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There are indications of a potential failure of the head gasket in the L320 3.6 engine.


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Greetings, everyone.

As a recent member of this site, I would like to introduce myself as the owner of a 2009 or 2010 model year Range Rover Sport L320, equipped with a 3.6-liter engine. Regrettably, it has come to my attention that despite the satisfactory performance during the test drive and several assurances from the seller, the vehicle in question is afflicted with significant problems. Consequently, I am now considering three potential courses of action: investing in a head gasket replacement, which would incur a cost of £5,000 along with an additional £1,400 for block testing; procuring a new engine; or opting to minimise my losses by selling the vehicle for spare parts or repair purposes.

I would really appreciate any helpful insights into the current situation and recommendations for the optimal line of action.

The vehicle is now in the possession of a professional automotive expert, who has provided the aforementioned cost estimates for the repair of the cylinder heads, as well as other components such as a fractured manifold. It is evident that the engine has experienced overheating in previous instances, as shown by the presence of oil seal damage and leakage, as well as the presence of coolant stains underneath the car. The coolant system has been excessively packed with sealant by the previous owner, presumably as a makeshift solution. The coolant contains combustion gases that result in excessive pressure, causing bubbling when the car is turned off. However, it is important to note that the vehicle does not experience true overheating and continues to perform efficiently. The exhaust emissions exhibit transparency, and the oil filling lid does not display any presence of mayonnaise.

The certainty about the failure of the head gaskets cannot be established definitively, nevertheless, it is strongly indicated by the aforementioned facts. I inquired about the potential ingress of combustion gases into the cooling system via the EGR coolers, to which they acknowledged the plausibility. However, it is worth noting that such an investigation would need the removal of the vehicle's body. I made an inquiry on the possibility of obtaining a new engine for the aforementioned context. However, it was communicated to me that such a service is not provided due to negative historical encounters. Specifically, instances have occurred where the engine supplier failed to fulfil the standard three-month guarantee, and the responsibility for the alleged improper installation was unjustly attributed to the inquirer. However, the user did indicate a reliable provider named Andy's Range Rover Breakers. Nevertheless, the user has not yet been successful in locating them. Upon doing an internet search, it was seen that a considerable number of 3.6s are available for purchase on eBay, exhibiting a wide range of costs. Additionally, it was noted that some online entities with questionable credibility need the provision of personal contact information in order to provide a price estimate. Does the use of a previously owned, unrefurbished engine inherently invite potential difficulties? Based on my observations, it seems that the cost of a reconditioned engine is a minimum of £2.5k, however it is likely to exceed this amount.

Therefore, the question arises: are alternatives really present or absent?

I express my gratitude in advance.

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Are you sufficiently inclined to invest a minimum of £5,000 into this specific automobile? Based on the given description, it seems that the task at hand requires the installation of a high-quality component and perhaps the reconditioning of the cylinder heads. Consequently, unless one does the labour independently, this undertaking may be considered a substantial endeavour. Previously, I acquired an engine from a decommissioned vehicle, which was said to be in good working condition, and enlisted the services of a professional to install it. However, the current situation presents a far greater level of complexity.

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No, I do not possess the knowledge or understanding of the subject matter. Especially considering that I have just acquired the automobile and have not yet had the opportunity to establish any kind of personal attachment to it. In my opinion, this task does not seem to be suitable for a do-it-yourself approach.

I might potentially contemplate the proposition if I had certainty over its enduring efficacy, so enabling me to retain it over an extended duration and thereby amortise the expenses incurred. Nevertheless, it seems that these vehicles lack any solutions that are devoid of potential negative consequences in the future. Moreover, the exorbitant expenses associated with exploratory endeavours render the whole process akin to a high-stakes gamble, devoid of any concrete assurance of triumph, and perhaps culminating in the reconstruction of an automobile that lacks sufficient value.

The proposition of acquiring a pre-owned engine appears to be a more rational course of action. However, there exists a prevailing lack of confidence in the reliability of such engines, even in the case of the highly acclaimed 3.6 engine. Moreover, considering the extensive nature of the task at hand, involving the removal of the vehicle's body, it becomes apparent that the viability of a replacement engine cannot be ascertained until the reinstallation of the body. Consequently, the potential consequences of expending a substantial sum of money on labour and components without achieving the desired outcome present a significant obstacle.

I have reservations regarding the block's ability to successfully undergo testing, and I harbour doubts about the reliability of the engine. However, it is plausible that the gases may be originating from the EGR coolers, thereby suggesting that the engine may be functioning adequately. Nevertheless, in order to ascertain this, it would be necessary to dismantle the body of the engine. Furthermore, even if this were the scenario, it remains possible that the pressure has still managed to breach the head gaskets. Additionally, it cannot be certain that the block is free from cracks or that the heads can be skimmed, but a substantial amount of £1400 is required only for the purpose of determining this. Therefore, the situation may be likened to a game of chicken, as often referred to.

Prior to my encounter with RR's brand image, I possessed an awareness of its esteemed reputation. Consequently, I had adequately anticipated the likelihood of incurring substantial expenses. However, I was unaware that these vehicles appear to lack a genuine inclination towards repairability. Consequently, the extensive amount of labour required to address the inherent design limitations is substantial. Furthermore, there exists no assurance that the undertaken repairs will yield a reliable automobile.

Do you or any other individuals possess knowledge about a reliable vendor of pre-owned engines and their associated expenses? Responding to that inquiry would provide me with the necessary assurance to ensure that I arrive at the appropriate conclusion.

Thank you for your response.

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After reviewing the provided information, it is understood that the vehicle in question is now in the possession of a specialist. Consequently, it may be inferred that all relevant tests that are feasible to do have likely been performed. The assessment of the head gasket condition lacks sufficient evidence, since there is no mention of the findings obtained from compression testing.
Have these tasks been completed? Is it possible for them to be accomplished? I believe that a proficient scope technician have the capability to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the origin of exhaust gas pollution inside the cooling system. The assertion that the vehicle in question has sufficient power and exhibits satisfactory driving performance raises questions in my mind.
Regardless of the results of the diagnostic tests, it is quite probable that an engine replacement will be necessary.

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It has been a considerable amount of time since I last purchased an engine, namely for a Grenada automobile. I contacted several automotive salvage yards in order to identify a vehicle that had just been involved in a rear-end collision, with the intention of acquiring a well-functioning engine. Subsequently, a mutually acceptable price was negotiated for the engine's removal and transportation onto a pallet. It is quite desirable to witness the operational state of the engine or ascertain its recent satisfactory performance prior to making a purchase.

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Indeed, although it is an ideal situation, it is quite improbable to orchestrate, unless one were to acquire a salvage vehicle personally.

The mention of Grenada elicited a giggle from me.

In my opinion, even in the hypothetical scenario when such a transplantation is feasible, the expenses associated with labour and the procurement of the engine may not be justifiable, particularly considering the absence of any assurance on the desired result.

If I were able to locate such an engine and get information on its price, I would be inclined to contemplate its feasibility, at the very least.

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I am curious about the utilisation of bore scope inspection and cylinder compression testing. It appears that the individuals involved in the assessment believe that the conducted coolant combustion and pressure testing has provided sufficient information. However, I will contemplate this matter further, taking into consideration the engine's continued strong performance, absence of exhaust obstructions, and absence of coolant contamination in the oil.

Naturally, in the event that the head gaskets (HGs) are deemed to be in satisfactory condition, it is plausible that the block may have incurred damage due to overheating. Consequently, it is reasonable to consider the replacement of the engine, since investing £1400 just for the purpose of testing the block seems imprudent. However, it is worth noting that opting for a used engine entails a significant degree of risk, thereby perpetuating a cycle of deliberation.

There are allegedly pre-tested blocks available for purchase on eBay for a price of £600. However, it is important to consider the associated risks, work, and overall cost, which ultimately make this option more riskier than purchasing an entirely unknown engine.

In addition, it is hypothesised that the initial cause of this situation was likely a radiator leak, followed by excessive use of sealant, leading to the obstruction of the coolant system, including the heating system. Consequently, the overheating occurred due to the escape of coolant under high pressure. As a result, the current state of the vehicle suggests a potential cracked engine block and probable failure of the head gasket on the coolant side, rather than the oil side. Despite these issues, the vehicle's performance remains unaffected, as evidenced by clear oil and exhaust emissions. Furthermore, the coolant system experiences extreme pressure, resulting in bubbling and leakage upon shutdown.

I was seeking information from anyone who have experience with engine replacement, particularly if it pertains to a TDV6 engine. The narratives I have seen on this platform pertain to accounts of unfortunate experiences with high-end automobiles that have beyond their warranty period. These accounts often include exorbitant cost estimates from LR (Land Rover) and a reluctance on their part to accept responsibility for the issues at hand.

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As previously said, I am unable to assist with the alternate engine search. However, I recommend revisiting the fundamental checks that one would typically expect a garage to do.
The two diagnostic procedures that are often used in the automotive industry are the cylinder compression test and the coolant system pressure test.
The scope being referred to in this context is the oscilloscope.
There is a possibility that... Indeed, it is feasible to do relative compression tests using the appropriate components.
And check the various engine orifices for pressure pulses.. Although not always certain, these clues typically provide guidance on the appropriate direction to pursue.
If one intends to allocate funds towards a certain endeavour, it is quite likely that the current engine will need to be removed. It is possible that the issue you are experiencing might be attributed to a potential egr cooler leak.
The detection of cracked blocks, cylinder heads, or gasket failure may be accomplished by the use of pressure testing.

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Have you conducted a search on the YouTube platform? I am inquiring about the existence of a film depicting an individual procuring a high-quality engine from a Jaguar automobile at a much reduced cost compared to that of a Rolls-Royce engine, thereafter engaging in an engine replacement process. The task requires a significant amount of effort, yet the associated expenses are rather affordable.

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