We’ve all heard the jokes.
“If your Land Rover isn’t leaking you’ve run out of that fluid.”
I heard them all, I’ve even made up some of my own. But the jokes are all true. The only Land Rovers that don’t leak are still in the first 3 years of their life. Even then, I’m not entirely sure you won’t have a leak of some kind. The basic premise is, if you’ve cracked open a system, coolant, oil, transmission fluid, air condition, steering fluid, brake fluid, blinker fluid, it doesn’t matter, that system will forever leak from that day forward.
This year I decided, I’m not going to pour my hard earned money “through” my Land Rover any longer. You buy the fluid, you pour it whatever reservoir, and you see it on the ground in your parking spot at home, work, wherever you park. I decided I am stopping that now.
Earlier this year, I started with my power steering system. I got that sealed back up only to have the “O” rings fail and it leak out again. That’s fixed now.
I then decided that my oil leak needed to stop. I replaced my oil sump gasket and got that sorted. This will probably always “weep” but it’s not leaving a puddle and I’m good with that.
The last major leak is the coolant system. This is one you don’t ignore. You get an aluminum block too hot and you’re doing engine work. In this case I had my expansion tank finally give up. It had a slow leak in the seam. I sourced a new one and decided the coolant hoses were starting to resemble over-inflated balloon animals and needed to be replaced as well.
The filler tube nut was also past it’s life expectancy. I bought a brass one and another plastic one. The brass one was actually for my radiator but the plug there was soldered and would not be replaced. I used the brass one to clean the filler tube threads. That worked better than I expected.
I got the system filled and started looking for leaks. There were none in the things I touched. But I still had a leak from under the transmission. There are no coolant line back there I thought, “What the hell?”
I let the engine cool a bit while I solved all the world’s problems with Mr. Fisher. I then began what I hoped was not a leaking heater hose. The heater hoses that go across the top of the motor to the heater core are back there. That has to be where the leak is coming from.
You can see the offending hose there on the firewall. The hose clamp is the one. Turned out it was not tight at all. I was able to turn the hose with my hand.
Getting it tight required pulling it off and replacing the hose clamp and combining various combinations of socket sets to get the socket on the clamp screw. Eventually I got it tight.
I had to fill the system again so that process was followed again. Finally I got done and started the engine up to get her back to pressure and hot to look for leaks. I also moved the Big White Bus down the driveway to spot new leaks.
to my surprise just as I expected there were no leaks. It was decided a maiden voyage to Hollywood Corners for lunch. On the way the coolant light decided it was going to notify me of a low coolant situation. I knew this wasn’t possible. Did I have an air bubble?
When I got the BWB back tot he hacienda I opened and saw the level in the tank was below the fill mark. I topped her off. I also decided to swap my cap for one I salvaged off one from the breaker’s yard.
So for the time being I’m leak free. And for the next 24 hours I’m going to be the only human on earth with a 23 year old Land Rover that doesn’t have any leaks. That feels good.
Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.
Why 24 hours? Because I’ll drive her again tomorrow and I’m sure I’ll be planning how I’ll stop the new leak.