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Unread 07-05-2012, 05:45 PM   #31
tjwalker
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On a cracked 0331 head, it almost always "burns" the coolant, so excess is not indicated on the dipstick.

And if you have developed lower oil pressure to boot, that also points towards a cracked head which has already done damage to the engine bearings.

Me thinks you have a cracked head. Hope I'm wrong, but I'm probably not.

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Unread 07-05-2012, 06:27 PM   #32
Kalali
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjwalker View Post
On a cracked 0331 head, it almost always "burns" the coolant, so excess is not indicated on the dipstick
Not for me. My coolant went right into my oil. In fact, when I drained my oil prior to the swap the first quart or so that came out of the drain plug was hardly any oil. It was a light brown watery mixture with non-existing lubricating properties. It makes me cringe thinking that such concuction was circulating through my engine....
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Unread 07-05-2012, 07:46 PM   #33
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Checked the oil while the engine was cool and it's reading normal. Looked normal as well.

I'm really leaning towards a cracked head or gasket at this point.

Sean
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Unread 07-06-2012, 04:28 AM   #34
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In your case since you are running very hot you may actually be burning off the coolant. I use my XJ mostly during winter and moderately short drives and it never overheated. In fact I've never seen mine go above the center line, ever. In most cases the heads crack in the same general area the crack is relatively obvious if you know what to look for. You could take the valve cover off and visually inspect the suspect area. But your symptoms along with the 0331 reputation combined with repetitive overheating episodes are pointing to a head replacement in near future. What is your oil pressure at hot idle?
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Unread 07-06-2012, 04:40 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Kalali View Post
In your case since you are running very hot you may actually be burning off the coolant. I use my XJ mostly during winter and moderately short drives and it never overheated. In fact I've never seen mine go above the center line, ever. In most cases the heads crack in the same general area the crack is relatively obvious if you know what to look for. You could take the valve cover off and visually inspect the suspect area. But your symptoms along with the 0331 reputation combined with repetitive overheating episodes are pointing to a head replacement in near future. What is your oil pressure at hot idle?
My normal hot idle oil pressure is around 20 or just below based on the gauge. Yesterday was the first time it went below that.

Sean
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Unread 07-06-2012, 06:17 AM   #36
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Well, I'll tell you my opinion. I can't say from personal experience whether or not the overheating is because of the cracked head but in the absence of any external leaks, the fact is coolant that is missing from the bottle is going to the engine. The longer you drive the more damage to the engine. How much and how fast, its hard to tell. If you're planning to keep the Jeep for a long time and everything else is running good, I'd bite the bullet and replace the head. I got the shop manual and did it myself and I'm far from being a "good" mechanic. Total cost was ~$550 including gaskets, oil, antifreeze, etc. I've been told that most shops charge around $700-$900 labor. Its not cheap but beats the cost of replacing the engine.
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Unread 07-06-2012, 10:25 AM   #37
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THe oil is going to thin out when you overheat.

Did they back flush it through the heater core or just stick a garden hose in the radiator.?
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Unread 07-06-2012, 02:33 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalali
Well, I'll tell you my opinion. I can't say from personal experience whether or not the overheating is because of the cracked head but in the absence of any external leaks, the fact is coolant that is missing from the bottle is going to the engine. The longer you drive the more damage to the engine. How much and how fast, its hard to tell. If you're planning to keep the Jeep for a long time and everything else is running good, I'd bite the bullet and replace the head. I got the shop manual and did it myself and I'm far from being a "good" mechanic. Total cost was ~$550 including gaskets, oil, antifreeze, etc. I've been told that most shops charge around $700-$900 labor. Its not cheap but beats the cost of replacing the engine.
+1 I did mine before t cracked
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Unread 07-06-2012, 02:49 PM   #39
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I've got one XJ with a 331 head. My philosophy is to let it crack if its going to. Bearing damage isn't instant, so if you keep an eye on it (look for coolant loss EVERY time you open the hood, and open the hood at least every tank of gas), then you'll catch it before anything but the head is toast. If it does crack, I'll swap the head and flush the cooling and oiling systems and continue on my merry way.
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Unread 07-06-2012, 03:04 PM   #40
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Its definitely sounding like you're getting gasses (air or worse- combustion gasses) into the coolant. I have always heard of carbon monoxide test chemicals that detect combustion gas leaking into the coolant, but I've never actually needed any nor seen them for sale. <google google....>

Aha: Here you go : http://www.blockchek.com/ or http://www.usatoolwarehouse.com/usat...500-p-LIS.html


FWIW, I don't ever trust the "if you see bubbles in the coolant" test. Too many modern engines, including Cherokee 4.0's, have 210 degree operating temps, and you are ALWAYS going to get some bubbles from boiling coolant whenever you try to run the engine without a pressure cap on the radiator.
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Unread 07-08-2012, 01:51 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by BillB7581 View Post
THe oil is going to thin out when you overheat.

Did they back flush it through the heater core or just stick a garden hose in the radiator.?
They back flushed it. The coolant is a much more normal shade of green now than before they flushed it.

As soon as I get some free time I'm going to pull the valve cover and inspect.

If I end up having to replace the head, at least everything else in the cooling system is almost new!

Sean
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Unread 07-12-2012, 06:39 PM   #42
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Well I pulled the valve cover tonight and I don't see any of the signs. The oil and valve train looked fine. No milky residue, no apparent antifreeze and no visible crack.

Here are some pics between cylinder 3 and 4 and the inside of the valve cover.

I guess the next step is a compression test? Any ideas?

Sean
dsc07622.jpg   dsc07627.png  
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Unread 07-12-2012, 07:18 PM   #43
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Just to rule out the temperature gauge, you may want to borrow/buy a hand-held temperature gun and point it at the thermostat housing and see what it reads. As for the visual inspection of the head, I couldn't see the crack either. Neither could I see any coolant. I did however have the milky residue on the oil cap. Your overheating episodes are very perplexing specially since you've basically replaced most if not all the components. I don't think a cylinder compression test will tell you much at this point. I would rather run a cylinder leak down test and have an experienced person analyze the results. If done right the leak down test can isolate issues within the head and inside the cylinders. Maybe you just have a bad head gasket.
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Unread 07-12-2012, 07:23 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Kalali View Post
Just to rule out the temperature gauge, you may want to borrow/buy a hand-held temperature gun and point it at the thermostat housing and see what it reads. As for the visual inspection of the head, I couldn't see the crack either. Neither could I see any coolant. I did however have the milky residue on the oil cap. Your overheating episodes are very perplexing specially since you've basically replaced most if not all the components. I don't think a cylinder compression test will tell you much at this point. I would rather run a cylinder leak down test and have an experienced person analyze the results. If done right the leak down test can isolate issues within the head and inside the cylinders. Maybe you just have a bad head gasket.
Makes sense on the leak down test. I'll have to find someone around here capable of doing it.

On another note, I did verify that the thermostat is opening somewhere in the neighborhood of 185 based on the touch temp of the upper hose and heater hoses after first starting up.

I'm still not 100% sure that all of the air is out of the system.

Sean
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Unread 07-13-2012, 12:00 AM   #45
distrot
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Not entirely sure this applies to your jeep (2000) but I had the exact same thing going on with my 1987( coolant level going down, then I would add- jeep would overheat and puke it out. I solved the problem by backing up on to a hill, so that the back of the engine was higher then the front. I then burped the the system through the temp. sensor plug. I was able to get almost two more gallons of coolant into the system this way. I know there are differences between 2000 and 1987 but it sounds like you might have an air pocket (with the system cold and the pump not pushing, coolant contracts and slowly drains back into the system.
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