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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My '98 RR seems to drink anti-freeze. Every 2 months or so the level of my coolant drops by 2L. The obvious thing would be to check for leaks under the car or loose/wet hoses under the hood. I have absolutely no evidence that any is leaking from the car.

I was thinking that perhaps while the car is under load or and the engine is revving while in motion that there may be a leak I have not been able to notice. Even after an extended trip I do not notice any fluid leaking when the car comes to rest. As well, with such small amount leaking over a 2 month time frame, I am wondering if this vehicle is actually drinking it, and as it runs otherwise fine, is it enjoying it.

Graham
 

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If you pull the spark plugs, you should be able to tell if any coolant is leaking into the combustion chambers. There should be "ash" deposits on your sparkplugs.

You can use this to decide what shape your plugs are in
http://www.nightrider.com/biketech/spkplghnbook.htm

If you pull your oil dip stick, do you see any milky whiteish/greyish stuff on the end? If so, your coolant is mixing with your oil and should be address RIGHT away. The other place to check is on the underside of the oil fill cap. If there is a "white/grey/putty" colored goo on the underside of the cap, your coolant is mixing with your oil Again. It needs to be addressed RIGHT away by a qualified mechanic.


If both of these test out fine, chances are you have a slow weep somewhere that only leaks when the car is on and the cooling system is under pressure. Take the Rover for a drive to get it warmed up, the leave it parked on a clean spot of pavement for 15-20 minutes. That should be enough to show you where any leaks are coming from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Check these things

The first place I looked was the oil. It is more than fine. this problem has persisted for the better part of a year and the plugs are fine and the oil at each change is great. I have even gone so far as to run the car and park it, once warmed up, over newspaper and have not found any leaking. I am now assuming that it is a slow leak only while the car is oporating.
 

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Internal

You almost cetainly have a pressure leak from combustion pressures, into the cooling system, either due to a blown (there are degrees) head gasket,cracked cylinder head, or loosened cylinder liner. The reason you are seeing no evidence is the coolant is leaving the vehicle via the exhaust. If you go to a qualified garage that has either a SUN or Snap ON system, with emmissions analyzer, they will simply wave the wand over the top of the expansion tank or radiator filler. A test result any higher than 25 ppm will tell you there are hydrocarbons present. Painfull to say, but this is a very common problem with 3.9s and 4.2s. If the bulk of your driving is "around town" you can go quite some time without correcting the problem. If, however you drive extended periods at highway speeds, you will build up pressures in the cooling system sufficient enough that the pressure relief cap will lift and expel coolant, usually resulting in overheating.
People usually disagree with this diagnosis because the engine seems to run well with no other obvious symptoms. I have worked on Dozens of rover v8s because of the very problem. In fact it has happened to me in my 3.9 NAS 110. I replaced the engine with a 4.2 for the obvious reasons. Frequently, a head gasket job is all that is required, but loosened liners are a well known fault in Rover engines, and I have seen more than a few crack cylinder heads. This problem is not limited to the older block designs, Many P38s and Discos with 4.0 engines have also exhibited the problem. I have not ever seem it in later, Bosch 4.6 engines. Cracked heads are, of coarse, replaceable, and often repairable. Loosened liners usually means the block is junk, except ther is a company in the UK successfully replacing liners with new, top lipped ones.
 

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Hey Terry-you sound pretty knowledgable about Rover V8's. What do you think of this? My 92 RR is always vaporing, has been since purchase in 2001 with 163k on the 3.9. It now has upwards of 200k on it. We do not use it because we suspect the problem you are describing, have purchased a 95 4.0SE. The whole time we have driven it it has been 100% reliable, and even right now I can go out and it will start immediately. It has never overheated. I noticed after a trip some substantial hiss after opening the rad. overflow cap. Now there is quite a bit of hiss even after running the engine 5-10 minutes and not allowing the engine to warm up. Then there is a gurgling, bubbling sound. Yesterday I let it warm all the way up at idle, and with the engine running I "loosened" the cap to allow pressure to escape. It blasted antifreeze out. Sometimes when running the exhaust makes a gurgling noise. Sometimes rust-colored water comes out of the tailpipe when first accelerating. I noticed with the engine warm the top rad. hose was cold; no flow. Dipstick remains basically totally clean. You can smell combustion gasses in the rad. tank, yet no oil. PCV mesh is milky, though. Could a stuck thermostat be causing the pressure, and could changing that and the headgasket fix the prob?

Unrelated: the 4.0 in the 95 makes a clattering noise sometimes, but not when cold. I was told rocker arms not getting enough oil, not at all fatal, replace rocker shafts. Does this sound right? This engine runs perfect and no cooling pressure, smell, vaporing, etc.
 

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Graham,
Just a thought, could the burning smell be linked to the leak? :dunno:
My heater matrix had a leak recently (6 hrs to change) I got a hot coppery smell in the car when it was leaking. :)
The clue to the leak was a wet carpet at the front.
regards colin
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
burning smell

The burning smell has only been happening for about 2 weeks, and now that the fog lights are out, the smell has gone completly. The fog lights went out yesterday and I have spent about 12 hrs running the car scince then. the smell would come in waves every 5-10 min.

The collant leak has gone on for over 1 /12 years. I have had the car looked at by 2 different Land Rover dealers and it got a clean bill of heath each time.

Not only do I do a lot of city driving, but I have done a bit of towing as well. This includes tow 5hr trips with 1500lbs load and one trip with a 1800lbs boat. No overheating or even temp gain while operating. :drive:

I am begining to belive I must have a very small leak that only occors while in motion. I have still yet to find any acumiltion under the car.
 

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troverman said:
Hey Terry-you sound pretty knowledgable about Rover V8's. What do you think of this? My 92 RR is always vaporing, has been since purchase in 2001 with 163k on the 3.9. It now has upwards of 200k on it. We do not use it because we suspect the problem you are describing, have purchased a 95 4.0SE. The whole time we have driven it it has been 100% reliable, and even right now I can go out and it will start immediately. It has never overheated. I noticed after a trip some substantial hiss after opening the rad. overflow cap. Now there is quite a bit of hiss even after running the engine 5-10 minutes and not allowing the engine to warm up. Then there is a gurgling, bubbling sound. Yesterday I let it warm all the way up at idle, and with the engine running I "loosened" the cap to allow pressure to escape. It blasted antifreeze out. Sometimes when running the exhaust makes a gurgling noise. Sometimes rust-colored water comes out of the tailpipe when first accelerating. I noticed with the engine warm the top rad. hose was cold; no flow. Dipstick remains basically totally clean. You can smell combustion gasses in the rad. tank, yet no oil. PCV mesh is milky, though. Could a stuck thermostat be causing the pressure, and could changing that and the headgasket fix the prob?

Unrelated: the 4.0 in the 95 makes a clattering noise sometimes, but not when cold. I was told rocker arms not getting enough oil, not at all fatal, replace rocker shafts. Does this sound right? This engine runs perfect and no cooling pressure, smell, vaporing, etc.
Two things are going to cause pressure; Heat, and combustion leaks. Heat buildup from a frozen thermostat is going to be pretty obvious, because it is going to get only so hot before you and anyone around you knows about it. The less obvious source is combustion pressures finding a path into the cooling system, either by way of a head gasket, or loosened liner. Water will eventually dissappear through a head gasket leak when the engine is cooling down (not running) by weeping back into the cylinder which, is a) closest, and b) the one providing the pressure. This water loss will be small but cumulative. The greater loss is where the pressures are sufficient to blow the relief cap and expel coolant and built up pressure. This is where the danger of overheating comes from, as in a long trip where this cycle happens many times.
Liner leaks cause coolant to usually leak into the cylinders and be expelled via the normal aspiration of the engine, out the exhaust pipe. Cracked heads also cause coolant losses, usually out the pipe. Coolant leaks into the crankcase are very rare in Rover engines.
Your noise in the '95 would seem more likely, to me, from worn cam / lifter interface. Oil thins when hot, and worn lifters tend not to provide as much "lift" as they aren't getting pumped up as much. Lifters in a dirty engine, can eventually become stuck in a signle position, rather than continually rotating, and wear to the cam lobe and lifter face is excellerated when this happens. Worn rocker assemblies will make some noise when cold, but also, as the oil thins on warming the noise will increase, due to the oils inability to provide the 'cushion' between surfaces.
Thanks for the compliment. I always figured a guy should be knowledgable at two things; what he makes his living at, and what he spends his living on. I never made my living on automotive work, but spent 7 years in the engine rooms of a few ships, then another 30 keeping a steel foundry running. While I try not to have to pay for something I can do, But I refuse to pay for something I can do well. Being mostly retired, I far prefer "helping' out my son and his friends with their projects. Seems like fewer kids are interested in wrenching, a shame, really.
 

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Easy Fix!!!

OK... Same problem, but you are way over-ANAL-izing it!

Here is the probably cause. There are two little O-rings on the heater core that wear out. They cause the leak. You can probably find signs of it on the passenger floor where it leaks to.

Here is a link to a page discussing it:
<http://www.rangerovers.net/newrremedies.htm#cooling>

ENJOY.
Keith
 

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KARamsay said:
OK... Same problem, but you are way over-ANAL-izing it!

Here is the probably cause. There are two little O-rings on the heater core that wear out. They cause the leak. You can probably find signs of it on the passenger floor where it leaks to.

ENJOY.
Keith
True enough if a leak was all Troverman was asking about, but since you WAY- Under "anal"ized it, go back and read that he was asking about a pressure buildup, not a coolant leak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Terry's advice

I have had the vehical in for its 120k inspection at the 130k mark (yes I was a bit late) and the Mt.Pleasant Motors Land Rover dealership gave it a 100% clean bill of health (@ $110 per hr.) LOL

The leak was occuring well before this check up and has remained constant scince then. My next step will be to do a compression Test. As I dont have a manual yet (I have one on order) I will look to see if I have any variance between cylinders.

I do appreciate the suggestions. I am very doubtfull that I have a head gasket issue, the car has towed mid sized boats a couple of times without any problem a few times.

I think one of the most important things is the volume of coolant I am losing. I go through 2 liters every 3-4 months. It's not a lot, but in 24 years of driving BMW's I never lost a drop. (but I do enjoy looking down on the bimmers now) (and I never had a sound system like this)
 

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Sounds like an over dramatization

This amount of loss could well be attributed to a simple poor seal on the header tank Its not really a problem it could be weeping from a hose when running,2 litres in a month is almost impossible to detect 2litres in a week is hard enough, as for head gasket failure there are no waterways in the head gaskets to cause this failure.

My advice is not to worry, if it was a cracked or loose liner it would have become worse and probably failed big time by now,same can be said if it was a core plug so dont worry I have similar happenings with my 84 rangie and the engine was a genuine parts replacement unit so unless it gets worse dont worry and carry on.
 

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TerryS said:
Two things are going to cause pressure; Heat, and combustion leaks. Heat buildup from a frozen thermostat is going to be pretty obvious, because it is going to get only so hot before you and anyone around you knows about it. The less obvious source is combustion pressures finding a path into the cooling system, either by way of a head gasket, or loosened liner. Water will eventually dissappear through a head gasket leak when the engine is cooling down (not running) by weeping back into the cylinder which, is a) closest, and b) the one providing the pressure. This water loss will be small but cumulative. The greater loss is where the pressures are sufficient to blow the relief cap and expel coolant and built up pressure. This is where the danger of overheating comes from, as in a long trip where this cycle happens many times.
Liner leaks cause coolant to usually leak into the cylinders and be expelled via the normal aspiration of the engine, out the exhaust pipe. Cracked heads also cause coolant losses, usually out the pipe. Coolant leaks into the crankcase are very rare in Rover engines.
Your noise in the '95 would seem more likely, to me, from worn cam / lifter interface. Oil thins when hot, and worn lifters tend not to provide as much "lift" as they aren't getting pumped up as much. Lifters in a dirty engine, can eventually become stuck in a signle position, rather than continually rotating, and wear to the cam lobe and lifter face is excellerated when this happens. Worn rocker assemblies will make some noise when cold, but also, as the oil thins on warming the noise will increase, due to the oils inability to provide the 'cushion' between surfaces.
Thanks for the compliment. I always figured a guy should be knowledgable at two things; what he makes his living at, and what he spends his living on. I never made my living on automotive work, but spent 7 years in the engine rooms of a few ships, then another 30 keeping a steel foundry running. While I try not to have to pay for something I can do, But I refuse to pay for something I can do well. Being mostly retired, I far prefer "helping' out my son and his friends with their projects. Seems like fewer kids are interested in wrenching, a shame, really.
Yeah the other thing that will cause pressure in the cooling system is the bloody water pump and the fact the water has expanded as it will heat up and when the cap is taken off it wants to get out.Also if there was a crack it would deteriorate rapidly and cause rapid over heating.And would more likely loose litres per day and cause misfires at start up.I agree with Keith you fellas are blowing this out of proportion is everything such a drama try thinking before giving out advice which is poorly thought out,
ONz

:rolleyes:
 

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onslow said:
Yeah the other thing that will cause pressure in the cooling system is the bloody water pump and the fact the water has expanded as it will heat up and when the cap is taken off it wants to get out.Also if there was a crack it would deteriorate rapidly and cause rapid over heating.And would more likely loose litres per day and cause misfires at start up.I agree with Keith you fellas are blowing this out of proportion is everything such a drama try thinking before giving out advice which is poorly thought out,
ONz

:rolleyes:
Nice one onslow,new some one would get there in the end,FACT the cooling system is pressurized to increase the boiling point of the water.I loose about 2 litres a month aswell,the only thing I have noticed is a tiny wisp of steam from the rad header seal.noticed when looking for something else.A leak this small is almost impossible to find and can be put down to the trucks personality,remember if its not broke don't fix it drive it :drive:
 
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