P38 Overheating - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old February 19th, 2013, 02:00 PM
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P38 Overheating

Some of you know, but I picked up a P38 last week. Drove about 2 hrs to find it overheating as soon as I pulled out of the lot. The previous owner recently put in a new thermostat and upper radiator hose. I passed and started the trek home when I got a call and we agreed on a price I couldn't refuse. Went back and threw it on the trailer.

So after reading all the threads I can find, I have started narrowing it down:

The heat worked once or twice but now it doesn't - so I am thinking air lock. I have tried to burp and refill...ensuring the vent tubes are clear of coolant and raising the front off the ground.. but no luck. I bypassed the heater core and still overheating.

When it overheats the lower radiator hose is still cold.

I took the inlet hose off the heater core and started the engine, no coolant came out. They say this means water pump. I am waiting on a new pump but I can hear the blades, when I spin it, on the old pump and it's not leaking out weep hole so I don't think this is the problem but..

Checked radiator flow with hose in upper hose and didn't seem restricted.

I will pull thermostat and boil to ensure its opening.

I have a feeling this is all due to air lock but I can't seem to get it to fill completely.

Any tips or suggestions?
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  #2  
Old February 19th, 2013, 02:19 PM
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Is it a bosch or gems ... there is some ways to do it but the most efficient is a air-lift tool which puts the coolant system in a vac to fill properly ..
unfortunately I’ve heard this story way too much and is actually how I got my p38 ....
new water pump, radiator ,thermostat ect..still overheating under load .... ended up being crack sleeve which is so common with these trucks ....
also check the passenger floor for coolant and under the dash by the foot vent .. possibly need heater core o-rings which is causing air to get into the system ...
Check behind the passanger side head ontop of the tranny for coolant could be intake gasket also

Bosch bleed .....removed the bleed screw in upper radiator hose .. poor coolant in reservoir , squeeze the upper hose then put finger over hole release hose and squeeze again lift finder to let air out ..do that a couple of times and watch your level in reservoir ... next install the screw and run truck until steady stream of coolant comes out of the bleed screw cap it up and let it run .....make sure you have heat in the truck take it for a drive hopefully this helps
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Old February 19th, 2013, 04:47 PM
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It's a Bosch 2002
I also forgot to mention that I did the Napa combustion gas if test and it passed
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Old February 19th, 2013, 04:50 PM
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If I were you I'd replace stat with a new Land Rover stat just to be sure it is not aftermarket.

Clay
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  #5  
Old February 19th, 2013, 04:51 PM
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Yes it does have a small oring leak. I was hoping the heater core bypass would let me isolate that problem
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Old February 19th, 2013, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedpin View Post
It's a Bosch 2002
I also forgot to mention that I did the Napa combustion gas if test and it passed
99% of the time that's use less with rover motors if a cylinder sleeve is cracked you will not be able to detect it there so small when the motor comes under load it builds heat opens the crack and she will start to overheat ,my p38 would idle all day long with the a/c on in 90 deg weather and not overheat as soon as you drove it BAM right to the red.
Ok you bypassed heater core and it still overheats ...
After you bleed the cooling system Are you getting steady flow into the res tank through the 5/16 hose?
Was this truck overheating when you test drove it ?.....its possible the previous owner knew it was trouble .....
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Old February 19th, 2013, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedpin View Post
Yes it does have a small oring leak. I was hoping the heater core bypass would let me isolate that problem
Two hours north of you is a shop called Loudoun Rover. Owner is Wally and he deals with this shit every single week. If the truck will make it there he'll look at it for you and give you solid advice.

Clay
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  #8  
Old February 19th, 2013, 06:27 PM
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Bosch bleed .....removed the bleed screw in upper radiator hose .. poor coolant in reservoir , squeeze the upper hose then put finger over hole release hose and squeeze again lift finder to let air out ..do that a couple of times and watch your level in reservoir ... next install the screw and run truck until steady stream of coolant comes out of the bleed screw cap it up and let it run .....make sure you have heat in the truck take it for a drive hopefully this helps

Dont forget to lift the reservoir tank up clear of the bracket and hold above the bleed screw when you bleed the system, I do assume its the same procedure as the discovery bosch engine?

There is a good outline of this in rave
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  #9  
Old February 19th, 2013, 07:15 PM
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O-ring leak will stop the system pressurizing and just throw coolant out. Borrow a pressure testor from autozone and pressure test the system. You could probably bodge an o-ring leak with ptfe tape in a pinch.
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  #10  
Old February 19th, 2013, 07:56 PM
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Thanks for the tips and contacts. I will work on the range Thursday and Friday. I plan on giving it another good bleed before I swapout any parts. Does loudoun rovers do motor swaps. Worse case, anyone have a ballpark for 4.6 and labor?
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Old February 19th, 2013, 08:00 PM
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Yep, he swaps engines almost every week. He has one more 4.6 new crate engine left. He also has solid used engines or he can have your engine rebuilt.

Clay
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  #12  
Old February 19th, 2013, 08:04 PM
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I did have some constant flow out vent hose on radiator to Res tank. What gets me is cold bottom.of radiator and lower hose, in a normal cooling system this screams tstat but... . I will update Friday.

------ Follow up post added February 19th, 2013 08:05 PM ------

Great thanks Clay. I will get in contact when I throw up the white flag.
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  #13  
Old February 19th, 2013, 08:06 PM
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4.6 used here go for 1800-2400 milage dictated ... normaly i would do full reseal new headgaskets , rear main & cross seals , front crank seal , tune up ect ....figure approx 1000 labor + parts .... talking 3 grand plus done right

------ Follow up post added February 19th, 2013 05:09 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedpin View Post
I did have some constant flow out vent hose on radiator to Res tank. What gets me is cold bottom.of radiator and lower hose, in a normal cooling system this screams tstat but... . I will update Friday.

------ Follow up post added February 19th, 2013 08:05 PM ------

Great thanks Clay. I will get in contact when I throw up the white flag.

fingers crossed its just the thermostat ......keep us updated
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Old February 19th, 2013, 08:12 PM
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Adam, if you find the motor is bad, you can do the motor swap yourself. Borrow my engine hoist and stand.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 08:16 PM
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I hear ya. John. Would be fun.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 10:27 PM
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I hear ya. John. Would be fun.
Well, water pump and other misc items came in today. After continuing my research i have decided to expanded my investigation into the block. I will be pulling spark plugs as well to scope and check for coolant ( crack or liners).

More to follow
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  #17  
Old February 21st, 2013, 08:03 AM
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Did you pressure test the system to check for leaks at the intake or heads? Unfortunately you won't be able to see a slipped or cracked liner it's usually undetectable with the naked eye unless the motor is ticking indicating the connecting rod hitting the bottom of the liner.. you might be able to see if any the plugs are white at the tip or the tops of the piston.. was there any white smoke coming out of the exhaust? Its a catch 22 situation do head gaskets and see what happens or swap a motor ....the motor swap isn't that bad in p38 if you've done them before
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 02:28 PM
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Pulled plugs and looked in cylinder, didn’t see any coolant or signs of steam cleaning. After a closer look and listening I found what I thought at first was an exhaust leak, to be the head gasket leaking and signs of leaking coolant at the back of both heads. The driver side gasket seems worse. That’s the side I can hear and see leaking when I rev motor.
I will be picking up a gasket kit. Any recommendations on which ones. I will do a search later find what people have had best results with.
Also plan on doing them myself, but called Loudoun rovers to get a price. Wally will do them in a day or two for 1K and that’s with me supplying parts. If I can’t get the rover in my garage that option might get even more appealing, cold out. Not sure if I would trust non rover mech to do the job…

Rover has 168K miles so it is due, just hope I don’t find any slipped liners.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 03:00 PM
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Thats good news! I would have the heads rebuilt when there off....you can also go with ARP head studs if budget allows must change the head bolts either way .......make sure you get a plenum gasket and the o-ring for the heater pipe to manifold ......inspect the igntion wires and change now before your removing the plenum again..good luck....
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 02:12 PM
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Rover is in the garage, all the rusted bolts i could get to are marinating in penetrating oil, AB gasket kit in route. I ended up going with the ARP studs.
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