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LEGACY VENDOR
Range Rover MkIII / L322
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi to all. I have been a member on the forum since 2004 but have spent my time exclusively on the P38 specific section. I have owned nineteen Range Rovers over the years and currently on my sixth P38 so they are in my blood. I even tried a career change and started a dedicated P38 repair business but that did not work out.

And now here I am with my first L322 as per the thread title. But I bought it with a cooked engine that has been removed from the vehicle but not stripped. Car has done 70000 miles.

So my first question to the board is what are the usual things that get damaged when these BMW motors are overheated. Thats is like saying "how long is a piece of string" but I am just looking for ideas. Unfortunately the previous owner is not a mechanical guy at all and he gave me very little info on how it actually overheated. Just said it started smoking and not going well so he took it to an Indy who diagnosed head gasket failure and he pulled out the motor. The owner got scared and sold me the car so now I am doing the research before I dive into the problem and decide whether to fix or replace the motor.

Maybe its a "small overheat" or maybe a big one - who knows. I have being surfing the various Range Rover and BMW forums for ideas and am building up a good picture of the M62 but now I am asking the guys in the know - Rangerovers.net.

Putting it all back together will be a challenge but I am not scared with the wealth of knowledge here to help me along.
 

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2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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I've not heard of many 4.4's getting "cooked" beyond head gaskets. I find it interesting that the Indy suggested head gaskets and then pulled the engine. Seems odd. Now you don't have the advantage of running it and diagnosing. Were you able to talk to the Indy, or did you just get the story from the seller of the HSE? I've just never heard of pulling an engine to change head gaskets.

If it is just head gaskets, I'd have the heads checked and re-install them. 70,000 miles is a low mileage engine.

Having said all that. Can the 4.4 overheat? Yes. The cooling system is fragile. The radiator is under spec'd; the reservoir is known for cracking, there is a small cooling hose on the backside of the engine which is known to spring a leak, and on and on.

I know the above doesn't help much, I hope someone else can chime in here and give you some solid information.
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
Range Rover MkIII / L322
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852 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I've not heard of many 4.4's getting "cooked" beyond head gaskets. I find it interesting that the Indy suggested head gaskets and then pulled the engine. Seems odd. Now you don't have the advantage of running it and diagnosing.
I suspect that the Indy knew more than he was letting on. The car had been serviced by him a couple of weeks prior to this happening so I am thinking perhaps he realised he was at fault somehow and was trying to fix it. He did mention that there was very little water in the cooling system so its quite likely that one of the weak points you mention failed. But the car was running when it was brought in so maybe its not too badly damaged.

One "expert" I spoke to said that the piston rings lose their strength when they get too hot so a ring change would be in order as well as the gasket change - and the crank bearings etc. etc. But I need to open it up and have a good look. Unfortunately I am away from home for a while so it will have to wait. I wonder if the VCC system gets affected or damaged by too much heat.

This is going to be a steep learning curve for me. So many questions to ask and I dont even know what they are yet :?
 

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2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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If the previous owner really cooked the engine, it's possible the block is no longer within "specs". I would think you need to disassemble and begin measuring everything. Crank bearing saddles, cylinder bores, head deck, as well as measuring the heads. A good machine shop should know where to begin. I cooked an old 3.9 Classic engine when the temp gauge failed, I mean I really cooked it, driving thru the mountains. I pulled everything apart, sent to a machinist, had him measure all the specs for block and heads. Block was fine, had to skim the heads, then I put it all back together. I've since put 100K on my rebuild.
 

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2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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Yep...the heads are the key. With todays synthetic oils, I don't think you can cook the bottom end without running it out of oil first. The top end will fail long before the bottom end.

The heads get hot first and worst, so they will warp in an overheat. That's also why the head gaskets usually fail. The next to fail are the pistons in the bores. The aluminum pistons expand faster than the cylinder walls, so they start to scuff, bind, and eventually lock up. But, scoring in the cylinders is easy to check with the heads off.

If the cylinders ARE scored...I'd throw it away, as that means it heated enough to seize up, and it is just not worth messing with after that.

Hope it's not as bad as you fear!

John
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
Range Rover MkIII / L322
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the tips. I really need to try and get more info from the seller and the Indy regarding the overheat. The seller did say that it was smoking so much that people were staring. But what is smoking? To a guy who knows nothing, steam looks like smoke. From the engine area or the exhaust pipe? If the piston or pistons did seize temporarily could it have caused enough damage to make it smoke till people stared?

I have read that if the bores get scored its bin the engine time as John said. I hope not but its very possible. Anyway the picture is building so please carry on with the input. By the time I get home in a month I am going to be a guru on the M62 motor `)
 

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2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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There is a connector for the heater hose that is located directly on top and at the rear of the engine. My local RR parts man says it crystalizes and then breaks so often that they replace it as a matter of course every 50k miles or so. I had mine blow out, and it was REALLY impressive! The coolant sprays all over the engine and exhaust, and the whole car goes up in smoke.

When it happened to me, I was 3 miles from the house, so I pressed on with my eyes rivetted to the temp gage. The gage never moved from center, and I made it home. The amount of steam smoke was just amazing. Even after I replaced the fitting, the car still smelled like antifreeze for months!

I hope yours ends up being that simple...if the PO stopped within a few miles of the steam appearing, the motor may never have overheated at all.

John
 

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... so I pressed on with my eyes rivetted to the temp gage.
Coolant temp guages are only accurate if there is coolant in the system. With no coolant in the system your cylinders will continue to heat/overheat your heads and block to and past melt down or warpage with the temp guage never moving.

NEVER EVER drive a vehicle after a coolant failure... NEVER.
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
Range Rover MkIII / L322
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852 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I got hold of the seller today but he was very vague about the whole thing. He said that smoke started coming out of the exhaust sometimes and then after a while it got worse but the Indy was very busy so he did not take it in straight away.

That really helps.

As I said he is not a mechanical guy at all. You put petrol in that hole near the back of the car and the oil and water gets checked at every service so whats the point of checking it yourself.

Oh well. Maybe I will be lucky but not banking on it. It was not a catastrophic failure if he carried on driving it for a while but whatever was happening was getting worse. I wish it was cut and dried so I can just organise a replacement motor and be done with it. But I will regret that if I get home to find little wrong with it.
 

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Yep...the heads are the key. With todays synthetic oils, I don't think you can cook the bottom end without running it out of oil first. The top end will fail long before the bottom end.
John
There is a M62 out of an 03/04 RR sitting at a friends shop that ran hot, and actually warped the block. The complete engine is toast. It can happen. Need to check the block and the heads to be safe.
 

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Coolant temp guages are only accurate if there is coolant in the system. With no coolant in the system your cylinders will continue to heat/overheat your heads and block to and past melt down or warpage with the temp guage never moving.
QUOTE]

Temp is temp, and the gage sender works in steam or coolant or air. Whats more, if it is steam, it will be reading WAY off the right side of the gage. Using your logic, a system that boils over could still show 190 degrees...sorry, but that won't happen.

John
 

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There is a M62 out of an 03/04 RR sitting at a friends shop that ran hot, and actually warped the block. The complete engine is toast. It can happen. Need to check the block and the heads to be safe.
I am referring to the bearings, as in spun or seizing on the crank. I assume you are referring to the deck, which can - and should - be checked when the heads are off.

On to the description by your PO...smoke (steam) from the exhaust is a primary indicator that the head gasket was blown, which would be expected in a severe overheat. There are other possibilities, but if you know the engine was truely overheated, the steam is the most likely.

John
 

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2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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I've read through all this. If it were my car. I'd check to see if there is oil in the engine, I'd do a leak down test on each cylinder, and stick a bore scope down each cylinder. If that checks out I'd stuff that engine back in and start it up. Don't forget to put coolant in it first..... LOL.
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
Range Rover MkIII / L322
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Discussion Starter #14
I have odered my camshaft timing tool kit for the M62 motor. Next on the list is a boroscope. (been wanting one for years anyway). And I am trawling the internet for anything remotely connected to the M62. (not forgetting RAVE). I have built up an impressive collection of articles from manufacturers instructions to DIY experiences on fixing most things on these motors so I am getting well prepared for my return home.

Worst case scenario is I will slap in a used motor but if I am lucky the motor may be salvageable.

Another question. With the motor removed and the electrics disconnected what about the steering lock? I will be needing to manouver the vehicle to get it into my workshop which will be a pain if there is no steering.
 

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2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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The steering lock is an electric solenoid. It will need power to unlock. That said, I don't know what it will do with the engine removed if you reconnected the battery!?!

Option 2, if you are just moving it around a garage is to use a floor jack with wheels to lift the front and act like a dolly.

Be sure to keep us posted as you work on it!

John

John
 

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Coolant temp guages are only accurate if there is coolant in the system. With no coolant in the system your cylinders will continue to heat/overheat your heads and block to and past melt down or warpage with the temp guage never moving.
Temp is temp, and the gage sender works in steam or coolant or air. Whats more, if it is steam, it will be reading WAY off the right side of the gage. Using your logic, a system that boils over could still show 190 degrees...sorry, but that won't happen.

John
Sorry, but that is entirely incorrect. With no coolant in the system you will VERY quickly overheat. Your guage will NOT reflect the rise in temp. You WILL ruin your engine and all with the temp guage staying put in the middle. I have had several rigs in the shop here that owners swear the temp guage never rose past the middle mark when their hose blew. All but one suffered from warped heads or worse because the owners trusted their temp guages instead of waiting for the recovery truck to arrive.

Common sense would dictate NOT driving a rig with no coolant. Sadly common sense seems to be greatly lacking with some folks.
 

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2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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Sorry, still do not believe it. It's less a matter of common sense and more of physics. What's more, seems my case proves it, while I find that most drivers couldn't find the temp gage to save their lives. So, doesn't matter what owners have sworn...if you lose all your coolant and the gage doesn't move, then your gage is broke in addition to your engine meltdown.

John
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
Range Rover MkIII / L322
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Discussion Starter #18
Finally got home and had my new sick Range Rover delivered. Have started stripping the motor and can find no damage so far. (except for the sludge). Heads are off and no sign of blown gaskets. Heads very slightly warped but nothing that cant be skimmed. Bores look perfect to the naked eye except for some slight discolouration which is my question. Should the colour of the bores be uniform? What does it mean?

The pic of the engine and its parts are how I received it - half stripped.
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
Range Rover MkIII / L322
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Discussion Starter #20
How about this?
 

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