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Old 02-21-2012, 07:43 AM   #1
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Head gasket replacement cost?

Got that awesomest of bad news that confirmed a suspicion I've had since I got the Jeep.. my head gasket is blown.

It started with the Jeep randomly running hot. I just changed the oil and it was soup-like, chocolate milky. Checked the water reservoir and radiator and they are both low again (after filling them last week). I don't see any other way around it.. I have a blown head gasket.

So, how much would it cost for a shop to replace? What's involved? I'm not incredibly mechanically inclined so I imagine this is something beyond my skill set to do myself.

This is where it comes down to the decision of either dropping in a newer/bigger motor or trying to fix the 4 cylinder I have. Decisions, decisions.

Denis

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Old 02-21-2012, 08:37 AM   #2
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I can't see where is should cost a lot, any GOOD shop can do this job in one day! maybe $100. in parts, tear it down, clean and mill the head put it back together, one day!

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Old 02-21-2012, 10:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubby55 View Post
I can't see where is should cost a lot, any GOOD shop can do this job in one day! maybe $100. in parts, tear it down, clean and mill the head put it back together, one day!
depending on if it's the gasket or the head itself....as in cracked..hope not, but it is a possibility.... and if it's just the gasket, the total cost is going to be around 4-5 hundred with labor with parts.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:15 PM   #4
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Nubby - Like your enthusiasm.

I've been making some calls to a number of local shops and also looking at used 4.0L motors in Craigslist to do a swap that way. As much as I'd love to throw some big bucks into a V8 swap, it's looking like it will be significantly more expensive than I had originally estimated.
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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:30 PM   #5
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I'm gonna meet up with crafty on Friday and we're going to look the Jeep over. Hopefully it is just a head gasket and something either his guy (or a shadetree mechanic I know) can get fixed on the cheap. If it's something a lot worse.. well.. then I have to make a big decision.
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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denisbaldwin
Nubby - Like your enthusiasm.

I've been making some calls to a number of local shops and also looking at used 4.0L motors in Craigslist to do a swap that way. As much as I'd love to throw some big bucks into a V8 swap, it's looking like it will be significantly more expensive than I had originally estimated.
4.0 swap will cost just about as much as a v8. You will need new motor mounts trans t case and wiring harness.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:54 PM   #7
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The head on the 2.5 isn't actually all that bad to remove. Take your time, label stuff and you should have it off in a few hours with basic tools. Less if you've done it a few times. The main thing is, don't just put a new gasket on and call it good. Have the head machined to make sure it's not warped. Button it up and enjoy.
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:47 AM   #8
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Got my gasket set from Ocala Gasket yesterday. Going to try to get this pulled apart next week some time, get the head inspected and machined and do all of the gaskets in the engine while we've got it apart.
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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:48 AM   #9
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What kind of head gasket did you get? OEM or aftermarket?

I have had nothing but bad luck with aftermarket head gaskets on any application. They always seem to fail after a year or so- too hard so they don't squish and seat on the head/block properly..

Replacing a head gasket is relatively simple. I've seen people do it with the intake/exhaust manifolds still bolted on. Just gotta unbolt the exhaust manifold from the header, apparently and you can lift the whole unit up as one to replace.

But you are always going to want to have the head checked and the valve seals pressure tested.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:18 PM   #10
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it really pretty simple to replace, only tool you'll need that you may not have is a torque wrench for tightening it back up
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:30 AM   #11
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Crafty and Nick checked out the Jeep last night. Definitely a blown head gasket and some crank issues. Looks like we're gonna pull the motor and rebuild next weekend.
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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:33 AM   #12
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Ended up picking up a low mileage 2.5 from another local Jeeper. Nick is going to swap that one into my Jeep and then I'll have the old motor out to rebuild and sell. That's good news in that I'll be back on the road in a week or two.
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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:46 AM   #13
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... and the motor is out. Nick and I (and a buddy of his) finished unbolting it last night and got it out. Broke a motor mount and radiator in the process (and having my flywheel resurfaced today), but it's coming along.

My motor is 404:

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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:20 AM   #14
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She's alive! Fired up the Jeep on Friday. Runs good! Going to bleed the clutch and finish up some bits and pieces today so hopefully I can drive it tomorrow.
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1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:34 PM   #15
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Good Deal!

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