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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On a 97 Disco SE7

how bad is it to do this? I have done them before on other cars, but never on a land rover. I have a good feeling mine is on the way out. I am lossing coolant, but have no drips anywhere. Pulled the dipstick and oil looks ok, but when i remove the oil fill cap I see a faint greenish color around the threads of the cap. The coolant temp gauge is staying the normal range, but when you walk around the outside front of the Disco you have a strong coolant smell.

Any special things I should get or tricks to doing this job?

EDIT: I have just over 128,000 miles on it
 

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The head gasket kit will have a head gasket that eliminates four of the bolts used. That is the trick. They originally had an extra 4 bolts in the middle of the head. You don't need them and everything I've read blames the failure on these extra four bolts.
 

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I second those other post. If you feel like the gasket is on the way out... and have not had any over heats... go ahead and change it out now before you do. Saves you the worry of warped heads... etc. Not to mention coolant is not a very good lubricant in an engine. Catching that early should prove to be not that troubling but if left too long, damage can occur to some of those vital parts with excessive wear... LOL I sound like a Castro commercial.

I think they call it thermo-nu-clee-u-r break down... or something like that. just kidding!

Let us know how it goes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well not sure what the faint greenish color is from, it appears to be painted on. Although the same color is on both the cap and in the threaded part of the cover, not really sure what is up with that.

I dont have any smell from the exhaust either. I am lossing coolant, but no drips on the driveway. I was going to have it pressure tested, but a friend said that unless I really feel it is the head gasket that I could cause a gasket to start leaking that isnt currently leak due to the pressure. Is that true?
 

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apbtpetey said:
I was going to have it pressure tested, but a friend said that unless I really feel it is the head gasket that I could cause a gasket to start leaking that isnt currently leak due to the pressure. Is that true?
Tell your friend he has no idea what he's talking about.
 

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I don't understand what OkieRover is talking about.... A 97 4 litre engine has 10 bolt heads not 14 bolt heads.
apbtpetey, get your heads checked for straightness and cracks. Don't be fooled, replacing the head gaskets on a 97 Disco is not that easy a job. This is not like doing a Chevy 350!
Firstly, access to the rear most head bolts is very cramped and you need to make up some blocks of wood so that your socket will not twist off the head as you lossen it and later on tighten it. Make sure you use a 6 point impact socket (I have blown several regular Craftsman & Proto sockets that could not take the torque). Last time, I got my son to help hold the socket down at the correct angle as I twisted it. If you round the head buggering around, you'll regret it.
Secondly, every gasket set I have bought does not come with new head bolts. When I ordered a set from a local Speed Shop there was something odd about their appearance. Being a very suspicious bloke, I trial fitted the new bolts in the block and noticed that some went in easily and others did not go smoothly. Upon careful examination I could see that the threads on the new bolts were not cleanly cut, also the heads were shallower. So I took them back. Now what to do? I went to the dealer and told them how cheaply I could buy Disco head bolts for elsewhere and the dealer dropped their price about 30% to about $80 Cdn. (I had to wait 3 days while the Parts manager thought about it). To get to the point here - there are some rubbish parts out there (more and more counterfeit stuff coming from heaven-knows-where) and you definitely want parts as important as head bolts to be up to factory specs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Pavel,

I understand it isnt as easy as doing a old chevy 350, but I have been around cars from when I started walking. I have no problem tearing into this job. As for the head bolts I would be ordering everything I need from Atlantic British. I hear you on access to ceartain areas in the rear of the motor, things look fairly tight in some spots.

I am getting it pressure tested tomorrow and will know more than.
 

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Get some APR studs :) .

You just slide on the gasket and the head , and install the 12pointed nuts to the speck and all done .

I love the APR hardwere .
 

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Pavel makes some good points. I too snapped a few Craftsman sockets on Rover head bolts...two on one bolt. I ordered some Snap-On tools, and all was well. I think it's 16mm, but you better double check.

As for it "not being like a Chevy", he right...I think a Rover engine is easier, in that aspect. No rockers to adjust, being one point. But, the rear bolts can be a challenge.

The last set of heads I have re-worked run my 90.00 at a local shop. Basically, that was disassemble, cleaning, flat mill, valve job, and reassembly. I also purchased new valve seals, and two new exhaust valves. The valve seals came in a "top end" rebuild kit from Discountroverparts.com (~135.00 for everything), and the valves were something like 16.00 each from Aluminumv8.com. Head bolts ran me right at 100.00 for the set from Aluminumv8.com, but I think he has cheaper sets available that are good (in the 65.00 range). ARP stuff is super nice, but really not necessary on these low HP engines.

If I were you, I would have the heads totally re-done. The Rover heads are pretty much junk. They're rough, have sharp edges, and flow like ****. It would run in the ball park of 350.00 to have them ported and polished, but it would make all the difference in the world. I would guess, you would gain ~35HP. That's pretty serious HP for the money. Not everyone wants this, or wants to spend the extra cash, but it's a nice improvement for the underpowered Rovers. Just an option.

At the least, you want a 3-angle valve job, new seals, and have them check the plane to make sure the heads are not warped.

And, do not re-use the head bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, I will see what the testing comes up with tomorrow. If I have to do the head gasket then I will more than likely see about the port & polish. I also plan on going with a good set of bolts. I have plenty of impact sockets that should handle the job. If I have to do this I am going to do it right and not cheap out on parts. I am not 100% on it being the head gasket as of yet, but tomorrow will tell me for sure. I'll let you know how I make out.
 

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One last comment apbtpetey - I don't know the proper name for this tool but it is a plastic or aluminum dial gauge that fits on your torque wrench 1/2 inch drive and allows you to read exactly how many degrees you have turned the head bolt. Made myself a primitive one out of a scrap piece of vinyl siding (don't laugh) but it works. All the best with your Disco challenge!
 

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pavel said:
One last comment apbtpetey - I don't know the proper name for this tool but it is a plastic or aluminum dial gauge that fits on your torque wrench 1/2 inch drive and allows you to read exactly how many degrees you have turned the head bolt. Made myself a primitive one out of a scrap piece of vinyl siding (don't laugh) but it works. All the best with your Disco challenge!
Angle guage, i have one but it was to tight to do the headbolt's near the bulkhead. I use one of those paint markers to mark an index line on each bolthead and then do the three phase torque sequence as per workshop manual instruction.
 

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dirtyduk

Pull the valve covers,If its all green in there, dont waste your money or time, order a reman engine, the block is junk, your heads might be ok.
porting and polishing is for racing not reliable off roading (my attitude)
if you try to replace the gaskets the head bolts are one time use,get new ones. the torque spec is 15ft lbs then two 90 deg turns. good luck dude :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
dirtyduk said:
Pull the valve covers,If its all green in there, dont waste your money or time, order a reman engine, the block is junk, your heads might be ok.
porting and polishing is for racing not reliable off roading (my attitude)
if you try to replace the gaskets the head bolts are one time use,get new ones. the torque spec is 15ft lbs then two 90 deg turns. good luck dude :cool:
Never heard anybody say port & polishing would be not reliable off-road. Nothing wrong with a little added power. Had the pass. side valve cover off last week and it wasnt green inside at all. I don't think there is anything wrong with the block at all.

Yeah I have the angle guage. Thanks for the heads up on the clearence issue with it as well.
 

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dirtyduk said:
Pull the valve covers,If its all green in there, dont waste your money or time, order a reman engine, the block is junk, your heads might be ok.
porting and polishing is for racing not reliable off roading (my attitude)
if you try to replace the gaskets the head bolts are one time use,get new ones. the torque spec is 15ft lbs then two 90 deg turns. good luck dude :cool:
Porting and polishing heads is just for racing, not reliable for offroading.....since when?! :confused
 
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