Heating/Cooling help - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old February 5th, 2015, 02:28 PM
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Heating/Cooling help

I haven't had heat in my NAS 90 (3.9) and I started to notice steam coming from the radiator. I tested the thermostat and found that it wasn't opening up. But after just installing a new one (which I also tested), that hasn't solved the problem.

Might be helpful to know:
- The blower motor seems find; its blowing plenty of cold air
- The temp gauge is showing dead center
- Steam is coming from the radiator core
- Coolant hoses to the heater box don't seem to be getting coolant
- Coolant hose from the thermostat housing is warm, but I don't believe there's fluid moving through
- I noticed deposits in the coolant reservoir

At this point, I think that either the water pump has failed or the radiator is clogged - is there an easy way to test one or the other?
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  #2  
Old February 5th, 2015, 02:32 PM
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Chris
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If I saw steam coming from my radiator that would suggest its failed.

Lack of heat is a Defender issue but if there is steam, the air is getting in that way.
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Old February 5th, 2015, 02:47 PM
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Robert Davis
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Hard to tell from a distance, but you either have a coolant flow blockage somewhere or trapped air in the heater core that is not working it's way out.

I have seen this before.
Assuming you are running a 190 F or 195 F you should get more than enough heat to warm the cabin.
To start the investigation, I always disconnect both hoses to the heater and place the ends in a bucket.
Start the engine and see if you get coolant flow.

If you have flow connect the feed hose to the heater.
If the coolant is fine, dump it back in the overflow tank so as to reuse it.
Connect the return hose to the heater and disconnect it from the engine.
Cap the engine side port.
Have someone start the engine.
Hold the return hose and when you get a good steady flow, connect it to the capped engine port.
I only do this when the engine is cold to eliminate the risk of being burned by the engine coolant.
DO NOT try this when the engine is at full operating temperature.
To get a good flow and also purge air, it often requires the engine to be revved up and held at a steady higher than idle RPM.

If the engine coolant is not flowing, then you need to locate the source of the restriction and unblock it.
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  #4  
Old February 5th, 2015, 03:11 PM
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I checked the coolant level and it seems I was down a significant amount (a less than a gallon). Topped it off and now I have heat! But how did the system lose so much - I don't see any leaks. Evaporation when the thermostat wasn't opening?
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Old February 5th, 2015, 03:17 PM
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head gasket?
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Old February 5th, 2015, 03:18 PM
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That steam you saw was your coolant disappearing. Also check to see if coolant is dripping out from under your heater core. That's were mine was leaking from.
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  #7  
Old February 5th, 2015, 03:23 PM
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John B.
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You basically stated above that the rad is leaking. That should be the first thing to check.
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  #8  
Old February 5th, 2015, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jas0n View Post
I checked the coolant level and it seems I was down a significant amount (a less than a gallon). Topped it off and now I have heat! But how did the system lose so much - I don't see any leaks. Evaporation when the thermostat wasn't opening?
So you had the volume low enough that the heater core was full of air with only a small amount of coolant circulating through it if any at all.

In order for coolant to leave a semi sealed cooling system, coolant is leaking or being consumed into the engine.
As suggested by Jason, the head gasket could be leaking or a common issue with the aluminum V8 are dropping sleeves.
The land Rover V8 design is atrocious.
The factory punched a bore straight through the cylinders and pressed in sleeves held by locktight.
The first time the engine overheats, the sleeves often drop and the engine is finished.
All the factory had to do was leave a 1/4" lip at the bottom of the cylinder to prevent the sleeve from dropping.
The head would hold it down and the bottom lip would hold it up.
But no they punched it all the way through yielding a V8 that rarely survives an overheating.

When the head gaskets go or the sleeves drop, the coolant often becomes pressurized by engine compression that forces the coolant out.
After enough coolant is forced out, the engine hasn't enough to cool it and will overheat.
Overheating causes the sleeves to drop and the downward spiral continues until it lets you down.

I hope this is not your case.
For me, this is the reason we try not to run any V8 engines.
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  #9  
Old March 4th, 2015, 10:26 AM
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I am having a somewhat similar problem with a 4.6 in my brothers D2. I have never found coolant leaking anywhere and the heat seems to work just fine. It goes through coolant quickly though.

If the sleeves have dropped or the head gasket is blown would there be evidence of that much coolant in the oil? I am not seeing any discoloration in the coolant and the oil looks normal.

I had a buddy with a disappearing coolant issue in an older D2 and we found a crack in the plenum heater that was leaking. We replaced that and stopped the leak. But apparently he still had a problem with keeping coolant in it for years after that. No one could ever figure out what was happening to all the coolant. I don't know who he took it to.

Any thoughts?
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  #10  
Old March 4th, 2015, 10:34 AM
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If it means anything, after replacing the thermostat and refilling the coolant, I haven't noticed any issues - but I will check my oil and coolant level tonight (just because I haven't in a few weeks) ...
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  #11  
Old March 4th, 2015, 10:51 AM
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Check the weep hole under the water pump. Might be losing coolant there. Usually it either drops or blows away fast enough that it can appear that it isn't leaking there at all. Stranger things have happened...
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  #12  
Old March 4th, 2015, 11:05 AM
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use a pressure tester ... these leaks are often very small and don't occur until the engine is up to temp ... and then they spray a fine mist onto something hot ... which than evaporates so you never find it.
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  #13  
Old March 5th, 2015, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Check the weep hole under the water pump. Might be losing coolant there. Usually it either drops or blows away fast enough that it can appear that it isn't leaking there at all. Stranger things have happened...
Good call! I talked to my brother yesterday and it's coming right from under the front cover. Thanks, you saved me a lot of time and money!
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