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The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse
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Pleasure, glad they are useful!

I'd go ARP studs every time. They are known good quality, but the torque procedure is just much easier to execute when compared to the stretch bolts.
It doesn't sound complicated, but doing up the last 90deg sequence needed for the stretch bolts is a bit of a mission (well it was for me anyway). I marked the bolts beforehand and also marked the block, but it's still tough to turn exactly 90deg and stop at exactly the right stage when leaning over the engine, reaching over and grunting while tugging on the 1/2inch extension. ARP studs tightened to the specified torque in stages was way easier and more repeatable for me!

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ARP studs are way to go 🤗 my Buick engine had over £7k spent on it But worth every penny 🤗 You only want to do the job once mate Rover V8 is simpler to do that most --- that water from rear of manifold as on Thor waterways at back of head not used --- probably no sealant used 🙄 also superglue rocker cover gasket to cover ---- this will save you no end of hassle with fitting 🤗
I build marine engines for mod and F1 power boats --- and we glue gaskets to covers for fitting

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Thanks guys. Like I said, no ARP stock of this kit in the UK. The guys I spoke to reckon they would be supplied by surface mail and take 5/6 weeks. However, the summit racing site linked by JLImmelman suggests they can get them to the UK for £190 (cost) + £50 shipping.. I'll ping them an email and see what shipping method and timescale that equates to - and I totally agree - I only want to do this once.

So I'll obviously do an oil and belts/plugs service while I'm doing this. Is there anything else that makes sense? I've seen some mention of doing the coils, but also a comment that the Bosch originals may be better than any modern replacements. Will I need to prepare for coolant hoses? Anything else?

(Bear in mind that my most recent experience - for the last 20 years - has been with a diesel 300Tdi)

Ta

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Not quite the same subject but I have got a spare BMW M51 diesel engine that I am putting together. I have just got a head for it.
I am not a big lover of stretch bolts. I like the idea of being able to take the head off and put it back on without buying a new set of bolts each time.
Another issue is the bolts maybe also be of variable quality if not OEM.
ARP do a set for the M51. They are rare but I have seen them listed for £360 a set !
Looking at the spec it says the studs are made from 160,000 psi tensile strength steel. I was considering getting a set of studs made up instead.
How hard can it be? There are 14.
Also a comment on ARP's website says tapping out the stud holes on an old engine to clean the threads up can weaken the thread by removing a small amount of metal but how else are you supposed to do it?

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^^ I've been told - though I've never seen them, or looked into it, so this could be a pile of pants - that there is a difference between a thread tap, and a thread 'cleaner' or chaser.....? As I understand it, a tap is sized to cut, and the chaser simply to clean.

I know I have often taken the 'old' stud, or bolt or whatever; stuck it into the vice; and cut a couple of angled slots into the thread with a hacksaw. I'll then run that up/down a male thread, or in/out a female one to clean it up.

Don't know if that would work here?

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I use an old head bolt that I've slit down the middle with a cutting disc on an angle grinder. Cleans up the threads (and pushes out the oil and coolant that invariably ends up in some of the threaded holes) without removing any metal.

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Jeez! Been meaning to post since yesterday afternoon, but imgur's been painful!

Anyway - here we go again. First thing is literally about 'ups and downs'. I rebuilt the valve block a wee while ago, but because of the porous windscreen the car hasn't shifted at all. I took it out of the garage a few days ago and it's just up and down like a yo yo.

From this - rear of car as high as possible, front right down

enter image description here

To this - right down on all four corners - in a matter of seconds, then it did the whole routine again.

enter image description here

All the while the compressor is running away. So I've not been letting it run too long, to avoid heat issues.

Then while working on the rear suspension yesterday, I noticed this. Doesn't look too clever:

enter image description here

I've been assuming a leaky corner - rear O/S - but I'm wondering if it's actually a sensor fault? I can read them on Nanocom, but I don't know enough about the system yet to make much sense of the numbers.

Somehow though, I sense I have some "new" rear sensors in my future, and some fun making a set of calibration blocks.

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Aaand - on to the rear suspension:

Took the rear suspension out today - air springs and shocks. I'd been putting off the shocks as the head of the bolts, visible between chassis rail and wing liner looked really nasty and I was expecting blood, sweat and tears. In the end, only sweat, and not too much of that either - they came out pretty easily once I'd cleaned up the ends of the bolts; hammered on an impact socket; and taken my long breaker bar to it. Result!

The shocks themselves were pretty crusty, but surprisingly still had a bit of life to them.

enter image description here

Air springs, more or less the same - no great drama. The O/S one had clearly been done before, but not the N/S - different date stamps, and it's just obvious from the condition. This is interesting though, as it's the O/S which seems to leak and drop faster.

Then, as in the post above I took a closer look at the O/S height sensor, and wondered if this could be the problem? Nanocom isn't giving any error codes on EAS - but I'm not familiar enough with the system yet to know what the height readings should be.

I'd have stuck it all back together, but I didn’t have any new bolts and was also missing a couple of the fixings to get the wing liners back in. If I’m going to get ‘new’ EAS sensors then I’m as well not to bother anyway.

After my experience with the front of the car, where I think the suspension bushes were actually all pretty decent (though I changed them anyway) I was planning to leave well alone at the back. However while I was in the vicinity I noticed this, at the front of the O/S radius arm. This doesn’t look too clever to me – or am I simply thinking the worst?

enter image description here

I was keen to fix shocks and springs because a) the car was dropping to one side over a couple of days but b) because if I was ‘pressing on’ a bit, the rear end would wobble pretty alarmingly round corners – I’m imagining that a knackered radius arm bush, combined with a dodgy EAS sensor could combine to make things unpleasant?

Finally for now I’ve been wondering about my EAS valve block rebuild and whether I maybe did a ‘boo boo’ with the little O rings in the solenoids. I put them in with a smidge of Vaseline, but I’m wondering if perhaps that’s making them a little sticky, and not working properly?

But this is where I left it yesterday

enter image description here

Would particularly welcome any thoughts on the state of that radius arm bush; the state of that sensor, and whether or not I should have fitted the solenoid O rings 'dry'?

Cheers

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To be honest that sensor is fuckered so it's going to need to be replaced regardless only OEM Dunlop replacements .

As for its tendency to rise up/down did you mark the solenoids on removal? Mixing them up can yield some pretty interesting results.

If you have Eas software it would be prudent to have a look at the sensor reading on level ground if they're fluctuating then suspect dodgy sensors similarly if the sensor values are IIRC +/- 2 bits either side then it'll never settle..

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If I remember correctly, the only O-rings that were specifically to be fitted "dry" were the ones on the cones of the non-return valves. When I did mine, I'm sure I lubed all except those.

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^^^ Now you mention it George, I think you're right. I'm pretty sure I'd have followed the instructions anyway - but your reply gives me a little more confidence there.

StrangeRover - the solenoids were indeed all very carefully marked and paired on re-assembly. I have a Nanocom, with EAS readings, and while I can't remember any detailed numbers, I'm pretty certain they were a looooong way from +/- 2 bits apart.

I'll get some Dunlop ones ordered - and make up some calibration blocks.

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Hi guys, hope all's good with you all.
I'll post this here in the hope that it catches enough folks' attention and save a separate question thread - though I guess that's what a forum is for!

My ARP stud kit eventually arrived in the post yesterday, so that's me more or less able to tackle the valley gasket, and head gasket. I've read lots of threads and guides on the web, but still have a few questions. I'm sure the answers are 'out there' somewhere - but God knows how many pages I'd have to visit to sift it all out!

So here goes - if you can offer any advice I'll appreciate it as always. Car is a 4.0L, 2000MY, with ca. 75k miles only.

  1. I had simply thought I'd get the heads off, new gaskets, heads straight back on, sorted. As there is no anticipated issue with the heads, I didn't think of skimming or refurbing. Do I need to do anything, or would it just be a 'good idea' to get them checked out?
  2. I've seen something (PaulsP38a website) that suggests renewing the tappets and rockers. Again, I'm not aware of any issues with mine. Does this make sense?
  3. I think I will do a general 'service' as part of this - plugs, HT leads, air/oil/fuel filters, serpentine belt - as I've no way of knowing when this was last done. If anything looks obviously 'iffy' when I strip it down, I'll replace that too. But is there anything else that just "makes sense" to do pre-emptively as part of such a substantial job?
  4. I got the valley gasket kit from Turners. Don't know the manufacturer of the valley gasket (heads are Elring). The Paul'sP38a site suggests using a Payen valley gasket. I hadn't noticed that till last night. It's not a big extra cost - ca £14/15. Is it likely to be any better than what I have?
  5. Any other 'hard lessons' you guys have learnt along the way that you'd be willing to pass on...?

Thanks as always.

Pics and progress will appear here as and when!

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  1. If it hasn't blown a head gasket and you are just replacing them as a precaution, then slacken off the head bolts in reverse order to tightening sequence and check with a straight edge. Check lengthways and diagonally to make sure they are flat and clean the faces up with fine wet and dry (800 grit). Do the same on the block face.
  2. Unless there is any wear in the rockers, leave them well alone, mine are the originals after 6 times the mileage on your engine. If you were going to renew the tappets, then you'd also ideally need to replace the camshaft as they will wear to each other. So again, unless there is wear, leave them. If you take them out, and there isn't really any need to, make sure they go back in the same place. Same goes for the pushrods, keep them in order so they go back where they came from.
  3. Water pump. Particularly on a car that has done such low mileage that would suggest it has been standing around a lot so the tension on the belt can cause the bearing and seal to be loaded one way. Always worth changing anyway but it doesn't necessarily have to be done at the same time as the heads although while the other gubbins is out of the way (alternator, AC compressor, PAS pump, etc), it's a lot easier to clean up the mating surface. Get an Airtex pump as they seem to be the best out there and not that expensive either.
  4. I don't think there's a lot to choose between different valley gaskets. I always put a thin smear of blue Hylomar around the waterways at the ends of the heads. Not sure if it's really needed to it can't do any harm and will help it seal better.
  5. Get one of the old head bolts and put a lengthwise slit along the thread. You can then screw that into each hole so it cleans the thread and also forces out any oil or coolant which will invariably have dribbled into the hole. The last thing you want is a liquid in the hole causing a hydraulic lock when you put the studs in. With the ARP studs, don't try fitting them to the block and then trying to slide the heads on as you will almost certainly scratch the head face when trying to get it on. Fitting one along the top centre, makes lining it up on the block until it meets the dowel pegs at each end. Once the head is in place then screw the studs in. No need for them to be more than hand tight. The hex in the end is an Imperial size too (I had to go out and buy a set of Imperial Allen keys when I did mine). Oil the washers, put them on then the nuts and start to torque them down. Follow the tightening sequence and go 40 ft/lb, 50ft/lb and finally 65 ft/lb. Job done.
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Perfect Richard, thanks very much indeed. Couldn't ask for better than that.

Will get the rear suspension done, and the car back on the level; turn it round so that the bonnet is in (any!) sunshine, and crack on.

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"What have you done to your Range Rover today?".........."F*cked it, mate!" - well, it certainly isn't going anywhere in its current state.

Before that though, yesterday was finishing off the rear suspension. That all went pretty good to be honest. Two exceptions.
Firstly, the bottom nuts that came with the shockers. They are made with some sort of integral lock washer (not nyloc). If you try and tighten them using two spanners - 6mm and 19mm - you'll get nowhere. The nut requires a lot of torque to tighten, and the little 6mm thing on the end isn't good enough. It's a case of grabbing the shock body with some grippy gloves on, and running the nut up with the windy gun. Well, that's fine, but what happens if you don't have one of them? I never used to. I'd have been really p!ssed off trying to fight with that. Grrr. It's a non-standard, finer thread, so I couldn't just use any of my nyloc ones. I get that this all makes sense on an assembly line, where they all have power tools to hand, but it's a bit of a pain for the poor sod who tries to do the job afterwards, lying on his (or her) garage floor.

Secondly - more entertaining! As Strange Rover said above, the EAS sensor on the OSR is 'fuckered'.... definitely!
The bit that goes into the radius arm...... just half disappeared. I had to drill into it, tap an M3 thread in and then put that into the arm.
enter image description here

So far, so good. Then the actual sensor part just cracked and fell out of the chassis.. had to tie wrap that back into place...
enter image description here

And then the lower arm kept popping out of the rubber 'elbow' swivel. Had to hold it in place with an R clip.....
enter image description here

I wasn't planning to cross the Sahara - just get it out of the garage and turned round without throwing a faulty fit - but it was still all over the place. They don't make things like they used to! Anyway, it's all on, doesn't appear to leak, and I'll get some new ones and make up a set of calibration blocks.

Then I moved on to the infinitely more interesting task of stripping off the top of the engine. You've seen the pics before no doubt, you go from this
enter image description here

to this....
enter image description here

This is where I left things. Covered it up, and closed the garage. I have a little parts list to sort out before phase 2 - taking the wing liners off and tackling the exhaust heat shields and manifolds before lifting the heads themselves.

I started this to tackle a coolant leak, at the back of the valley gasket, and having got this far, it's good to see that it does still look as if that was the source. Both of rearmost bolts, (L&R) where the inlet manifold goes onto the heads, were barely tight at all. Finger tight at very most. Same for the rocker covers actually, barely tight at all. It's not so obvious in this pic to be honest, but there's definitely red traces of coolant at the back there, and onto the top of the bellhousing.

enter image description here
(valley gasket pic)

I quite enjoyed myself today, to be honest. It all went more or less by the book. I think the only casualties have been the hoses to and from the heater. They were well bonded on. I decided life was too short to muck about with them, and cut them off. Oh, and I had to go to Halfords to get a bi-hex long 8mm socket to take the rocker covers off. I thought I had all the tools I'd need, but there's always something.

So the questions (there's always questions!)

Different colours inside the rocker covers. Right hand (left hand in the photo) is darker; pass. side noticeably lighter. Does that mean anything?
enter image description here

front end of the RH head gasket - does this look like a leak? And did they scribble on them in marker pen in the factory??

enter image description here

So far, so good though. Without pushing myself too hard, it's all coming along OK. Of course any monkey can take things apart, the fun starts on reassembly, but that's for another day.

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Certainly looks like its leaking oil from the edge there to me, looks very much like what I can see from underneath mine actually, though the other bank on yours looks drier than mine does. You will find out once the heads are off as it should be a lot more obvious then.

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Looks like at least one of the heads has been off before. It may have been swapped or it may just be that they cleaned the rockers on one head but not the other. That might explain why the dirtier one of the two appears to have a slight leak, someone just did one side. That would also explain why the inlet manifold bolts weren't all torqued up the same amount.

But, as you say, so far so good. See what I mean about being able to get to the mating faces of the water pump when everything else is out of the way?

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Thanks guys,

Well, both heads are definitely coming off this time!

I completely see why it makes sense to do the water pump at this stage - a new airtex one will be in the post this week. Also waiting for a 36mm spanner to get the fan off - only got up to 32mm at the mo.

I think I'll 'chip away' at it evenings this week, try and keep the down time minimised.

There will also be lots of photos at the 'head off' stage to see what the collective opinion is. I have a reasonable machine shop in town if a good clean or even a skim looks necessary, but no point second guessing that at this stage. I'll find out soon enough.

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Not so much progress since then - but trying to squeeze in a couple of hours after work.

Yesterday I managed to get the LH exhaust heat shield off, without removing the wheel arch liner. Thought I wasn't going to manage, but some rather risquè grinder work saved the day. Health and Safety guv? Not so much. Manifold itself off this eve, but that's were work ground to a halt. No pun intended..... A bit of a 'down' today.

Tried to get the first head bolt off on the LHS - why do you have to start with the most awkward one? And why are they16mm heads? What an awkward size. I assume there's some valid engineering reason. I tried with a bi-hex 1/2 socket - but that was at great risk of rounding the head. The only single hex 16mm I have is on my 3/8 set - and I just can't generate enough grunt on that with a 450mm breaker bar. My wonderful impact gun..... doesn't have a 16mm socket in that set.

So, had to call that a day before I dug myself into an even more difficult hole. I'll get a 16mm impact socket tomorrow and have at it again.

Then I thought I'd move to the RHS - no way I'm going to get that heat shield off with the wing liner in place. 3 of the fixings on the LHS needed coaxing - if it's the same this side there's just no access.

No probs says I: "Off with the wing liner!" ... eh, no. That mudguard ain't going anywhere without meeting Mr Grinder again - but I didn't want to do that without checking that it wasn't an obsolete part which was like rocking horse poo, and would cost a small golden egg. So, once again, work ground to a halt. (Edit - phew! Mudguards don't seem too expensive...... mine are going to meet a sticky end tomorrow then!)

I know the torque setting on the head bolts is 20Nm + 90' + 90' - but what does that roughly equate to once they've been in there for a number of years? They seem seriously tight to me. Assuming I can find a 16mm impact socket, is it common for the bolts to snap on the way out?? That would definitely leave me in a deep, dark hole.

Also - a little puzzle. For the LH head, workshop manual details a sequence for removing the bolts; and a different sequence for tightening. The RH head shows a removal sequence, but then only refers to 'tightening them in the indicated sequence' - but there isn't one. Do you use the same RH removal sequence on assembly, or extrapolate the LH tightening sequence?

Any words of encouragement greatly appreciated tonight!

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I use a 1/2" drive 6 point spark plug socket on the head bolts, the one with a smaller hex for plugs used on a lot of modern cars. It's probably some strange Imperial size, but 16mm, 6 point is a nice fit. I use the handle from my trolley jack which is about 5 foot long on the Tee bar. They are seriously tight and need a lot of grunt, hence the use of the jack handle. Heads are symmetrical so the tightening sequence is the same for them both and the undoing is the reverse order.

Wing liners are held in with plastic plugs but the mudguard has to come off too and that is held on with rusted screws and almost always need a grinder to get them off.