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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. I am pretty new here. I have been reading and doing a lot of research before my first post here. I am going to be picking up a 2010-2013 5.0 SC this next week.

I gather that the biggest things for me to watch out for are:

Transmission- I have heard some stories of transmissions failing around 100,000 KM. I suspect it is due to not having the fluid changed or checked. Some seem to have shift linkage problems? Is there anything i should look out for especially?

Suspension- I read that the air suspensions can be troublesome. We see -40C temps for half of the year and any vehicle takes a beating from that. From what i gather, I want to pick one that raises evenly, quietly, without the compressor running forever, that will maintain its height for a good amount of time. I also understand that the control arm bushings can clunk.

Engine- 2010-2012 have flawed timing chain tensioners. I have also read some pretty scary threads of rod bearings ending up oil starved. Some think it is from the lack of a good dipstick/ oil warning system, and some seem to think it is due to poor baffling in the oil pan. I do know what the timing chain being problematic will sound like (how to differentiate the sound of the loose chain from the sound of the injectors ticking), I also am purchasing one with the intent of changing the timing equipment regardless and am factoring it into the price. I will be hoping to be able to choose one without an existing rattle, as the aluminum from the chain tensioner being in the oil cannot be good for the engine. Is there anything else I should watch for in regards to the engine and choosing one with a lot of life left?
Of course i will look for service records, probably take a piece of tubing to extract some oil to visually see if i can spot metal filings in it, listen for any signs of issues, as well as take a professional scan tool to read codes and data.
Otherwise, I will be simply going from what the seller can tell me in regards to issues with it, when he changed oil, how often he checked the level, how he drove it, how long he owned it etc. I will be driving or flying out to inspect a hand full of RRs, and would not have time to do an oil analysis. I will be relying on just the tools i can take, and the knowledge i can take with me to hopefully choose a good example.

I will be ending up with one around 120,000-160,000km on it already and am buying fully expecting some issues and potentially pricey fixes. My biggest concern is about choosing one with a solid engine that will keep me happy for a very long time.

Thank you for the advice in advance
 

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2006-2009 Range Rover Sport
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You have just about all the right things covered. Add your location to your signature. Happy hunting.
 

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2010-2012 Range Rover Sport
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You've got a pretty good take on the big stuff. Our 2011's transmission with 80k miles lost 1st gear on the way home from buying it......:shock: I had it replaced with one pulled from a 50,000 mile LR4 and it's been happy since.


SC models seem to be much more prone to the timing chain issue. As an aside, I read somewhere about a class action lawsuit currently underway about this exact issue. Should get interesting.... If I was buying today, I would go for a non-SC 2013 and bypass the issue altogether. Unless you are wanting to blow away kids in their Mustangs at stop lights, the NA Jag engine is PLENTY powerful enough IMO. Other than this TC issue, I think this Jag 5.0 is going to prove to be a real long lasting powerplant.

Here's a couple you didn't mention:

Have a very good look under the truck around the anti-roll bars for signs of leakage of ACE fluid if so-equipped. Bring your brightest flashlight, wear your scrap clothes or bring a sheet of cardboard, but get under the thing. Have the seller put the suspension in off-road mode and crawl under. If you see anything, keep in mind that the body has to come off the frame to replace the anti-roll bars which are very pricey. I'd bet a root canal is more fun.

After you test drive it, park it and leave the engine running but shut off the a/c or heater. Go to the the front and listen through the grill for a rhythmic tick that is not in sync with the engine revs, it will be slower. There is a component in the electric cooling fan that goes bad and causes this sound. YouTube has a few videos. Probably not a huge job to replace, but they run about $500.

Semi-related to that, shut the engine down and open the hood and lift off the top engine cover. Just grasp both sides, lift the front edge up and pull straight back towards you. They remove very easily and you aren't going to break anything. Look for signs of orange coolant around the front of the engine. I've read that the ticking fan can cause other things like possible damage to the water pump. There is also a plastic Y coolant fitting that can crack and leak. Water pump failure in general is an issue.

See if you can find proof of when the transmission fluid was changed last, if ever. This last bit relates to ownership and future maintenance. If the first transmission fluid change does fall to you, I strongly recommend doing the Atlantic conversion to their 2-piece setup vs the factory 1-piece plastic jobbie. It's borderline criminal what Land Rover expects you to remove from under the truck to do a simple transmission fluid/filter change.

Happy Hunting, HTH!
 

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One more. Make sure to put the climate system through all its paces. Direct air flow to all vents in every possible combination to check the actuators. Set the dual temp controls to the same number for heating, and again direct air to all vent combinations. You are checking to see if both driver and passenger vents are blowing hot air. Land Rovers, like Jaguars can suffer from blockages in the heater core, causing a loss of heat in one side. Our XJ8 lost heat to the passenger side. I would categorize this under costly repairs because the heater core is buried up in the dash.

You sound like you're up for the Land Rover adventure, they can be really fantastic trucks and fun to own!
 

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when you activate off road height, truck does not raise evenly. I think back goes up first and front follows.
When you start a vehicle cold, compressor should run 40sec or so and obviously will activate if/when you're adding passengers or run longer if you start with bunch of pple already in the truck.
Drive 10mph and press brake rather quickly - if you hear the thump - those are worn LCA bushings.
Slowly roll on semi-steep driveway, have your windows open, if you hear rubbery squeal - it is likely sway bar bushings, they're lined with material inside and when that wears, it is metal against rubber, you can rock the roll-bar by hand with the wheel turned to exposed it, if it moves or feels like it has play - bushings are done.
Listen to Timing wear - it is expensive to address, 2012/13 is likely to have an updated tensioners.
Supercharger (if equipped) snout can also make rattling noise. may be picking up inexpensive stethoscope an automotive store is a good idea, this way you can check water pump (my LR Tech says it almost never goes) S/C Snout an probably listen for Timing rattle as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you so much for the informative replies. I apologize for not checking back in sooner and getting back here to reply.

I have had the chance this far to look at three different units. One being a full size SC (Good example of an engine needing a timing chain tensioner)

This far out of the three, there are a few things i noticed.

The full size SC had around 160k km on it, drove excellent and the air suspension worked great, had the control arm bushing clink, had lots of rust around the wheels that looks like it started from stone chips, definitely had a loud rattly timing chain that made it sound like a diesel, no transmission problems or fluid leaks. I really did not intend to buy this one, but looked at it for pure curiosity and to familiarize myself with a poor example.

I looked at a sport N/A. much better overall condition. 110k km, sounded like it needed a tensioner as well, really needed rear shocks and front suspension work. Overall it was great otherwise. I did not smell coolant or see any leaks. I passed on it due to the asking price, and I figure i will go all out with an SC.

The third one is a 2011 SC sport. 130k km. I did not think to check for sway bar leaks at the time. Surely the body needs to be lifted to repair that? I thought i read a thread where someone needed to replace one and was able to do so fairly easily. This one did not sound rattly at all, everything worked great and it had tons of maintenance records. Sadly none for the transmission however. This one mostly needed minor things like a tear in the seat, tires, the rear spoiler to be refitted. I am currently following this one trying to grab it, as it is in an auction.

Good note on the sway bar. I will be sure to check it on whichever one i get.
I am not too worried about interior, body, electrical or suspension issues. I have the equipment and sources for parts. What i do not want to do is lift the body from the frame, replace an engine or a transmission.

I will keep this updated hopefully better.

I will update my Sig shortly too.

Thanks again for the advice everyone. I am excited to pick up one of these and use it to it's limit.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am happy to say that I am now the owner of a 2011 Sport SC. Overall it is in incredible shape, no leaks, no clicks and everything is tight and clean.

Now comes the fun of flushing every fluid in the vehicle, and picking some new tires for it.

Thanks again for the advice everyone
 

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2010-2012 Range Rover Sport
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Well don't by shy, let us have a look at the old girl. ;-) Remember to change the 2 differential fluids as well as the center transfer box. On ours I found no big shavings, but the magnets were definitely filling up with fine stuff. Here's some initial ownership advice for you:

1 - Convert the plastic one-piece transmission filter-pan over to the 2-piece metal type available from Atlantic British. If you go this route, the very first time you change the transmission fluid you will save yourself an ENORMOUS amount of trouble, including removing several sections of exhaust, the starboard side header, loosening the starboard motor mount and having to jack the engine up to gain enough clearance to remove the old pan and suction tube....there are a bunch of other items but I can't bear to type them. :oops: You, (or someone else) will simply need to hacksaw through the plastic suction tube and the old pan will come out without all the trouble. Then you are set for the rest of the time you own it.

2 - When changing the trans, diff and transfer box fluids, ALWAYS crack (loosen) the filler plugs FIRST before draining out the fluids. You never know if these are going to bust loose or not and you could leave your vehicle stranded with no fluid in the boxes.

3 - Get on Youtube and look up how to use the electronic engine oil dipstick, there is not one under the hood.

4 - Start buying extra lug nuts for your rig now. The OEM designed lugs have a beauty sleeve on the exterior that has a bad habit of swelling up from the inside as the metals age and rust. It is not unusual to not be able to get a lug wrench over one or two of the lugs when you got to check brakes, rotate tires, etc.

5 - Don't lose your keys! $500+ to replace/program
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Here we go! It was a little bit late and dark when I got it home.

With 130,000 km and not knowing what it has in it for oil, or if the transmission has been serviced (doubtful).. it is definitely just restricted to light use until I get all my fluids and parts needed to flush them.

I will be doing the transmission pan conversion for sure. I will change the dynamic response and steering fluid as well once I get/build the appropriate tool needed to bleed the system.

There may or may not be a very slight rattle at the front of the engine. Hard to hear over the injectors. With that, I will be changing out just the guides and tensioners. They are fairly cheap parts and I won't have to worry about a loose chain or aluminum bits in the oil ever again.

The water pump has been reported as replaced and does not seem to be leaking thankfully. I may change out the plastic coolant bits while I have it apart. Again just cheap insurance. I'll likely leave the valve covers on since I am just changing the tensioner. The supercharger seems quiet and smooth. I was prepared to change the coupler and the oil in it however.

Thankfully the suspension is working perfectly so far and looks to be in great shape. The bushings and ball joints seem tight. The alignment will tell me for sure (it needs an out of province inspection)

I definitely learned up on the oil check procedure. I wanted to be sure I wasn't going to be running it low ever. It will be checked religiously. I considered attaching a pressure sender and may later on. I think checking the oil level like my life depends on it will be enough.

I need some tires. I will have to do some research on what might be the best pick. I keep wishing I could fit some 18"s. Though it would make it a little less classy. I may just pick the best 20" I can get.


I have some minor appearance work to do, and I spent the good part of an evening making the subwoofer in the tailgate stop rattling.

I might consider picking up a faultmate in the near future with the cash I saved buying this unit, as it was a bit of a steal.

I am officially a member of the range Rover family! I can't wait to experience and learn everything I can.
 

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Heeeey! Congratulations!
Best wheels are Micheline Lattitude Tour HP but they are among most expensive ones, about $370ea here in US
It is very very unlikely you will be able to fit 18" rims over gigantic brembo brakes you have on front wheels.
There is a sort of canister under the chassis just about between doors area on passenger side, it contains sway bar hydraulic system filter. what you can do is pull old fluid out of reservoir under the hood and replenish with fresh, once you untie huge nut/cap covering that filter, most of the fluid will come out, replace filter, add more fluid to the reservoir, start the engine, keep adding till level.
As far steering fluid, I order few bottles, take out old fluid out of the reservoir with suction pump and replenish with new, repeat in a course of a few days up until use up the 2 bottles of new fluid. it does not change all of it at once but adds fresh fluid in to the system.
As far as timing, I would advise you to order every part based on AB Timing KIT from the source were you may hassle free return unused parts. change what you think is needed but in the event that you already there and discover that you have old style tensioners, or there is too much slack on the chains (they are stretched) I think it is best recommended that you do the whole thing without cutting any corners. Just keep in mind that if chain brakes or jumps the tooth is is going to be head(s) removal+repair and timing kit on the top.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you!!!

With what I ended up paying for it, I will definitely have the chance to go over everything with no corners cut. It was nice. I ended up bidding at an auction for it with no competition really.

I wonder how the Michelins are for some off road trails and beach sand. They do look to have the most agressive tread pattern.

As far as the timing chain goes. Yes I will absolutely not cut any corners. I find that the ones rattling seem to be good qualifiers for new chains and sprockets etc. This one runs smooth and quiet so I am expecting to just open it up and change the guides and tensioners. If the chain is loose or stretched or there is wear on anything else, then it will all come apart to be done completely.

So with the air suspension, do you think it is better to leave it parked at access height, or normal height? My guess is that access height is pretty hard on the bushings, and potentially the compressor but nice for the airbags to kind of releve them. Then normal height being best for everything except the lines and air bags.

I am pretty excited to order some parts and get to work. I was going to give the dealer a try, as I get parts deals. But ultimately, whichever is best. Of course things like that transmission pan will not come from the dealer and I will use the improved design.
 

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I, personally, have never heard of a practice of lowering to access height for any reason other then need due to health reason or owner's personal conveniences. so I guess just leave it in standard height. I was advised to put the truck in off road height at carwash so more rubber from airbag will be exposed to be cleaned. As far as airbag life, access height will not relive the pressure, just lower it somewhat, the you will overrun the hell out of your compressor every-time, a $600+ item, in 2 RRSs (2009 with 105K and 2013 with 75K now) I haven't had a single leaking bad but I did have bad shock absorbent parts of the strut, going bad, spewing oil inside the bag and obviously affecting cornering and overall handling.
if you're in UK, may consider LRDirect. I order many things from them and so far happy, no complains.
As far as Michelin Lattitude Tour HP in the off road / sand - I do not know but they are terrific in the street, hwy driving. I am in the process of buying the house and can't spend $1500 on the tires, more like should not, so I just went with less expensive alternative 275/40ZR-20 CONTINENTAL EXTREMECONTACT DWS 06 XL, I guess I can reply in a couple of weeks about how they are.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks again for the info.

I have been putting together a list of things I need as I start taking things apart. It seems like my cost at the dealer is quite a bit less than Atlantic British (I am in Canada) and they have a lot of the engine parts in stock. Certain things like the new transmission filter and pan will be coming from AB.

I really don't think that there is a reason for me to go as far as replacing the sprockets and chains. The engine honestly sounds super quiet, even at a hot start. When I see what things look like in regards to how the tensioner is holding up, how the sprockets look, how the chain fits, and measures I will decide. If I don't find any reason to change the chain I will leave it and change everything around it. If it seems like they may have took a beating from lack of good lubrication or being run too loose, stretching etc, I will replace everything. I would want to change the sprockets if I changed the chain, as worn sprockets will chew the new chain to pieces fast.

There was a slight rattle from the supercharger. So it'll likely come off and get redone with a solid coupler and new oil. I am thinking the solid coupler is the way to go, but just results in some more noise is all. Hopefully the rapidly changing engine speed without as much damping will not hurt the gears or anything internally. I think it would be fine. If the supercharger comes off, the engine will probably get carbon cleaned and the injectors will get cleaned and flow matched. Things sure snowball. The chain may just get done if the SC has to come off anyway. Either way, I am thinking only if it needs to.

The other things I noticed are two oil leaks that I did not see before. One from the vacuum pump. Seems easy. One from what looks to be seeping from the starter. This one has me stumped. It is not coming from above it, and I opened up the torque converter inspection plug to not see too much oil all over in the bell housing. I will probably ask if anyone knows what this could be in another thread. I know there was a tsb for a small opening in the block. Mine does not fall into that range however.

Otherwise it is definitely a project
 

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> Unless you are wanting to blow away kids in their Mustangs at stop lights,

Doing that IS a lot of fun though, just the looks on their faces as an old SUV easily passes them is worth it.
 
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