How often do RRC's need head gaskets replaced

#1
So I'm in the market for a RRC and I'm noticing that a lot of RRC's will have high mileage but no documented history of having a head gasket changed. Seems like they might retain their head gaskets a bit more reliably than a Discovery maybe? Just curious what everyone else's experience has been.
 

Red90

Adventurer
#2
Never really. The problem with head gasket failures did not start until the mid to late 90s. I never recall anyone having head gasket failures until those models started to show up.
 

David Harris

Expedition Leader
#3
Never really. The problem with head gasket failures did not start until the mid to late 90s. I never recall anyone having head gasket failures until those models started to show up.
True. The earlier vehicles could probably benefit from a head gasket change every 150K or so. But many over that still run. The early Rover V8 is a pretty resilient motor.
 
#4
usually immediately after they overheat and there are several reasons for that.
One of the plastic plugs in the radiator spontaneously disintegrates (change them to brass ones).
Bad water pump (frequent culprit)
Lower half of radiator plugs up due to transfer of crud from the block into the radiator - they usually need to be cleaned out or replaced around 110K miles.

I've known of Rover V-8's that go past the 300,000 mile mark with regular and frequent oil changes and other maintenance.
The cam usually wears out around 350K
 

Red90

Adventurer
#5
The timing chain, gear and cam should be changed by 100000 Miles. Putting in proper ones and using suitable oil helps life.
 
#6
My 1990 lasted for 23 years and 130k miles before needing replacement. The previous owner's obvious lack of maintenance work probably contributed to that.
 
#14
My 3.9 has been pretty solid other than needing headgaskets. A fair amount of other supporting maintenance has been needed but the mechanical engine itself hasn't let me down.
 

mpinco

Expedition Leader
#15
As always, depends. There was a early grey market for RRC's. Those would have been dual carburetor 3.5l petrols up to 1985. EFI introduced in 1986 for the 1987 re-entry into US market. There are also late 70's and mid-80's RRC's available every so often and they have a variety of engines.

Head gaskets on early Land Rovers was not an issue. My son has a 89 with over 250K and original head gasket. My 98 Disco has a new head gasket only because the front cover sprung a small leak and since I was pulling the front end off it was convenient to upgrade the cam/lifters from D&D. I also have a 95 RRC LWB with a cam'd 4.6 that has over 100K miles on the swap. Properly maintained a 3.5/3.9/4.2/4.6 can go over 200K miles on head gaskets. The issue is the dumb owner who neglects maintenance, doesn't change hoses, blows same or lets a small leak deplete the coolant level such that air gets in the system and it overheats. There is also discussion of tooling wearing out at the end of the production run for the old Buick V8, in the year 2001+ timeframe. That is probably an issue but the bigger problem was the owners who neglected to stay on top of maintenance and aging issues.
 
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