Head Gasket, Timing Belt, Drive Belt - What else? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old July 15th, 2010, 10:10 AM
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Frank S
1984 D90
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Head Gasket, Timing Belt, Drive Belt - What else?

So I'm having over-heating issues with my 300tdi. I've changed the thermo and the sender. Had my mechanic look at it and he said he doesn't think it's the head gasket because it's not getting scalding hot or letting out steam from the exhaust. He looked at it before I changed the sender and he suspected it as the culprit. But my radiator is leaking slightly and he said he didn't want to flush it because he said it could cause more damage. He did bleed the system and top off the coolant, so I don't think it's just air in the system. Being that I don't have a good history on the truck, I was planning on doing the timing belt since day one. My serpentine drive belt has got some wear so I'm planning on having that done as well. So as it stands I know that I'm going to have the timing belt, drive belt, and radiator done. The water pump was replaced just before I purchased the truck (allegedly). I figure that while the whole thing is torn down, it's probably a good idea to have the head gasket done b/c it could be the cause of my overheating. I have a few questions though.

1. I read that if the head gasket thickness is unknown to just buy the thickest one (4 hole). Is this true, will it effect compression? I'd rather have it on hand so I don't have to let the truck sit while I wait for a matching one to arrive before it can be reassembled.

2. I was planning on buying a Decoke set so that any / all gaskets will get replaced. What other things should I have serviced while the engine is torn apart?

3. Is my assumption correct that it will be easier to do the head gasket while doing the belts/radiator or doesn't it make a big difference?

As always, I'm a total novice and this is my first Rover, so any and all input is greatly appreciated!

-Cheers
Frank
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  #2  
Old July 15th, 2010, 11:13 AM
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Todd Miller
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I would replace the "P" gasket and maybe the water pump because it is pretty cheap. also, a seal failed within my front cover which caused a huge oil leak, so you might consider changing the seals inside the front cover assy.
I am sure some of the more experienced mechanics on the board will chime in to give you some more info.
good luck
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  #3  
Old July 15th, 2010, 11:23 AM
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mark kellgren
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I have a 2.8, which is a 300tdi variant. So far, in my short experience with temps, what causes temps to climb under normal ops is air in the system. So in a little leak, every drop of coolant out is a bubble of air in, so you're getting a 2for1.

You didn't mention anything about the viscous fan clutch. you need to check that to make sure the fan is pulling hard at temps. if you have a/c, you also need to make sure your electric aux fan is also working properly.

if you're radiator is so bad your mechanic does'nt want to mess with it to make it worse, I would replace the radiator first with new. I think a bad radiator will have more impact on overtemp than a small gasket leak at all. I think you are working from the wrong end, particularly since it sounds like you haven't confirmed you even have a head gasket leak. Have a good mechanic do a block leak test to confirm, if you don't see any leaks external.

I'm not familiar with 300tdi's specifically, but on my 2.8, the head gaskets come in 3 thicknesses. each of the 3 are indicated by a piece of the gasket that is exposed on the block, which will show one, two or three holes. I have a two hole gasket put in by the factory. I recently found out that you would only have to change the gasket type if the block is shaved or reassembled, changed the piston head clearance on the block surface. Shaving the head will never change the thickness type. I'm guessing that the 300tdi gasket thickness might also be indicated by some kind of exposed tab. Just throwing that out there.

I always look for air first in the coolant reservoir, then I pull the plug on the thermostat housing and see if there is air there.
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  #4  
Old July 16th, 2010, 10:31 AM
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Frank S
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Hey guys,
Thanks for the information. I already had the "P" gasket on my list. I'll have to look into the front cover seals.

As I mentioned the radiator has a small periodic leak coming from the drivers side (it's a RHD). I don't have a viscous fan, I have an electronic fan installed that is hooked to a switch. I run the fan all the time. My logic behind doing the head gasket was this. My mechanic is very good, but he doesn't specialize only in Rovers. He works on some VERY expensive Euro imports and a lot of Euro classics. Has a good deal of expertise with the VM & MB diesels, but this is his first Rover Tdi. He books himself at least two weeks in advance and I'd really like to be driving the truck. So the prospect of having him do one job and then running the risk of having to wait at least two more weeks if it doesn't correct the problem isn't really appealing to me. I sort of have the mentality of "just get it fixed". But I'm still wondering if having the front end pulled apart will make the head job easier?

While we are on the subject anyone want to chime in and give the definitive correct way to fill a TDi's coolant? I read to pour through resi with rad and thermo caps off. When it comes out of rad cap replace, continue to fill till it comes out of thermo, recap thermo, then top off res.

But I also read to fill through thermo housing. I will try again to make sure it's not just air in the system, but want to know the best way to get his done.

Thanks again!
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Old July 16th, 2010, 11:09 AM
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mark kellgren
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenRover View Post
Hey guys,
Thanks for the information. I already had the "P" gasket on my list. I'll have to look into the front cover seals.

As I mentioned the radiator has a small periodic leak coming from the drivers side (it's a RHD). I don't have a viscous fan, I have an electronic fan installed that is hooked to a switch. I run the fan all the time. My logic behind doing the head gasket was this. My mechanic is very good, but he doesn't specialize only in Rovers. He works on some VERY expensive Euro imports and a lot of Euro classics. Has a good deal of expertise with the VM & MB diesels, but this is his first Rover Tdi. He books himself at least two weeks in advance and I'd really like to be driving the truck. So the prospect of having him do one job and then running the risk of having to wait at least two more weeks if it doesn't correct the problem isn't really appealing to me. I sort of have the mentality of "just get it fixed". But I'm still wondering if having the front end pulled apart will make the head job easier?

While we are on the subject anyone want to chime in and give the definitive correct way to fill a TDi's coolant? I read to pour through resi with rad and thermo caps off. When it comes out of rad cap replace, continue to fill till it comes out of thermo, recap thermo, then top off res.

But I also read to fill through thermo housing. I will try again to make sure it's not just air in the system, but want to know the best way to get his done.

Thanks again!
Well, you'll find that with the radiator plug, thermostat plug and reservoir cap all removed, I fill up the radiator first until it is completely full to the plug, then plug that. then start to fill through the thermostat or reservoir (might be easier in reservoir). the thermostat and reservoir flow together instantly, and the thermostat opening is higher than the reservoir, so if you are filling through the reservoir, when you get the reservoir filled to the top of the marker, put the cap on it, so it doesn't fill higher due to captive air in it when you top of at the thermostat. if you just filled through the thermostat, you could actually completely fill the reservoir (too much) since they keep the same level.

so with the radiator filled and plugged, and the reservoir full and cap on, finish filling through the thermostat housing until it is COMPLETELY full. give it time to trickle and air to run back up the top of the radiator hose to the housing. When it is full, plug it. then you need to run the engine to normal temp to allow the thermostat to open and air in the block to work it's way around the system. all those air bubbles, once circulating, will want to all collect at the highest point - the thermostat housing.

once the engine has cooled back down, open the thermostat housing, and top off. I like to check it one or two more times to make sure all the air bubbles are gone.

remember that the thermostat needs to open to free all the air bubbles in the block to travel and collect in the thermostat housing. that's 190 deg F for most of us (and not a degree less). so with a tdi, it's not going to happen in the driveway.

this represents my learned experience so far wiht my 2.8. anyone else is free to chime in with corrections or tips. This is also spelled out in the workshop manual I believe.
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  #6  
Old July 16th, 2010, 12:23 PM
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Jamie Austin
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300's are prone to warping the head, especially if it's been overheated before, so you may need to get the head skimmed and pressure checked.

Not sure about in the US, but here it was doen for under 80 on my last Tdi.

Whilst you have the head off, you can measure the amount of protrusion of the pistons, then select which gasket you need.
I'll print the RAVE screen shots off shortly that shows you how to measure, also i'll do the "bleeding sequence" page too.
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