Land Rover Should Use Toyota Engines and Running Gear to Improve Reliability

I have thought about this post for a while.  It’s no secret that Land Rovers have steadily lost some of the overland expedition market especially in Africa, to Toyota.  Land Cruisers hold their value like a vault while Range Rovers plummet.  Why?

Well when your Range Rover is sitting in pieces in your garage for months as you try to retime it you realize the answer.  It’s the reliability.  There is a real issue with Land Rover reliability.  I am advocating that Land Rover take a page out of the playbook of Lotus and consider using Toyota engines.

Engineering engines has to be expensive, paying for ZF drive train parts, has to be expensive, warranty payments to dealers have to be expensive, court settlements (of which several owners have contacted me about successful litigation) has to be expensive for Land Rover, all while they lose some of their core demographics.

Toyota engines were once under powered and un-refined.  However, that’s just not the case anymore.  The 5.7L and 5.0L V8s are quite fun, and there are some nice V6 options as well. These engines are rock solid.  The running gear is bomb proof.  They are nice engines that are smooth and produce prodigious amounts of power for years.  While utilizing BMW engines didn’t work for Land Rover, there is quite a big difference between Toyota and BMW engine philosophy with Toyota engineer teams spending hours to refine and build incredibly reliable engines.

Land Rover should seriously consider dropping the Jaguar engines and utilizing Toyota engines because their mission vision values and goals in part rely on reliability.  You just can’t take a Land Rover into the jungle or off the beaten path very far without a group of vehicles because there is a too high of a chance it will break down.

While I’ve driven across country in Range Rovers more times than I’d like to admit, there is a bit of a chance of catastrophic failure.  While my Range Rovers have always broken down near home, it is time that Land Rover seriously consider reliability especially with their new Defenders.

By using Toyota engines, Land Rover could focus on building the pinnacle of offroader once again, and realize lower warranty and engineering costs, and win back some of the overland market.  While it may seem like Land Rover is eyeing a different market now, form over function buyers will always respect performance and reliability, as well as usage in extreme scenarios.

Just imagine waking up and knowing your Land Rover will start and run fine wherever you find yourself looking at the sunrise.  Personally, I do not want to have the option of owning a car I love that doesn’t work, or a car I don’t love that always works.  I think improving reliability by using Toyota engines is important to Land Rover, perhaps more than Jaguar, because Land Rovers are designed and marketed to be taken off of the beaten path.

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Wiper Blades, Ball joints, and Brakes

Wiper Blades

are such a small thing, but this post can really apply to many small things.

 

Wiper Blades are one of those items where you have a huge option in price variance, according to consumer reports, the cheapest perform as well as the most expensive as long as they are changed often.  I find blades (vs traditional wipers) work a bit better on the L322 at high speeds as the wipers tend to lift at about 80mph. ( While 80MPH is illegal on much of the east coast, it is the speed limit throughout much of the desert and west. )

I would go to RockAuto.com and pick up about 4 full sets of blades on sale for my L322.  They cost about $5 each and are easy to replace.  And I would replace them every six months to a year to keep that streak free shine.

I am stickler for a clean windshield, so cleaning your windshield off at each gas stop will help the blades work better by ensuring good content.  I lift the blades up so debris falls off the blades.

Getting blades or windshield wipers replaced by a dealer can cost a lot whether you drive a P38a or L405 getting blades at rock auto and changing them out yourself makes a lot of sense.  I also want to disclose this is not a sponsored post, rock auto does have great prices on wiper blades, and brakes.

Brakes

Brakes are another thing where keeping on top of your pads will make a big difference down the line.  I would replace your brake pads every 2 years or earlier.  Get cheap pads from rock auto and just replace them.  Pads are so easy to replace it’s important to stay on-top of them because the rotors on the Rover are a bit more difficult, especially the rears which have the parking drum built in.

If your truck has clunks it can be due to a few things but often it is the ball joints and just tightening the roll bars.  ball joints do go quite often on a rover.  This is another item where rock auto is great.  Picking up bump stops get all of them at once, switch out each link per side at the same time on a rack, you’ll be good to go and out the door with 1k more dollars in your pocket than a dealer.

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L322 Third Generation Buyers Guide Range Rover Book — Releasing Tomorrow

Cliff’s Unofficial L322 ‘Full Fat’ Range Rover Buyers Guide Releases Tomorrow!  Thanks everyone who has pre-ordered the book.  Just a quick heads up though, Amazon told me I had until the 26th to make changes, but locked me out on the 26th.  SO I cannot update the book until it goes live, but we have an update in the pipeline.  Therefore there will be a quickly released update within the next few days and I hope everyone downloads that version because it is more finished.

Here is a quick reference to the book:

Thanks again!

Cliff

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L322 eBook Now Available on Amazon
Nov07

L322 eBook Now Available on Amazon

The first ebook from OffRoadRover.com: Cliff’s Unofficial L322 ‘Full Fat’ Range Rover Buyers Guide is now available on Amazon.

 

Check out the various Amazon sites for our L322 ‘Full Fat’ Range Rover Buyers Guide

Thank you for your support!

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Jaguar Land Rover 5.0 Timing Chain Tensioners, Timing, Supercharger Isolator Coupling, Water Pump Replacement
Oct03

Jaguar Land Rover 5.0 Timing Chain Tensioners, Timing, Supercharger Isolator Coupling, Water Pump Replacement

imageThe Jaguar Land Rover Range Rover has had the timing chain tensioners redesigned and have had reported issues with the timing chain tensioners on various forums including rangerovers.net “timing chain shot at 44k?” and on JaguarForums.com.  This issue happened to me, immediately proceeding I was in a parking lot in wal-mart.  When I got back in the car was much louder especially at idle.  I knew something was wrong.  I drove her home and began to look up how to take care of her.  After getting a few quotes around 8-12 hours and 2500 from independents (did not include a new chain and retiming) and over “7,000 dollars” from Land Rover Flat Irons.  I took to the internet and decided to look for Land Rover mechanics to hire directly to fix the car in my garage.

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Adding Paddle Shifters
Oct03

Adding Paddle Shifters

One thing many don’t consider, is you can actually add OEM Land Rover Paddle Shifters to 2010-2012 Range Rover L322.  I was first made aware of this via an ill titled thread on rangerovers.net.

The only issue with the install is that the L connector from the paddle shifters is the wrong sex to connect to the the wheel connector.  There are a few work arounds.  The one I would reccomend is using Powerful UK LTD who provides a sex adapter for the Range Rover “Flappy Paddles”.  The harder way which is of course the way I choose is to mock up a connector using a small 4 pin computer 3.5″ disk drive power cord shaved down and pressed in very tight.  It took a few hours to get the connector just right and I still worry that the connector may loose itself.  The best advice I read is to ensure the flappy paddle plus and minus symbols light up with the lights on which will ensure they are wired properly. 

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