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Unread 09-21-2011, 10:08 PM   #1
gingerbread
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2001 cherokee overheating and uses coolent for 3 years despite repairs

Please help with ideas, advice or hints, I would really appreciate the help. I have a 2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport that overheats and uses coolant.

Started with a major overheat in 2008--had new radiator, new water pump, new thermostat?, new radiator cap, fan clutch, new head gasket, and head checked plus flushed many times all by mechanic. He even changed or fixed the heater core. $1500 and still overheated occasionally. Changed to G-05 antifreeze. Driven very little since then, had to get another vehicle.

Less than a year ago my son starts to drive the Jeep, driving 4 blocks to school and about a 10 mile one-way trip on weekend. Continually adding water and/or diluted antifreeze. No apparent antifreeze leak spot/place, no white smoke, no antifreeze in oil. Occasional overheating, but stopped driving immediately and cooled jeep off.

Then ticking noise--bad lifter. My brother, a very experienced home mechanic, dismantled engine cleaned it replaced all lifters, all gaskets including head and valve, oil pump, water pump and anything else he thought it might need, he inspected heads,cylinders and block.

Still used antifreeze, have used 2 gallons of G-05 antifreeze (50/50 diluted, of course) in 3 months. Now 3 months and not even 500 miles later...overheated and blew new head gasket. We cannot figure out why it overheats and uses antifreeze.

I have read many posts, but none where problem was still not solved after all of these new parts or problem was solved. Only thing we haven't tried that I read about was the thermal temp camera which I will ask him to try after he replaces head gasket.

Any other ideas on what could be causing this? Please help if you can, my son loves the jeep, but I can't keep putting all of this money into it and it still not work right.

List of major repairs:

Serpentine belt replaced
manifold recall fix done by dealer prior to 2008

new head gasket, head machined, inspected ect...
new water pump
new fan clutch
heater core replaced or fixed
radiator replaced
engine thoughly flushed

sepentine belt replaced
new power steering pulley
new power steering pump

transmission replaced

new lifters
new gaskets including new head gasket, valve gasket ( no apparrent damage to old ones, replaced since was already in there)
new water pump
new oil pump
engine cleaned


Any help with possible overheating causes would be greatly appreciated. This is driving me crazy and it is such a shame because rest of Jeep is in great condition.

Thank you so much.

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Unread 09-21-2011, 10:22 PM   #2
david92xj
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Its an 01 so id bet a lot that you sir have a cracked head.
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Unread 09-21-2011, 10:33 PM   #3
CJ7-Tim
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Add some UV dye to the coolant. If you can't locate a physical coolant leak in the engine compartment then it is going out the tail pipe and you need to test the compression, inspect the head fro cracks, and consider getting a new 0331 head, or a correctly rebuilt and correctly installed rebuilt head. Head bolts should be replaced after being torqued 2 times.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 09:40 AM   #4
z06elmo
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i'm with the posts above. if you have a 2001 (I do as well) and it's using that much coolant and overheating, you should consider a new head. I'm not sure what the right part # is for the new head but I'm sure you can search and find that. I'm curious how many miles are on your XJ? Mine has 140K on it now and I've been fortunate thus far.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 12:01 PM   #5
jamesmp319
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Pull off the oil fill cap on the valve cover and with the engine running look down at the top of the head and see if you can see the coolant leaking out... It reallys sound like a cracked head I have seen many of these at the delaer I work at once they warm up they start to leak. Its is very hard to see the crack on some unless its running and you will see the green coolant drip down. I know you have had it checked but i would look at this once it is up to temp we have had same issuses with xj's and wranglers that other shops have put in everything and done head gaskets and it was the crack in the head.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 01:31 PM   #6
tjwalker
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If you still have a factory 0331 cylinder head on that engine and it is not a "re-designed" 0331 head, odds are high that it is cracked, especially with overheats. You mention that you have had head re-surfaced, new head gasket, etc. but I see no mention of a different head.

The #1 symptom of a cracked 0331 head is "unexplained coolant loss". If you have performed an extensive search for a leak (have you?), then it is time to pull the valve cover and with a good light and a pressurized cooling system, have a close look between cylinders 3-4 to see if you can see a leak.

A re-designed 0331 cylinder head will have the word TUPY stamped between cylinders 3-4. These heads are generally fine, although any head can crack with an overheat.

If the head has been cracked long enough, some coolant mixes with the oil (doesn't take a lot) and it will destroy the engines bearings.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 07:35 PM   #7
gingerbread
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Thank you so much for the help.

I will talk to my brother about putting on the new head. I do know he checked for the cracked head by looking at the oil with the cap removed while it was running. He also put new bolts on when he did the overhaul. He checked the bearings and it has had no signs of antifreeze in the oil. Still, it sounds like the new head is a good idea.

The dye is another good idea.

I am also wondering about the heater core, may go ahead and change it, too.

We have looked for the typical places, causes of leaks. But, I just found out about the thermal scan and dye tests. Have had a couple of mechanics check but I do not know what all they did.

Also, I don't know if it matters, but used to use prestone antifreeze and ended up with brown muddy sludge in the system which was supposed to have been the cause of the original overheat and blown gasket. That's when I read about and switched to G-05. Have not had the same sludge, but I can see a brown color film that's thinner than paper on the neck of the radiator, it is not in the antifreeze, just on the sides of the radiator neck.

The jeep has about 98k on it. And probably not been driven but 10,000 to 15,000 miles since it all started.

If it is $500 or so for a new head, should I just find a way to put in a remanufactured engine? Would that definitely solve the cooling problem? Not that I am sure I can even afford to try that, but I know I can't afford to do that and it not fix the problem.

Thanks again for all of the help and I will let you know what we find.

Last edited by gingerbread; 09-22-2011 at 07:41 PM.. Reason: corrected time frame
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Unread 09-22-2011, 07:41 PM   #8
CJ7-Tim
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A used 0331 head from a 2003 or newer Wrangler will have the updated design to prevent cracking and will be cheaper than a new head. The new design head has the letters TUPY cast into it to ID the improved heads.

A complete used engine may be a possible solution depending on the cost.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 11:25 PM   #9
filluptrk
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But check that you don't have a rebuilt with the old head. If it was good at rebuild time it is possible a valve job etc was done and put back on. Another overheat and that head could crack.
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Unread 09-23-2011, 01:54 PM   #10
gingerbread
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Pretty sure the head is the original one, so looking into getting a new head. Read about Alabama Heads and the TUPY. Tried google for TUPY head and really didn't come up with anything. I have some questions about how and where to purchase it.

NAPA and O'Reiley's look like remanufactured...with this aren't I still getting a head that is from a 2001 and still prone to cracking? doesn't that make new or recast better option?

Junk Yard head from 2004+ Jeep Wrangler...if get this don't I have to pay for machining, magnaflux, and what not. Doesn't that make it more expensive than just getting a TUPY or recast?

TUPY...How do I know it is one if I am ordering over the web? Is a TUPY and recast the same thing?

Where should I purchase a recast ot TUPY from? I have read about Alabama head, Clearwater, and Hiperformance in Washington. Any place else? One better than another?

I have heard Alabama has webbing reinforced areas and something about thicker areas. Will my parts fit or do they also require machining?

I appologize for the stupid questions, but I am trying to make sure I get this Jeep fixed and going for a good while. My brother has already spent quite a bit of time on a vehicle that isn't even his, that I thought if I could have good, solid options for him that it might save him some time.

My brother has said if we can't get the overheating/problem fixed this time, then it is time to sell it. My son loves the Jeep and I need a good reliable vehicle to send him to College in. Other than this the vehicle seems in good shape. I just litterally cannot afford to keep putting thousands into the Jeep. Without my brother, I would have already had to give up; he's been a life saver; all of your help has been priceless to me also; I've been searching for the fix for 3 years.

Again, I really do appreciate all of your help and advice, Thank you. You all have been great. I will post what happens after the new head and whatever else he does.
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Unread 09-23-2011, 03:06 PM   #11
tjwalker
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This thread is required reading for anyone with an 0331 head issue. It will answer most all of your questions.

http://www.jeepsunlimited.com/forums...d.php?t=391831
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Unread 09-25-2011, 07:08 PM   #12
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not to hijack the thread, but I figured it made sense to chime in than to start a new one.

I've done a ton of research about the 0331 issue and I think I'm the next victim. I lose an inch or two of coolant every few days, and I can't find an external leak anywhere. I rented a pressure tester from AZ and that didn't detect a leak either. The FSM says to run the engine w/ the pressure tester on there to see if the needle bounces, since that would indicate exhaust bubbles, but that test was negative.

I'm not sure what else I can do to see if I have a cracked head. I don't have smoky exhaust or milky oil. The coolant has been pretty murky since I bought the truck in January, so I flushed it last weekend but it's starting to turn again. But that could just be from a history of poor maintenance.

Should I just bite the bullet and order a head and replace it ASAP? I don't want to throw money at diagnostics if I don't have to. Anything else I can check cheaply on my own? Thanks in advance.
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Unread 09-25-2011, 09:09 PM   #13
filluptrk
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There is a test kit made by InterDynamics called a Professional UV leak detector kit. What it does is contain dyes that the included UV light will spot if they are present where they don't belong. You might consider it. I would not replace a head unless you a dead certain it is bad. If you have a leak somewhere you can't see, after the new head you'll still have the leak. And you may have a leak that is no big deal. I had a loose hose clamp on the inlet side of the water pump in my 00 and since it was the suction side it never showed up. I found it just after it was sitting purely by luck. Tightened it up, no more leaks.

If your jeep has had poor maintenance it will take more than one radiator drain to clean it out. You might have to have pull the radiator and flush it out, then pull the thermostat out and put a hose into the housing and run a ton of water through the block out the inlet side of the pump till it is super clean. You would be amazed how much crud can get caught in nooks and crannies in a motor.

Last edited by filluptrk; 09-25-2011 at 09:09 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Unread 09-29-2011, 05:30 AM   #14
grantman18
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I went ahead an put some UV dye in my coolant. I haven't been able to find any external leaks with it, but the oil on the dipstick and under the oil filler cap only glows white, not green. When comparing fresh oil to the oil on the dipstick they glow about the same shade of white, so I guess no coolant is getting into the oil. Guess I'm just not seeing the leak.
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Unread 09-29-2011, 05:56 AM   #15
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A. Competent head shop can find even minute cracks. However by the time you remove disassemble clean and magnaflux... not cost effective. Buy a new complete head from Alabama cylinder head and be done. They use their own new castings. Bought a head for wifes cavalier. Price right excellent quality. Quit going in circles. Just buy one from Alabama.
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