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  #1  
Old 15 Jan 2012
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Freelander

So what is to be made of this vehicle? ----- the Freelander.

I can't remember seeing mention of it within the HUBB but I guess there will be an owners' webpage somewhere else on the internet.

Would you/do you own one?
Pros and cons of ownership?

What can they do, what can't they do?
Limitations?
Experience of living with one.

As far as I know, there is a mark 1 and a mark 2 and there is just a small range of engines - any input about those variants?

Just one plea; please don't go
A couple of times recently I have tried to contribute to threads about 4x4 travel and they just swing very quickly to the eternal LR or LC "debate".
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  #2  
Old 15 Jan 2012
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The one of choice in the Freelander 1 is TD4 (ie the second diesel fitted after2001 IIRC) The petrol engines had a few probs , the other thing is Viscous coupling between front and rear axles has a somewhat limited life and if you dont pick up on it going u/s it can cause serious ( Much $) damage to the final drive and IRD .
They can perform surprisingly well in difficult conditions, but are a lifestyle vehicle same as many other such offerings eg Rav 4 CRV etc

The mk 2 is supposed to be a big improvement (as is often the case) HTSH

Probably pay to go and read on a freelander forum ,
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  #3  
Old 16 Jan 2012
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Freelander 1

Hi Dave,

Got a bit of experience with Freelander 1 - they're better than you'd think. Took one to the Sahara four times plus the Alps, Pyrenees and Corsica. Main drawbacks are lack of underbody clearance and no low ratio gearbox.

Regarding clearance, Bearmach do a 50mm lift kit and you should fit a Mantec sump guard. Nothing to be done about low ratio so go for an auto, that's what the Land Rover Experience centres did. Helps with rock crawling.
Td4 is the engine to go for. The 2.0 petrol overheats and the V6 is thirsty and gutless.

On mine I swapped the road tyres and alloys for steel wheels and BFG A/Ts, put a Hannibal rooftent and rack up top and removed the rear seats to fit a cargo bed and bulkhead.





Happy trails,

Jojo
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  #4  
Old 16 Jan 2012
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Keep it coming

Guys,
Many thanks for the last 2 posts; this is all sounding pretty good and the Mk 1s are cheaper on the market than the later Mk2s.

Anymore for anymore?
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  #5  
Old 16 Jan 2012
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I’ve not used one in anger but have been a passenger in both types. MK1 was surprisingly competent off road, traction control doing it’s stuff. There was a significant facelift to the MK1 btw at some point. All the petrol engines have a poor reliability reputation (K Series overheating issues, the V6 I think has it’s roots in the K series).
The MK2 seemed a huge step forward to me. Very refined on road, nice build quality and significantly bigger. Recognise it’s limitations and I think it would be a great all rounder.
Russ
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  #6  
Old 16 Jan 2012
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Interested to read this. I was recently toying with the idea of a freelander at some point in the next few years (a hip op is going to effectively rule out riding motos off-road) for modest trips to Morocco and the like.

I reckon for two people travelling light it could be a good bet. I've also heard they are surprisingly good off-road. A more 'gnarly' alternative would be a Hi-Lux/Surf I suppose.

There are also loads of them for sale on auto-trader and the like and they are cheap as chips. The vast numbers of them around should make spares availability good.

Will be interested to see how/if this thread develops!

Matt
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  #7  
Old 20 Jan 2012
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As per Matts' last post, I am also interested to see any more information/views/opinions about the utility of the Freelander.

To "progress" a few points made earlier:
The diesel engine for the mark 1 is from the days when BMW were supplying and it seems to have a good reputation.
Inevitably, being older, it is quite hard to find a Mk 1 with low mileage showing on the Odometer.

How good is the Mk 2 diesel engine?

I haven't looked into this aspect, but I am assuming that they are on a monocoque chassis construction - therefore not as rugged as the full-in-your-face-offroaders (?).

Mk 2s are still pretty expensive, is my first impression looking around online, but being newer have that elusive low mileage on the clock.

I am still a bit concerned about the lifestyle aspect, in that you get the road car fixtures that are, IMO, of no use. Such as built in satnav (a "removal" satnav is fine, but not for me when it is built into the dash board), or parking/reversing sensors and similar bling - more cupholders for instance!!

One key hangup I have in looking at this vehicle, and similar, is that lack of a low ratio box; any more input about that therefore?? Just how often and in what circumstances are folks using the low ratio gears on their vehicles?

ps
Matt,
yes, the bones are creaking and the appeal of riding a fully loaded bike, properly dressed for protection but in a heatwave can waver, at times.
Being able to just chuck the gear in the back is a definite + as well.
(So, a lightweight bike on the back of a 4x4 has attractions)
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  #8  
Old 21 Jan 2012
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The 2.2 diesel is a joint Ford Peugeot/Citreon development. I’m guessing similar to the LR Discovery/Transit engine. I’ve not heard anything disastrous about them. Apart from the usual common rail complexity stuff (dislike of poor quality fuel). I have looked in to them (for different reasons) and they seem OK. BTW not all MK1's had the BMW engine. Some had the Rover L Series, best to confirm what age the change took place.

Yes they are monocoque. Modern monocoque design and build promises tortional rigidity far greater than separate chassis so in theory your doors will actually continue to fit in the hole they were made for! I guess suspension mounts / subframes will be the weak point eventually.

MK2’s will be more expensive because they are more desirable to the “lifestyle” crew and as I say above I do think they are a step forward in quality compared to the MK1's. Maybe there’s a commercial variant which will dump the unnecessary sat nav type stuff? Being a commercial doesn't always mean they have had a hard life. It's a tax dodge thing.

Lack of low ratio I do actually think is a big down side. Not so much from the point of view truely needing the additional capability it gives in extreme off road situations. I would look at it from the point of view of low range giving you so much more control over the vehicle in tricky situations. In my vehicle I do use it constantly, but mine has syncro on the hi/lo range so it’s very easy. Lo range in these circumstances equals less stress on the drive train and you. So in the absence of a low range gearbox go for the auto every time. Down side is added complexity on modern electronically controlled autos.


Russ
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  #9  
Old 21 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RussG View Post
The 2.2 diesel is a joint Ford Peugeot/Citreon development. I’m guessing similar to the LR Discovery/Transit engine. I’ve not heard anything disastrous about them. Apart from the usual common rail complexity stuff (dislike of poor quality fuel). I have looked in to them (for different reasons) and they seem OK. BTW not all MK1's had the BMW engine. Some had the Rover L Series, best to confirm what age the change took place.

Yes they are monocoque. Modern monocoque design and build promises tortional rigidity far greater than separate chassis so in theory your doors will actually continue to fit in the hole they were made for! I guess suspension mounts / subframes will be the weak point eventually.

MK2’s will be more expensive because they are more desirable to the “lifestyle” crew and as I say above I do think they are a step forward in quality compared to the MK1's. Maybe there’s a commercial variant which will dump the unnecessary sat nav type stuff? Being a commercial doesn't always mean they have had a hard life. It's a tax dodge thing.

Lack of low ratio I do actually think is a big down side. Not so much from the point of view truely needing the additional capability it gives in extreme off road situations. I would look at it from the point of view of low range giving you so much more control over the vehicle in tricky situations. In my vehicle I do use it constantly, but mine has syncro on the hi/lo range so it’s very easy. Lo range in these circumstances equals less stress on the drive train and you. So in the absence of a low range gearbox go for the auto every time. Down side is added complexity on modern electronically controlled autos.


Russ
Cheers Russ,
I have had some interesting conversation, just this week, with garage mechanics who work on Citreons - but their point could apply to any modern vehicle I believe. It was about your final point above; the electronically controlled auto gear boxes are causing them issues in:-
1. Diagnosing the problem
2. Explaining to their customers how much the repair is going to cost!

I still don't profess to know much about this, but it seems to come down to the disposable nature of the various fittings (throw away items rather than repairable) combined with the way they are designed to interact with each other = one electronically controlled actuator for the clutch and yet another to change the gears (all so that we don't have the physical effort of doing it ourselves!).

Apart from that, what is the advantage of an auto box; instinct would be that the vehicle is always in the right gear ratio for the driving conditions - anything else??
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  #10  
Old 21 Jan 2012
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"Apart from that, what is the advantage of an auto box; instinct would be that the vehicle is always in the right gear ratio for the driving conditions - anything else??"
It’s not so much that it’s always in the right gear.

My point is to do with the pseudo low range you get with a torque convertor. The slip you get with a torque convertor allows you to progress at a lot slower pace than you can with a manual. With some practice you can progress in a far more controlled and smooth pace. Combine that with left foot braking (again practice needed, and some electronically controlled setups don’t like this) and you can cut out the wheel spinning lurch/stop/lurch which just stresses the drive train.

Combine the above with the excellent terrain response software and you have a very capable machine.
It also has a torque multiplying effect.


Above applies to conventional torque convertor auto's, not the constantly variable (derived from the DAF rubber band auto's but with steel bands and electronic control that mimics the Audi Tiptronic setup).

Sorry if I've just added to the confusion
Russ
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  #11  
Old 22 Jan 2012
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"Sorry if I've just added to the confusion"
No worries on that score; I am still absorbing this stuff in order to be better informed.
E.G.
Torque converter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So, after all, is this a superior aspect to a hi-low ratio box? I suspect not, because of the extra complexity.
I am all in favour of keeping this simple.
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  #12  
Old 22 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
"Sorry if I've just added to the confusion"
No worries on that score; I am still absorbing this stuff in order to be better informed.
E.G.
Torque converter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So, after all, is this a superior aspect to a hi-low ratio box? I suspect not, because of the extra complexity.
I am all in favour of keeping this simple.
Quite an interesting read your link, you learn new stuff everyday
But to answer your question. No I would not say it’s superior, but in the absence of a hi/low range IMHO it’s way better than a straight manual for the reasons above.

It has to be said, in the UK, I’m probably in a minority who prefer auto’s off road.


My order of preference would be something like:
Basic, non electronically controlled, auto with hi/low range and at least a centre and rear diff lock (centre diff locks are not always std. For example on some Discovery 2’s). Combine the advantages of the torque convertor with a low range option and you have a great setup. In the context of your Freelander question you can ignore this. Diff locking doesn’t apply, it’s sorted by the electronics.
Manual with hi/low range.
Auto without hi/low range.
Distant 4th. Manual without hi/low range.
Dependant on your thoughts/confidence on traction control systems and you will have options within the 4 I’ve talked about above.


I guess a question around say the Freelander terrain response system would be “will it keep going even if some of the sensors fail or even if the entire system failed?” Although I have a G Wagen I wouldn’t trust one of the latest ones. A. Because I don’t understand the complexities of can bus systems. B. Because I believe (maybe incorrectly) that if the gearbox electronics start playing up the systems are that integrated that the entire thing will grind to a halt!


My basic approach is keep it simple, less after market modifications the better and keep it light.

Russ
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  #13  
Old 22 Jan 2012
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Prettywell all modern autos are electronic controlled , as are the engines , its down to emission standards mainly and trying to chase fuel economy , so its something that everyone is going to have to live with . Having said that , modern vehicles are amazingly reliable and fuss free when you look at mileages etc compared with old morris oxfords for example!
They also look after themselves eg when something goes wrong they go into limp mode etc to protect from catastrophic damage if possible .
So at the start you have to decide what camp you are going to live in so to speak . If you have the "mechanical knowledge" etc you can operate an older style of vehicle . If you dont then it doesnt matter much if its electronics or mechanics that fail , you are not going to be able to sort it yourself . People often say use so and so type vehicle as a "bush mechanic" in "Sudan" can fix it up . The thing that comes across is that most of the time more damage is done to the vehicle in the long run by these "bush butchers" as I call them .
So what i would choose if I was not an experienced mech , is the newest (low mileage) good service history vehicle that I could afford, and load it well within its limits , and not try and push its "operational envelope"
If you are intending to try HD overland travel eg Congo in the wet , dont go in a honda CRV for example .
Most of the time luckily a "lifestyle" Rec Vehicle, will cope with good conditions , as locals cant afford exotic HD 4wd to get about anyway, but you have to plan well and be prepared to take things a lot slower overall, eg waiting for a stream to drop rather than just pushing ahead.
Please dont be offended by some of the above if it seems i am just stating the obvious , as I am just mentioning things that people often overlook FMHE
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  #14  
Old 28 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RussG View Post
Quite an interesting read your link, you learn new stuff everyday
But to answer your question. No I would not say it’s superior, but in the absence of a hi/low range IMHO it’s way better than a straight manual for the reasons above.

It has to be said, in the UK, I’m probably in a minority who prefer auto’s off road.

My order of preference would be something like:
Basic, non electronically controlled, auto with hi/low range and at least a centre and rear diff lock (centre diff locks are not always std. For example on some Discovery 2’s). Combine the advantages of the torque convertor with a low range option and you have a great setup. In the context of your Freelander question you can ignore this. Diff locking doesn’t apply, it’s sorted by the electronics.
Manual with hi/low range.
Auto without hi/low range.
Distant 4th. Manual without hi/low range.
Dependant on your thoughts/confidence on traction control systems and you will have options within the 4 I’ve talked about above.

I guess a question around say the Freelander terrain response system would be “will it keep going even if some of the sensors fail or even if the entire system failed?” Although I have a G Wagen I wouldn’t trust one of the latest ones. A. Because I don’t understand the complexities of can bus systems. B. Because I believe (maybe incorrectly) that if the gearbox electronics start playing up the systems are that integrated that the entire thing will grind to a halt!

My basic approach is keep it simple, less after market modifications the better and keep it light.

Russ
I think this post pulls together a really good summary of the choices out there. My own thinking has moved along, while not discounting the Freelander, to consider the wider Landrover range.



Quote:
Originally Posted by tacr2man View Post
Prettywell all modern autos are electronic controlled , as are the engines , its down to emission standards mainly and trying to chase fuel economy , so its something that everyone is going to have to live with . Having said that , modern vehicles are amazingly reliable and fuss free when you look at mileages etc compared with old morris oxfords for example!
They also look after themselves eg when something goes wrong they go into limp mode etc to protect from catastrophic damage if possible .
So at the start you have to decide what camp you are going to live in so to speak . If you have the "mechanical knowledge" etc you can operate an older style of vehicle . If you dont then it doesnt matter much if its electronics or mechanics that fail , you are not going to be able to sort it yourself . People often say use so and so type vehicle as a "bush mechanic" in "Sudan" can fix it up . The thing that comes across is that most of the time more damage is done to the vehicle in the long run by these "bush butchers" as I call them .
So what i would choose if I was not an experienced mech , is the newest (low mileage) good service history vehicle that I could afford, and load it well within its limits , and not try and push its "operational envelope"
If you are intending to try HD overland travel eg Congo in the wet , dont go in a honda CRV for example .
Most of the time luckily a "lifestyle" Rec Vehicle, will cope with good conditions , as locals cant afford exotic HD 4wd to get about anyway, but you have to plan well and be prepared to take things a lot slower overall, eg waiting for a stream to drop rather than just pushing ahead.
Please dont be offended by some of the above if it seems i am just stating the obvious , as I am just mentioning things that people often overlook FMHE
No offence taken! I think this post complements well Russ's list of possibilities for 4x4 drive trains.

So, where am I now? Sticking with Landrover (it's my thread so I guess I can deviate a bit from the original title), but I have digressed now and again into TLC, I have been reading in other places about the 200/300TDi family of engines.

Here for instance, there are the highest priced 300/200 engined Discoveries I can find (via ebay)
http://simmonites.com/vsale.htm

I pick on these because they seem better value than Defender's with the same engines (and the seats are better!!).
But, for this smallish sample, it doesn't seem to matter what mileage is on the clock, all the Discoveries with this dealer have the same asking price. There are quite a few on offer in ebay, but they are often very high mileage so the prices for the 200/300TDi engined vehicles vary quite a bit + compared with the Landcruisers, Discos tend to be cheaper.

I don't have specific questions right now, just offering up some food for thought and even thinking out loud.
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Last edited by Walkabout; 28 Jan 2012 at 19:54. Reason: Cocked up pasting! & writing on the hoof
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Old 28 Jan 2012
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Jap import probably a good start point , they dont salt roads , they are usually serviced well to make sure they meet emissions for their version of mot . they are usually lowish mileage as well . Generally speaking a better unit for the money than UK item . A few points on the advertised vehicles , either not needed to change /unsuitable for your intended purpose . JMHO
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