Freelander 1 part 2

After 3 months and 8 days, and a lot of investigative work, I finally got the Freelander back from the garage on 13th January 2022. It was a relief on many levels, primarily because I now have a vehicle and do not have to keep borrowing other peoples!

The best news was that is was actually not the Head Gasket. It was, in fact, the Oil Cooler which was allowing water into the engine. The 4 years of not being driven also meant many other things needed replacing, including the Turbo and Alternator. A lot of other bolts, seals, bearings, mountings, sensors, filters and glow plugs were also renewed. The cost of the repairs (around the £2000 mark) far outweighed the value of the vehicle however, to me it is priceless. It has now passed it MOT and is taxed, insured and back on the road!

The arm rest before fitting

The Cubby Box lid, before the arm rest is attached

The next step is to tidy up some other bits – the headlining needs replacing, and it needs another deep clean inside and out. I have already installed the padded arm rest that sits on top of the cubby box, and I have also replaced the 5 seals across the top of the rear door (although this needs to be done again as the metal plate that sits between the car and outer plastic trim is severely rusted). Also, the front door will now not unlock when using the fob. These are minor inconveniences compared to the lack of a working engine, so in all, I am looking forward to cracking on with the work over the coming weeks/months/years!

First 2 seals in place

Lots of rust behind the plastic trim


Freelander 1

For the first time in a very long time (we are talking well over a year), this weekend I fired up the old Freelander 1 TD4. I keep the battery out and charge it every couple of months to ensure it stays fresh, but I was getting concerned about the vehicle It has sat there stationary for too many months, and it now looks like it belongs on the set of the Walking Dead. The fuel in it must be at least 4 years old, and the water is all clogged with oil thanks to the head gasket needing to be replaced. I checked the water, and the level was stable as I had put all sorts of liquid gasket sealant repair fluids in over the years. Seemed to have at least held for this long, despite not looking like they had worked initially.

I put the battery in, then got behind the wheel and turned the key to the first position. All the lights came on which was a good sign. I pumped the accelerator pedal a couple of times and then turned the key. After a few seconds, the engine sprang to life!

The old girl is looking very tired. The headlining is sagging and a bit mouldy, the car needs a damn good clean, and it will need an MOT before returning to the road. I’m sure lots of welding may also be required, along with brakes, tyres, wipers, engine fluids – and, of course, a new head gasket. A project that possibly should have been done last year in lock-down I think, but better late than never.

Keep your eye out for progress reports a this is going to be a long haul….