What causes this?

xj6 4.2 injection engine head. what is the cause of this erosion? its only on a couple of chambers.

Almost always it’s steam erosion, caused by seepage into the combustion chambers by a failing head gasket.

Thank you paul. At what point does the head become scrap

I‘d bring it to a machine shop, hard to see the finer details on photos, but the gasket area seems to have some major pitting as well. If that is true you‘d have to ask them for resurfacing anyways and they will tell you if they think it’s worth it. Unless erosion around the seats is a no-go, I‘m not qualified to say anything about that.

Worse come to worse, if the rest of the head is in good shape, the seats can be removed, the head welded up, re-machined, and new seats installed.

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