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Freelander 1 V6 soft-top with many leaks - worth it to repair?

Discussion in 'Land Rover Freelander' started by GodzillaBoy, Apr 12, 2021.

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  1. GodzillaBoy

    GodzillaBoy New Member

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    Hi,
    I have been away for nearly 20 years after I happily ditched my Discovery II but for some reason, I decided to try again with an old Freelander.
    I live in Queensland and I won an 2002 V6 Freelander at a local auction for A$1,500. It's got about 215,000 km on it now and the last documented dealer service was at 110,000 km in 2008. There was also a receipt in the car from 2019 when the cam angle sensor (?) was replaced. So I assume that it was still registered at that point.
    Basically, it has had a hard life, at least since 2008. There is some rust on the exhaust (but luckily nothing on the chassis) so it has probably been driven on the beach a bit.
    I took it to my local mechanic and he said the following needs to be repaired in order to get it back on the road:
    1. front and rear washer inoperative
    2. wiper blades
    3. rear tyres
    4. bonnet release
    5. link pins
    6. tie rod ends
    7. front rotors
    8. steering knock
    9. front and rear suspension knocks evident
    10. engine mount vibration
    11. oil and coolant leaks evident
    I could probably do 1-6 and maybe even 7-10. And maybe 9 and 10 would disappear with 5 and 6 repaired?
    But what scares me is 11.
    My mechanic said that the leaks are bad and that fixing them could be up to A$3,000-4,000 because it would be labour intensive. He rattled off what needed to be removed (including transmission?) but 90% of it went over my head. He is not a Land Rover specialist but I trust him. I wouldn't mind that cost if I was sure that the engine would be reliable but he said that I would be better off cutting my losses and putting that money into something better.
    And since it is unregistered, I am reluctant to drive it to a Land Rover specialist, who might be more experienced but would also probably be more expensive.
    I am moderately handy and the car is exactly what I want but on a practical level, would I be able to take on the leaks? Of course, I realise that this is an open-ended question because you all don't know exactly where the leaks are coming from.
    I should also mention that I am starting a new job in a few weeks so I would only have the weekends and my wife will kill me if the car sits there for six months.
    The other complicating factor is that I am in Australia so if I have to order any parts from the UK, it would be a 6-8 week wait. Damn you, Covid!
    So on a philosophical level, is the car worth keeping? For comparison, there are two 1.8L soft-tops for sale online here for A$4,500 (private) and A$7,000 (dealer).
    I don't have much money invested in it at the moment but I also won't have much spare time to tinker with it.
    Lastly, would the timing belt have been changed by the dealer at the 110,000 km service in 2008?
    Sorry for so many questions and thanks in advance for any advice!
     
  2. PRO

    PRO Active Member

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    There is more to that. You need the cambelt changed guaranteed, and is a fairly complex job that is why 80% of the v6s don't ever have a cambelt change with water pump and friends and many of them snap.
    You cannot roll the dice and hope it has been changed and even if it did, it's aged.
    The coolant leak is most likely from the thermostat housing or water pump etc.
    Oil leak dunno.
    Auto box needs servicing and again is not that simple if you don't do it often.
    VCU and it's 4x4 buddies needs checking.

    The repair will exceed the value of the car, and even if you sort everything tip top you will have a 19mpg car that is not the safest out there nor the most exciting.
    I would get the 1.8k anytime if the v6 or td4 is not demanded. Easy to fix, good on fuel, cheap to keep on road, any mechanic can lay his eyes on it.
     
  3. Nodge68

    Nodge68 Well-Known Member

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    The Freelander V6 is a beautiful vehicle to drive, but it has a very complex and potentially expensive timing belt system, which needs changing at 70k miles or 6 year intervals.

    The oil leaks is unusual, but at that miles, is to be expected. If the box needs to be removed, then I suspect it's the crankshaft end seal which needs changing.
    Couple that will the high miles on it already (the KV6 is generally good for 150 to 175k miles, as long as it's had regular oil changes), then you might be better finding a replacement engine from a 2.5 V6 Rover 75.

    Most of the other stuff in your list are just maintenance items, which have obviously been ignored.

    Your call, but here in the UK, a high mileage V6 isn't worth a huge amount of money. I've just sold one for £680, not a convertible (was a 5 door), but running well, without any leaks bangs and clunks and with just 70k miles on the clock.
     
  4. GodzillaBoy

    GodzillaBoy New Member

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    The soft-tops are getting thin on the ground here in Australia and a similar V6 was listed as sold in New South Wales in November with an asking price of $6,000 but it had only about 150,000 km. Based upon that, I should have a few $1,000 to play with before I risk investing more into the car than it is worth. It's just a matter of finding a knowledgeable mechanic who is willing to do the work for a reasonable price because I think my mechanic is putting it into the too hard basket. Then of course, there's the risk that it will need more repairs (VCU, IRD, auto transmission).
    I will look into the Rover 75 engine. There aren't many in Australia but there is a complete car that supposedly has only 93,000 km. The guy is asking $750 but that might be too good to be true since he claims "motor, transmission etc good". Plus, the car is 1,000 km away. I might be able to get a truck to pick it up but my wife would really string me up if I have two non-running cars in the yard. And again, I would have to find someone willing to take on the work since I don't have the time and capability to do it myself.
    I would really love to bring the Freelander back to life but I might just have to list it for $2,000 and see if someone else wants to take it on as a project.
     
  5. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member Full Member

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    If the oil leak is not so bad to cause issues, or WOF failures, you can put a lot of oil in for $3,500!

    If the coolant leak can be fixed simply, that's fine. If its overheating at all, there have been plenty of decent mechanics thrown a lot of time, effort and expense to sort that out on the KV6, but failed.

    The 3 doors are getting thin on the ground here in NZ to - in fact, there's weren't that many F1's at all and very few now. But prices here to would make eyes water in the UK.

    Not many Rover 75's either, but they are dirt cheap - well the ones that sell are!
     
  6. PRO

    PRO Active Member

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    You will still need to change cams, thermostat housing and whatever seals you can even if you replace the engine :) Just easier on the bench.
    It would be a nice project for whoever is mechanically inclined, paying somebody to do it is a different story.
     
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  7. GodzillaBoy

    GodzillaBoy New Member

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    Yeah, the inspector picked up that the oil leaks onto the exhaust somewhere and I did smell the fumes in the car when I drove it (illegally) to the mechanic last week. So that definitely needs to be fixed in order to get it re-registered.
    Well, my brother-in-law and I drove it to my house from the auctions at least 2 hours in heavy traffic and the temp gauge sat right in the middle. Maybe a good sign?
    I might tinker with it and see if anyone bites at $2,000 in the meantime. If they are rare in NZ, a nice Freelander is only a container ship away, GrumpyGel. Only needs minor work!
    Also, would it be worthwhile to buy something like this? If I am going to attack the leaks, I can't be buying all the seals and gaskets piecemeal because I will forever be waiting for deliveries.
    Thanks to all for the advice so far.
     
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  8. Nodge68

    Nodge68 Well-Known Member

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    I've just fixed a coolant leak on the V6 I sold, I did the work prior to selling it, as I'll not sell a vehicle which isn't going to make it to the new owners residence.

    It's very common for the thermostat to leak, either from the thermostat casing itself, or from the O ring seals in the block.

    Unfortunately it's about a 4 hour job to change the thermostat, more if the plastic has stuck solid to the block.
    It's not a difficult job, just long winded, and bleeding the system is a pain too.
    I happen to like the KV6 engine, but it got a bad reputation for failing head gaskets and other issues, however in my experience, it's bad maintenance that causes HG problems, not a particularly weakness in the design.
     
  9. PRO

    PRO Active Member

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    Indeed as opposite to K series 1.8 which will fail no matter what. But even there if fixed once and properly, it will never fail again.
    Kv6 blows head gaskets when running out of coolant. Which happens often because of the plastic thermostat in the hottest area of the engine and poor interest in owners to tackle it and mechanics to do the work. I was looking for one half year ago and only a few for sale in all UK and not a single one with proven cambelt change or thermostat replaced. Many owners run them to near death, and then unethically sell them further with the first to see will buy text in description.
     
  10. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member Full Member

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    lol, personally I wouldn't entertain a V6 - although I could easily see myself being seduced into buying 1 if it was cheap :D

    Unseen, agro of importing, agro of compliance, fixing it - you're not seducing me :D

    Until this bloody Covid, it was cheap, easy and quick to get parts over from the UK. Stuff would arrive within a week and was often as quick as ordering it from Auckland. I can't understand why Covid has made delivery times so bad.
     
  11. GodzillaBoy

    GodzillaBoy New Member

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    Funny thing is that I looked at a very rough soft-top Freelander in Brisbane a few months ago that was a personal import from NZ.
    It had a few things like leather seats and the Harman Kardon stereo which I thought were pretty rare in Australia.
    But it also had non-functional brakes and when the guy drove me around the block just using the throttle and hand brake, I bowed out.
     
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  12. GrumpyGel

    GrumpyGel Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Jeez, you are picky :D
     
  13. Nodge68

    Nodge68 Well-Known Member

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    You like good MPG figures though, and a V6 doesn't do well there, although at a steady 60, it will return about 30 MPG. Round town, or on hilly rural roads, it does under 20 MPG, however it's fun to drive, with plenty of power along with a wonderful V6 growl.
     
  14. Nodge68

    Nodge68 Well-Known Member

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    Brakes are easy to fix. ;)
     
  15. GodzillaBoy

    GodzillaBoy New Member

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    I spoke to a Land Rover specialist on the Gold Coast who seemed grudgingly willing to take on the car. He's booked out for the next few weeks so he mentioned that I should check if the coolant is leaking into the oil in the meantime. I got the sense that if it is, he thought that the car wouldn't be worth repairing.
    He said to let the car sit for a few days and then the coolant should settle. Then I think that he said "drop the lower pan and see if there is milky coolant there". But I don't understand what that means. I am guess that I drain the oil beforehand? He said it like you can peek in there but I just imagine 5 quarts of oil pouring over me as I open the oil pan. Sorry if this is a dumb question.
    Also, my usual mechanic said that it was mainly leaking oil from the rear main seal. Is that the same as what you called the crankshaft end seal above? It sounds like a big job (separating the transmission from the engine) so is it possible for a moderately-handy amateur to do it? Mechanic said that you really need the car on a hoist and it cannot be done on car stands.
    Lastly, your KV6 belt link in your signature block doesn't work. Is there somewhere else where it is saved?
    I would like to do as much as possible myself before I drop it off at the specialist in order to save some money.
     
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