My 2003 Explorer (V8, 4.6) with 61,000 miles has a blown head gasket. We are not 100% sure how this happened. It is possible that the head blew the first time it overheated. Here's a summary of what happened during the past two weeks: *Check gauges light came on while on interstate (thought it was because it was low on fuel), drove about two miles to exit, drove about 500 feet up a hill and service engine soon light came on. Noticed temperature gauge was pegged out. Drove 1/2 mile to pull over in safe spot. Coolant was going everywhere by this time. Towed vehicle. Mechanic replaced coolant, started her up, she ran like a champ. So they replaced the radiator cap thinking it was leaking and not holding the pressure. *Drove the vehicle on limited basis for the next week. Was supposed to take it back by the mechanic for a check on the fluid levels, so I drove it on the interstate for about 10 minutes to make sure I had driven it pretty hard. She overheated again after pulling a hill about 3 miles from the mechanic. Check gauges and service engine soon lights came on simultaneously. Pulled over immediately. Coolant leaked everywhere again. Towed vehicle again. This time they replaced the thermostat. *Again drove the vehicle on 2 - 3 limited interstate trips (15 - 20 minutes). No major hills. Scared to drive it far but needed the extra space to carry Christmas presents on Christmas day. You guessed it---overheated again after pulling a hill. Drove about 200 feet before exiting. Only the check gauges light came on this time. Towed again. Thank God for AAA plus (four 100-mile tows per year included). Anyway, the mechanic ended up getting stuck on the interstate with the same thing and had to be towed. After 20 hours of troubleshooting, they did some test to check the head and determined it was blown. Now for the good news... $3000 to repair the blown head. $5000 for a rebuilt Jasper engine with 3yr/100k warranty. We bought the vehicle at ~50k miles, 8 months ago for ~$12k. My dilemma is whether or not just to repair the head gasket or to replace the whole thing (and have a decent warranty---kicking myself for not buying an extended warranty on this thing when we bought it). If I was certain that the first overheating episode is what blew the head, then that would help. Otherwise I am concerned we'll fix the head and then blow it again because we haven't fixed the root problem. Thoughts, ideas, suggestions? Thanks in advance! They are pulling the engine on Monday (1/2) so we have to decide this weekend.