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Coolant leak near cylinder 2

5905 Views 14 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  viperover
I finally took the plunge and bought a 2001 Range Rover 88k miles. The exterior and interior are in excellent condition, but I did notice it was leaking a bit of coolant. I got a great price, so I am expecting a bit of work. It doesn't overheat and the heater core o-rings have already been changed. I changed the throttle body gasket and that took care of the leak on the left hand side, but it is still leaking on the right hand (passenger) side.

Under the truck today, I noticed it was near the front of the engine by cylinder 2 (first cylinder in that block). It looks like it is coming from between the head and block so I am thinking it is the dreaded head gasket. The work doesn't scare me, its just the time to get it done. But I also want to be sure that is the problem before jumping into it. I have searched this forum and others trying to diagnose the issue. It looks like there is a small stream of built up old coolant running down the front of the engine and then dripping onto the panhard rod. I think I made this issue worse when I pressure tested the system after I installed the throttle body gasket. I did notice some condensation in the oil cap so again, I am leaning toward had gasket.

Is this a common leak for head gaskets? I have heard of the rear of the engine and internally, but not the front. Any help in diagnosing is appreciated. Tomorrow, I will try to post pics.

If you don't know this, the 'In Search of the Experience' video by Elias Christeas has an hour+ segment devoted to doing the head gasket. I think it will be invaluable for tackling this the first time. http://www.insearchoftheexperience.com

Good news, is that the engine is otherwise very clean with very little oil leaking. Never leaves a drip, other than coolant. Spent its whole life in California with no rust anywhere. Had its air suspension rebuilt with new airsprings and shocks, heatercore o-rings done, and HVAC done by previous owner.

2001 P38 4.6 SE 89K miles
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Hi and welcome,

Can you tell us how much water you are having to use to top up and how often.

My 96 4.6 was driping from what I thought was that area but it turned out to be the water pump.

It doesn't got through a whole lot of coolant, but every time I park, there is a little puddle under the right side of the truck. I go through half the reservoir tank in a week. I will get a mirror today to try and see if it is coming from higher up and try and take pictures. I will definitely concentrate on the water pump. I just changed the serpentine belt when I fixed the throttle plate gasket, but at that time, I thought the throttle plate gasket was the only leak. I am going to refrain from driving it until I figure this out.

Here is a pic of the truck:
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Have you got that DVD posted in the first post? Or have you just been told about it? If you do have it how good is it? Just trying to weigh up if it's worth buying :thumb:
Welcome to the site. I think you did really well with your purchase and the color is very nice. We have a bit of moisture in our cap during the colder months but rarely do I see it during the May-Sept time of year. Our bottle drops a little and I think some of it may be throttle body heater also. We did have an external leak at left front between head and block that has been in remission since we bought her and put in 4oz. of bars stop leak. I suppose we are lucky in the sense that we rarely get much over 80-85 F so the cooling system is never asked for supreme performance. Perhaps you could add your location since you're obviously good at posting pictures. :oops: Assume you are still in California? We do watch our water level frequently. I can see that with what you have you would want to be cautious. So good luck when you go in there.
sotal said:
Have you got that DVD posted in the first post? Or have you just been told about it? If you do have it how good is it? Just trying to weigh up if it's worth buying :thumb:
I have that DVD and the head gasket tutorial is worth the price alone. There's also a part on rebuilding swivel hubs in the older land rovers, as well as the main part is really quite interesting.
I am in Sacramento and the Range Rover is from the East Bay near San Francisco. Yes, I also like the color and the interior is in great condition. I bought it for a great price and was expecting to put some time and money into it.

As far as the DVD, it is well worth the price (only $15 now). It is a cool documentary about their Land Rover adventures and the video of the head gasket change is worth the price of the DVD.

I took a mirror and tried to assess the condition of the water pump, but never got a good look. I took a few pics but they didn't come out very well. One thing to note is that it appears this has been a slow leak for a long time as the dried up coolant has built up along the edge of the block. Maybe I will try the StopLeak first.

The best pic of the bunch:

Orientation, this is looking between the panhard rods from below the oil filter to the front of the engine on the passenger side.
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Have a careful look around the head of the first "head bolt" ...you can sometimes get a capilliary leak from there. If you are sure there's no leakage into the oil, and there's no obvious chuff/puff sound usually associated with a leaky head gasket, then try the latest Barr's Leak product the one with the carbon fibres. Ihave now put over 15,000 km (3 yrs) with what was a temporary repair (Barr's Leaks) ...water levels have been stable since... after all, what is there to lose :D
So I am looking at trying a Stop Leak product first based on the previous posts. On the Bars website there are a bunch of different ones.

There is the standard Radiator Stop Leak - pour into cooling system

There is a Head Gasket fix (new product) - which is compatible with coolant and doesn't require draining/flushing the system

There is Head Gasket Repair - requiring draining/flushing system and I guess it creates some ceramic material that seals overnight

Which one/s have you used? Thanks.
Hi, I used the straight forward "Stop Leak" with the rhizex stuff in it. I notice from the photo that the coolant appears to be "green" in colour...is this correct? The "orange" long term coolant (I use the Delco GM product for the LS1 V8 engine) is a better choice. cheers
My guess is a bad head gasket. I've had three engines with leaking head gaskets. Two were from the front of the heads and only one was from the rear. Take a look at some of the photos and you can see that there is only a thin strip of gasket material surrounding the water passages at both the front and rear of the head. It doesn't take much to start a slow leak here. Sometimes the leak is to the outside of the engine and sometimes it's into the cylinder.

Before replacing the head gaskets on my first one, I was able to run it for over 30,000 miles by just topping off the coolant every week. When I finally took it apart (after a major overheat) it turned out to be a very small leak out the front of the gasket and down the front of the block. I simply replaced the gaskets and have since put another 80,000 miles on the vehicle with no problems.
Wallace. From your post it would seem that there was no damage to the block as the fluid leaked out, ie no corrosive effect on the aluminum . Could that be true? That has been my concern with our external leak under control at present. Thanks.
Thanks for the input. I am going to put in the Bars Heavy Duty Stop Leak directly into the cooling system this weekend. I am hoping it keeps the leak at bay for a few months until I have time to tackle the head gasket this spring. The leak is very small, but I do think it is the head gasket.

When I do the head gasket, I will flush the system completely and use the correct fluid (sounds like OAT orange). As stated earlier, the car has not overheated so I think the rest of the system is good. It also held good pressure when I pressure tested it after changing the throttle gasket.

side note... I use the Stant pressure tester with a BMW adapter. It works on the reservoir tank on my 2001 P38. I have other BMWs so got lucky.

Wallace: nice stable... very jealous...

So I put the Bar Heavy Duty stop leak in the radiator and guess what... I don't see the leak anymore! :dance: It seems to have sealed up the little bugger. I don't see this as a long-term fix and will probably do the head gaskets this summer to ease my mind, but this 'temporary' measure seemed to work. I just fell weird pouring in $4.99 worth of some weird concoction into a $63k car. But then again, the block was developed in the 60s with numerous refinements along the way. Either way, it seems to be holding for now. Thanks for the tips.

Next issue... front suspension clunk?....
Any additive to cooling system is a bad thing, yeah sure it helps out if your on the open road and as a emergency temp repair, sadly though its later years when the additive helps block up the radiator core (and the heater), many a radiator has died cos of these additives.

A serious thourough flush and reverse flow of water is required to "try" and remove additives
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