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Old 01-28-2014, 11:50 AM   #1
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I think I need a head gasket...?

I have a 4.2 carbureted straight 6 in my 88 YJ. Just redid the fuel pump because I had gas in my oil. However I have the white smoke coming out of the exhaust, my oil is white foam, and in two days I've gone through 3-4 qts of good oil. I'm thinking head gasket and valve seals.

As a beginner at working on vehicles is this going to be impossible for me to fix?

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Old 01-28-2014, 12:51 PM   #2
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Did you do a compression test? No. Nothing is impossible. Just need a chitons manual and a decent torque wrench

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Old 01-28-2014, 12:58 PM   #3
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Didn't do a compression test and unless I can get to my school to do one there I doubt I'm going to. It's pretty obvious this engine has been best to shit
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:59 PM   #4
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no need in doing a compression test..you either have a blown head gasket or a cracked head..if you run it very much like that you will ruin the entire engine..I don't know your abilities but just by you asking these questions,it might be best to let a shop do it..
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:10 PM   #5
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Well I bought the jeep as a project to learn on and I'm not spending the money to take it to a shop. I'd rather sell it then do that. I'm capable of working on vehicles but never touched and engine before unless you count the rear main seal.

I'd have the help of a mechanic friend
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:16 PM   #6
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Park it until you get it fixed. Like HD said, if it's foaming up & you're going thru 3-4 qts of oil in 2 days, you have either have a busted head or a bad gasket. You will ruin it for sure if you keep driving it.

The 4.2 is a pretty stout motor. They can take a LOT of abuse, but don't push it. I'm willing to bet she's pretty tired.

Pull the head & look at the gasket, but if you're going thru that much oil, I bet the head is busted wide open.
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:27 PM   #7
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I'm pulling it apart this weekend. Hoping it's just the gasket and seals needing to be replaced.
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xabbeyroad View Post
I'm pulling it apart this weekend. Hoping it's just the gasket and seals needing to be replaced.
valve stem seals don't have anything to do with water getting in the oil or combustion chamber..it is probably either a blown gasket or a cracked head
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harleydragon View Post

valve stem seals don't have anything to do with water getting in the oil or combustion chamber..it is probably either a blown gasket or a cracked head


But seals could be leaking oil since I know there is at least 1 leak
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:40 PM   #10
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Good deal, let us know what you find. Hopefully it's just the head gasket. Not too bad of a job. It'll be a good learning expierence for you non the less.

Don't give up on the 258, they're great motors. I would love to find a complete 258 to build up for my Jeep.
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:49 PM   #11
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I can't afford a swap at the moment so it's fix it or sell it lol and I need the jeep for snow. My camaro is deadly in it
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:23 PM   #12
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My 91 2.5L blew a head gasket and- despite my limited mechanical abilities- I replaced it about a month ago. Get a Haynes or Chilton manual and good set of sockets and wrenches. Drain the oil and antifreeze, pull the valve cover, intake and exhaust manifold (<<<wasn't as tough as I expected), then the head bolts. Ask your buddy for a good machine shop for the head 'cause it's probably cracked/warped, they'll do the valves and all that shiat. Jeep goes back together same way it came apart, just torque all the bolts to spec. It seems intimidating, but it's really not that tough. You got this, man, good luck.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:44 PM   #13
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HD is right, the seals have nothing to do with coolant in your oil, leaking seals will make a good puff of smoke on start up, not burn Qts. of oil in just days.
If your not going all the way with rebuilding the head right then do worry about the seals.
Fast and cheap! Lay the windshield back, pull valve cover off, drain every thing, disconnect the head pipe, remove the head bolts, and lift head intake, exhaust and head out in one peace with shop lift. check for where your leak is. if just a head gasket, clean head and block and put it back together.
$14.00 head gasket $40.00 valve cover gasket and your back on the road.

I did this to My old 258 about a year ago, and she still plugging along.

It's not right, but it's how I did it on an engine I hope to replace soon.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:47 PM   #14
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Oh, a good Wrench can change the gasket in about half a day.
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:20 PM   #15
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The valve stem guide seals are important
In several ways. If they leak if can foul your plugs
Also if you have a weak cylinder the oil that bypasses
And runs down the pushrods thus adds to the cylinder
Allowing it to false compression.
Heads are not that complicated to R/R they are heavy
And you should presoak all bolts on exhaust with a good penetration oil
Prior also include intake.(with plugs in) retorque per specifications
And if you can get assistance with R/R to prevent damage to gasket and
Self that is great.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:29 PM   #16
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Just giving a Short Cut, that so many on here are looking for. That's Only if your not going to do it right.
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:49 AM   #17
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So the gasket was blown on 3 cylinders and the head is fine.

But on the first start I'm getting what seems to be timed backfires. It's not random backfires. The timing chain was never touched....any ideas on that one?
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:40 AM   #18
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If you did not remove distributor you might have couple spark plug wires mixed up check with firing order
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:41 AM   #19
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Did that. Even drew a picture before undoing the wires of how they go back
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:43 PM   #20
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Just in case anyone else encounters this problem in the future it was over torqued rocker arms

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