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 Post Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:39 pm 
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So I am helping a couple of brothers who like old cars and trucks to get a Jeep J4000 running. It was given to them for free and I am a little worried that it may be to good to be true. The body and interior is in great shape, but the engine had a rat's nest in it and the wires were chew up. I had them clean all of that first with masks and bleach and a vac. The owner said that it needed new head gaskets and some electrical work. Rings true because nearly all of the water was gone, even the plug on the engine jacket did not drain hardly anything. They did not get all the way to the head gaskets yet. To be honest I don't know for sure if they will stick with the project or not. It's no skin off my back, I make them do all the work and they just use my tools and knowledge. If they give up on it I will either tell them to hall it off or I might be able to finish it myself if I wanted such a project. My question is:

Should I just have them buy and replace the lifters. The intake was off and the oil looks pretty dark and stained. I am sure that the bottled cleaners would free up the old lifters, but should I take a chance that one of them does't pump up after we seal up the top end. It looks like Summit has lifters for a 360 AMC for 3$ apiece. They just want to get it running and I am not sure it is worth a whole lot of restoration. I don't even know how good the engine is.


Just Primer


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 Post Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:12 am 
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New lifters on an old cam "shouldn't" be a problem, or at least I've done that before in the past with no problems.

I would be more concerned with rust in the cylinders and once you get the heads off you'll be able to see how much is in there. If the intake was off there are "some" intake valves that will be open so that will probably be a problem along with the fact that if the head gasket was leaking then there was probably water in there as well.

I'd wait until I got the heads off before you go planning to do much else as if there's enough rust pits in the bores it might just be a boat anchor, or a candidate for a full overhaul which won't be "low buck".


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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:29 am 
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They got the heads off today. Pistons and cylinders look good. Walls have no scares and the pistons have the usual amount of carbon. The only thing that kind of bothers me is there was no clean piston from the leak, and it was hard to see any difference on the gaskets. The passenger side came off way to easy without any resistance though. Is that the evidence? I don't see a crack in the heads, but need to look more carefully. So if a gasket comes off without any resistance like it is glued down then that must be the leak going to the outside instead of the piston right?

Just primer


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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:48 am 
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just primer wrote:
So if a gasket comes off without any resistance like it is glued down then that must be the leak going to the outside instead of the piston right?

Just primer


NO, not necessarily. Since you got no idea of what has been done to that thing in the past, you really don't know if those are the original gaskets. Some stick, some don't.

If there's no evidence of water having been in the cylinders then I don't know what to tell ya as without doing some pressure testing it's hard to know what was leaking. Then again, if it has been sitting for a long time, who knows what was wrong with to begin with.

Did you have them drain the oil out yet? :-k


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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:57 am 
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I would send the heads to a machine shop and have them tested for cracks. I prefer pressure testing but there are other ways. A little background would go a long way. Did the previous owner say why he thought it needed head gaskets? It's a little late now but a little pre-teardown testing would have helped. I have repaired a lot of vehicles that were mis-diagnosed that ended up being a lot less of a repair than what the customer expected. You know, stuff like "my buddy had one that did that and it was....".

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:40 pm 
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Yes, I might contact my Machinist and see what he can do. We haven't opened any of the gasket packages yet. Two Saturday's lost for two young kids who say they want to restore old vehicles is not two much of a loss in my book. They are very green and they might find out they don't even like working on old cars. Yesterday they found out that even an old vehicle has it's challenges finding the right tool and angle to get at everything. I might think about getting in contact with the owner. It was a free vehicle as well. So as of now we are only out there time. I let them do all of the work and I just let them use my tools and garage as well as advise.

Just primer


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