Jump to content
Les Henson

Freelander 1.8i head gasket change

Recommended Posts

15mm head bolt and semi-captive nut underneath that the alternator pivots on. Just slacken it a small amount and the alternator will then move away from the engine.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that, Les... I'll go give it a bash once this flaming July weather has made its mind up!

And just incase you didn't receive my page-length PM, Les: This is a terrific thread for all us (I'll bet thousands...) poor individuals who have sadly suffered from this nasty side to the Freelander head-gasket failing enigma!!! As I mentioned in the PM, this is the only step-by-step guide to the problem I could find on-line or elsewhere that gave me the confidence to start the job myself...

Thanks again!!!


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

That alternator moved exactly as you said it would once I'd located that 15mm bolt and semi-captive nut, Les. Brill...

Plus those exhaust manifold nuts/bolts were much easier to undo than I imagined they would be, considering the rust world they were living in. Only one undid without the bolt, and so I bolted that back up again, gently filed away two side of the bolt bit by bit, until a small open spanner fitted the makeshift shape, which worked a treat!

I now am about ready to remove the cylinder head, and wanted to ask about those critical positions of crakshaft and crankshaft sprockets etc... if that's OK!?!

When I was removing one of the timing belt upper cover nuts/bolts, the left inlet cam did indeed flip over - as I hadn't fitted the handy tool suggested in the Haynes manual that locks the sprocket pulleys together!?! But I've photographed each stage, and know just about where the cams were prior to the cam flipping.

What I was going to do next (remembering that I'm not in the trade or have the experience you guys here on the forum have), was gently turn the crankshaft until it is in the 'safe' or 'desired' 90' BTDC position as indicated by aligning the crankshaft pulley notch with the 90' mark on the lower timing belt cover, for at least the safe removal of the cylinder head. And leave the cams where they are for now - to adjust before re-fitting the CH.

There is a set up you can fit once the CH has been removed, that locates or pins the liners in position, so that the crank can be turned so that the piston crowns can be cleaned etc... Would you say this is OK?!?

Also, I've just seen a really good head gasket and bolt replacement kit for the Freelander on ebay, on The Gasket Shop, for £40 all-in... It looks pretty good - but I've noticed here a few posts regarding certain replacement parts?!? Any ideas on these?

Hope you don't mind me adding these questions here - only I didn't want to start another thread about the same task.

Cheers for any comments...

Tony D

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi does any body know the torque settings for the 1.8i cylinder head?

to 20nm, then 180-deg, then a second 180-deg, going through the tightening sequence each stage

from this thread Freelander 1.8 headgasket in our tech archive.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi - I have been following Les's instructions on replacing a Freelander 1 HG after failure. I am pretty positive I did not move the crank, but with the timing sprockets in the timing position and the head off, the pistons are NOT all level in the middle of the bore. The 2 outside ones are about an inch higher than the middle 2. Is that OK or have I muffed it !!

Also am I right in assuming that as long as I fit the inlet sprocket to the correct cam I dont need to know where the locator pin was - it just goes in the "inlet" position ?

The head is back from skimming (looks way better than it was :) ) so I aim to reassemble tomorrow - just the above 2 worries


Les's instructions were brilliant. Great forum !

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi - managed to get the Freelander back together so would like to make a couple of comments

1) THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU LES !!! Brilliant article - I can wield a spanner, but I am no car mechanic. With these instructions I had the confidence to have a go. With all the horror stories I did not want to spend £1000 at a garage and find out the head was toast anyway. At least doing it myself the worst I would waste if the car was scrap was my own time.

2) My exhaust manifold bolts - 2 came out with the studs but 3 did not. I REALLY did not want to mess around under the car to loosen the manifold, so I wound the 3 studs out by fitting 2 nuts on them and undoing the inside one. It will jam up against the outside one and should then unwind the stud. Note that you will need to fit the stud back in later by using the same method - 2 nuts only screw the outside one in this time. Be really careful reinstalling - I am pretty sure I cross threaded one of them (and it was one of the ones that came out naturally with the stud). They were really hard to get in and the bottom ones are hard to even see - you are going by feel and they get tight almost immediately. Very hard to know if the angle is right or not 'cos the head is alloy so if you get the angle wrong then even a moderate force will cross thread.

3) I did manage to screw up the timing position by not fully understanding Les's instructions - I was 180 deg out on the sprockets. I had to work out what what to do by looking at the piston positions, the firing sequence from the distributor cap and what the valves did when I rotated the cams. My advice - take a clear photo of the timing sprockets before you take the belt off. If you dont move the crank it does not really matter what the position is as long as you put it back on in this position when assembling. A photo will avoid my mistake and confirm that you do it right. A picture is worth a thousand words.

4) Its not in this post, but is in one of Les's other posts - to torque up the timing sprockets you can lock the cams by putting a 24" spanner on a flat moulding on the cam shaft (which I presume is its purpose). You get more than enough leverage to torque the sprockets correctly. You can also use this method to get them off, but bashing a spanner with a hammer works too and may be more satisfying.

4) To stop the cams moving I bought a Cam locking tool by Draper. You can spend £30 on a professional tool (and would if you were going to do this a lot!) but mine cost £3 plus postage. The cams will not move even if you nudge them when fitting the belt - worth every penny.

5) My Landy had an automatic tensioner - it has a vaguely L shaped wire and an alloy "finger" with a notch in the centre of the end. An hour of googling got me instructions for it. Fit the timing belt around the sprockets as per Les's instructions - with the tensioner not installed. Then grow another arm 'cos you have to put the tensioner in position, make sure that the 10mm bolt to the right of the tensioner is in the middle of the L shaped wire (this wire needs to rest against this bolt from the top to set the tension) and fit the bolt through the middle of the tensioner to secure it. Its a tight fit - you really have to push the tensioner to the centre of the engine to get the securing bolt in its socket. No way could I fit the tensioner before the belt - I tried for an hour and the belt just doesnt have enough slack to go over the tensioner. To set the tension make sure the securing bolt is snug but not too tight then fit an allen key in the hole in the tensioner and apply tension to the belt. The wire will but up against the bolt, then as more pressure is applied the "finger" will come down towards the free end of the wire. The notch in the finger needs to align with the wire end. The tension is now set. Torque up the tensioner securing bolt to 25 Nm. Check the notch still lines up when you have rotated the crank and checked the timing sprockets. If it has moved then slacken the tensioner securing bolt and repeat tensioning.

A video of all this can be found here

but its by a guy with an engine on a bench ! Its wonderfully clear, but expect more cramped conditions ! P.S. the cam locking tool he uses is the one I bought.

Thanks again Les !

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

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