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Old 10-07-2009, 09:42 AM
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First time Jeep owner - Huge Mistake - overheated

I just bought my first Jeep and made a huge mistake. I know I am an idiot so please don't flame me, I am kicking myself bad enough. Life lesson, I guess.

While on the way home from purchasing my 97 (4 banger), I noticed it was running around 230, almost in the red. Not knowing, if this was too hot and a mile from my house I pushed it. Well, that was stupid, it died a slow painful knocking, loss of power death. Anyway, a hose from the top of the valve cover was missing and oil vapor was steaming out all over the passenger side. I thought I threw a rod from all the oil on the ground.

I got it home and there was no water in the radiator and the bottom of the radiator was cool to the touch. My thinking is the the thermostat was bad. Any opinions on this theory? Other possibilities: Water pump, bad radiator, fan clutch?

OK, that doesn't really matter if it won't start again. There was no water in the oil as far as I can tell and the only oil I see seems to come from the side where the oil was steaming out. I plan to get some brake cleaner and see if I can verify that there are not any other leaks. Now, it seems to turn over fine. Just won't start, kind of like an electrical issue. At one point, nothing happened when I tried to turn it over, I jiggled some wires by the Map sensor and it would turn over again. One theory, I have heard is that the oil got all over the electrical and I need to brake clean everything, let it sit for a couple of hours and try it again.

What is my next step after this?

Also, a yellow light that looked like a house came on a few times. What did that mean? Get your but home dummy or pull over stupid?

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Old 10-07-2009, 09:53 AM   #2
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I say go ahead and upgrade to a 4.0

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Old 10-07-2009, 10:26 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jhilts View Post
I just bought my first Jeep and made a huge mistake. I know I am an idiot so please don't flame me, I am kicking myself bad enough. Life lesson, I guess.

While on the way home from purchasing my 97 (4 banger), I noticed it was running around 230, almost in the red. Not knowing, if this was too hot and a mile from my house I pushed it. Well, that was stupid, it died a slow painful knocking, loss of power death. Anyway, a hose from the top of the valve cover was missing and oil vapor was steaming out all over the passenger side. I thought I threw a rod from all the oil on the ground.

I got it home and there was no water in the radiator and the bottom of the radiator was cool to the touch. My thinking is the the thermostat was bad. Any opinions on this theory? Other possibilities: Water pump, bad radiator, fan clutch?

OK, that doesn't really matter if it won't start again. There was no water in the oil as far as I can tell and the only oil I see seems to come from the side where the oil was steaming out. I plan to get some brake cleaner and see if I can verify that there are not any other leaks. Now, it seems to turn over fine. Just won't start, kind of like an electrical issue. At one point, nothing happened when I tried to turn it over, I jiggled some wires by the Map sensor and it would turn over again. One theory, I have heard is that the oil got all over the electrical and I need to brake clean everything, let it sit for a couple of hours and try it again.

What is my next step after this?

Also, a yellow light that looked like a house came on a few times. What did that mean? Get your but home dummy or pull over stupid?
the 4.0 is a good upgrade, as stated above. as for the "yellow light" im guessing that was the shift light if it was in the upper right hand corner of your display
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:37 AM   #4
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clean all the oil up, refill it. replace the tstat and fill it up with antifreeze. then see if till start. it could have blown the head gasket or warped the head. but either is a relatively easy and inexpensive fix. its hard to tell until you get in there and get started

to say replace the motor with a 4.0 after it overheats is like saying to sell your car when the battery is dead


you might buy a can of gunk engine clean instead of brake cleaner. itll be easier and cheaper
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:43 AM   #5
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to say replace the motor with a 4.0 after it overheats is like saying to sell your car when the battery is dead

I thought everyone did that, or sell it when the tires went bald. Hmmm. The more you know.......
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:52 AM
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clean all the oil up, refill it. replace the tstat and fill it up with antifreeze. then see if till start. it could have blown the head gasket or warped the head. but either is a relatively easy and inexpensive fix. its hard to tell until you get in there and get started

to say replace the motor with a 4.0 after it overheats is like saying to sell your car when the battery is dead


you might buy a can of gunk engine clean instead of brake cleaner. itll be easier and cheaper
Thanks for the advice on the gunk cleaner. I will try that when I get home.

Yeah, swapping motors will be the last option. If that were case, why not go V8? :-)

If the head is warped, what kind of costs are we looking at?
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:59 AM   #7
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to say replace the motor with a 4.0 after it overheats is like saying to sell your car when the battery is dead
Glad the wife can't see this thread! I've been working on her for a new car.
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:14 AM
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Glad the wife can't see this thread! I've been working on her for a new car.
When I got the finally OK from the wife. She said now promise me this won't be a money pit. LOL
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:18 AM   #9
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im not entirely sure. i cant imagine it being much if you do the work yourself. a decent machine shop might be able to get it right (assuming its even warped). if not, 2.5L are a dime a dozen, so id think you could get a decent head for a couple hundred bucks maybe?
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:28 PM   #10
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man! that happened to me...almost! I bought a 97 and a mile down the road I noticed the temp guage well over 210...I STOPPED! I got it towed to the house and was upset to see only a thimble-full of water in the radiator. I replaced the waterpump, thermostat radiator, radiator hoses and belt. It runs around 195 to 200...but i hear they run hot. Good luck on fixin her up...I'm addicted to mine!
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:14 AM   #11
 
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230? Really doesn't seem to be bad enough to warp/crack a head or blow a gasket, at least I don't think so, mine ran about 220 on the way home due to a bad radiator, replaced that and the thermostat and it runs like a champ.

If that radiator is OEM I would replace it, it is probably pretty rotten by now, replace the hoses and thermostat and fix hose causing the oil leak.

I have a 97 4 banger too, if you need any pictures of how that shoud look on top or where a hose is routed let me know I can take some pictures for you.
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:11 AM   #12
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blown head gasket...

the 4 cyl usually run about 210 anyway

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