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K series Performance/Reliability mods

Discussion in 'Freelander' started by Carbore, Nov 11, 2011.

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  1. Carbore

    Carbore New Member

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    Ok chaps as well as my trusty Freelander TD4 I also have a 160BHP K series engined Elise Mk1 that I sprint and hill climb race. Iv don't a lot to the engine oner the years and here are some bits of info.

    160BHP!
    Its a K serves with forged pistons, different cams and a Mapped emerald ecu, vernier pulleys, nothing on the bottom end (they don't need it for 160) and standard injection (not throttle bodies) with a hurricane induction system. Full OS exhaust system and sport cat, I think the Maniofld MIGHT fit a Freelander mid section, and the CAT but I'm not sure.If you do a light cam/head job then you get 135 fairly easily. in the Elise world a 135 tune is regarded as most reliable /torqy so thats what id do if I were racing a freelancer

    Head gasket.
    Don't know its been there since I got the engine (second hand)

    ECU
    I have an Emerald MDK1, fully mappable and I can read it with a lead on my laptop. It shows me ALL THE DIAGS and Sensors (Temps/TPS/IACV and lets you play with them, so if I was building an Uber Freebie or this would be a real help.

    Thermostat.
    YES I have a thermostat that opens earlier and also i remote thermostat kit o remove the old thermal shock malarky.

    Oil/Water Cooler
    This is a good one if you are expedition minded for your Freelander. In the K series the Oil TENDS to cool the top end and the Water the Bottom End. During lots of heating cycles the oil and water in a standard engine are at very different temps. Fitting a water/oil cooler that cools the oil via the main (water) cooling system means the oil and water run at a closer temp. This reduce head stress and obviously provides better overall engine cooling. I run a Mocal cooler, not sure if the pipework fits a freelancer.

    SPA Oil temp/Pressure.
    Ok this is a bit of dashboard bling, but I have a SPA digital twin display oil temp and pressure sensor. This really shows the difference between water and oil temp even with the cooler in place, which may well make you moderate your driving (expeditions/racing), also is nice to see whats going on. Mine is fitted into the sump and a spare hole where the oil temp sender goes on some of the Rover 220s

    GearBox/Clutch
    Now I really don't know if the Freelander using the same Rover PG1 gearbox as the Elise/Rover 200 but if it does. I have a close ratio box that id bet would be much better for off road driving, also the clutch is good for over 160bhp and its got an uprated thrust bearing. Id deffo do the clutch and bearing if I was serious on a 1.8 freelancer. I have a light/balenced flywheel but i wouldn't do that as it would make it more prone to stalling at low speed.

    I have the 52mm "trophy" throttle. Well worth doing if you have an old plastic one as the plastic once tend to stick on hot days. Mine did hence being replaced.


    Hope this is of interest.
    My Elise setup was done about 5 years ago and sine then its had nothing but plugs and oil due to lack of time, lives in a barn, gets taken to track, thrashed for 120 seconds then parked, holds several Hill/Sprint records, won a championship, most economical car we own.

    K series, as someone said on this forum, its just an engine, fix it and get on with your life.
     
  2. elsie

    elsie Well-Known Member

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    don't be silly , reliable and "k" series in the same sentence , never mind freaklander !...lol
     
  3. Labiarat

    Labiarat Active Member

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    sounds like ya know ya K series engines :5bgnorsi:
     
  4. Bigwheel

    Bigwheel New Member

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    K series reliability is ruined by the way the head is bolted to the block. The bolts go all the way through the block to the bottom of the engine, and are thin, far to thin. The second issue is that the head is seated (originally) using nylon dowels, this coupled with the poorly designed bolts allowed the head to effectively 'shuffle' about on the block, breaking the head gasket. This is also hindered by the final point that because the K series is a lean burn engine compared to other petrol models, mean it runs a lot hotter, so any compromise in head gasket or cooling system integrity can effectively 'blow up' the engine.

    With steel dowels, ARP head bolts, a new improved design of MLS head gasket and a larger alloy radiator make the K series as reliable as any other engine. The K series is a very advanced engine for its time, and can be extremely economical and powerful for its size and weight (very light in comparison to other similar sized engines).

    Most people assume the K series is a lost cause, and it is if you pay a garage to just replace the inferior parts with more inferior parts, but if you insist on spending a little bit more for the above bits, you will be very happy.

    Hope that clears up a few misconceptions with the K series.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
  5. The Mad Hat Man

    The Mad Hat Man Well-Known Member LZIR Despatch Agent

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  6. Freelaner

    Freelaner Landy Driver

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    Bigwheel is right

    I did all that to mine and it is now a brilliant engine.
     
  7. The Mad Hat Man

    The Mad Hat Man Well-Known Member LZIR Despatch Agent

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    So its OK for a main market manufacturer to put out a vehicle that is so poorly designed, it has to be rebuilt before it is acceptable?
     
  8. Freelaner

    Freelaner Landy Driver

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    No. Absolutely not.
     
  9. The Mad Hat Man

    The Mad Hat Man Well-Known Member LZIR Despatch Agent

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    That is the point with the K series - its isnt so much that it cant be made to work alright, its just that, as released, its a **** poor design, badly executed :(. Hence its bad name.
     
  10. Freelaner

    Freelaner Landy Driver

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    True

    We have to do the work though or the alternative is to scrap it.
    I for one can't do that so I have to make the most of it, that's life though.

    Hindsights a wonderful thing
     
  11. The Mad Hat Man

    The Mad Hat Man Well-Known Member LZIR Despatch Agent

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    so - knowing what yu know now....
    if someone said I am thinking of buying a K series freelander would you say....


    steer clear of the petrols - they are crap?
    buy a petrol and rebuild it?
     
  12. Freelaner

    Freelaner Landy Driver

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    If the mods have been done, it can still be a bit of a gamble.
    My hgf occured at 96k, not all have been that lucky.

    I'm, personally, not keen on the range of diesels for FL1 but i would have gone for the first Rover one.
     
  13. Bigwheel

    Bigwheel New Member

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    Don't get me wrong, its a poorly thought out design for reliability, and I hate working on them. I just wanted to let anyone know that has a freelander k series, there is hope if you can only afford to stick with it.
     
  14. Bigwheel

    Bigwheel New Member

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    I'm not trying to sell it as the underdog best Engine for the job lol
     
  15. Freelaner

    Freelaner Landy Driver

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    every time someone posts about these engines it sparks a debate.
     
  16. Bigwheel

    Bigwheel New Member

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    I understand why, everyone is right, they are a nightmare. But in rebuilt form they have a very good power/weight.
     
  17. nathan5346

    nathan5346 Well-Known Member

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    Bit like a chocolate fire guard... works fine till you light the fire
     
  18. Freelaner

    Freelaner Landy Driver

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    An unmatched power to weight, unfortunatly LR decided to put it in summat that weighs 1.4 tonne.
    Linked to the flimsiest drivetrain immaginable.
    Go Landrover innovative but ****e at the same time.

    Havin said that I still like the thing ;)
     
  19. Bigwheel

    Bigwheel New Member

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    In a caterham or an elise, (both companys upgraded the engine to get rid of all the weaknesses) its a good bit of kit, very fast!

    But graanted in a freelander it makes no sense, long live the L series! lol
     
  20. The Mad Hat Man

    The Mad Hat Man Well-Known Member LZIR Despatch Agent

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    dint they change it in the Elise as soon as a Jap engine was available?

    does the Caterham has a transverse lump then?
     
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