Possible Head Gasket issue - not sure - 1993 RRC SWB 3.9
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Thread: Possible Head Gasket issue - not sure - 1993 RRC SWB 3.9

  1. #1
    FRESHMAN ROVER revoR's Avatar
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    Possible Head Gasket issue - not sure - 1993 RRC SWB 3.9

    Good morning - totally bummed today.

    Asking for some feedback from folks who might know:

    I have the following symptoms on this truck and wondering it it's likely that my HG is going:

    1. the original/black coolant reservoir failed about two weeks ago - at the same time, I started to see thick white and sometimes blue tinted smoke coming out of the exhaust - but only intermittently - when I'd come to a stop sign and then take off - today, it's 27 out and blowing large amounts of smoke both white and with blue-ish tint.
    2. Replaced Coolant reservoir with one of the white aftermarket units - refilled with mix of water and antifreeze - after driving short distance, more leaking (large amounts, triggering the coolant light on the dash) and after pulling the cap off, it was definitely pressurized to the point of spewing..and coolant is all over the place near the reservoir and I have filled it up twice now. Is it possible that the extreme pressure has ruined this new reservoir already?
    3. Truck runs really rough since the first signs of a problemdoesn't jump when I punch it - feels really sluggish.

    Reading through all of the posts I could find, I think all this is pointing to head gasket issue, but not sure as I am not much of a mechanic and a lot of the theory that many of you folks understand well is a bit beyond my limited knowledge.

    If the HG goes, won't I see milky oil on the dipstick?
    Also: the truck temp gauge has not passed 1/2 way mark since these symptoms began occurring and I don't think it's running hot - if the HG is going, why would it not run hot? Especially when it's leaking and/or maybe burning coolant?

    Heater is working fine and blowing hot - had it on high this morning when I drove the truck around for a few miles then back to check under the hood again.

    Thanks,

    SMD

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  3. #2
    SITE ADMINISTRATOR RRToadHall's Avatar
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    Re: Possible Head Gasket issue - not sure - 1993 RRC SWB 3.9

    You have a failing head gasket. The white smoke is coolant. The blue tinge is your exhaust system being steam cleaned on that bank.

    A blown head gasket rarely presents as milky oil. Head gaskets usually fail at a coolant gallery into combustion which results in steam. Occasionally they fail to atmosphere which leads to an exhaust leak sharp cracking sound.
    How come "you're a peach" is a complement but "you're bananas" is an insult?
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  4. #3
    FRESHMAN ROVER Ranger SAR's Avatar
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    Re: Possible Head Gasket issue - not sure - 1993 RRC SWB 3.9

    Fortunately this isn't a crisis if you make the repair sooner rather than later. The parts kit from Atlantic British is affordable. Set aside some time on a weekend and get intimate with your machine.

    I would even trust a craigslist type mobile mechanic to perform the work at a discount if you are on the fence about potentially a $1,300 job or scrapping your truck. I bet you could find someone handy to do the work for $500 if you get the parts ready.
    1987 Range Rover 3.5

  5. #4
    SITE ADMINISTRATOR RRToadHall's Avatar
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    Re: Possible Head Gasket issue - not sure - 1993 RRC SWB 3.9

    When you stop to think that Rover V8s are little more than early 60's Buick engines a lot of weight is lifted off most folks. Move up to the composite head gaskets and ARP head stud set and you will have a much more even and true torque on your heads. A first timer can easily disassemble one weekend and reassemble the next. Take lots of cell phone pics and label each items bolts in a zip lock baggy. There is nothing very technical about doing a head gasket job except for the final torque on the heads. A slow steady hand and basic torque wrench will handle that easily.
    How come "you're a peach" is a complement but "you're bananas" is an insult?
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  6. #5
    FRESHMAN ROVER revoR's Avatar
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    Re: Possible Head Gasket issue - not sure - 1993 RRC SWB 3.9

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger SAR View Post
    Fortunately this isn't a crisis if you make the repair sooner rather than later. The parts kit from Atlantic British is affordable. Set aside some time on a weekend and get intimate with your machine.

    I would even trust a craigslist type mobile mechanic to perform the work at a discount if you are on the fence about potentially a $1,300 job or scrapping your truck. I bet you could find someone handy to do the work for $500 if you get the parts ready.
    Thanks for the input Ranger SAR - I am not looking forward to it, but I am fully ready to tackle the job. It will be my first major engine repair - I've done lot's of more minor but more technical things to the truck, I am sure I can do this. Definitely not scrapping the truck (yet).

  7. #6
    FRESHMAN ROVER revoR's Avatar
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    Re: Possible Head Gasket issue - not sure - 1993 RRC SWB 3.9

    Thanks Toad - I am pretty confident I can get this job done correctly. I may have a bunch of questions and possibly some pathetic whining over the forum once I get into it - hope everyone can overlook that……...

    I do have some info to share with the Forum regarding my head gasket issue. I agonized over trying this and eventually decided to just do it. I put in a bottle of the Blue Devil head gasket sealer to see if that might work as a temporary fix - apparently it did. No more billowing white exhaust, coolant stopped boiling (but it is still using some coolant I've noticed) and the truck is *running* although not the same as it was - I had *just* gotten it to the point where it was running smooth and strong and then the HG issue blind-sided me.

    I was pretty amazed to see this stuff work - reviews on the web were about 50/50.

    So, does the fact that I've used this stuff change the HG job in any way? Have I potentially caused issues with the cooling system?

    If anyone on the forum has any experience with this product and potential residual issues, please chime in and let me know.

    SMD

  8. #7
    FRESHMAN ROVER Ranger SAR's Avatar
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    Re: Possible Head Gasket issue - not sure - 1993 RRC SWB 3.9

    I've always been curious about these chemical repair products because they do come off a little snake oily. I remember seeing MacGyver repair a radiator with a fried egg once, so I guess the principles are the same.

    I have to admit I drove a Mustang for about six years on Lucas Power Steering Leak Stop Fluid without the previously leaking reservoir giving up a drop.
    1987 Range Rover 3.5

  9. #8
    SOLIHULL ROVER
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    Re: Possible Head Gasket issue - not sure - 1993 RRC SWB 3.9

    Its a pretty easy job. I've done about 10 in the last 5 years. I can usually knock one out in a weekend.

    Get the updated gaskets, have the heads machined and torque it all back together correctly
    1993 RRC LWB 4.2L
    2000 Discovery Locked and Loaded

  10. #9
    FRESHMAN ROVER revoR's Avatar
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    Re: Possible Head Gasket issue - not sure - 1993 RRC SWB 3.9

    Quote Originally Posted by getlost4x4 View Post
    Its a pretty easy job. I've done about 10 in the last 5 years. I can usually knock one out in a weekend.

    Get the updated gaskets, have the heads machined and torque it all back together correctly
    Is it an absolute must to have the heads machined? Or is that a precautionary measure only if there was overheating as a result of the HG failure?

  11. #10
    FRESHMAN ROVER Ranger SAR's Avatar
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    Re: Possible Head Gasket issue - not sure - 1993 RRC SWB 3.9

    in my opinion it is not a requirement unless there is evidence of damage or in the case of prolonged overheating. this is my first aluminum block, and my first tin gasket, but my mustang 5.0 had aluminum heads and milling them between head gaskets was not called for.
    1987 Range Rover 3.5

  12. #11
    Premium Member pl626's Avatar
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    Possible Head Gasket issue - not sure - 1993 RRC SWB 3.9

    Quote Originally Posted by revoR View Post
    Is it an absolute must to have the heads machined? Or is that a precautionary measure only if there was overheating as a result of the HG failure?
    From my optic, I'd rather have them decked, than to roll the dice and find out later that I have to tear them off again and have them done. Now if this was a fairly new motor or you know the life history, that might make skipping the machine work an acceptable risk.

    Do you need a 5 angle valve job? No, should you deck the head? I would. Ask yourself if you want to do the job twice...


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  13. #12
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: Possible Head Gasket issue - not sure - 1993 RRC SWB 3.9

    Have the heads looked at by a machine shop. While you have the top half the engine apart you might want to drop the oil pan, take out the pistons, hone the cylinders, and replace the piston rings.
    1990 Range Rover - http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...irs-60356.html
    1995 Range Rover LWB - daily driver

  14. #13
    Premium Member pl626's Avatar
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    Re: Possible Head Gasket issue - not sure - 1993 RRC SWB 3.9

    Quote Originally Posted by rangerover View Post
    Have the heads looked at by a machine shop. While you have the top half the engine apart you might want to drop the oil pan, take out the pistons, hone the cylinders, and replace the piston rings.
    This is very sound advice, especially if it's 20* years...


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    '95 RRC SWB Alpine White
    '95 RRC LWB Avalon Blue - Sold
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    '87 HD FLST with '02 Fatboy sheetmetal
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  15. #14
    FRESHMAN ROVER Ranger SAR's Avatar
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    Re: Possible Head Gasket issue - not sure - 1993 RRC SWB 3.9

    I was surfing youtube and I came upon this video and I thought it would help you if you decide to do the work yourself. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TbURotaiZl0:
    1987 Range Rover 3.5

  16. #15
    FRESHMAN ROVER Ranger SAR's Avatar
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    Re: Possible Head Gasket issue - not sure - 1993 RRC SWB 3.9

    1987 Range Rover 3.5

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