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Discussion Starter #1
Well I just picked up a 2nd P38 (02 99K) and after much cleaning I have the A-typical head gasket seep by #1 cylinder. No internal leak, exhaust or pressure in coolant. Car runs flawless otherwise.

I have much more experience with Saab 9-5 4cyl engines than the 4.6L. My last Saab had a head gasket leak and after several quotes north of $1500 I said screw it and replaced it myself. Arguably a bit easier on a inline 4 than a pushrod V8.

The only indie in my whole state of New Mexico (one with a good rep) wants $2500. Unreal imo. Price includes sending head to machine shop, all new gaskets not just head, and replacement of wires and coil packs, etc, etc.

So I spent the last 2 days googling every write-up I can find on DIY replacement and I'm trying to convince myself to do it (I think i can get it apart ok, but getting it back together is another story). I ran into a problem with the Saab (misaligned timing) and had to tear it apart a 2nd time. My last experience with push rods was air cooled VW's about 25 years ago. :p

Not sure if I'm asking for advice, a pat on the back (you can do it) or possibly any indie mechanic referrals for Colorado or Texas (anything within 400 miles of me). `) :shock:

Woe is my P38.
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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This job is no big deal! You really can do this, for me the decision is time verses money. In each case I have done the work with out issue..JUST DO IT..

Scotty
 

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I agree completely with Scotty as far a DIY in concerned. I have never had to do mine but would recommend using studs instead of the factory bolts when putting it back together. I might suggest getting your heads checked for flatness and maybe the camshaft as well. Being a push rod motor I don´t think you even touch the timing gear - just pull the rods out.
The main thing is just take your time.

The indie you mention sounds a bit over the top.

Rowan
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm leaning the DIY direction. Need to go thru an inventory of needed tools for the job (forgetting if there's any call for specialty Rover tools). Removing the head looks quite easy. It's the plethora of bits and pieces that need to be removed before (and replaced) that looks daunting. I might build a parts shelf and then use it counter clockwise for example when removing all the bits. Appreciate the advice.

Definitely plan to get the heads machined and gone thru. I assume I'm looking at $250+ per head for that? Plus another $200 for studs, and the same for gasket kit? Might as well replace coil packs and plugs.
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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i've done headgaskets on Saabs. I had an 1981 900T. I was doing 140 mph and the turbo dumped a bit to much boost into the engine and popped the headgasket. It wasn't too hard, but it took awhile due to the turbo manifold and extra piping.

I've stuck V8 headgaskets in as well. its not to hard. just take your time, keep the rods and tappets separated so they go back together right.
 

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my head work for both heads was under 200... dont pay 500 if thats the quote you got... my price included valve seals...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
my head work for both heads was under 200... dont pay 500 if thats the quote you got... my price included valve seals...
I was estimating high I guess trying to figure out the indies $2500 quote. Even if I include machining, gaskets, and plug/coil replacement, studs that's only $800-1000 or so in parts. Meaning $1500-1700 labor? Guessing high at $100 an hour for labor that still seems ludicrous.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well after looking at my engine this a.m. over a cup of joe I'm going to dive into it. Many questions.

One of which after reading several write ups on head removal does the a/c compressor and power steering pump need to be removed completely or is there room to slide them out of the way with hoses attached?

Lastly any write-ups or tips on using the newer head studs?

Biggest issue I see is rusted bolts and plastic connectors breaking when trying to remove.
 

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I did my intake manifold/valley gasket a couple of weeks ago and did not have any trouble with plastic bits breaking. I stacked all my pieces on the garage floor (together with their bolts etc) so I had some sort of sequence.
Just watch out for sharp corners when getting you hands in there - mine engine now has a couple of red pieces that weren´t there before.

I don´t know if I would replace the coils and leads. Are they giving trouble or worn out?

Studs only need to be tightened to about 65 ft/lbs - others can correct this. I have always wondered if the bolt technique of 90 degrees then 90 degrees again contributes to head problems.

Rowan
 

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ac compressor and power steering pump just need to be detached from the motor and then laid to the side, hoses still attached. super easy.
 
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