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  #1  
Old July 21st, 2010, 08:56 AM
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The death of a legend

Hey guys

After searching for days, and back and forth with my mechanic I'm here to solicit opinions, advice, and collective shoulders to cry on.

As a relatively competent DIY-er I decided to change my oil (61k on the odo), check my underside prior to installing some underbody protection, and some other general maintenance stuff. I also decided to upgrade my oil cooler lines (despite my mechanic telling me not to worry about 'em). In the process, while removing the filter and draining my oil, I unscrewed the 2 bolts on the side and above the filter (one housed a spring, which unbeknownst to me popped out, and so when I first closed it, I didn't replace the spring). In the process, the upper most screw (w/ the spring) drained out some oil.

Anyway, I change the oil, filter, all's good (or so I think), but then I start her up and notice a slightly strange sound coming from the oil pump area, and my "check oil" light is on. I check levels, which were fine, let her run for a few minutes to see if it'll level itself out, and give it a day or two to resettle. I decide to take her for a spin hoping to get things circulating again, but the more (and faster) I drive the louder this rattling noise gets.

Now I'm panicked, and take it to my mechanic, who tries some things, none of which work to get rid of noise or check engine light. We then realize the spring issue, reinsert it, but still no change. I leave it there, and get a call a couple of days later to tell me, my engine's shot. Despite it starting, driving, and otherwise acting fine except the rattling sound and check engine light. He believes the engine was starved for oil, and in the process of running dry destroyed the gaskets(?) and the heads(?) or something to that effect.

Ironically, I was thinking of doing a TDI conversion but the prices he quoted me through AB would make it cost more than the entire truck (new), which sounded totally weird, but what do I know. A new 3.9L petrol would similarly cost $15-18k, installed. And so the other temporary option was to find a Disco '94 (manual) and swap the engine.

Is there anything else I can do given the engine is starting, the truck drives, and is otherwise fine except for the rattling?

Any and all advice is welcome.
Thanks in advance.

AL
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  #2  
Old July 21st, 2010, 09:14 AM
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the death of a legend

Car-parts.com

A junk yard search engine, you'll fine your v8 disco engine, they all should offer some type of warranty.

That is your cheapest bet... although this might be god telling you it's time to go diesel! I'll let somebody else tell you where to find a cheap diesel.

Either way, good luck.

-Gustaf
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  #3  
Old July 21st, 2010, 09:50 AM
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Did the oil light go out or did it stay on the entire time? In your post you said when you took it to your mechanic it had the check engine light on. just trying to figure out how long the oil pressure light was on.

Gaskets sound like a strange failure due to oil starvation, maybe rod bearings or something in the upper end

15 - 18K seems high to replace the motor but I have not checked on what a new 3.9 costs.

If you want to replace the motor with another one you might consider going with a used motor. I would give Will of roverguy.com a call or check car-part. You might call or email Mike at ECR as well maybe he will have a decent motor from a diesel swap.

I would also ask on here for for some other shops in the area to see if you can get a second opnion based on what you have posted.

And I am sure you know this now but in the future if the oil pressure light comes on turn the motor off ASAP
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  #4  
Old July 21st, 2010, 09:59 AM
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I'm sorry, I meant the "oil" light not check engine.
Yeah, I swear even my hand brake light that's been on for years is getting fixed now before I drive it again!!!!!
And the oil light stayed on, but we're talking a total of 30 minutes (tops) of the engine being on, between the initial test, the drive around, and eventual drive to my mechanic, but I guess as they say, all it takes is a minute...
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  #5  
Old July 21st, 2010, 12:16 PM
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bummer.

The spring that popped out is likely part of the oil pressure relief valve. It is designed to keep the oil pressure from getting too high. If you remove the spring, you remove the valves ability to regulate pressure, the oil will just push the ball out of the way and your pressure effectively goes to zip. No pressure means the connecting rods are not supported by a film of oil on the crankshaft. The crankshaft is not supported within the main bearings. The lifters will not pump up and could damage the bores they ride in, and the cam may damage its bearing and running surfaces as well. Driving the engine in this condition will only make things worse as the parts are under load and the damage will only occur more rapidly.

Oh well, it was a mistake and a learning experience, time to move on. Get a secondhand motor from a reliable source like Will Tillery (never bought a motor from him but I hear lots of good thing) and have someone put in.

keep us posted as you progress through this.
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  #6  
Old July 21st, 2010, 12:27 PM
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Just my 2 cents, but I wouldn't throw in the towel on your engine quite yet. Given that you filled the crankcase with oil there still should have been some lubrication for the lower end. If it were me I might try a few things. One, try to identify exactly were the noise is. If its definitely coming from the oil pan/ pump area I would drop the pan and do a visual inspection. Another thing to try is spin the pump up as you would when priming the engine for the for the first time. Try to determine if the pump is actually pushing any oil or if for some reason it's running dry. In any case, while some damage may have occurred, it's still possible that the motor is repairable.
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  #7  
Old July 21st, 2010, 12:30 PM
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These engine do not always self prime the oil pump and if you allow the pump to drain (by removing those ports), you need to re-prime by packing the pump with vaseline or grease.

Do not ever leave an engine running with an oil light on. You have seconds before damage begins.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 01:16 PM
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your engine replacement quotes are totally unreasonable from my experience. My 2.8 conversion (parts and labor) was around $15k. 300 TDI would be less. Used TDI even less still.

You would probably be able to find a good 4.6 for less than replacement cost quoted.
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  #9  
Old July 21st, 2010, 01:30 PM
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So my mechanic states

"there is no oil pressure... copper in oil and knocking in engine, as well as a lifter noise."
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  #10  
Old July 21st, 2010, 01:37 PM
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Option #3... I'd guess that someome here would take it off your hands at scrap value

Seriously, what do I think? - like you care -

a) Find new mechanic. As click-n-clack would say, this guy must need a new boat.

b) Decide if you want petrol or diesel.

3) Just fix the blasted thing. Previous posters have surmised - and I agree - that you've likely ruined a variety of bearing and non-bearing surfaces. A salvage engine would probably a great starting point if you want to stay petrol...if not, the sky's the limit.

It's not a problem, it's an opportunity!
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  #11  
Old July 21st, 2010, 01:56 PM
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Don't assume anything before repacking the oil pump with vaseline and attempting to re-prime it. A Rover V8 sounds horrible running with no oil pressure, so I might not be dead yet. Unless your mechanic (who sounds like a dumbass) ran it until it broke you might have life in the old girl yet.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 02:10 PM
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30 minutes is a long time with low oil pressure, but could still be savable. First step is like everybody else said, make sure the pump is assembled correctly and re-prime it. I'd get a parts breakdown picture and make sure that everything is where it should be. Not only is there a spring in there, but the spring should be holding down a plunger.

Copper in the oil means that, yes, you did damage the bearings to some degree and wore through the outer layer. But if it's not spun and not worn too much, you might still be OK if you can get the pressure back up. Depending on how much you wore the bearings, you MAY or MAY NOT be able to compensate for low pressure with a pump upgrade. I know there are high-volume, high pressure oil pump kits out there for this engine. Google the rover "tadpole" valve, which may help in this situation. Hopefully somebody with more oil pump upgrade experience than me will chime in. I've look into it a lot, but never actually done it.

Worst case scenario is having to replace the long-block. $15k-$18k is utterly absurd. Even if somebody else had to do ALL the work, and you had to buy ALL new parts, it shouldn't be more than $5k. If you can get some 12pack mechanic friends to come over, and can find a deal on a good used engine, under $1500 is theoretically possible. Just do yourself a favor if you have the engine out, and do a new clutch too if yours is still original.

Oh, and get a REAL oil pressure gauge in there. The oil light is utterly useless for diagnostic work.

-Hans
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Old July 21st, 2010, 03:05 PM
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So it seems the consensus is to start by priming the pump and packing w/ vaseline, before I rush to get a new (or used engine).

How involved is that as my mechanic says it's 4-5 hrs billable????
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Old July 21st, 2010, 03:12 PM
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I have a 3.9 motor you can have for free and I am outside philadelphia.

Ron
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Old July 21st, 2010, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drdread View Post
So it seems the consensus is to start by priming the pump and packing w/ vaseline, before I rush to get a new (or used engine).

How involved is that as my mechanic says it's 4-5 hrs billable????
Not too hard at all. Disconnect the oil lines, remove the filter, and it's 6 (or is it 8) little bolts that are easy to access from under the truck. Mine have 12pt heads on them, just in case you're big on usually having 6pt wrenches and sockets like I am.

I've done it in about 45 minutes in the past. Just watch out for the gears dropping loose when you remove the bottom plate of the oil pump, had one whack me in the lip one time when it was about 20 degrees out. Not a fun thing. I'd also have a spare gasket on-hand before doing it, just in case the old one gets messed up.

4-5hrs billable? Man, I thought I was getting exhorbitant prices out on Long Island when I was looking into exhaust work, but that's just bat-shit crazy right there.

-Hans
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Old July 21st, 2010, 03:27 PM
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Get a metal rod. Cut a slit in it. Remove the distributor (leave the cap and wires in place and mark the distributor's position). Attach rod to a drill and spin pump over until you get oil pressure.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 03:30 PM
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and get a new mechanic...ASAP
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  #18  
Old July 21st, 2010, 03:37 PM
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Yeah, I'm all over it.

Thanks guys. You have all just made my worst nightmare a lot more bearable.

Special thanks Ron.
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 05:33 AM
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You can thank me too, the motor came out of my 110 and runs pretty damned well for 145k miles.

4-5 hours to repack a pump is more evidence that your mechanic is a dumbass, dishonest, or just knows nothing about Rovers. Any of these is a good reason to leave him.

Aside from just needing to make sure a gasket is on hand (along with a gasket scraper) and getting the right 12-point socket, I feel its easier to just pop off the cover and pack the gears. I don't like removing dizzies that work right.
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 05:20 PM
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Thank you

Yes I absolutely must thank you, especially for the further insight as well. You guys rock.
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