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head gasket 300tdi


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Hi, i'm in need of some advice, the engine is blowing bubbles/fumes etc through the expansion chamber. If i tighten the filler cap it blows all the water out. This hasn't just happened it has got steadily worse.

Having spoken to the landrover main agents and they said that it almost certainly is the head but it could be the block, which obviously would be a disaster. I'm quite prepared to put a new head on it but not go to the expense of another engine as it would be totally uneconomic.

Has anybody had the experience of a cracked block blowing fumes into the water gallery?

I removed the oil filler cap while the engine was running and there was some fumes coming out, but nothing like what blows out of the expansion chamber.

The engine has done approx 140k.

Regards, Rocky

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Head gasket failure is not unknown for a Tdi, and isn't the end of the world. Rather than suggesting block failure - they are fairly robust if not severely overheated - it is worth taking the head off to find if the gasket has failed.

Once the head is off, it needs to be checked as flat & true. Also get it pressure tested. If not flat, it can be re-faced and the valve seats re-cut to maintain the valve stand down. It is worth checking that the top face of the block is true (unlikely not to be). I had a 300Tdi head pressure tested and re-faced recently at a cost of £50, so not expensive compared to a new head.

Having done a few head gaskets on various Land Rovers, I can recommend using Elring gaskets. Any decent motor engineer will be able to do this job at a much more affordable price than the local main agents.

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Hi Rocky,

Some will remember my 300 Tdi head gasket/cylinder head saga. I had the head skimmed, the valve seats re-faced to have the correct stand down, and the head pressure tested, got the head back, passed the pressure test, replaced the head gasket, and on start up, three valves touched the pistons, off comes the head, increase the stand down, as it was on the absolute end of the allowable value. Re-installed the head, after two days, all the symptoms are back. Off with the head again, bought a new head, and end of my problems.

Moral of this story, make sure the head is pressure tested as pre-scribed by LR, make sure the stand down of the valves are well within the max and min values, warped block, vary rare, unless the engine was really boiled, but then the rings would possibly be damaged as well.

I went and replaced all the coolant hoses and clamps, the thermostat, belts, pulley bearings, and installed an additional temperature gauge to measure the head's temperature, I really do not trust LR's temperature gauge, it is a switching gauge, not analogue.

Good luck.

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Thanks mate, i'll whip it off at the weekend. I have rebuilt engines before but a long while ago ( getting lazy). After giving it some thought the gasket or head is probably blown between the pushrods as the engine is smoking a bit through the oil filler.

Anyway i'll post a report.

Regards, Rocky.

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Be careful with 'decking' the block. Some engineers take the same amount of the top of the pistons to keep the piston protrusion the same, but they don't take into account the protrusions in the centre of the combustion chambers. We had a 300tdi which had been decked and the pistons skimmed (the numbers had gone from the crowns) and each protrusion in the chamber had an interesting indentation where the injectors had hit the pistons. The valves had also hit the pistons, but the real problem was that the bores were worn out.

I would post a photo but Photobucket don't work tonight.

Bear in mind that skimming the pistons will increase the cr as well, not necessarily a good thing.

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