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ziljin 08-05-2009 05:03 PM

2.5 Cracked head help (pic inside)
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Hi everyone,
New here.. I originally started to change my first head gasket on my brothers TJ (overheating). Once I got everything apart I noticed the crack in the picture. The gasket didn't look bad at all. All cylinders had coolant in them. The crack is in the middle 2. The cylinder closest to the cabin had the most coolant tho, is that normal? This is my first time tearing into an engine. The only thing I can think of now is that he needs a new head. Am I right in assuming this? He basically said he drove it till it shut off (WOW). I def. will be checking the block for warpage. What are the chances that's cracked too? How could I tell?? It's stuck in my driveway now. I really don't want to deal with a junk yard head when autozone lists a head for $300 something w/ warranty, etc. Anyone have any luck w/ autozone?
Sorry for the long post/questions. Basically I'm stuck on where to go from here. Any help would be much appreciated! He def. doesn't have enough money for a 4.0. Looking for the cheapest/safest fix :)

foxinthemudd 08-05-2009 05:17 PM


First off welcome to the forum.

Second autozone has its pro's and cons along with any auto retailer. With the head being cracked like that and him "driving till it shut off" usually isn't a good thing. check around on the price from other retailers in your area you might find a better deal. a new (used) 4.0 on craigslist shouldn't cost more than 400 bucks or so, installing it may be another story. I'm not 100% on what else you should check but there are plenty of other guys/gals on here that will answer your questions with great detail. good luck on your project.

ziljin 08-05-2009 06:07 PM

I know right? I thought I taught him better than running it like that. It was originally the water pump that let go... Bearings everywhere! Unfortunately, I'm gonna be movin soon, so I just wanna get it running again and the head seems like the quickest way. Thanks for the help! Keep 'em coming.

foxinthemudd 08-05-2009 06:46 PM

sounds like my little bro. I bought him an 89 cherokee and it has a few problems to it. it runs but now we can't get it to pass emmissions. you tell them to do something and they either do the complete opposite or nothing at all. pisses me off at times.

skeeter 08-05-2009 07:34 PM

There's a crack there?
You say there's coolant in all cylinders. Does the crack extend the length of the head?

The coolant in the cylinders could just be the remnants left in the head drained out as you pulled it.

What made you think the head gasket was bad?
White smoke?
Odd smell to the exhaust?
Pressure test?
Losing coolant but not leaking?

I'm pretty sure you can use a long block from a Cherokee, should be pretty cheap from the local wrecking yard.

Oh, and to check to see if the block is warped (I assume you mean the mating surface with the head) The only way I know is to use a good strait edge along the surface and look for any gaps.

ziljin 08-06-2009 07:34 AM

Yeah, the crack is in front of the screwdriver... Good point on the coolant drained as I pulled it.

Had tons of white smoke, overheating,coolant loss, exhaust odor, coolant on spark plug. Didn't bother with a pressure test due to all the above symptoms.

Jeepzcb09 08-06-2009 11:39 AM

autozone is great in my experience!

Bobeq 09-15-2009 06:25 AM

good price on head
I have a jeep cherokee with the same engine. I found a head online at for around 160 after you get the core deposit back. thought i would give you a heads up.

whitebuffalo 09-15-2009 09:25 AM

if you have a good local machine shop, you might check with them first. i had a 360 with cracks between the valve seats that they repaired the cracks for relatively cheap and it lasted a long time after. looking at the location of the crack in your picture, im not sure if itd be repairable, my gut says no, but itd be worth checking.

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