Pure speculation on my part....
If that car was local to me I would buy it for $5000 and fix it myself (because I can cover my labor charge for free).
If all things went to plan, and the original top end could be rebuilt I'd conservatively budget for around $3500 for parts and materials ONLY - including ordering a valve job, once the heads are confirmed serviceable - as well as installing a new water pump and timing chain guides and tensioners. I'd expect to come in well under that amount but would be prepared to invest the full $3500 if necessary.
However, it wouldn't be the first overheat case whereby the cylinder heads are found to have warped out of spec. It would actually be unusual if they HAVEN'T warped but it depends how quickly the overheating motor was shut down. It doesn't take very long at all in the red-zone for these heads to buckle.
That's often where "...just needs head gaskets...." can become an uneconomical repair, especially if you're paying someone else their hourly shop labor rates for the repair.
As I said, if it was local to me I'd roll the dice and make an offer for it but only under the above circumstances.
If you're looking for a newer L322 my humble advice is to buy the best one you can afford unless you can pretty much do 80+% of the repairs yourself (including diagnostic issues) in which case, keep looking for a suitable project or even do some more specific research on the one you've already identified above.
Exactly what Rob said. More often than not, the heads warp and things get expensive quick.
On a different note, something doesn’t add up with the ad — 55k dealer serviced miles and catastrophic failure like this. I’d expect dealer to at least make an effort to work something out, versus just throwing the car away at 5k.
2004 Range Rover HSE
Thanks, this is the advise I was was seeking. I sent them an email to get more information. I'm curious what caused this issue in the first place... why did it happen at 55k? And why won't it come back at 110k?
Anvilrob, I've done the valve cover gaskets before, and water pump before on my 2003 HSE. How much worse are head gaskets? Also, if the cylinder heads are warped... does the entire engine need removed to fix?
Ranger Rover L322 2003
I bet you a timing chain issue exploded that engine. Doesn't add up at all... Just head gaskets and they're leaving that sort of money on the table? nah. Says in the add (owner doesn't want to mess with replacing the motor) what? haha.
Even with a blown head gasket you should be able to go down there and start it to confirm the internals aren't toasted.
Ideally you want to check the block and heads to ensure they are level and true...and then you might have options for replacement head gaskets. Sometimes you need a thicker one than factory original and sometimes you want factory. If you are pulling heads, you are going to want to 100% change all the valve stem seals. If any valves are bent, then you're going to have to change a valve and lap/seat them properly unless you send the heads off to an engine shop that actually knows what they're doing. IIRC, the 5.0L jag engine in the later model L322s are direct injected so pulling the heads also gives you a perfect opportunity to do intake port cleaning since DI engines tend to carbon foul and gunk up quick on the intake ports. Overall a totally doable job even in your driveway if you do not have a garage and you should not need an engine hoist, lift or even jack or stands to just replace heads. But if you need to pull the block then that's a game changer and you'll need an engine hoist at a minimum.
Even so, I think you should totally buy it and attempt to do the job yourself. If for nothing else, it would be an incredible learning opportunity for you.
Coming out of it you might become an expert at that 5.0L Jag engine, but just be prepared to spend thousands in tools and specialty tools if you do not already have them.
2004 Range Rovers, HSE (L322, M62TUB V8 4.4L)
Rover 1: Java Black, Sand Interior, Piano Black Custom Trim, Heated Steering Wheel and Heated Comfort Seats Retrofit, Factory Front Brush Guard and Fixed Side Steps
Rover 2: Java Black, Charcoal Interior, Piano Black Custom Trim, Tow Package, Heated Steering Wheel Retrofit
North American Spec
Head gaskets on a 5.0 is a BIG BIG job.
Take timing chains on the 03-05s and multiply it by 5.
Not for a backyard mechanic, especially if you've never done anything more than valve covers.
Lots of speciality tools, you'll probably break an injector, you'll need to retime a 5.0 (horrible job in itself)..
It's not worth anything close to $5,000. I'd pay $2,500 and throw in a different engine, and then tear the existing one down and sell for profit.
It happened at 55k miles because of the water pump.. I doubt chains blew that early, it may have been noisy but not destructive. Water pumps only last 20-50k miles. Mine failed at 50k on my other 2014 Sport, and I believe it is failing on my current 2014.
I'm the guy that buys a chicken salad to only eat the chicken
2017 Range Rover HSE
2014 Range Rover Sport Dynamic