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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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Discussion Starter #1
Good evening all,

Today I picked up, (For the Second time), my new to me 91 RR Classic from the shop in New Orleans that a friend with the BMCNO had recommended.
He had to finish repairs to the steering and front end that where needed when I picked it up for the first time. I guess 6 inches of wheel play at highway speeds were no big deal to him during his test drive.

Anyway, I asked him to flush and change the coolant since I knew it was needed badly.

No sooner than 7 miles from the shop I noticed the temp gauge starting to rise. I was able to get out of traffic and to a safe place just as the needle was getting to the red. Opened the hood and found fluid had covered the expansion bottle and everthing was very hot. Got the mech on the phone and he says its possible that he did not bleed out enough air from the center bleed port. I started asking him questions about the procedure for filling and bleeding this system as it was unfamiliar to me. He said, "Im not sure". I then asked him, "Did you ever crack open the shop manual that was with the vehicle?." All I heard was silence.

I cracked open the bleed valve and noted a lot of air venting out.

I allowed the engine to cool a bit and then carefully added coolant to the radiator. Started the engine and opened that bleed valve again. Allowed it to bleed until a little flow came out. I then tightened it. I then filled the radiator and added some to the expansion bottle.

I put her back on the road again. We got another 4 miles before we were pushing the red line on the temp gauge again. I pulled into a closed service station in Dah Hood and called my towing insurance.

This time we had fluid coming from everywhere. I am praying it is not a ruined engine but suspect it is.

What the hell happened here?????
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hi guys, Are there any more thoughts on this subject? I’d like to direct the current shop to this thread when they get to troubleshooting. They are not a LR shop but a very honest capable General shop.

Any help is appreciated.
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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137 Posts
So if you are comfortable that your fan coupling works properly, and you seem to have done a good burp, then put in a new , proper thermostat, even if you don't need it. Cheap, fast easy; then test again.

good luck geneo
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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83 Posts
+1 on the thermostat


Similar thing happened to my '91 RRC after rebuilding the cooling system.

I would pull the thermostat and try running the engine without it. Make sure that whenever you bleed the system, you do it from the radiator fill tower on top of the engine; sometimes you'll have to run it for a while to get all the air out.
If the engine is still overheating after a full bleed and without the thermostat, you might want to have your radiator re-cored.
That ended up solving my issues: 27 years of neglect from previous owners had taken its toll, and it's amazing that it could even move water at all.
If that's the route you end up taking, go with a 4 core replacement. Even if you're a novice mechanic, pulling the radiator is really easy. Just make sure you have some catch pans.
 

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Its certainly going to need some basic detective work to find why it's not working correctly.

As said above, the radiator can be problematic if flow is impeded. They need to run anti-freeze or corrosion inhibitor all year round. Running plain water results in galvanic corrosion and usually deposits aluminium oxide in silt form within the radiator cooling cores.
If it's been correctly filled throughout its life this won't happen.

You don't say which header tank it has for the cooling system, if it's the large plastic type about 2 to 3 litres, it should have a feed hose from its base diwn to join the radiator bottom hose on it's way to the water pump. This effectively gets the air out of the system, or its supposed to.

The radiator has two small hoses, top left looking from front of vehicle, one to the header tank and one to the top of the engine. If these are transposed it will not bleed air out correctly. The one to the header tank is supposed to route excess fluid plus air from top of radiator to that tank, the tank separates the two and lets the fluid re-enter the coolant system via that base hose.
The two small hoses have different terminals inside the radiator, and if switched they feed air from radiator back to top of engine, then it overheats by airlocking.

It may be a simple detail like that which makes it look far more serious than that simple cause.

Thermostat, quick and dirty check is to run it stationary and put your hand on coolant top hose to radiator, you'll feel if the thermostat open as it should when the pipe gets warm.
 
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