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VCU info


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Hello all

After reading some of the posts on this forum last night i read with interest about the VCU unit,so today i took the wifes 2002 1.8 3 door out for a spin and tried putting full lock on and turning slowly.

Guess what it felt like somebody had slightly put the brakes on,there are no other noises or whines when driving apart from i thought the engine felt as flat as a F--t and couldnt pull the skin off a rice pudding!!!!!!!!!!!! i have never driven a Freelander off road but i wouldnt think they would be any good as it seems flat.

Anyway i live close to a couple of dealers one your average second hand car dealer with a 54 plate 3 door 1.8 with 27000 miles on the clock and the other a main dealer with a 05 plate TD4 with 30000 miles on the clock,i had a couple of our to kill so thought it would be intesting to test drive both of them compared to my wifes car which has 71000 miles on the clock.

Both did exactly the same when on full lock going slow!!! and apart from the deisel feeling like it had a bit more go in it there was nothing to tell between them on the driving front.

So do i assume my VCU is ok or were all three cars knackered???????????????

If it is knackered i have had a look on Fleebay and there are reiar kits for sale,Are they any good and could i repair my self at home on a bench


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What you are describing is 'natural' and the VCU does give this characteristic.

If you are still feeling paranoid and wish to check it then I believe you can do the following

Park vehicle on the flat.

Hand brake off.

Vehicle in neutral.

Chock front wheels.

Jack up one side of the rear.

On the central hub nut of the lifted wheel, fit a socket and a 2' or 3' bar.

Lean on bar, in either direction.

If the bar moves smoothly and reasonably easily, everything is OK

If VERY stiff and/or notchy, VCU is probably goosed.

People have removed the VCU, and both it's support bearings completely and run the car in 2wd, with no problems.

Several in the Freelander Club have done this for many miles and reported no problems.

The bearing supports either side of the VCU can fail and can cause a rumbling noise in the vehicle. They can be changed without replacing the VCU.

Hope this helps

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Thanks for that

I will give it a try tomorrow


Forgot to add

As for their off-roading!

I agree they are not in Defender class but are streets ahead of all 'soft-roaders' and you may be pleasantly surprised at it's off-road capabilities

Couldn't resist this pic from a laning week-end


For more info on how they go off-road have a look HERE

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i have never driven a Freelander off road but i wouldnt think they would be any good

You'll find they are suprisingly capable.

The easiest way to test the VCU is "the tippex test". Blob a little paint, or indeed tippex, in a line on the propshaft fore and aft of the VCU. Drive around the block and the blobs shouldn't line up any more.



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I too had the same fear about the VCU going on my recent 02 plate and decided that only Rover could reassure me and they did, they said that the IRD is offset on the drive train and because of this full lock gives the feeling that the VCU is going i.e that the brakes are on...this only occurs when I put the stearing over on its furthest extream...they said that when it starts to go you will notice during normal driving...they also said that over the years the manufacture of this unit has got better and better and they rarely break nowadays....my advice is dont panic, enjoy your car and stop worrying about what could happen until it does. Regards

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As above its only the older ones that have problems and if its ignored it can CAN NOT ALWAYS lead to IRD's giving out I have only seen two do than and normally on motorways.....

If the VC is playing up the car will feel awkward on the road normal driving and not just when turning so don't panic to much the car will give you plenty of warning before it give out.

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