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Top End Grenaded?

8356 Views 80 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  4xTroy
2
Don't know for sure yet...

I was supposed to go on a trail ride 130 miles away yesterday, I'm SO glad I didn't make it...

Wife blew a hole in the passenger side valve cover. Spewed all the oil all over the parking space at Walmart. Spent $2.50 on a couple bags of clay kitty litter while I was waiting on the rollback to pick us up. Rollback @ Walmart to pick up a Heep of a Mall Crawler. OMFG... how ironic.



Still a damned good looking WJ for 250k miles (well, 249.5k).

$2000 just spent on the lift and tires, another $2000 on vacation. Now this when my wallet is empty? *SIGH*

I've got the battery tray out. Working on getting some other stuff out of the way. Pics to follow as soon as the sun goes behind the house.

EDIT: Got some shade... here's the gash:



Is that seriously enough to dump several quarts of oil everywhere, or am I looking for something more serious?

p.s. no, I'm not really blaming my wife... she just happened to be the one driving it.
Did you clean that valve cover? If not I think I'd be looking elsewhere for more holes, like in the oil pan. I've seen videos of these engines running without a valve cover and they don't throw THAT much oil out. Either way, there's some carnage somewhere that caused that.
I did do some cleanup, there was oil everywhere... in the battery tray, all over the inner fender well, AC plumbing, etc... I'm pretty sure all the oil that came out came from up high.

Wife says it started up just fine, then she heard what sounded like a vacuum leak. She also said that she did NOT hear any clunking, clanking, pinging, knocking, or other mechanical noises. She cut it off after a few seconds, tried it a couple more times, then checked the oil. It was dry. By the time she went in to buy some oil, it had spread out across the whole parking spot (and into the neighboring spot).

Here's a couple pics from the parking lot. It was way too bright to get a good pic of inside the engine bay.





I haven't been able to fully inspect the oil pan or block yet, but from what I have been able to see, they're relatively clean. I'm going to try to get under there tomorrow before leaving for work and see what I can see. My phone doesn't like to focus on closeups, but I'll try to shoot some video. Might try the GoPro and see how it does in close quarters.

The fact that there wasn't any major mechanical noises involved makes me optimistic. I know that something ripped that hole in there, but won't know what until I get the cover off and check things out.

I really hope the damage is limited to the top end. It won't be a fun job to do in my townhouse parking lot, but if I have to pull the heads, I'm ready and able to do so. I know that just the valve covers would cost several hundred in labor if I took it to a shop. I don't even want to know how much labor they'd charge for the heads.

Can anyone help me with a parts list for replacing everything possible without doing the chains or pulling the cams? As long as I have it open, I may as well...

Thanks!
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OMG WOW! $100 for a new valve cover from Rock Auto? I guess this is worth a trip to the junk yard. Saw a couple WJs with blown engines, surely one of them will have an intact valve cover I can rip out.

Also, I tried removing just the first injector connector, and it is very brittle. The locking tab broke immediately, and I'm not 100% sure how it comes off. I squeezed and pulled, but not too hard, as I'm afraid of breaking the connector completely. Any suggestions?
OMG WOW! $100 for a new valve cover from Rock Auto? I guess this is worth a trip to the junk yard. Saw a couple WJs with blown engines, surely one of them will have an intact valve cover I can rip out.

Also, I tried removing just the first injector connector, and it is very brittle. The locking tab broke immediately, and I'm not 100% sure how it comes off. I squeezed and pulled, but not too hard, as I'm afraid of breaking the connector completely. Any suggestions?
I have a set here if you're interested, almost threw them out over the weekend. Let me know if you're interested.
That would save me some time for sure, how much would you want for them? Shipping would be to 24301.

Thanks!
That would save me some time for sure, how much would you want for them? Shipping would be to 24301.

Thanks!
You can have them for just shipping, I looked at USPS's shipping calculator and I think $25 should cover it. Just PM me if you want them and I'll send you my paypal. I can have them sent out this afternoon.
i paid 3.50$ for a vc from the local pick and pull. it was even off the engine already. lol
And ,back to topic ,whats worn out under the VC ???

Something like this ????


Lets start betting ....:wink2:
on the WK side a guy is rebuilding his 4.7 and it spit the rocker arm out due to a dropped valve seat. When the cam came around it pinched the rocker arm and broke off a piece of the head and was forceful enough to shoot it up and poke a hole in the valve cover like that. I don't think you're going to get off easy after you pull that cover...
i paid 3.50$ for a vc from the local pick and pull. it was even off the engine already. lol
Congrats.

on the WK side a guy is rebuilding his 4.7 and it spit the rocker arm out due to a dropped valve seat. When the cam came around it pinched the rocker arm and broke off a piece of the head and was forceful enough to shoot it up and poke a hole in the valve cover like that. I don't think you're going to get off easy after you pull that cover...
Yeah, I'm thinking that's what happened as well. At the very least I think a badly worn rocker or stuck hydraulic lifter that caused a rocker to come off, which either way may have damaged the head. Not to mention the possibility of damage from the lack of oil, but it seems like it wasn't run long enough, so that might be unlikely. It's probably best to at least pull the cover before buying any parts at all, in case a new/used engine is in order.
You can have them for just shipping, I looked at USPS's shipping calculator and I think $25 should cover it. Just PM me if you want them and I'll send you my paypal. I can have them sent out this afternoon.
Hang on to 'em if you don't mind, but I'm not going to spend any money at all until I know for sure what's what. I may head to the yard anyways to grab rockers and springs if I need 'em. Was there 2 days ago and there were at least 3 4.7L engines and probably a few 3.7's as well, so lots of small parts to grab.

on the WK side a guy is rebuilding his 4.7 and it spit the rocker arm out due to a dropped valve seat. When the cam came around it pinched the rocker arm and broke off a piece of the head and was forceful enough to shoot it up and poke a hole in the valve cover like that. I don't think you're going to get off easy after you pull that cover...
Do you happen to have a link to that thread or know the guy's handle?

Yeah, I'm thinking that's what happened as well. At the very least I think a badly worn rocker or stuck hydraulic lifter that caused a rocker to come off, which either way may have damaged the head. Not to mention the possibility of damage from the lack of oil, but it seems like it wasn't run long enough, so that might be unlikely. It's probably best to at least pull the cover before buying any parts at all, in case a new/used engine is in order.
I've still got my fingers crossed, but I am considering the possibility of a complete rebuild up top. I really hope it doesn't come to that...

  • Timing chain, guides, tensioners
  • Oil Pump (might as well while I have the timing cover off)
  • Lash adjusters
  • Valve springs / seals / retainers
  • God knows what else (help me... what else is to be done if I end up going this deep?)
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Hang on to 'em if you don't mind, but I'm not going to spend any money at all until I know for sure what's what. I may head to the yard anyways to grab rockers and springs if I need 'em. Was there 2 days ago and there were at least 3 4.7L engines and probably a few 3.7's as well, so lots of small parts to grab.
No problem, just let me know.
4xTroy said:
Do you happen to have a link to that thread or know the guy's handle?
Shoulda linked it before. Sorry.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f67/smokey-2005-wk-4-7l-re-build-3845353/
Well, it's a top-end rebuild for sure!



Looks like the lifter seized, knocked the rocker sideways and blew the sleeve to bits, blowing a hole in the side of the cover and with the lift out, all the oil got pumped out.

Is there a way to tell from the top if I dropped the valve seat or am likely to have additional damage? The stem seems to be where it's supposed to be.

Also, any critique on the overall appearance of the head? I see a couple deposits, but no sludge to my untrained eye.

Now I gotta figure out if I really want to try the heads on my own in a parking lot, pay someone else to do it, or just buy a new engine... in the meantime, I'll need to figure out a new DD for the wife. Might have to scrub vacation #2 (Pigeon Forge & The Cherokee Casino), but we do what we have to do...
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Ouch! Looks just like the thread i linked. You could bore scope that cylinder to see how how the seat and face of the piston looks. I'm not sure i'd bother unless you're debating buying a remanned or used motor vs trying to salvage yours. You've got plenty of miles on it, that's for sure! I dont think i'd try to just replace the heads on one with that many miles. Just my 2 cents. I think i'd look for a lower mileage used engine if money's tight. Faster turn around time vs a build, too. I've heard of people renting garage space to do engine swaps and stuff. Might be something to look into.
my parents have a cabin outside gatlinburg. im there every winter. sorry about the engine tho :/
Yeah, a reman is definitely an option. It's really going to come down to the total cost of getting things done. Doing a rebuild has been on my radar for years now, I was just hoping to be in a house with a garage first. My townhouse does have a walkout basement, and while getting the block down there will be a PITA, it's not impossible.

I'm going to wait until I get the oil pan off and inspect the bottom end before making a decision. Other than some chatter on cold starts, the engine itself sounds pretty damned good. My wife puts most of the miles on it, but in the last month, I've put over 1000 miles on it myself and I'm cautiously optimistic that the rest of the thing is in good shape.

The worse case I see for doing a top-end rebuild, is that I may (will?) end up having to do the bottom end at some point in the future. Unless the cost difference is negligible, I'll probably opt for top-end now and the bottom end whenever...

I'm wondering if it would be worth the effort to try pulling a head from a junkyard. There are at least 3 engines in the yard I've been going to... of course, I would still have it sent to a machine shop to get the valve seats fixed and the mating surface checked out.
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Had a little time to look at some pricing on Rock Auto. I know if I shop around, I can bring it down some, but this gives me a ballpark figure...

If I do this, I'm doing both heads, which looks like it'll be around $850 (after I get my core charges back).

If I'm going that deep, I'm going to want to do the timing chain, tensioners, guides, and oil pump. Another $800+

With shipping, I'm probably looking at $1800. At this point, I'm just going to do a reman...

I think I might have a line on an engine with 12k miles that should be less than about $2400 including delivery

So... heads only or all the way... that is the question for today kids.

Still gotta pull the head to check the piston and cylinder wall for damage...

*sigh*
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Considering those prices and the mileage of your current engine, I'd be doing a reman or a used lower mileage engine.
Hey 4xTroy. nathanjaybar from the WK thread here.

Over the past couple days I've ordered pretty much all the parts you've mentioned from both Amazon and RockAuto and my costs are under $1,300, even with ordering some reputable brand names. Here's a list:

Cylinder heads (x2) with gaskets and new head bolts: eBay $785

Amazon
Exhaust manifold mounting bolts: DORMAN 03218 - $18.28
Timing Cover Gasket Kit: $34.19
Oil Pump: MOPAR 53020827AC - $98.94
Water Pump: GATES 43263 - $29.89
EGR Valve: DORMAN 911206 - $27.99
Windage Tray (Oil pan gasket): MOPAR 53020675AE - $33.03

RockAuto
Thermostat: MOPAR 68174083AA - $15.33
Timing Chain Set (Full Kit w/ gears): ENGINETECH TS393A - $214.79
Upper Radiator Hose: Gates 23037 - $6.43
Lower Radiator Hose: Gates 23038 - $9.48
PVC Valve: MOPAR 53032800AA - $7.35
Spark Plugs: Champion RC12MCC4 - $1.32 (x8)
Fuel Injector O-Rings: FEL-PRO ES70599 - $2.26 (x4)

Total: $1,292.10

The last thing I have to order is one O2 sensor and I should have everything I need to put it back together.

Food for thought.
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Considering those prices and the mileage of your current engine, I'd be doing a reman or a used lower mileage engine.
Im with you here ...

Houston has some really good engine exchange shops, one in particular i did business with for my sons truck.

Reman with a warranty all the way .. and for $250 id upgrade for the HO
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