Ownership Verified: Say Hippo Again, I Dare You - 2002 Land Rover Freelander Td4 3-door

Re: the trans: if you take it out would you also attempt restoring 4x4?
Not yet, in an ideal world I'd do it but once I do it's a ticking time-bomb and other things need fixing first. The IRD will likely need replacing with a recon unit, which is expensive, and the propshaft isn't there so that needs to be purchased with bearings.

There's a ticking noise from the rear end on slow turns, I understand that this is most likely due to shagged rear diff mounts. I plan to remove the rear diff and then maybe it can be checked to see if it's usable, otherwise that's also expensive to replace.

2WD is fine for what I'm using it for at the moment, when I got it I was concerned I would have to reinstate 4WD immediately as it would sometimes chirp the fronts when pulling away. That was with the ancient tyres, it's fine with the new rubber.

Edit: I should add that the trans doesn't need to be removed to replace this part I have, just lowered slightly. The IRD (basically a transfer case) can be removed independently too.
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Probably worth an update, as the Freelander now has a fresh MOT. Passed first time with only a few advisories. Strangely, the 'worn out' brakes and 'seriously deteriorated' CV boots from last year weren't mentioned, after I checked them and found them to be fine. I have new discs and pads to fit though when the time comes.

A few weeks ago it was too hot to do anything else so I dismantled the part I wanted from the donor gearbox, to find out if it has the uprated part. Digging into it here, it's the entire inner part with the outer gear teeth.

It eventually came out and here's a picture that gives no sense of scale, like all of the other pictures I had seen. This is actually quite a big lump of metal. I'm pleased to say it is the uprated part and it's in perfect condition. I was also told that the bands I had were fine to re-use, as 0.04mm of wear is nothing for those clutch bands. Can't believe I got this for less than 40 quid.

The gearbox is now living in the garage, as I might actually want to drive the bobtail at some point and needed to get the Mazda back in. I didn't fancy driving around with a massive gearbox clattering around and puking ATF everywhere. The cleanup is already going to be... interesting.
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To get the bobtail Disco through its MOT I had to steal the interior light bulb from Geoff, as it was the night before. I got a pack of 10 from Amazon and went to fit one, however I goofed it and lost it in the roof. Yes, that's right, there's a hole in the roof that the bulb can go through if you have butter fingers.

See, it's got a stupid hole in it! What's that for?

With the lamp unit removed the bracket behind also has a hole in it, what a stupid design!

I felt around but couldn't find the previous bulb, presumably it has fallen down the sides of the roof lining. It won't come off without removing the hardback and the black piece of trim behind it. So it's staying there for now. I fitted another bulb, it's more fiddly than it needed to be.

Then I checked the dessicant dehumidifier thing in the load area cubby hole and it clearly isn't working properly...

Not exactly sure where that all came from but I vacuumed it all out and dried it as much as I could with a towel. Funnily enough there is still some dessicant in the dehumidifier thingy.

No idea where the water came from, the rear window appears to be sealing and both pop-out rear windows are closed. I'll keep an eye on it.

Finally, having added a second CTEK cable to the solar charge controller so I can have the Mazda and Freelander charging at the same time, I used one of the old tails to give somewhere to clip the cable to when going out in the Freelander. When I had one cable I just plug it in to the Mazda.

I pulled the pins out so it doesn't connect and short out with water, it just provides a waterproof cover.
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Everything I own currently fills with water and it's dire. I feel your pain.
I was going to reply that it's rare to have problems with water in my cars, but then I remembered...

  • That the Series III was a biscuit tin with no headlining or textiles that dripped condensation onto occupants.
  • That the bobtail Disco is a biscuit tin with no headlining or textiles that drips condensation onto occupants.
  • That Keely the 300tdi Disco had leaky sunroofs.
  • That Bugsy the V8 Disco II had leaky sunroofs.
  • That the fabric roof of the Smart was a bit shrunk. Water got forced in over the windows if you had the roof back, roof bars off and windows up. Belgium happened to the computer.
If you count problems with water in the engine then I cooked the 300tdi by leaving the expansion tank cap off, the Smart randomly boiled over one day on the motorway but was thankfully fine, the V8 pissed all of its water out onto the road in Germany and the 200tdi currently piddles water out of an old hose and does an impression of a sauna at traffic lights. Problems with water was actually one of my reasons for getting an EV, followed by problems with batteries. I've fixed the batteries problem but the pesky water continues to cause issues.

At least the MX-5 is water tight and lives in a dry garage.
A few pictures I wanted to post before new year in this thread and the Discovery thread. I got some new seat covers in the Black Friday sales and they finally arrived just before Christmas (long story), so I fitted them to the Freelander last week. After cleaning the fabric I didn't want to get it dirty with muddy boot bags and such.

They were a bastard to fit, really quite tight. They'll do the job well though.

The last time I drove the Freelander I had a gearbox fault come up, so I'll unplug the multiplug connector and give it a spray of contact cleaner at some point.
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Well shit, what's this stuff hitching a ride?

Nothing some vinegar followed by a good seeing to with a wet vac can't handle. It looks like remnants of dog bacteria so hopefully it doesn't come back. That'll teach me to be lazy and only clean the front seats.

After this I went for a long drive to get as much air through as possible, long enough to find out that he gearbox can still start to slip on the 3rd/4th change. Maybe once I've had the replacement part for 9 months I will get around to fitting it.

I don't really need more pictures of the Freelander but can you have enough?

Front left tyre is going down slowly so I need to get that looked at, tyres are barely a year old and I can't see anything in there so hopefully just a dodgy valve.
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Long time no update. Well long time nothing happen.

After three months under a cover, after the tax and MOT expired, Geoff passed the MOT yesterday with no issues. I was quite surprised, the issues picked up last year weren't the kind that would deteriorate without driving but I have done 400 miles in it since last year.

I've ordered a replacement anti-roll bar linkage as the ball joint boots are shot, should be easy enough to replace. I've also got a replacement roof antenna mount coming, the original was supposed to fold flat against the roof but was seized. When I tried to fold the antenna flat to put the cover over, it broke off. It's apparently accessible through the interior light, which explains the hole I was cursing last year.

I bought a full car cover to basically hide it while the MOT was expired and it was registered as off the road (SORN), but I hate big car covers. It's a real pain having to run straps underneath, otherwise it doesn't actually have any attachment points. I've ordered a half cover, very much like the one I had for the Smart that covers just the glass and has elastic straps on it. Should be enough to keep the interior dry but be significantly less of a ballache to remove and install.

Something happened to the paint on the bonnet while the full cover was installed. Not sure if I stood a bottle on it and it fell over or if the cover got hot and reacted with the paint, but there are patches of bubbled paint. Quite annoying. The solution will be to buy a replacement bonnet, that will fix the paint issue and I can get one without shagged Land Rover lettering on the front. I've seen one on eBay for £50 delivered.
Don't you love that.
I don't mind admitting I was wrong if it means I can fix the problem without removing the roof lining! Removing and refitting a roof lining is a job I never want to do if I can help it, that's why I never properly fixed the sunroof on Bugsy.
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I spotted one on my way home tonight, complete with side cladding. It's been a long time since I saw a three door one of these. Or any mk1 freelander, for that matter.
Enjoy a photo taken with 5x zoom while paying attention to the road.

Oh, and just before this I spotted a really well kept Rover 75 sedan in that nice dark green.

That factory-option body kit is pretty rare now, partly because you had to have quite bad taste to buy it! Nice that they're still around, I still see lots here. Mostly boring 5-door models that have an extra sunroof to leak, two more electric windows to break and no fun removable top (to leak).
That factory-option body kit is pretty rare now, partly because you had to have quite bad taste to buy it!
Isn't that the case with many rare cars/things? I find it kind of funny when I think about it sometimes, many very expensive and rare collectors cars these days are only rare because at the time nobody wanted to buy one because they were ugly/bad/...
Isn't that the case with many rare cars/things? I find it kind of funny when I think about it sometimes, many very expensive and rare collectors cars these days are only rare because at the time nobody wanted to buy one because they were ugly/bad/...
That's exactly it, sometimes they come back in fashion and other times they're still terrible but the rarity carries them. I mean look at the toss special editions that BL made in the 70s and 80s and how they're becoming valuable again.

Speaking of BL toss, my stash of parts arrived today including the 1980s BL parts bin headlight/indicator stalk as seen in the Maestro, Montego and Metro. This one seems to work.
Time for a bit of an update on Geoff the Freelander. He ticked over 124,000 miles last week. Yes that's 1000 miles in about 18 months. Still, that's more than a local radio car has done - it only does around 400 miles a year or about the same as the bobtail.

Anyway, I got my replacement roof antenna base. Of course, it was completely different to what I had. After much research I found that the base I originally had was from a Nissan.

I have no idea how this happens, maybe it was a shared part at some point. The mounting position is the same including the orientation nubbin, the thread on the fixing stud and on the antenna is the same. I had to trim the rubber on the antenna for it to screw in but it did, and I fitted it today. It doesn't have a rubber gasket, hopefully it doesn't leak.

It won't leak immediately because Geoff now has a nice cover to keep the water out. Since this photo was taken I've had to add a bungee cord and shut the cover in the door to stop it flapping around, it's still easy and convenient to remove/refit though and it keeps the water out of the back.

With the Mazda off the road I've now been driving him again, including a little bit of off roading here and when I went to see a firework display. Where cars were slipping around Geoff was sure-footed, even with just FWD. The relatively light weight and decent tyres are the trick.

Last week I washed the bobtail in preparation for its MOT, while I had the chance I also brought Geoff round and have him and quick blast. First time I've had the change to get a photo of them together, the size different is comical.

Turns out that washing Geoff was a bit pointless as I drove down some muddy roads the next day, it was good to blast off the spiders webs though.
Cool to see this reportedly very unreliable car still being used long after any sane person would have ditched it!
Also I can't hear Bobtail without Richard Porter going "Hi, I'm Bob Tail" with a fake American accent!
Cool to see this reportedly very unreliable car still being used long after any sane person would have ditched it!
Also I can't hear Bobtail without Richard Porter going "Hi, I'm Bob Tail" with a fake American accent!
One good thing about it being 20 years old is it's possible to see which of the variants is the least unreliable. This being it. :p

The BMW engine in these is pretty bulletproof, it's a timing chain so no snapped belt to worry about. The Jatco auto box is good apart from the one issue I got the replacement part for. If I had a lift I would've swapped the part a long time ago, it rarely gets warm enough for the slipping issue to present itself.

I would quite like to put it back to 4 wheel drive but I can't justify the cost. That doesn't mean I will never do it, though.
Not much has happened since the last post. Geoff passed the MOT with an advisory to sort the front left anti-roll bar link, so I bought a replacement and finally fitted it this weekend. It didn't put up much of a fight.

I also took it in to get the bad tyre sorted. Apparently it had a nail in the shoulder and couldn't be repaired, so I ordered another tyre. The wrong tyre as it turns out. For some reason I had it in my head that I had Yokohama Geolanders on the Freelander, but I had Hankooks. I could've looked outside but I didn't, so I now have an odd tyre. At least it's an all terrain tyre and so has similar tread, with a similar tread depth.

Originally it was just going to be a straight swap but I looked at the spare wheel and saw that the tyre production date was 2002, so I expect it's the same one it left the factory with. I had them fit the new tyre on the spare wheel and then swap them around, as the punctured tyre only lost pressure slowly and would make a much better spare than the 20 year old gummy sweet.

About a month later, the new tyre was down to 15psi. Hopefully it just settled on the rim and it doesn't have a leak or puncture already.

Otherwise I've just been driving it, seems to be going really well at the moment. I would like to swap out the fuel pump as it's noisy and have the aux belt changed as that squeals a bit.
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