P38 Head Gasket Confirmation
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Thread: P38 Head Gasket Confirmation

  1. #1
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    March 6th, 2019
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    Knoxville, TN
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    P38 Head Gasket Confirmation

    Hi all,

    As always, I've read a lot of posts in an attempt to diagnose an issue I have going on. I wanted to lay out what I'm thinking based on the posts I've read to see if you all disagree with what I'm doing:

    A few days ago I drove a few miles down the road before a fairly large amount of coolant fell out from the engine (my temp sensor never showed hot). I started to dig into the engine to replace head gaskets when I noticed a hole in one of my coolant hoses. Instead of going deeper to replace headgaskets, I replace the hose and put the engine back together. I've driven it a couple of days watching it closely but it was only yesterday that I noticed what seems to be significant pressure on my hoses. My expansion tank cap appears to be broken somewhat so I'm replacing that. But more concerning, if my engine is cold and I turn the car on while the bleeder hose is disconnected, coolant will immediately come out of the bleeder port. This makes me think that there's pressure on the engine before my thermostat opens up (i.e. head gasket failure). I don't see milky oil, feel water coming out of my exhaust, or notice large amounts of small air bubbles coming out of my expansion tank. However, if you run the engine with the expansion tank cap off, coolant spills out of the overflow port.
    I'm posting to see if you all are in agreement with my assessment before I dig into the engine again or if you'd recommend a different course. Thanks for the response.

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  3. #2
    SOPHOMORE ROVER xrav22's Avatar
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    December 15th, 2014
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    Re: P38 Head Gasket Confirmation

    Get a new cap you can't leave it off and find out what is going on. Put it all back together then try it. Try filling the white tank 1/3rd up.
    1997 Range Rover 4.6 HSE
    1985 Chevy Corvette 5.7 TPI
    Nano Evolution II(fixes=paid for itself)
    4x SrS reset with nano
    P0183 changed fuel temp sensor OK
    P1179 cleaned maf with maf cleaner OK
    P1314 reset CEL OK (was going thru large puddles when CEL went on).
    Service Engine reset/Adaptive values reset

  4. #3
    JUNIOR ROVER
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    October 17th, 2017
    Location
    East England
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    Re: P38 Head Gasket Confirmation

    Coolant will come out of the bleed hose even when cold. The thermostat is in the return (bottom hose) and the water pump is pushing the coolant around but the only place it is supposed to go is through the heater matrix. With the bleed hose open it will go out there too. Sounds like all you need to do is bleed all the air out of the cooling system.
    96 4.6HSE
    98 4.0 Police spec
    and a number of others I maintain for the owners.

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  6. #4
    FRESHMAN ROVER
    Join Date
    March 6th, 2019
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Re: P38 Head Gasket Confirmation

    I appreciate the advice all. I was able to drain coolant (including the engine block drain plug- not sure if that made a difference) and refill per RAve today. All seems to be in good shape for now- no apparent leaks and seems to be less pressure.

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