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1.8 vs. 2.0 TD


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How do the different engines in Freelanders compare with one-another? Sandbag and I have been looking at some today, and, while I was thinking about a 2.0l diesel (pre-Td4, Td4s are too new and therefor dear) I am now wondering about the 1.8 petrol. The car will be sandbags runabout as well as the main "family" car and it will also have to tow the (quite large) caravan but not every day, obviously.

What are the reletive merrits of the two engines in terms of performance, fuel economy, longevity (I know about head problems with the 1.8), noise levels etc. How about automatic gearboxes? Good, bad, petrol, diesel? What issues are there regards unusual tyre wear - I have heard some interesting stories.

I would prefer to hear peoples own experiences if possible rather than "My uncle's, friend's, cat's last owner had one and it was...". ;)

Thanks

Chris

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Chris

I have only owned a Td4 myself (had it for six months and sold it for various reasons) but have used both a 1.8 (used to be on the company fleet) and 2.0 L-series diesels (we still have one on the company fleet) quite a bit so I hope I'm on the useful side of the cat's last owner :)

I wouldn't touch a 1.8 with a barge pole just because of the reliability. It's not a bad engine, in fact quite "zippy" in the lower gears and much better than the L series in that respect, but a bit revvy at higher speed (has lower gear ratios than the diesel IIRC). I actually really liked driving it, apart from the fact it was a bit thirsty, then the company sold it. It has since blown up, twice. I gather Land Rover have replaced a lot of engines FOC but the question is how long will they continue to do that? I wouldn't buy one - I've seen a K-series engine in bits and its a horrible, horrible design IMHO - a typical case of some smart-**** engineer getting carried away with saving weight and being clever at the expense of designing it sensibly. No doubt somebody will flame me for saying that and someone else will say they've done a million miles and only changed the oil, but I don't care - I still wouldn't have one because I won't buy anything if I don't like the way it is designed!

The L series is a bit agricultural compared to a modern engine, kind of like a slightly quieter Tdi really. It seems very reliable, apart from cold starting, the one we have (and several others I know of) has a cold starting problem which nobody can get to the bottom of. Just turns over and over, eventually fires and once running is fine, but very hard on the battery/starter. Ours has had just about everything done to it apart from changing the injector pump which is ££££££££ so last resort (that's next). Apart from that one problem I would describe it as solid but uninspiring, there are quite a few here and I don't know of one with any other problem besides the cold start thing. They go well enough, though it doesn't really feel quick, and they pull quite well from low revs out of corners etc. Pretty easy on fuel, not sure of the figures though.

Td4 - had it for about 6 months then sold it for various reasons - I just found a Freelander wasn't going to suit me, not enough space, no good for towing, no good off road. Apart from a lack of woof at very low revs (below 1500) I thought the engine was lovely. Goes like stink on the road once you get it wound up, and works well as an auto too, though the Jatco auto is a bit complicated for my liking and you can't fix anything on them - the only parts available are seals etc for the outside, not sure if even Ashcrofts etc are doing them yet. The manual Getrag box is nice, that's what mine was, and has synchro on reverse which removes the inevitable crash on reverse which almost all the early PG1 gearboxes have. Stupidly cheap to run, even caning the B...x off it you'd still get 35mpg, and over 40mpg on a run was easily achieved. The weak point I felt was the clutch, even a mildly interesting hill start would make it stink like a pair of armoured trousers after the 100 years war, and I'm certainly not an incompetent "hill starter" - off road it was even worse. However I wouldn't have a Td4 either, but that is a criticism unique to this part of the world - BMW managed to design some sort of hideous weakness into the high pressure fuel pumps, the seals in the pump disagree with something in the diesel here, and as a result they P*** fuel out everywhere and the pumps need to be replaced about once a year at a few hundred quid a pop. Wasn't why I sold mine but I was glad I had when I found out about it afterwards! But I don't think this problem shows in the UK/Europe - otherwise there would be rioting in the streets!

There are no automatics on either of the old engines, only on Td4 and V6, the V6 is only an auto IIRC.

As for other things - they seem to wear out front tyres quite quickly (being mainly front wheel drive and quite heavy). There are supposed to be problems with the IRD units and viscous couplings seizing or breaking but I've not seen that on any vehicles I know of here apart from one failed viscous.

Possibly the thing about mine that irritated me most was the fact it destroyed my driveway! The viscous transmission makes the wheels "drag" when turning, and it very quickly rearranged all the gravel in my driveway to the outside edge.

I think in your situation I'd go for the L series diesel - the Td4 is a better engine but I am sure they will be much more expensive, and there really aren't that many other differences between pre 01 and post 01 Freelanders apart from engines and gearboxes.

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Thanks Steven, most informative. :)

I did see an automatic diesel during my research today which I thought was the older one but I guess could have been the Td4 - didn't say Td4 on the card like the one next to it did. Td4 might just be affordable since I plan to buy through auction if i can find one. I guess I will not be buying the L-series as they appear not to be much more economical than the 1.8 to run and with diesel prices rising this serves to further narrow the gap. The 1.8 has it's faults, I know that. I think I would be prepared to take a chance on one though, but I might make extra provision for detecting problems - fit a low coolant sensor perhaps with an audible warning.

The one we saw/drove today (a 1998 model) seemed to have a lot of damp in the boot area, do you know if this is a common fault with them? I know Discoverys are like seives around the back end and my Defender, well... :)

Any other points worth looking at? Common faults?

Cheers

Chris

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I'm fairly sure there was never an auto L series diesel.

One of the other things I had forgotten about mine, till you mentioned it, is just HOW MUCH dust the bl**dy thing let in on gravel roads! The back looked like somebody had emptied one of those 250 ton Cat dump trucks in it after a couple of months...seriously not dust-proof around the back door/window. Not really an issue for you I guess, as you have proper roads :)

The whole "silly electric rear window thing" is a liability IMHO, allegedly useful for dropping shopping in without opening the door (or some such marketing tosh) but as they usually seem to be broken its usefulness is limited. What it does do is leak copious amounts of dust and sometimes water, if you look at the awful design of the seal where it goes from sealing the door to sealing the window you can see it was another example of somebody trying to be too clever and failing. And try getting into the back if the thing has been parked back-on to a snowstorm and the temperature is below freezing. All you get when you press the electric rear door unlock is a horrible grinding straining noise as the window tries to unfreeze itself from the frame to let the door open... all in all I think the window is a weak point of the vehicle, maybe useful if you have a dog, to let the smell out, and you can carry an 18 foot length of timber in through there and out through the passenger door window, but that's about it. It would be much better if it had a conventional door & fixed window, but they all have the leccy one. It should go up and down smoothly, if not the winder may be damaged (probably due to the window being frozen shut as described) - some of them only go down a couple of inches and then seize up.

What usually happens if water leaks in is that it collects in the storage compartment under the floor in the boot, check that in anything you are looking at, not at all uncommon to find an inch or two of water in the compartment! You have to pull ALL the rear trim out and take the carpet right out to dry it out properly, and it is a PITA, I can vouch for that from personal experience...

Other silly cost cutting weaknesses/things worth checking include:

- Rear door handle is electrically operated (no connection to the latch) and can break, and the fixing studs rust through, check that is securely attached & works properly on an older vehicle.

- Check all the electric windows work properly up and down a few times, the window winder is a crummy endless-wire-in-a-channel thing and usually fails to proceed with a horrible grinding noise after about 4 or 5 years, I've seen loads of them broken on older (and sometimes newer) vehicles

- Likewise check sunroof operation if fitted

- Check the airbag warning light comes on (bulb test when ignition on) then goes off, sometimes the rotary coupler in the steering wheel can break and costs a bluddy fortune to replace if it does! Somebody sneaky might just take the bulb out to save about £200....

- Steering racks are not great and I think if they leak you have to buy a whole new rack - I don't THINK you can get seal kits (this might have changed though) - rack is £xpensive.

And if you do buy one and it has alloys, take all the wheels off to make sure you can before you need to - they seize on the hubs with corrosion and are buggers to shift! On our company one I had a call from somebody who couldn't get the front wheel off after a puncture. Went up there muttering about how stupid said person must be if they hadn't figured out how to change a #kin wheel ... took us about half an hour with a big sledgehammer/crowbar/temper/shouting to "persuade" it to unstick! it was quite amusing as only 5 min from work, less so if it had been the middle of the night and tipping down with rain etc... and when we got it back to work we checked the other front wheel and that was exactly the same.

I have to say, apart from the above mentioned points, on the whole they seem quite reliable (at least the ones I know here do) and I don't think they deserve the reputation they seem to have acquired - though it may be a different story if you cane it up and down the motorway all the time, road speeds here are relatively low (40mph max speed limit even if many ignore that by +50%) so mechanical stresses will be less.

Can't think of anything else at the mo, might be back for episode 3 later :)

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Ok, whats your budget?

TD4 is superb, if you can stretch to it thats the one for you.

L series is a good engine but now very dated in terms of NVH.

1.8 is underpowered and usually trouble.

Pre X reg Freelanders are a waste of time. Cheap dated interiors (that will be stained and naff looking by now), dodgey gear ratios, questionable build quality etc etc.

In answer to the rear window it is EXCELLENT!!! Very usefull and does not let water in (if late type seal has been fitted correctly

The above is based on my time in the workshop and now on sales all with Main Dealers.

Freelanders can be good, but you need to get a good one, ideally 01my onwards

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I have been looking at (unfranchised) dealers ones so far, specificaly at a 5 door S reg one (1.8, £5,495) but only because that is what we have seen. We have a realistic maximum budget of about £7,000 which will not buy any Td4 I have seen on a forcourt. I am happy to buy from auction however so I might be lucky and find one there - planning a trip there tomorrow. Whatever we end up with must be a 5 door.

Thanks for the tip.

Chris

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Be very careful with independants. If they offer a warranty check exactly what it covers and upper claim limit.

Some will only cover the first £500 of a claim!!

Have you looked at the prices they make at Brightwells? How much of a rush are you in? The cheapest TD4 I've got access to at the moment is a 51 plate S. Thats £8k though.

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Chris

I thought this was a good price for a freelander. www.pnkautos.co.uk

Its down at my local garage, in good nick on the outside, havent really looked at the inside as i don't clean that bit. Click on cars and then its about half way down.

I thought it was a good price considering it a dealer. It will come with MOT 6months tax and some sort of warentee.

Just something else for you to look at.

Jon

Edited by Jon W
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Be very careful with independants. If they offer a warranty check exactly what it covers and upper claim limit.

Some will only cover the first £500 of a claim!!

Have you looked at the prices they make at Brightwells? How much of a rush are you in? The cheapest TD4 I've got access to at the moment is a 51 plate S. Thats £8k though.

I don't really want to buy from a dealer at all. I was just using them as a convenient place to see and try out cars. I will be visiting Brightwells - perhaps tomorrow in search of one. God alone knows what else I might buy! :) Thanks for the top tips.

One question, on Brightwells it mentions a figure, in %, which it refers to as CAP Clean. What is CAP Clean, anyone know?

Chris

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I did 90k in a 98 L series and can't really fault them as a car.I when to watch Rally de Cims with the freelander and towed a 18ft +draw bar 1985 carvan(very heavy) did 70 all the way only big hills slowed me down I was following a mate in his 2.8 camper which can cruse on the french motorways at 80 with ease so I spent the whole drive playing catch up.

The 1.8's I find are very nippy round town remember guys there not V8's they don't wake up till 4000revs I have heard people say they don't let there 1.8 rev above 3000rev but the engine must be well coaked up.

The 1.8 is thirsty at 25 ish mpg +

The 2.0 is 30 ish mpg+

The 1.8 are dirt cheap due to people thinking there carp reliability which I disagree with

The 2.0 d you can't go wrong.

I have a Td4 but I think there only a little better than the old 2.0 L .The manual box in the older freelanders are far stronger than the td4. As quoting a dealer work shop manager told me the Td4 gear box is made of cheese that why Ive had issues with mine

You should get a good motor for less than £4000.

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I don't have a Freelander nor does my uncle's cat. However, I have worked on the 1.8 petrol engine and my wife has a Rover 420 which has the 2.0 L series diesel (it even has the "Land Rover" sticker on the alternator). Anyway, the point is I have been very impressed with the L series diesel in terms of performance and economy (now done 70k without missing a beat) and it is a great starter although I appreciate it has more work to do in a Freelander.

I have recently replaced the cam belt and injector pump belt and have found that IMHO it is an easier motor to work on than the petrol and is a much better DIY proposition than the TD4 which may or may not be a consideration for you.

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How odd ... I always thought the engines were in the cars long before they were in the Freelander - I wonder why it had that?

Good point seeing as how my wife's car is a P reg 1997..........hmmm.........possibly a replacement alternator......or a batch of engines bound for the R reg Freelander production line....who can tell?!!!

Edited by John_T
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I have been looking at (unfranchised) dealers ones so far, specificaly at a 5 door S reg one (1.8, £5,495) but only because that is what we have seen. We have a realistic maximum budget of about £7,000 which will not buy any Td4 I have seen on a forcourt. I am happy to buy from auction however so I might be lucky and find one there - planning a trip there tomorrow. Whatever we end up with must be a 5 door.

Thanks for the tip.

Chris

b--gger , traded the bear's old Y plate td4 gs 5 door for 6.5 k a month or so ago,, 105k, full history 5 door,, so they are out there

Woodrow qoute"Be very careful with independants."

behave,, its the main stealer are the one to watch !! use the independants, and put over a grand back in you pocket !!

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Just a quick note on high miler TD4s - afaik you can't rebore them. Dad had to have a new engine fitted to his X-plate TD4 at around 160k (regularly maintained, mostly motoway miles).

Mark

Edited by Mark
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b--gger , traded the bear's old Y plate td4 gs 5 door for 6.5 k a month or so ago,, 105k, full history 5 door,, so they are out there

Woodrow qoute"Be very careful with independants."

behave,, its the main stealer are the one to watch !! use the independants, and put over a grand back in you pocket !!

Hell no, I've seen far too many people ripped of by independants.

Yes, you may pay slightly more buying from me. BUT you buy piece of mind, a proper warranty that does cover everything, a proper 114 check of everything, fuilly prep'd to very high standards., etc etc etc.

As an example phone a couple if independants and ask what the minimum tread depth they will let a car go out with is...

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Hell no, I've seen far too many people ripped of by independants.

Yes, you may pay slightly more buying from me.

BUT you buy piece of mind, a proper warranty that does cover everything, a proper 114 check of everything, fuilly prep'd to very high standards., etc etc etc.

As an example phone a couple if independants and ask what the minimum tread depth they will let a car go out with is...

Sorry but its the ripping of by the dealers is why people with any sense go to the independents , better service, better valve for money, and not treated like idiots, most good independents would pay there local main dealer to stay in business, the way they treat customers !!

And how can you call over 4 figures extras , as slightly over the odd !!

"proper warranty", you are now having a laugh and as for prep to a high standard,,you are joking (for a example,, 40k worth of RR Vogue td6, and only 1 key, )

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Well, I bit the bullet and bought one at BCA Blackbush today. I saw a couple that I thought looked likely, both 5-door, a 1998 2.0l XE D with A/C, 11 months MOT, 65k miles and a 1999 1.8 XEI 107k and Mot till July. The diesel was up first so I bought it for £4380, I didn't hang about for the petrol one. According to Parkers I could have bought it privatly for £5,800 so I hope I did OK.

OK, now the down-side. The rear door handle is broken off from but still attached to, the car and the tailgate will not open. The rear window drops down correctly and I can hear the solenoid operating to open the door but it does not open. My guess is that someone thought pulling harder might help fix the problem and got a surprise. :) Any top tips, common faults I could look at? I am not picking the car up until tomorrow morning so I will not get chance to look into it until tomorrow lunchtime.

Before "mine" went through, a 5-door R-reg 2.0D went through for ~£2500. It did need some attention however, there was a cam sounding rattle from the engine, there was no fan belt on it, some plastic wheelarch trim was missing, the tailgate window would not wind-up etc. I should have bought it as a fix and frash for me really. Never mind. :)

Thanks all for your continued support and advice. ;) Tim and woodrow, play nicely! :)

Chris

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£4675 trade average,, so you did good,, a little in the kitty to sort the jobs out,, If I remember the XE also had the hill decent as standard !! nice if it has,, means you have the abs as well !!

Oh all the freelander that I've had, none have had any troubles with the tailgates etc, so don't know what could be up,,sorry mate

[rantmodeon]Re main dealers,, just had enough of them winging about them suffering at the hands of the specialists,,if they got there act in order, there would be no market for the independents !! [/rantmodeoff]

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Chris

The door mechanism is a purely electrical thing so if the door won't open but you can hear the solenoid clicking and the window drops, the fault must be in the lock mechanism, nothing actually to do with the handle having fallen off. I don't recall any particular faults with these locks on the vehicles I have seen, sorry. I have seen a technical bulletin on the subject but it more or less says "if the latch is broken fit a new latch" - duh really useful...

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Chris

The door mechanism is a purely electrical thing so if the door won't open but you can hear the solenoid clicking and the window drops, the fault must be in the lock mechanism, nothing actually to do with the handle having fallen off. I don't recall any particular faults with these locks on the vehicles I have seen, sorry. I have seen a technical bulletin on the subject but it more or less says "if the latch is broken fit a new latch" - duh really useful...

Thanks. I will keep you updated on the rear door latch. As I suggested, I think the handle being adrift is a result of someone trying extra hard to get the door open. Needs a new spare tyre too - bald AND flat. :(

Chris

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Sorry but its the ripping of by the dealers is why people with any sense go to the independents , better service, better valve for money, and not treated like idiots, most good independents would pay there local main dealer to stay in business, the way they treat customers !!

And how can you call over 4 figures extras , as slightly over the odd !!

"proper warranty", you are now having a laugh and as for prep to a high standard,,you are joking (for a example,, 40k worth of RR Vogue td6, and only 1 key, )

Only 1 key? Thats an issue between yourself and your salesman. Hardly a reflection of the main dealer network.

Yes there are some poor dealers out there, show me an industry where there arent.

But I am confident that I can give either yourself or anyone else on this forum the best service possible.

If you're in the area PM me and drop in, we're genuinely friendly whether you're buying or not!!

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Well, I bit the bullet and bought one at BCA Blackbush today. I saw a couple that I thought looked likely, both 5-door, a 1998 2.0l XE D with A/C, 11 months MOT, 65k miles and a 1999 1.8 XEI 107k and Mot till July. The diesel was up first so I bought it for £4380, I didn't hang about for the petrol one. According to Parkers I could have bought it privatly for £5,800 so I hope I did OK.

OK, now the down-side. The rear door handle is broken off from but still attached to, the car and the tailgate will not open. The rear window drops down correctly and I can hear the solenoid operating to open the door but it does not open. My guess is that someone thought pulling harder might help fix the problem and got a surprise. :) Any top tips, common faults I could look at? I am not picking the car up until tomorrow morning so I will not get chance to look into it until tomorrow lunchtime.

Before "mine" went through, a 5-door R-reg 2.0D went through for ~£2500. It did need some attention however, there was a cam sounding rattle from the engine, there was no fan belt on it, some plastic wheelarch trim was missing, the tailgate window would not wind-up etc. I should have bought it as a fix and frash for me really. Never mind. :)

Thanks all for your continued support and advice. ;) Tim and woodrow, play nicely! :)

Chris

Good price, out of curiosity how did you find buying at auction.

We've got a couple of Freelanders with BCA at the monet but I think they're at the Bedford site.

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