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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a 2011 HSE from a used car dealer about 18 months ago. It is a gorgeous car, perfect condition, low mileage. Last weekend, the engine overheated with almost no warning and now I am being told by an independent shop that specializes in LR that it needs a new engine. The shop quoted $34K, which apparently is the cost of a new engine from LR. That is about what I paid for the car and is obviously not an option. They have said there are no reliable remanufactured engines and they have not given me any other options other than perhaps piecing it out for parts and walking away.

My goal is to get it running again so I can hopefully sell it to someone and end my brief and heartbreaking period of LR ownership.

I can't be the first person to face this problem since I have been told the water pumps on these vehicles are prone to breaking.

I realize the options are to buy a remanufactured engine (RL Parts?), buy a used engine, or buy a new engine (not really an option). I am assuming the car would be worth around $25K if this hadn't happened, so I am not ready to pay more in repairs than it is worth, but I'm not sure the best route to take.

I am also happy to hear recs for a reliable mechanic in the Denver area.

Thanks for any guidance.
 

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Wow, I'm so sorry to hear that. I don't have much experience with the 5.0L Rovers but I've learned to stay away. My best advice would be to start calling any independent shops you can find and see if any are willing to install a used engine. This is a pretty complex platform so the more experience the shops have with Land Rover products the better but you may need to get a little creative and find a shop that's willing to work with you as this will be a bit of a unique project. If you could get a used engine installed for, perhaps, $10k I think you'd be a lot better off although that's still quite a hefty bill. GOod luck and keep us apprised!
 

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What did the shop do to determine you need a new engine? What were the symptoms after the overheat? How long did you run overheated? Did they tear it down and find the block was warped?

Dont just take them at their word. I bought my 2011 HSE in August, 52k miles, perfect in every way until it started holding pressure in the coolant tank and billowing white smoke from the exhaust 3 months & 4K miles after I bought it. I never overheated it but who knows what the previous owner did. Luckily I had an extended warranty so I took it to the LR dealer and they said it was the head gasket.

they went on about how they had never seen a head gasket go bad on the 5.0 engine. Their solution...replace entire engine for $32k. The warranty company didn’t believe that so they forced a full teardown. The result was it was ONLY the $99 head gasket part itself that failed. The block and heads were not warped and the cylinders were just fine. Still a pricey fix due to 30 labor hrs and I had them upgrade the timing chain and a few other items on my dime but now it runs like a champ and is virtually a new engine.

unless the engine is seized do more investigation on the engine. It seems these shops (Indy & dealer) too quickly default to needing a new engine instead of properly finding the cause and less expensive but more labor intensive solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited by Moderator)
This is really interesting. The shop has not broken down the engine to try to diagnose the exact issue. They have told me it is prohibitively expensive to try to figure out the precise issue because it could take thousands of dollars in labor to pull it all apart and they still might not be able to figure it out.

Here's a little more background - I was driving it and the engine overheating warning light came on. Nothing preceded that light (no "low coolant" warning"). I was on the highway and exited less than 5 min later at the next exit. During that time, the car decelerated but the car didn't die. Smoke was coming out from under the hood when I stopped, so it definitely got hot.

The independent rover repair place installed a new water pump and belts but when they went out to test drive it, the engine underperforming light came on and they stopped driving it and had it towed back to the shop. I don't think they have done anything else to diagnose the issue other than tell me the engine has likely had a catastrophic failure and I need a new one.

My gut is to find another shop to take a second look, but when I asked current shop how confident they were that the engine is bad, he said "95%," which led me to believe maybe the second opinion is a waste of time. On the other hand, the current shop obviously does not want to do the labor to figure out what's wrong. They seem to have enough other customers whose cars they know how to fix to spend any more time dealing with mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I should also add that I went back and looked at the service record from the dealer last summer when I had an oil change (the one and only time I had the car serviced) and their notes indicated there was a water pump leak and they recommended a new water pump. No one impressed upon me how important this was or I obviously would have done it, but I am just putting this out there as a cautionary tale to anyone who may find themselves in the same boat some day.
 

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No one impressed upon upon you how important it was? Any coolant leak is serious. Knowing you had a coolant leak, did you not check your level every few days? Ouch...

There are many options out there. Most likely the best bet would be to contact LKQ. They deal in parting out wrecked newer cars and they are international. If they have access to an L322 or L320, that does not fall into the timing guide TSB, you may be able to find a cost effective replacement to save your rig.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Honestly, I really did not know that the water pump leak was a critical issue. I'm not blaming anyone but myself, but just want to point out that there are people out there like me who do not know their way around the mechanics of a car other than how to put gas in the tank.

Can you give me a little more info about what an L322 and L320 are?

I am not opposed to selling the car to someone who will part it out, which the repair shop already told me was probably my best option at this point.
 

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YOu have an L322... Range Rover. L320 is a Sport and has the same engine... in fact the LR4 will have the same engine too.
 

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Look around for a used engine from wreckers/salvage yards. And get your indy or dealer to do the swap. On a wild thought if you will be doing the swap yourself you can look on auction sites for a wrecked rover and get one you can afford, then pull the engine and anything else from it and part out with the rest to a yard. You will save money if you do the swap yourself but not sure how skilled you are. Sometimes the thought of being upside down on the car’s value gets to me, but I love these vehicles so much that I throw money at it to bring it back to life because I dont want to part with them. That is something you have to decide because it sounds like you either need to fix it up or give it up.
 

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The engine smoking is definitely not good. When you are talking about a repair bill in the $15k+ range it would not hurt to get a second opinion. My LR dealer said the engine tear down would cost me $1,800if the warranty company didn’t pick up the bill. You can always think of it this way, if they tear the engine down and find out the issue and are able to repair it for less than a full new (or used) long block then it is a win. If they come back with the engine still needs replacing then what is another couple grand when you are going to shell out $15-30k?

Good luck, I remember the horrible feeling when the dealer said I needed a new engine. My rig was in the shop for 30 days and 20 of those I was on the edge feeling sick. Just get the truck to a service shop you feel you can trust, due your due diligence and roll with it to get it running again.,
 

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In Bend you go to Bend British and never hesitate at the advice given. Francis also owns PDX British and is one of the top mechanics on the entire West coast. He has a fantastic team at both locations. they will never steer someone astray or recommend something not required.
 

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I would suggest that you get your truck to another shop,
based on everything you have posted the shop your at doesnt want to look out for you,
and is not interested in finding out.

First thing that should be done is to have the codes read.
Then a visual inspection performed.
If nothing is found clear the codes then run the truck.

it sounds like your being taken for a ride.... weee!
 

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Here's another thought for you.

I'm a very, very long time BMW owner (currently four of them, from '95 to '08), and I intentionally avoided the L322 with the BMW engine, because of known issues with that motor.

However, I've had work done for years at Paddock Imports, owned and operated by Doug Paddock. He's a BMW savant, as well as very knowledgeable about other marques.

Here's an example. I was having issues with the rear parking sensors. RR only sells the entire car's wiring harness. He knew that the rear harness for the PDS system was the same as a BMW X5, which was available separately. The shop grafted that onto the RR and all was good, at a huge savings.

You may want to give him a call, 303.825.5700 and get some advice from him.

His shop has gotten pretty deep into my rig a few times at a cost of at least half of what the $tealer would charge.
 

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The OP's 11 RR is not a BMW variant. 06 and later years deviated from BMW to Ford/Jaguar. Hopefully your reference is experienced on the latter and can advise on the OP's issue. I too am a long time BMW owner and in fact "loved" the L322 with the BMW engine because it made more sense to me to get one since I am already familiar with the BMW engine issues, rather than getting into Ford/Jaguar which I have never owned or experienced. I have a 5 series and 2 L322. Ok back to helping OP's with the issue at hand.
 

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In Bend you go to Bend British and never hesitate at the advice given. Francis also owns PDX British and is one of the top mechanics on the entire West coast. He has a fantastic team at both locations. they will never steer someone astray or recommend something not required.
I am sure Bend British is fine but to be honest when I moved to Bend I called the two outfits locally who specialize in LR and I ended up not going to Bend British, the gentleman who answered my call didn’t give me the feeling that the customer was their top concern. I have had spectacular service from the other outfit (Outland Motors) and won’t take any of my LRs anywhere else locally but for this problem with my HG I took it to the LR dealer in Portland because my engine crapped out on a trip up there and it stayed alive just long enough to park it in their lot...30 days later when I picked up the truck I have to admit they provided excellent customer focused service as well...of course it was at a premium cost :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you for all of these suggestions. I have spent the week talking to everyone and anyone about my issue and trying to gather info and advice. The car is still sitting at the repair shop and I have been shopping around to see what I can sell it for in its current condition. The only real offer I have so far is from a salvage company for.....$6250.

Still open to suggestions for another competent shop in Denver to take it to for a second look and a bid on installing a used engine. It is currently at JC's British 4x4. According to them, there aren't many places in town that even have the right lifts to take the car apart and remove the engine. Apparently I am not the first Rover customer to have this problem but JC's British told me they have not replaced anyone's 5 litre engines, which makes me think people are finding someone else to do the work.

Thanks again for the suggestions.
 

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A significant problem when a 5.0 engine overheats is that at very high temperatures the plastic/resin cooling manifolds at the front and back of the water jacket begin to shed molecules internally into their block's water passages, which eventually become contaminated and blocked, once the molten plastic cools and solidifies. I have seen these manifolds and/or adjacent pipework sufficiently deformed that my confidence in the re-use of their original block is very low. It is almost impossible to ensure that all internal waterways are clear of such potential [engine] life threatening blockages. Such blocks are literally scrap, beyond that point.

This presents a problem when anyone is considering spending money on deeper dives into whether the original motor is able to be saved. The answer is usually dependent on how hot it got and how quickly it was shut off. The water pumps are a common point of failure. You can be driving along for miles and miles in the temperature gauge's mid-range when suddenly the temperature needle spikes and yikes, you're in trouble!

Presumably, the shop pressurized the cooling system and it leaked down during a fairly short time period?

Did the shop do a compression test and report two adjacent cylinders on the low side?

Did the shop further perform a cylinder leak down test to potentially identify which adjacent cylinders, on the same bank, show similarly low readings?

If you have a couple of adjacent cylinders leaking you may have shut the motor off just in time and are simply looking at a head gasket replacement.

While the time allotted to replace the head gasket(s) is considerable, and the labor charge will reflect that, you may still be able economically "save" the car (at least less than a new replacement engine) if that's all that's needed.

Before you do anything, you should find out the results of a cylinder leak down test.

Based on that result, you could gamble that it is worth having the shop pull a head off and further review the surfaces of the block, and the head(s), with a straight edge.

Even if the head is very slightly warped, (up to 9 thou) it's possible to have a machine shop correct that.

On the other hand, if you have already determined (or been satisfactorily assured) that your original engine is trashed an alternate donor engine can be sourced from a 2010 -2012 Jaguar XF 5.0 at much more reasonable expense (around $5k) because many more of those are being parted out.

The engine oil pan and oil pick ups are different, as is the vacuum oil drain piping, but they ARE easily interchangeable with your original RR parts.

Obviously, the biggest difference you'll notice is the hole through the RR oil pan which allows the front diff to connect to the right front wheel via a driveshaft passing through a cavity, which is why they'd need to be swapped.

I've done this swap and it's very straightforward for any competent mechanic. The engine wiring harness just needs to be swapped out for the original RR one too, as the engine management module plugs are not compatible.

Whatever you are able to save on the sourced motor will allow more $$ to offset for the labor costs.

If you can find a motor from a 2012 you can even avoid the concern regarding the timing chain issue:)

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for this suggestion. I gave them a call this afternoon and may end up having the car towed there for a second look.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
A significant problem when a 5.0 engine overheats is that at very high temperatures the plastic/resin cooling manifolds at the front and back of the water jacket begin to shed molecules internally into their block's water passages, which eventually become contaminated and blocked, once the molten plastic cools and solidifies. I have seen these manifolds and/or adjacent pipework sufficiently deformed that my confidence in the re-use of their original block is very low. It is almost impossible to ensure that all internal waterways are clear of such potential [engine] life threatening blockages. Such blocks are literally scrap, beyond that point.

This presents a problem when anyone is considering spending money on deeper dives into whether the original motor is able to be saved. The answer is usually dependent on how hot it got and how quickly it was shut off. The water pumps are a common point of failure. You can be driving along for miles and miles in the temperature gauge's mid-range when suddenly the temperature needle spikes and yikes, you're in trouble!

Presumably, the shop pressurized the cooling system and it leaked down during a fairly short time period?

Did the shop do a compression test and report two adjacent cylinders on the low side?

Did the shop further perform a cylinder leak down test to potentially identify which adjacent cylinders, on the same bank, show similarly low readings?

If you have a couple of adjacent cylinders leaking you may have shut the motor off just in time and are simply looking at a head gasket replacement.

While the time allotted to replace the head gasket(s) is considerable, and the labor charge will reflect that, you may still be able economically "save" the car (at least less than a new replacement engine) if that's all that's needed.

Before you do anything, you should find out the results of a cylinder leak down test.

Based on that result, you could gamble that it is worth having the shop pull a head off and further review the surfaces of the block, and the head(s), with a straight edge.

Even if the head is very slightly warped, (up to 9 thou) it's possible to have a machine shop correct that.

On the other hand, if you have already determined (or been satisfactorily assured) that your original engine is trashed an alternate donor engine can be sourced from a 2010 -2012 Jaguar XF 5.0 at much more reasonable expense (around $5k) because many more of those are being parted out.

The engine oil pan and oil pick ups are different, as is the vacuum oil drain piping, but they ARE easily interchangeable with your original RR parts.

Obviously, the biggest difference you'll notice is the hole through the RR oil pan which allows the front diff to connect to the right front wheel via a driveshaft passing through a cavity, which is why they'd need to be swapped.

I've done this swap and it's very straightforward for any competent mechanic. The engine wiring harness just needs to be swapped out for the original RR one too, as the engine management module plugs are not compatible.

Whatever you are able to save on the sourced motor will allow more $$ to offset for the labor costs.

If you can find a motor from a 2012 you can even avoid the concern regarding the timing chain issue:)

Rob
Rob, thank you for your detailed response. This is exactly the type of info I need to be able to ask the right questions. The shop did tell us that the engine won't turn over by hand with everything unhooked, which leads them to believe the engine is trashed.

I'll ask whichever mechanic I take it to next about the Jaguar XF option.

-Jen
 
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