Ford Repair Questions? Ask a Mechanic for Answers ASAP
Hello and thank you for your question. My name is James.
While uncommon, I have seen a few 4.0L engines leak coolant externally from the head gasket. The gasket is a multi layer steel design. When the gasket gets pushed out of position, it can scratch or gouge either the block or the cylinder head. It's repairable, however once the head is removed, the block and head surfaces need to be inspected carefully for signs of damage and repaired/replaced as needed. The shop owner might be looking at cost of repair/vs/replacement when he said the engine should be replaced. This engine uses 2 timing chains with plastic guides called cassettes. The chain for the passenger side head is on the back of the engine. The engine needs to be removed to replace the guide. The plastic guides break or get extremely brittle over time. It might be more cost effective to install a used engine or a rebuilt, given the mileage on your engine and the labor involved to remove it and disassemble for repair. To answer your question though, the engine is repairable.