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 Post subject: What does a cracked head look like?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:38 pm 
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What exactly does a cracked cylinder head look like? Is there literally a crack that is visible? And if so, where would it most likely been seen. If not, is there a sound that is a tale-tale?

I ask as I plan on shopping around this weekend and on my list are a couple of 2000 model year XJ's. I was told by another thread to go after a 1996 to 1998 model year. As they are a bit hard to come by, with 2000 model year being most prevalent, that may not be possible. Also with an older model comes more mileage...

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 Post subject: Re: What does a cracked head look like?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:57 pm 
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If it is still installed check for water in oil,bubbling in radiator,dead cyl.

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 Post subject: Re: What does a cracked head look like?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:12 am 
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ridenby wrote:
If it is still installed check for water in oil,bubbling in radiator,dead cyl.


Right, but how would I do those checks when I don't own it, and am with a dealer? I can't just ask him to drain the oil and look for water. If I open the oil fill cap on the head will it be that obvious? Can I hear the bubbling in the radiator?

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1982 MB 240D (died at 230k mi.)
1989 MB 190E 2.6 (sold at 155k mi,)
1999 BMW 328i Dinan Stage 1 (sold at 110k mi.)
2007 Acura TSX (going strong at 97k mi.)
2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport (59,869 mi.)


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 Post subject: Re: What does a cracked head look like?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:00 am 
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doughboyea wrote:
ridenby wrote:
If it is still installed check for water in oil,bubbling in radiator,dead cyl.


Right, but how would I do those checks when I don't own it, and am with a dealer? I can't just ask him to drain the oil and look for water. If I open the oil fill cap on the head will it be that obvious? Can I hear the bubbling in the radiator?


The only way that you would know for sure is by pulling a used oil analysis; otherwise, it could go undetected. Worst case scenario, engines are pretty cheap for the Cherokee. If you're buying from the dealer, then ask for a guarantee/warranty.

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 Post subject: Re: What does a cracked head look like?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:50 pm 
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dieselenthusiast wrote:
doughboyea wrote:
ridenby wrote:
If it is still installed check for water in oil,bubbling in radiator,dead cyl.


Right, but how would I do those checks when I don't own it, and am with a dealer? I can't just ask him to drain the oil and look for water. If I open the oil fill cap on the head will it be that obvious? Can I hear the bubbling in the radiator?


The only way that you would know for sure is by pulling a used oil analysis; otherwise, it could go undetected. Worst case scenario, engines are pretty cheap for the Cherokee. If you're buying from the dealer, then ask for a guarantee/warranty.


Ah, I see. Thank you for clarifying that.

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1982 MB 240D (died at 230k mi.)
1989 MB 190E 2.6 (sold at 155k mi,)
1999 BMW 328i Dinan Stage 1 (sold at 110k mi.)
2007 Acura TSX (going strong at 97k mi.)
2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport (59,869 mi.)


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 Post subject: Re: What does a cracked head look like?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:06 pm 
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If you want to see the crack

- pull the head - take to machine shop and have them Magnaflux it......... the cracks glow under black light...

dealership would probably not appreciate that.... oil analysis is easier...

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 Post subject: Re: What does a cracked head look like?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:11 pm 
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ATXKJ wrote:
If you want to see the crack

- pull the head - take to machine shop and have them Magnaflux it......... the cracks glow under black light...

dealership would probably not appreciate that.... oil analysis is easier...


Well, like you said, I'm sure the dealer would not appreciate it. An oil analysis is easier if I owned the car. If the dealer even allowed me to take a sample, while waiting for results, the Jeep would sell... as I've been finding out, they sell fast.

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Dough!
1982 MB 240D (died at 230k mi.)
1989 MB 190E 2.6 (sold at 155k mi,)
1999 BMW 328i Dinan Stage 1 (sold at 110k mi.)
2007 Acura TSX (going strong at 97k mi.)
2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport (59,869 mi.)


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 Post subject: Re: What does a cracked head look like?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:28 pm 
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Had a 2000 WJ with a cracked head and when hot you could pull the oil filler cap and shine a flashlight down in and see a small line of green bubbling up from the crack in the head. Was told to look here by a mechanic at a local dealer. He said they usually crack near the oil filler cap on the valve cover which is semi helpful as it can usually be seen. In the case of our WJ the previous owner had let it go and wiped the cam bearings and it killed the oil pressure. But a weekend in the garage and a used engine solved that problem rather quickly. Hopefully this helps and at least gives you something to try to look for.

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