I bought an 03 new off the lot years ago...probably around 2003...and that thing was nothing but trouble. Mismatched bolts, parts that didn't fit, etc. Engine went right after the warranty even with all scheduled maintenance.
Almost positive it is just a bad Jeep instead of a bad year, but I know one or two other 03 owners who also had Friday afternoon specials...and a few that have had no issues at all. Grain of salt, there is always someone who had good/bad experiences with their rig. That being said, my '98 runs like a top and has zero issues approaching 150k
"Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines"
They say the crack is obvious if you simply pull the valve cover and pressurize the coolant system. I imagine they use air or water pressure to do that. But they say that coolant can be seen oozing from the crack when there is pressure on that side of the system. You could indeed have a bad head gasket. But replacing the head should fix both as long as you get one of those listed fix heads. The ones from the various places like Alabama Head etc. Lots of threads on those various places. Last costs I saw were in the $500 range and perhaps 500 to 700 for labor.
The issue seems to be the damage by coolant in the lower end can show up later so finding and fixing it early seems to be the best thing. If indeed something like that is already occurring your probably right on the remanufactured motor choice. But its possible to drop the pan and examine the lower end too in order to decide.
OK, thanks. I'll pull the valve cover off tomorrow and take a look. It's kind of strange. I had my mechanic pressurize the radiator a couple weeks ago and it didn't leak down at all. I wonder if it only does it when it's hot.
00-02 were what would if any be considered bad years.. In 2000 The 4.0's and maybe although im not sure the 2.5's got new cylinder heads (0331) that had a copper deficency leaving them defective.. Eventually this leads to the Jeep overheating and the head cracking. Typical range for this issue to arise is between 100-150K although I have read about it happening before and after. It's a fairly expensive fix typically in the 1K range if you can't do the labor yourself. The 0331 head was still used in 03-06 but it was fixed for the 03 model years. Other years had there issues but those can be solved for much less then 1000 dollars.
Bummer. I just closed a deal on a 2000TJ. I wish I would have known of this issue earlier!
2000TJ 4.0 5 speed Dana 44 rear with 3.73gearing.
2.25 BB. 1" BL 1" MML 33x12.5 Duratracs on 15x8 Procomp alloy wheels
Family Ride-2002 Jeep Liberty Limited- Rockyroad steprails-
I believe the cylinder head issue was corrected for the 02 year.... making that only 00 and 01...
I have seen 02 included in that discussion many times and it has always then been refuted that they did not get the bad heads. So I am concluding that this is the case because the evidence seems to exclude them from this.
And since 05 and 06 had their much publicized issues with the rotor that leaves then only 02-04 as good years in that stretch if you eliminate them for that.
And I think 98 and 99 were pretty good too for that matter.
Mines got a bad head at 78k miles and it's an 02...
Do I look like a cat to you boy? Am I jumpin' around all nimbly bimbly from tree to tree? Am I drinking milk from a saucer? DO YOU SEE ME EATING MICE?
Wow! Lots of info on that one! Was brought to my attention since I have a Jeep a couple of times now. They are just haters in my opinion, but I thought this would be the place to see if it is true! Interesting info!
Mines got a bad head at 78k miles and it's an 02...
Is it a TUPY marked casting?
Keep in mind that 02s are built from about August to to Dec in 01 most years.
Be interesting to see if its early date and what casting it was.
There have been bad heads on EVERY year... the issue is wether or not its a casting flaw or not.
The jury is out on early 02's (MF year of 01 mostly)... because its supposed a few of them got heads cast in 01. I don't make this up... its just what I find when I read and look hard enough. Read the old thread I linked in subsequent posts in this thread and just do a search of various sites about it... and read the collected data. Its incomplete and unscientific... but it hints at the phase of the change over being in late 01 for the most part.
Two guys confirming that they looked and confirmed that "Dec 02 and Nov 02" (they have to mean manufacture months of Nov and Dec in 01 because by NOV and Dec 02 they where making 03's so keep that in mind) all had TUPY heads
I think what happened was a few 02s did get reported and got lumped in. And some of these were clearly built in 01 in the early runs of 02's. And it is probably true a few older castings got used into 02 and its hard to say if a few older castings popped in the assembly line even later on in the first half of that model year run. So.... what appears to me to have evolved was the "safe bet" to just include 02 just in case. In fact even 01's before the change showed significant drop in occurrence. So its probably safe to assume most 02s are later castings but that doesn't mean ANY year might not crack. Nor does it mean that something else might happen to any other year. But... its unlikely too.
By the way. I just confirmed a 2002 TJ that my Son has, that its build date was January 30th 2002 (via its build sheet) does indeed have a TUPY head in it. And its original too. This can be visibly seen through the Oil fill cap. Not that hard to see with the naked eye at all. Its right under the Oil filler cap.
I got a fuzzy phone cam picture of it too...
Very difficult to do this with a phone cam but you can make it out
Well, it's official. I just got back from the shop and saw that I have a good size crack in the cylinder head (casting 0331) between the number 3 and 4 cylinders. This photo was taken after the cooling system was pressurized for about 5 seconds:
At least I now know where all my coolant's been going. And why my lifters are so loud. And why my oil pressure is low. And etc., etc., etc.
I just want to say thank you to XJ Knight for bringing this issue to my attention in this thread. Without his post, I might not have found this problem until I was stranded on the side of the road somewhere with catastrophic engine failure, not to mention all the money I'd spend in coolant, oil, and subsequent repairs in the meantime.
Im so glad I brought this up. This has been very informative. Now I wish Wish WISH they would figure out what is wrong with my JEEP! Its been 2 weeks now and Im not sure if they know what wrong with her!! I MISS her deeply!
So it seems that my poor little 2002 Wrangler (build date Dec '01) probably has the "bad" engine. Mysterious loss of coolant ... oil pressure drop etc I tried the "flashlight" trick to see if I could see the TUPY stamp thru the oil filler cap ... no visible stamp. I haven't yet pulled the cover to "be sure", but I'm just gonna call it and replace the engine. (The issue has been going on for a couple years now. No one could figure out what was going on.)
I have done my research (but am, obviously open to hearing suggestions!) on which engine to get ... but I can't find a mechanic in Los Angeles that will do the swap. They all want to "procure" the engine through their sources, but then can't guarantee that it won't be the same non-TUPY engine.
Anybody have any ideas for Los Angeles? (I'm in Hollywood)