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Discussion Starter #1
You all were so very kind to help a few months ago when my BECM was on the fritz. AFter sending it to Martin to get it sorted (many thanks to him and those that referred him) - the mechanic said the vehicle is still overheating and he believes the cylinder head may be cracked - or in need of a new gasket. 4,000- 4,500 euros to fix. So far I have already paid more for repairs than what I paid for the vehicle, and I haven't even driven it home yet. Does anyone have any kind of assistance they can provide? This is killing me. I just don't have that kind of money to pour out for repairs. I feel he is soaking me - guessing that somehow I will get the money. I can't squeeze the money out of rocks - so he is out of luck.
Anyone want a free trip to France for holiday? Bring your tools and we will put you up.

Thanks,
Teri (slightly disgruntled new RR owner)
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Hi Teri,
The French are shockers when they see a Range Rover. They find them very intimidating, don't have software and have no idea at all about a V8.

The heads are not cracked in my opinion but they do need new gaskets reasonably regularly. It's not a difficult job if you have some tools and good pair of hands to help you.

It's worth getting into it, and then you will have a great experience as a Rangie owner, it's impossible to have one of these operating solely through garages.

The reason the guy is quoting you so much is that he knows nothing about changing the gaskets and will have to go off and read up on it, and he's allowing for f-ing it up and still having a budget to repair his mess within the budget.

I'm happy to help with walking you through it.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mike,
I appreciate that, but I moved over here a few years ago and have absolutely NO tools to do this- or the smarts to do that job. This guy actually does specializes in RR, but I still think he is in an area that has a "just fix it, no matter the cost" attitude, and if you have a RR, you are supposed to have an unlimited amount of $$ to keep it up. At this point, I just want to get the vehicle home - and find someone that I can TRUST to take a look at it.
He was going to replace the BECM for me at the cost of 1200 - 2000, but when I found that Martin could fix it for 100, I think I insulted the owner of the garage, therefore, he is wanting his pound of flesh- no matter what.

Does that make sense?
Teri
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Terri
Understand your frustration at this situation.
Take it from me, as someone who never had any mechanical ical skills whatsover, you can replace the head gaskets yourself. It's certainly a daunting task if you look at photos of the task, but as a previous post stated, you will learn so much about the vehicle.
I bought a p38 and it was in such poor shape that my oly option was to rip the interior, exterior, engine and suspension out f it and rebuild the lot. I got so.much useful help here online and on the net.
You will need to get tools but they will be far cheaper than the 3000 euro that a mechanic will charge you.
So.long g as you do not need to drive the vehicle in a month or so you can do the job.
Google "paul P38a" and select engine refresh in his site and there is an extensive step by step guide with photos for each step and the tools required which is what I followed.
I will be more than glad to help you in any way I can with advice.
It can be done. ....
James
 

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Teri, down load rave, this is one of the easiest engines to work on, plus you've got any help you need here. A 40 quid socket set and a torque wrench will be all you need, no specialist tools required, unlike many new cars nowadays. Plus the satisfaction you've done it yourself and saved a handful of cash
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all of the guidance. First question if I do undergo this journey: where do I get a new gasket? I do not need to drive the vehicle in the next month, but I will have to get it home first, which means I will have to drive it during weird hours when there is no traffic on the road. Also, would the socket set be something I can get in home improvement store, or would I need to go to auto shop? It has been forever since I was under the hood of a vehicle trying to do anything.
Teri
 

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Discussion Starter #7
One more thing I should note: The mechanic that has been working on it recently, that pulled the BECM for Martin to fix, told me that the cooling system from the Engine to the heater/radiator under the dashboard has been disconnected. This has been redirected to the radiator at the front of the vehicle. Why? We do not know. I cannot imagine anyone trying to "rig" a vehicle in this manner. What a bunch of idiots. I need to find out who did this and have their business shut down.
 

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Bypassing the heater core is normally because of leaky o rings or a leaky core.
Not an uncommon bodge!
 

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Gaskets and anything you need are plentiful in the UK.
Rimmer Bros
V8 tuner
Real Steel
among others will supply your needs.

As for the heater hose, it's probably because the heater started leaking into the cabin when the O-rings failed. It's pretty common, mine did it the other day and my temporary fix was just that.....join the pipes together.:mrgreen:
Go to V8forum.co.uk for a wealth of information on the engine. It is daunting to a beginner, but unless you are very, very mechanically inept, you should be able to do it.

It sounds like your mechanic may be upset with you for doing away with a source of income, hence the 4k Euro bill....
A set of head gaskets and the consumables you need is a few hundred Euros tops.
http://www.rimmerbros.co.uk/Item--i-GRID800023
I'd go for an uprated stud kit, too while it's all open, at the bottom of the list, number 11, the 20 bolt kit.

Bon courage!
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Just as a note - I believe the vehicle is a 2.5 Diesel, not a V8.

As mentioned - Heater core bypass is not uncommon if the O-rings or heater matrix has a leak - people will to it to avoid the official method of pulling the dash apart to replace the O-rings.

I would be telling the mechanic that you don't want any more work done on the vehicle - but you just want to pay for what is done so far and collect the vehicle. I am sure legally he cannot keep hold of the vehicle on other mysterious issues if you don't want him to work on them at the moment - and also are wanting to pay for the BECM removal/replacement etc.

I would then actually drive the vehicle to see if there is a problem... I have heard before of the diesels cracking a head - but it is somewhat of a rare occasion. If it is just overheating in traffic, then I would be checking out the many other possible causes - blocked radiator, water pump impeller, thermostat etc BEFORE jumping to the conclusion that there is a problem with the head.

It could also be worth calling the previous owner if you still have their details and just asking them if there were any problems with overheating to see if there is even a history of it.

I personally don't think it's likely to be as bad as he is making it out to be..

Marty
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Chris- it is a diesel. About the overheating: when we bought the vehicle, the owner and Mechanic #1 said there was a problem with overheating, and we paid this mechanic to fix the overheating problem, as well as do a control technique (inspection that has to be done to certify the vehicle is roadworthy). It took Mechanic #1 four weeks to get this done. When we picked it up from him, the gentleman cashing us out said that if it began to overheat while in heavy traffic- to rev the engine (?). Didn't I just pay them to fix this? We drive away - less than a kilometer - to local grocery to pick up dinner, then when we come out, cannot get vehicle started due to BECM issues. That was where the BECM issue began that Martin rescued me from. Mechanic #2 wanted to replace BECM because he does not have the machinery to fix them. After the BECM was put back in the car and all was working properly, Mechanic #2 decided to find out whatever he could that was wrong with the vehicle. That is where we are now since he thinks the problem is a cracked head - or new gasket needed. That I should pay him 4k to find out what might be the problem is not in my financial power- or my sense of logic.
And here we are.
Teri
 

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If Mechanic #1's advice is to rev the engine when the car starts to overhead, and if the process works to resolve the overheating issue, then it may not be a head gasket issue at all.

Sounds more like a blocked radiator or a failing viscous fan clutch. I think it would be the best course of action to have another opinion by someone who is not driven to come up with more reasons to charge you more for repairs.

An independent inspection akin to a pre-purchase inspection, or have someone knowledgeable about vehicle operations give you a second opinion.
 

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I would get a sniffer test done to check if it's the head gasket, sounds more radiator, water pump related, I'm pretty sure they have plastic impellers if I remember correctly. Maybe sticking a Peugeot badge on it might get the price down, lol, you really need someone who knows these engines, do you have any BMW independent garages around by you, the prices your being quoted you'd get a brand new engine,,
 

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Sorry I'm out. I know nothing about the diesels.
 

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I had troubles with my P38 diesel overheating when stationary or under high load, but not when cruising on the motorway. I ran the engine with the cap for the expansion tank off, which revealed that exhaust gasses were leaking into the cooling system somewhere. There were three options: Head gasket, cylinder head or engine block. Turned out the engine block had cracked between two cylinders, so I am now having the engine replaced with one from a 5-series. I think (hope) my case is very rare, and that it is most likely a blown head gasket or cracked head.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Again, thanks for all for your feedback/advice. We contacted our insurance company due to the fact that it seems we were sold a vehicle that was supposed to be in good condition, when in fact it is not. Since we have only driven the vehicle less than .5 km since purchasing it, they advise that we DO NOT drive it until a qualified inspector takes a look at it. That is now scheduled for Dec 19th. We have been told that this person will take apart the car to determine the problem, however, we have to PAY HIM to put it back together. He won't be fixing it, so how the heck is that supposed to help me? GRRRR. I may never drive this vehicle again. Anyone want to buy a used RR, 1999, beautiful interior - for parts? I am pretty much at my wits/pockets end.
 

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I would get a sniffer test done to check if it's the head gasket, sounds more radiator, water pump related, I'm pretty sure they have plastic impellers if I remember correctly. Maybe sticking a Peugeot badge on it might get the price down, lol, you really need someone who knows these engines, do you have any BMW independent garages around by you, the prices your being quoted you'd get a brand new engine,,
I had the whole head cracked catastrophe with my Td5 Disco and the sniffer test didn't work for me. A respected Indie told me that with a Diesel, the sniffer only works when the engine is under load, and obviously, that is a tad awkward to do.

He also told me to coat the gasket with Indian Head Shellac (but not the fire rings) before fitting it and after nearly 30 000km it doesn't use any water and the hoses don't pump up.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Not sure what a sniffer test is. I am not about to pay 5k for this work. I certainly don't have that kind of money- and didn't even pay that much for the vehicle. Insurance inspector is scheduled to look at the vehicle on Dec 19th. Wish me luck. Hopefully he will only find minor issues that don't cost a bundle- and maybe even that I could fix myself. It has been a few decades since I was under the hood of a car fixing ANYTHING. Still hoping that one of the experienced RR fellows in UK will take me up on a holiday in France. Would be happy to pay them to fix it. At least I feel I can trust most of the guys on the forum.
 

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The sniffer test is the colour changing liquid that indicates a possible head gasket failure or worse.

If you are systematic with the work and detail everything you do, it shouldn't be difficult. It's a bit far for me to come over from Le Cap...8~

A quick look on the net reveals that they sometimes crack between the valves and in the pre-combustion chamber into the water jacket. If that is your problem, with the number of vehicles around Europe, you should be able to find a breaker that has a low mileage wreck to strip the head off of. A good clean-up, light skim and a pressure test will tell you the condition.
The Opel Omega uses the same engine, so if you are shopping around, call them for prices, too.

Bon courage!
 
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