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Unread 06-28-2013, 02:53 PM   #1
JeepGril45
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: loxahatchee, flroida
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poss cracked head or blown gasket??

HI im new here and my name is Brittany, I just recently gotten a jeep(97 Cherokee) from my stepdad and its been having over heating issues. the past week it over heated 5 times on me....but not bad I stopped as soon as I noticed, for my water temp light don't work... so today on my way home I had a feeling I was going to over heat. it must be like a 100% in florida, and I was 3 streets from my house at a stop light it started steaming.. I got it home parked it popped the hood, and it was smoking or steaming on top of engine where you put the oil in...=[ and it was sooooo hot my coolant resivore was boiling...and when I got my radiator cap off it shot up about 2 ft in the air....=[ sad thing is once my finace got off work we where going to go out and buy a water pump and thermostat....do you think I cracked my head or blown a gasket or worse?? thanks in advanced...I love my jeep how can I check it myself? I still plan on buying the water pump and thermostat tonight, and a new battery cus mine died yesterday and Ive needed to get jumped today to get to work and back so I can get my pay check to buy my parts..

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Unread 06-28-2013, 03:37 PM   #2
denverd1
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got any water in your oil? will look like chocolate milkshake on your dipstick.
Losing water? probably hard to tell with your overheats..

Jeep didn't build these with much capacity to cool them in the event things aren't working perfectly. I'd start with the cooling system. flush it and make sure its clear and not leaking. do you suspect water pump needs to be replaced?

bad heads (0331) were in 99 and 2000 IIRC. so unless it gotten really hot a couple time, i woudln't suspect a cracked/bad head.
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Unread 06-29-2013, 09:40 AM   #3
CJ7-Tim
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Fix the known problems by fully servicing the entire cooling system. Replace any weak or suspect parts.

Once you have the overheating solved, you can perform some test and inspect to see if there is a head gasket failure or a cracked head.


Overheating cooling system

Overheating can be caused by anything that decreases the cooling system’s ability to absorb, transport, and dissipate heat, such as a low coolant level, loss of coolant (through internal or external leaks), poor heat conductivity inside the engine because of accumulated mineral deposits in the water jackets or radiator, a defective thermostat that doesn’t open, poor airflow through the radiator, a slipping fan clutch, an inoperative electric cooling fan, a collapsed lower radiator hose, an eroded or loose water pump impeller or even a defective radiator cap.

The cooling system is a group of related parts that depend on proper function from each of its component parts to keep the engine cool. Service the cooling system and replace any under-performing or suspected weak parts. Any component part of the cooling system that is not fully doing its job will stress the others and your cooling system will overheat. Temperature creep on the 4x4 trails, at idle, or in stop-n-go traffic points to a weak or failing mechanical fan clutch.

The most important maintenance item is to flush and refill the coolant periodically. Coolant should be replaced every 36,000 miles, or every two to three years. Anti-freeze has a number of additives that are designed to prevent corrosion in the cooling system, but they have a limited life span. The corrosion causes scale that eventually builds up and begins to clog the thin flat tubes in the radiator and heater core, causing the engine to eventually overheat.


-Use a flushing/cleaning solution and then drain and fill the radiator with a fresh 50/50 coolant and water mix. With a neglected cooling system you may have to flush several times.
-Inspect the radiator for mud/bugs/grass clogging the outside and mineral deposits clogging the inside. Clean or replace as needed.
-Replace the thermostat with a STANT or Robertshaw 195* thermostat. Cheap thermostats are cheap for a reason.
-Replace the radiator cap if your Jeep has one. An old worn out radiator cap will allow boil overs and/or allow the coolant flash over into to steam. You will see the coolant temps suddenly jump from 210* to the Red Zone and back to 210* if your radiator cap is weak.
-Inspect/test or replace the mechanical fan clutch. A worn fan clutch will allow temperature creep at stoplights, in heavy traffic, and on the 4x4 trails. A fan clutch that “looks” OK is not the same as working OK.
-Inspect the electric cooling fan and the fan relay. Apply 12 volts and make sure the fan runs. Exchange the cooling fan relay with one of the others similar relays. Confirm that the e-fan starts when engine temps reach 215-218*. Repair or replace the fan or relay as needed.
-Inspect/test or replace the coolant temperature sensor that activates the e-fan.
-Replace the water pump. The pumping fins can deteriorate over time and the pump will not flow enough coolant to keep the temps under control.
-Inspect/replace the radiator hoses. Make sure the coiled wire is installed in the lower hose.

If you have covered all the points listed above and still have overheating issues, inspect and test the head for cracks and head gasket for leaks. Exhaust gasses entering the coolant can raise the temperature of the coolant or cause steam pockets in the coolant that will temporarily block the flow of coolant

Read more about cooling systems here –

www.offroaders.com/tech/engine-overheating.htm

www.familycar.com/classroom/coolingsystem.htm

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Unread 06-29-2013, 10:22 AM   #4
Motorcharge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepGril45 View Post
and it was sooooo hot my coolant resivore was boiling...and when I got my radiator cap off it shot up about 2 ft in the air....=[
Don't ever pull the cap off the radiator while the cap or upper rad hose are still hot. If it's boiling out the overflow it's boiling inside everything else and it's a good way to serious burn yourself.
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Unread 06-29-2013, 04:06 PM   #5
Paradise XJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorcharge View Post
Don't ever pull the cap off the radiator while the cap or upper rad hose are still hot.
X 1,000

I have burn scars on my neck, arm, chest and a bit on the side of my face from doing this when I was 25...I'm 60 now...scars still there. I would have scorched my eyes if I wasn't wearing shades at the time.
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Unread 06-29-2013, 04:45 PM   #6
tjwalker
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Yup, safety is critical when it comes to automotive cooling systems.

Get your cooling system up to snuff, replacing whatever parts are necessary to restore full efficiency. Don't forget about radiator cap, fan clutch, hoses and the radiator itself if necessary. The money you spend on your cooling system is probably the best money you can spend on your XJ.

THEN once you have it going, let it heat up in your driveway and add coolant as necessary to be sure the system is full. If stable, then drive it and watch your coolant level in your coolant reservoir very carefully from this point forward and also report if you have any symptoms. If you do, start with a compression test to see if you blew the head gasket.

The head on your 97 (should be the 0630) is a good head but any head gasket or head can fail if overheated enough. The 0331 head came on each and every 00-01 XJ, but not your 97.
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Unread 06-29-2013, 10:07 PM   #7
josh1011
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if you know for sure you have a bad head, block or head gasket use this first. http://www.jegs.com/p/Moroso/Moroso-...45550/10002/-1
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Unread 06-30-2013, 01:31 PM   #8
Kalali
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I'm not familiar with that specific "sealer" but experts from the field generally do not recommend any type of sealer. You'll end up clogging critical water jackets in the block/head and the radiator. There are no short cuts in fixing cooling system issues.
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Unread 06-30-2013, 01:43 PM   #9
Motorcharge
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Only sealant you want to use on the head at all other than gaskets is water sealant on the bolt that runs through the block. Number 8 iirc.

If you replace the head you need to look for paint on the head bolts heads to see if they've been re-used. They're torque to yield bolts and can only be reused once.
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Unread 06-30-2013, 04:31 PM   #10
bobthecatkiller
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorcharge
Only sealant you want to use on the head at all other than gaskets is water sealant on the bolt that runs through the block. Number 8 iirc.

If you replace the head you need to look for paint on the head bolts heads to see if they've been re-used. They're torque to yield bolts and can only be reused once.
+1 #11 bolt goes into the water jacket and needs sealant. Head bolts are $20 why not just buy new instead of hoping that if someone had reused them they put a dab of paint on the old ones, because if they reused them and didn't put a dap of paint on them, and then you reuse them thinking they where only used once, you may have problems.
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Unread 07-01-2013, 07:13 PM   #11
Bobplymouth
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I recently brought home a non running 97 XJ. I suspected in had been haveing overheating problems with much rust coloring near the hoses, overflow bottle, etc. When I first got it running, it showed 210 on the temp gauge,with 75 degree outside temp. I pulled the thermostat out, and ran without one. Jeep ran 140 degree on a 80 degree day. So a new thermostat is in order, after I flush this things out a few more times, lots of rust in the radiator, years of poor maintance....

Hope your 97 only needs a new thermostat..
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Unread 07-03-2013, 07:06 AM   #12
Pats94
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Please do not put a "block" sealer in your jeep.
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