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  #1  
Old July 12th, 2014, 06:53 PM
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What would you do?

A little back story...

I've had an overheating issue with my Defender for the last couple of months. Basically if I'm sitting in traffic for an extended period of time it will overheat, especially in high ambient temperatures. I drove it up to NYC last weekend and had no problems with overheating until I was actually stuck in city traffic. I've never had it boil over, but it does get over 230, at which point I'm running with the heat on high. On the way back from NYC after driving for 5+ hours over 80mph it started to run warm on the highway. Not as hot as in traffic, but the factory gauge just over the centre. I pulled over to check for leaks, found nothing, and continued on without further issue. This past week its been running warm on the highway on my way home from work. When I get off the highway it drops back down to normal, until I get stuck in traffic. This is usually with the a/c on, but as soon as it starts getting warm I turn it off.

I've replaced the radiator with a genuine unit, replaced and tested the radiator cap, installed a 180 thermostat, installed a new aftermarket fan clutch and new RRC 11 blade fan. The cooling system has been filled with a vacuum filler and also flushed with a coolant flushing machine to ensure no air in the system. I have verified that it is actually overheating with my Snap On scanner and an infrared temp gun, so my factory gauge is accurate.

This week I started taking the engine apart to look for something wrong. I removed all of the spark plugs and didn't see any coolant specks on them. Next I performed a leak down test on all of the cylinders and didn't have any bubbles in the cooling system or excessive leakage. I pulled the water pump to make sure the impeller isn't damaged or slipping. I didn't find anything wrong, but one of the bolts broke off, so that's great.







Today I pulled the heads off and didn't really find anything. The driver's side head bolts were a lot easier to remove than the passenger side, but I didn't see anywhere on the head gasket where it could have been leaking. All of the pistons have some white specks on them, but I highly doubt its coolant, I assume its from running too lean or something like that. The pistons have some groove cut into them which I assume are to clear the valves. I've never seen pistons like that in a Rover motor, so I'm guessing they are aftermarket.





Some other info that might be relevant is that this is a Bosch (from a DII) 4.6 with new style 10 bolt cylinder heads. I didn't do the build on the motor and I don't know its history.

My question to the board is should I replace the block or should I take a gamble and throw some head gaskets on it. I'm going to have the heads machined and checked for cracks, but I highly doubt they'll find anything. I would likely have the block repaired and top hat liners installed which will cost me around $2,500. I'm guessing it will be around $3,500 total for me to do everything. If I do head gaskets and it doesn't fix it, I will have to buy another head gasket kit and do all of the work over. I'm also moving at the end of next month, so time is a factor as well.
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  #2  
Old July 12th, 2014, 07:21 PM
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You need the tiniest leak to inject a lot of heat into the water ... I has the same symptoms which gradually got worse. I'd throw gaskets on ... And save the money for a 300tdi conversion.
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  #3  
Old July 12th, 2014, 07:35 PM
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If you are doing the work yourself, go with the cheap fix and hope for the best. If that doesn't work then on to plan "B".
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  #4  
Old July 12th, 2014, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javelinadave View Post
If you are doing the work yourself, go with the cheap fix and hope for the best. If that doesn't work then on to plan "B".
I swear I'm never flying with you! lol!!
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Old July 12th, 2014, 08:51 PM
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I swear I'm never flying with you! lol!!

Hahahahahhahahahahah hahahaha.
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  #6  
Old July 12th, 2014, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javelinadave View Post
If you are doing the work yourself, go with the cheap fix and hope for the best. If that doesn't work then on to plan "B".
Jimmyjamz is a tech @ Land Rover Richmond- he knows his shizzle.
Jimmy kind of surprised you are taking an opinion poll when you already are better educated on the subject than most here to make the best decision.
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  #7  
Old July 12th, 2014, 09:13 PM
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The cumulative mechanical knowledge of this board exceeds a life time of one man's mechanical experience...he is a wise man to ask opinion even if to validate his own...this site will one day become self aware and tell us all to buy Jeeps...
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  #8  
Old July 12th, 2014, 09:14 PM
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Any coolant loss or contamination?
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Old July 12th, 2014, 09:20 PM
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Maybe the head is compromised or the "builder" did some shady work. Unless the block is fucked seems likedyou've covered your tracks. II'll let my truck get to 200 before I shut off the ac. It weeps coolant but runs 190 most of the time.
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Old July 12th, 2014, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Larson View Post
The cumulative mechanical knowledge of this board exceeds a life time of one man's mechanical experience...he is a wise man to ask opinion even if to validate his own...this site will one day become self aware and tell us all to buy Jeeps...
Until you pipe in about flying
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Old July 12th, 2014, 09:36 PM
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On the stock gauge, how do you know the actual temp? Mine is usually half way most times. If it's 90+ degrees out it might be a hair or two over the half way mark but I've never been close to the red area. Do some stock gauges have a temp marked?
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  #12  
Old July 12th, 2014, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Jonesy View Post
Until you pipe in about flying
OK but you decide for yourself on the bubble gum and band-aid when a pilot sez go with the cheap fix! lol...

(not saying I disagree, just ribbin a friend...lol)
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  #13  
Old July 12th, 2014, 10:28 PM
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LoL ... I am with you 200%
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  #14  
Old July 12th, 2014, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
You need the tiniest leak to inject a lot of heat into the water ... I has the same symptoms which gradually got worse. I'd throw gaskets on ... And save the money for a 300tdi conversion.
I've had a 300 tdi, and while I miss getting 27 mpg, I can't stand the noise. I would love to do a TD5 swap, but that is not in the cards financially or time wise. I'm leaning towards gaskets because I really don't have the money at the moment to do the block. I need to sell some of my other cars before the move! I am doubtful that the gaskets will fix it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
Jimmyjamz is a tech @ Land Rover Richmond- he knows his shizzle.
Jimmy kind of surprised you are taking an opinion poll when you already are better educated on the subject than most here to make the best decision.
I guess my question is more about which makes more financial sense rather than on the technical side. I just can't decide if its worth potentially throwing away $500 and all of the time it will take to do a head gasket when I'm doubtful it will fix my issue. That being said, I am by no means a Defender expert, I mostly work on newer Land Rovers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
Any coolant loss or contamination?
No coolant loss, and no leaks with a pressure tester or over thousands of miles. I haven't run a block test (too late now), but in my experience it would be inconclusive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rover4x4 View Post
Maybe the head is compromised or the "builder" did some shady work. Unless the block is fucked seems likedyou've covered your tracks. II'll let my truck get to 200 before I shut off the ac. It weeps coolant but runs 190 most of the time.
I have seen a few things that aren't right and discovered why I've had a belt noise, but nothing that would cause cooling system issues. The only thing so far that is suspect is the fact that the driver's side head bolts came out very easily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WeBeCinYa View Post
On the stock gauge, how do you know the actual temp? Mine is usually half way most times. If it's 90+ degrees out it might be a hair or two over the half way mark but I've never been close to the red area. Do some stock gauges have a temp marked?
I have a Snap On scan tool that will read the temperature from the fuel injection ECU, so I have a pretty good idea of where the temps are based on the position of the gauge. I've actually had two different factory gauges installed in my truck, and both would read slightly differently. In my experience, the gauge should show just under the middle. Mine doesn't move above the middle until about 215 or so.
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  #15  
Old July 13th, 2014, 12:15 AM
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The problem with the 4.6 block is not head gaskets.. It's the liner sleeves...(well at least the later 4.6 engine) A small amount of combustion gasses can get in between the block and the liner... If you were to do a block leak test with the water pump block off tool and the coolant port cap offs you will likely see the coolant seeping up from the tiny line just about 1 mm in from the piston surface.. It doesn't take much for the head gasket to let the gas past the sealing surface and down the sleeve... I have had good luck with block sealer in my 4.6 range rover classic I converted to 4.6 5 speed...although it was using a little coolant..if you want to keep the 4.6 you can just change everything over to a 4.0 block.. The 4.6 is just a stroked 4.0.. Stroked crank with lowered pin height pistons.. Rods are the same ..

------ Follow up post added July 13th, 2014 12:17 AM ------

Have you verified coolant temps at the in and out of the radiator with a non contact thermometer.....lower hose temp should be decently lower than the upper hose temp
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Old July 13th, 2014, 06:48 AM
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^^^ i believe it was Robinson Service that wrote an excellent technical article about this very issue.

Found it (different from the link below). http://robisonservice.blogspot.com/2...lures.html?m=1
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Old July 13th, 2014, 07:40 AM
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This is what you're referring to I think: http://robisonservice.blogspot.com/2...and-rover.html
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Old July 13th, 2014, 08:17 AM
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I've never seen that article.. And yes,... I guess that backs up what I was saying.. But he didn't mention anything about the even more common fault with the later 4.6 and that is the noise from the lifter... The engine starts out nice and quiet but once warm it develops a noise that sounds like a hydraulic lifter noise.. Give it a rev and it goes away for a while and then comes and goes intermittently .. I chased this noise many years ago on an engine rebuild.. Put in a new set of lifters and the noise was still there... Finally found it to be a problem in the lack of aluminum in the lifter bores.. The lifter binds slightly on its down travel and hangs up for a second until it then slaps down on the closing ramp of the cam.. This can be rectified by I believe chev 350 lifter bore sleeves are the same, the bores can be sleeved just like the liner sleeves.... But as I mentioned before.. Why, just swap everything over to a 4.0 block.. Or use a 4.6 out of the 1995-2002 range rover
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  #19  
Old July 13th, 2014, 11:10 AM
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The blocks crack behind the cylinder liner, the liner is not the issue. My coworker had a cylinder liner machined out of a bad block and the pressurised it which made the crack visible. With the liner in place it would leak out of the top. According to the machine shops I've talked to, installing a top hat liner will resolve this issue. One machine shop said just putting in standard liners would likely work too.

I'll check those articles out, thanks guys.
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Old July 13th, 2014, 09:17 PM
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There is a third option. I could put a 3.9L back in since those are practically free, but I don't think I want to downgrade.

I'm going to take the heads to the machine shop tomorrow and have them tested and milled. It'd be great if they found a crack in one...
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