Radiator Hemorhage

I recently did a very foolish thing. We were flagged down on the highway by a very nice fellow motorist because we were gushing coolant. It was gushing. My passenger was a guy friend who used to work as an aircraft mechanic and works on his own vehicles, so I deferred to his supposedly greater automotive knowledge when he said I didn’t need to call a tow truck. We got to within 100 feet of my mechanic (about 5 miles away) when my poor Jeep conked out after losing power and making an increasingly loud clunking noise for the last 500 or so feet. We pushed it in to the auto repair bay (again with the help of a very nice fellow motorist). The engine was smoking and would not start. The mechanic replaced a worn out radiator hose, which had become disconnected from the radiator (due to swelling, I think he said?), and the truck runs. There isn’t a discernible difference in the engine performance after driving it around town for the day.
My question is this: is the engine likely to be FUBAR and am I just playing a waiting game until it croaks?

It’s quite likely the engine has suffered some damage; most likely with the piston rings/cylinder walls, and possibly valve seals. Don’t be surprised if the engine becomes an oil consumer and that of course will lead to a number of other problems.
A compression test should be run at a minimum. This can possibly reveal problems with the rings. There is no test for valve seals as those are a replace and pray item.

That loud clunking was probably the sound of severe detonation (also engine damaging) and the engine power loss and stopping was due to the pistons/rings trying to seize in the cylinders. See above.
(For what it’s worth, and likely very little, I hold an aircraft powerplant license and it stuns me somewhat that an aircraft mechanic would adopt a dxxx the torpedoes, full speed ahead approach to this problem. Using polite language, I would just say “unbelievable” and I’ll take the bus instead of flying.)

I’d say that ok4450 pretty much summed it all up quite well. (No surprise there).

I’ll just second both aspects of his reply: 1) yes, the engine is probably FUBAR; 2) holy cow, I can’t believe this person said to just forge ahead. That’s just nuts. For future reference, a lack of coolant is just about as bad as a lack of oil in terms of how fast it will wreck and engine.

No dount that it’s life expectency was just shortened, but if it’s running okay right now you may have lucked out. It’s impossible to predict how many more miles you’ll get out of it.

Be sure to carefully monitor your oil and coolant levels. Chances are good that you’ll see an increase in oil usage, and you definitely don’t need any more cooling system problems.

Also, if one radiator hose was shot the others are also ready to blow. Change the other radiator hose, the thermostat, and perhaps even the heater hoses. That’ll be important preventative maintenance knowing what you know now about the cooling system’s condition. As part of this project, have the system pessure tested after the hose replacements.

And watch your temp gage. Until you know otherwise, until you know the system is now of reliable integrity, assume that the hose blew for a reason other than age.

Do these things and you may get more use out of the vehicle than you’d feared.

The radiator was replaced a month ago. Apparently, the warranty company wouldn’t approve the changing of this pipe along with the other (?), and the shop didn’t add it to our list “because we had so many other things not covered by the warranty to pay for”. Gahhh. We totally loved this Jeep. This living and learning lark is not cool today!
Thank y’all for your words of wisdom anyhow.

Theorizing for a minute, I might add that if the hose simply came off of the radiator inlet or outlet tube instead rupturing this could point to being the fault of whoever installed the radiator a month ago.\

You refer to a warranty company so I assume by this that the Jeep is not really an aged, very high miles vehicle and the hoses should not be rotted.

Running fine after an incident like this means nothing. A damaged engine can apparently (key word) fine. The questions will be how much oil will it consume, how long will the top end hold up, when and if weakened head gaskets decide to let go, etc, etc, etc.
I would advise that you check the engine oil level and engine coolant on a very regular basis and that doesn’t mean every month; more like every few hundred miles.

I’m curous. Post when you find out how much oil you’re using and if you’re having cooling problems. Clearly my post was well into the optimistic end of the curve, taking your statement that it seems to be running okay as a sign that it still had some life left (albiet not the life it once had, and albiet with a renewed emphasis on keeping track of fluid levels). OK4450 has envisioned the more pessimistic (perhaps more realistic) end of the spectrum, and that man has torn down a lot of motors.

Let us know how you make out with this.

Which engine do you have in your jeep. If it the inline 6 cylinder, good chance that it did no damage.

You have 2 choices, worry yourself to death or drive on until it breaks. Keep any eye on everything, but check all fluids an gauges for any early warning signs.