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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Found a very clean 2002 Range Rover 4.6 HSE (I guess they all were for the 2002 model year). The engine is bad, which I knew going in, but there is zero rust anywhere; the frame is still all the original black paint. The interior is very clean as well, with no rips or stains; the headlining is still fully intact. The climate control panel does not have the warning triangle displayed, and the airflow switches between floor, vent, and defrost without trouble. The radio seems to work fine. The windows, sunroof, door locks, wipers, etc all seem to work fine. I'm assuming the BeCM is fine. The suspension was recently converted and has OME springs and shocks. I have very little money in it; towed it home. It has 150,000 miles.

Anyway, it seems 4.6L engines with SAI are somewhat rare. I bought one from a salvage yard in the midwest with 160k on it. The 2002 Range Rover it came out of was involved in a roll-over accident. The yard was able to restart the engine and said it ran well. It has a 60-day, unlimited miles warranty.

My question is, would there be anything wise to do to this engine before installing it? I don't want to sink a ton of money into the vehicle, and at the very least I'm planning on pulling the oil pan and making sure the pickup tube is nice and clean, as well as the pan itself. I'll also change the plugs and wires, likely all the coolant hoses, thermostat, etc. The replacement engine comes without a starter, alternator, or intake manifold so those items will need to be transferred over.

I realize this would be a prime time to replace the cam, lifters, timing chain, etc. But I have no idea if those were common problems on the Bosch 4.6L engines. I do know oil pump failure seemed to be common; perhaps that should be replaced?

Any other thoughts? Anything else I should check with the vehicle itself? The engine that's in it will run (enough to get it on the trailer) and the transmission goes forward and backwards, but I think the ZF transmissions were always pretty good in these.

Thanks!

My previous Rovers were a 1992 Classic and a 1997 4.0SE.
 

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2001 Range Rover 4.6 HSE
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You can also do top hat liners for complete peace of mind. Inspect everything else in the valvetrain while the heads are off and see what looks worn. Have a machine shop look over the heads and block and have them skimmed if needed when you do the HGs. As WaltNYC said, all of this is a heck of a lot easier to do with the engine out of the vehicle.

While the engine is out, it would probably be a good idea to pull the transfer case and check for chain stretch/slop. There are rebuild kits available. The ZF trans in these are quite robust, particularly the HP24 version fitted to the 4.6 cars. I would say do a fluid change and check to make sure the old fluid doesn't have any metallic particles in it. Change the diff and transfer case fluids too unless you know for a fact they have been done recently.

I know you said you don't want to sink a ton of money into it, so sink the right money into the right places now so that you don't end up putting even more money into it down the road.
 

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Hi,
Interesting story.
As for what to do, it’s a bit like ‘how long is a piece of string’.
As you have stated that money is an issue, contrary to others, I would suggest doing less rather than more. Once you start, where do you stop, and I should know, I’ve just been through an engine rebuild. There was lots that was done and money spent but still there was more I could of done. Did I stop at the correct point, should I have done less or should I have done more, who knows.
presumably you are happy with how the engine ran when you saw it and believe the story that it has only 160 k on it.
I think if it was me I would do as you plan to do, drop the sump and inspect it’s contents, have a look at a big end slipper bearing etc. If all appears in order, perhaps I would replace the oil pump and the timing chain but I think I would install the engine and see how it goes. As you have 60 days warrant, give it as long a run as possible.
Anyway, there is probably not a correct answer but good luck whatever you plan to do.
regards
Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the comments. I think Alan Lindsey hit it on the head. Once you start, where do you stop? And at what point is just spending $7k on Atlantic British's long block the better (or easier) choice?

This is a fourth vehicle for me, so its not crucial that its perfect. I do plan to drive it this winter; they go very well in snow. The money issue for me isn't that I have none, but rather the overall value of the whole vehicle. You can easily outspend on engine rebuilding (and transfer case or other components) what the vehicle is worth. Although I have personally owned only two other Land Rovers, my family has had a few more (another Classic, another P38, a Disco II and an LR3) and I have worked on them all. In my experience, the transfer case is likely perfectly fine (I did snap a chain on the t-case in my '92 Classic and replaced it with a junkyard LT230 from a Disco I) and I know the transmissions are very solid. I've thought about doing the oil pump, cam and lifters, head gaskets, etc. For the moment, my plan is put the engine on a stand, flip it over, pull the oil pan, inspect the pan and lower end of the engine, clean the pan, new gasket, replace the spark plugs, and likely just install it and run it. But my mind could change once I get going. The project will start next week.
 

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I do not believe in changing the head gaskets just because. If there fine, just leave them alone, they do not wear out and mostly suffer when the engine overheats because of other problems (leaks, faulty thermostat etc).
I would replace the timing chain, it's easy to check for slack if you have the sump off anyway. A nice and tight new chain will make a big difference performance wise and the chains are a service item. Same thing for the camshaft and tappers. If the manifold is already off you should at least check them.
You can get kits with timing, cam, tappets and all seals/gaskets required for not a lot of money, from V8 engine parts | V8tuning.co.uk for example.

Filip
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hmm. So I can get new headgaskets and all associated gaskets above the heads, along with new head bolts plus a new cam, cam bearings, lifters, timing chain, sprockets, and oil pump for just about $1000 US from Atlantic British. I'm assuming the cam bearings are pressed in and out, which I have no way of doing, and a machine shop would have to do this. I don't really want to send the short block to a machine shop because of the time involved. Would it be horrible to re-use the cam bearings if they were in good shape and did not catch a finger nail upon inspection with the cam out? Or is it not worth it?

Are there any special tools needed for removing the cam and crank timing sprockets? Or other special tools needed for the job? I've done head gaskets before on my 3.9L Classic with the engine in place.
 

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To be quite honest with you, if the engine was running fine before being removed from it's previous home, I'd just put it in and use it. Train of thought this side of the pond is that you replace head gaskets, and any other parts, when they are needed and not disturb things that are working as they should in case you start putting more faults on. I've seen many times on here from others in the US that head gaskets only last about 150k but that isn't my experience, they last until the engine is overheated. Same for oil pump, cam, followers and chain, my originals were replaced when the engine was completely rebuilt at 285k and it's now got a further 149k on it since then with no signs of it needing to be pulled apart again. As long as the engine has been regularly serviced, it shouldn't need any major work. My spare P38 has 187k on it, had been neglected for at least 10 years before I got it but even then the heads have never been off, oil pressure is good and there's no signs that the cam is starting to wear. If you do find that it needs head gaskets or a cam further down the line, they can all be done with the engine in place.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it......
 

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My opinion is "if it ain't broke don't fix it". The only thing likely to go on this engine in the future is the head gaskets and those can be replaced with engine in vehicle. If you start taking it apart you will void your 60 day warranty. If it turns out to not run properly you might get your money back and get to keep the engine for a rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Richard_G, when you say "285k" do you mean KM or US miles?

I agree with what you say about not disturbing things, but this is a salvage yard engine which I have never heard run. It has 165,000 US Miles (265,000KM) on it and was in a 2002 Range Rover that was registered and on the road (presumably without too many issues) when it was involved in a roll-over accident and the vehicle was totaled by the insurance company. The salvage yard did get the engine running again and said it ran well without noises, but to me there are a lot of unknowns. I'm trying to make my life easier by potentially nipping everything in the bud while the engine is out, but believe me...I've also had the thought of just installing the engine with new oil, filter, coolant...and running it. In my mind, these engines last roughly 200,000 US miles at best, although I know there are exceptions. It also seems the 4.6L versions are the second least reliable version of any Rover V8, coming in just behind the 4.2L from the Classic LWB.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My opinion is "if it ain't broke don't fix it". The only thing likely to go on this engine in the future is the head gaskets and those can be replaced with engine in vehicle. If you start taking it apart you will void your 60 day warranty. If it turns out to not run properly you might get your money back and get to keep the engine for a rebuild.
That's a good point. The salvage yard did tell me to get a full refund would require me to remove the engine and ship it back to them on my expense. Alternately, they would give me a partial refund (did not specify the amount) and let me keep the engine.
 

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If it's on a stand in the workshop, then check the timing, etc. Then make sure the oil level is good, & with spark plugs out. Then connect starter motor to a battery & do compression checks. That should give indication of HG state, valves, etc.

If you have an oscilloscope you can also check the crank & cam sensors.
 

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Richard_G, when you say "285k" do you mean KM or US miles?
Miles (even though your gallons are smaller than ours, I think our miles are the same as yours, 1,760 yards). I'm at 434,000 miles at the moment, am averaging 500 miles a week and have two trips, one of 1,000 miles and another of 1,600 miles planned in the next month. I'm looking forward to seeing it roll over 500k within the next couple of years.

The 4.2 used in the LWB Classic is known as the Iceberg engine and was developed and strengthened with a view to using it as a diesel. That never happened but the strengthening, things like the cross bolted mains, carried over into the 4.0 litre and 4.6 P38 engines. Contrary to what one company will tell you, a company with a vested interest in selling you a custom cast block, the 4.6 is no less reliable than the 4.0 litre or the 4.2. Any alloy engine will suffer if it is overheated no matter who made it so cooling is the most important thing to keep an eye on. I had a 4.2 in a LWB Classic and ran that for 3 years, often towing a 3 tonne trailer behind it, and all I did to that was change the oil, filters and spark plugs regularly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It seems in America the LWB engine had an extremely high rate of failure. Just my experience. I've always thought the 4.0L was the most reliable, but maybe I'm listening to other people too much.

Good to see you've got lots of US miles!

Would it be worth (with the engine on the stand) to remove the intake valley gasket, which will reveal the cam, to manually turn the engine over with a bar and see if there is any lag between turning the crank and when the cam starts to turn (to determine timing chain slack)?
 

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You can if you want but I wouldn't bother (and it will probably invalidate the warranty too). One thing it will tell you is how clean the engine is inside (is it shiny and golden colour suggesting it has been regularly serviced or is it black and gunky suggesting it hasn't) but pulling a rocker cover would tell you the same thing. Chances are the rocker cover gaskets are leaking slightly anyway and I wouldn't have thought doing them would affect the warranty.

The 4.0 litre and 4.6 use the very same block and are even interchangeable, the only difference between the two are the crankshaft and con rods, so there is no reason why one would be any less reliable that the other. It's only the later TDV8 that breaks crankshafts......
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So in other words, just install the used engine, new fluids, and go.
 

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Hi,
To have a second bite of the cherry on this post and to reiterate, i agree with Richard, if it ain’t (known) broke, don’t fix it,
however a little non destructive testing such as compression test couldn't hurt.
If it was mine I couldn’t resist removing the sump (no cost involved) and checking a big end bearing And the cam chain.
As I see it, you have little to lose by installing pretty well ‘as is’.
You said it has 60 day warranty, if you spend some money on it and the motor does fail in the 60 day period how do you recoup the extra money you spent?
Good luck either way
Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm pretty much back to my original plan: pull the oil pan, clean it, make sure the pickup screen is clean, inspect what I can see of the bottom end, replace the pan gasket; change the spark plugs, install the engine, fresh oil and coolant...run it.

If I dropped a grand in new parts into this engine and started it up and it had a knock, with the money invested I'd be forced to pull the engine again and do more of a full rebuild to solve the knock, and by then you'd be near the cost to just buy a reman engine (at least a short block). Worse, if the block had a shifted liner, it'd probably be money down the drain.

Thanks for talking me out of this slippery slope.
 
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