AMC Straight-4 engine

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2.5 L AMC Straight-4 in a 1992 Jeep YJ

The American Motors Corporation straight-4 engine was used by a number of AMC, Jeep, and Dodge vehicles from 1984 through 2002.

  • For an outline of all engines used by AMC see
Main article: AMC Engines


American Motors devoted three years to the development of a new four-cylinder engine. According to Jeep's chief engineer, Roy Lunn, "unlike most engines available today [it] was not designed for passenger cars and then adapted for trucks. We specifically developed it with our Jeep vehicles and Eagle in mind. That's the reason that performance and durability were of such prime consideration from the very beginning." Although some of components were interchangeable between the AMC 258 cubic inch 6-cylinder and the new engine, the 4-cylinder was not a cut down version of the big six. Noted Roy Lunn, "There is some common competency, but the 6-cylinder includes many unique items such as its own electronics systems. It also has a shorter stroke and larger bore. The valves are larger and the pistons are new." Roy Lunn recalled: "We wanted as much displacement - for power and torque - as possible within the confines of bore centers of the tooling. The only parameter we could influence substantially was stroke. So we picked the largest bore and stroke in order to get 2.5 Liters."[1]

The AMC 150/2.5 L engine

The 2.5 L inline-4 was a shortened version of the 258 6-cylinder engine bored to 3.875 inches (99 mm) and de-stroked to 3.188 inches (81 mm). The block is basically the same as the legacy 258-cubic inch engine with a larger bore and the two center cylinders removed. The head featured a new combustion chamber and port design that was later used on the 4.0 L - the 2.5 L I-4 head was stretched by two cylinders in the center.

Instead of the standard AMC bell housing bolt pattern, AMC/Jeep engineers adopted the General Motors small V6 and four-cylinder bolt pattern (commonly used with GM's transverse-mounted powerplants) for their new engine, because the new AMC 2.5 replaced the four-cylinder engines that had been purchased from GM; and because AMC continued to buy the 2.8 L V6 from GM until the 4.0 L I6 was introduced in 1987. The four-cylinder and V6 shared the same drivetrain components, whereas stronger transmissions were needed for the new 4.0 L.

The AMC I4 first appeared in 1984 with the new XJ Cherokee. It was produced through 2002 for the Jeep Wrangler, as well as for the Dodge Dakota pickup that also used the AMC/Jeep designed four since 1996.

AMC 150/2.5 Specifications
Bore x Stroke 3.875 inches (99 mm) x 3.188 inches (81 mm)
Displacement 150.4 CID (2,465 cc)
Valvetrain eight valves (overhead)
Main bearings five
Compression ratio 9.1:1 to 9.2:1 depending on year

Output the final year was 121 hp (89 kW) at 5400 rpm and 145 ft·lbf (197 N·m) of torque at 3250 rpm using sequential multiple-port fuel injection (MPFI). For comparison, the 258 I6 provided 112 hp (83.5 kW) at RPM and 210 ft·lbf (285 N·m) of torque at 2000 rpm in its final year with the computer controlled carburetor.

For several years, the engine was detuned for the Wrangler; from at least 1992 to 1995, it produced 130 hp (97 kW) horsepower and 149 ft·lbf (202 N·m) of torque with 9.2:1 compression in the Cherokee and Comanche. Allpar

AMC 150/2.5 Compression Horsepower Torque
One-barrel carburetor 9.2:1 105 hp (78 kW) @5000 132 lb·ft (179 N·m) @2800
Throttle body injection (TBI) 9.2:1 117 hp (87 kW) @5000 135 lb·ft (183 N·m) @3500
Multi-point fuel injection (MPFI) 9.1:1 121 hp (90 kW) @5250 139 lb·ft (188 N·m) @3250

Note the TBI was made by Renix and used mid '86 to 08/'90


This engine was used in the following vehicles:

See also


  1. Ackerson, Robert C. (1991) "The 50 year History of the Jeep", Motorbooks, ISBN 9780854295333.