April 11, 2014

Land Rover's troubled 4.6 litre V8: an insight for buyers

The 4.6-litre V8 was the ultimate incarnation of the Rover alloy engine to find its way into a Land Rover, but it had its share of problems, such as cylinder blocks cracking behind the liner, allowing coolant into the cylinder. There are many 4.6s in New Zealand. The excellent UK magazine Land Rover Owner International offers some good advice for buyers, saying in its latest issue: "There are many horror stories about slipped liners, porous blocks and overheating. These problems don’t occur in every engine, and lower-mileage and well-maintained engines are less likely to suffer.

"Take great care when buying … but pay particular attention to service history and check for any sign of previous or current cooling system problems. Water marks indicating leakage from the block, heads, hoses, header tank and so on are a real prompt, so walk away. The same applies to discoloured coolant, particularly if it shows signs of leak stopper additives (thick brown staining to the header tank). If the vehicle has a good service history, looks well cared for, hasn’t spent its life pulling a three-tonne trailer and has a clean header tank, then it looks promising."

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