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Unread 06-29-2009, 07:58 AM   #1
1 ton yj
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99 cherokee head?

I just picked up a clean 99 cherokee for cheep because it needs a head gasket. It's got a cylinder missfire code for cylinders 2 and 3 so I'm thinking that's where the leak is if that matters and it has 130k miles. The guy I bought it from said his wife was driving it and all of the sudden it got hot and the radiator blew so she pulled over and shut it off.

How do I tell if I have the imfamous 0331 head? Changing the head gasket is no big deal but I'd rather not have to buy another head. Is there a way to check for cracks in the head myself without having to pay a machine shop to magnaflux it?

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Unread 06-29-2009, 08:03 AM   #2
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I think the head with problems started in 99 on the WJ and 00 in the XJ/TJ. You can pull the valve cover and see if the oil is washed away (indicating coolant leakage) right in the middle of the head pretty much under the filler cap.
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Unread 06-29-2009, 08:48 AM   #3
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If you have a distributor, you don't have a 0331 head.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1 ton yj View Post
Is there a way to check for cracks in the head myself without having to pay a machine shop to magnaflux it?
Install a new head gasket and drive around until you ruin the motor. Why would you not have the head tested ?
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Unread 06-29-2009, 08:57 AM   #4
1 ton yj
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I have distributorless ignition. Guess I have the 0331. I wasn't saying I didn't want to check the head just that I didn't want to pay somebody else to if there's a way to do it myself.
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Unread 06-29-2009, 09:07 AM   #5
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Since you have the 0331, you want to be absolutely sure it is still good. If I take the time and effort to remove the head to install a head gasket, I want to be sure I don't have to repeat myself in a few weeks or months if the head turns out to be cracked. My time is worth money, and I would rather be on the trails than in the garage, so spending a few dollars on a test is worth it to me.

I have an 0331 head on my 2000 and a spare 1999 head in the garage. If I have any head or gasket issues I am going to do the head and exhaust manifold swap and be done with the potential 0331 problems.
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Unread 06-29-2009, 09:14 AM   #6
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http://www.sacskyranch.com/crack.htm
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Unread 06-29-2009, 09:18 AM   #7
1 ton yj
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Perfect. Where do I get it?
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Unread 06-29-2009, 09:21 AM   #8
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http://www.ndtsupplies.com/spma.html

This is the first website I found on google. It may be cheaper elsewhere. There are other brands of this product too.
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Unread 06-29-2009, 12:05 PM   #9
1 ton yj
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Thanks for the help. Been doing some reading on this and am going to pull the valve cover tonight or tomorrow night and check for the crack between 3 & 4. Like I said I'd rather not have to buy a head but even if I do I'll still be into this thing for less than $1400 so I guess I can deal with it.
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Unread 06-29-2009, 03:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgramann View Post
Given that the cost of magnafluxing a cast iron head is going to be in the range of well under $50, I see no reason to use this less reliable method (intended primarily for non-ferrous metals).
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