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The 98 Range Rover is back on the road.
I did not use the Blue Devil Head Gasket after all. I returned it to the store and got my money back the same week.
I waited until I could find a more conclusive coolant leak. I replaced the orginal thermostat a few years back when the Rover overheated, but it turned out to be the defective water pump, but I left the new thermostat inplace. I kept the almost 20 year old factory thermostat in the new box.
This time when the Rover overheated I did not think about the almost new thermostat as part of the second overheating problem, I ruled it out. On the third test drive close to home the temp gauge was going from hot to OK, hot to Ok several times in a few seconds and then I knew the thermostat was the culprit.
As for as the loss of coolant we never smelled antifreeze in the cabin of the Rover and with the Check Engine Lite coming on with a engine misfire error code I thought the Rover had a head gasket leak. I had a heater core failure in a 91 Chevy Suburban 20 years back and the instant the core failed I smelled antifreeze and instantly I knew it was the core.
We never had any engine coolant smell in the Rover at all, but about two weeks ago I was reading a post about the heater core "O-Rings." That was my first time I had ever heard that the Rover had o-rings at the core. The 98 P38 still has the orginal factory carpeting and the heavy orginal Land Rover carpeted rubber floor mats in place. Now it seems stupid, but I installed a set of fairly expensive wide rubber floor mats in the P38 also, which also helped hide any odor that might enter the air spaceof the cabin.
That night I removed both removeable rubber floor mats and I found a wet factory carpet underneith. Our parking area at home is gravel so there was never any spotting of antifreeze on the ground. I guess if a heater core fails and engine coolant is released into the air duct system the smell of antifreeze is easy to pick up by the nose. But if the coolant just leaks out it does not mist into the air making it easy to notice.
I replaced the "O" rings and the thermostat, dried the carpet and left the other two floor mats out for the time being. I cleared the check engine lite on the dash and it has not returned.
The Check Engine Lite is what scared me into thinking it was a head gasket and the lack of antifreeze odor in the cabin kept me under the hood looking for answers.
We have made several trips around town lately in the P38 with out any problems and trust it again. Thanks to everyone that posted here, it kept me from acting too soon and dumping the big bottle of Blue Devil into an engine that didn't need it.
Thanks again
 
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