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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Head gasket finally gives up UPDATE

Well seems the ailing head gasket has finally given up.
:bawling:
After a perilous drive in to work this morning. The heater supply hose burst filling the cab of the Rover with steam so thick I could not see the road let alone the other 3 lanes of morning rush hour traffic all of us going 70mph. I finally rolled the window down and Ace Ventura'd the Rover to the side.

The head gasket has been pushing coolant past the expansion tank cap for 3 years. So it was no surprise when Friday I burst the top radiator hose and then today burst the heater hose.

We have a line on a motor from a 1993? that had an ignition fire and burned. The engine was not so bad with just the plastic bits melting. We will start on it this week, I hope. My buddy hopefully will pick it up Wednesday.

The good news in all this is we will rebuild my 4.2 and drop it in his 1991 replacing his anemic 3.9.

I'll let you know how it all turns out.
 

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The bad news is you may not be able to rebuild your motor...If all it is (is) the headgasket, great news--change it and be on your way. But it is probably more than that--shifted cylinder liner, or cracked block are the most likely causes. For those, there really is no rebuild. I am assuming your engine is a 4.2 as well, from an LWB. How many miles? The aluminum block tends to develop a hairline crack that expands when the engine is heated, causing coolant pressurization. A loose cylinder liner also is very common as the steel liner in the aluminum cylinder comes loose and thus allows coolant to "float" the liner. If this is the case, a new headgasket will fix the prob for a few thousand miles, then destroy HG again. Cheapest fix is a new engine. Right now, my '92 3.9L Range Rover w/190k on it needs at minimum a new HG. It still runs great, but pressurizes the cooling system. We don't drive it so we don't have your situation happen on the highway. Good luck. 4.0L motor is considered the best of all the Rover V8's with the exception of the 3.5L engine which has no power.
 

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1991 - Range Rover with 173K miles

OkieR,

Can you explain to me this "pressurizing" from hole in head gasket ?

I'm just curious, I don't understand what's going on.

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My story:

At about 98K miles, wife overheated it on highway and blew the top radiator hose. My shop replaced hose and gave it back. Dah.

Next day wife on highway in summer with air cond. on, overheats again but blows out heater core. Same thing as you, cabin fills with white vapor. Right rear valve sucks in a value guide and looses all compression. Rears are the hotest.

Valve job was done. Shop tests it and finds (dah) radiator clogged...

No wonder I do my work.
 

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I'd love to be in the Rat Patrol
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had the clogged radiator problem too.
But before that I managed to get it too hot twice. Having thought I fixed it I drove her to the ballfields and in the process boiled her over, twice on concecutive days. Alluminum heads don't like to be hot as I am told.

So the head gasket. I had a hydrocarbon check performed that basically puts the tester in the top of the expansion tank. When you run the engine it detects hydrocarbons. Well that was a positive. Basically there is a little(?) hole in the gasket that pressurizes the coolant system. This causes the coolant to blow past the cap on the expansion tank.

I am hoping troverman is wrong and that the sleeves are still good. We have a spare engine and it will get the once over next week by my buddy who is excellent on the engine stuff. Then if the spare is crap we will proceed to tear down my existing motor.

If it is failed and unrepairable I am buying a Mercedes turbo diesel and dropping it in.

I will forward the issues you raise Troverman to my buddy. So he can be looking for them.

Thanks for the tips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
UPDATE:
We got the replacement engine apart. As expected the oil looked terrible. But the bottom end was in great shape. The cylinders still had the cross hatching from when the cylinders were honed. So, no wear there.

We decided to have the heads planed and the valves done instead of just throwing it back together. The new engine had signs of head gasket failure just like mine. There are four "extra" bolts on the head that when you torque them down obviously cause the head to tilt toward them and allow for the leakage at the top end of the heads.

The instructions say not to torque these down when you reassemble. When you see the pictures you will say the same thing we did, "what the hell were they thinking?" I got some pictures of the head leak and what it looks like.

I have it torn down so I'm putting in a new timing chain and rear seal. This engine should be "just like new" when we get done.

Anyway we are reassembling this weekend and hopefully I'll drive her home on Saturday night.

I'll have the whole ordeal up on my website next week when I have time to write it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I don't know if my current head gasket blown engine is more screwed up.
We haven't taken it a part yet. I'm hoping it is not hosed as we hoped to repair it and swap it for my buddy's 3.9.
We'll know on Saturday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update on the engine project.
Engine is assembled. But yet to be back in the bay.
It has kicked our butts for two really long days.
Hopefully this week we will have her running again.

Some pics....
Me in the engine bay. I was feeling pretty good. We had gotten a lot done that day.



This is the condition of the motor mounts. Apparently the mechanic that rebuilt the front end decided I didn't need new ones. Both were broken and the engine was just sitting in the truck all this time!!!!!
That is a brand new one in the middle.


This is where the head leaks. The red arrows show the extra bolts the instructions tell you to NOT install. Actually the head gasket kit we got didn't allow for those holes to even have bolts. In any case if you place the bolts there and torque them down you twist the head just enough to cause the leaks you see on the face there as burnt spots. Notice there are no leaks on the lower part. If you had 7 bolts on top it probably wouldn't leak there either.
Just part of the wonderful querkiness that is Land Rover.


The one thing this project has told me is there are a lot of "little" things that need to be maintained to keep your Rover in top shape. I hate to think what might have happened if I had decided to go offroad and the motor mount issue had reared it's ugly head. Major embarassing. :eek:

Well that's all for now. I'll write this all up when I'm done and have a new page on my site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
troverman said:
How long to get the head off?
He did mine with the engine out. It took less than an hour.

But he said a competent mechanic should be able to get them out with the engine in the truck in 2-3 hours. If it was your "first time" he said maybe 4 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
UPDATE:
We finished the reassembly on Friday. She ran great. Really amazing how little trouble we had getting her started and NO CODES!!!!
My buddy was really surprised it went so well.
But with the good we must have bad. Engine is still overheating. We are pretty sure we need a new radiator. I have had this one worked on 3 times and it is probably clogged again. So I'm getting another.
Also the steering box blew a seal and now it needs repair too.
The word frustrating is really not going to describe my feelings right now. My wife is a saint, but even her patience is at it's end. I will get the new radiator this week and get the seal repaired as soon as I figure out how that goes.
 

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I'd love to be in the Rat Patrol
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update.
I have the new radiator in and it is functioning great!!!
We put the steering box seal in and no leaks!!!

The cats are still rattling and the ABS and ETC lights came on yesterday along with a Check Engine light with no code.

It seems the problems never end......
 
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