jeep KJ Cherokee used the 2.5lt VM Motori turbo diesel engine with a manual gearbox.

The later Jeep KJ Cherokee model (the change date was round 2003) used an early version of the 2.8lt VM Motori turbo diesel. Visually the two engines looked very similar and used the same aux components such as water pump, turbo assembly, egr, alternator, fuel rail etc. The 2.8lt was also coupled to a 6 speed automatic transmission (although this was not a full user selectable shift pattern and only 1,2,D, one overdrive in/out could be selected).

Later a revised version of the 2.8lt VM turbo diesel was used. Changes to the cylinder block oil & filter assembly, most aux components were different and not interchangeable with the early engines including the cylinder head and turbo manifold assembly. The transmission option was still the automatic.

The VM range of turbo diesel engines used in the Jeep KJ Cherokee are aluminum cylinder head, cast iron block, common rail, twin overhead cam, 16 valve engine, the cams are driven by a timing belt. The 2.5lt and early 2.8lt used a Garret turbo with a conventional waste gate to control boost. The later 2.8lt used a Garret VGT (variable geometry turbo), revised egr and cooling.

We believe our knowledge and experience with the Jeep KJ Cherokee CRD VM turbo diesel range of engines is second to none. This benefits our customers in knowing we get the job done correctly.

PIC: Jeep KJ Cherokee CRD VM turbo diesel cylinder heads, later 2.8lt on the left, 2.5lt & early 2.8lt on the right. Basic casting, machining, valves etc are the same, but 2 small details makes these cylinder heads not interchangeable!!

Regardless if your Jeep KJ Cherokee requires regular maintenance, servicing, preventative maintenance, minor repair to major overhaul work. We can do it all and our experience ensures all work is carried out to an exacting standard. Below are some common everyday issues we come across, it should be noted that most problems can be avoided with regular servicing and faults listed generally are not specific to the VM range of turbo diesel engines.

Common failures & possible causes:
Failed cylinder head gasket are often caused by overheating due to poor cooling system maintenance or cooling system component failure, blown hose, split expansion tank, corroded housings. Symptoms include coolant being pushed out of expansion tank, excessive air bubbles from cooling system, chemical testing of the cooling system will confirm any hydrocarbons (exhaust gases) present.

Soft, warped, pitted cylinder head are often the end result of the above issue. Pitting or deterioration of the cylinder head surface is often caused by poor coolant concentration.
Turbo bearing failure due to poor servicing leads to blocked oil feed lines. The results can be catastrophic turbo impeller failure with fragments entering engine intake. symptoms (after bearing failure) include engine blowing blueish smoke from exhaust and lack of power.

Broken timing belt, more often than not the belt wasnt changed at the correct service interval. Abrupt engine failure (engine stops) with little or no warning. The engine depending on damage may or may not turn over. Damage is generally confined to bent exhaust valves and broken exhaust rockers (lift arms).

corroded or leaking oil cooler, again is generally caused by poor cooling system maintenance.

Glow plugs failure of more than one will cause hard cold starting.

Thermostat failure Constant cold running, temp gauge continues to read below half even after a warm up period have been completed

Turbo adjustment incorrect due to tampering, vacuum solenoid failure, symptoms include excessive black smoke from exhaust and engine detonation (mild to loud clacking sound)

Turbo variable vanes stuck due to excess soot build up on exhaust side of turbo, the symptoms are as above (excessive black smoke)

Engine rear main seal failure can be seen as mild to excessive oil leaks from between engine and transmission. Note on the VM 2.5lt and 2.8lt turbo diesel engines there are technically two rear main seals.

PIC: The Garret turbo VGT (variable geometry technology) as used on the VM turbo diesel (early VM engines use a conventional wastegate) are stripped, inspected and rebuilt, a new oil feed pipe and copper seals installed to engine, the turbo bearing is then oil primed before initial start up. Temperatures are monitored throughout run in and test drives to ensure a reliable long last job.

A remanufactured cylinder head, new valves, springs, seals. - All cylinder heads are checked for hardness and surface flatness must be within 1.0 tho, crack and pressure testing then cleaning which includes a sonic clean. The top cam head is also inspected and sonic cleaned.

Timing belt replacement at 150,000km's includes: belt, both idlers, belt tensioner, water pump.


We always have in stock a good range or Jeep KJ Cherokee CRD VM Turbo Diesel parts. This is both to meet our own supply needs as a repairer as it allow us to do VM turbo diesel repairs in a more timely manner. In the past sourcing engine parts for the VM turbo diesel was both difficult and slow. We also now supply VM turbo diesel parts direct to customers in a timely and at a far reduced price than buying locally.

The VM turbo diesel parts we supply for the Jeep KJ Cherokee CRD fall into four supply sources.

Genuine Chrysler (Jeep) Parts - They come from VM Motori and are packaged in a genuine Chrysler Mopar box.

Genuine VM Motori Parts - VM Motori is the manufacturer of the turbo diesel engine as used in the Jeep KJ Cherokee. The parts are from the same manufacture as the genuine Chrysler part but are supplied in VM Motori packaging.

OEM Parts - Original Equipment Manufacturer - These are from the manufacturer of the parts that are supplied to VM Motori (genuine VM parts) and Chrysler (genuine Chrysler parts). These parts can often be identified as they have the same branding marks as the genuine VM or Chrysler parts but do not have the additional "VM" branding as found on the VM Motori or Chrysler parts. These brands include Gates, SKF, Denso,

Local Supply Parts - These are more special items that we have sourced as a better replacement to anything offered as genuine or otherwise. The best example of this is O ring seals, in most uses we use Viton or Silicone (depending on application) as they do the job better and for far longer than the original O ring seal used. Other examples are nylok nuts, flanged bolts etc etc, cheaper and better locally.

PIC: A range of Jeep KJ Cherokee CRD turbo diesel parts.
Some of which include, genuine VM Motori cylinder heads, genuine VM head gaskets kits, both genuine VM Motori (SKF & Litens) and OEM (SKF, Gates, Litens) timing belt kits, genuine VM Motori and OEM water pumps (both are GRAF brands), genuine VM Motori & genuine Mopar rear main seal kits, genuine VM Motori thermostats (behr brand), genuine Chrysler Mopar coolant expansion tanks,

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