Jump to content

Range Rover VM reliability


Kim Horsevad

Recommended Posts

Hello!

I am currently in the proces of rebuilding a Range Rover for my brother. ... The frame and bodyshell gets galvanised, and all the mechanical parts will be overhauled. The Range Rover in question was bought with a good-running VM diesel.

Is the rather bad reputation for the VM 2.4 and 2.5 litre engines really deserved? The italian VM diesel engines has been used in the boating industry, and has always had a good reputation for reliability among boat-owners... Why does they have such a bad reputation among range rover owners?

When looking at the engine compartment in the Range Rover the cooling fluid reservoir sits rather low in relation to the engine. With just a small leakage the fluid level can easily drop lower than the cooling channels in the engine heads. Could this be the explanation for the bad reputation for the VM engines in Range Rovers? It it just a matter of relocating the cooling fluid reservoir (and fitting a fluid level warning light) or is the engine in itself prone to failures?

Link to post
Share on other sites

The jeep Cherokee KJ ……2001 to present day, has the VM 2.8 which is a bored 2.5 and runs with a variable vane turbo ... 160bhp and bucket loads of torque right off idle…………. mine has now done 77K and seems reliable enough………. I changed the cam belt at 60K and the engine is remarkably simple to work on.

VM was bought by Detroit Diesel, and then DD was bought out by Chrysler ……… hence the VM in the jeep. The Chrysler voyager people killer carrier also has used the 2.5 for a number years.

Yes, the RR VM does have a bad name, whether its deserved or not, I don’t know, but experience as above suggests not

:)

Ian

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have close up and personal experience of both the 2.4 and the 2.5 VM as well as the 2.7 in the Grand Cherokee.

Superb well designed engines.

However the 2.4/2.5 were designed as a part of a series of 3, 4,5 and 6 cylinder marine diesels. They need good cooling and good maintenance.

You have to change ALL the head gaskets at one go AND you MUST retorque them at 1k miles post replacement. This is a pain in the backside to do so is rarely done!

The last 2.5 we re-built is still running well down in Spain, towing up mountains all day 6 days a week with 85k miles since the proper re-build. It's in a 130! Tuned by Alisport to about 140bhp and shed loads of torque (the Turbo comes in very early on the VM).

The heads were done properly as part of the re-build with modern composite gaskets and they were skimmed (as was the block) prior to fitting. A new Turbo was fitted (water cooled) along with a bigger cooler, bigger rad and bigger oil cooler. The engine was stipped to it's basics and re-built.

Watch out for por maintenance

Link to post
Share on other sites

What sort of cost is involved in rebuilding the top end on a VM as i have one that has blown a head gasket not sure if it has taken the head with it.

would putting a tdi in be a more reliable long term option, as been offered a tdi out of a disco for about £450.

I have been told alot of horror stories about the 2.5vm engine fitted in range rovers mostly for the local land rover service centre.

they seem to think the engine was never modified properly to cope with running at different engine speeds all the time.

Link to post
Share on other sites
What sort of cost is involved in rebuilding the top end on a VM as i have one that has blown a head gasket not sure if it has taken the head with it.

would putting a tdi in be a more reliable long term option, as been offered a tdi out of a disco for about £450.

I have been told alot of horror stories about the 2.5vm engine fitted in range rovers mostly for the local land rover service centre.

they seem to think the engine was never modified properly to cope with running at different engine speeds all the time.

The engine was never built to be driven by numpties who were used to V8's

Howvere at 450quid go for the Tdi it's a simple(ish) retro fit

Link to post
Share on other sites

When owners of Japanese deisel powered 4x4's regularly report upwards of 3 to 350,000 trouble free kilometers, why do Rover owners find 70 to 80,000 km,s so exceptional ? vm powered vehicles are virtually worthless over here where there are a higher percentage of Jap trucks around to set a benchmark.

Bill.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I always remember a mate in a dealership (manager) who said that 'VM' RR few knew that the "VM" stood for "Virtually Mullered" engine :lol: 2.4/5 was reffered to the months between serious problems

He knows a thing or 3 ...........so I have little to doubt he thinks that they are **** :)

nige

Link to post
Share on other sites

I really appreciate the many answers!

The engine in question has done 380 000 km, so sometime near in the future a decision has to be made - either rebuild or change for a 200tdi... However, the engine is running just fine for the moment, so just checking future options.

Again, thanks for the answers.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The engine in question has done 380 000 km,

Thank you Kim you have just made my day.

I here and read so much 'my mate says' ' I knew a man who said' My friends goldfish knows a man whose cat said', 'My mate met a shamman in Peru who said that' My wife says that her friend knows that'.

Simple basic facts are that the VM is okay and it got better and better as time went by - the 2.7 in the GC is superb. It needs TLC and driving like a diesel. Out in Spain the VM is far more common. They regularly clock up big miles with basic maintenance. Same goes for France.

My last VM RRC; an 87 model beloved by the wife; is still going strong, with one head gasket set change in 230plusK miles. It will out live the body!

Okay so the 200Tdi is better as is the 300Tdi, but the 200Tdi is one of the best sub 3.0ltr diesel engines ever made; the 2.5Tdi VM is better than the 2.4TD VM just as the 4.2ltr Nissan IL6 is better than the 2.8IL4. It's horses for courses.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I heard from a guy in Norway (with a 6 cyl in his RR) is that one problem is that heat rises in the engine when it's turned off. According to him, a small electric and thermostat governed pump that circulates the hot water away from the heads should solve that problem.

I only write what I heard, no hands on... ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
One thing I heard from a guy in Norway (with a 6 cyl in his RR) is that one problem is that heat rises in the engine when it's turned off. According to him, a small electric and thermostat governed pump that circulates the hot water away from the heads should solve that problem.

I only write what I heard, no hands on... ;)

;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

Hi

I thought I would add my 2p worth ,My 2.5vm has done over 200,000 mls and still going, I still get 29-30 mpg.

The vm specialist told me of one he had in done over 350,000 and was taken down just for a recon.

Its all down to care change oil at 5,000 mls and make sure it never runs hot,I think even TDIs dont take to kindly to runing hot.The TDIs are smoother but the VM 2.5 has a littel bit more power.

As for the 4 heads they are not better than 1 ,one head off all off, the heads share head bolts so you undo one head and the next one is lose,

But from my exspierance the VM 2.5 is a good solid workhorse.

Steve.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Compared to a TDI - well there is no comparison the VM is hard work,I once actually refused to open the yard gates to allow a VM engined RRc in.If you get involved with them you get stuck with them.You only have to look at the prices of engines on E-Bay to get the picture.I gave up on VM's many years ago after a complete rebuild on a 2.5 when 3 of the 4 rocker pillar studs pulled their threads out of the heads and needed inserts.

The TDI will live long after the VM have given up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have had 3 VM engines in a RRC at home. The first 2 died after over heating, but in both cases this was due to a blocked radiator. The thrid one was still going well when the gearbox died. As mentioned above the VM eninges need looking after. When the first one over heated the heads were warped beyond skimming and 4 new heads were over a grand on their own. The second engine died several years latter, due to internal coolant leaks into the sump, by which time they had lost their value secondhand and rebuilding just wan't worth it.

(the Turbo comes in very early on the VM).

Whether the 3 at home were typical or not I don't know, but they all seemed to suffer bad from turbo lag. Over 2500rpm the boost came in and they all had plenty of power, but the inital getting the vehicle going eg. hill starts or pulling away from a junction could be difficult without giving the clutch a hard time. I can remeber my farther once needing low box on a tarmaced road just to pull away. A friend once drove our VM engined RRC off road and being used to a TDi he tried to drive it like the TDi and kept stalling it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

To resurrect this thread........

I have just parted with a small wad of cash to purchase a 2.5 VM engined range Rover.

I am very aware of the bad press that the engine rightly or wrongly has attracted. My question is, what engine will be most simple to replace it with if and when the current engine dies?

A 200tdi sounds good to me, but will it fit the current gearbox, or will I need to swap that as well?

I understand that a V8 is more or less a straight swap, but I don't want to go down that route.

Any advice would be very welcome.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the 200 goes straight in but you need to check the bellhousing and gearbox input shaft also the spigot bearing in the crank end, might need to weld on 200 engine mounts, VM when treated right! can be a good engine but many people have had trouble when it goes wrong.

In a boat or larger plant the engine doesnt rev so much or vary it speed and temperature so quickly, could that be the cause, really dont know.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a new Rover 800 with the VM 2.5. It went like the proverbial off a stick, to the point that I thought there was something wrong with it. It was incredibly fast but only gave me 36 mpg max.

I also had a 2.4 VM Range Rover. Complete opposite, as slow as hell and even less mpg.

I've still got the 2.4 engine (with what looks like a new metering pump). If any poor, misguided soul wants it, pm me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using our website you agree to our Cookie Policy