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Freelander 1.8 K series hgf - more data

Discussion in 'Land Rover Freelander' started by The Mad Hat Man, Jan 9, 2007.

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  1. The Mad Hat Man

    The Mad Hat Man Well-Known Member LZIR Despatch Agent

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    It is widely accepted by 4WD mechanics that Freelander K-series engines are known to drop the cylinder liners into the block. Because the liners are steel and the block is alloy, the liners being harder, work their way into the block. Because the engine block and cylinder head are composed of different materials they expand at different rates with heat generated during running of the vehicle, causing the head gasket to fail. The bad news is; If the cylinder liners drop too low, the engine needs to be replaced (there is no economically viable repair procedure) - this is fact, confirmed by Land Rover in their Technical Advices.
    There is almost no warning of the impending failure, and the problem is unlikely to be identified during routine maintenance checks. The fault has nothing to do with vehicle maintenance - more to do with poor design.
    It seems the problem with the design is acknowledged in Land Rover's own Technical Bulletin 0036 issued 18 June 04 and Bulletin 0026 (distributed to it's dealerships worldwide). The bulletin highlights an engine overheating problem caused by a leak from any part of the engine/cooling system. Although this bulletin is designed to assist mechanics to repair the fault, in the vast majority of cases serious engine overheating has already occurred resulting in oil contamination of the cooling system and total engine failure.
    There are many checks that need to be done to establish if the engine is repairable, however the Land Rover technical bulletin states "if the cylinder liners have dropped below the block face, the engine must be replaced". This is the crux of the problem. If you owned a k-series petrol Freelander, anecdotal data widely available on the internet suggests that the statistical odds are against you getting past 80000 km without a total engine failure and replacement. Once you have spent about $A7000.00 on a new K-series engine, statistics say that it will fail again before 80000 km.
    That's not just bad luck.... that's poor design.
    The early Freelanders (pre 2001) were sold with a 2 year 50000 km warranty, which seems to be about the average lifespan for this engine. The head gasket/cylinder liner design fault has not been classified as a recall (probably because of the sheer volume of complaints and the huge cost of rectification). Land Rover is unlikely to honour any claims beyond the product warranty period.
    If you paid for an engine replacement, would you expect the engine to have been modified to overcome the original design fault? Why have so many K-series Petrol Freelanders had multiple head gasket failures?
    From any angle the ownership of a K-series Petrol Freelander should be carefully considered.

    If yu fancy some more light reading - how about this? Land Rover Freelander Head Gasket Engine Design Fault
     
    DCUNNINGHAM likes this.
  2. Northern Irelander

    Northern Irelander Well-Known Member

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    Nice one MHM. Havent read all of the tech stuff

    The k-series cant be improved itself from original castings as the 1.8 was never really designed from scratch.

    It was adopted from the earlier 1.4. Margins in valve clearance etc is crucial even more so in the VVC k-series with larger ports etc.

    I am not sure about a mileage limit on a k-series. If hgf happens and the engine doesnt overheat then there are no probs.

    Dare I say it but the major hgf cases where the engine is scrapped is usually down to negligent owners and driving styles.

    For example - A.N.Other on MG-Rover.org wonders why his engine went bang as he was doing excess of 100mph and revs at 5000rpm.

    Alot of the weekly checks are never carried out by owners and this in itself would help to diagnose early signs of hgf. Simple things like oil and coolant levels

    At least there was a no quibble warranty with LR, at Rover you had to fight tooth and nail for them to fix the prob. Thats why the hall of shame web site was set up from which MG-Rver.org was a spin off.
    Still some very valid points and I'm sure it will raise some healthy debate on this controversal issuse
     
  3. The Mad Hat Man

    The Mad Hat Man Well-Known Member LZIR Despatch Agent

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    Hi LR
    I thought yu might comment;) is this the infamous door problem :p?

    I have to take issue with two points you raise tho....
    1) "Dare I say it but the major hgf cases where the engine is scrapped is usually down to negligent owners and driving styles."
    Although negligence and driving styles undoubtably do have an effect on the likelyhood of HGF. You still do not seem to accept that the vulnerability of the K series is down to POOR DESIGN. We all know of peeps that have driven 180k miles and not a sniff of a problem - but there are others that go through 3 or 4 engines in as many years - not due to negligence and driving styles. One point that was mentioned in the above article, is that the "replace engine" policy only means that the engine is replaced with a REFURBISHED lump which, chances are, has already gone through at least one HGF cycle in its previous life. A Recipe to increase, yet again, the likelyhood of repeatativer HGF problems.


    2) "For example - A.N.Other on MG-Rover.org wonders why his engine went bang as he was doing excess of 100mph and revs at 5000rpm."
    An engine that is properly maintained and has the red line drawn at, wot, 6000-6500 R.P.M should be capable of doing this on a regular basis - my 21 year old 220 Turbo can still touch 130 (I bottled it then) and pull 6-6500 through the gears.
     
  4. Northern Irelander

    Northern Irelander Well-Known Member

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    Main cause of HGF in K-series 1.8 are:

    original head gasket seals giving way
    Faulty water pump
    Faulty thermostat
    Loss of coolant (burst pipe or could simply be a leaky expansion cap)
    Leaky intake/manifold gasket
    Revving hard from cold start before thermostat has opened

    So I would argue its not the k-series that is vulnerable 'so to speak' but the cheap parts fitted to it by LR/Rover/MG

    Out of those engines fitted with:

    new MLS gasket
    new oil rail with shim
    new Pressure Release Thermostat (PRT)
    and possibly the Craig David (LOL) re-circulation pump after switch off

    How many of these have had HGF? ;)

    Remember debate keeps you young LOL
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2009
  5. The Mad Hat Man

    The Mad Hat Man Well-Known Member LZIR Despatch Agent

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    mass debate - even younger ;)

    One other thing that must be taken into account is the air flow over the engine and the engine position within the engine bay etc. Although not, strictly speaking the "K" engine, I believe that the KV6 suffers because of its transverse mounting and unbalanced cooling across the "V"
     
  6. Northern Irelander

    Northern Irelander Well-Known Member

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    Quite correct

    Yes debate keeps you young but Land Rover ownership will age you:p

    Appreciated the techie bulletin

    Cheers

    LR
     
  7. The Mad Hat Man

    The Mad Hat Man Well-Known Member LZIR Despatch Agent

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    yet more useful info for you....

    the info is for the MGF, but describes the cooling system well and shows actual heatsoak and thermal shock caused by the thermostat positioning.
     
  8. Northern Irelander

    Northern Irelander Well-Known Member

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  9. The Mad Hat Man

    The Mad Hat Man Well-Known Member LZIR Despatch Agent

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    no reason why not. send me the particular pics - or betta still post them on here :D
     
  10. Northern Irelander

    Northern Irelander Well-Known Member

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  11. bonnybrook

    bonnybrook Active Member

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    Hi,

    I had the 1.8K in the MGF. It first went at 59K, this was cause by a hose which burst in the M1 - I didn't notice anything was wrong until the heater started blowing cold (ie all coolant gone). Oil temp was 180+ at the time and pulled over sharpish. Skimmed head and rebuild cost me about 500. Held up well until 78K when another hose split. Think I caught it in time before HG went but never found out as I traded it in shortly afterwards. Not sure how the engine would have held up over time without the rapid heating events (hoses!) going. I had it tested for HGF the week before the hose blew and no glasses in the coolant system - therefore I concluded it was the hose.

    Incidentally, our work Freelander 1.8 (2000 Model) had failed HGF at around 50K.

    Given my experience I would keep cooland system/hoses all in tip top condition as this will certainly bring it on. It's a little easier in the Landy as the engine at the front and you can see the steam/smoke rising - not so obvious when the engines behind you.
     
  12. dearot

    dearot New Member

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    if you can make one of this for K series and KV6, bet you will make a fortune...
     
  13. Northern Irelander

    Northern Irelander Well-Known Member

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  14. The Mad Hat Man

    The Mad Hat Man Well-Known Member LZIR Despatch Agent

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    good article NI (formerly knows as LR1796)
     
  15. aussielander

    aussielander New Member

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    makes me want to go out and not drive my 1.8
     
  16. The Mad Hat Man

    The Mad Hat Man Well-Known Member LZIR Despatch Agent

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    seems an interesting possibility? from MG-Rover.org.
    except - The small metal valve on the inlet manifold is the jiggle valve, it only gives trouble if it is sticking closed.
    Removing it completely is not a good idea because of the rush of water that can, apparently, come out into the header tank causing air locks.
    It can be removed but a restricter is needed to slow down the flow of water.
     
  17. Northern Irelander

    Northern Irelander Well-Known Member

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  18. aussielander

    aussielander New Member

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    It already seems to be sacrificial ;-)
     
  19. JonFre

    JonFre Active Member

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    Thank you Mad Hat & NI for providing an interesting and valuable thread, I think it will be appreciated by our K owners.
     
  20. The Mad Hat Man

    The Mad Hat Man Well-Known Member LZIR Despatch Agent

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    fook me, lr1796 - "interesting and valuable" - must be on drugs - dont sound like a lzer.:eek:
     
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