Car Questions
RepairPal is your advocate for car care advice and guidance

Repairing head gasket

(1990 Jeep Cherokee)
in Corona, CA on March 20, 2011
i am planning on repairing my head gasket myself.(or at least do whatever parts i can.) is there anywhere i can get a complete breakdown of how this is done, what is involved. preferrably a step by step walkthru.
i cannot afford a replacement vehicle or a shop so i am left w/doing the repair myself.( there is only a minor oil leak along the passenger side of the engine) so far it runs fine but i would rather fix it now before it internal damage occurs and/or im left stranded w/o any vehicle at all.
i understand there are some procedures that must be done by a shop. everything else i can handle myself. i would greatly appreciate any info anyone has to offer.
Displaying 2 answers & 0 comments
Popular Answer
Haynes has a do it yourself manual, it's easy to understand lots of imformation and pictures. The book can be purchased at any local auto parts store, for your model car and year, for about $20.00 it will be a good investment. I would recommend you have the head or heads resurfaced and pressure checked for cracks before re installing them. Cost is about $35.00 each for resurface and the same for pressure check. This will need to be done at a machine shop. If it's a straight 6 cyl. they are pretty easy to do. But the head has been known to crack down the middle.
Sign in to reply
on March 20, 2011

WARNING: DO NOT remove the cylinder block drain plugs or loosen the radiator draincock with the system hot and pressurized. Serious burns from the coolant can occur .
1. Drain the coolant and disconnect the hoses at the thermostat housing. Do not waste reusable coolant. If the solution is clean and is being drained only to service the engine or cooling system, drain the coolant into a clean container for reuse.
2. Remove the air cleaner.
3. Remove the fuel pipe and vacuum advance hose.
Fig. 4 Cylinder Head Cover
4. Remove the cylinder head cover.
1. Remove PCV molded hoses from the cover Fig. 4 .
2. Remove the cruise control servo, if equipped Fig. 4 .
3. Remove cylinder head cover retaining bolts.
4. Lift and remove the cover. The cylinder head cover utilizes a precured RTV sealer that is attached to the cover. Inspect the sealer for cracks and/or damage that may have occurred during removal.
Fig. 5 Rocker Arm Assembly
5. Remove the capscrews, bridge and pivot assemblies and rocker arms Fig. 5 . Alternately loosen each capscrew, one turn at a time, to avoid damaging the bridge.
6. Remove the push rods Fig. 5 . Retain the push rods, bridges, pivots and rocker arms in the same order as removed to facilitate installation in the original locations.
7. Disconnect the power steering pump bracket. Set the pump and bracket aside. Do not disconnect the hoses.
8. Remove the intake and exhaust manifolds from the cylinder head. Refer to Engine/Intake Manifold/Service and Repair for the proper procedures. See: Intake Manifold\Service and Repair
9. If equipped with air conditioning, perform the following:
1. Remove the air conditioner compressor bracket bolts from the cylinder head.
2. Loosen the alternator drive belt and remove the alternator bracket-to-cylinder head mounting bolt. The serpentine drive belt tension is released by loosening the alternator.
3. Remove the bolts from the A/C compressor mounting bracket and set the compressor aside.
10. Disconnect the ignition wires and remove the spark plugs.
11. Disconnect the temperature sending unit wire connector and battery negative cable.
12. Remove the ignition coil and bracket assembly.
Fig. 6 Cylinder Head Assembly
13. Remove the cylinder head bolts. Bolt # 14 cannot be removed until the head is moved forward Fig. 6 . Pull bolt # 14 out as far as it will go and then suspend the bolt in this position (tape around the bolt).
14. If this was the first time the bolts were removed, put a paint dab on the top of the bolt. If the bolts have a paint dab on the top of the bolt or you don't know if they were used before, discard the bolts.
15. Remove the cylinder head and gasket Fig. 6 .


1. Thoroughly clean the machined surfaces of the cylinder head and block. Remove all gasket material and cement.
2. Remove any carbon deposits from the combustion chambers and top of the pistons.
3. Use a straightedge and feeler gauge to check the flatness of the cylinder head and block mating surfaces. Refer to Engine/Specifications/Mechanical . See: Specifications\Mechanical

Good luck, I am assuming it was a 4.o 6 cylinder. Hope I was right

Sign in to reply
Get a repair estimate
RepairPal estimates are guaranteed at over 2,000 quality certified locations nationwide.
Or interested in getting a repair? Find a Shop

Similar Questions

View answers to similar questions from RepairPal's community of auto experts and enthusiasts.
My car runs hot when riding down the road with the heater on you can tell when its going to run hot it starts blowing...
Estimate cost to repair head gasket estimate cost to repair heads
Didn't find what you were looking for?