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Unread 11-28-2012, 07:52 PM   #1
sherman909
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Angry Cracked Cylinder Head. Engine Replacement?

Recently my jeep cooling system went dry. It was not out of neglect. The large hose fell off the radiator and spilled the fluid. Anyway the 2001 grand cherokee overheated and died. After filling it back up with fluid I tried starting it. It idled at low rpm and very rough. Would also not go faster than 30mph. I took it into the mechanic. He said it has a cracked cylinder head and needs an engine replacement. Is it worth swapping the engine? Is it repairable or even recommended? What do you recommend I do at this point especially because I just dropped $800 on tires..? I really would like to get it running again as I love my jeep...

Jeep Grand Cherokee 2001
4.0 6 cylinder
184,000 miles

Thank you for any input!!!

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Unread 11-29-2012, 05:23 PM   #2
nickblack
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If its only a cracked head, you don't need to replace the whole engine. It's pretty difficult to crack a head on the 4.0, that is far more common on the 4.7 V8 with the aluminum heads. The 4.0 has iron heads. Did you not stop when your hose popped? I'm pretty sure that isnt something you could miss. You had to be engulfed in smoke,no? My instinct is to tell you to just have the head replaced but you can't be 100% sure until you get a better look.
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Unread 11-29-2012, 06:33 PM   #3
CoastieShep
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If it really is just a cracked head, and your mechanic is saying it's time to swap engines, run away. That mech. doesn't know his *** from a hole in the ground.
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Unread 11-30-2012, 08:08 PM   #4
sherman909
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Well I never saw a leak anywhere nor did I see any puddles. The only reason I suspected low coolant was the coolant low message popped on. I would like to get it fixed because there is no way I can afford another car. I know the repairs will be expensive but still cheaper for me because my vehicle needs four wheel drive. I will be towing it back to my house tomorrow afternoon where it will sit till I decide what to do. Is there a way of seeing if it is a cracked head or is that a pretty intensive job? Also, Based on the information is there anything else that could be wrong?

Thank you for the replies btw!
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Unread 11-30-2012, 08:35 PM   #5
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Just some more information on the jeep.
For about a year I had a ticking when the engine starts. It would go away after a short time of driving. When it did this it felt like there was a loss of power on acceleration. Mechanic never mentioned anything about it so I never really worried too much seemed to be worse the day it kicked the bucket though. The oil pressure would be about at the 3/4 mark constantly (Can't remember the exact number off the top of my head) About two years ago I did a radiator and water pump replacement after those went out. When I get it back I can try taking a video of starting it for you if you would like. I did frequent oil changes. Never had any issues of oil leaks and never noticed coolant in the oil. Last oil change was about 2 months ago. Right before it died I remember hearing a sort of rattle coming from the direction of the engine. I once had a problem with the low idle due to a dead battery cell. That was about one year ago. Also my computer was replaced after I bought it. That is about the extent of my repairs and problems that I have had on it. I bought it at about 140,000 miles. I took it to a mechanic (not the one that told me the engine needs replaced) and there was nothing wrong with any engine components at that time.
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Unread 11-30-2012, 08:36 PM   #6
Cirruslydakota
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If its really cracked (id ask for proof, on the 4.0 it cracks between the exhaust ports between 3/4. Remove the oil cap and look straight down, you should see some sort of emulsion) just throw a Clearwater cylinder head on it ans keep on trucking. A head replacement on the inline 6 doesn't get much easier.

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Unread 11-30-2012, 09:05 PM   #7
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If he ran it without coolant in it he may have fried some pistons, only removing the head will tell for sure.
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Unread 11-30-2012, 09:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sherman909 View Post
Recently my jeep cooling system went dry. It was not out of neglect. The large hose fell off the radiator and spilled the fluid. Anyway the 2001 grand cherokee overheated and died. After filling it back up with fluid I tried starting it. It idled at low rpm and very rough. Would also not go faster than 30mph. I took it into the mechanic. He said it has a cracked cylinder head and needs an engine replacement. Is it worth swapping the engine? Is it repairable or even recommended? What do you recommend I do at this point especially because I just dropped $800 on tires..? I really would like to get it running again as I love my jeep...

Jeep Grand Cherokee 2001
4.0 6 cylinder
184,000 miles

Thank you for any input!!!
Gah - sounds like a Bentley owner. "I had to use my ashtray, where can I buy a new car?"

I seriously doubt you have a major problem with the block. I'm even dubious about the "cracked cylinder head" - where did he say it was cracked, and how did he test for it?

I've blown hoses on two different XJs with the 6-242 - the only thing I really had to do was change the thermostat (they fail if overheated, and "freeze shut,") replace the hose, and refill. It passed compression, so I didn't see a need to even do a leakdown.

Iron engines are incredibly tough. If it was an aluminum head on an iron block, I'd be worried about a warped head (which is more likely than a cracked heat,) but iron heads only warp rarely. Cracking one is horribly difficult.

@cirruslydakota - what you're referring to is the known issue with the #0331 heads through mid-2001, which isn't necessarily related to overheating. OP, the crack he's referring to happens on the top surface of the head - and is immediately identifiable by looking down through the oil fill cap and seeing a "chocolate milkshake" from coolant & oil being mixed, and whipped by rocker arm action.

However, given my own history with engines in general (and AMC designs in particular,) I'd ask for proof of a cracked head.

If the head is cracked, you probably don't need a new engine. Tear off the head and inspect (heat-related flaws in the cylinders tend to be visually obvious.) However, I think you'll find the "short block" (lower assembly) will be fine.

Ask him why he thinks the head is cracked, and where he thinks it's cracked - if he can't answer both of those to your satisfaction, you should find another mechanic.
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Unread 12-01-2012, 09:48 AM   #9
Cirruslydakota
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That's the only place its known to crack, and it almost always happens if its been overheated. I'm still running my 0331 head even after rebuilding my 4.0 and its fine after all those miles. I'd be skeptical.

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Unread 12-01-2012, 12:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirruslydakota View Post
That's the only place its known to crack, and it almost always happens if its been overheated. I'm still running my 0331 head even after rebuilding my 4.0 and its fine after all those miles. I'd be skeptical.

Sent from inside my 4.0.
To clarify what you said (maybe this is what you meant), almost all cases of the cracked heads are from overheating. But, overheating does not almost always mean a cracked head. Certainly the 99-02 0331 casting is more prone to cracking than it should be, but it's still a relatively small percentage that actually fail. Overheating once, especially briefly, is not necessarily a death sentence.
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Unread 12-01-2012, 02:19 PM   #11
Cirruslydakota
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That's what I meant, typing first thing in the morning after waking up is not a good idea for me haha.

Sent from inside my 4.0.
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Unread 04-11-2013, 06:48 PM   #12
sherman909
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So sorry it has been a while since I have posted on this thread. Thank You for everyones input. I took the jeep to another mechanic (trustworthy one). He said he thinks it will need a head gasket replacement, spark plugs, oil change, coolant flush, and a head resurface in case there is any cracks. He said there is definite leaking into cylinders 2 and 3. He gave me an estimate for all the above services for $1,600. He said that is best case scenario. He was only able to get the jeep running for about 30 sec before it died on him. He said there is a possibility it affected the lower engine. If that is the case it would need a full engine replacement for 3-4,000. What is your thoughts on this?
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Unread 04-11-2013, 08:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sherman909 View Post
So sorry it has been a while since I have posted on this thread. Thank You for everyones input. I took the jeep to another mechanic (trustworthy one). He said he thinks it will need a head gasket replacement, spark plugs, oil change, coolant flush, and a head resurface in case there is any cracks. He said there is definite leaking into cylinders 2 and 3. He gave me an estimate for all the above services for $1,600. He said that is best case scenario. He was only able to get the jeep running for about 30 sec before it died on him. He said there is a possibility it affected the lower engine. If that is the case it would need a full engine replacement for 3-4,000. What is your thoughts on this?
A head "resurface" is usually if the head is warped or gouged, or to increase compression. If there is a crack, it has to be stop-drilled, gouged, and welded. Then surfaced.

If the oil has gotten contaminated with water enough to cause damage, the bearings may be wiped out and a re-crank could be necessary, but it's unlikely the block itself has been wiped out.
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Unread 05-14-2013, 03:52 PM   #14
sherman909
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Came back to so say thank you for everyone that has helped me out here! If it wasn't for all of you I would have believed my old mechanic and lost my jeep! I just got my jeep back from the mechanic and it runs amazingly! It needed a new head gasket and the head and valves needed to be machined. Hefty little bill but it runs!! Thank you so much you all are awesome!
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