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Inspecting for Head Gasket Leak

2072 Views 12 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  JAKD-UP
I've searched the forums for quite a while trying to find a "guide" of some sort to inspect for a head gasket problem. There are many specific threads (some with answers and some without), and I'm sorry if I missed a thread with this answer.

A LR specialist here in Phoenix did an inspection on my newly purchased 2003 Disco (yes - before I purchased it), and he said there's oil leaking down the back of the engine and is recommending I replace the head gaskets. The gaskets were replaced by the previous owner about 30K miles ago (have receipt), so I was a little surprised about this news. I did notice a few drops (2-3) of oil on my driveway this morning.

What steps should I take to diagnose and verify what my problem is? I will post any pictures needed and am willing to follow any instructions. I am brand new to Rovers and want to learn more about taking care of them! Any help is greatly appreciated!

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Could be leaking valve cover gaskets. You need a 8mm 12pt socket to tighten them.

I would tighten the valve covers, then clean the engine, then look leaks.
Could be leaking valve cover gaskets. You need a 8mm 12pt socket to tighten them.

I would tighten the valve covers, then clean the engine, then look leaks.
Thanks! Where are the bolts that need tightened? I've downloaded the RAVE, maybe you could point me to a specific page?

Thanks again!
Have you even gone out and looked for the 2 bolts?
As has already been mentioned it is valve cover not a head gasket issue.
How mechanical are you? How many miles on the truck?
I would suggest you read the sticky at the top of this section regarding maintance and do it all, yourself, especially the inspection, rebuild or replacement of your front drive shaft. If it doesn't have 1 grease fitting on each of the 3 u-joints it can and usually will fail taking out the tranny at the same time.
Thanks DiscoMike! I have went and looked for the bolts and I'm not certain which ones I need to tighten. My truck has 118k miles on it.

As far as how mechanically inclined I am... I try and do as many fixes on my vehicle as possible, but haven't done much more than the basic maintenance. I'd like to learn more and do more and more work on my vehicles. I'm lucky to have a lot of tools, so hopefully that will help :) I will of course depend on experts such as yourself to learn more so I can do more. I am very good at reading and understanding technical manuals and can follow pretty detailed instructions.

I'll continue to learn more about my Rover and will continue my search on my current oil leak issue. If I find a good picture or post about tightening the valve cover bolts, I will post it on this thread. Maybe someone can beat me to it though, since I've yet to find them!

Thanks again!
Here are some pictures of the valve (rocker) cover bolts that I tightened. Per Disco Mike's advice in another thread, I tightened to 10 ft-lbs. There are 4 bolts (2 on each side). This picture is of the RH side only. Check out page 12-2-2 in the RAVE and they are bolts labeled #13.

Also, if you look at 12-2-19 it talks about replacing the rocker cover gaskets which give an even better look at the bolts.


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Tighten only the 2 that you can see, if it doesn't stop the leak, the v/c gaskets will need to be replaced.
Still found a few drops of oil under the truck this morning. I'll take a closer look after work to see if I can determine where exactly it is coming from up top. If it is the VC gaskets leaking, should I purchase from a local Autoparts store or somewhere online?

Take your truck to a do-it yourself car wash and pressure wash all the old oil from the engine. In a day or two, if it is still leaking then yes they will need to be replaced.
Ok I'll say it....screw the few drips of oil its just marking its new turf...I wanna hear more about this head gasket deal. And if its only dripping a few drops here and there your better off than most of us
This might be a dumb question, so sorry in advance. I'm guessing I should just "power wash" the engine from underneath, right? I'm assuming popping the hood and spraying in some water wouldn't be the best idea? :)
Just leave it running and dont hold it right up to important stuff...
Get some purple power or simple green and spray the block all the metal you can see of the block while the engine is cold let it soak for about 5min then start it up and spray it off
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