Lessons Learned Rebuilding 5.0 V8 2012 LR4 Engine

Bassist169

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Just as someone already stated, it’s awesome that people are actually starting to tackle this beast now and share their experiences!!!
Sadly my 2011 LR4 has been laid up in my driveway for almost 18 months and I’m desperate to bring her back to life!

Here’s A little background which I’m sure some of you can relate to. My LR4 overheated one night with no warning and apparently I couldn’t pull off the road quick enough, and the shop I took it to (the only shop that services them around here anymore) said it was toast and needed a new engine. They said a replacement used engine was gonna run me over 10k with labor. I did some research and asked about putting an AJ133 from a jag in it since they are so much cheaper... shop said they couldn’t/wouldn’t do it....
Ok, so I think I’ll just do it myself, I’ve done engine swaps before, it’s gotta be manageable with time and patience.... I searched and searched and everything I found said that you had to lift the body off the frame to do a swap... I don’t own a lift that can do that, nor do I have any friends with garages capable.
Discouraged I just decided to set it aside and start saving. I occasionally checked engine prices for the next year and then I found a post where someone did a swap in their home garage! Awesome! With the Jaguar engine! Double Awesome!
Skip forward to this week, with the weather improving I’m anxious to get things started and begun pulling the old motor. I start to wonder what shape the engine is actually in? Is the block toast? Heads? Is anything salvageable? I won’t know until I get it torn down but I start to wonder if I might get lucky and not need a whole new engine and then I run across this post!

All of that being said, I am wondering if anyone knows what is actually entailed with this motors “catastrophic engine failure”? What is the most common point of failure? Head gaskets? Bearings? The block itself?
IIRC the shop said there was no compression but I can’t remember if they said it was seized as well.

Most people would never have a blown engine rebuilt because the labor alone makes it pointless. But I’m willing to give it a shot if it’s something feasible. I assume that the best case scenario is just a blown head gasket, worst case scenario is a cracked block and warped everything...
Does anyone know which way it’s more likely to lean? If it’s somewhere in the middle can you tell me what I might expect to find? Aside from the OPs advice, are there certain things I should check first before moving on?

Any insight is most appreciated! Thanks so much!
 

greiswig

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If I were in your shoes, I'd have determined that there's too much I don't know to make the assessment at this point. You can try moving the crank manually to see if it seized...that's where I'd start. If it moves, then you have to figure out what the shop meant when they said "It's toast." Is the head cracked? Or the block? Or what? If it was a coolant failure that caused sudden overheating, I'm not sure what the failure point is likely to be, but I'd bet on cylinder head warping or cracking before bearings would start to fail.

Take all this with a grain of salt from someone who's never been inside a LR engine.
 

jlglr4

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If the engine was okay before, and if you didn’t drive it too far without coolant, seems to me like a head gasket and likely warped head would be the most likely scenario. If you drove it very far while it was overheating and dumping coolant into the oil - could do a lot more damage. But you have to get the engine out anyway - might as well take a look and see what you’re left with. If the heads aren’t too badly warped, you could probably resurface them.

I have read that some shops quit replacing the heads because they’ve had too many repeat problems afterwards, likely do to problems with the head bolts stripping or maybe not spotting other things. People then come back and blame the shop.

It is frustrating that labor has gotten so high that nobody will rebuild these things. It’s a viscous cycle - fewer rebuilds means fewer people trained to do them, making them even more expensive to rebuild.
 

Bassist169

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Thanks guys for such rapid replies!

If I were in your shoes, I'd have determined that there's too much I don't know to make the assessment at this point. You can try moving the crank manually to see if it seized...that's where I'd start. If it moves, then you have to figure out what the shop meant when they said "It's toast." Is the head cracked? Or the block? Or what? If it was a coolant failure that caused sudden overheating, I'm not sure what the failure point is likely to be, but I'd bet on cylinder head warping or cracking before bearings would start to fail.

Take all this with a grain of salt from someone who's never been inside a LR engine.

I definitely remember the shop saying that there was no compression. I remember getting all of the flashing lights at once and losing power and immediate pulling to the shoulder and it was smoking. The temp gauge has been in the green until that point.
Not that I don’t trust what the shop said but I also don’t have a relationship with them like I do my Audi mechanics who I’ve been going to for almost 15 years. So I wasn’t able to go back there and have them show me what they found. It wouldn’t surprise me if they just took the few symptoms they had diagnosed and stopped there because they never encounter someone who does anything other than replace the engine.


If the engine was okay before, and if you didn’t drive it too far without coolant, seems to me like a head gasket and likely warped head would be the most likely scenario. If you drove it very far while it was overheating and dumping coolant into the oil - could do a lot more damage. But you have to get the engine out anyway - might as well take a look and see what you’re left with. If the heads aren’t too badly warped, you could probably resurface them.

I have read that some shops quit replacing the heads because they’ve had too many repeat problems afterwards, likely do to problems with the head bolts stripping or maybe not spotting other things. People then come back and blame the shop.

It is frustrating that labor has gotten so high that nobody will rebuild these things. It’s a viscous cycle - fewer rebuilds means fewer people trained to do them, making them even more expensive to rebuild.

Yeah, it’s crazy. I’m surprised machine shops are even able to stay afloat these days to be honest. I do also recall that he said the crossover pipe had somehow become disconnected but I’m not sure if he meant that was the cause, or if that was just a factor.
I guess I could check and see if there’s anything in the oil... but I’m not sure what I’ll be able to pull from the bottoms of the pan with the vacuum canister. What was so bad about drain plugs and dip sticks?!?!

I suppose I’ll start with trying to manually crank it over and see if it’s seized.

But yeah, engine is gonna need to come out either way to actually fix anything, but I’m wondering if I should just pull the heads off first and try to determine the extent of the damage? Or just pull it and go from there? Not sure which way is easiest on this truck?

thanks again for all of your help!
 

Michael Gain

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You can remove the heads with the engine still in the truck. However, given all of the potential work, I would just pull the whole thing and put it on an engine stand. That way, if there is an issue with the short block or rotating assembly, it will be easier to work on.
 

Bassist169

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I’m guessing nobody has created a write up for pulling the engine yet? With the body on that is?
I’m sure Ill be able to figure it out but it’s always those tips and tricks that make the job go so much smoother
 

Bassist169

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Thanks for those! I have read the second one a few times and I remembered seeing the first one and had been trying to find it again. They definitely will help!

I think I might just be spoiled with how idiot-proof the Audiziners make their write ups
 

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