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Unread 09-17-2010, 01:09 AM   #1
weasel796
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blown head gasket.. just repair? or total rebuild?

So apparently i have a minor blown head gasket... this doesn't give me too much of a problem except on hot days my jeep overheats frequently ( since im in ca.. depending on the weather, hot days are often or infrequent). due to recent events, my jeep will most likely become my daily driver so reliability would be nice (40 mile freeway commute each way). I have a buddy mechanic that estimates $1300-1500(other mechanic quoted 1800+radiator if i wanted a new radiator) to repair the blown head gasket and replace the radiator (it appears to possibly have a cool spot in center and is probably clogged). my question is, should I repair the head gasket and replace the radiator? or should I spend the extra money (how much do you think that will be) to completely rebuild the engine since it has 200k miles. or buy a rebuilt engine and swap it? (im assuming this is more than rebuilding the one I have). I want to eventually (probably 5yrs or so down the road) swap the engine to something bigger. This will be after I put on a 4 inch currie lift, metalcloak fenders, 37+ inch tires, upgraded front and rear axles, ect, and turn it into the go where ever your heart desires machine it deserves to be.

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Unread 09-17-2010, 01:24 AM   #2
MrRage
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If its blown gasket then there is a good chance something is warped and simply replacing the gasket is not going to be a long term solution... or really even a short term one. So to do it right you will have to have a machine shop resurface both the block and the cylinder head to ensure that they will mate correctly, and to do that they need to take the thing apart anyways.

I would ask a few different mechanics about rebuilding or replacing and mention how many times this engine has been overheated.
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Unread 09-17-2010, 02:29 AM   #3
weasel796
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does anybody know of any good companies/places/prices to pay for a rebuild engine to see if it will be cheaper than my mechanics estimate to completely rebuild mine?
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Unread 09-17-2010, 02:44 AM   #4
SkylinesSuck
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If it were me, I would just pull the head, have the head milled flat, and slap it back on, especially if you are on a budget. If you have screwed anything else up further down in the engine, you are already need a complete rebuild, so what do you have to loose other than the price of a few gaskets? You can do the head gasket replacement yourself. I did mine when I was a broke Airman in the Air Force with very little mechanical knowledge. Chilton's manual, lots of online research, and my buddies from work that stopped by to give me tips. Worst case with that, you need to tow it to a shop to have somebody finish the job, and even then, they might cut you a discount depending on how much work you've already done. It's a win win. Just give it a shot.
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Unread 09-17-2010, 02:48 AM   #5
SkylinesSuck
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BTW, does it run good now other than the overheating (which I think is from your radiator, not your HG)? Good oil pressure? What does the oil look like? Are you loosing coolant?
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Unread 09-17-2010, 02:54 AM   #6
weasel796
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkylinesSuck View Post
BTW, does it run good now other than the overheating (which I think is from your radiator, not your HG)? Good oil pressure? What does the oil look like? Are you loosing coolant?
not loosing coolant that I notice. oil pressure seems to be good. my only problem is over heating doing 60 mph on 80+ degree days. morning is fine, evening is fine. Radiator may be slightly cooler in the center than around the rest of it. It even over heats with no thermastat which is why they think its a small leak blown head gasket.
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Unread 09-17-2010, 02:57 AM   #7
phantom01231
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Well Ill tell you right now thats to dang much to replace a blown head gasket in a Jeep. Being as your in Cal there might be a good price diff compared to the east coast though. Now as the post said above about having the block and head checked by a machine shop, if part of that price quote for the gasket replacement is for having that all that checked as well then thats a bit better price. Like I said though I dont know about shops out there in Cal. Doing a head gasket in a Wrangler is pretty straight forward. With the miles you have on it Id do a swap or a complete build up if you have the $$$. Quadratec sells replacement 4.0's for around 1500-1600 I think. Not all sure what they come with. That might be a better solution for you though. As far as the radiator do it yourself. Might be a good time also to get yourself the shop manuals if you havent already.
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Unread 09-17-2010, 03:01 AM   #8
phantom01231
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check your oil to see if it has a milk shake look to it. If coolant gets in with the oil it will give it a real strange look. That would be a key sign of a blown head gasket.
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Unread 09-17-2010, 03:28 AM   #9
SkylinesSuck
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Also check to see if there is an oily sheen on top of the coolant. I'm still trying to figure out who told you blown HG and why. Sounds to me like the only problem you have is a cogged radiator and a shop trying to rip you off. That's WAY expensive. For reference, I just had the cam replaced in my jeep which requires head removal and headgasket replacement. It was $1500 for everything including a new cam, lifters, headgasket, oil pump (long story), and other misc. crap. This is in NC though. I understand things cost more in communist CA
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Unread 09-17-2010, 05:39 AM   #10
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if you're not losing coolant (as the others said, check your oil) and you're not blowing white smoke through the tailpipe, I'm not real sure your HG is blown. That sounds like a radiator or water pump problem.

There should either be some leaking fluid, or exhaust leak coming from the engine while running. Investigate it a little more.


That being said, a blown head gasket is not REAL hard to deal with. It was one of the first jobs my dad had me work with him on. You will need to have a shop mill the head to make sure the surface is plane, but other than that it's pretty straight forward. The only tool that you might not have is a good sized torque wrench. Getting the proper torque on the head bolts (in the right order) is vital.
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Unread 09-17-2010, 07:16 AM   #11
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Stroke it, I see no other sane response.
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Unread 09-17-2010, 07:25 AM   #12
SkylinesSuck
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Originally Posted by timberwolf0122 View Post
Stroke it, I see no other sane response.
This.


Seriously though, if you are going to rebuild it anyways, there is no reason not to stroke it. I don't think you need to take the head off though, let alone rebuild it. Have you had anybody do a compression test? If your oil and coolant look good, drive that thing to a different shop and talk to them. Sounds like your shop is trying to rip you off.
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Unread 09-17-2010, 07:56 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by phantom01231 View Post
Well Ill tell you right now thats too dang much [$1,300] to replace a blown head gasket in a Jeep.
Agreed..... depending on what they are going to do? Also agree, may not be Head gasket??
But...... ALLDATA lists a replaced Head Gasket on a 4.0L Jeep engine as a 6.5 hr job.
That's for a 4.0L w/ A/C and P.Steering. Full gasket kit will run you $50.00-70.00. (gaskets for both manifolds and head)

With 200k I would have some head work done while in there. Have it cleaned, pressure checked, decked, and put in new valve inserts.
Just had mine done here for $350.00.... with a 5 angle cut on the inserts.
Probably 50% higher price in So. Cal.
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Unread 09-17-2010, 08:11 AM   #14
George Dickel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weasel796 View Post
not loosing coolant that I notice. oil pressure seems to be good. my only problem is over heating doing 60 mph on 80+ degree days. morning is fine, evening is fine. Radiator may be slightly cooler in the center than around the rest of it. It even over heats with no thermastat which is why they think its a small leak blown head gasket.
I call BS on the dude that diagnosed blown head gasket. I've had a blown head gasket on a 4 banger and V6 (both Fords but doesn't matter) and there were much more obvious signs than what you're describing. I don't even recall either overheating, it just looked like an old steam-engine train going down the road. Both gaskets, when removed had a "crack" roughly the size of a common staple width.
I think I might start with the radiator. In any event, find a friend with mechanical knowledge and do the work yourself.
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Unread 09-17-2010, 08:20 AM   #15
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Do not repair your blown head gasket, it will blow again! Trust me--I went through it with my 1997 wrangler I had before. For a few more bucks more you can drop a new Jasper engine or other aftermarket engine in your Jeep. When my Jeep blew head gaskets the engine temp. would shoot up to hot after a few minutes of starting the engine. Another tell-tell sign is the leaking of coolant. You might want to get another opinion. But if it is a minor leak in the head gasket you might not leak much coolant. If it is blown--DO NOT REPLACE THE HEAD GASKET. Trust me--you money is better spent on putting a new engine in your Jeep.
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