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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well my time has come it seems. My 2004 Disco 2 with 106,000 miles just gave up its head gaskets. Here are my symptoms:

1) Noticed a slow creep up of temps with AC running on a hot day (80+ degrees outside)
2) Turning AC off seemed to settle the truck temps down
3) Noting this a few times, I decided to:
a. replace water pump
b. replace fan
c. replace fan clutch with heavy duty
d. move to 180 degree thermostat
e. replace various coolant hoses
f. complete flush of rad and coolant system
g. vacuum replacement of dexcool
h. replaced serpentine belt
i. checked several times for any air-pockets, which found none after settling and cooling off overnight

I triple checked all the installation - the hoses are hooked up correctly to the thermostat; serpentine belt on correctly; fan spinning correct way.

Sadly after this overhaul, the over-heating actually seemed to then be worse, coming on even quicker. I obtained a new scan-guage unit to watch temps more accurately and saw them blow through the 200 mark and up into 230....now 240....yikes - 250! I quickly turned off the AC and blasted the defroster on high heat to dissipate the engine temps and that would bring it back to 225ish so I could get it home.

Last note, my condenser fan was seized and had blown the fuse. Not sure how long this was not functioning but Im sure this added to the over-heating issue and AC efficiency...

Last little bit of insult to injury: As I was trying to drill out the rusted screws for the AC Condenser fan, the drill bit slipped and I went right through the condenser itself, exploding that in my general direction. Now let's add a new condenser and that install to the mix!

Any other thoughts as to the overheating issue - sounds like a clear case for head gaskets? Hopefully not a slipped sleeve!
 

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very disco
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i'm on my fifth disco, and the one thing that i've learned is that the overheating results in the blown head gasket, usually caused by the block failure. i really truly hate to see people spend hours of their own time or thousands of their own dollars replacing head gaskets just to have them blow again.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Disappointing to hear. Once I get this thing apart, Im told I can simply run a straight edge across the top of the block to visually check for a slipped sleeve. Is that the only block failure you might suspect? What did you do with your old ones that had this situation - replace the block or part it out?
 

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very disco
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I parted ways with them at the time, relinquishing command to those with funds available to do what they would. I have no idea which direction they went, but I still see my old gold ‘03 around town from time to time (and it’s not ticking anymore!).

My current ‘03, I sent off for engine remanufacture. Lots of folks will use top hat liners in the OEM block, but the guys who I sent mine off to use a different (not native to discovery) block which doesn’t have the inherent flaws which result in this situation.

Craigslist and offerup are LOUSY with $1500-3500 discovery 2s, which just had the head gaskets replaced but are still overheating. That’s exactly how I bought mine, for a meager $1960.
 

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I forgot to add, that the blocks can crack behind the sleeves, and you should really rely upon a pressure test. Me not being so equipped, and being quoted $16,000 by performance prep to take the whole thing down and rebuild from scratch, I chose a different route.

I paid $12k and got a reman engine, rebuilt tranny, diff and rear end. Honestly I’m over 16k into this disco right now, but it was never a value proposition to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow - Im just torn about completely giving up on it... Im debating between trading it in on another car or putting the big bucks into it. I can take the off chance that all I need are headgaskets and maybe I will luck out. But if there is a hairline crack or something that needs pressure tested to determine this, I will need to take it somewhere for that help and then its more $$$.

I can detach from the emotion of the truck and my time working on it and enjoying it; but I wonder what I can get out of it... Edmunds says its worth a whopping $1250. Sad. I might consider parting it out. I have a few choice items I think that would be worth more than $1250.

Any other thoughts anyone? Keep and invest the money, or gracefully bow out.
 

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I have been on again/off again with rovers over this issue. I absolutely love the trucks and decided to find one that I would keep forever, and not try to “pencil it out” but just commit and dive in. I married my disco without a prenup expecting to take a bath.

If your heart says go for it, don’t take the maybe route.

Otherwise I’m sure the forums would be happy to help you pick it apart.

The other option would result in bad karma.
 

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G4 Mike
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Atlantic British sells a rebuilt long block for about $7000. You maybe can buy a decent car for $7000 but even after you drop the engine in the Disco 2 it won't be worth more than $7000. So if the rest of the Disco is good and you like it you just have to weigh your love of the truck versus what can I replace it with for $7000.

Only thing I might consider is the new Ford Bronco coming in 2020 but what will those cost? $40k? I bet the MSRP will be right there with the Jeep Wranglers. But no self respecting Land Rover guy would drive a Jeep, right? :)
 

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elite J/LR in california will do a fully reman engine top and bottom for $6K, probably around $7K with freight there and back. i've been very happy with the job they did for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, Im going to retire my old girl for now. I cant invest the money nor time just yet to do the work. Thanks for the suggestions on the alternatives - Im looking into these now for certain!

Thanks - Here she sits now, but not for long!
 

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very disco
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You're going to put that bad boy out to pasture!?!? I can't say i blame you, I've done it on more than one occasion, and am just thankful i'm at a point in my life where I could really get after it.

it's a tragedy, that's a quality example of the breed.

are you going to circle back to it later, or let the vultures come sweeping in?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Not totally sure just yet. Its been a fantastic Winter vehicle and I may try to decide after the summer is over. Hopefully a solution that seems correct will present itself in the next few months.

Do we all see the HG issue only on the 4.6's or do they have the same fault in the older 4.0 engines too? I ask because Im looking at older Disco's as a potential replacement.
 

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I’ve had two 4.0s, and while they weren’t without their own subset of issues (electrical!!!!), the motors were good to me. Parted ways with them at 160k and 180k approximately, and they were going strong with nothing other than PM.

I love the disco1, it has a much more utilitarian feel to it. If I could have those d1 style door handles on my d2 I would do so in a heartbeat. My best memories were having the nice 03 and the old 95 simultaneously so I could beat up the 95 and daily drive the 03.
 

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You report overheating, but was the truck also losing coolant? I presume so, or I'd think you wouldn't be talking about headgaskets or a cracked block.

If it was losing coolant, borrow the cooling system pressure test from AutoZone and check for headgasket leaks. If they're bad they most often fail at the rear of the head facing the firewall where the headgasket is very narrow next to the coolant passages. If you pump it up to 18-20 psi and it hold pressure for 30 minutes it's not the headgaskets nor a cracked block.

And how about the oil? Is there any evidence of coolant in the oil?
 

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Not totally sure just yet. Its been a fantastic Winter vehicle and I may try to decide after the summer is over. Hopefully a solution that seems correct will present itself in the next few months.

Do we all see the HG issue only on the 4.6's or do they have the same fault in the older 4.0 engines too? I ask because Im looking at older Disco's as a potential replacement.
I agree Greg - sit on it a bit and see how you feel later.

As far as HG issues on the 4.0, I've had to replace mine one both Rovers. My first, a '99, ended up having a cracked block and so I got a used motor, rebuilt it at my leisure, and dropped it in. Worked like a charm. The second time (current truck), it came with a HG Failure so I just did the HG job on a Saturday and it was running that same day. Coincidentally, I have now got to do the HG on that same truck again due to a overheat last year and like you, I'm still kicking things around. I've got some rust on my back frame and I'm trying to decide if I want to just dive in or find a replacement and start over...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You report overheating, but was the truck also losing coolant? I presume so, or I'd think you wouldn't be talking about headgaskets or a cracked block.

If it was losing coolant, borrow the cooling system pressure test from AutoZone and check for headgasket leaks. If they're bad they most often fail at the rear of the head facing the firewall where the headgasket is very narrow next to the coolant passages. If you pump it up to 18-20 psi and it hold pressure for 30 minutes it's not the headgaskets nor a cracked block.

And how about the oil? Is there any evidence of coolant in the oil?

Honestly, no visible loss of coolant to speak of. Certainly not much loss from the reservoir that alarmed me. At one point when I bought the truck years back, I noted disappearing coolant but I filled, made sure no air pockets and the issue seemed resolved. Its possible I was losing some recently but now I just cant tell you since I did the complete flush and replacement of all the stuff I mentioned in post #1 .

So now with the hotter months and the truck turned into our daily driver with a very busy schedule and demand on it, the truck just started to creep up in temp. So much so, the only action to keep it from over heating was to blast the defroster on full heat and that kept it around 230.

I didnt notice any coolant in the oil either.

Great advice on the pressure test. I will try to fit that in my schedule in the next week or so and see what I can report back on.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yes: UltraGauge EM Plus v1.4 Here is a pic of it in action as it headed up towards 250 when it beeped to tell me temps were too hot. My immediate action was slowing down, defrosters on high heat which brought them back down to 230-ish.
 

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