Had my 4.7L Head Gasket Replaced - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
Problems / Dealer Service Having a problem with your vehicle? Were you treated fairly or poorly at a dealer? Warranty issues? Let us know.

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Had my 4.7L Head Gasket Replaced

This is a follow up from a previous thread
https://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/...ht=head+gasket

This is a long one but I learned a lot of valuable info I want to share with everyone.
Moral of this story is listen to your XK. If you have any of my symptoms, get it checked out immediately.
Just had my head gasket replaced for my 2006 4.7L

Symptoms:
Over the past few months, I could hear coolant flowing through the heater core and I've been loosing coolant since at slow rate. Plus, I've been getting P0301, Cylinder 1 misfire codes as well. Cylinder pressure test was at 180 psi for all cylinders. But Cyl 1's pressure dropped 5psi every 5 seconds. All other cylinders seemed to stay right at 180..

A coolant system pressure test was the confirmation my head gasket was toast. With cyl 1 spark plug removed, I could hear coolant dripping into cyl 1. It did this while pumping to add more pressure. Once I got to 18 PSI, I couldn't hear the drip noise. But the pressure stayed right at 18% for almost 2 minutes. I carefully stuck a pipe cleaner into cylinder 1 and it was soaked with coolant.

Shop Experience:
I found a shop which specializes in Jeeps with mechanics which consist of Chrysler alumni. I let them do the repair and my experience was the best I've ever had with any auto business, hands down. The service manager sent photos to me along the way.

I talked to almost 10 different shops including my local Jeep dealer and they all had the same response.
"4.7L Head Gasket? That's the first I've heard"
"What makes you so sure it's the head gasket? Are you a mechanic for a living?"
Plus the quotes I got ranged from $2000 up to $3900, mostly because their estimates for total labor were almost random.

When my repair was complete, I spoke to the mechanic that did the work. He said the 4.7's always have this issue and over his career, my XK was his 37th head gasket job he's done on the 4.7.

PM me for shop info if you're in the chicago area... I'll never take my XK to anyone else. I not only gained a lot of knowledge along the way but also gained some new friends.

Services Performed:
Total cost was $1950. My initial quote for just replacing the left Cyl head gasket was $1500

1. Replaced left cylinder head gasket

2. Cylinder head was sent to a local machine shop.
- It was warped by only a few thousandths of an inch so they resurfaced it.
- Pressure test revealed exhaust valves and guides were shot in Cly 1 and cyl 3 so these were replaced.
- Resurfaced valve seats in cyl 1 and cyl 3
- The valve in Cylinder 3 was extremely loose which they thought was odd because there was no leakage present. But they thought it may be related to the river sludge they found on the valve stems.

3. Installed new camshaft after mechanic noticed slight pitting on the tips of the lobes.

4. Installed new water pump. My water pump was fine but since the pumps have a history of issues for the 4.7, it was a no-brainer to toss a new one in for under $100.

5. Flushed and filled coolant system

6. Full Service oil change

7. Full mechanical inspection

Parts List:
Valves and Guides $55
Gasket Kit $197
Tensioner $79.95
Coolant Pump $83.35
Coolant $19.95
Timing Gasket $3.20
EGR Gasket $5.80
Camshaft $189.99
4 x spark plugs $16.64

Cost Summary:
Parts: $639
Shop Labor: $667
Machine Shop Labor: $375
Additional cost was for coolant flush and oil change

My only regret was not servicing the right cylinder head. Knowing of the river sludge, I should have had it checked as well and I'm kicking myself for not doing it. That was another $950.
Unfortunately, we're undergoing some costly and necessary home repairs which didn't leave enough in the kitty to allow for the additional work.

Pictures - Not for the faint of heart:

Leakage spot on head gasket


Cylinder 1 Piston


Notice discoloration in Cylinder 1 from Coolant wash


Cylinder full view

Yeah Buddy!!! 2006 Black XK, 4.7L
Flowmaster 50 Series SUV #52556 / RR 2.25 Lift + .25 spacers in front / Monroe Struts n Load Leveler shocks, Hankook DynaPro MT 265/70 r17 / MB Wheels TKO 17X8.5, FlashPaq 3875, AVIC-x940bt, Dual Optima's (in engine bay), plenty of wattage for my cottage
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Cylinder head after resurfacing and valve repairs




Pitting on camshaft




Putting her back together





Yeah Buddy!!! 2006 Black XK, 4.7L
Flowmaster 50 Series SUV #52556 / RR 2.25 Lift + .25 spacers in front / Monroe Struts n Load Leveler shocks, Hankook DynaPro MT 265/70 r17 / MB Wheels TKO 17X8.5, FlashPaq 3875, AVIC-x940bt, Dual Optima's (in engine bay), plenty of wattage for my cottage
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Saving the strangest picture for last.
When they took the cylinder head off, they found an unexplained object sitting in the coolant jacket of cylinder 1. It looks like a rubber grommet of some sort. It was definitely stuck in the jacket because the thing smelled of coolant.
The shop was baffled as to what it could be from.

It was originally a full circle because you can easily see where it broke apart.

This is the best pic I got before it was tossed.

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Yeah Buddy!!! 2006 Black XK, 4.7L
Flowmaster 50 Series SUV #52556 / RR 2.25 Lift + .25 spacers in front / Monroe Struts n Load Leveler shocks, Hankook DynaPro MT 265/70 r17 / MB Wheels TKO 17X8.5, FlashPaq 3875, AVIC-x940bt, Dual Optima's (in engine bay), plenty of wattage for my cottage
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 10:54 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Great pics, I can't believe no one responded. These pics/writeup give me a good idea what I'm in for.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commander205 View Post
Great pics, I can't believe no one responded. These pics/writeup give me a good idea what I'm in for.
Your posting in a 6 year old thread and responding to a guy that hasn't been active on the forum in 3 years, so, I wouldn't expect an answer.

This is a pretty informative thread though.


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Last edited by Big Blue; 05-15-2019 at 06:28 PM.
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