Help! My LR4 Needs a New Engine & I Need Your Input

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AMMPKII

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Background: My 2013 LR4 HSE LUX has been diagnosed with a blown head gasket at 89,000 miles. I’ve owned the car for 6 months. It’s my daily driver and one I planned to keep for a VERY long time. Bought for $20,000. I put in another $13,000 (new tires, coil over suspension conversion, trailer brake, new vacuum pump, new battery, transmission/power steering fluid change, new brakes, etc). The truck interior is immaculate. No rust (California owned) and exactly the color combo/packages I wanted. And in the 6 months of ownership, despite a few overheating episodes, my family has fallen in love with the vehicle.

Decision: should I…
1- Have a Land Rover dealer install a brand new or factory reman engine plus a new coolant system for ~$30k installed. This option would have a 2 year parts and labor warranty under any circumstances.
2- Have Tapa (https://text-a-part-auto-jaguar.business.site/?m=true/) install their “Stage 2” engine plus a new coolant system for ~$19,000 installed. This option would have a 1 year limited warranty. The warranty is void if the engine overheats.
3- Try to find a used engine and have my local shop install it for ~$10k all in. No warranty here.
4- Sell the car as a parts donor and move on.

Details: I used to drive an F150 but have always loved the look of the LR4. In my opinion, it strikes the perfect balance between utility and class. It looks just as good in the Cotswolds as it does off-roading in the Mojave. We live in Oregon and often take our vehicles through heavy snow or on gravel trails but I’m not an off-roading hobbyist. Last year I began looking for a 2013 LR4 HSE LUX. I found my car at a used car dealership in CA, was aware it had a new radiator installed 14 months earlier, but a Land Rover dealer did an inspection and said the vehicle was in good shape. Unfortunately, the first time I took the LR4 on a trip longer than 30 minutes, it overheated. I immediately pulled to the side of the road, it was towed to the Atlantic British licensed shop in town and the thermostat was replaced. This fixed the issue for 3 months, but again it overheated. Repeat stop immediately/tow to shop. Air was getting into the coolant system and it needed to be bled again. But it continued to pass a hydrocarbon test, pressure test, and had no coolant leaks. One month later, the 3rd overheat/pull over/tow to the shop. This time, it failed the hydrocarbon test it had passed previously. The Atlantic British licensed shop believes it’s likely the previous owner drove it while overheated, blew the heads, then put a sealant into the coolant system to seal the issue so they could sell the vehicle. Over time, the sealant weakened and finally gave out. New engine becomes my issue.

I have sourced all the pricing for each option, am leaning towards choosing the dealer because I won’t have to worry about going through this again any time soon. Plus it will be like I have a brand new LR4. Am I crazy to consider putting another $30,000 into this vehicle? Please help!!!!
 

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HuskerBred

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I had the same dilema last year when my motor had the starvation issue on the top end, chucks of metal inside the engine "somewhere". I had the same options and chose to do the Tapa engine. All in it cost around $21k. Mine is a 2012 in immaculate condition, new tires, etc. Now it runs like a scalded dog, fast, powerful and its fun again. The downside is I'm driving a rover that is valued at $10k with a $20k motor. If I get in an accident, I'm totally upside down on it value-wise. That includes if I get hit and its not my fault, I'm screwed. That being said, at the time I couldn't find another rover in comparable condition for a decent price. If you're in CA, Tapa is a great option. Personally I would take it there and have them diagnose everything and give you options, they are great to work with. I'm in Indiana, so it was more difficult to make the purchase, but it can be done. Good luck!
 

M32H32IS

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Ditch it while you’re ahead. LR4’s are piles of ****. That’s my knee **** reaction, and like you I’m about a year & $30,000 into a vehicle that’s worth about $10,000 and still needs some work.

Mine was well maintained but seems to have another part break every time I drive it.

In the end, we all decide how much gluttons we are for the punishment. Rovers can be excellent utility vehicles, but these stories are all too common.
 

LR4Slavo

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If I wasn't mechanically inclined and I was in the same situation as you, I'd go for option 3 hands down.

Find yourself a lower mileage engine, have the timing chain components updated with the redesigned parts if it's not already done and have all the critical cooling parts replaced along the process. With the absurdly high replacement cost LR is offering and considering that the tapa warranty is void in the event of any sort of overheating, you're not getting any sort of additional piece of mind for considerably more upfront cost and as someone mentioned, you stand to automatically lose out on 10-20k if it was totaled.

This is just an opinion, but I've gone through a blow HG plus skipped timing and bent valves on one bank, I took the gamble of rebuilding it myself and now an nearing an awesome 14k miles and 1.5 years since the rebuild.
 

BigBriDogGuy

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My sense is there's good ones and bad ones.

I've read stories of people treating their LR4 like any other vehicle, regular oil changes, tires, brakes, stuff like that, and not having any special problems at all. Heck, they even claim to run them on regular unleaded. I suspect these vehicles are "time tested", meaning that if they get to a certain age and mileage and they haven't fallen apart or blown up, they are unlikely to.

On the flip side, I've read horror stories about people that are constantly throwing good money after bad trying to fix problems or proactively avoid them. I've seen it posted on more than one occasion, "Don't go chasing problems on an LR4. That's a rich man's game."

You got unlucky. Maybe your luck will change, or maybe it won't. As the carnie barkers like to say, "Step right up and try your luck!"

For me, at this point, if mine blew up, I'd try to force myself to toss the keys and walk. I've had personal experience with addictions in the past and I know what they feel like. They feel like this.
 
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remember5

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I started this by saying I would pick 1 or 2 but after watching that TAPA video running 13.1 in the quarter and chirping the wheels at shift I'm like holy crap! I've had Landrovers off and on for 40 years and once they're in your blood you will always want one. For those who got burned and will never go back so be it. There is nothing like them when they're running right and, usually there are one or two items that need attention. That's the nature of Landrover. A catastrophic failure like the engine is, I understand, cause for reconsideration of your relationship but as you say it's immaculate, you love it, it's the colors you want and you have already put $13k into it. I agree with BigBri, roll the dice and get the TAPA rebuild. Then drive it sensibly and deal with the niggling issues that will come up. Every time I have sold a Landrover I find myself looking at them at the traffic light and wondering why I sold it. My LR3 has 253k on the odo and today all the lights are off on the dash and it's running great (knock on wood), these are the days we live for. Good luck and next month post a video of you running the quarter mile under 13 seconds!
 

timc930

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My personal opinion, if you like the car/truck, and want to keep it, then I think regardless of value it's always better to fix it. True, you have a $20+13K truck, with a $20-30K engine. But then buying a new car, you have tremendous depreciation, and buying a used car you run the risk of repairs....again. It's all a gamble and really becomes a very personal decision that ONLY YOU can make, but this is my opinion, may not work for you or others....as what is right for me is not necessarily right for the next guy.

If it were me, and you like the truck, I'd select the "fix-it" option that fits your budget/risk.

Think of the guy that buys the new RR $100K plus, then pays dealer prices for all maint and repairs, then sells a few years later for 30-50% of what he paid for it, plus all the maint.....Feel Better?
 
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nwoods

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Why not just choose the $2000 option and replace the head gaskets? Or, just do it yourself for about $600 in parts and fluids. Or, spend $1,200, buy a bunch of tools, then rebuild the engine yourself. It's really not that hard, and while there are probably not many videos specific to the LR4 engines, they are all pretty similar. It's just bolts. By watching YouTube, I have rebuilt several motors now. And they all run! I am the polar opposite of mechanically inclined. If I can do it, anyone can.
 

TonyInIdaho

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Would love to hear some follow up to what you actually did.

But here is my answer if I could go back to June.
It would depend on my financial situation.
With your 13k into the rig since purchase, you are already upside down in an accident.
I would most likely take option 2 or repair what is already there myself. Used engine, nope, fix your if possible.

I'd you get hit, save all receipts to prove value and drive a hard bargain, or get an attorney.

Now back to the present.

Please let us know how it went.
 

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