'98 Wrangler Sahara, white smoke from exhaust, check engine light, overheating - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 7 Old 04-19-2014, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 4
'98 Wrangler Sahara, white smoke from exhaust, check engine light, overheating

Hello folks, I'm seeking a little assistance here with my '98 Wrangler, which has been off the road for some time now and I am looking to get it back out for the summer. Full disclosure on my mechanical capabilities and understandings for those that happen to take the time to reply, I'm no 'car person' per se, but I have done my share of work on my vehicles and feel as if I can get around for the most part and take full advantage of the interwebs.

So, as the title states, after I start up the engine and it has been running for roughly 3-5 minutes, the exhaust will start pumping out white smoke. Here are some videos of the smoke from the view underneath my Jeep:


After smoking continuously while she idles, the engine will eventually overheat:


I had taken a few other videos as well, just for some additional documentation, of starting the jeep and a view of some clear liquid (assuming water) on the ground below my tailpipe.


From what I have found is that my solution may be to replace the head gasket. I have done this a long time ago with my first Wrangler ('97 SE), but I was mostly playing assistant at the time. I was wanting to ask you folks if you have any other suggestions for possible fixes / root causes, or in the event you agree with the solution, do you have any good online resources for replacing the head gasket for my Jeep?... you know, things like diagrams, step-by-step guides... or any of the like

While I am digging into the engine, if there are any suggestions for things to clean or any maintenance tasks I can perform, that would be very much welcome as well!

I did not see it being listed as prohibited, but I have posted this as well at http://www.kcjeepclub.org/forum/foru...echnical-Forum



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post #2 of 7 Old 04-19-2014, 05:45 PM
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1999 TJ Wrangler 
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Well lets take a look at your dip stick to see if the oil is milky, that will confirm that coolant is bypassing the gasket or a possible crack in the head.
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-19-2014, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
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Hi Jim, :-) I was actually reading a site, just after my OP, on how to do more tests for a blown head gasket and took a video of my dipstick reading and was in the process of uploading it to youtube just as I saw your comment. Thank you for replying.

Here is the video of me checking my dipstick:


To be honest it has been a long time since I have checked my oil so I am not sure whether to consider that milky or not...

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post #4 of 7 Old 04-19-2014, 06:31 PM
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2001 TJ Wrangler 
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Pull your oil cap and see if it looks like this. http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/ne...l-cap-2185857/
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-19-2014, 06:37 PM
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based on the fact your burning coolant (white smoke)(bad) and the fact that combustion gas's are entering the coolant (overheating) you'll need to change out the head gasket for sure. you will probably see a spot on the gasket that was the failed spot when you take it off. if your worried about the head being cracked (really not common on that year) then you could always take it to a machine shop to be checked out before putting it back on.

at any case... dont drive it until you fix it. over heating and coolant in the motor where it shouldnt be will destroy the engine quickly
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-19-2014, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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JB, thanks for the comment and link man. I took a look under my cap and it was not nearly as bad as the one on the picture you linked to, but it did have some slightly similar coloring. I went ahead and continued the trend and uploaded a video of it to youtube just in case there were any details I may have missed with it.


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post #7 of 7 Old 04-19-2014, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Kansas City
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Time got away from me today and I did not get to the disassembling of the engine today, but I did get an extra video of starting the Jeep up and a video shortly after when she had some white smoke coming from the far end of the engine (looking from headlights), opposite side the battery just in case you are in the problem solving mood. I do though apologize for that rather un-technical location description there, so if you do take a look at them and happen to see anything new, please let me know if I need to get a better look in there.

http://youtu.be/JVNnW5zBf4s (startup)
http://youtu.be/-uODyiA-KZ4 (engine smoke)

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exhaust , head gasket , over heating , sahara , smoke

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