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Unread 05-02-2011, 09:25 PM   #1
taylorC
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Blown head gasket. Is it worth replacing?

I have a 97 jeep Cherokee with a 192000 miles and a blown head gasket. Is it worth it to replace the gasket? Every opinion and angle is welcome! Thanks in advance guys

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Unread 05-02-2011, 09:28 PM   #2
94chb
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not a hard job to do, i would replace it, if the engine is healthy.
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Unread 05-02-2011, 09:30 PM   #3
BEETROOT
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What will you do with the Jeep if you don't fix the gasket?
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Unread 05-02-2011, 09:41 PM   #4
ahuf
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In short I say fix.

As long as the Jeep is mechanically sound.
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Unread 05-02-2011, 10:16 PM   #5
robsjeepxj
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I'd pull the pan first and plasti-gage ALL of the rod and crank bearings and look for any visible signs of damage. No use doing anything to it if the bearings are blown. Coolant in the oil will destroy the bearing very quickly so it's better to know for sure than guess and be wrong. If they are bad then a long block can be had for like $1800 or so and you'll be good to go for another 190K. Replacing the oil pump and RMS at that mileage is a smart idea anyway so you'd pretty much have the pan off anyway.
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Unread 05-03-2011, 02:52 AM   #6
tjjeepwrench978
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I say throw a 20 dollar gasket at.wit air its a 3 hour hit
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Unread 05-03-2011, 05:03 AM   #7
tjwalker
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Sampling the bearings is never a bad idea. Especially if the engine has been driven for a while with the blown head gasket.

As far as replacing the gasket, it is inexpensive and not particularly difficult. Consult a factory service manual and read the procedure BEFORE starting if you've never done one before.
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Unread 05-03-2011, 05:41 AM   #8
robsjeepxj
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I guess since no one has said it yet being that it's a 2001 4.0 you more than likely have cracked head as apposed to just a blown gasket. The gaskets don't really go on these that often but the heads on the other hand are known to definitely crack.
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Unread 05-03-2011, 06:03 AM   #9
tjwalker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robsjeepxj View Post
I guess since no one has said it yet being that it's a 2001 4.0 you more than likely have cracked head as apposed to just a blown gasket. The gaskets don't really go on these that often but the heads on the other hand are known to definitely crack.
His XJ is a 1997, not a 2001.

BUT, if you pull any head off, you should take it to a machine shop to have it checked for straightness and cracks before putting it back on. Money well spent.
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Unread 05-03-2011, 06:34 AM   #10
cbordea
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on my 98, I found that if the head was cracked, it was cheaper to buy a running/used engine and swap it in than to buy a used head and all the gaskets, head bolts, etc.
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Unread 05-03-2011, 07:26 AM   #11
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Do the gasket. Have the head tanked, machined flat and fluxed for cracks. Don't get talked into a valve job unless the valves are totally blown apart.
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Unread 05-03-2011, 08:45 AM   #12
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I replaced my cracked head for less than 300.. I pulled the head off of a salvage jeep paid 45.00 for it. took it into a shop and had them check and machine it. local shop charged me all of 50.00 to get that done then I bought a valve spring compressor and pulled the valve seals and old valve out. "donor vehicle indicated 230k" replaced all the valves and springs and retainers along with the seals then "got those for free" Gasket kit cost me 65.00 felpro and then fluids. along with t stat and pump etc ... was a easy job
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Unread 05-03-2011, 11:33 AM   #13
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replacing the head gasket really isn't a hard fix. I recommend getting someone to help lift the head in and out of the Jeep, it's heavier than it looks and you don't want to damage it. Otherwise, it's a one person job. It took me about 4 hours to to mine.
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Unread 05-03-2011, 11:41 AM   #14
taylorC
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Thanks for the help so far everyone. I appreciate it. I plan on having some help from two other gear heads when I do this job. I have also been told that if I get the head off there is a way you can tell if it's cracked and or warped. Is this true? Also what are the recommendations/opinions about just replacing the gasket without having the head checked and magnafluxed?
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Unread 05-03-2011, 01:59 PM   #15
justanotherjpr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorC View Post
Thanks for the help so far everyone. I appreciate it. I plan on having some help from two other gear heads when I do this job. I have also been told that if I get the head off there is a way you can tell if it's cracked and or warped. Is this true? Also what are the recommendations/opinions about just replacing the gasket without having the head checked and magnafluxed?
You can check the head for flatness with a ruler and a flashlight.

You can just R&R the head without having it checked but IMO its worth the money to make sure I'm putting on a flat, uncracked head. A gambling man may feel differently.
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