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Thread: Diagnosed blown head gasket, cost of repair?

  1. #1

    Default Diagnosed blown head gasket, cost of repair?

    I am new to this forum and did read through several threads regarding head gaskets. I used the search function, and if I missed something (highly likely) I welcome a link.

    Vehicle in question:
    2000 Jeep GC
    4.7L V8
    ~150k miles

    symptoms:
    (2 weeks prior to shutdown)
    Engine began consuming coolant. A gallon a week for two weeks
    I could hear boiling sound from passenger floor area
    Water pump was replaced as well as the fan clutch

    (Final journey)
    Left work and accelerated from a stop sign. Vehicle lost a lot of power and began make very loud noises. It sounded like it was struggling to idle. I drove it to a mechanic (same one who did work listed above) about 1/4 mile away. I was Quoted $2400 to repair burnt valve. I bought a different vehicle and left it there for a month to think about the next step.

    Finally this week I went back to my baby (first car I got, only driver aside from pops). They did not do a leak down test, but tested the coolant which they said confirmed a blown head gasket. I want to try and get it down for less so I got it towed and put in my driveway.

    I have been searching this forum, other forums as well as anything I can google to determine what is wrong and what needs to be fixed. From what I can gather so far, attempting it myself is too much. I can install an intake, a spoiler and some fog lights; doubtful I can take apart an engine. What would be a fair price to pay someone to do the work? The battery was dead when I got home so I couldn't get the code and I don't know if it would be remembered anyway. They drained the coolant so I need to fill it back up if I wanted to fire it up and get the code again.

    Thank you for reading this much. Anything you can offer will be highly appreciated. And if you live in the PHX, AZ area and want to make some side money, hit me up!

  2. #2
    4 Litres of Fury trail rated's Avatar
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    Right now, I have a 3.7L KJ in the shop getting a new piston, valve, and head gasket installed. The cost of the repair is only $600, it shouldn't cost much more to do a 4.7 as the 3.7 and 4.7 are very similar engines.

    Have you thought about doing it yourself?
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  3. #3
    WJ Money Waster doublejz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trail rated View Post
    Right now, I have a 3.7L KJ in the shop getting a new piston, valve, and head gasket installed. The cost of the repair is only $600, it shouldn't cost much more to do a 4.7 as the 3.7 and 4.7 are very similar engines.

    Have you thought about doing it yourself?
    That actually seems a little cheap especially considering they will probably have to hone the cylinder, set the ring gap, port the head where the valve got crushed/went bad and even possibly cut the head if there was warping, plus parts.

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  4. #4
    Registered ryan86jeep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doublejz View Post
    That actually seems a little cheap especially considering they will probably have to hone the cylinder, set the ring gap, port the head where the valve got crushed/went bad and even possibly cut the head if there was warping, plus parts.

    i agree i thought that was too cheap a price
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    Right Wing Extremist TrojanMan06's Avatar
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    Total rip off! Cheap people? We could probably do that job for $1000 less. Hell for that much money you might as well swap in a good used motor with similar or less miles.
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  6. #6
    WJ Money Waster doublejz's Avatar
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    you haven't priced 4.7 motors recently have you :-P

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  7. #7

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    Have you checked the local forum???....I'm pretty sure there is someone that does a LOT of side work for the members.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the replies.

    Quote Originally Posted by trail rated View Post
    Right now, I have a 3.7L KJ in the shop getting a new piston, valve, and head gasket installed. The cost of the repair is only $600, it shouldn't cost much more to do a 4.7 as the 3.7 and 4.7 are very similar engines.

    Have you thought about doing it yourself?
    The engines are either very different or they aren't doing that amount of work. Is a friend doing it? I think it is a big deal to change a piston. It may be worth it to drive to your mechanic for that price.

    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanMan06 View Post
    Total rip off! Cheap people? We could probably do that job for $1000 less. Hell for that much money you might as well swap in a good used motor with similar or less miles.
    I think the labor alone to swap motors would be more than the repair I was quoted. That doesn't even factor in the cost of the engine. I am familiar with the reputation of this era Jeep and would prefer to keep my problem vehicle, rather than take on someone elses. I know what to expect with mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArizonaJeeper View Post
    Have you checked the local forum???....I'm pretty sure there is someone that does a LOT of side work for the members.
    I have placed a post on the SW forum. I haven't checked back yet to see if I have any bites. I will keep an eye out for a local mechanic on the posts. Any idea of the username?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Injured Jeep View Post

    I have placed a post on the SW forum. I haven't checked back yet to see if I have any bites. I will keep an eye out for a local mechanic on the posts. Any idea of the username?
    I was referring to the VJC...are you a member there?

  10. #10
    Registered louc's Avatar
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    Seeing as how the 4.7 is an overhead cam engine....and a lot more complex than the old style Mopar V-8s or the 4.0 six...I'd say a head gasket job is one for a pro...and I'd be concerned that it's been sitting for a while...if antifreeze got into the cylinders or the oil that could be really bad for the engine...having it sit there..
    We had a headgasket blow on our 98 Subaru last year at 105K miles,. it's a known problem on them...these are horizontally opposed boxer engines with dual overhead cams...2 timing belts...no way I'd take that on...we had the engine pulled out, had the head gaskets, timing belts and all the oil seals repalced...hopefully it's good for another 100K. The key thing was as soon as I noticed the symptoms (Subaru classic HG problem is overheating and blowing AF out of the coolant recovery tank....)
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  11. #11

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    I got another quote from a family friend and said he has done this many times before and this engine is infamous for blowing valves. Labor is $1000 and parts will be extra and can get up to $2000. If it is one head it may be 1200-1500. I could potentially save quite a bit going this route.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArizonaJeeper View Post
    I was referring to the VJC...are you a member there?
    I do not know what the VJC is. Can you explain?

  12. #12
    4 Litres of Fury trail rated's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by louc View Post
    Seeing as how the 4.7 is an overhead cam engine....and a lot more complex than the old style Mopar V-8s or the 4.0 six...I'd say a head gasket job is one for a pro...
    Actually, it's not as hard as you think. Most people who are mechanically inclined can do it, all you need to have are all the tools needed, an FSM, and a few days. The only reason I didn't do it is because I don't have enough time, but I did remove the valve cover and a bunch of other stuff prior to getting it towed to my friend's friend, who is an experienced mechanic.

    BTW if anybody is wondering why the KJ is in the shop it's because the f'n valve spring broke and caused the engine to self destruct
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