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Series Land Rover Engine - lacks power

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Non of the standard engines originally fitted to Series Land Rovers are known for their large power output. So when, for some reason, there is a lack of normal engine power, its effects are soon noticed and something needs to be done to rectify the problem. This lack of engine power problem is becoming increasingly concerning with the progress of modern car engines and the lack of patience towards other road users by their owners. There are many who have gone down the route of engine conversion to TDi for this very reason.

For the purpose of this article we are dividing lack of engine power into 3 sections; i) general, ii) diesel engines and iii) petrol engines.

General reasons
First suspicions, if the engine has a high mileage history, is overall engine wear. Standard Series Land Rover engines have a good reputation for longevity and relaively slow wear, but they are not immune to it. Reduced compression on just one cylinder will show a significant drop in engine performance on these old engines. If cylinderhead valves are not seating well, then compression can be lost until they can be re-ground in. Loss of compression can also be caused by a leaking cylinderhead gasket and, as confirmation, you may see air bubbles in the neck of the radiator and/or water in the oil (in severe cases, visible as a white creamy emulsion).
The accelerator linkage needs to be able to transmit all movement throughout its length so check for loss of movement or incorrectly adjusted junctions. It is surprising how much total movement can be lost when there is wear or general looseness at many of the connections enroute.
Over time the exhaust pipe connection at the manifold can work loose or the gasket start leaking. This can cause quite a dramatic loss in engine power and you should be able to hear some blow-back on acceleration if this is the problem.
All Series Land Rover models were fitted with oil bath air filters and the wire gauze in these can become clogged or they can be overfilled with oil. It is not unknown tfor the old connecting hose to have a partiali internal blockage inside due to material deterioration.
If the fuel pump has a perforated diaphragm or is leaking air, then maximum fuel output cannot be achieved.
Some causes of power loss are not engine related - check for under-inflated tyres, binding brakes or a slipping clutch.

Petrol engines
Reduced cylinder compressions can easily be tested on a petrol engine with a cheap compression tester. If down to 130psi, at normal working temperature, then power will be noticeably reduced. If adding a few cc of engine oil into each cylinder, just before testing, causes an increase in compression, then probably cylinder walls and/or piston rings are worn or a piston ring is sticking. If the compression reading is unchanged, then the valve seating is probably faulty and the valve seats need grinding in again. For further suggestions as to why a Series Land Rover Petrol Engine Lacks Power visit this earlier homepage.

Diesel engines
When a diesel engine lacks power, and it is not due to any of the general reasons given above, then the fault probably lies in either the additional fuel filter(s) associated with diesel engines, the distributor pump or the fuel injectors. For more suggestions on why a Series Land Rover Diesel Engine Lacks Power visit this earlier homepage.

Land Rover Series 3 petrol engine

Series Land Rover diesel engine

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