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500 Mile Engine Service



Following the MOT in December 2009, the Land Rover has not been used too much due to miserable winter weather, but I’ve still managed to clock up about 500 miles on short trips to and from work.
That means that it’s time for the engine’s first service. As I live quite close to ACR Automotive (the firm that re-manufactured the engine) I contacted Rowland Marrow of ACR to arrange a service and to get some first hand knowledge and experience of what’s required to keep the engine in top form.
I also wanted Rolland’s opinion of some of the less than pleasing noises that the vehicle has been making.
The journey to ACR was along the A51 from Nantwich to Chester, then just into Wales to Flint, Deeside. The road is quite slow due to the large number of lorries on their way to Dublin via Holyhead, so a steady 50mph was not a problem on the way.
First order of the day was a test drive with Rolland to let him get a feel for how the Land Rover sounded and performed.
Straight away he was able to point out an issue with the steering, the top arm on the relay was slightly loose resulting in sloppy response from the wheel. He also reckoned that it could be tuned up a little better to get more performance from the engine.
Also the accelerator return did not seem to have the correct amount of spring return that you would expect.
Back to the workshop, and with the engine warm, the oil was drained. No surprises here, the oil showed no sign of any water contamination, excessive carbon or any metal fragments.
Next task was to tighten down the cylinder head, there was about a turn and a half on each bolt to reach the correct torque, but this is normal enough.
On to sorting out the accelerator return: After having a close look Rowland was able to see the issue. The spring at the carb was from a solex set up rather than a zenith carb. I refitted the original spring as I got it, but this means that it must have been driving around with the wrong one for years before! The big issue is that the two types of spring are wound in opposite directions, so the solex spring was actually making things worse and stopping the pedal from returning to idle correctly.
When the spring was replaced with on e of the correct type, a marked improvement was found.
Next task was to set the tappets, I got some first hand experience of how the metal shim should feel when the tappet height is set correctly.
Distributor points were set and the timing set with idle at 600rpm and spark at TDC. Roland reckons the dizzy is out of balance, but did his best to compensate for it. The timing was set on a gas sensor machine to ACR’s standard for the engine, but it troubles me that this setting will be lost when I eventually sort out the distributor.
Just before it was finished off, I noticed that the rear passenger side tyre was flat, but luckily I was able to make use of Rowland’s trolley jack and changed it over with the spare.
Noticeable difference on the drive home, with better response around third gear and less noise.
Next engine service at 1500 miles!
ACR Remanufactured Engine

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