How often do RRC's need head gaskets replaced

DividingCreek

Explorer
Is the 3.9 more reliable than the 4.2 or vice versa? Or are they about the same?
4.2 is a slightly stroked 3.9 ie they have the same bore, 4.2 cam supposedly has a little more meat. The 3.5, 3.9, and 4.2 are all pretty much the same engine up until the serpentine versions came out in the 94/95 model years. They dropped a row of head bolts in the transition between 14cux and gems injection systems and switched from all metal headgaskets to composites. That switch also corresponded with going to stretch head bolts. I've put over 300k on both. Still working on getting to 300k with a bosch setup. I'd second what Jack said above, the head gaskets are a non issue (pre bosch) if the cooling system is maintained,Ie hoses are replaced before they dry rot in half and antifreeze is replaced and system flushed out ever two years. Hard to find one that has had this most basic level of care/ preventative maint.

I like to pull the heads around 150k and do a valve job and make sure the heads are still flat so my stuff typically gets head gaskets @ that point. Engines make their power in the heads so a valve job @ that point in life really wakes them up.
 
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Blueboy

Adventurer
antifreeze is replaced and system flushed out ever two years
always surprises me how folks don't follow this.

even the LR dealer that serviced my RRC in Switzerland didn't think this was important.

that and changing the oil every 3,000 miles has had a very positive impact on my engine.
 

James86004

Expedition Leader
Our first RR was an 89 model we bought with 125,000 miles in 1996 from the original owner who lived down the street from the dealership in Scottsdale. He had just had the radiator recored. It was a very reliable vehicle, taking us on our honeymoon to Canada and all over the Southwest. It needed a water pump at 150,000 miles and went through 2 alternators, but until 220,000 miles it was otherwise good. Then it blew a head gasket. I replaced that and the cam. We drove it to 300,000 miles, by which time so many parts were worn out it made economic sense to sell it and buy a lower mileage version.

We sold it for $2500 and bought a 93 LWB for $8000 that had only 80,000 miles on it. Actually, my Dad bought it and thought it was great, but when I saw it and inspected it, it was clear it had not seen regular maintenance. It blew a heater core on the drive home, shifted roughly, and when it blew a head gasket at 120,000 miles I parted it out.

We bought a new Chevy pickup with the "Z71 Offroad" package after that. It was perfectly reliable, had gobs of power and burned less gas, but wasn't fun to drive and sucked offroad, despite the Z71 stickers. After a few years my wife started missing a Range Rover, so we bought a 92 model with 150,000 miles from a friend. It needed head gaskets at 175,000 miles, but after getting that fixed we drove it to Guatemala and back. Now it has 210,000 miles at it is still our favorite vehicle.
 

David Harris

Expedition Leader
always surprises me how folks don't follow this.

even the LR dealer that serviced my RRC in Switzerland didn't think this was important.

that and changing the oil every 3,000 miles has had a very positive impact on my engine.
The rise of "lifetime" coolant, "lifetime" transmission fluid and ultra-high interval synthetic oil changes has had a misleading effect on maintenance philosophies. Part of the throw away society we've become.
 

azarmadillo

Adventurer
I've only had the head gaskets done on my 1991 RRC one time around the 225,000 mile mark. 250,000+ miles and going strong.
 
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