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Land Rover Repair/Discovery II - cracked block



I have read your responses to other inquiries and appreciate your honest responses.

My situation involves a head repair on a DiscoII. The shop owner informed me the last mechanic had rethreaded the head bolts incorrectly and he needed to redo it and put in an oversized set in two locations.

Having done this, he said everything torqued great and it was ready to go. I got about 20 miles down the road and the engine shut down, overheated, not a drop of coolant. I am now being told that there is a crack in the block at cylinder #3, the same location where he had to put in a new, oversized headbolt. But it is not his fault and I need to buy a new engine.

What is your opinion on that? Should his liability insurance cover that?



If you read my stories on these engines you'll see I have one on the tendency of the blocks to crack at the base of the head bolt bores.  That said, something is not right in the story you have told.  Here at Robison Service, I have never had to rethread a block.  About the only way threads get damaged is by putting bolts in wrong.    I have occasionally had threads pull, and needed to install inserts but I have not seen that on a Rover in years, thanks to the newer torque-to-yield bolts they use.  

But that is the situation your present mechanic found, and you have to deal with it, given the story presented.

So he put in an insert (presumably) and there was not enough metal remaining so the block gave way.   If that is what happened (was the motor taken apart to verify it?) I agree that you need to either fix the crack and fit flanged liners, or change the motor.

I do not read anything in the story that would point me to his liability insurer to pay for that.   If the block was marginal, and had thread damage, the insert was all he could to.  If the consequence was a later failure, that's not a result of his workmanship.  It's the result of the block being too weak.  

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John Elder Robison


I own J E Robison Service in Springfield, MA. We are Bosch Car Service for Land Rover, BMW, Mercedes, and other European lines. I can answer most questions about Land Rover service or repair. I'm known as a car enthusiast, machine aficianado, photographer, writer, and speaker. I've been around Land Rovers and British cars most of my life. Visit me at my car business, or my author website, Check out my autism and writing blog at or my photos on John Elder Robison


I have been a Land Rover service manager since Land Rover returned to North America in 1987. My company is a four-star Bosch Car Service facility, known nationwide for Land Rover service, overhaul, customization, and restoration. In addition to Land Rover our company services BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Rolls_Royce, and Bentley motorcars. We have factory-plus-level service capability for all makes. Visit my company online at > service > land rover Also visit my blog at


In the Land Rover world, my writing can be found in various print magazines and online at robisonservice.blogspot,com. In the wider publishing world, my work is published by 20 publishers in over 50 countries. Mt books Look Me in the Eye, Be Different and Raising Cubby have made US and international bestseller lists.

I am ASE certified, Bosch Trained, and trained by Omnitec/T4 and Autologic on their Land Rover test systems.

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