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Old 04-02-2011, 09:25 AM   #1
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Really bummed...cracked head?

Since I bought my new to me 2001 Sahara I have had a low oil pressure indication on the factory gage after I restart a warm engine. Well after reading about all of the problems with the factory gage, I installed a mechanical pressure gage last weekend and it also shows the same thing. I'm actually seeing as low as zero on the mechanical gage where the OEM gage still is at 10psi.

After much research I came across the 331 head issue and confirmed I indeed have this head on my TJ. I also noticed when I pulled the oil filler cap there was a watery brown gunk on the inside of the cap. In addition, the coolant reservoir is empty and the level in the radiator is down to the top of the fins. Does this confirm the head is cracked? Should I pull the valve cover to try to see a crack?

At this point should I be considering replacing the head only or are the bearings shot due to the coolant in the oil and I should be looking for a new engine.

Thanks for any input.

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Old 04-02-2011, 08:34 PM   #2
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the only thing you have confirmed is you are low on coolant but you need to check further to condem the head more info is required /have you dumped the oil is it emulsified?

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Old 04-02-2011, 08:39 PM   #3
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It could be just a bad head gasket. Is it still running? Has it thrown any codes?
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Old 04-03-2011, 01:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rospan View Post
Since I bought my new to me 2001 Sahara I have had a low oil pressure indication on the factory gage after I restart a warm engine. Well after reading about all of the problems with the factory gage, I installed a mechanical pressure gage last weekend and it also shows the same thing. I'm actually seeing as low as zero on the mechanical gage where the OEM gage still is at 10psi.

After much research I came across the 331 head issue and confirmed I indeed have this head on my TJ. I also noticed when I pulled the oil filler cap there was a watery brown gunk on the inside of the cap. In addition, the coolant reservoir is empty and the level in the radiator is down to the top of the fins. Does this confirm the head is cracked? Should I pull the valve cover to try to see a crack?

At this point should I be considering replacing the head only or are the bearings shot due to the coolant in the oil and I should be looking for a new engine.

Thanks for any input.
a good indication of a cracked head is LOTS OF SMOKE ! and the crack is inbetween the valves not on the top of the head . do you see bubbles in the water in your radiator ? also a sign of a bad head gasket . if you do pull the head look inbetween the valves for a crack it should look like a hair is on it . no replace just the head and change the oil a few times
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:43 AM   #5
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Update...I pulled the valve cover and also changed the oil. The oil had a gasoline smell to it in addition to the greenish tan buildup under the valve cover. I did not see any cracks visiually and used a dye penetrant similar to magnaflux between the 4 and 5 cylinders that did not show any cracks either.

Also there are no codes or smoke at this point, but when the oil pressure drops I can see it drain out of the clear tubing going to the mechanical gage I installed.
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:58 AM   #6
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When I replaced my valvecover gasket , it was at 148,000, and there was nowhere near that much sludge. The previous owner must not have changed oil very often...

If It were me, I'd pull the head, take it to a reputable machine shop. Have them do a valve job.They will clean it up, and magnaflux it to make sure theres no cracks.
Reman Cylinder haed is an option,too..

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