Back in Action! Seized Engine Replaced

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TrinidadLR4

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So after almost 1.5 excruciating months without my truck, I finally am back in business. Ended up buying a used engine on Ebay and found a local shop who has done these swaps in the past(and does a fair number of them per year, unfortunately). Recap below for anyone who missed the initial thread.
Engine decided to seize on the way back from Thanksgiving holiday in WV. Started losing power on an uphill climb and speed was dropping despite the throttle being buried. I think there was some audible clattering at some point and a few seconds later, it shut off completely. Coasted to a stop and tried to restart, no dice. No click, no cranking, nothing. Zero codes from IID, no CEL, no warning lights of any kind. Curiously, the coolant expansion tank was bone dry. Still, figured it was an electrical issue of some sort so had AAA tow it home, where we tried to turn the engine via a wrench on the crank bolt. That's when I realized it was seized completely. After getting a few quotes, decided to try buying a used engine and swap it out. The engine had 116k before it seized and ran very well with no chain noise and was maintained well. If the truck was otherwise a basket case, I would have walked away at this point and parted it out, but it was too nice to let go just yet.

Engine - On Ebay, I found a 2013 5.0 engine with 84k miles from a wrecked Marmaris Teal RR Sport in NJ. Had it shipped to the shop and they got to work. I also bought new injectors and gave them all the spares I had laying around to put on - new alternator, plugs, starter, belts, pulleys, coolant crossover pipes(front and back), coolant exp tank and water pump+inlet pipe. Had it converted to Dexcool as well. As this engine is a 2013(same as my old one), I opted to not do the chains + tensioners.

The actual swap took about 1.5 weeks but I was in no rush as I was out of town for most it anyway. Got it back this past Monday and it turned out great. It runs MUCH quieter than before(most likely the new injectors) and has zero codes or otherwise untoward behavior. I am very happy to have it back.

As part of the swap, the old engine got disassembled. It looks like two pistons were seized completely and the most likely cause was sudden overheating. What I think happened: Throughout the years, I never really kept an eye on the coolant level in the expansion tank and instead figured it would always tell me when it ran low. I think there was a small leak over time, the sensor never told me and it was low on coolant already(and/or blew a cooling component) when it decided to seize. Lesson learned - always keep an eye on fluid levels and don't rely on sensors.

Anyway, happy to be back. Really enjoying driving it now and so far, it is running great.

Overall cost was about 13k when all was said and done. Not cheap, but still cheaper than new/another car, something I didn't really want at the moment anyway.
 
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Justin Allen

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Was just telling a friend the other day how these things are a lot more reliable than people give them credit for....This isn't the thread I needed to see afterward lol
 

ryanjl

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They are reliable, but they require active ownership. Only problem is we learn more day-by-day what we need to be "active" in doing.
 

John Robison

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Overheating is the most common cause of engine failure in all these Land Rovers. I have written a lot about it over the years, mostly on the older pushrod engines. These newer motors have warning lights but I've seen enough instances like this where the motor fails without a warning. All I can say is, check the coolant and be mindful of the warning circuit. Don't drive with it disconnected or not working. We change a lot of tanks in these models because the float for the sensor is in the tank.

Good this worked out well for you, Trinidad.
 

John Robison

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One thing I will add . . . Trinidad wrote that he found an engine on eBay, bought it and gave to the shop. In other threads people talk about shops not installing customer supplied parts. Having run a Land Rover service Dept for over 30 years I would offer these thoughts

We generally shy away from installing customer-supplied parts if they are substandard or present what we judge to be repetitional risk. In other words, we don't want to install a lousy part, which fails, and then people say "Robison did it." We would not install a customers bargain basement brake pads, but if you come here with a performance brake setup to track your Porsche 911, that is fine - we assume you know what you chose and the tradeoffs, and we are happy to fit it.

In the case of a used engine, it's a genuine part; just not brand new anymore. We can't tell any more than you how good a particular used engine is. Therefore there is nothing we can generally add to the transaction. For the most part, used engines are "one price for all"; the price we would pay as a large shop is the same you pay as an individual.

But there is an important difference. If you buy the motor you have some important consumer protections especially through your credit card but also - if needed - though many small claim courts. As a commercial buyer we do not have those advantages. Therefore, it is better for both of us if you buy the motor and we just install it. That said, as the client, you have to understand we do not guarantee the motor or the job; we only guarantee our workmanship. We have no control over whether the motor smokes, raps, or leaks oil after a few weeks.

We certainly stand behind what we do. If we put valve cover gaskets we assume responsibility for the repair not leaking. But on a motor there is so much we can't control, and it's important to be clear who is responsible for what, and in the case of an engine job where a used system is fitted, the owner of the vehicle is shouldering a fair share of the risk.

Some people are fine with that, others are not. If you are not fine, I suggest a factory reman engine through Land Rover. Then the whole job is covered by warranty, assuming the various supported parts are new and genuine too. The tradeoff? The bill will be more than double what Trinidad paid.

There is no right or wrong answer; people have differing budgets, expectations, etc. And the abilities of shops differ.
 

Troy A

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So after almost 1.5 excruciating months without my truck, I finally am back in business. Ended up buying a used engine on Ebay and found a local shop who has done these swaps in the past(and does a fair number of them per year, unfortunately). Recap below for anyone who missed the initial thread.
Engine decided to seize on the way back from Thanksgiving holiday in WV. Started losing power on an uphill climb and speed was dropping despite the throttle being buried. I think there was some audible clattering at some point and a few seconds later, it shut off completely. Coasted to a stop and tried to restart, no dice. No click, no cranking, nothing. Zero codes from IID, no CEL, no warning lights of any kind. Curiously, the coolant expansion tank was bone dry. Still, figured it was an electrical issue of some sort so had AAA tow it home, where we tried to turn the engine via a wrench on the crank bolt. That's when I realized it was seized completely. After getting a few quotes, decided to try buying a used engine and swap it out. The engine had 116k before it seized and ran very well with no chain noise and was maintained well. If the truck was otherwise a basket case, I would have walked away at this point and parted it out, but it was too nice to let go just yet.

Engine - On Ebay, I found a 2013 5.0 engine with 84k miles from a wrecked Marmaris Teal RR Sport in NJ. Had it shipped to the shop and they got to work. I also bought new injectors and gave them all the spares I had laying around to put on - new alternator, plugs, starter, belts, pulleys, coolant crossover pipes(front and back), coolant exp tank and water pump+inlet pipe. Had it converted to Dexcool as well. As this engine is a 2013(same as my old one), I opted to not do the chains + tensioners.

The actual swap took about 1.5 weeks but I was in no rush as I was out of town for most it anyway. Got it back this past Monday and it turned out great. It runs MUCH quieter than before(most likely the new injectors) and has zero codes or otherwise untoward behavior. I am very happy to have it back.

As part of the swap, the old engine got disassembled. It looks like two pistons were seized completely and the most likely cause was sudden overheating. What I think happened: Throughout the years, I never really kept an eye on the coolant level in the expansion tank and instead figured it would always tell me when it ran low. I think there was a small leak over time, the sensor never told me and it was low on coolant already(and/or blew a cooling component) when it decided to seize. Lesson learned - always keep an eye on fluid levels and don't rely on sensors.

Anyway, happy to be back. Really enjoying driving it now and so far, it is running great.

Overall cost was about 13k when all was said and done. Not cheap, but still cheaper than new/another car, something I didn't really want at the moment anyway.
Man I hate seeing these threads. Sorry to hear about the truck @TrinidadLR4 ! That sucks. Yes, the catastrophic failure modes of these vehicles are a price of ownership unfortunately. Very frustrating. Glad to hear you’re back in action. I wish your new engine a long second life.
 

TrinidadLR4

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One thing I will add . . . Trinidad wrote that he found an engine on eBay, bought it and gave to the shop. In other threads people talk about shops not installing customer supplied parts. Having run a Land Rover service Dept for over 30 years I would offer these thoughts

We generally shy away from installing customer-supplied parts if they are substandard or present what we judge to be repetitional risk. In other words, we don't want to install a lousy part, which fails, and then people say "Robison did it." We would not install a customers bargain basement brake pads, but if you come here with a performance brake setup to track your Porsche 911, that is fine - we assume you know what you chose and the tradeoffs, and we are happy to fit it.

In the case of a used engine, it's a genuine part; just not brand new anymore. We can't tell any more than you how good a particular used engine is. Therefore there is nothing we can generally add to the transaction. For the most part, used engines are "one price for all"; the price we would pay as a large shop is the same you pay as an individual.

But there is an important difference. If you buy the motor you have some important consumer protections especially through your credit card but also - if needed - though many small claim courts. As a commercial buyer we do not have those advantages. Therefore, it is better for both of us if you buy the motor and we just install it. That said, as the client, you have to understand we do not guarantee the motor or the job; we only guarantee our workmanship. We have no control over whether the motor smokes, raps, or leaks oil after a few weeks.

We certainly stand behind what we do. If we put valve cover gaskets we assume responsibility for the repair not leaking. But on a motor there is so much we can't control, and it's important to be clear who is responsible for what, and in the case of an engine job where a used system is fitted, the owner of the vehicle is shouldering a fair share of the risk.

Some people are fine with that, others are not. If you are not fine, I suggest a factory reman engine through Land Rover. Then the whole job is covered by warranty, assuming the various supported parts are new and genuine too. The tradeoff? The bill will be more than double what Trinidad paid.

There is no right or wrong answer; people have differing budgets, expectations, etc. And the abilities of shops differ.

These are all very good and valid points. The shop and I had a conversation about this before I went through the process of sourcing an engine. They made it clear that they would not be responsible if the engine ended up being bad and I would still be responsible for the labor if they put it in and it was a flop. Before I purchased the engine, we came to an understanding that there would be a significant element of risk involved on my end. The engine would be tested/looked over by the shop once they received it before installing but there are too many variables to guarantee anything. As a result, I searched for a bit in order to find a 'reputable' wrecker with good reviews and price was not my primary driver. I wanted a 2013 with <100k miles and with some sort of warranty(90 days in this case). Having said all of that, I did assume a significant amount of risk but was OK with doing so as the shop had done plenty of these swaps in the past. In this case, it paid off(so far) but YMMV.
 

Paul Teague

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One thing I will add . . . Trinidad wrote that he found an engine on eBay, bought it and gave to the shop. In other threads people talk about shops not installing customer supplied parts. Having run a Land Rover service Dept for over 30 years I would offer these thoughts

We generally shy away from installing customer-supplied parts if they are substandard or present what we judge to be repetitional risk. In other words, we don't want to install a lousy part, which fails, and then people say "Robison did it." We would not install a customers bargain basement brake pads, but if you come here with a performance brake setup to track your Porsche 911, that is fine - we assume you know what you chose and the tradeoffs, and we are happy to fit it.

In the case of a used engine, it's a genuine part; just not brand new anymore. We can't tell any more than you how good a particular used engine is. Therefore there is nothing we can generally add to the transaction. For the most part, used engines are "one price for all"; the price we would pay as a large shop is the same you pay as an individual.

But there is an important difference. If you buy the motor you have some important consumer protections especially through your credit card but also - if needed - though many small claim courts. As a commercial buyer we do not have those advantages. Therefore, it is better for both of us if you buy the motor and we just install it. That said, as the client, you have to understand we do not guarantee the motor or the job; we only guarantee our workmanship. We have no control over whether the motor smokes, raps, or leaks oil after a few weeks.

We certainly stand behind what we do. If we put valve cover gaskets we assume responsibility for the repair not leaking. But on a motor there is so much we can't control, and it's important to be clear who is responsible for what, and in the case of an engine job where a used system is fitted, the owner of the vehicle is shouldering a fair share of the risk.

Some people are fine with that, others are not. If you are not fine, I suggest a factory reman engine through Land Rover. Then the whole job is covered by warranty, assuming the various supported parts are new and genuine too. The tradeoff? The bill will be more than double what Trinidad paid.

There is no right or wrong answer; people have differing budgets, expectations, etc. And the abilities of shops differ.
I just had a timing chain done by my friend. New tensioners, chain, water pump, injectors, spark plugs, radiator, and starter. It still seems loud, like the chain is slapping. I know he put the new guides on. Any ideas?
 

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