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Unread 03-17-2013, 10:32 PM   #1
wconkle
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2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Harvest, AL
Posts: 46
Wj Head Gasket 4.7 Writeup

Well, I bought this 2004 Special Edition with 54,000 miles, and it looked like it had been treated pretty well. I haven't had much trouble with it, although I had the problems with the wires in the door, and an occasional rough idle. I have accessed this forum many times and found helpful information, so here is my return.

This has been a daily driver, and has seen almost no offroading.
I just passed 115K miles, and the heater core began gurgling. From reading here, I suspected the head gasket, but didn't really see any coolant loss. Nor was there any coolant in the oil. After few days, it started running rough when first started. I suspected that coolant was leaking into a cylinder and causing a misfire until burned off. After about a week, getting worse all the time, it gave a code P0301 Misfire Cyl #1. I let it sit overnight and dropped a small tube into the spark plug hole, and pulled out a thimble full of coolant. Pretty much confirmation of what I suspected. Time to order parts and do some real work on this truck (for the first time: I have been lucky).
I ordered parts from Rock Auto and Quadratec.

img_2157_resize_resize.jpg
My dad ran an auto shop and he used to say that if you spilled a gallon of water on a modern engine, a week later a pint would filter out the bottom. I'm a little intimidated because I'm about to go deeper into an auto engine than I ever have before. But I have the service manual and I'd rather do it myself than pay someone.

img_2197_resize_resize.jpg
It doesn't take long to get a lot of pieces off this engine. I took lots of photos for help with re-assembly, and I keep the bolts in labeled bags or re thread them into the holes from which they came. Heat was required to remove the cam sprocket bolts, and I used a standard pulley remover to pull the crankshaft pulley. I did not remove the radiator or fan, I could just barely fit my puller in the space that existed.

img_2201_resize_resize.jpg
I bought the special tool for holding the secondary chains, even though I read a forum post from someone who said that you can change head gasket without taking the timing chain cover off. I just couldn't visualize what was in there and so I went with the FSM. I now think that I could do it without removing the Timing Cover.

img_2205_resize_resize.jpg
The inside of my engine looks very clean. There is some carbon build up on the piston crowns and on the combustion chambers. I don't see any obvious place where the head gasket has failed.

img_2225_resize_resize.jpg
Finally I find this spot where it seems that there is a little extra corrosion. I have no idea if this is where the failure lies.

img_2219_resize_resize.jpg
img_2221_resize_resize.jpg
I decided to take a look at my cam chain tensioners. When I touched the bolts with a wrench, the guides broke. They were not very worn and the chains were tight, but the brittleness convinced me I should replace them. That means I spent $80 on the 'special tool' for nothing. I was very nervous about timing the cams, because of a recent post where the OP had grenaded his engine after doing this job.

img_2227_resize_resize.jpg
After receiving the heads from the machine shop, I installed them. You can see the contrast between the aluminum head and the iron block here. Also note the angle tool here. I didn't think it would be necessary, but for the 'right' (passenger side) cylinder bank it was crucial. Only $10 at Autozone.


img_2231_resize_resize.jpg
Re-assembly was quick, although I was slowed by heater core hoses which I had hoped to replace. The dealer wanted $110 and parts houses couldn't find the right part. I re-installed the originals and intend to replace them when I do the heater core. ***EDIT: The correct heater core hoses can be found at parts houses by telling them you have a 2005 model 4.7. ***
Also, I mixed up one bolt between the AC compressor and the generator. That took a while to figure out, but a small hiccup in the overall process.

I was pretty nervous when first starting, and the truck didn't disappoint. It knocked, rattled, and smoked. I thought I must have mis-timed the cams, but the knock quickly went away. I thought it sounded like valves and pistons becoming more than friends; does anyone know what was? It ran fine after that.

In all, I'm glad I did this. Although I was busy at work and needed to ask co-workers for rides during this time, I enjoyed learning about my Jeep. I hope this helps anyone who is facing this project with their Jeep.

I had an IRO 3" lift sitting in my garage waiting to be installed when the head gasket went. I will wait until I trust the engine to install the lift.

Wes

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Unread 03-18-2013, 08:22 AM   #2
FAlfani81
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Location: Farmingville, New York
Posts: 341
Awesome! Let me know how it all works out for you. I'm having this exact job done as we speak.
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Unread 03-18-2013, 11:17 AM   #3
rockyrivermark
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2002 WJ 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Fairview, Ohio
Posts: 84
I'd guess the knocking was due to lack of oil and went away after oil came up. I've never dove too deep like that but I know assembly lube is often used when you have an engine opened up like.
I'm sure someone here will be able to add more.
good for you... that's quiet the project.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wconkle View Post
Well, I bought this 2004 Special Edition with 54,000 miles, and it looked like it had been treated pretty well. I haven't had much trouble with it, although I had the problems with the wires in the door, and an occasional rough idle. I have accessed this forum many times and found helpful information, so here is my return.

This has been a daily driver, and has seen almost no offroading.
I just passed 115K miles, and the heater core began gurgling. From reading here, I suspected the head gasket, but didn't really see any coolant loss. Nor was there any coolant in the oil. After few days, it started running rough when first started. I suspected that coolant was leaking into a cylinder and causing a misfire until burned off. After about a week, getting worse all the time, it gave a code P0301 Misfire Cyl #1. I let it sit overnight and dropped a small tube into the spark plug hole, and pulled out a thimble full of coolant. Pretty much confirmation of what I suspected. Time to order parts and do some real work on this truck (for the first time: I have been lucky).
I ordered parts from Rock Auto and Quadratec.

Attachment 587875
My dad ran an auto shop and he used to say that if you spilled a gallon of water on a modern engine, a week later a pint would filter out the bottom. I'm a little intimidated because I'm about to go deeper into an auto engine than I ever have before. But I have the service manual and I'd rather do it myself than pay someone.

Attachment 587889
It doesn't take long to get a lot of pieces off this engine. I took lots of photos for help with re-assembly, and I keep the bolts in labeled bags or re thread them into the holes from which they came. Heat was required to remove the cam sprocket bolts, and I used a standard pulley remover to pull the crankshaft pulley. I did not remove the radiator or fan, I could just barely fit my puller in the space that existed.

Attachment 587895
I bought the special tool for holding the secondary chains, even though I read a forum post from someone who said that you can change head gasket without taking the timing chain cover off. I just couldn't visualize what was in there and so I went with the FSM. I now think that I could do it without removing the Timing Cover.

Attachment 587905
The inside of my engine looks very clean. There is some carbon build up on the piston crowns and on the combustion chambers. I don't see any obvious place where the head gasket has failed.

Attachment 587915
Finally I find this spot where it seems that there is a little extra corrosion. I have no idea if this is where the failure lies.

Attachment 587918
Attachment 587919
I decided to take a look at my cam chain tensioners. When I touched the bolts with a wrench, the guides broke. They were not very worn and the chains were tight, but the brittleness convinced me I should replace them. That means I spent $80 on the 'special tool' for nothing. I was very nervous about timing the cams, because of a recent post where the OP had grenaded his engine after doing this job.

Attachment 587933
After receiving the heads from the machine shop, I installed them. You can see the contrast between the aluminum head and the iron block here. Also note the angle tool here. I didn't think it would be necessary, but for the 'right' (passenger side) cylinder bank it was crucial. Only $10 at Autozone.


Attachment 587936
Re-assembly was quick, although I was slowed by heater core hoses which I had hoped to replace. The dealer wanted $110 and parts houses couldn't find the right part. I re-installed the originals and intend to replace them when I do the heater core. Also, I mixed up one bolt between the AC compressor and the generator. That took a while to figure out, but a small hiccup in the overall process.

I was pretty nervous when first starting, and the truck didn't disappoint. It knocked, rattled, and smoked. I thought I must have mis-timed the cams, but the knock quickly went away. I thought it sounded like valves and pistons becoming more than friends; does anyone know what was? It ran fine after that.

In all, I'm glad I did this. Although I was busy at work and needed to ask co-workers for rides during this time, I enjoyed learning about my Jeep. I hope this helps anyone who is facing this project with their Jeep.

I had an IRO 3" lift sitting in my garage waiting to be installed when the head gasket went. I will wait until I trust the engine to install the lift.

Wes
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Unread 03-18-2013, 03:50 PM   #4
Wenatchee_Kid
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 194
Great thread, thanks.
Any complications afterwards?
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Unread 03-19-2013, 08:42 PM   #5
wconkle
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2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Harvest, AL
Posts: 46
Thanks.
As of now, I've got about a hundred miles on it and it's running fine.
I believe that the knocking sound was probably the hydraulic lash adjusters filling with oil. Not sure if I could have avoided it by spinning the engine with an air wrench or the starter and plugs out to allow the oil pump to precharge the top end without the compression resistance. Haha, next time?

As for complications, after the knocking stopped, it idled smoothly and I cycled it on and off for awhile, to let the oil I spilled on the exhaust to burn off without catching fire. I'm sure there's a better way. At one point, it began to idle rough and I could hear a rattling sound coming from the top of the passenger side head (near the oil fill port). I thought it was noise from the secondary chain, and spent some time trying to confirm it. At some point, I remember that the PCV had broken in half during disassembly, and I had put in a new one. I started looking at it and realized that it was vibrating. At this point, the Check Engine Light came on and the code was 0171 Bank #1 Lean. Perhaps the PCV was letting too much air in (vacuum leak). I think the PCV was not sealing into its socket, so I oiled the o-ring and it's been fine since. The code has not returned.

Also, the FSM directs you to put black RTV on the timing chain cover during assembly, but there hadn't been any on the gasket I removed (I'm sure this engine is factory stock). The gasket is actually a very thick steel piece with a large rubber strip, and I didn't think RTV would be necessary, so I didn't use it. I was worried that the engine would leak coolant, but none so far.

Also, it's worth noting that the cam timing procedure is pretty easy on this engine. The sprockets and chains have a system of dots, symbols, and colored links that makes it easy to see that you have the timing correct. Getting the three chains in the engine is like wrestling oily snakes, but certainly doable.

In addition, several other posters removed the front clip and radiator, along with the odd hydraulic cooling fan. I was able to complete the job without removing any of that and used a standard puller to get the crank pulley off. I just put a socket on the crankshaft, greased it on the inside, and let the puller push on that. I should have taken a photo of that.
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Unread 03-19-2013, 10:45 PM   #6
Maurice479
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas
Posts: 49
Super cool write up. This makes me breathe a little easier in case I have to do the same.
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Unread 12-07-2013, 04:05 PM   #7
gr8gonzo0
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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Posts: 14
How did you get the crank pulley back on? Did you use the Special Tool?
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Unread 12-07-2013, 05:35 PM   #8
Thomahawk
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 7,424
Awsome write up man, thx for sharing
It might help me alittle as well, i am about to replace a leaky intake manifold gasket
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Buildthread [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f197/jeep-norway-2th-buildt-overland-upgrade-1813490/[/url]

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Unread 12-07-2013, 05:35 PM   #9
its-me-B
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Congratulations and well done... I have been working for a shop and the other two guys with over 40 years experience won't touch those jobs. how long did it take? I know you said you had to get rides home so Im guessing it was over a period of time
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Unread 12-18-2013, 08:29 PM   #10
wconkle
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Hey, I'm just glad that I can give back a little to the forum. It sure has helped me out a few times!

I installed the pulley by just torquing down on the bolt, as I had read a few other posts from guys who had done that with no issue. The only special tool I had was the cam chain holder (wasn't necessary) and the angle torque tool (absolutely necessary).

It took me a couple weeks of evenings. I was working a lot of hours at my job, and also had a vicious cold at the time. I'm not sure how many hours I spent on this task overall, but it was quite a few, because it was my first time doing it and I was trying to keep myself slowed down, taking lots of photos, bagging every bolt that came out, being careful with wire looms, and of course many hours fighting the exhaust bolts!

I'm surprised that experienced mechanics wouldn't want to do this type of job. Seems like it would pay quite a few hours.
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Unread 12-19-2013, 12:56 AM   #11
its-me-B
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It pays well but if it's busy it will take up a bay for however long till it's done. We only have three bays so that might have something to do with it... it took me a week trying to throw in a new radiator while keeping up with everything else, should have only taken three hours or so.
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Unread 09-21-2014, 12:10 PM   #12
Dukenukemx
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Friend of mine had his head gasket went and we're about to tackle the same problem. Thanks for the write it cause we're going to use it.
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Unread 09-21-2014, 03:33 PM   #13
stephenpegler
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Thank you for the great write up. Now I know that head gasket replacement is a feasible DIY project. Around the first of this year, the head gasket on my 2003 4.7 WJ blew in a big way - big cloud of water vapor and no power. I had my Jeep towed to my house to figure out what to do. I got repair quotes up to $2,000.00! At the time, I didn't think I could handle the job but, thanks to you, now I can handle it.

In desperation, I tried "K&W Nanotechnology Head Gasket & Block Repair" exactly according to the instructions.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/...epair-1976474/
and
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/...stuff-2087593/

The darned stuff worked! I put it in over 8 months ago and absolutely no problems. However, I realize that someday I'll be putting in new head gaskets and your write up was a big help.
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Unread 09-22-2014, 04:28 PM   #14
Dukenukemx
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Ran into a bit of a problem. A lot of local mechanics are telling me that the timing chain is a pain in the anus. They all claimed it required a special tool they didn't have. According to this writeup you just line everything up, and painting it doesn't hurt.

Also I do remember seeing someone that didn't remove the timing cover and just use zip ties to hold them in place. Can't find the link. I found one link but not a lot of visual aid.
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Unread 09-22-2014, 07:05 PM   #15
wconkle
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The timing chain tool is required if you remove the timing chain cover, which is the way the FSM requires. Some have said that they did the job without removing the timing chain cover. If you can do this, it would save a lot of work.
I followed the FSM method, but then I just went ahead and replaced the timing chain slider blocks and tensioners, and therefore I had to retime the engine making the special tool a waste of money. It was very straightforward to time the engine, and since my engine seems to have been extremely clean but still had bad slider blocks and one failed tensioner, I would have to recommend doing it that way. IE; remove the timing chain cover, pull the gears and chains and inspect slider blocks and tensioners, then retime the engine upon reassembly.

The two things on this job that were actually a 'pain in the anus' were the exhaust pipe bolts and all the bolts on the passenger side aft end cylinder head.

I've got about 17K miles on the engine since doing the head gaskets (132K total), and it still runs like a top. Ran it to redline today, as a matter of fact.

For those who are going to do the job, make sure you take lots of photos! I took over a hundred pictures and used them all for reassembly, and several times I wished I had taken a couple more detail shots!
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