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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've tried the search, but hard to find anything, typing in leak gives me hundreds of hits in eas-treads, oil is to short...

Anyway, my 2000 2,5TD is leaking something, not much but enough to give ugly stains (not only in my driveway). I know that one about marking territory, but now I think it has marked enough.

Tried to look at the stuff, it's oily (of course), but relatively clear, so no engine oil (I'm sure it's black, time to change), colour brown/red'ish, so I assume power steering oil (atf?). Gear or transfer oil would be dark as well, I asume, could be brake fluid. Dripping down the differential on the front axle, some of it is "blown" back on to a cross beam. But until now no effects, no noise from steering pump, no warning from brake system.

I'm having a hard time to exactly locate where it's coming from, is there some obvious place I can look? Just had an extra check on fluid levels, power steering is ok, brake fluid is just over max, and Icouldn't see any obvious leaks just over the differential. But looking under the car (as good as I can, parking in the driveway), there are drops hanging everywhere, including underside of differential... Any easy way to check fluid level in gearbox, without having to get the car on en four-point lift? Took some pictures, I'll try to post them.

IMAG0343.jpg IMAG0344.jpg IMAG0345.jpg IMAG0346.jpg

Seems to be all over the place, could be torque converter, gearbox, transfer box... But looking at the pictures, it seems to come from the front, the back of the cross bars are 'clean' and there's a drip hanging from the lowest part of the oil sump (not the drain plug).

Could be something work-intensive or expensive - a little annoying. And at the next MOT it would earn me some scold... I guess the next step would be a thorough wash (have to find a place to get it don, not easy or cheap because of environmental rules)?
 

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I would guess, an leaking gearbox oilcooler. So yes its time to check the gearbox oil level. Could also be aircondition refrigiant leak from the aircondition condenser.

Remove the grill and look for wet spots on both the condenser and the cooler.


Best regards Brage
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Doesn't the gearbox have a dipstick?! If not, don't know what the one at the back of the engine with the yellow knob is that I've been dipping.[edit- it's red!] A little oil leak goes a long way, but logically doesn't travel forwards or upwards usually as the prevailing wind blows it back and gravity takes it down so start looking at the furthest forward and top point of the oil contamination. Mine leaks like a sieve from every possible orifice, but one's I've identified so far near the front. Crank pulley/ timing cover oil seal. Spongy PAS hoses. Sump gasket, hub seals.
Sometimes a good sniff of the oil helps as they all have a different smell. Diff oil smells like cat's p*ss. Engine oil kind of fuelly and caramelly. Brake fluid sweet. Park it over newspaper to see where main drip sources are. This has the added bonus as you can read the headlines whilst sitting around waiting for the drips. Happy hunting...
 

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Doesn't the gearbox have a dipstick?! If not, don't know what the one at the back of the engine with the yellow knob is that I've been dipping.
Transmission dip sticks were discontinued 1999
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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If it's reddish in colour it will be Dexron ATF. However as AFT is used in the auto gearbox, the transfer box and the power steering, then it could be coming from any of them. Not going to be the transfer box as it's behind the front axle so that would leave PAS hoses or autobox cooler or hoses to it.

However, it could always be the Land Rover patented underside rust preventative system over dosing........
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks god we all have some humour - need to with these cars:-D.

So far it sounds good, seems to be hoses or pipes from PAS or oil cooler (the diesel one sits on the left side, behind opening for fog lights. Doesn't sound so expensive, even sortable DIY. And I thought about moving the oil cooler to the front, so I get some room for fog lights. Just a bit problematic to check the oil level, I don't have a four point lift, only a heavy garage jack and i presume it is necessary to keep the car levelled. But pumping it up to off road height and supporting it with axle stands (under the chassis, not the axles), should do the trick?

Anyway, I'll find some way to clean the area, so I can identify the origin of the leak. Tried the newspaper (had to use heavy cardboard, it was quite windy that day) but it's dripping from some other points as well. But I suspect this being from the wind blow, as you might see in the pictures, there are drops hanging several places.

Thanks to any contributions, both the humoristic and the technical. Still best RR forum!
 

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I've only ever bothered with axle stands under the chassis if I'm actually working on the EAS. It's never dropped without warning any other time so why should it do it when I'm under it?

PAS pipe run includes a loop of steel pipe that runs across the car below the radiator and, as the system runs at around 2,500 psi, the slightest little rusty pinhole in that will spread a lot of fluid about. Check where it sits in it's clips. The hoses suffer with age too. The autobox has steel pipes that run to the front of the car that can also rust and then have flexi hoses crimped to the ends. Hoses age and the crimps can leak too.

Is it the transmission cooler that lives where the fog light should be on a diesel? I'd always assumed it was something that the petrol doesn't have so had assumed it was an intercooler.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Because of the intercooler there's no room for the trans-cooler (as I remember), but there are kits out there to move the trans-cooler in front of the others, so there's room for fog lights. And I guess it's a bit better protected there behind the grill or bumper.
And you're right, Gilbertd, lots of possible failure points and a lot of pressure to spread it around.
I have to have a closer look at it anyway, the temperature switch seems to be faulty, the fan is running all the time... First problem to solve is the fluid level in the gearbox, i have to do an important 200 km round trip tomorrow at 2... I better top up, before I go that distance
 
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nope, intercooler is way bigger and sits in the place where the V8 has its gearboxcooler. hence the bit stupid place for the gearboxcooler.... no place for a cooler in a car used offroad.......
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Switching of the fans is complicated as it's all tied in with the AC system. Some of the time they are connected in series so turn slowly, other times, when needed, they are connected in parallel so both run at full speed.

Gearbox fluid level is a pain on a car later than 99 when they did away with the dipstick as you need to get the car in the air, start the engine, step through the gears then, with the engine still running, crawl underneath and open the level/filler plug.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just checked Rave - Autotrans is no "owner maintenance" part...

According to workshop manual, I have to
Drain
1. Position vehicle on ramp. (meaning exactly what?)
2. Apply handbrake and position chocks under
front and rear wheels.
3. Position container under gearbox.
4. Remove gearbox drain plug and discard sealing
washer.
5. Refit drain plug using new sealing washer and
tighten to 15 Nm (11 lbf.ft).
6. Remove filler/level plug and discard sealing
washer.

Refill
7. Refill gearbox to bottom of filler/level plug hole
with correct grade of fluid.
8. Ensure gear lever in the ’P’ position, start engine
and move selector lever through all gear
positions and back to ’P’ position.
9. With the engine idling, continue filling gearbox
until a small thread of fluid runs from filler/level
orifice.
10. Refit filler/level plug using a new sealing washer
and tighten to 30 Nm (22 lbf.ft).
11. Lower vehicle.

So, just to check fluid level, I have to get a new sealing washer - and the Rave doesn't even mention this scenario, they obviously can't imagine somone wants to check the level without changing it?!?!

And new sealing washer - nearest LR dealer is 20 miles away... Or is it a standard part?

@ Gilbertd: The Transmission cooler has its own fan (on the diesel) and switch...
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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RAVE says you should replace the sealing washer on the sump plug every time you change the engine oil and I suspect that manuals for most other cars say the same. I suppose I should but I've only ever replaced one if it's split.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Was just a reaction like "how difficult do they want it to be just to check the f#¤%&#¤ fluid level?" Even if 'political' incorrect, I have to admit, I've reused dozens of seal washers...
To dark, to cold to get further in my investigations, I'll cancel the long trip tomorrow, and try to get the area clean, so I can see where the greasy dirt coming from.
 

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Was just a reaction like "how difficult do they want it to be just to check the f#¤%&#¤ fluid level?" .
Hi Lause, The Rave procedure you copied is to change the auto gearbox oil, to check level just do this.

Start engine from cold, move gear shifter level thru all the gears with some seconds stop in each gear and back to Park, with engine on idle remove filler plug on gearbox, check that oil is dripping out of filler hole ( in a smal thread ), if not, refill until it does. Install filler plug. Done


Best regards Brage

Edit: Reason for removing the dripstick, is that it makes possibility for misreading the oil level and actually makes the refill / oil level check procedure a real pain.
Because you have to fill thru the dripstick, thats leaves oil in the filler neck, the dripstick will drag some of this oil on the way up and you get unsure readings on the stick.
By removing the dripstick, you get an easy fill up and accurate reading, only thing is that you need access under the car, but to serve the car professionaly you need that access anyway.
 

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However, it could always be the Land Rover patented underside rust preventative system over dosing........
I've been laughing and peeing in my pants for the last 30 min... Thanks Gilbertd you made my day!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've been laughing and peeing in my pants for the last 30 min... Thanks Gilbertd you made my day!!!!
I'm having a good time reading this thread too!

Anyway, I guess I have to reconsider; had my engine washed yesterday (as good as possible, they had no ramp) and it seems the oily stuff is coming from the left side of the engine block. Hard to see without taking the wheel arch liner off. But I suspect either the oil sump gasket (what kind of nut do I need to check the bolts?) or the oil filter housing.

Here's the result of cardboard under the car over night: IMAG0347.jpg

The left one is under the diff housing, there was a small drop hanging from the drain plug, the right spot is from under the drain plug of the oil sump, also a small drop hanging there. Laid down under the car (one of the situations, I'm very fond of eas!) and could see some oily stuff between the starter motor and the oil filter housing on the engine block, but very hard to get to and I don't know how clean it got, when washing the engine and underneath it...

Any opinions on that?
 

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Not being familiar with these oil burning versions I can't be sure but on a proper V8 powered one, the transmission cooler pipes run down the left side of the engine block clamped under a couple of bits of metal to stop them flapping about. When I had my engine out and released these clamps there was no rubber or anything in between the steel pipe and the steel clamp which made me think that it would be a potential fail point (so I put some rubber in there when I put it back together). As your drips are reddish that would suggest ATF rather than engine oil (what's dripped onto your cardboard looks way too clean to be engine oil from a diesel). If yours also has the pipes run in the same place that would allow any leakage to run down the side of the engine block and drip off any low point.
 

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The transmission cooler pipes do run on the LHS of the engine under the inlet manifold. They regularly leak where the rubber pipe is crimped. There is an acoustic cover over the bottom of the engine sump. If you remove it you should be able to pinpoint where the leak is coming from. Probably from the cooler pipes and running down the side of the engine imho.
If you have to remove the pipes, the aluminium screw connections on the cooler under the
wing usually shear off and you are into buying a new cooler as well.
 
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more ZF choice than a LR choice not to put a dipstick in... other cars with ZF gearboxes from late 90's -> don't have one either
 
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