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Discussion Starter #1
Ok it’s finally time to work on the rover as my other projects have been completed.

I was about to order new heads, gaskets and studs for my 98 p38 4.0, but then I got to reading about cracked blocks and slipped liners. Is there anything I can check externally to see if the motor is junk before I tear it down?

I was hoping to put new heads in one weekend. I don’t have an enclosed shop to work in, just a cover so having a motor open for a week or so waiting on parts doesn’t exactly seem like a good idea.

I have a bad exhaust leak on the middle two cylinders on the passenger side, I can see fire when running in the dark. I think it’s burning a little coolant due to the exhaust but it may just be condensation from it sitting so much (South Louisiana has crazy high humidity). I start it up every few weeks. I drove it around the block yesterday for the first time in a couple months.

What do you experts think?

I am planning on pulling the plugs to see if they are steam cleaned, but if they are, is that a definite big problem?


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If you can see fire coming out the side it isn't likely to be the exhaust gaskets, more likely the head gasket has blown out to the outside world. Heads will need to be skimmed but other than that, you should be OK. If it was a liner problem it would be pressurising the cooling system and spitting it all out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you can see fire coming out the side it isn't likely to be the exhaust gaskets, more likely the head gasket has blown out to the outside world. Heads will need to be skimmed but other than that, you should be OK. If it was a liner problem it would be pressurising the cooling system and spitting it all out.
So this afternoon I ran it till operating temp and felt the coolant hoses, soft but hot. Overflow was not filling up. Even after I took the cap off while running. Pulled the spark plugs on the leaking head and no steam cleaning as far as I could tell. Plugs were Black and Tan, piston looked dark looking through the plug hole.

I ran it for about 30-40 minutes with no change in temp.

There is a check engine and service engine light on but my Bluetooth obd2 adapter and iPhone app didn’t read any codes.

Think I’m good on a slipped liner or cracked block?

Also is nanocom the best diagnostic tool to get or are some of the cheaper ones just as good?

Thanks for your input!


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Sounds as though all you have is a blowing head gasket, no great drama, heads off, skim, clean up the block face, new gaskets and bolts (or ideally a stud kit), job done. Service engine light is set to come on after a pre-set number of miles, so that needs diagnostics to clear it (it isn't clever enough to detect that you've changed the oil and reset itself). Nanocom can clear it and also turn it off (it's another of the US only features). Check Engine light will need the codes read and cleared but if your OBD adapter won't show anything then you need to use something a bit better although a standard cheap generic OBD scanner will normally work on a GEMS.

I favour the Nanocom but there are others. There's Storey Wilson's EASUnlock V4 which runs on a pc that seems to do quite a lot but is limited in some ways. Can't really comment on anything else as I have no experience with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Richard. I always appreciate reading your replies on here. Very informative. About to order parts.

Heads, studs, gasket set, belt, plugs and wires, oil filter and fuel filter.

Considering new hoses, not sure yet on that one.


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Are you replacing the heads or just getting the ones you have skimmed? Doubtful they will need to be replaced, just a skim and clean up.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Replacing them. Basically for the ease of it. We don’t have the correct equipment at work to skim that big of a head. The only auto machine shop around here doesn’t want to mess with a rover head since they have had issues in the past with them. Basically is a few hundred dollars more but I also get new valves too. Saves time and labor.

I could bring them to a shop in Houston, TX (3 hour drive one way), but I would have to miss work twice and still not come out much cheaper than getting new heads when you add up fuel, missed work, and their charges.

If I had a local shop that would do it well and cheaper I’d be all for it.

I actually just ordered everything. Should be here next week. Might be a couple weeks before I get to work on it though.


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I must admit my local machine shop doesn't like doing the LR heads as they have to be clamped on at an angle and not flat like most other heads. Once clamped down they are no problem to do, it's just the initial setting up that takes a bit more time. He swears a lot but still only charges me £35 per head......
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I must admit my local machine shop doesn't like doing the LR heads as they have to be clamped on at an angle and not flat like most other heads. Once clamped down they are no problem to do, it's just the initial setting up that takes a bit more time. He swears a lot but still only charges me £35 per head......
If I could do it for that cheap it would be a no brainer. I was quoted roughly ten times that amount.

Sad part is I work in a machine shop full of CNC machines but we are not setup to do stuff like that. We don’t have a mill cutter big enough diameter to make one pass like it needs. Otherwise I’d do it myself for free. I’m paying $900 for new heads with valves installed. I don’t think that’s a terrible deal.


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Discussion Starter #11
Yes that’s a better price but I’m sure shipping to the US wouldn’t be very inexpensive. Not much out there in the us for new parts other than the dealers (closest is a couple hours away). I did find some remanufactured and used heads cheaper, but I figured new was best.

Thanks for your input. I’m sure it won’t be the last of my questions as I dig into this truck.


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I used to know a couple of people in Lake Charles that would do machining of heads. One I think retired. His wife owns the Harley shop there.
The other one was Eric Larson. Haven’t talked in years so I don’t know if he’s still around.
Trying to remember the last guys name. I think it was Harry Dickerson. His specialty was Oldsmobile which back in the day was similar. He’s the only one in town with an original 72 Cutlass 442. He builds and races boats with Olds big blocks.
Might be worth looking these up these guys.


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Ok Atlantic British has the heads back ordered. I’ll find out tomorrow if they have an eta.

I did find a company in Florida who only remanufactures heads. They are $500 compared to $900. They say they are pressure tested, valves ground and skimmed the deck flat. 5 year warranty too.

Doesn’t seem like a bad deal.

I had forgot about Harry. His shop is off the beaten path. Friend of a friend but I’ve never met him. I’ll try to give him a call Tomorrow as well.


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Not sure about US models, but on RHD cars the RH exhaust manifold is a pig to remove, because the steering column obstructs access to the bolts. Either way I found the trick. From underneath, disconnect the engine mount from chassis (2 nuts each side). Then jack the engine up gently until it meets the bulkhead (check the coil clearance). Now the exhaust manifold bolts are accessible. Remove manifolds & drop the engine back onto the mounts.

FYI, on my GEMS project, I ground away part of the manifold flanges (about 2mm), so I can remove the heads with the manifolds fitted !!
 

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Easier to remove wheel, pop arch liner off, you can see that nasty bolt, and all the others, straight on with a 3/8 drive socket and extension bars..
im like you, not sure on a left hooker, but as engine is staggered i think it should be easier
 

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Thoughts on going back with SS hex head bolts when re-assembling?
Doesn't matter - it's the access with socket that is difficult.

Easier to remove wheel, pop arch liner off, you can see that nasty bolt, and all the others, straight on with a 3/8 drive socket and extension bars..
Yes, but the steering column is still in the way of rear bolt unless you lift the engine.
 

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Ok it’s finally time to work on the rover as my other projects have been completed.

I was about to order new heads, gaskets and studs for my 98 p38 4.0, but then I got to reading about cracked blocks and slipped liners. Is there anything I can check externally to see if the motor is junk before I tear it down?

I was hoping to put new heads in one weekend. I don’t have an enclosed shop to work in, just a cover so having a motor open for a week or so waiting on parts doesn’t exactly seem like a good idea.

I have a bad exhaust leak on the middle two cylinders on the passenger side, I can see fire when running in the dark. I think it’s burning a little coolant due to the exhaust but it may just be condensation from it sitting so much (South Louisiana has crazy high humidity). I start it up every few weeks. I drove it around the block yesterday for the first time in a couple months.

What do you experts think?

I am planning on pulling the plugs to see if they are steam cleaned, but if they are, is that a definite big problem?


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like you my RR lives in a car port , ihad the heads fully rebuilt year ago after it blew betwen 2&4 but its been using copius amount of oil&cylinders 2&4 plugs black & oily So pulled it off valves thick with burnt oil but pistons arent , hoping to pull the sump off & the 2 offending pistons out but its freezing in New Zealand atm
 
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