It's deja vu all over again - my 2nd 3.9L dropped sleeve - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old May 1st, 2009, 09:01 PM
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Jason Herring
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It's deja vu all over again - my 2nd 3.9L dropped sleeve

Just call me lucky.

My radiator holed and the engine ran hot enough to apparently drop another sleeve. I say another because I had a dropped sleeve in my first D90 block about 2 years ago. I put in a used, low-mileage block and now I'm back where I started.

A dropped sleeve seems to be that "if everything else has been replaced and you still have a problem, that's your problem" thing. So, I'm there again - new heads, therm, radiator, etc, and the same symptom I had 2 yrs ago.. the thing super-pressurizes and shoots all the coolant out the overflow.

I didn't replace the water pump in this last round, but it's a young unit which went on when the 'new' block went in 2 yrs ago & water seems to be flowing.. I will check that but assuming it's fine and not a loose impeller.

SO, now, I have to figure out what to do with this 4WD brick in my driveway. I just sunk $1800 (heads, injectors, lifters, wires, hoses, sensors, labor etc) into this after a mechanic assured me it was just a blown head gasket and not a block problem.

1) 3.9 block replacement - no way, I will not risk another engine which can drop sleeves!

2) 4.0 short block - I think this can work w/ using my anciliaries. Next step: find one near me?

3) 4.6 short block - I have a 14CUX motor, will this work w/ the bigger bottom end if I use my factory induction/EFI?

4) scrap the gas engine and go diesel. I was planning to do this eventually but the untimely death of my block and the recently sunk $1800 in repairs make me think I'll put this off unless a motor lands in my lap w/ all the stuff I need for a conversion to 300TDI or TD5.

What do you guys think? I'd just like to get back on the road.

Anyone have a line on a solid short block in S. California?
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  #2  
Old May 1st, 2009, 09:05 PM
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If the liner is slipped and it were my truck id hotrod a 4.2. Would a compression test be a benefit?
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Old May 1st, 2009, 09:28 PM
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Jim Cheney
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Pardon me if I'm missing something, and I've never pulled the heads off a Rover v8, but shouldn't the mechanic notice if there was a dropped liner while he was replacing the heads? Isn't the top of the liner visible with the headgasket off?
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  #4  
Old May 1st, 2009, 10:25 PM
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The compression test comes back fine - you can't find a slipped liner w/ a compression test from what I've seen. When it slips it really only comes loose a very small amount, and sometimes only when hot...but you don't need much of a gap to get combustion gasses into the water chambers. It's not visible to the eye from my experience with my old block...though there may be more severe cases. On the current motor I was w/ the mechanic & we looked at the block, he checked the deck to make sure it wasn't warped... everything *looked* fine. Now one cylinder was very 'clean' - that's the one which was getting into the coolant.. .and I was suspicious because the head gasket showed no sign of being blown visually.

We only found out the problem w/ my last block when we put the bare block on an engine stand and put coolant in the water jackets & spun it upside down... then waited overnight... in the morning you could see just a little bit of colored fluid around one of the cylinder liners. Then I replaced the block.

I have no idea where I could find a 4.2L... that's a bit of a rare block I think isn't it? I'd like to get this thing back on the road w/in a couple weeks w/o dropping my shorts on a pricey new/rebuilt short block. But if anyone has a 4.2L short block sitting in their garage in S. California (or w/in reasonable driving distance on a weekend) I'd be glad to hear from you...
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Old May 1st, 2009, 10:28 PM
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There is a 4.6 for sale here. That plus a 4.2 chip would be a nice set up. I have a 3.9 block you can have for CHEAP if you want it.

Ron
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Old May 1st, 2009, 11:04 PM
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Get a ductile iron tophat liner V8 from Turner Engineering in the UK.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 11:18 PM
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Hey Ron, cheap is good but I've sworn off 3.9L blocks after having two go south on me. Your 4.6 is a short block? What would shipping to 90731 be?

I don't know exactly what that liner is, I see it mentioned on the Turner Engineering website but could not find details... not sure if that's something that would save my current block w/o some out-of-car process... if I pull that block out I might as well put a better one back in (eg 4.0+) no?
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Old May 1st, 2009, 11:32 PM
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No

They sell engines with tophat ductile iron liners installed already. Get a 4.0 or 4.6 short or long block from them. 3 year guarantee I think. Exchange rate is good now. Quality product- that you seem to require.

JP
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Old May 1st, 2009, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pendy

Quality product- that you seem to require.

JP
LOL indeed
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Old May 1st, 2009, 11:44 PM
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My 4.6 is not for sale.

He is asking $1700 and it is a GEMS motor with 42k on it.

http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...t=18515&page=3
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Old May 1st, 2009, 11:51 PM
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From Turner Engineering UK at $3000 for a short block before shipping the exchange rate is not good enough... I could find a 300TDi for not much more than that....

Follow-up Post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij
My 4.6 is not for sale.

He is asking $1700 and it is a GEMS motor with 42k on it.

http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...t=18515&page=3
So could I use my 3.9L intake and EFI system, do I need to use my heads as well, or ?

You mentioned I'd need to swap in a 4.2L chip into my ECU - that's it?
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Old May 1st, 2009, 11:58 PM
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You can use either heads. If you use 3.9 heads you have slightly lower compression (because you use composite gaskets which are thicker and the 4.0/4.6 and very late 3.9 heads are designed to use). You reuse the 3.9 front cover (make sure you get the right gasket) and everything else except the block. You can reuse your cam, but I would get a crower cam (the 4.6 cam does not have the bit on the end for the dizzy). The only other part you need is a spacer for the crank. The easiest thing is to take a lower timing chain gear and knock off the teeth and use that as the spacer. The 4.2 chip is helpful, but it will run fine with a 3.9 chip (later chips are the same for both motors). Lots of people have done this and it is not hard.

Ron
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 12:06 AM
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I've been using the steel head gaskets, not the composite, per a local Land Rover shop who says the composite gaskets are junk....geesh I must have gone through 6 sets now on this car with all the problems I've had.

The 3.9 front cover gasket would differ if I put this on a 4.6L block?... or do you mean just be sure to get the 3.9L gasket?

Isky makes a cam for this motor - they are located close to me in Gardena, CA. I had an Isky cam in the old motor before bad things happened to that engine and I swapped the block out. Any opinion on their cams?

Interesting re: the spacer, good to know, I read you needed one and was wondering what would work besides a custom machine job. Cool.

Will all my standard-belt accessories bolt on to this block? EG A/C, alternator, blah blah?

Follow-up Post:

BTW are the 4.6 heads any bigger re: valves?
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 12:17 AM
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Steel head gaskets are shit. I don't know why they would tell you otherwise. With the 4.6 you pretty much have to use composite (well--maybe not, I would have to think about that, but I would use composite).

No, it is just that parts places have a bad habit of sending you the wrong gasket and it blocks an oil passage and ends up with no oil pressure so make sure you get the right one.

I have no experience with Isky. Most people use crower.

All the accessories will bolt right on, but just to be sure, make sure the bosses and holes on the 4.6 heads are the same as the 3.9 ones before you put them on.

4.6 heads are the same as 4.0 heads (as discussed above, 3.9 are thicker and have the third row of bolt holes, but are otherwise substantially the same--the only difference that really matter other than the thickness is some of the early 3.9 heads have the washer style oil seals for the valves not the better blue ones, which you want to make sure you get the genuine blue ones not the rock hard aftermarket blue seal). The valves kept changing over time (normal, then carbon break, then black nitrile coated), but they are all the same size. Make sure to clean the valves on the 4.6 heads if you decide to use them. A quick valve job is worthwhile.

Ron
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 12:34 AM
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If this particular 4.6 doesn't work out (PM'ed him), the 4.0 is essentially the same story, right?

The Isky cam felt more powerful when I had it installed in the 1st 3.9L - it was an improvement over the stock cam. I had to change cams after I had a lifter freeze up and round off the lobe on the stock cam. Man, looking back, this motor has been a nightmare. That was before the 1st dropped sleeve.

I just had the 3.9L heads redone... would hate to have to toss them aside... if the valves are all the same I'll hope to use them. I didn't know anything about the different seals, though. The steel gaskets are crap? Huh, opposite of what this LR specialty shop says. Well, if the later blocks require the composite gasket that question is answered. This is at least the 2nd time I've had these heads done.. .I think my compression has been going up over time, I might be back to stock w/ the composite gasket ;-)

Side note - I noticed your 'stable' of vehicles... funny, I have the same exact brand list, though my BMW is a motorcycle, not a car. You obviously have good taste ;-) Have you seen the new Lotus Evora?
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 12:50 AM
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I have a BMW R75/6 too, but I never ride it and I don't have any more room on the list in the signature line. I have not seen the Evora in person, but from pics and descriptions, I much rather have a 997 porsche. What Lotus (and for that matter porsche) do you have?

I like the other stuff, but I am trying to contain the porsche/BMW/Lotus parts/obsession/tinkering to a dull roar unlike the completely overrun my life nature of the rover addiction.

edit: 4.0 is the same story with the exception of the chip issue.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 01:22 AM
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I have an '89 Esprit SE (currently being painted, looking forward to getting it back!) and a '75 914 w/ 911 5-lug suspension. I like mid-engine, what can I say? It *feels* right. Everything I have is customized and a project (even my K100 has a late model K1 rear swingarm to accommodate a bigger rear tire). It's nearly ridiculous. Sound familiar?

I was thinking about getting an 850 until I realized I needed to stop accumulating vehicles. For now.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 01:45 AM
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It does sound familiar.

If you like the 914 and the Esprit, you should try an elise/exige. Other than losing the motor to an oil cooler line failure, mine has been awesome (only a british car nut would say something like this). I always liked the 914 but most around here are junk from rust. A 914 with a 3.6 turbo motor would be about perfect. I did see a nice early one in lime green I was eyeing, but I have way too much on my plate already.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 08:48 AM
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Ok call me crazy, but reading this thread leaves me confused. Sounds like it was running fine and then you overheated it. Well, unless you are in the habit of overheating it (well maybe even if you are) it seems you should just get Ron's 3.9 block cheap and swap it out. Everything else is good no?

Cheap, quick, known entity, ready for the next time you abuse it

charles
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 10:36 AM
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Hate to be a hard ass. But if your time is worth anything, then the Turner engine is your best bet. Since you have had this engine apart 4 or more times now. You must not have any direct experience with a 300 tdi conversion to think 3000 would get you anywhere close to an install.

The isky cam you used has to much lift. Coil bind caused the problem you describe. Isky can be implemented but the 2nd Crower choice in lift gets the job done without instance of coil bind.

Little bit of misinformation as you and evil discuss engine differences. Lower compression is an understatement. Some engine blocks will not have the block drilled for the external style oil pump pickup as well. Don't really feel like writing a book here. I already gave you my best advice for your situation. So I'll just let you and eveil continute to JO each other about your stables.

Good luck though
I have a dozen or more 3.9 sitting around if you just want to practice installing engines again!
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