mmosbey
mmosbey New Reader
4/9/11 4:28 p.m.

When it came out, I fell in love with the Freelander. In particular, the SE3 model. I tried to make a deal on one (Juvenile was the only other person in the showroom - though he was looking at a Range Rover) but it wasn't to be.

Now, I'm seeing they have experienced the "drive off a cliff" variety of luxury marque depreciation. It seems like they are all in the four digit price range. Checking eBay Motors shows something like 17 examples, but alarmingly, something like four had fewer than 80,000 miles, but needed engines.

Anyone know if this is a "thing" amongst Freelander-kind, or is this just a crazy anomaly? Any other opinions on the hippo?

DoctorBlade
DoctorBlade HalfDork
4/9/11 4:32 p.m.

Curiously, there's on my local Craigslist in need of an engine for a very optimistic price. It'd have to be into three digits before I'd consider that kind of headache.

Travis_K
Travis_K Dork
4/9/11 4:40 p.m.

I heard there was some type of transmission/transfer case problem that costs in the high 4 digits to repair. I almost never see them anymore, like one or two a year, I think that is probably a bad sign.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon SuperDork
4/9/11 5:11 p.m.

Dunno about the Freelander, but I get calls all the time from folks with Land Rovers and Range Rovers wanting to know if we fix them (we don't). Well, we do have one guy with a Range Rover that we work on because his wife has an SL500 that we service. He called me two weeks ago to get the accrued 2010 mileage and repair costs. Mileage ~18k. Repair costs $3900.00. And he has just barely turned 100k with it.

DoctorBlade
DoctorBlade HalfDork
4/9/11 5:31 p.m.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/RED-2002-FREELANDER-RANGE-RANGER-NEEDS-ENGINE-/280654677236?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item41585284f4

That one, to be exact.

Edit: a bit of searching turns up nothing but hate for the Land Rover Freelander. Sucky Engine, would be the starting point. http://www.landroverworld.org/forums/showthread.php?t=14016 if you're curious.

Apis_Mellifera
Apis_Mellifera New Reader
4/9/11 5:40 p.m.
mmosbey wrote: four had fewer than 80,000 miles, but needed engines. Anyone know if this is a "thing" amongst Freelander?

Yes, it is. I don't recall exactly what the problem is, possibly headgasket, but when it goes bad, basically you have to take all the pieces inside the engine out and replace them with new, expensive pieces. I work with a guy that had one. It started overheating, he took it to the LR dealer, and they said since the warranty had expired he should sell it ASAP - it was about to get expensive. He sold it. Meanwhile, my '73 Series III is still going strong... I would never have a Freelander and I have an irrational love for LRs.

mmosbey
mmosbey New Reader
4/9/11 5:49 p.m.

I did a little more googling since posting, and found that:

Head gaskets fail. Cam pulleys fall off or break off. Cylinder sleeves move. Transmissions break.

People threaten to form class action lawsuits.

If eBay is representative of the prevalence of these failures, I think I might just pass it by and be thankful I settled on a Mazda instead back in 2003.

bludroptop
bludroptop SuperDork
4/9/11 6:21 p.m.

I test drove one when they first came out. Went into the dealer with a 'gotta have it' attitude, and left in a 'no way in hell' hurry. Never gave it a second thought.

tuna55
tuna55 Dork
4/10/11 12:10 a.m.
Datsun1500 wrote: Buy a Ford Escape and put Land Rover decals on it. It will look the same to most people...

Or, buy a Freelander and put LS1 in it. That or a rotary. This is GR<M folks, make the driveshaft spin the right way. The rest is fluff.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim SuperDork
4/10/11 8:55 a.m.
mmosbey wrote: I did a little more googling since posting, and found that: Head gaskets fail. Cam pulleys fall off or break off. Cylinder sleeves move. Transmissions break. People threaten to form class action lawsuits. If eBay is representative of the prevalence of these failures, I think I might just pass it by and be thankful I settled on a Mazda instead back in 2003.

You have to have a close look at where the complaints are coming from, as the US didn't get all the engines that were available in the Freelander in the UK. The K-series four is notorious for blowing its head gasket at the slightest provocation, but the KV6 (which IIRC is the only engine available in the US) is slightly better in that respect. Please note I said slightly better, not "good".

From what I remember the big problem is the drive train. Due to a design feature, the rear drivetrain turns at a slightly slower rate than the front, thus putting unnecessary load on the center diff even under normal circumstances.

Either way, I have hankerings for various Land Rover products from time to time, but I wouldn't touch a Freelander with someone else's barge pole.

integraguy
integraguy Dork
4/10/11 12:26 p.m.

If all else fails, look at who drives them. I've seen quite a few FreeLanders in the last couple of years, 99.9999% were driven by women. I wondered what the deal was when I saw a guy (only happened once) driving one.

Even the British will admit that FreeLanders are "good on paper" but the execution leaves MOUNTAINS to be desired.

This APPEARS to be another instance of a manufacturer pulling a product just be a better version comes along.

Junkyard_Dog
Junkyard_Dog Dork
4/10/11 7:52 p.m.

Freelanders are so bad even Rover dealers won't sell used ones. The timing belt job takes 8 hours and requires special tools...but thats OK since the engine usually eats itself before the belt is due at 72k miles. The liners will separate from the block and then its replacement engine time...only the tooling was sold to the Chinese. So 1 in 3 new replacement engines are bad out of the box. The transmissions are very fragile as well. Since you'll need to change it anyway go ahead and have a quick oil change place do the service. There is a "magic bolt" on the transmission that looks an awful lot like a drain plug. Remove it and the trans is junk. So if you're lucky Jiffy Lube will drain it wrong and buy you that trans you need. On top of all that add in the usual Rover electrical problems and shoddier than average workmanship (made at a separate factory).

I worked on Land Rovers for 12 years. The very first Freelander delivered to the dealership blew its transmission at 4 miles. I don't miss them one bit.

doc_speeder
doc_speeder Reader
4/10/11 9:46 p.m.

A friend of mine has a small trans rebuild business. He has a Freelander parked outside his shop that the owner doesn't want to pay to fix. Needs a trans and some other stuff. Like $11k worth.

neon4891
neon4891 SuperDork
4/11/11 4:21 a.m.

There was a local one for $7k a few months ago. Glad I instantly assumed it would be a nightmare.

PS122
PS122 Reader
4/11/11 1:40 p.m.

My wife had an SE3 a few years back and we absolutely loved it... (It was hers - I owned a Disco at the time). We only got rid of the Freelander because we had issues with our local LR dealer and there were no good alternatives. I'm guess I dodged a bullet as we got rid of it before the inevitable problems set in.

That being said, if it were not for the engine and trans issues I would love to have one again. I've often thought of picking up one with a bad engine and swapping in a different drivetrain... Maybe mount it on a different chassis (Disco, Blazer, Bronco)???

Freelanders are a kinda weird body-on-frame/unibody hybrid IIRC so there is some potential. It certainly would be nice to find a use for all these Freelanders w/ blown engines and bad transmissions.

pres589
pres589 Dork
4/11/11 1:48 p.m.

In reply to PS122:

What does the Freelander do or feel like, etc etc, so well that you'd drop the body onto the chassis of another SUV? Meaning, would that ruin the feel of the thing so as to make it less nice to spend time in?

integraguy
integraguy Dork
4/11/11 6:28 p.m.

In Europe, Freelanders are available with several other engines besides the V6 they were sold with here....one option is a diesel (I forget if it was a turbo diesel or NA). The original engine used in the early Freelanders was a 4 cylinder Rover car engine, which was never sold in or used in any product by any manufacturer in the U.S.....Canada MIGHT be another story. Imagine a return to the days when BL used Honda drivetrains and think about a Freelander with a Honda/Acura V6 and transmission.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim SuperDork
4/11/11 6:49 p.m.

The V6 is not the Honda (but Rover built) V6 they used in the 800 series, it's a Rover engine that's part of the same engine family as the European Market 4 pot, only slightly better.

PS122
PS122 Reader
4/11/11 7:11 p.m.
pres589 wrote: In reply to PS122: What does the Freelander do or feel like, etc etc, so well that you'd drop the body onto the chassis of another SUV? Meaning, would that ruin the feel of the thing so as to make it less nice to spend time in?

That's a good point. My wife misses her Freelander, though and if it were possible to cure its ills, I'd be shopping. The SE3 is the model that really appeals to me as we drove with the top off much of the summer. A Jeep Wrangler and Isuzu Amigo/Rodeo Sport are the only things comparable and neither offer the uniqueness of the LR.

carzan
carzan HalfDork
4/13/11 7:59 p.m.

http://newhaven.craigslist.org/cto/2323659951.html

What's that misfire in cylinder #2? Could it be...SATAN?!!

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