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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday I noticed that the coolant level was very low. It's possible it's been that loww since I purchased the P38 three months ago. Never really looked in the engine bay until this weekend.

Anyway, the level was really quite low, so naturally I topped it up. Bearing in mind I've had no issues with the car at all..

I decided to pop the bonnet this afternoon, the car hasn't driven today and the coolant level has dropped by about 5mm.

Is that normal just the coolant going round the system, or should I be worried at all? I will of course, now check it more regular just so I know what's going on.
 

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Not normal and an overheat is the quickest way known to man to reduce a P38, and anything else using the LRV8 engine, to a candidate for the crusher. Keeping the cooling system in good order is probably the most important thing you can do. Keep a very close eye on it and, if the level continues to drop, investigate where it is leaking from.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Richard

I will keep a check on it, I've marked where it was this afternoon and will check again tomorrow.

As the car hasn't driven since I topped it up yesterday, I suspect there must be a leak somewhere, albeit a small one (I was hoping that it might just be settling down in the tank after I filled it). If it drops further, I'll investigate
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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A big design fault on the p38 is the omission of a low level fluid sensor on the coolant expansion tank. I think it is the reason why the rover v8 engine seems less reliable in the p38 than in other cars. The same with the diesel.
I fitted a BMW E36 expansion tank, which has a level sensor built in, and rigged it up to a light behind the dash panel. The tank is almost the same, it just needs the bracket modding on RHD cars to clear the brake modulator.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #5
A big design fault on the p38 is the omission of a low level fluid sensor on the coolant expansion tank. I think it is the reason why the rover v8 engine seems less reliable in the p38 than in other cars. The same with the diesel.
I fitted a BMW E36 expansion tank, which has a level sensor built in, and rigged it up to a light behind the dash panel. The tank is almost the same, it just needs the bracket modding on RHD cars to clear the brake modulator.

Ooohhh, now that's a good idea. I'll see how things go and might think about doing that myself.
 

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Allowing for me being 6 months in (ie noob) my coolant level is probably at the lower end of where I would expect by a couple of mm, but doesn't overheat (since I removed the POs second thermostat). If I add coolant it gets ejected from the breather as soon as the engine's at running temp, so now I check it but don't add anything and we're always on the centre of the temp gauge. Does this sound OK, or I need to park her on a 60 degree slope and burp her, for example?
 

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OPs lucky to have got by 3 months without looking in the engine bay btw!!
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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This is the type you need if you are going to do the mod: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BMW-E36-E30-Z4-New-Genuine-Coolant-Expansion-Tank-17111712641-Petrol/263704463243?epid=1843602472&hash=item3d6602c78b:g:9FAAAOSwQQBbBBgX:rk:4:pf:0 They do come up cheaper from time to time.
The tank needs to be moved 1 inch to the left because the outlet is at 90 deg rather than at a 45 deg angle. It is a different diameter so needs a silicon hose reducer and an aluminium joiner.

The coolant level on mine (a diesel) settles just below the tank join and stays there. Any more and it is blown out.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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I have had the same level dropping on my 1996 4.0SE since 2006 and for over 85K miles (now the car has 125K on the clock) and for several years never managed to pinpoint exactly where is the water going and even the mechanics could not really find anything wrong

At that point the coolant level would go down a pint every 1-4000 miles or thereabouts depending on the drives, the shorter the distance and the more the level would drop.

it took a while (10 bloody years) but I found ONE leak... there is a small water pipe going into the Plenum (Plenum feed pipe) and that would leak ONLY and just ONLY when the car was cooling down , as soon as you started the car the water would evaporate and disappear and no leak under preessure...

one morning I was checking the oil before starting the car and I noticed some water on the plenum just below the pipe which was fitted with an original crimped clip ; with the pressure in the circuit the rubber hose somehow would deform slightly just enough to seal any leakage, but as soon as the presure started to go down the the water from rthe pipe would leak out and that explains why on shorter drived it would leak more....all needed was a new jubilee clip.

After that fix the level stopped dropping for a several months and then started again.... no leaks while the engine was running, only overnight... It took few months (and and empty radiator with half heart attack) to see the leak... it was a busted waterpump, only leaking when the engine was off.

Fixed that and I though all problems were sorted, but apparently not... water keeps disappearing , 1 pint every 4-5K miles... car is running fine, temperature absolutely normal, no abnormal pressure in the system so I really dont know were to look, so I am just waiting for the next evidence to show up...

I wonder if it is just the way it is.... like any pre 1997 Alfa Romeo or Ducati leaking oil ....
 
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