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Taking the decision to overhaul the Engine wasn’t an easy one for a number of reasons. Firstly I hadn’t overhauled a Land Rover engine before, or indeed any engine to the extent that I suspected it needed. Secondly I was concerned that once started I wouldn’t be able to finish it due to lack of funds or lack of competence. However, it was smoking quite bad as confirmed by the MOT man, used quite a bit of oil and by my own admission wasn’t going to

pass any MOT emissions smoke test without some serious work. The age of this particular Series dictated that it required the probe up the exhaust for the MOT. Had it been built 3 months earlier then It would have only been a visual check, that said I think it would have struggled to pass that in all honesty. I had already renewed the timing chain and tensioner which had improved things slightly but decided to investigate further by removing the cylinder head. This was pretty straight forward although be warned, it is a heavy lump which could do with a strong mate to help you lift it off if your feeling a bit fragile.

Removing this confirmed that major work was required as two of the pistons had quite a few square dents in their crowns. These dents were to coincide with a cross section of a piston ring so all was not well despite the bores looking fairly good. The inlet and exhaust ports were covered in oil due to leaky valve stem oil seals and the valves didn’t look particularly healthy either. I then removed the sump, undone the big end bolts on number one cylinder and removed the con rod and  

piston up through the block. A look at the big end shell bearings quickly made up my mind that the engine had to be removed, overhauled and rebuilt. Mechanically this isn’t such a major issue as it’s literally just nuts and bolts. However, it is a HEAVY cast iron lump that needs a bit of respect if your to avoid some serious injury or damage. I have read forums where two people have supposedly lifted an engine out unaided but to be honest considering where the engines placed in the engine bay and that its a big heavy oil covered lump I can’t honestly see that its worth the risk. Rent or buy an engine hoist and do it right.

Removal basically involves removing the battery first, then the front panel complete with radiator and then disconnecting all the cables, pipes and wiring that joins the engine to the vehicle body in some way. Anything that you disconnect should be labelled so that you can reconnected it correctly once the engine overhaul is complete. Some things may seem obvious whilst you are removing them but ten seconds with a marker pen and masking tape could save you a lot of head

scratching later. Once everything has been disconnected you now need to remove the front floor and gearbox cover to gain access to the bell housing bolts. A little tip here is to now release the starter dog nut which holds the front pulley onto the crankshaft. These are done up to 200 lbf.ft and almost impossible to undo once the engine is on a stand or bench. (You have been warned.) Next remove the bonnet if you haven’t done so already, and remove the front bumper. This will give you more room to get your engine hoist into position before securing the engine to it by either chains/straps or thick rope. I personally bolted chains via brackets on to my engine so I was confident it couldn’t slip about.


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