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Freelander 1 So I looked at a freelander....

Discussion in 'Land Rover Freelander' started by archman, Sep 17, 2021.

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  1. archman

    archman Member

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    ......and now I am wondering whether I should consider buying it, or run away.
    So I would welcome any input either way.

    The positives:
    - 2005, 80,000 ish miles.
    - Bodywork generally good for the age
    - interior good. Cloth (which I prefer) but no obvious damage.
    - No signs of abuse or rust underneath. Even brake pipes look pretty solid.
    - Suspension might be a little soft but I don't really know these cars well so it could just be normal for the type. It certainly drove ok but was no sports car ;)
    -Brakes looked and felt fine.
    -1.8 petrol but has had the head gasket replaced already
    -rear tailgate window worked properly when opening the door.
    -Its propshaft etc was all there.

    The negatives:
    This is going to sound like I have just copied all the issues from the "Test new Freelander 1 owners should do" thread!
    - Water level in the expansion bottle was very low (only just over the outlet pipe). Make me suspicious of the head gasket replacement claim (or how well it was done). On the other hand, no emulsion on the dip stick or inside the top of the cam cover etc. Current owner claimed to not know what an expansion bottle is so could well have just neglected it. Or could be trying to pull a fast one.....
    - Moving slowly on full lock (forward and back) I could feel the car dragging slightly. Not to the point of stopping it but a bit like I had left the handbrake half on. Made me concerned about the VCU but I have never driven a good one. Do they all do that a small amount?
    - Odd knocks and a slight whirring noise from the back. If it wasn't 4wd I would have put it down to the exhaust knocking and a bit of rust in the rear drums (it hasn't be used much recently). But of course I have read the faults thread so am now wondering if the diff has gone!
    - Rear windows did not work. Unfortunately some previous owner has "fixed" this by gluing them shut with silicon sealant. So it might well need rubbers as well as winder mechs.
    - Passenger door lock did not work remotely.
    - Leak into the boot: damp carpet right at the back and the cubby under the floor was also damp.

    After that little list you are probably wondering why I am even considering it. I guess the main reason was it was cheap. I could afford a recon diff and vcu from bell engineering and it would still be cheaper than most others round here at the same age and mileage. Add to that I cannot help thinking that any 16 year old freelander is likely to have developed these sort of faults. So why not get something cheap and fix it rather than spend more and maybe still have to fix it a year or two down the line?

    So there you have it. Silly to even consider it or some logic to my arguement? Your thoughts would be appreciated!
     
  2. Nodge68

    Nodge68 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds all pretty normal to me. I'd buy it at the right price.

    I'm currently looking for a cheap Hardback as a weekend play thing, but it seems there's no such thing as a cheap FL1 at the moment. :(
     
  3. archman

    archman Member

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    Well, that was more positive than I expected! Good to know I am not mad then. :D

    You are right about prices though, they are all over the place at the moment. One of the reasons why am tempted to just get this one and deal with the consequences.....
     
  4. lynall

    lynall Well-Known Member Full Member

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    My mum has a 2004/5 td4 model, she bought for 450 quid a year or two ago, she has spent sweet fanny adams on it, apart from this years mot new front lower arms etc 350 quid.
    I was initially sceptical, but it has been a good car.

    I think a/c is dead and er thats it.
     
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  5. archman

    archman Member

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    Can you ask her if she will take £500 for it? Actually, I will raise that to what she has spent: How does £800 sound? ;)
    Seriously though, that does not help me much, other than to make me jealous!

    Also, to be fair, the owner of this car said it had been 100% reliable and not needed any work on it. Which might be why there is that list of stuff that needs doing now......
     
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  6. hd3

    hd3 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    car dealer magazine link .. '' used-car-market-is-on-steroids ''

    `````````````````
     
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  7. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member Full Member

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    If I sold my car now, it would have various niggly faults... that were niggly faults when I bought it 10 years ago. :D

    I could not live with sealed up windows, but if they don't have kids, maybe no one ever goes in the back.
     
    Andy Warren likes this.
  8. archman

    archman Member

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    Yes, little niggles I can live with. To be fair, stuff like the windows are not a difficult fix but also not urgent. So I might live with them for a while. Stiff VCU and odd noises at the back do worry me a bit more. I am still half tempted though, if i can get it cheap enough.
    I just have this horrible feeling I might come to regret it....
     
  9. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Everything always depends on the price. Once it gets very low though there's no risk - if its pants, you've got yourself a parts car :D
     
  10. htr

    htr Well-Known Member

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    That rear end knock... It may be nothing, it could be that centre diff mount worn - not expensive or difficult to sort, or it could be the right hand side sub frame forward mounting point cracked - again not a biggy to sort...

    If possible have another look at the coolant bottle. They commonly craze / crack around the neck. There could be a slight weep = the cooling system would loose pressure. Coolant bottles are again quite cheap and very easy to fit.

    VCU: if it idles in circles, forwards and backwards on lock without stalling it would suggest that it's pretty good. There should not be tyre scuffing, skipping when on lock on a sealed surface. You could if possible consider the one wheel up test too [OWUT], check that out on youtube... 30 seconds or less is good, 1minute + not good.

    Tyres: 4 matched tyres on it? same brand, type size and inflation... Odd tyre wear patterns are a possible indication of a VCU problem.

    Sealing up the rear side windows with silicon WT??? Maybe a retrograde step but maybe convert to manual winders = no more motor / cable worries then. Probabl
     
  11. archman

    archman Member

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    Well, I just told the lady I didn't want it. Now you are starting to change my mind! :rolleyes:

    On the VCU, I reckon it would just about idle in a circle on the flat but it would be marginal. There was no skipping or scuffing and the tyres wear looked normal, although excessive wear on the outside of the front tyres but that just looked like a tracking issue. On the other hand, tyres were not matched, ok tread at the back but on the limit front.
    You also have a point about the rear noises. It did not sound like the usual cv joint or diff mount noise as it was not affected by coming on/off the throttle sharply. I did wonder about subframe mount but there was also a general whirring noise that did not sound like rusty brakes. If I had it here I could jack it up and probably work out what was what but that was not practical where I viewed it.

    Maybe I will give it a week and, if it is still for sale, go back with a low offer and see what happens ;)
     
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