stupid #@$% plastic radiator plugs! - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 9th, 2008, 09:33 PM
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mark kellgren
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Exclamation stupid #@$% plastic radiator plugs!

EE was right. Who was the idiot in Solihill that came up with plastic plugs anyway? This weekend I took both mine off just to top off the system and bleed it, since I rubbed a small hole in my heater hose. first time off, and they are only 2 years old. 3 days later, pop! top came off driving during lunch break. nice little hole left in the center..great job bozo engineer.

Was able to confirm by phone to RN and Pendy that the 300 TDI/2.8 uses the same plugs as the 3.9, so i ordered 2 brass jobs from EE. Patched it up today and waiting my 2 day ups delivery.

this same thing happened to me 2 times on my 95 disco. for anyone else without a vastely superior brass plug, here's what I did to jerry rig it until my plugs come in. I took ony of my seat belt bolts from the rear floor, and screwed it into the hole; fits just enough to grab and hold for a short while. then I hobbled down to autozone, and found a rubber floor plug (the kind with a wingnut top, that swells on the shaft when you tighten it) in the radiator section. it fit a 1/2" hole. I happen to have a 1/2" bit in the back of the D, so I hand drilled the 1/2" hole (which was easy since the stupid OEM plugs are made of gingerbread), and stuck that wingnut plug in, tightened it up, and was all set. lasted a 20 mile drive and back to LR dealership (nice to know they didn't have the plastic plugs in-thanks guys). Looks like it will hold until my EE package arrives.

that wingnut plut is now going to be a permanent part of the onboard kit.
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  #2  
Old June 9th, 2008, 09:52 PM
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John B.
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FYI, they are just 1/2" BSP plugs. Outside of North America, a couple of dollars at any plumbing store or Rover parts supplier. I've never looked but a decent US plumbing store might have something. A 1/2" NPT plug might work in a pinch.
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  #3  
Old June 9th, 2008, 09:53 PM
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Patrick M.
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well I understand that those plugs can bring a lot of problems but I've red on the 300tdi they are plastic for a reason; they should act as pressure "fuses" avoiding damage to the radiator, hoses etc in case of overpressure... if you put brass plugs you just bypassed the fuse.

I think taking care of the plastic plugs you shouldn't have problems...
* the plugs should be LR genuine
* the plugs use an o-ring
* the plugs are originally installed with some high temp cement.
* do not over-tight them
* do not reuse them
* always have a couple of them + o-rings in the glove box

just my 2 cents...
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  #4  
Old June 9th, 2008, 09:54 PM
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John B.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat
well I understand that those plugs can bring a lot of problems but I've red they are plastic for a reason; they should act as pressure "fuses" avoiding damage to the radiator, hoses etc in case of overpressure... if you put brass plugs you just bypassed the fuse.
That is what the radiator cap is for. Seems to work fine on EVERY car in the world.....
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  #5  
Old June 9th, 2008, 09:56 PM
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the 300tdi has no radiator cap...
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  #6  
Old June 9th, 2008, 10:13 PM
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mark kellgren
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I have a disco coolant reservoir with a pressure cap. screw the plastic plugs.
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  #7  
Old June 10th, 2008, 12:38 AM
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jim pendleton
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I agree the plastic caps are junk. The idea of them as a fuse, sounds urban mythical. Dish washing soap on installation keeps them from crossthreading. Platic and brassish.

JP
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  #8  
Old June 10th, 2008, 11:23 AM
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Jack Walter
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I know that one of those stupid plastic plugs cost me a head gasket replacement on my Range Rover - it was running fine until the top of the plug blew off - then it overheated and blew the head gaskets in less than a mile of trying to limp it home. Lesson there - if the plug pops - STOP immediately!!!!!

EE brass plugs will be in all of my Rovers from now on.
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  #9  
Old June 10th, 2008, 11:33 AM
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mark kellgren
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I'm officially putting the brass plug ahead of the convex mirror as the most important upgrade.

Also, I have to say, that Pendy's uberradiator setup saved my 2.8 engine twice now. I was first on a drive home last week, when the temp started climbing from it's normal 160f to slightly over 180f (even in heatwave, very abnormal) and an occasional rise to 220f for a few seconds before it dropped down to 180f again, which was enough to have me pop the bonnet and investigate, only to find a hole in my block heater line that had worn from rubbing against the filter canister. I must have lost about a gallon, and the engine still didn't overheat. impressive. then yesterday, when the plug head popped off, it was only the smell of the coolant that caused me to pull over. the temp rose maybe 10 deg max. again impressive. it doesn't seem much eve poured out, because the system is still running so cool, that not much boil over pressure even builds up enough to put any pressure on the bolt I had put in the plug hole to limp to the autoparts store.

Pendy, you are the diesel cooling demi-god.
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  #10  
Old June 10th, 2008, 12:17 PM
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John B.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat
the 300tdi has no radiator cap...
The cap on the coolant reservoir is the "radiator cap"....
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  #11  
Old June 10th, 2008, 12:54 PM
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Patrick M.
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unfortunately I have no figures to prove what I've said; sorry....

LR engines (I'm really talking about the 300Tdi the one I know the best) do not come with a temperature alarm or temperature switch ...
Of course if the plastic plug fails and we do not have a temperature alarm we'll end up paying for a new head gasket or even more.... but the true is that having the brass plugs will not really avoid the problem if the engine is overheating; a hose or even the radiator are the ones that will probably fail...

Then from my point of view, I prefer keeping the plastic thing well manteined, having some cheap spare with me, and off course have installed a temperature alarm, but I might be wrong and the brass plugs will save your engine ...

Red90
are you sure there are no pressure gradient between the reservoir cap & the plastic plugs when the engine overheats? I'm not.
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  #12  
Old June 10th, 2008, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat
Red90
are you sure there are no pressure gradient between the reservoir cap & the plastic plugs when the engine overheats? I'm not.
Yes, I am completely sure.

If YOU are really so concerned about overheating, install a temperature switch, light and a buzzer. I've done it. Simple and cheap.
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  #13  
Old June 10th, 2008, 01:39 PM
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I had the same problem a few years ago. Plastic broke and I needed a replacement pronto. As a temporary replacement I used a 1/2" double male PVC threaded piece with a PVC cap. Since I was not close to any shops and happened to have this laying around it worked in a pinch and I soon forgot about it until several months later when it started to weep. I went to a local hardware store and bought a brass plug for $2. This has worked just fine for the last several years.
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  #14  
Old June 10th, 2008, 02:09 PM
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mark kellgren
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For all who read this:

While we don't have a unanimous vote, the overwhelming majority vote to replace crappy plastic plug with brass. Do it, and do it now....you have been warned.
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  #15  
Old June 10th, 2008, 02:20 PM
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And the radiator with a pendy-built.
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  #16  
Old June 10th, 2008, 03:13 PM
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Nice to have 5 gallons working for you isn't it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlander
I'm officially putting the brass plug ahead of the convex mirror as the most important upgrade.

Also, I have to say, that Pendy's uberradiator setup saved my 2.8 engine twice now. I was first on a drive home last week, when the temp started climbing from it's normal 160f to slightly over 180f (even in heatwave, very abnormal) and an occasional rise to 220f for a few seconds before it dropped down to 180f again, which was enough to have me pop the bonnet and investigate, only to find a hole in my block heater line that had worn from rubbing against the filter canister. I must have lost about a gallon, and the engine still didn't overheat. impressive. then yesterday, when the plug head popped off, it was only the smell of the coolant that caused me to pull over. the temp rose maybe 10 deg max. again impressive. it doesn't seem much eve poured out, because the system is still running so cool, that not much boil over pressure even builds up enough to put any pressure on the bolt I had put in the plug hole to limp to the autoparts store.

Pendy, you are the diesel cooling demi-god.
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  #17  
Old June 10th, 2008, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pendy
Nice to have 5 gallons working for you isn't it!
What is this Pendy radiator? will it work for a V8?
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  #18  
Old June 11th, 2008, 12:05 AM
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jim pendleton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellymoe
What is this Pendy radiator? will it work for a V8?
You have a thin radiator in your truck more then likely. I could have one made for you but I would need a correct core or have to fuss with one to scratch build it. Costs a good bit of change as well. You having issues?

JP
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  #19  
Old June 11th, 2008, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pendy
You have a thin radiator in your truck more then likely. I could have one made for you but I would need a correct core or have to fuss with one to scratch build it. Costs a good bit of change as well. You having issues?

JP
No issues right now but never hurts to go overkill on the cooling. I'm heading to Death Valley next week for 3 days of solo off roading. Temps have been 110-113. I'll know after that trip if I'm having any real issues. If I dont report back send a search party
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  #20  
Old June 11th, 2008, 12:49 AM
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Take your bread crums
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