Is it possible to prevent a head being cracked?

Does your Mitsubishi L300 make a strange noise? Need wheel alignment specs?
Post Reply
madnomad
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:08 am
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: Mitsubishi L300 4x4 1997
Location: Greece

Is it possible to prevent a head being cracked?

Post by madnomad » Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:57 am

Hello! I'm new here. My family had an old L300 when I was a teenager and that's where I learnt driving. Now it's my turn to buy my own L300 but I'm looking at the 4x4 version this time, as I'm passionate about 4x4s. I'm talking about a 1997 L300 with part-time 4x4 and low gears with the 2.5 L turbo diesel engine and just 100,000 km on the clock.

What worries me most about this car is the infamous cracks on the head. I want to convert the van to a camper and use it to travel from Alaska to Patagonia. I see people overheat their engines (even if they are on low mileage) and crack their heads even when just driving on a hill on an asphalt road. Obviously, I will need to do that a lot, even driving up to the Andes on altitudes like 5,000 m. (16,000 ft). So, what about real off-roading? According to my experience on 4x4s and my style of driving, there is no chance the engine will never overheat when I'm stuck in the sand or in the mud and I am stationary but I rev the engine to get the car moved. If heads crack on tarmac while the car is moving (albeit slowly), I guess I got no chance, did I?

So, is it crazy to consider the L300 for real off-roading in hot climates? Or should I buy it and take some precautions and do some modifications to save the head? Warming of the engine, proper maintenance etc. go without saying for me. I take good care of my vehicles and I can fix stuff but I expect my vehicles to serve me accordingly. I mean, buying a 4x4 and not being able to use it for real off-roading seems pointless to me. So, what is the owners' experience?

sck_nogas
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:43 am
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: 1991 L300 Delica Super Exceed
Location: San Diego, CA

Is it possible to prevent a head being cracked?

Post by sck_nogas » Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:47 am

Being in Southern California and liking to drive out into the local deserts like Death Valley, Mohave, Anza Borrego, etc... What I did was install a DelicaWorks Aluminum dual-core radiator, a PLX Devices DM-6 with boost, voltage, coolant, and EGT and a DelicaWorks 2.5 side exhaust.

So, now I can track actual temperatures, cool more/faster, and "breathe" better.

User avatar
lrp374
Posts: 949
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:56 pm
Vehicle: 91 Super Exceed
Location: Kamloops

Is it possible to prevent a head being cracked?

Post by lrp374 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:59 pm

I read with interest your radiator info sck_nogas . I also had to check out the web site. They have a lot of nice looking things like the intercooler system. Great find Thanks.. :-)

helibrian
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:46 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Location: VANCOUVER

Is it possible to prevent a head being cracked?

Post by helibrian » Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:44 pm

I think a good way to keep your head from cracking is always monitor your coolant temperature. If a hose starts leaking or your going up at hill doing 1200 degrees it will probably start to rise. I replace my radiator and that seemed to drop my coolant temperature average. Also if it starts to rise I always put my heater on to take the heat away from the coolant.

thelazygreenfox
Posts: 873
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:21 am
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: 99 white Hi roof gas Chamonix
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Location: coquitlam canada

Is it possible to prevent a head being cracked?

Post by thelazygreenfox » Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:37 pm

Nogas
Those are slick solutions to overheating probs but previous lack of maintenance in japan could lead you to problems even with the best maintenance you do here.

Check the cooling hoses running from the thermostat to the inlet near the number 3 cylinder. That's the most important coolant to prevent head cracking. All the delicas have complicated cooling systems but the diesels are the most problematic just because of the overheating diesel fuel creates.

Any fin blockage in the heater cores can lead to overheating as well. Check your temp drop thru both the heaters inlet and outlet. I can't give you a recommended temp drop across the heater core cut it should be noticeable. No temp drop means the core has blockage.

Ensure the fans work back and front to draw heat out of the coolant if your engine starts to overheat. At the first sign of a temp rise turn on the front and rear heaters. A little discomfort is better than a blown head.

My first deli was a diesel, 2nd an L400 4 cyl gasser and 3rd a V6 gasser. Great vehicles.

Have fun
MD
loving 3 delicas and 12 years of RH driving

Furi
Posts: 152
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:00 am
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: 1990 L300
Location: Queens, NY

Is it possible to prevent a head being cracked?

Post by Furi » Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:37 pm

Drove our Deli cross country, hot/cold weather, sand/offroad, inclines, etc. for about a year. Some basic stuff to keep in mind...
- Always warm up the engine before driving off, and let it cool off after long drives or after engine heating up before turning it off. There are even timers that you can set so it will shutoff after a set time.
- In inclines, or in general, try to keep the RPM around 3000. Heard from a good source (CVI) that its the optimum RPM for the engine to keep itself cool. Confirmed that behavior when started following that rule of thumb.
- blast your heater when engine heats up. If you have both front and rear heaters even better. And open all the windows :)
- If the heater needle goes above half pull over and let it cool; don't turn the engine off.

During our travels we pulled over twice due to engine overheating. 1 was leaving palm springs in summer on an incline stretching 5 miles or so. second I dont remember :)

I have found that driving our Deli is like operating a space ship :) You have to stay engaged and take care of her; and she will take care of you.

madnomad
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:08 am
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: Mitsubishi L300 4x4 1997
Location: Greece

Is it possible to prevent a head being cracked?

Post by madnomad » Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:37 pm

These are good advices that I follow anyway on every vehicle I use. So, hopefully, it will pay back ;-)

Thanks!

Post Reply

Return to “L300 Technical”