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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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236 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Howdy All!
Long time – no post. Naturally I'm here today because I have a pretty serious problem.
The Rangie (1999 mid year Gems 4.0) seems to have developed a hole in the top of #8 piston. Weird huh?
It just rolled over 100,000 a couple of months ago and has been running great except for a ticking noise
that I've never been able to pin down (until now) that has been around for the last 25,000 miles
but only sometimes during very cold start ups, Oh, and it developed the dreaded heater core O-ring dribble
a few months back but I've been keeping an eye on the coolant level and had decided to wait until warmer weather to tear into it.


So that brings us to present day. I'm getting ready to go out to the garage and pull the heads to check the extent of the damage and try to figure out the root cause (I'm leaning towards slipped liner) but I can clearly see through the spark plug hole that the piston is stuck at the top of the cylinder and a piece of it is moving up and down as the crank is turning.


So I guess I'm looking for a shoulder to cry on as well as any advice, suggestions or heads up info to consider or be aware of.


Thanks for your support. And wish me luck.


Rioja
 

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JACK'S GRANDAD
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9,242 Posts
4.6 it and be done with it!
If it did indeed break a piston etc, then theres a good chance the head is messed up too.
The 4.0 and 4.6 use different pistons due to the difference in stroke.
You can make yours into a 4.6 but it will need a crank, rods, and pistons. Heads are the same.
i live in Mid Mo if you need any work done to it, or even a helping hand, and I do have a 4.6 in the shop now awating a rebuild to a customers specs.
Shoot me a PM if I can be of any help, or if you need to bring it/have it towed to my place etc.
There is also a heater core fix using an Audi heater core if it turns out to be the heater core and not the o rings. An ideal time to do it while the coolant is drained etc.
Martin
 

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Registered
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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236 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hey Leftlane, thanks for the reply
I understand what your saying about the head being FUBAR, that's why I'm trying to get it apart to see just how extensive the damage is and maybe figure out what caused it.
I have no idea what the clearance is between valve and piston but when a wrist pin or top end of a rod goes through a piston it's bad news for the valve and maybe head.
I just got the intake and valley gasket off. I'm stuck on the exhaust manifold bolts. They appear to be maybe 12mm spline head and I don't even now where to get one of those right now.
Changing up to a 4.6 sounds interesting. Does anything have to be done to the GEMS engine management or will it keep the fuel/air ratio where it needs to be?
I appreciate the offer of assistance but I'm in Kansas, so maybe some answers and guidance via the forums would work out best.

Rioja
 

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Registered
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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1,851 Posts
Hi

The exhaust bolts can be undone with a normal ring type spanner size 12. The star profile of the ring spanner fits the bolts exactly.

Regards

Jos
 

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Registered
1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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478 Posts
You should tell the ECM that it's a 4.6 to get the full benefits (a few minutes work with a Rovacom or whatnot), but many people seem to be getting along fine without having changed it.
 

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JACK'S GRANDAD
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9,242 Posts
As already said, either a 12point socket or a wrench will work fine for those 12 point bolts. You may as well get a metric set of them, as you will need a selection of them soon enough.
Let me know if I can of any help, advise is always free from myself and everyone else here.

Martin
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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236 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
The 12 point 12mm 1/2 inch drive socket from sears worked like a champ. The bottom manifold bolt for #8 cylinder took a lot of dexterity but they all came out much better than I expected. The little 8mm bolts for the heat shields on the other hand were a complete PITA. Some broke, some rounded off a couple simply tore out of the metal.

I finely got the heads off and yes the liner in #8 cylinder did in fact slip. It looks like the top ring expanded on top of the sleeve and got hung up. The piston is shattered. I will be dropping the oil pan today but I'm sure the wrist pin let go in some fashion and so the rod has been flopping aimlessly around inside the cylinder. Fortunately it only ran this way for maybe 15 seconds while listening to the noise before tearing it down. 15 seconds, 15 minutes probably not a whole lot of difference at this point though.

The head is still laying on the garage floor and hasn't been cleaned up yet but on first inspection it doesn't look damaged. I'll have to pull the valves and check the stems of course to see if they are bent but it doesn't look like any of the broken piston tried to pass the valves.

I'm still trying to decide if I want to spend 6 grand for a long block or do this myself getting the machine work done somewhere and installing the top hat liners. I have decided to make this a long term project and do it right. I got the old Lincoln Town Car running and I think it will do for a driver so I can take my time on the Rangie.

Maybe I'll post pics if anyone wants to see another broken piston.:)
 

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JACK'S GRANDAD
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9,242 Posts
Where the hell is charging $6K for a long block?????
My built motors are @$4500 depending on specs, and that is with some pretty high dollar parts included. Not to mention a crank grind that matches each bearing to the journal etc, and the heads done too.
I can get that block top hat liner'd for you, then go from there. @$1500 IIRC, but that includes decking the block and the final bore and hone.
I would, at this point, VERY seriously look into a 4.6 conversion. The ecm can relearn the fuel mapping, or you can have it swapped over in @10 minutes via Faultmate, Rovacom, etc.
I have yet to hear of anyone blowing the tranny after a 4.6 conversion, so if you dont drive like a complete nut job, you will be fine.
If you want to rebuild your own block, I can get you a crank and set of rods from a 4.6 without too much issue.
IF your heads are fine, and you can do the work yourself, that motor can be a built 4.6 for under $4k IMHO, and that is a top hat liner'd block too.
The only time I completely write of a motor is when it throws a rod through the block. Otherwise, everything else can be fixed.
Shoot me a PM if you need to discuss anything in detail.

Martin
 

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Registered
1995-2002 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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54 Posts
"Otherwise, everything else can be fixed." :think: Yuk!
I'm a little biased here, but I towed my RR from Pittsburgh to the middle of MO for Martin's installation of a rebuilt engine and i couldn't be happier! Outstanding engine, great communication on the project and exceptionally fair $$.

Best of luck keeping your RR on the road. I'm glad that I did after it died.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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236 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I have every intention of putting this Rover back on the road. I cant imagine life without it.
I didn't get very far today. Only got the oil pan loose but not out of the vehicle. I will have to raise the motor to get clearance.
I'm trying to clean a few things up and the parts washer I borrowed isn't pumping after putting $ 120.00 worth of solvent in it. (although I was assured the pump was running). Had to pack it in, too much happening.

I'm thinking I can reuse the block and heads although I haven't seen the cylinder yet to look for any damage to the walls.

Martins ideas are looking pretty good. A trip to Missouri with a load of engine parts may be in my future although I was kind of looking forward to reassembling this myself. I haven't built a motor since I was 17 almost 35 years ago. Finding someone around here I trust to do the machine work might be a challange.

Rioja
 

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JACK'S GRANDAD
Joined
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9,242 Posts
Why remove the oil pan? Motor will come out fine with it on there.
No need for me to assemble everything if you are competent with a motor rebuild, these are pushrod V8's after all:lol:
There are a few tips n tricks, but I can tell you about them if needed.
Of course, I can rebuild the motor for you, along with the top hat liners, ground 4.6 crank, 4.6 rods, Crower camshaft kit, and so on. I made a thread on here about removing the motor, so maybe try to search it out using the advanced search feature (normal search is a complete waste of time).


Martin
 

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Registered
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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236 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Curiosity really. I just want to see what broke on the bottom end not that it really matters at this point.
I can put a motor together but I don't have a reliable source for the machine work or experience sourcing the parts.
Crap I haven't even had any luck finding top hat liners.

I think a PM is forming in my head..........................

Rioja
 

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JACK'S GRANDAD
Joined
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9,242 Posts
I always leave the motor complete, then remove the flex plate on the back of the motor, then it goes on the stand. From there is gets rotated and the motor torn down to a short block, after a thorough pressure washing of course:thumb:
Good thing is, these motors are so light, its easy to wheel them around etc.:thumb:
I do have a solid 4.6 stripped block, as well as all other parts that came off it, in the shop right now, awaiting a rebuild. I need to pressure test the block to make 110% sure the liners are all OK, but I can guarantee they are right now. Call me paranoid.
I pressure test them before any machine work gets done to the blocks, so I know I am not about to waste a ton of money in machine work etc. If you want, we may be able to work something out on that complete motor, which would save you having to buy a crank and rods, as well as the cost of a top hat liner job. Either as it is now or completely built, or anything in between.
Any way I can help, just let me know.

Martin
 
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