View Full Version : Coolant dripping from RH head when stopped

01-22-2010, 09:37 AM
This has just started happening a few days ago. The overflow bottle was going low, put in new coolant. There has been no overheating issues, the engine is running at normal temp, no white smoke from tailpipe and normal power. But,there is a coolant drip, which appears to be fresh coolant, coming from the rear of the right hand head. I cant seen exactly where it originates, maybe up further, since on one cold day last week I seen vapors coming up from the middle of the top of the engine? from coolant hitting something hot. The drips are coming off what looks like a plate held on with one bolt, to which a ground strap (?) is bolted. Any ideas??

01-23-2010, 10:00 AM
Check the hose connections and intake manifold but it sure sounds like a typical head gasket failure. How many miles on the vehicle? It seems that they all need head gaskets at around 120 - 150,000 miles. Once you have it apart, replace both head gaskets and remember to use new head bolts.

01-23-2010, 09:06 PM
YIKES sounds Xpensive. 132,000 miles...............

probably a bit more involved then my 2 liter 1958, eh?

Where exactly is the coolant going when it runs over the top of the engine? Is there anything close to the right rear of the head where it could be leaking hosewise and travelling down?

01-28-2010, 10:07 AM
...this forum seems deader than the hamster I had at age 12

01-28-2010, 09:09 PM
A leak from the thermostat, hose or intake manifold gasket would drip into the valley between the heads and then could run out the back and down either side of the block. It could easily look like it was coming from the head. That being said, head gasket leaks are very common - even on the later engines.

It's not a difficult repair and doesn't require any special tools - just some basic mechanical knowledge. If you can do it on a Series, you can do it on the P38. Figure $300-400 in parts (gasket set, head bolts and hoses). If you don't do it yourself, expect to pay ~$1,000 (or more) at a shop.

(And yes, not many P38 owners on here - much more activity on the Series Technical Forum.)

01-29-2010, 10:25 AM
Ahhh LIFE!

I have always had a problem with the heater, in that when the collant bottle would run low, the heater would stop getting warm. Put juice in the overflow bottle, and there is the heat. So, last week, after I noticed this drip problem, the heater was cold again and I got fresh bright coolant and put it undiluted into the overflow bottle. So..theres heat again. What is dripping out seems to be undiluted coolant, the same bright color as what I put in the bottle. This seems to me to be suggesting its NOT coming out of the main cooling system, and hence the head but somewhere from the coolant bottle TO the main system, and the leak is coming from there, travelling back through the top of the motor and then down the back of the left hand head.

zat make sense? Im totally scared to TOUCH the motor on that computerkar....the series 2 on the other hand...Ill wrench that thing till I have blister on my fingers and not be afraid a bit.

(edited to add...and yes the heater O rings had leaked a little bit over the years, I just lived with it)

01-31-2010, 12:48 PM
Common problem w/all the OHV engines up to the 04 Disco. The head gaskets are gravy on these. The worst part is trying not to break the 8mm bolts on the exhaust manifold heat shields.It would hurt to replace your coolant hoses either, especially the plastic one's that become brittle after 30k miles.

I'd replace the heater core o-rings too. It's a bit more complex but not too bad. You need to remove the glove box, the A/C control head and some panels & such. Get a long phillips head screwdriver to release the screw & remove the pipes. Like I said, a bit more involved. You could probably get a Rover shop to do that job for $500 or so. The o-rings themselves are about $10. The cost is in the labor.