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Author: Subject: Help with sick Freelander engine
liamb

posted on 21/1/09 at 12:17 PM Reply With Quote
Help with sick Freelander engine

Hi,

Not posted anything for an while as I have been busy with DIY and a new baby but I was wondering whether anyone on the forum can help me out with some ideas for a sick Landrover Freelander.

My wifes car is an 02 with a rubbish 1.8Lt K series petrol engine. It uses a lot of water but we have had it checked and no garage can work out why.

It was not used over Christmas much (due to new baby) but when she used it the other day, the engine management light started flicking on and off. we stopped and looked in engine bay to discover there was no water in the resevoir. We filled it up and the engine management light stayed off for the short trip. Started it again yesterday and exactly the same, engine management light and no water in the resevoir.

I suspect that I know what the answer will be (head gasket?) but any ideas where to start checking?

Cheers
Liam

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02GF74

posted on 21/1/09 at 12:18 PM Reply With Quote
my money it is head gasket - they are notorious for them.

and you should start checking your wallet for the red and and purple notes.

[Edited on 21/1/09 by 02GF74]





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theconrodkid

posted on 21/1/09 at 12:37 PM Reply With Quote
check the inlet manifold gasket as well if there are no leaks to the outside world,a garage with a pressure tester should be able to find it





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fesycresy

posted on 21/1/09 at 12:40 PM Reply With Quote
Besides the usual oil in the expansion tank, emulsified oil in the rocker cover / oil filler, just check this.

Fill with water and leave the expansion cap off, when cold fire up the engine, are you getting pressure immediately through the tank ?

Water bubbling or shooting out ?





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Mr Whippy

posted on 21/1/09 at 12:52 PM Reply With Quote
hope you have been topping it up with antifreeze and not plain water in this lovely warm weather...






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russbost

posted on 21/1/09 at 01:32 PM Reply With Quote
unfortunately almost certainly head gasket - they don't repair well either even with a head skim





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motorcycle_mayhem

posted on 21/1/09 at 02:09 PM Reply With Quote
It'll be the head gasket, pull the head and check. Put it all back after a skim, on a decent gasket. Aftermarket competition ones are available from the plethora of specialists. While the head is off, have a VERY good look at the piston sleeves and deck height.
I speak from experience of 1.4's, not had a 1.8, don't think I ever want one.

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liamb

posted on 21/1/09 at 02:18 PM Reply With Quote
cheers.

I will take a look but I tend to agree that it is likely to be a pricey visit to the local garage.

Liam

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britishtrident

posted on 21/1/09 at 02:42 PM Reply With Quote
I actually know a thing or to about K series engines.
Assuming the engine hasn't been frost damaged the way I see it is you actually have two problems
(1) The orignal cause of the water loss
(2) That due to the above you have may well have cooked the head gasket.

It is just possible the cooling system currently air locked - Freelander cooling system have to be bled if a large amount of coolant top-up is needed. But I think the gasket is gone.

It should be an easy repair provided
(1) Any of the cylinder liners hasn't sunk
(2) The cause of the orignal water loss is found.


Actually replacing the gasket is easy -- no bother as a DIY job 4.5 hours or if the vehicle has air conditioning 5 hours..

When the head is off the cylinder liner height should be checked using a straight edge if the heights are within in specifications for the Landrover multilayer (MLR) gasket it can be used.
According to Landrover when fitting the MLR gasket a reinforced block ladder should be fitted but in truth it isn't required.
If the liners are outside the range for the MLR gasket then they may still be in the range where the original MG-Rover Paynes gasket can be successfully fitted. If they are worse than that it might be that a special gasket set made by Paynes. could be used BUT it is usually better to find a new short engine.

Contrary to saloon bar gossip K series cylinder heads rarely if ever warp although corrosion can often be found if the coolant has not been changed at the specified intervals.

What is vital is that while the head is off the vehicle that the cylinder head bolts should be checked for fitted length (procedure in Haynes Rover WSM) otherwise they may not screw down enough to clamp the head properly.
The initial stage of torquing down head bolts before angular tightening must be done with great care and accuracy this can only be ensured by checking the bolt fitted length before fitting the head and using an accurate low range torque wrench.
The reason why some repairers run in to difficultly with this repair is they fail to track down the original cause of the problem often the radiator, water pump, thermostat housing, hose clips or inlet manifold gasket. Freelanders are more prone to the problem than Rover cars because Ford were often reluctant to introduce modification suggested by MG-Rover and the engine installation and build quality control on the Freelander line wasn't as well sorted as the cars.

The only way to find an external coolant leak is a pressure test the cooling system when cold. .
If tested when hot no leak will be found because the coolant flashes instantly off into steam and contrary to common perception steam is invisible.


I have posted about Rover head gaskets a few times so search will bring up posts with full procedure.






[Edited on 21/1/09 by britishtrident]





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steve m

posted on 21/1/09 at 03:41 PM Reply With Quote
I have to agree with British trident, i have now done 3 head gaskets on the k series, one 1800, on my 75, a 1600 45 and a MGF

By far the most difficult was the MGF due engine situ

The actual process for doing these extremly good revvy engines, is that with the head off, YOU MUST NOT TURN THE CRANK, AS THIS WILL DISLODGE THE LINERS, AND THAT BASICLY FOR US HOME DIY;S MEANS THE ENGINE IS KNACKERED

the total bill for all my MG/Rover parts
including a water pump, recomended by Rover came to just over 200, and took about 4 hours

but from the sound of the original query, i would believe the engine to be knackered
especially if its been run without water

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liamb

posted on 21/1/09 at 05:37 PM Reply With Quote
Thanks for all the advice. I think it is well beyond my technical skill so I have booked it in to a garage tomorrow.

BTW that head gasket was replaces around 10,000 miles ago

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meany

posted on 21/1/09 at 05:41 PM Reply With Quote
that is what happened on my Dads 98"S" 1.8 freelander.
although i dont think the water loss was as bad as yours.
We also could not find any symptoms or reasons for it either.
That is until we took the head off.
Headgasket had gone, as most peeps mentioned it would be, so we just changed it, no head skim, and it had been right ever since, one thing though, my Dads had those crappy plastic dowel locators, which were changed for the metal ones, but i think yours will be metal anyway as they changed em later on.






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StevieB

posted on 21/1/09 at 07:00 PM Reply With Quote
British Trident is right - contrary to belief the K Series isn't as weak as people think. Certainly the later engines have better gaskets and locating dowels which help.

My first elise had a simlar problem which seemed to trace back to the clips on the coolant hoses - not much of a problem when cold but when it all warmed the coolant was escaping. Obviously because it was hot it would evaporate quite quickly and leave no real tel tale sign.

Given that the Elise uses mainly the standard hoses and header tank from a rover 25, I wouldn't be surprised if the freelander was the same too.

As well as checking the head etc, it'd be worth filling with water and tightening all the clips up to check for leaks - drain and fill with decent coolant/antifreeze when you;re done though!

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locogeoff

posted on 21/1/09 at 09:24 PM Reply With Quote
We've got a slight coolant loss problem with our Freelander, note I say slight, I'm talking about 0.5cm from the max mark per week, last weekend I changed the header tank and more importantly the cap as it was not tightening up properly and I think it may not have been pressurising properly, after doing the normal weeks milage since the change it does not seem to be loosing any more it's early days yet, but it may be advisable to check that the system is pressurising properly after the head gasket change, only 30 for the bottle and cap so worth a bash in my opinion rather than an hours analysis by a garage

Regards

Geoff

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britishtrident

posted on 22/1/09 at 01:03 PM Reply With Quote
Hose clips are a known problem area on the Freelander and some years of MG-Rover ---- towards the end of the BMW era the bean counters specified cheaper hose clips which some times gave trouble. MG-Rover rectified the problem and informed Ford/Landrover who didn't change the spec.

Inlet manifold gaskets ----- all K series engines after 2001 should already have the modified inlet gasket (easy to identify it is bright duck egg blue/green).

Stainless steel head locating dowls were introduced circa 1999 but took a while to premeate through the system not unknown to find them on cars register in 2001.


Modified header tanks with low coolant level warning lights are available for the Freelander and also can be fitted to the MGF and I think 45 -- but not the 75 or 25





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