Kind of in a big predicament here on whether i should replace the head gasket or just say screw it and buy a new long block. so i figured i'd look to some jeep professionals for an opinion. heres the story:
The jeep's temp gauge kept shooting up and down the day before xmas eve so i flushed the radiator and put coolant in it and carried on my travels for the holiday.
Worked fine from Thursday, all weekend and even drove it two hours non stop to relatives and back with not a single hint of a problem. Monday morning comes and its time for work, heading to work and temp gauge shoots up so i pull over and check the reservoir, empty. So i fill it up and hope to get to work okay. About 5 miles ahead it shoots back up but at this time is going to red then 3/4 way down then back up again (thank god it was cold out).
so i decide it'll get to work (only a mile away). 2 seconds later the oil light & check engine light come on. So i immediately pulled over and shut it off. I had it towed to work due to the fact it was so close and we have a shop here. So i replace the thermostat, water pump, change oil & radiator fluid hoping all is well.
Here's where it took a turn for the worst. Turn it on, the engine starts ticking. Not a hard knocking more faint than anything but more of a ticking coming from the drivers side rear of the engine. So i called a buddy and asked what his thoughts were on it he says its probably a loose rocker arm. So i take off the valve cover on the drivers side, check all the rockers, and not a single one is loose. So i call another buddy to get a second opinion and he says its most likely your head gasket but due to the aluminum block the head and other internals are probably warped so you're pretty much !@#$ed and need a new motor. So im looking at the oil (its been run since i changed it/replaced thermo just to listen) and it appears dark and not the green i was expecting but like an olive/army green tint to it. My buddy said the reason for overheating was the blown head gasket and that gases were being built up in the valves and burning off the coolant and that the thermostat in Jeeps have a bypass. Obviously head gasket blown.
So in all honest opinions... Should i spend the $1500+ for the motor or shell out the money and fix the gasket only to find something else wrong with it?