2003 Discovery II SE7 Massive Coolant Leak

BarrettRC8

Member
Jul 31, 2017
16
0
San Diego
Gents,


I've used a lot of the information I've found here while improving the D2 that I've owned for a little over a year. Purchased it with 65,000 miles, incredible condition, put a small lift and tires on it, along with a few other minor improvements. Unfortunately I'm in a bit of a bind as of this morning.


I started the vehicle this morning prior to work and noticed a small "clanking" sound once the engine turned over. I scanned each page in my UltraGauge and saw no abnormalities so allowed the vehicle to idle for 60 seconds or so. The noise appeared to dissipate somewhat so I put the vehicle into reverse and began to head into work. Two minutes later the sound had disappeared. After about 2.5 miles going no faster than about 35mph I noticed the red battery light illuminate on the dash and immediately looked to the temperature monitor on the UltraGauge - 221. The dash gauge (obviously) still showed completely normal but I pulled over at the first neighborhood approximately 30" later with a peak observed temperature of 223*. I did note a bit of a power loss as I pulled to the side of the street and shut the truck down. After getting out I noticed a significant amount of coolant had pooled below the vehicle, most near the passenger-side front of the engine bay, and the coolant reservoir was completely dry.


I was fortunate in that my wife was able to pick me up shortly after and give me her car to get to work and I'm getting the Discovery into the shop tomorrow but was wondering about the below:


1) Chance that there was serious harm to the engine? Peak observed temperature wasn't overly high at 223* but I know these engines are finicky and its possible the temperature climbed higher but I missed it due to navigating.
2) What is the likelihood that it is a simple radiator replacement? Any way of knowing without wrenching on it?
3) Do I need to rent a trailer and tow it the 1.5 miles to the shop or would it potentially be possible to fill the reservoir, assess the rate of the leak, and drive it there tomorrow?

Thanks for all the help. I absolutely love my truck, more than the three Wranglers I've owned (despite the small oddities and below average reliability), and am just hoping you guys might be able to put me at ease regarding having to drop several thousands of dollars to get it back up and running.
 

p m

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 19, 2004
14,907
386
56
La Jolla, CA
www.3rj.org
1) Slim, unless the harm was done by the previous owner.
2) Unclear - it can be due to (obviously) radiator, cracked overflow tank, fan clutch, water pump, and thermostat. D2's thermostats are something, but ... D2 people will chime in.
3) I'd drive it, with heater on full hot.
Which shop are you going to?
 

Swedjen2

Well-known member
Sep 12, 2018
556
113
California
Too many variables to diagnose by internet.
You have a Rover and don't have AAA? The Premium membership is $126/year and 200 miles of towing from out in the Mojave (for example) to your favorite shop in San Diago.
That should be the first thing you purchase after you buy the Rover.
At any rate, Stay Classy.
 

Swedjen2

Well-known member
Sep 12, 2018
556
113
California
I second the water pump.
Check coolant reservoir and see if it didn't grenade as well.
I understand the clear ones are basically recycled plastic water bottles.
Another fine product brought to you by the People's Republic of China.
 

squirt

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2008
823
13
Los Angeles
At this point, any original pieces of the cooling system have exceeded their expected lifetime. Even with low mileage, these trucks are old.

Given what you've said, you should be able to dump a gallon of water in the reservoir and find where it starts pouring out. This should help point you in the right direction so you can determine whether there's a mechanical failure (water pump bearing, for example). Then you can make a better guess on your risk tolerance to just drive it. If it was mine, as long as it was just a leak, I'd either fix it where it sits or else be driving it the distance to the shop.

If you decide to tow, don't rent a trailer - just put the transfer case in neutral and use a strap for that short distance.




Gents,


I've used a lot of the information I've found here while improving the D2 that I've owned for a little over a year. Purchased it with 65,000 miles, incredible condition, put a small lift and tires on it, along with a few other minor improvements. Unfortunately I'm in a bit of a bind as of this morning.


I started the vehicle this morning prior to work and noticed a small "clanking" sound once the engine turned over. I scanned each page in my UltraGauge and saw no abnormalities so allowed the vehicle to idle for 60 seconds or so. The noise appeared to dissipate somewhat so I put the vehicle into reverse and began to head into work. Two minutes later the sound had disappeared. After about 2.5 miles going no faster than about 35mph I noticed the red battery light illuminate on the dash and immediately looked to the temperature monitor on the UltraGauge - 221. The dash gauge (obviously) still showed completely normal but I pulled over at the first neighborhood approximately 30" later with a peak observed temperature of 223*. I did note a bit of a power loss as I pulled to the side of the street and shut the truck down. After getting out I noticed a significant amount of coolant had pooled below the vehicle, most near the passenger-side front of the engine bay, and the coolant reservoir was completely dry.


I was fortunate in that my wife was able to pick me up shortly after and give me her car to get to work and I'm getting the Discovery into the shop tomorrow but was wondering about the below:


1) Chance that there was serious harm to the engine? Peak observed temperature wasn't overly high at 223* but I know these engines are finicky and its possible the temperature climbed higher but I missed it due to navigating.
2) What is the likelihood that it is a simple radiator replacement? Any way of knowing without wrenching on it?
3) Do I need to rent a trailer and tow it the 1.5 miles to the shop or would it potentially be possible to fill the reservoir, assess the rate of the leak, and drive it there tomorrow?

Thanks for all the help. I absolutely love my truck, more than the three Wranglers I've owned (despite the small oddities and below average reliability), and am just hoping you guys might be able to put me at ease regarding having to drop several thousands of dollars to get it back up and running.
 

rovercanus

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2004
9,472
148
Did you even open the hood? Your belt is gone. Probably one of the idler pulleys locked up.
 

BarrettRC8

Member
Jul 31, 2017
16
0
San Diego
Turned out to be the water pump. I filled up the reservoir and drove it to the shop. Apparently it also requires repair for the harmonic balancer.