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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

Just dropped my truck off at the shop to test for leaky head gaskets (pressure test, block test, hydrocarbon test). I had the hose from my expansion tank to throttle body split open last week, so I replaced it along with the other expansion tank hose (to the radiator) and also put in a new expansion tank and cap while I was at it. The other day while driving to work (the very next morning after I replaced the parts), my upper rad hose popped off while driving down the freeway. I quickly pulled over, but did see the temp needle hit the red for 30-60 seconds.

If the tests come back as a head gasket issue, I was wondering if anyone had suggestions of upgrades or other replacements to take care of while I have the top of the engine apart. I thought maybe new lifters and camshaft, and maybe getting the heads resurfaced. Any other suggestions? I don't mind throwing a little money into it while I have it apart. Would this be a good time to port & polish the intake? Any other ideas?

As always - thanks!
 

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Truck failed block test. Time to start researching...

Please comment with other areas / parts to fix while I'm replacing the head gaskets.
Call this guy.

D&D Fabrications: Engineering & Fabrication Services | Land Rover Specialists
 

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mbruneaux - any particular reason why to call D&D?
He hotrods these engines and when I thought I had to repair my block he was very helpful, his prices at the time were pretty good too.

He sells the crower camshafts for the Rovers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I called a local LR specialist in the valley this morning to get a quick quote on having them replace the head gaskets. He was very nice and knowledgeable, and told me that they refrain from doing HG jobs on 2003 / 2004 Discos. He said it's almost a guarantee that a liner is slipped, and even if he did fix it, there would be no guarantee that it would last. His options were to swap in a P38 engine with low mileage ($3500-$4500) or do a complete rebuild with top-hat liners and the works ($9500) So, I have a few questions for you experts...

1). If I start taking apart my engine and get the heads off, will I easily be able to tell if I have a slipped liner?

2). If I do discover a slipped liner, would I still be able to remove the block after the heads are off and sent it to a shop to have top-hats installed?

3). Is there a better way I should be tackling my issue? The only information I have right now is that I have failed 2 block tests and the coolant pressure build very rapidly.
 

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Those prices seem really high. When I spoke to D&D a couple years ago top hatting the liners when sending him just the block was about $2200.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm about 7 hours in and just finished removing the lower manifold. I should have the heads off tomorrow night.

What key things should I be looking for to determine if it's "just" a head gasket failure OR something more like a cracked block or slipped liner?
 

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I called a local LR specialist in the valley this morning to get a quick quote on having them replace the head gaskets. He was very nice and knowledgeable, and told me that they refrain from doing HG jobs on 2003 / 2004 Discos. He said it's almost a guarantee that a liner is slipped, and even if he did fix it, there would be no guarantee that it would last. His options were to swap in a P38 engine with low mileage ($3500-$4500) or do a complete rebuild with top-hat liners and the works ($9500) So, I have a few questions for you experts...

1). If I start taking apart my engine and get the heads off, will I easily be able to tell if I have a slipped liner?

2). If I do discover a slipped liner, would I still be able to remove the block after the heads are off and sent it to a shop to have top-hats installed?

3). Is there a better way I should be tackling my issue? The only information I have right now is that I have failed 2 block tests and the coolant pressure build very rapidly.




It is with good reason the shop is hesitant to repair the engine without first ruling out other issues. These engines are notorious for having a failed block and completing all that work to find it didn’t resolve the issue makes for a very unpleasant customer experience.
Here are some tips and suggestions. Others feel free to comment or add.
• Which cylinder is showing signs of head gasket failure (Steam Cleaned Spark Plug)? The inner cylinders (3, 4, 5 & 6) do not have water passages next to them. Failure to an inner cylinder is a strong indication of a failed block. Outer cylinders 1, 2, 7 & 8 do have water passages next to them and are a good sign of head gasket failure.

• When the block has failed there is typically a casting issue behind the cylinder sleeve. The aluminum casting is allowing coolant to migrate through the casting and behind the sleeve. The coolant can travel up and into the cylinder or down into the crank case which will mimic a head gasket failure. This may also be accompanied with a cracked sleeve that is allowing coolant to pass through somewhere along the diameter or the sleeve. The sleeve may or may not have slipped. A block in this condition should be replaced. Top hat sleeves will solve a slipped liner issue but will not solve a failed casting. Coolant is still free to move behind the sleeve. A pressure test of the block should reveal this issue, but there is a chance a cold block test will hold pressure. If possible test the block with heat applied to simulate operating temperature.

• A Slipped Liner is typically accompanied with an engine tick or knock with the engine warm. An engine with a slipped liner (knocking) and no other symptoms (like Head Gasket) can be repaired with either a top hat liner (which is expensive and preferred method) or you can attempt to pin the liners in place. www.landroverresource.com/docs/Pinning_V8_Liner.pdf
It is sometimes possible to see the liner has slipped by inspecting the liners flushness to the deck or inspecting the bottom edge with the sump pan off. Attached is a picture of a sleeve that has slipped as seen from the bottom. Notice the area behind the connecting rod and at the 12 o’clock position are showing bare aluminum. This is where the sleeve has impacted and chipped away the lower lip. The bare aluminum is evident as the rest of the aluminum is varnished. This particular engine is ticking when warm and is not losing coolant. It is a candidate for repair.

Remember a failed block is a failed block; new sleeves of any kind will not fix it. Theoretically someone could remove the sleeve, locate the failure and TIG the crack. Then machine the repair back flush and re-insert the sleeve. But I know of no machine shop that would warranty that repair. Truly a DIY project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you belew for the wealth of info! I will post pictures of the heads, gaskets, and top of the block as soon as I get them pulled. I'm hoping to see a clear indication of a HG failure only! If it looks like something else is going on, I'll be very eager for opinions of what to do next.

Thanks again and I hope to have pictures up soon! Just need to find some time to work on it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just got the cylinder heads off tonight. There are NO signs of a head gasket failure! No steam cleaned pistons and no clear cracks on the gaskets themselves. I'm not sure what could be going on, since it was building pressure in the cooling system, bubbling out of the expansion tank when running with the lid off, popping the upper rad hose, and failed a block test (twice) ran by my local mechanic.

I will post pictures tomorrow of the heads, gaskets, and block deck. In the meantime, anyone have any ideas what could be wrong here or how I could be testing for what's wrong?

Thank you!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The ARP stud kit has been mentioned a few times. I've seen 3 different kit numbers been thrown around.

What's the right kit number and what torque do I install them at? I've seen 80-100 ft./lb. specified from different people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
After all the reading I've done and numerous debates, I've decided to stick with TTY bolts. If it wasn't such a 50/50 split on all of the different forums on what to use, I would consider going against what LR recommends.

As far as my block, I have no good way to test it without pulling it out. So, since I see no visible signs of issues and the fact that the most likely cause is a head gasket, I'm just going to get the heads resurfaced, a valve job done, and replace all the gaskets I've removed.

Praying it will take care of my issue when I put it back together!
 
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