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Old 03-16-2014, 02:11 PM   #1
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Question Help Replacing TJ Cylinder Head

Hey guys, I have a 2000 TJ 4.0 Liter with 145,000 miles. Over the past year, it has developed a tapping noise at idle RPMs. Higher RPM it subsides, I have read this is usually indicative of a sticky lifter. In addition, once the engine is warmed up, my oil pressure hovers around 10 PSI when sitting at idle. Both of these symptoms from what I gather can be directly related to the cracked cylinder issue that tends to plague 2000 TJs.

Yesterday I was replacing the vacuum lines when I noticed an excess amount of sludge build up on the passenger side of the engine. From what I could see, it looked like it was originating from around the cylinder head and and collecting down the side of the block. I snapped some pictures to give you an idea of what it looks like. In the first photo I circled where you can see the moisture stops and the block is dry. As you can see pretty much everything from that point to the back of the engine has black sludge caked on it.

TJ Engine - Imgur

I change my oil every 3k miles and I always notice the oil is down a quart when I drain. I always attributed it to and old engine and it was normal burnoff, but to me this is clearly where it is going.

I am looking into buying a new cylinder head from clearwater cylinder and doing the job. anyone have a guide on doing this job? I've looked around forums and youtube and haven't been able to find anything helpful. I have also downloaded the shop manual but would like something a little more graphical step by step. Also, before I do go down this road do you guys think this is what my issue is given the symptoms I listed and photos I've attached?

Thanks.
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Old 03-16-2014, 05:05 PM   #2
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That is just 14 years of usage. Probably some seepage of oil from the filter area. I would not worry about that. Just clean it up with some cleaner and a hose.

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Old 03-16-2014, 06:38 PM   #3
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2000 is crack prone but has coolant gotten mixed with oil

Has oil level risen unexpectedly

Do cylinders have normal compression

Does it overheat

The external sludge is not bothersome

If pressure down on oil when checked with a mechanical gauge

Did you do a visual inspection for milky hair line cylinder head crack as pictured on multiple web postings
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:43 PM   #4
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Buy/rent/borrow an oil pressure gauge and check your oil pressure that way. The sending units go bad so you may actually have way more than 10 PSI at idle.

I also have a 2000 TJ and recently replaced the oil pressure sensor because it said I had 0 PSI at idle when warmed up. When I connected my mechanical gauge I actually had close to 30 PSI at idle, well above the 13 PSI minimum.

One last thing: Are you sure it's leaking from the cylinder head and not the valve cover?
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:46 PM   #5
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valve cover gasket? You have a leak somewhere, that would be where I would start. It will give you a little peak inside as well with the valve cover off to see how dirty the engine is inside. Start easy, progress to the harder more costly fixes.
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digger84 View Post
2000 is crack prone but has coolant gotten mixed with oil

Has oil level risen unexpectedly

Do cylinders have normal compression

Does it overheat

The external sludge is not bothersome

If pressure down on oil when checked with a mechanical gauge

Did you do a visual inspection for milky hair line cylinder head crack as pictured on multiple web postings

I wasn't able to get a great view down through the oil cap to see any milky residue. But oil is always down when I drain it at 3k miles. If there is seepage I imagine it would have to be minimal. The sludge leak could be leaking at a faster rate than what the coolant is leaking into the engine. Hopefully the weather is decent next weekend so I can pop off the valve cover to get an idea what I'm dealing with. I assume if I do not see any white residue it might just be the valve cover gasket. While I'm at it I should probably hook up a mechanical pressure gauge and see what the deal is with that too.
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetsFan978 View Post
Buy/rent/borrow an oil pressure gauge and check your oil pressure that way. The sending units go bad so you may actually have way more than 10 PSI at idle.

I also have a 2000 TJ and recently replaced the oil pressure sensor because it said I had 0 PSI at idle when warmed up. When I connected my mechanical gauge I actually had close to 30 PSI at idle, well above the 13 PSI minimum.

One last thing: Are you sure it's leaking from the cylinder head and not the valve cover?

You're right about that, I have been needing to get a mechanical gauge on there for awhile but just have't gotten around to it. From what everyone is saying, I should probably pop off the valve cover to get an idea if the leak is originating there, and if there is milky residue present.

Here's hoping to decent weather this weekend. I'll put up some pics when I get in there.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:41 AM   #8
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cracked head with coolant leaking into oil makes oil level high not low
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digger84 View Post
cracked head with coolant leaking into oil makes oil level high not low
Correct, and since you are doing your own oil change you would have noticed the change in the oil. The crack will be hard to see, and you may or may not get the residue under the cap (I didn't).


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Hairline crack on this 2002 head (mine)

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