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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Icestorm hit Northeast this weekend. Tempuratures 20-30 deg F.

Started overheating this weekend after snowstorm after 1 mile. Plenty of green coolant. I pulled over immediately and waited until cool. New grey thermostat, radiator, hoses replaced in Nov 2016.




I thought I didn't mix 50/50 coolant correctly and water may have froze in the engine, but checked the coolant overflow and liquid was sloshing around in it.


Drove 200 miles yesterday with no problems. No dash lights. I checked codes last week and none were stored. Used an Autel AL619


This morning my wife drives 3 miles and engine over heats. She pulls over right away and sees coolant over flowing from over flow tube. She waits until cool then drives another 2-3 miles. Then car stops and won't start. Starter turns but engine does not turn over. There coolant in the overflow tank. No coolant in oil. No leaks from heads or throttle. Battery is fresh. Engine cranks but does not turn over. All interior lights work correctly. No CEL, other dash lights.


I believe this car is death VIN, replaced engine by previous owner back in 2008.


Am I looking at a blown head gasket? What caused this?
 

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More often than not, the head gasket is going to leak compression. Unlike most OHV V-8's, the Rover only moves coolant at the ends of the heads. If they were to leak you would probably see/hear/smell coolant.

20 isn't that cold so if your mix is green, you should be OK. (Lesson learned: Buy a $4 coolant hydrometer and stop guessing.). That said, at 70MPH the radiator can see well below ambient temperature. As the coolant is in very small volumes in those tubes and spread out, you can freeze the radiator and have warm coolant in the overflow.

You could have also gotten a bad thermostat. Was it in a Rover box or at least a MotoRad? If not, it could be any sort of Chinese crap people peddle all over these days.

No-start: You have to go back to the three basics- Fuel, ignition, compression. Pull a plug and see if you have spark. With port injection you should see/smell fuel vapor after cranking a bit (don't let that loose spark plug wire ignite it!). Then do a compression test.

I've seen several overheated Rover 4.6 engines that had under 60PSI compression afterwards. On teardown the rings looked good and the bores were clean.
 

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That said, at 70MPH the radiator can see well below ambient temperature.
CT090 I am not having a go at you, this is something I thought was real as well until I did some research looking at cooling issues. Wind chill only applies to humans or other wet surfaces. Humans always have a bit of sweat on their skin, so the wind passing over the skin makes it feel a lot cooler than what it is. Wind chill does not apply to metal surfaces like a radiator. 20F is 20F no matter what speed you are travelling at. Higher speeds do not change the temp of the air flowing over the radiator, it only supplies more air at that temp.
 

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Wounded Knee Moderator
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What if the radiator is wet? And another debate has begun........ should I create another new thread? I'll start Googling now...... links in a minute.

Just kidding Ian.....

Hemicharger check the coolant mix with the hydrometer, had the same thing happen. The bad thing is the engine not turning over, not good at all. Heat swells and you locked up the motor when it overheated. Not good. Give us an update on that.

There is a test kit for exhaust in the coolant as well, grab that too.
 

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I'm pretty well up on thermodynamics. I was trying to keep it a simple discussion. I was trying to articulate that aside from theory, if you are borderline on coolant you can freeze a radiator via the evaporative cooling effect. I've experienced it myself.


Scout- I think he's using the term turning over as starting. He says starter turns and engine cranks but doesn't turn over.
 

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I'm pretty well up on thermodynamics. I was trying to keep it a simple discussion. I was trying to articulate that aside from theory, if you are borderline on coolant you can freeze a radiator via the evaporative cooling effect. I've experienced it myself.


Scout- I think he's using the term turning over as starting. He says starter turns and engine cranks but doesn't turn over.
So have I, experienced it myself but not in a Rover. Ok, it stopped running and would not restart.
 

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I do not know what answer people expect when they ask what it could be when their motor does not start. All you are going to get is people telling them the 1,000 things that could prevent a motor from starting.

The overheating issue is a little bit more confined, but still large topic.

The thing that confuses me in regard to his issue is that it overheated within a mile of driving on a cold day. We do not have your cold whether here and it still takes my Rangie and Disco a few miles to get up to running temp on mild days. So even if the thermostat was stuck closed, I am not sure what would have caused it to overheat within a couple of miles, except a faulty temp gauge (that is, it did really overheat)
 

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That's a good point. With the entire engine at 20 degrees, it would take a while. Maybe that mile was bumper to bumper and took 20 minutes. Or maybe the OP just misjudged time.

Whatever the case, he will have to do some testing before deciding on next steps.
 

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That's a good point. With the entire engine at 20 degrees, it would take a while. Maybe that mile was bumper to bumper and took 20 minutes. Or maybe the OP just misjudged time..
If it is cold enough for me to have the heater going flat out, I cannot even get it up to running temp. The heater acts as a radiator. It all just seems a little strange that you can cook your motor in a few miles.
I once was in a Defender TD5 and we were in the bush on a cold weekend and could not figure out why the heater would not work. On the way home on the highway we found out what the problem was. We had driven all weekend without ANY coolant in the system and the thing only cooked itself after an hour or so at highway speeds.
 

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I have re-read the OP's post. I don't see any indication of a cooked motor. I believe he is stating it cranks but no start.

I learned long ago that you can have two simultaneous but wholly unrelated problems. Trying to find a correlation between an overheat and a no-start is probably less beneficial than just detecting each individually. If there's an association, it will become apparent.
 

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There's another lesson here- problems never fix themselves. The first overheat should have been followed up with a trip on the hook and a repair.

On another note, if his wife had a problem and "pulled over right away" he's married one of a very few. My wife and daughter treat dash indicators as convenience notifications. If they have absolutely nothing else to do they consider maybe stopping somewhere to get coffee or shop while alternate transportation is arranged for them.
 

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I have re-read the OP's post. I don't see any indication of a cooked motor. I believe he is stating it cranks but no start.

I learned long ago that you can have two simultaneous but wholly unrelated problems. Trying to find a correlation between an overheat and a no-start is probably less beneficial than just detecting each individually. If there's an association, it will become apparent.
Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. Hey, why does my motor tick? That's all I'm gonna say.
 

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Two severe overheats with the last one stopping a running motor and would not restart? Even if it doesn't present right now it eventually will. 9 out of 10 Rover cranks are beyond warp spec to machine. Gee I wonder why. My hobby for a quite a few years here was Rover head gaskets and engine rebuilds through a tight Rover network in Traverse that developed initially from a machine shop friendship. I have no fear. Only one motor on a 94 Disco was beyond repair with a cracked block from......... very severe overheats that the owner never stopped driving. Anyways, I have a hands on history with the Rover motor and the Buick 215, the blueprint motor.

I was simply alluding to the problems with the motor down the road and didn't want to elaborate until the OP came back with more information. I personally don't like to hear bad news given by experience so I assume the OP is no different. I'd fix it and sell it. That's how we accrue new members here, somebody's else junk becomes our problem to help solve. Tick, tick, tick, tick....... wedge a piston, slip a sleeve, crack the rings, it's what we do.
 

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That's the scary thing about these engines. I have one here that made a noise when warm. Was it low oil pressure and a mild rod knock, or something else? Do I rebuild it and take a chance?
That in itself is a whole nutha topic, ton of experience there. When you strip these motors down to bare bones it's really arcane engineering but very easy fixes and they are all over this motor. I suggest a GM LS conversion often especially in the DII's, great thread (very loooong) on Defender Resource's forum. The most viable swap ever, not cheap but not more than a Turner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The engine started right up last night. The coolant reservoir was dry. When I added more coolant it spilled out somewhere so there is a system leak somewhere. No dash lights anywhere good sign. One pending code P1668 using Autel AL619 scanner so not worried. I will find the leak this weekend and fix. Then, I will do a compression check.

Thank goodness my wife had the presence of mind to pull over after redline no more than 500 feet (2x) then towed home. I may have averted a HG replacement for the time being. Compression test this Saturday will tell for sure.
 

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The curiosity will kill everyone until the weekend.......... there will be a thousand more posts by the time you get back here........ all conjecture driven.
 

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Ugh, In Limbo on this Disco
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...I personally don't like to hear bad news given by experience so I assume the OP is no different. I'd fix it and sell it. That's how we accrue new members here, somebody's else junk becomes our problem to help solve. Tick, tick, tick, tick....... wedge a piston, slip a sleeve, crack the rings, it's what we do.
First post! Yay. I'm here because...well i bought somebody else's junk! Lol. Not sure what I'm going to do. Have pressure coming back into the coolant reservoir. Figured I had the slipped sleeve thing when I bought it, but didn't know the work I might be getting myself into. Anyways, don't want to hijack this thread.

My question is: Are you getting back pressure into the coolant reservoir on cold start up?

Will be waiting on compression results...
 

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Unless you buy it new it's somebody's junk. Slipped sleeve OR head gasket leak can pressurize the coolant.........
 
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