Inter cooler Leak Testing - FTP8030 300TDI

A 2 minute read, Posted by Dan on Wed, Apr 4, 2012
In Defender, Land Rover, Maintenance
Tags 300tdi, defender, maintenance

My Defender has had what I think is a typical inter cooler leak for quite some time, which leads to some power loss often notable on hills. I attempted to sort it out last summer prior to our departure for our summer trip. I purchased a second hand item and found that it was also leaking. Luckily I tested it before I fitted it to the vehicle. I ended up leaving the original in place and living with the loss of power for the trip and manage to get my money back. The seller was very apologetic!

300 TDI Intercooler Leak - Back

The picture above is typical of the leaks I have seen on these items. If you look on ebay a lot of the second hand inter coolers have the oil stain you see above, in the lower corner of the inter cooler, some have other oil stains which may be a sign of a leak, so please buy with care. This tel-tale sign of oil is what prompted me to test the leaking one I had last summer.

It is fairly easy to set up a fairly crude off vehicle test. I used an old inner tube, which was cut so the valve was in the middle of a length of inner tube long enough to fit between the two hose connections on the inter cooler, the inner tube was secured with some jubilee clips. I then pumped up the inner tube to about 20 psi and stuck the whole lot in a tub of water. What I found was a constant stream of bubbles from the corner of the inter cooler, indicating a leak. Below you can see my inter cooler test equipment. Impressed?

Intercooler Test Equipment - Bike Inner Tube

So I managed to purchase a new replacement inter cooler from Motor & Diesel Engineering Ltd, they supply the LGV 2.8 Diesel engine over here which is a development of the 300TDI engine. The item they sent looked to me to be a re-core, but it had comforting stickers on it which suggest it was tested. The price was also very reasonable.

It is fairly easy to change the inter cooler, so I will not get into the detail, you can see that below. I think with my faffing around it took me two leisurely hours.

Defender 300TDI Intercooler Change

I hope this is of use to someone, has anyone else had the experience, I had with purchasing a bad second hand item?

comments powered by Disqus