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Engine damage due to water pump failure

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Old 09-15-2018, 09:00 PM
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Default Engine damage due to water pump failure

Hello everyone,

I am new here and would love any help I can get. I purchased my XJ a few years back with 170,xxx miles on it. It is a 1998 2WD 4 door sport model, and was overheating at the time I got it from a friend whom didnít need it anymore. I replaced the radiator and got it going.

At at the moment Iím looking at 215,000 miles and have fallen in love with it. A few weeks ago I was noticing some coolant lose and started to hear the water pump squeal but no overheating. I took it out for a drive the next day to the parts store and on the way back the car started overheating so I immediately pulled over and let her cool off. I then turned her back on and filled the radiator and coolant reservoir with water with the heat blowing on high to protect the engine. She went about a mile farther down the road and began overheating again, so I again pulled over and saw the water pump weeping, but still a fill coolant reservoir. I let her cool off again and then drove a few miles without overheating, then the engine started ticking/knocking/overheating all at once. I replaced the water pump the next day, seems the old one might have seized and stopped circulating water. After replacement I tried to test drive it and experienced bad engine shaking, light knocking, black watery residue in exhaust, minimal white smoke, and very low oil pressure.

where Iím at now: I decided to tear the top end of the engine down and removed the valve cover, head, head gasket, water pump, push rods, etc. to this point I have found no apparent crack in the head, or dramatic rupture of the head gasket. I have however found that the second cylinder has a dent in the top of the piston, melting of the sides of the piston, and light scraping on the cylinder walls.

This is the first time Iíve done this on one of these engines, and I would like to ask if anyone with experience with these can tell me if this engine is worth tearing down completely and rebuilding, or if I should just find a new engine. I donít want to pour money into rebuilding if the blocks have problems with cracking. Thanks for all the

All cylinders

dent in top and wear around edges

answers!

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Old 09-15-2018, 09:59 PM
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:38 PM
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If you want to keep the jeep, my opinion is to pull it out, tear it down, and inspect the damage. Then you can decide whether to rebuild or replace it. Otherwise it's just a guessing game.
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:43 PM
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I'm not aware of any block cracking issues. They're tough, built like a tractor. I rebuilt the bottom end of a 4 cyl VW once, while it was in the car ! In your situation, I think that I'd be more excited about finding a donor with less mileage. I think it would be cheaper and faster ? My .02 cents. Maybe someone else will chime in ! I looked at a 96 today with only 87k !!! Guy wanted $3k for the Cherokee.
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:58 PM
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I'll be pulling the rest tomorrow if the weathers nice and put it indoors on a stand and finish tearing it down. My main issue is rebuilding it with an unforseen crack in the block and reinstalling it honestly. I am looking for a reman engine/ low mileage used one as well but a lot of them have been put through it!

That is excellent with the 87k. would have many more miles to come! I really do like this 98' it is probably one of the easiest to work on vehicles I have owned.


Many thanks!
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Old 09-16-2018, 12:08 AM
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I'd have put a water pump on it and driven it for another 215,000 miles.
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by cruiser54 View Post
I'd have put a water pump on it and driven it for another 215,000 miles.
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:30 AM
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Hard to see clearly in your picture, but the #4 piston appears bright and shiny. There's the evidence of the head gasket leak. And yeah, sounds like it needs a total rebuild.
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by cruiser54 View Post
I'd have put a water pump on it and driven it for another 215,000 miles.
😂 yes I did replace the pump the next day after I got home but I was still having issues with over heating even with the new one. Also a knock/tick was apparent, low oil pressure, stalling, and rough running even after replacing the pump as well. I think Iím going with a used engine. I am looking at some with 100-150k miles on eBay right now for around $1,100-$1,200 with shipping. If anyone knows of anyone with a CLEAN engine I would appreciate it. I live in Georgia and there are a TON of cherokees here, but I have dealt with several folks that either donít have what they say or the engines in bad shape. For example, I found a shop with a used one with no known mileage and looked like it had been in a car fire😂 guy wanted $750 🙄

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Old 09-16-2018, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Tobey View Post
Hard to see clearly in your picture, but the #4 piston appears bright and shiny. There's the evidence of the head gasket leak. And yeah, sounds like it needs a total rebuild.


#4 cylinder pictured it is the center cylinder

did not know that about the head gasket thank you!
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Old 09-16-2018, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Classic Xj View Post
o




#4 cylinder pictured it is the center cylinder

did not know that about the head gasket thank you!
It's possible that the head warped... As for the dent on the piston ? If one got hot enough to melt, don't see why another could have too. No valves dropped ? I think you'd do better picking one up locally. Even if you drove a few miles. Don't buy an unknown ! That is not a bad price, though I'd say you could do better. Back in the early 90's, I stuck one in my 79 CJ5. It was clean as a pin. Back then, I paid $1100. But, it only had 47k !!! I'd like to have a spare like pthat lined up for mine !
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Old 09-17-2018, 01:34 PM
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-UPDATE-

I got in touch with a machine shop not far from me today. The gentleman there says he can pressure test my block and head, over bore the cylinders, polish or grind the crank, redeck the block, resurface the head, and press the new pistons once I buy the rebuild kit for only $530.00. I think I am going to go this route. Not only would I have the assurance of a well built motor it would also give the engine more displacement and power. I have been reading reviews on remans and do not like what Iím seeing as a lot of *cough cough* bigger reman companies have multiple BBB complaints filed with them about the engines being junk/ assembly line remans. I am also just not convinced on the local used motors Iíve found (the one or two Iíve found have looked worse than mine on the outside with mileage unknown.) All in all around $800-$100 with an oversized rebuild kit.

Let me know now what you guys think/ have done in this situation. Thanks!
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:32 PM
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Peace of mind is well worth it ! I've had two JASPER engines. Won't have another !!!
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