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Old 05-11-2010, 10:58 PM   #1
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Blown head gasket??

Hey guys, new to the forum. I just recently picked up an 1988 YJ with 4.2 Auto 80,000 original miles.. I paid $500 (a steal) and I figure I could probably sell the hard top and get most of my money if this is a total dud. My problem is when I bought it the PO said it would overheat after driving for an hour or so. I did notice some milky paste on the on dipstick but only at the very tip. I replaced the PCV system hoping it was condensation. I drove it for about an hour and the water pump died on me(could be the cause of overheating), but the milk was gone..so I figured all is well. I changed out the pump and drove it some more and it did fine. Today I cracked open the valve cover to change the gasket..infamous leak..and the rocker arms were covered in oil but it seemed to be thin and a little brownish..now I am stuck because I cant tell if the head gaskets blown or maybe just the new oil being it only had maybe 40 miles on it..There was also some water in the air filter housing..Any help would be great. I dont want to put it back together and find i have to tear it down again.

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Old 05-11-2010, 11:03 PM   #2
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Here is a pic of the oil in question..when i changed it the first time the oil looked fine..but now I am second guessing myself after seeing the rockers. Another thing I didnt see any bubbles before in the radiator and there may have been some white exhaust but its hard to tell cause it was 29F outside..
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:02 AM   #3
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Ok, its definetly blown..I checked the oil this morning and it had completely seperated from the water in the rockers..does anyone know a good write-up or DIY on the head gasket swap..Thanks
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:15 PM   #4
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Yeah, you answered your own question, by the looks of the pictures, you sure have water in your crankcase. After doing the head, I would change the oil a couple of times...
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dovedude View Post
Ok, its definetly blown..I checked the oil this morning and it had completely seperated from the water in the rockers..does anyone know a good write-up or DIY on the head gasket swap..Thanks
X2 on that. My head gaskets leaking and paying someone $900 to put in a $17 part is ridiculous
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:32 PM   #6
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x3, make sure and get yourself a good torque wrench. It will pay for itself in no time... And be sure to drain it all out like these guys mentioned. Fill it, Run it, drain it, fill it. Run it, drain it overnight... fill it.
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:42 PM   #7
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oh, and find the cause. Was it over-reved? over-heated? or just plain wore out? If one or two, you'll need to address cooling issues or lead foot issues.
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:21 PM   #8
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Haynes has a pretty good write-up on changing the head gasket. There are some different torques on different head bolts on some years...Its not a hard job, just make sure you keep your lifters/pushrods/rockers in order. Get a "good" headgasket and use a decent torque wrench as stated above.
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:02 PM   #9
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Thanks guys for the response, I am gonna pick up a haynes today and my local Schucks has a head gasket kit for $33.00. It sounds a little cheap but its all I could find locally. Kinda Scary..My first guess at why it blew was the coolant system was all mucked up and she overheated it one too many times..I just hope the heads not warped but i guess ill know shortly..Heres a pic of the oil after letting it sit overnight..
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:36 PM   #10
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A blown headgasket will make your engine overheat. It doesn't take much just a little corrosion near a water jacket, i'm surprised you didn't see steam in your exhaust too.
Use a good straight edge on the head surface, if not take it to a decent shop and have it checked.
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:02 PM   #11
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if i go to the trouble of pulling a head, i take it to the machine shop for a valve job. its inexpensive and (IMO) worth it since you're already going to the trouble of pulling the head. $.02
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:16 PM   #12
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What's a machine shop charge, roughly for valve work?
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Old 05-16-2010, 08:40 PM   #13
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Alright guys I need some advice here..I ve ran into a snag and its really pissing me off. I was reading one of the other forums where someone advised to pull the manifold and head as one unit. It looked like an easier route because there was no way I could see to remove the bolts/studs that hold the manifold to the head. Well I hate exhaust bolts..one it on its way to be stripped. If anyone has advice on how to get the the downpipe off or a way to get the manifold off the head please let me know. Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:09 PM   #14
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I don't know any specifics for getting things off. but for screws that are starting to strip, I'd spray them with PB blaster, let it sit, then fire it up for some heat and try gettin them to budge
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:08 PM   #15
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Are you talking about the two bolts/studs that hold the exhaust pipe to the manifold? If those don't break its going to be a miracle.....The PO on my jeep replaced them with pass thru bolts, must have broken the studs and drilled them out. The only thing I can think of is try heat if you have a set of torches or a nut splitter....
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:17 PM   #16
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Alright well I gave up on the two bolts on the downpipe to manifold..I tried heating them and the PB blaster..and it was stripped beyond help. I finally found my u-joint ratchet and got the manifold off the head. It took some time to get it on the lower bolts under the manifold, but its off now. Heads in the shop getting surfaced $55 and it was warped slightly above cylinder 3/4. I am going to do the nutter bypass once its back on being I yanked nearly all the vacuum lines off the engine in the process. We'll see how that goes and I am sure ill be on here asking more questions as I get along. Thanks everyone.
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Old 05-19-2010, 02:17 PM   #17
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Well... I am this clost to parting this thing out and getting a TJ.. Got the head back it looks great. Used the 3M pad on the deck surface cleaned and installed the the head. Everything was going really smooth until I got to putting the exhaust manifold back on..It seems to have shrunk or bowed out slightly. It is about 1/4" from fitting and i MAY have cross threaded a bolt into the head...Should I get a new manifold or just drill the holes out??
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:09 AM   #18
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late reply:

id get a new manifold before drilling the holes out.

i had the same problem on a 350. i ended up using a ratchet strap to stretch it to where i could get the bolts back in LOL
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:40 AM   #19
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I recently noticed my water getting into my oil and it scared the crap outta me.I changed everything,but the water pump and the head gasket,so thats next.I have read upwards of 500 forum posts on the head gasket issue and thats the issue,unless your head is cracked,which seems to be near impossible....from 500+ posts only one cracked head and thats the moron that ran his jeep with a bad radiator for a year...deserved it!
I have a1997 tj,swapped out 4 cylinder for the I6,air raid system,poweraide throttle spacer,magnaflow exhaust,33" intercos,etc.....Jeepers creepers!

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