Help with cracked block diagnosis - Land Rover Forums : Land Rover and Range Rover Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
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Help with cracked block diagnosis

Hey guys I'm new to this forum and would really appreciate some opinions on this. I picked up an 03 disco with 64k miles for a decent price. The woman I bought it from stated it was overheating and the dealer did a block test that came back positive for exhaust gases in the coolant.

I started tearing it down and with the info I've been gathering on this forum I am thinking I may have a crack or slipped liner somewhere.

Pics are of the passenger side, I'm about to go down and remove the driver side. Notice the one cylinder is cleaner than the others. (Note:The coolant in the cylinder leaked out of the water jacket as I was removing the head)


Symptoms before I took her apart:

Started and ran fine idled at 750rpm after calming down

lite ticking/knocking sound

Burbuling sound from under the dash (heat worked fine)

Temp gauge starts to creep up after 15 minutes or so

No smoke from the exhaust but a drop of sooty liquid about every 10 seconds or so.

Cooling hoses get hard from high pressure


Thanks in advance,

Tommy.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 05:36 AM
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The only way I know to definativly diagnose a cracked block is with dye. Block has to be cleaned and out of vehicle. Then taken to a automotive machine shop. Your symptoms could very easily point to a head gasket. By the looks of your first pick you have a head gasket issue on the lifter side back. Could also be a slipped liner, I dont know if you can diagnose that without pulling the pistons, or when its still assembled. Try and get in contact with PTSchram or DiscoMike.

03 Disco S, 71k. Done- rear dif, front driveshaft, 2" OME lift and shocks, Kumho MT KL71, every stinking gasket on the engine and oil pump, wires, plugs, t-stat. Locking TC.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 05:53 AM
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Usually a slipped liner will be noticeable, one of the liners will be slightly higher or lower than the others. I'd be looking at the old head gasket near the steam cleaned piston. Also make sure the oil pump hasn't failed, its a common thing with the 03's. Do a search for the affected vin#'s. And check your cam and lifters for wear, they could be the cause for your ticking.

Good luck

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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 06:00 AM Thread Starter
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Here's the other side. Nothing real obvious to me.


What about pressure testing it with this leak tester. Would that be conclusive?Engine Block Leak Tester - Jaguar Parts and Land Rover Parts
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
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Here are some close ups of the cleaner cylinder
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 06:09 AM
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IMO that liner has not slipped for a number of reasons:
1. The top ridge of the liner has a neat sharp edge, a slipped liner will have a chewed up edge from hitting the head.
2. The piston surface is not pitted or marked from debris caused by the liner chewing into the head.
3. I don't see any mark on the head from the liner pounding into it.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 06:13 AM
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For comparison these are photos of my slipped liner. Note the jagged top edge of the liner and the O stamped in the head. What does your head gasket look like for that cylinder?
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 06:20 AM
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I took my block to a friend's workshop and he pulled the liner, we dumped the block in a tank of water and pressure tested it up to about 50psi - no leaks whatsoever. So a slipped liner does not necessarily mean you have a coolant leak, there must be a crack in the block behind the liner for that to happen. You could also have a crack in the head.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 07:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the help guys.

Here is the cleaner cylinder with it's gasket. It definitely has no ring stamped in it like you showed. I can run my finger nail across it and feel nothing. The only difference is that cylinder has much less carbon deposits.

So it seems so far that I don't have a slipped liner but the exhaust gas pressure is making its way in to the cooling system most likely through some component of that cylinder. Is the cylinder head the culprit?

Oh and that oil pump issue is just awesome. My vehicle is in the affected range.
Is there any fix besides a new engine?
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
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The lifters don't show any signs of wear, but I guess one could be stuck and I wouldnt know.
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 08:08 AM
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As far as the oil pump goes people have had luck with pulling the alignment dowels and fitting a new pump. I'd just have the heads skimmed and reinstall them. It doesn't show signs of a slipped liner. The best prices on head gaskets and bolts can be found through will tillery a.k.a "the Rover Guy"

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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 08:11 AM
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Also have them give the heads a three angle valve job

2000 d2 33"s cdl, 3 inch rte +1" in rear , custom bumpers, fox shocks
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Awesome, thanks. I'll give Will a call today. I found a local machine shop but the're closed today. I'll head there monday.

Wheelen disco, does my head gasket look like it leaked to you, and do you have any idea why the one cylinder is cleaner and where the exhaust could be entering the cooling system?


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Also have them give the heads a three angle valve job
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 09:15 AM
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Its probably the headgasket. They all fail at about your mileage and the symptoms you listed could be a head gasket failure.

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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Head gasket kit and bolts on the way from Will. Great pricing.
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