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Blown Head Gasket 1991

dpas

New Member
Joined
October 1, 2009
Messages
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City, State
Salt Lake
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 EB & 93 XLT
My 1991 EB blew a head gasket at 226,500 miles. I purchased this vehicle new. Our family has fond memories of the of the places the old Explorer has taken us over the past 21 years.

The vehicle is in decent shape (other than the blown head gasket :D) having been treated to synthetic motor oil and transmission fluid since day one. The motor is strong and the original transmission is still hanging in there.

I'm currently trying to decide whether to have the repairs made and keep the vehicle going, or just apply the repair cost to a newer lower mileage explorer. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Also, I live in Salt Lake and would appreciate any recommendations as to a good shop that could be trusted to do a good job replacing the head gasket and possibly new heads.

Thank you
 






arco777

Elite Explorer
Joined
April 6, 2008
Messages
2,405
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Explorer 2dr 4x4
Are the heads original?

It's usually a cracked head, not a head gasket. The stock heads are prone to cracking. An aftermarket head (not performance necessarily, just any that are made new and NOT remanufactured) is the solution.

I bought my Explorer with a cracked head. I picked up two new heads from NAPA for about $400 and had a shop install them. No problems since and that was almost 40,000 miles ago.

The stock replacement or remanufactured heads will just crack again. It is a matter of time. A 95 or newer OHV stock head is an improvement over the stock ones, but an aftermarket head is best.

Given the mileage on your Explorer you may want to consider refreshing the valvetrain components, but if cost is a problem you will probably be fine with re-using the stock components. You will of course need new gaskets, and should have the valve stem seals replaced.

There are two weak drivetrain points on these vehicles. The stock heads, and the automatic transmissions. Aftermarket heads and an improved transmission cooler will extend the life of both components. Everything else on these cars is good for 500,000 miles or more.

The mileage you have achieved on the stock heads and transmission is nothing short of amazing. You must have taken very good care of it. Most stock heads last less than 100,000 miles. Most stock transmissions last an average of 150,000 miles. My vote is to keep the Explorer and put the money into replacing the heads, and budget ahead for a future transmission rebuild. These really are neat, all-purpose, long life vehicles and we won't likely see anything else like them come out of FoMoCo again. :exp:
 






wood1

Explorer Addict
Joined
May 3, 2007
Messages
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City, State
North of Edmonton
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XLT, Cayman Green RIP
X2 on the cracked head. They are known for it so staying away from reman or used is good advice. Aftermarket factory replacement heads are built thicker and stronger so they will not crack as easily. The '95 heads on a '94 or earlier engine will net a higher compression ratio requiring premium gas. I replaced my heads with new ones from Clearwater Cylinder Heads. Bought them on Ebay, about 200 ea, valves, springs etc ready to go. Replace them both and you will be good to go.
 






dpas

New Member
Joined
October 1, 2009
Messages
8
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City, State
Salt Lake
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 EB & 93 XLT
Thank you Arco777 and Wood1. The heads are original. Thanks for pointing out the weakness with the original heads. I will begin looking for some new aftermarket replacements. Thanks again.
 






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