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?