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Old 06-23-2009, 09:31 AM   #1
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Default Cracked Head

Last tuesday, while on my way to a college interview, I saw smoke and smelled something burning while driving up. I get there up, park it, and get out. I quickly see a nice pool of coolant that is dripping off the back of the engine block great.

So I have my dad come look at it, we both come to the conclusion of a blown head gasket. Get it towed to a mechanic that was recomended to us ( new to the area). I know of how the 2000-up have the #0331 cracked head issue, so we talked it over with him and figured that it was best to just put a remanufacted head in. He told me 800 for head gasket, and roughly a grand to do a new head.

I could live with a grand, seeing how I didnt really have the knowledge to do this, I couldnt do it in my driveway and it seemed like the best choice for me.

He called me again today to give me the final price estimate. 1795! Of course I was not happy with it being 800 more then what I was told it would be. I had asked that he used a remanufacted head from a 99 instead so i wouldnt have to worry about it having any cracking tendecies. Apparently because of this the remanufacted head was going to cost 600, 700 dollars!

What I am asking is does this seem reasonable at all to anybody? Can anybody help me find a new head (new or remanufactured) that would be cheaper? Is this guy full of **** or is he right on? Anybody else replace their head and have some words of wisdom if I wanted to do it myself instead?
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:49 AM   #2
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U can buy an entire running cherokee for that money and use it for parts.
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:02 AM   #3
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I had to recently replace the head on my newly purchased '92 Laredo.

A replacement used head at the JY was $125. I paid them $50 to pull it.

A FelPro head gasket set was about $63 my cost, $89 retail.

My mechanic switched everything out for $400 cash.

I supplied 6 qts of oil, filter, and a $10/gal jug of Prestone 5/50 coolant.

I think I would find another mechanic in your case. He seems very high.

I believe even a Jeep dealer would do it for less and back it up.
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:36 AM   #4
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Me too!

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firestorm500 View Post
I had to recently replace the head on my newly purchased '92 Laredo.

A replacement used head at the JY was $125. I paid them $50 to pull it.

A FelPro head gasket set was about $63 my cost, $89 retail.

My mechanic switched everything out for $400 cash.

I supplied 6 qts of oil, filter, and a $10/gal jug of Prestone 5/50 coolant.

I think I would find another mechanic in your case. He seems very high.

I believe even a Jeep dealer would do it for less and back it up.
Thanks for the Idea man, I went to the dealership, they said only 574 for labour if i provide parts. I can get this whole job done for 1100 guarenteed work on both labor and head( 3 year unlimited miles)!
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:23 PM   #6
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I paid 700 for a complete reman long block with a 12/12 warranty.

I can go to the junkyard and pull a head- 40.00+ 10.00 core charge, then take it to a machine shop and have them overhaul it for 130.00.

If the motor has a lot of miles on it, you're better off just replacing the new motor. A lot of older guys have reccomended to me that if you install a new/overhauled head on an old short block, you'll accelerate the wear of the rings, due to the head sealing up better, and raising the compression. (You'll create more blow-by) Of course this is all open for debate; one guy will agree, and another will say you're crazy.
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Old 06-23-2009, 02:17 PM   #7
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the motor doesnt have alot of wear on it, its only an 01 and Ive had it since it was new.
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Old 06-23-2009, 04:00 PM   #8
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Sorry to have hijacked your thread.

I guess no one around here has a sense of humor.

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Old 06-23-2009, 05:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilBlackXJ View Post
Sorry to have hijacked your thread.

I guess no one around here has a sense of humor.
HAHAHAHA, I realized only now... but it's a little disgusting i think (for the others)
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:09 PM   #10
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The price is steep!! Im in Northern VA I currently have a low milage 0331 head that came off a 99 Grand cherokee. I would stick to a 0331 due to ease of instalation. Although i have access to 0630 and 7120 casted heads...There is a freeze plug on the rear of the head and one on the back of the block....i would reach my hand back behing the head to feel around. he may be jumping to conclusions.....Normally the 0331 heads crack between the cylinders and leak into the chambers and not on the ground. Either way if i can be of any help let me know!!
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farmfuel View Post
I paid 700 for a complete reman long block with a 12/12 warranty.

I can go to the junkyard and pull a head- 40.00+ 10.00 core charge, then take it to a machine shop and have them overhaul it for 130.00.

If the motor has a lot of miles on it, you're better off just replacing the new motor. A lot of older guys have reccomended to me that if you install a new/overhauled head on an old short block, you'll accelerate the wear of the rings, due to the head sealing up better, and raising the compression. (You'll create more blow-by) Of course this is all open for debate; one guy will agree, and another will say you're crazy.
130 for a overhauled head is a steal!! most valve jobs alone will cost you that...not including decking,checking the spring seat pressure,installing new valve seals!! Etc!
Installing a fresh head on a older block and it causing the rings to blow out is a wifes tale............at most you should have to shave .10K off the head...and the valves either seal or they dont.........
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98 JeepJeep View Post
The price is steep!! Im in Northern VA I currently have a low milage 0331 head that came off a 99 Grand cherokee. I would stick to a 0331 due to ease of instalation. Although i have access to 0630 and 7120 casted heads...There is a freeze plug on the rear of the head and one on the back of the block....i would reach my hand back behing the head to feel around. he may be jumping to conclusions.....Normally the 0331 heads crack between the cylinders and leak into the chambers and not on the ground. Either way if i can be of any help let me know!!
I mentioned above what it cost me to replace the head...
The rest of the story is, after I put on the JY head it blew the freeze plug that you metioned. I had put only about 60 miles on it at that time. Coolant leaked (poured out) from the back of the head, against the firewall. Ran down at the engine/transmission junction. Took me a while to figure out just what exactly had happened.

Long story short, the OP needs to diagnose the leak before assuming head gasket problems. Head gaskets usually do not leak onto the ground in my experience. They blow between cylinder bores and leak internally as you mentioned.
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
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I mentioned above what it cost me to replace the head...
The rest of the story is, after I put on the JY head it blew the freeze plug that you metioned. I had put only about 60 miles on it at that time. Coolant leaked (poured out) from the back of the head, against the firewall. Ran down at the engine/transmission junction. Took me a while to figure out just what exactly had happened.

Long story short, the OP needs to diagnose the leak before assuming head gasket problems. Head gaskets usually do not leak onto the ground in my experience. They blow between cylinder bores and leak internally as you mentioned.

Thank god that I havent have them do the work yet, because what happened to you sounds exactly what happened to me. The coolant poured from the back of the head down the engine tranny junction and firewall there.

My only question is, would the blown freeze plug cause low compression? They did a compression test and I was told that they all were low, but uniformly low. I believe they were all around 130 give or take 1 or two.

Firestorm, how hard was it to fix the plug at the back of the head? How much did it cost?

Last edited by northline76; 06-24-2009 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:19 PM   #14
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130 psi is not low...........the easiest way wuould be pull the head...........
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Sorry to have hijacked your thread.

I guess no one around here has a sense of humor.

I don't see what's particularly humorous about that picture. Seems inappropriate here.
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