Originally Posted by throttlejunkie1
Did your problem get identified yet?
Should hear from the shop tomorrow, but I'm 99% sure it's a cracked head. It's the only thing that makes sense...
On the overheating issue, and I haven't read the rest of the thread yet. My XJ never overheated when I was driving it. I really knew something was wrong (besides loosing gallons of coolant) when I was sitting in ATL traffic and it climbed up. The electric fan cooled it back down, but just because it's NOT overheating doesn't mean it CAN'T be a head/gasket/both issue.
In my opinion, a head/gasket issue is WAY too big to rule out. You risk ruining your engine at most, or having to pour thousands of $$ worth of engine work to getting it back...
You can rule out the heater core two ways (and correct me someone if I'm wrong): Check the passenger side floor mat to see if it has coolant on it. You should feel it. That, or you can take the two hoses that go into the firewall to the heater core and connect them. Don't turn the heat on, but if coolant stays pretty stable, you should be good and it's a heater core (cheap to buy, pain in the a$$ to replace).
Water pump? Once you get home, put a piece of cardboard on top of the splash mat, right under the front of the engine from the compartment. If you see a wet spot, it's probably coming out of the weep hole. Check hoses, etc.
Remember: a little loss of coolant is normal. It expands at times with heat, so if you lose a little, it's normal. But if you loose a lot like I did, you have a serious problem. Pop open that engine oil filler cap and see what it looks like. Mine LOOKED fine, but on the top of the cap it was a milkshake. A little of that is condensation, but a lot? Head/gasket/both.
One last note then I'll shut up: Mine had a ton of coolant coming from the exhaust. I'm just sayin, don't rule it out and BE SURE! Better safe then sorry when it comes to heads/gaskets...
You may get to join the Head Crack 0331 club! (and it's a forced membership)