Probable Cracked Block... Who do you buy your engines from?

_ExpeditionMan

Active member
Dec 11, 2017
31
2
Fort Worth, TX
As the title says I have a potentially cracked block, which I hope to be verifying soon via the motorcarsltd tester kit (assuming they still rent them). Assuming it is the worst case and a head gasket job won't suffice... Which of the following would you do? Recommendations on vendors would also be appreciated.

A) Source used engine.
B) Purchase rebuilt engine.
C) Have engine built from new block.

It's my first time this deep in the weeds so trying to evaluate my options and the probable costs. Just like the signature says this is all for a GEMS 4.0
 

pdogg

Well-known member
Callsign: N2FWD
Jul 18, 2005
1,113
0
Phoenix, AZ
Why not another option which is to have your own block re-done, and sleeved with flanged liners?
 

discostew

Well-known member
Sep 14, 2010
4,503
7
Northern Illinois
I personally would recommend a used block from a P38 Range Rover. It was about 10 years ago when it became pretty obvious that there is no good source for replacement Bosch engines. The reason I would choose a P38 block is the fact that once sales and production grew to the point that they needed more suppliers, they realized that there was a problem. At that point they gave the best blocks to Range Rovers.
 

Levi

Well-known member
Jul 27, 2004
514
0
Cheyenne, WY
I personally would recommend a used block from a P38 Range Rover. It was about 10 years ago when it became pretty obvious that there is no good source for replacement Bosch engines. The reason I would choose a P38 block is the fact that once sales and production grew to the point that they needed more suppliers, they realized that there was a problem. At that point they gave the best blocks to Range Rovers.
I wish I would have known this when I did mine.

If you go the used block route you might think about having the liners pinned. I'm wishing I would have now.
 

geoellis

Member
Dec 7, 2017
20
0
Long Island
With the typical disclaimer "your results may vary", I've had success twice sourcing used motors. The first was a slipped liner in my '98 P38 at about 180,000 miles. Found a used 75k motor for $1,200 and 60,000 miles in it's solid. Same deal with my son's '00 D2. Cracked block at 90,000 miles was replaced with a used 100k motor for $750. Again, after 20,000 miles that motor is working very well, fingers crossed.

Not all blocks crack and they all won't slip liners, so to me it was worth rolling the dice. I understood the risks and potential costs if I crapped out. Still made sense to me.
 

_ExpeditionMan

Active member
Dec 11, 2017
31
2
Fort Worth, TX
Thanks for the responses everyone. Before jumping into a decision I am going to tear down the engine to the block and do a pressure test. If this really is a cracked block then at least I will be able to properly evaluate my options. If the block is not cracked and this is just a symptom of the head gasket failure, then obviously I will just do the head gaskets and drive it. At this point I am just trying to field my options and do a cost benefit analysis on them. Again appreciate the discourse.
 

Swedjen2

Well-known member
Sep 12, 2018
75
5
California
You "could" go nuts and get an ACR 4.8 Hi Torque Short Stroke from ACR in the U.K. They do the whole top-hat block upgrade and all.
Great Basin Rovers in Salt Lake City uses them if someone needs a new engine.
I know a guy who dropped one in a D90 5 speed. Goes like stink.
 

SGaynor

Well-known member
Callsign: KN4KFS
Dec 6, 2006
5,669
4
Bristol, TN
John Robinson's article on what to do with blown Rover V8 motors (including cost estimates to re-sleeve a block):

http://robisonservice.blogspot.com/2013/10/should-you-rebuild-or-replace-your-land.html

IMO, find a new, rust free truck and transfer anything you have on the current truck that you want to keep to the new one. You'll still come out ahead.


ETA: His article on cracked blocks with his thoughts on the cause(s). http://robisonservice.blogspot.com/2010/04/last-word-on-land-rover-liner-failures.html
 

_ExpeditionMan

Active member
Dec 11, 2017
31
2
Fort Worth, TX
I have a head gasket kit from Will Tillery that I was planning to use as preventative maintenance on the truck as a precaution. The head gasket change would only cost me my time and any fluids. The truck I have is in fairly good shape due to the work I have put into it, makes sense to check the block with a pressure test then decide moving forward.

I completely agree with you. Putting a $10-12k engine into a truck that's worth less than $5k in good-great condition is just laughable. Even if I was crazy enough to do it there is no way the wife would buy in.