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96 300TDI - Steaming Oil Filler, Knocking noise and smoke


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Hi All,

Hope someone can help me diagnose the problem i have.

Coming back from sodbury couple of weeks ago near to home the discovery started making a faint knocking / grinding noise. I took it easy to get home and parked up. After coming back from holiday and working on disco today I started it to turn the wheels full lock and engine stalled.

Symptoms now are:

Eventually started whilst giving it gas, knocking noise evident, lots of smoke and wont idle needs gas to run.

So I switched it off straight away. BTW the engine is a defender with about 100,000 on it.

Inpspected engine & removed rocker cap, lots of steam/smoke (not sure) ... Removed belts to check wheels, all moved ok.

I fear the worst, someone please HELP !

Thanks in advance


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Hi is it 300TDi defender eng in a disco ?

smoke/steam from rocker cover immediately on start up suggests blown head gasket.. is it really a "knocking" or more of a banging? How's the water level (300tdi check header tank and at thermostat housing) .They usually idle still if head gasket is gone though.

........however metallic knocking & won't idle suggests cam belt may have slipped a tooth, when was cam belt last done?

the grinding noise you mentioned on the way back from sodders also suggests cam belt . with the rocker cover off did all the push rods look straight & all the valve stem caps in place?

some food for thought maybe :)


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