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Unread 03-29-2013, 07:18 AM   #1
Primordial
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1995 ZJ 
 
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Sprung a leak - plus a valve seal question!

So I've known for a little while that I've been slowly loosing water (which is why I don't have coolant in the system right now). I was figuring it was due to the poor condition the hoses were in and that I'd just replace them when I finally get around to swapping the radiator out (I pulled the drain petcock all the way out and nothing came out, even with filling the system in a semi pressurized state and running a wire brush in and out).

Anyway, this morning I started the Jeep to let it warm up a little and noticed a drip coming from under the hood. Looking underneath I was able to see a pretty steady stream running off the driver side motor mount (it quickly became more than a drip). After popping the hood I saw a stream shooting out from the engine underneath the intake and above the motor mount at about a 45 degree angle down and towards the the inner fender.

Is this probably the head gasket or is there some other part of the cooling system that runs down in that area? I should also note that the engine smokes a little (burning oil) as if the valve guides or rings are starting to get a little extra play in them (it doesn't smoke bad, just a little at idle and when releasing the throttle).

Along those lines, are our heads designed for oil seals around the valves that sit above the guides? I figure if I have to pull the head to replace the gasket It'd be a good time to replace those too if that's how it's set up. I plan on building an engine for it down the road but wanted to get another one to build while I still drive around on this one, so a "bandaid" fix would be satisfactory for now. Another option if it's "easy" enough to do without pulling the engine would be to go ahead and drop the oil pan and replace the rings and possibly the main bearings if the crank doesn't look too bad just to give it a few extra miles before having to swap in the rebuilt engine.

So basically there are three things I'm looking at:

1. Does it sound like the water leak is a head gasket or is there something else in the vicinity that could be leaking?

2. If I have to pull the head are there oil seals around the valve stems above the guides that can be replaced?

3. Is it easy enough for someone with good mechanical skills to re-ring and install new main bearings with the engine in the vehicle (or at least install new rings - obviously id run a light hone through the cylinders and clean everything thoroughly)?

I plan on bringing out the FSM later today but just don't have it readily accessible right now.

Thanks
Nick

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Unread 03-29-2013, 07:30 AM   #2
BoostinChick
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Did you unscrew/remove the radiator cap when you took out the petcock? Only coolant type thing I can think of is the lower radiator hose that goes into the water pump. When was the last time the water pump was replaced, and did you get the condition of the lower radiator hose?

I have not seen coolant squirt from a head gasket being bad, it usually mixes with the oil or just plain overheats. Only other thing I could think of are the freeze plugs that are on the motor itself. But again, that's usually a weep not a full on squirt.
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Unread 03-29-2013, 07:33 AM   #3
zjosh93
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1. yes, head gasket
2. yes
3. I believe so, in fact I plan to do this very thing at some point but I have a cherry picker if there are problems with the rearmost cylinder.

EDIT: check the freeze plugs too as mentioned above. For some reason I remembered them being behind the motor mount but they are slightly above as well. Should be obvious once you get in there.
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Unread 03-29-2013, 07:38 AM   #4
Primordial
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoostinChick View Post
Did you unscrew/remove the radiator cap when you took out the petcock? Only coolant type thing I can think of is the lower radiator hose that goes into the water pump. When was the last time the water pump was replaced, and did you get the condition of the lower radiator hose?

I have not seen coolant squirt from a head gasket being bad, it usually mixes with the oil or just plain overheats. Only other thing I could think of are the freeze plugs that are on the motor itself. But again, that's usually a weep not a full on squirt.
Yes I pulled the cap...that's how I flushed the system. Definitely behind the lower hose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zjosh93 View Post
1. yes, head gasket
2. yes
3. I believe so, in fact I plan to do this very thing at some point but I have a cherry picker if there are problems with the rearmost cylinder.
That's what I was looking for. Thanks!
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Unread 03-31-2013, 07:03 PM   #5
Primordial
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Well, I got the head off...and it doesn't look like that was the problem even though the cooling passages through the gasket were almost blocked! I'm going to check pricing on a few options but may just take the easy route this time around and get a remanufactured engine. That, or tear it all done and build it the right way. I wad thinking of just cleaning up the bores and putting new rings and bearings in it but it's got way too much crud in both the oil passages and cooling passages to get by with that.

Oh, and the leak...was from the first and/or second freeze plug(s)!

While it's all apart though I might as well do the 99+ intake swap and put in some better injectors...
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Unread 03-31-2013, 07:51 PM   #6
Primordial
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Okay well I guess it's been quite a few years since I priced rebuilt engines so the three choices are:

1. Rebuild the current engine
2. Get a junkyard/used engine to either run as is or rebuild
3. Look into engine swap options

Funds are definitely a limiting factor...I haven't even told the wife that I'm going to need to do more work than I had originally thought...I can't wait for that conversation...lol

Buy my stuff to help me pay for it!
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Unread 03-31-2013, 10:36 PM   #7
Primordial
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So what other engines if any bolt up to my auto tranny or are there adapter plates for?
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Unread 03-31-2013, 10:42 PM   #8
Stud_man50
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Check out http://www.advanceadapters.com, they pretty much have everything you would need for an engine swap.
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Unread 04-02-2013, 03:43 PM   #9
zjosh93
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Why not just pull the lifter one at a time to check that none of the cam lobes aren't trash. Replace the valve stem seals, clean it all up, replace the freeze plugs, and bolt it all back together. You can get a junkyard motor for a couple hundred to rebuild as time and funds allow if you really want but I don't see anything in your posts that would make me pull what you got.
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Unread 04-02-2013, 04:04 PM   #10
Primordial
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The cooling passages in the head gasket were nearly closed by rusty scale. The radiator is filled with the same crud (pulled the petcock. And ran a brush up in there and still nothing came out...even after flushing the system and having a steady flow of water going in...no telling how the water pump is etc but I keep loosing water and it borders on overheating from time to time). The other side of the block is about as nasty with sludge. It needs a dipin the hot tank at the least.
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Unread 04-02-2013, 04:29 PM   #11
zjosh93
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Gotcha. Yeah, I'd grab a JY engine and throw it in your ride then you can build your original engine at your leisure.
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Unread 04-02-2013, 06:57 PM   #12
Primordial
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Well I have another car that gets much better mpg that I can drive so having it down is a non issue. Not really any point in spending money on a jy engine when I can put it elsewhere. I'd love to stroke it while I'm at it if anyone has a good 258 crank and rods they're willing to let go at a good price...lol. Otherwise I'm thinking of just stripping it down, having it tanked and just doing a real basic ring/bearing/gasket job (with honing/deglazing of course) but preferably with as little machining as necessary...probably go with a Rock Auto kit for a little over $300. While I'm at it I'll probably yank the tranny and throw a deluxe kit and a shift kit in it...anyone know of a good source for torque converters in case it looks downright nasty inside there? Eventually I may do a swap when I can afford something nice...maybe go diesel but that will be a ways down the road.
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