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Old 08-06-2010, 11:40 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: west chester, PA
Posts: 375
possible head gasket leak, but I'm not sure, Please help!

Hi guys,

ok, I have a 1998 4.0 with 96,000 miles on her. Two weekends ago I flushed the coolant and changed the water pump and thermostat. I thought everything was fine, but about a week after I did the job I came out one morning to find a small puddle under the Jeep. I assumed it was coming the from the front of the motor, but quickly noticed that the drip was coming from where the bell housing meets the transmission!.. I've also noticed that the Jeep doesn't drip if it sits for less than 5 or 6 hours, but if it sits over night I get a drip... right now it is parked in my driveway and I am waiting to tear into it this weekend.

So, my question is... is there anything around the back of the motor that may cause a drip other than a leaky head gasket? I was hoping the problem was a heater hose but they are too far to the side of the motor to make sense... I really don't feel like pulling the head on the Jeep right now. Is it typical for a head gasket to go on these motors around 100k?


every time I look at my Jeep I love it more and more
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Old 08-06-2010, 12:20 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: no mans land, benton ks
Posts: 615
i wouldnt call it a head gasket. does it ever smoke (except the little bit durning warmup), check the oil level, (if it starts to rise, or gets milky then that is another tell tell sign).

when the motor is cool, crack the radiator cap open slowly. start the jeep and let it idle. if it is pushing lots of air bubbles, then that is another good indicator the head gasket is bad.

And yes there are other things besides the head gasket that could be leaking (freeze plugs). there are several all over the motor as a fail safe in the winter if the water/antifreeze freezes it pops those out to keep the ice from cracking the block/head.

1977 Cherokee ChiefEdelbrock 1406, 33X12.50, front 1.5 inch shackle lift. AMC 360, th400 Quadra-Trac
2002 wrangler, stock 4.0, auto, 33X12.50 maxis buckshot, AEV Highline Body kit, Ford 9 inch rear end, 4" full traction lift.
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:29 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: west chester, PA
Posts: 375
thanks for the info... I took it apart this weekend and it turned out that the lower radiator hose clamp was not fully seated and anti-freeze was leaking out, running down the oil pan seal and dripping down the back. I was really glad it was not coming from the head. Also, just to be safe I checked the oil and it had no signs of water. thanks again.
every time I look at my Jeep I love it more and more
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