Head Gasket Blown - NEED HELP!! - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Head Gasket Blown - NEED HELP!!

My Commander has been a nightmare since day 1. I bought it used and it had about 120,000 miles. I replaced the windshield and rotors/pads right away. $700. Then my rad went, $500. Then I had misfiring and my wife was way out in the mountains on vacation at the time. The shop near her said it was plugs, $300. Then I did the exhaust manifold gasket myself, about $100 in parts/tools (broken off bolt in the head required a few new tools to get out) and 9 hours of my time.

The overheating when the rad went must have blown the head gasket. I was tired of all the wrong diagnostics and brought it to the dealership for a full inspection. Well, after 3 hours at $140/hour they tell me I have coolant in 3 cylinders and will require a head gasket job. They want $3000, 17.5 hours shop time. Then they tell me if it is a cracked head, they won't know until AFTER they do the $3000 job... New head is another $3000.
I estimate my jeep is only worth about $8000 fully running...

I talked to an indy shop briefly (the mechanic was busy so I spoke to his wife for a minute) and was told that maybe I should just replace the entire engine with a low mileage one. No estimate was given as this was just talk.

SOOOOOO, what should I do? I am NOT going to get the HG job done at the dealership for sure. They are ridiculous...

Also, is there a way to test for a cracked head without taking the entire engine apart?

Any help would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Update: I just got the bill from the dealership... $500 to DIAGNOSE the head gasket. $500!!!!!! Can anyone explain to me why it would take 2.9 hours to diagnose head gasket issues? The dealership would not give me a time breakdown of what was done.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 07:52 PM
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I have no helpful input but I would be pissed about $500 in diagnostics for a HG. I'd find an independent shop who would probably charge that to replace it. 3k for that job is insane. I'd do it myself first. Mine is in the shop for no AC.. I have an extended warranty so we'll see if I'm gonna get screwed too..
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-18-2013, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Update:

I talked to the service manager at the dealership and no one could provide me with a detailed breakdown on work done and time. I was not happy. After about an hour speaking with a couple of different people I finally got them to lower the bill and reimburse me $200. I will be receiving a check soon.

I also spoke to the indy shop that I usually use, and was quoted almost the same price as the dealership! He wants $500 to resurface the heads, so if I didn't need that, it would still be $2500. I think he doesn't want to do that kind of work.

I found a licensed mechanic my cousin uses and he estimated $1100 - $1200 for the job, including parts. Needless to say he's got my patronage. My cousin really likes him and has used him a lot.

Hopefully the nightmare will be over soon. I think I am just going to sell this jeep on the cheap when the work is finished. It's left a bad taste in my mouth...
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-18-2013, 11:15 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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Model year: 2006
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anytime you but any auto with with 120k, its a risk. I'll bet the previous owner, or owners, neglected the routine maintenance. Maintained properly, these are reliable vehicles.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 05:43 PM
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What engine do you have? I've not heard of head gasket issues on the 5.7, I have on the 4.7.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 06:26 PM
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$3k is totally insane, I doubt it would be that much for a head job on the 3126B Caterpillar in my motorcoach. (The valve cover is 3 feet long!) You should be able to buy a crate motor from Summit racing for $3k. Who are these people?!?

The bad radiator probably started the chain reaction though, nothing quite like a good overheating to make things fail in succession.

That $500 HG diag is silly too, have they never heard of putting a pressure gauge on the radiator cap and looking for fluctuations? Or just using pulling plugs and using a boroscope? (To look for coolant)

I mentioned Summit, and it might be worth looking to see if they have heads for it. You could upgrade to performance heads for half what those greedy two-fisted money grubbing dealers want.

On edit: Jeep parts website. This is for the 4.7L.
http://www.jeep4x4center.com/jeep-en...r-chrysler.htm

2006, 4.7L, QTII, Toyo M/T 265/70R17 tires, Ultrasport 175 wheels, Rocky Road 2.25'' lift kit, HID off-road lighting, Surco 50x60 roof rack, Foxwing awning.


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Last edited by Adondo; 07-19-2013 at 06:40 PM.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 07:20 PM
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Where do you live?? Bring it to my house and ill do it for free provided you bring the parts!




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