Rover Resources Center
Head Gasket Tutorial For Land Rover Vehicles
Watch Jim as he gives an overview of the Land Rover head gasket components. Jim explains how to know if you have blown a head gasket on your Land Rover, and also provides useful tips on how to repair a leaky head gasket to get your engine back running efficiently.
Did you blow a head gasket?Overview of Head Gasket Kits and Head Bolt Kits for Land Rover and Range RoversHi, it's Jim. I do the technical support here at Atlantic British. This morning we thought we'd have a little discussion on head gaskets. What can go wrong with them. Where they fail. Sitting here on our bench I've got a head that came off a Land Rover V8 engine. This pertains to 1987 up to about 2004. Usually when head gaskets go, they fail in this area here, which is the water jacket. I've also seen them fail right here on combustion chamber, it actually leaks exhaust out the sides. Sounds like a leaky exhaust pipe, but it is usually a failed head gasket. Early on, up to about 1994, the head gasket was just a shim type metal gasket. Around 1994 Land Rover decided that the better seal was this new style composite head gasket. With this gasket, it takes special head bolts. They're what they call a stretch or angle torque head bolt. They have to be replaced every time you do the gasket, because they get torqued special. First you just tighten them up to about 15 pounds, and then you twist them 90 degrees and then another 90 degrees. The bolt actually acts like a little spring when the engine expands and contracts. The composite head gasket, if you get a good quality like we sell here at Atlantic British, I believe the brand is Elring, they're always marked with the word top, so you know where to put it on the car. If you can't find the top, usually this red sealer is facing you, and you put the head down on top of it. To find out if you have a head gasket problem, the obvious thing is you're going to see water dripping underneath your truck. What you need to do is get somebody to pressure test it, see where it is coming out. Like I said, the usually area are the ends of the head. Another way they can fail is you'll get combustion getting into the cooling system and it builds too much pressure. You need special test equipment - there is a dye you can put in a sample of the cooling that will actually change colors. If you have all that problem going on, it's a pretty complicated repair. You have to be a very good do-it-yourselfer with a lot of tools, or it may be better just to take it to someone who has done it before. At Atlantic British we carry all the parts you need to do a head gasket job. Shown here on the bench is one of our complete engine kits. In the kit you get the head gaskets, which come in a sealed envelope, a lot of miscellaneous seals for the intake manifold, this is the valley gasket, these are the valve cover gaskets. Also don't forget you need to buy the bolts. I believe we stock a complete kit with the gaskets and the bolts. Also included with the gasket, you get this little piece of paper that shows you the correct procedure to tighten up the head. If you don't follow this procedure it won't seal right, or you can actually warp the head and the gasket will fail in short order. You can order your parts here at Atlantic British either on RoverParts.com or give us a call at 1-800-533-2210. Our sales staff has handled this situation many times. They know exactly what you need, they know exactly what's going on. Another point, I don't know is other companies do this, when you do order online your order actually gets checked by a real person. They'll look and see what you're ordering, what you've ordered and what you need, and if there is a question about it we'll actually call you and say, We saw you order this. You may need something else besides what you're doing. That's just part of the full service we do here at Atlantic British. Check out your head gasket, and maybe take it to a pro and get it fixed.
Applies To These Models:
Discovery I | '94-'99
Discovery Series II | '99-'04
Range Rover Classic | '87-'95
Range Rover 4.0 (P38) | '95-'02
Range Rover 4.6 (P38) | '95-'02
Defender 90 | '94-'97
Defender 110 | '93
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