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Freelander 1 Head gasket again?

Discussion in 'Land Rover Freelander' started by Petros71, Feb 24, 2021.

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  1. Petros71

    Petros71 Member

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    Hello all
    I want to apologize in advance for this post because it's going to be LOOOONG :):)
    For start the hippo I own since Feb 2019 is 1,8 lt. petrol born in 2001 with 87.000 km on the meter seems to have issue with the head gasket again.
    The first time was in early November 2019 on a trip to Thessaloniki when the gasket decide to fail 150 km away from Athens filling the air with steam from the exhaust. Anyway the hippo got back to Athens with road assistance and when the mechanic disassembled the head found out that the gasket was replaced sometime before by the previous owner. So now I have a hippo with the gasket failed 2 times, and now I have to face the same problem one more time.
    Last summer in July (6-7 months after the previous gasket change) I was driving in a freeway and suddenly the temperature rised to the sky, the fans sounded like a Lancaster bomber diving to drop bombs and the coolant in the expansion tank like boiling eggs. Stopped to the side of the road, opened the cap carefully and surprise surprise no liquid just plain hot air. Found some water to fill it up and the things seemed to got back to normal except the needle in the gauge was rising and droping instandly all the way back. I went straight ahead to the mechanic being furious with the situation and tryed to figure out why that happened. Anyway the mechanic changed the thermostat but the temperature was still high.Then he told me to inspect the radiator and turned out that it was completely blocked with dirt and mud. He took the radiator for cleaning (not replace) and when all the parts got in place tested in the garage connected with the diagnostic unit, the temperature never got higher than 112° so I went off to home BUT when I drove the car the temperature RISED AGAIN. Frustrated got back to garage and then the mechanic told me that he thinks that the car seemed to lost some power and he thinks that the gasked failed again.
    At this point I drove back home and left the hippo sleep because due to the pandemic and the lockdowns I did'nt had the money to fix it again.
    Today after searching how to change by my own the gasket I thought it would be a nice chance to test if the mechanic fooling me or there is actually a problem.

    So first things first checked the oil and it's OK (dark brown actually)
    Filled the expansion tank with water on the max level
    Found the two valves on the pipes to bleed the circuit (the air filter is out and it's easy to reach the one under it)
    Fired up the engine to make the temperature rise
    After some time I untied the valves and only water camed out
    I tightened the valves again and waited the fans to spin
    The engine went hot but the fans did'nt spin so I untied the valves again but only water came out
    Checked in the cabin the air of the heater and noticed that in the first 20 seconds the air was hot but after the air turned to warm
    The water in the tank now is boiling and disappeared so I open the cap carefully to add water but the water reappear in the tank so I closed the cap
    Unfortunately when I had my hand on the valve near the cylinder block the screw popped out and almost got a burn in the face by the hot water coming like a fountain.
    Started the sequence all the way again
    Now air and bubbles are coming from the upper valve
    The fans spinned for few seconds and stopped
    Boiling water in the tank
    I forgot to mention that I checked the exhaust if there is any water coming out or steam to make sure that the water did'nt try to escape through a cilynder but it was just some moist.
    The heat in the cabin the same as before
    Now only water coming out of the valves so I tighten them
    The water dissappear again and
    I'm having a nervous break down and I shut the engine
    I open the cap and the water reappear but only in half of the tank
    I close the bonnet and lock the car

    I don't have the tools but I can find them through a friend and I can afford to buy the gasket set to replace it but it's the gasket or it's something else?
    The cabin radiator is blocked too or it's something in the water circuit?
    Any suggestions, ideas or advices are more than welcomed
    Thank you all for your patience and please forgive me for any grammar mistakes
    Cheers
    Peter
     
  2. Nodge68

    Nodge68 Well-Known Member

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    The K series engine needs careful checking for correct liner height, head hardness and fire ring recession, before a replacement head gasket is fitted.
    Here's the service bulletin which gives the necessary head repair information.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  3. Petros71

    Petros71 Member

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    @Nodge68 thank you very much. If I decide to do my own I 'll make those checks and I downloaded the pdf. :)
     
  4. Petros71

    Petros71 Member

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    Here we go with an update. After a long period of searching through many sources and with the help of a friend we realise that the coolant pump is making fun with us. The coolant wasn't returning to the expansion tank and the heater was blowing cold air even when the coolant temperature was "hot" (a lot). So today was the replacement day of the pump even though the mechanic was furious with me because he was insist that the gasket had failed again. Anyway he disassembled the pump and surprise surprise...

    Water_pump2.jpg

    The pump wasn't leaking and it was the original pump from the factory.
    So after this discovery the mechanic shutted his mouth, took the 50 euros for his job (I bought the pump for 35 euros) and I went for a test drive, the car is OK, the temperature as normal and I'm a happy hippo owner because I spared 265 euros.
    I keep in the back of my head that the gasket will fail if it isn't already but I'm trying to be positive and I hope that I escaped for now.
     
    Stanleysteamer and Nodge68 like this.
  5. teddywood1

    teddywood1 Well-Known Member

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    if the gasket does go again have it done properly that means a head skim and the three ply gasket i have never in my life seen a water pump like that
     
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  6. potus

    potus Well-Known Member

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    Look's like its been run without anti freeze / summer coolant
     
  7. Petros71

    Petros71 Member

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    You're right but it was only for a short period of time.
     
  8. Nodge68

    Nodge68 Well-Known Member

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    If the engine is started with the coolant frozen, the pump will have all the impeller vanes pulled off, or the timing belt breaks.

    It's absolutely vital that the correct concentration of coolant is used, or problems arise.
     
  9. Petros71

    Petros71 Member

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    I total agree with you. The car showed the first problem last summer, I think it was July and a few days later we unclogged the radiator. So I suppose that the debris of the pump clogged the radiator because the temperature was still rising even with the radiator was clear for that reason we thought that the gasket had failed again.
     
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