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95 XJ Winter Daily/Beater/Rust Bucket

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I never intended to make a thread about this Jeep but figured now I should as I'm doing way more work on it than I ever intended.  

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Bought it maybe 3yrs ago (don't remember for sure) with broken motor mount bolts but ran decent with new rad.  Doors and main body was in okay shape but rockers and floors were rusted.  Some PO put steel down for new floors but it rusted away since they put the carpet back down and didn't paint it.  

Got Midas to remove broken motor mount bolts and put new ones in, day of, on a Saturday for $100! I also replaced the leaking vacuum lines so I got a halfway decent for Iowa, running driving XJ for $950ish total.

 

Deer hit the driver's side on my way to work about a week after buying it and dented both doors.  At that point I decided it was a beater and minimal work and money would be put into it.  Shortly after the water pump died but luckily I had a spare used one and just made a gasket with a Manilla folder so it cost me nothing.

 

Had to rebuild the t-case last year because the chain went slack and was slipping and slapping the case.  Not a hard job at all but the more I worked on little things here and there, the more I realized how poorly maintained this Jeep was.  Installed a new radiator in February (I think) of this year because it started leaking.

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Pictures will come eventually of previous stuff but some of it is in my MJ threads already.

 

This Jeep really only gets driven in winter because it developed a misfire and started running rich.  Did some testing over a year ago and found cylinder 3 to have low compression but kept driving it anyway.  Initial testing on that also told me it was a valve issue (no longer seems that way).  This year I moved it a few times and it was really rough.  Sounds terrible and used to billow white smoke so I decided it was time to do something.

 

I ordered a new O2 sensor and PCV valves for it to try and fix the running rich condition.  The O2 sensor went in with no issue.  I also got a can of Restore because I was going to try it for the low compression but when I pulled the PCVs out I found chocolate milk in the valve cover.  Pulled the oil cap to find the same thing and the dipstick read way high and was all milk.  Ran to Napa, got some oil and did a change and let it run some of the crap out but decided it was time to tear the motor apart.  

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Found the new rad I put in 6ish months ago to be leaking in the dead center with no apparent damage so I'm going to see if they can send me a replacement. 

 

As for the motor, the valve cover was held on with basically 4 bolts, the rest were only hand tight, explaining why everything was covered in oil.  The head is removed and it appears to have been a headgasket leak into cylinder 3 and maybe a little into 4.  There is a carbon ridge but it's not terrible, and the cylinders still have the markings in them so that's good.  Going to order seals, check for bent pushrods, clean it up, and put it all back together and hope for the best.

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Also don't EVER use Stop Leak.  The coolant passages in the headgasket were completely blocked by it.  Thought I had flushed that all out after I bought it but obviously not.

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ew, melted chocolate ice cream should never be found inside an engine. :(   thank goodness it survived!

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I never expected to find this.  Literally no coolant could flow through the block at all because the crap in the head gasket was rock hard.  Very glad it didn't blow up on me.

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Welp I guess I won't be getting it put back together this weekend.  Cleaned the block off and was cleaning the head and found a crack between cylinder 3 and 4 where the gasket leak was.  It runs from the head bolt hole, all the way down to the coolant jacket on the the opposite side.  It doesn't actually go into the cylinder area but comes really close.

 

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I'm calling a salvage place in MN tomorrow about a used one they have listed for $80 with 105k miles on it and a 90 day warranty.  I was hoping to do a reman but the cheapest I could find would be $350 after core return and shipping from Rock Auto.  I'm not sure I trust the head from "Famous Brand" given I can't find anything about them online.  Price isn't bad but I'd rather use that money to get tires for the red truck..  O'Reilly's was the next cheapest at $400 after core but not tax.  

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Cylinder head showed up the other day.  Today I got it hauled out to the shop and looked over a little before work.  Hopefully I will get time before work tomorrow or Sunday to get it cleaned and installed.  

 

Also decided to try something new.  Rather than doing a million pictures of everything, I'm going to do shortish videos to kind of track the progress on it.  There will still be pictures but probably not as many.

 

This is an overview of the Jeep as well as where I'm at with it.

 

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Like the video. I laughed a little when you said the seat feel through the floor. Mine did the same thing on my XJ. 

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2 hours ago, JMO413 said:

Like the video. I laughed s little when you said the seat feel through the floor. Mine did the same thing on my XJ. 

Thanks!  Yeah I got a good laugh out of it too when it happened.  

 

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Not sure what happened but it ended up with a dead spot in the beginning of the video but it gets the point across regardless.  Basically the video covers going over the cleaning of the replacement cylinder head.   This is also from like a week ago.  Little behind on stuff.

 

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After dealing with aluminum v8 heads for a while I was surprised at how heavy the 4.0 head was. I used the cherry picker to put it back on when I had put the motor back in my XJ

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