97 tj 4.0 oil won't drain from head/valve area - JeepForum.com
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Unread 10-01-2012, 09:52 PM   #1
jerspeer
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Lockport, Ny
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97 tj 4.0 oil won't drain from head/valve area

Hey guys, I'm kinda scared. I have a 97 tj 4.0 with about 170k on it, and I check my oil after it sits after running about 5 minutes after I shut it off, and it's still in the valve area. I'm just nervous the oil isn't getting to the bottom end, and that the motors gonna seize. Any ideas? I check the dipstick and it hasn't moved since the last oil change, and the oil color looks identical to new, which scares me even more, along with the nice burning oil smell it has. Thanks for any input-Jeremy

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Unread 10-02-2012, 07:49 AM   #2
mdm
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I'm having trouble following what you're saying.

You think the oil is pooling on top of the head and not draining back to the pan? What makes you think this? There are numerous holes in the head that allow the oil to drain. It's not likely they would all, or even most of them, would get plugged.

The level on the stick looks good? That doesn't sound like a problem to me.

Color of oil is the same as when you changed it? How many miles since the oil change?

Burning oil smell? From where? Exhaust, or from engine bay? Any evidence of an oil leak?

Is the engine making any unusual noises? Is the engine overheating?
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Unread 10-02-2012, 08:13 AM   #3
jerspeer
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There's about 3000 miles since the last change and it still looks new. And how long is it supposed to take to drain into the pan? I'm pretty sure I've had it sit for a hour or two and it still didn't drain.
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Unread 10-02-2012, 08:15 AM   #4
jerspeer
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And the motor has a little noise when cold, but goes away when warm. It has a pretty bad rms leak too.
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Unread 10-02-2012, 09:02 AM   #5
mdm
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What makes you say it isn't draining down? Have you pulled the valve cover?

An RMS leak won't usually cause a burnt oil smell. Is the smell coming from the exhaust or engine bay? Seems like I asked that already. Oil burning in the engine bay is usually from oil getting on the exhaust manifold or exhaust pipe.

"A little noise"? Would that be a knock? Rattle? Tick? Lifter tick is pretty normal with these engines, esp. when cold.
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Unread 10-02-2012, 09:51 AM   #6
jerspeer
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Theres definite lifter tick, and a little tiny bit of a knock. And no, just at the oil filler spot on the vale cover. And I might actually have a bad valve cover gasket, my engines covered, and I know there no oil o the down pipe so probably exhaust manifold.
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Unread 10-02-2012, 09:59 AM   #7
mdm
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Start with the obvious. Clean the engine. Check the valve cover bolts, they may be loose. Replace the valve cover gasket. See what happens.

What makes you think the oil isn't draining back to the pan?
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Unread 10-02-2012, 10:18 AM   #8
jerspeer
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I don't know I just figured it could be a possibility in a higher milege motor if it had a decent amount of engine sludge. I have a pretty decently dented oil pan too, maybe the oil pump could be messed up, but my gauge is fine.
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Unread 10-02-2012, 10:31 AM   #9
mdm
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If it was taking an hour for the oil to drain back to the pan, the engine would quickly pump all of the oil out of the pan. The bearings would seize from lack of oil and the engine would become a hunk of scrap. "If it had a decent amount of sludge."? The oil in an engine with a lot of sludge isn't going to still be looking clean after 3000 miles. You may be surprised just how clean it really is when you pull off the valve cover to replace the gasket.
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Unread 10-02-2012, 11:13 AM   #10
jerspeer
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Alright we'll thanks for answering alot of questions for me, I appreciate it. The last guy who had it didn't maintain it and broke off one of the bolts in the distributor, so the whole cap is held on by a zip tie and one bolt. And from what I've heard, the oil pumps are pretty dependable in these motors. Ill end up changing out the pan and pan gasket cause that leaks too, and do the rear main seal at the same time. Thanks for everything.
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Unread 10-25-2012, 07:43 PM   #11
jerspeer
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Alright now I'm starting to get pissed. I posted on here a while back, and I go to change my oil, drained it all and took the filter off and drained it too, and the oil is still stuck in the valve cover area. It's sat for an hour now, and now I'm vehicle less until I figure out what the hell is wrong with it. And it looks awful. Any suggestions?
image-198456219.jpg  
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Unread 10-25-2012, 11:13 PM   #12
jerspeer
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Nevermind, problem solved. I got a pretty bad vc leak so I decided to pull it, the valve mechanism in the valve cover where you fill oil was closed and stuck shut somehow.
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