By on May 16, 2016

Welded-together Land Rover transmission

The saga of a welded transmission seems to have come to a somewhat happy ending.

The Reddit whistleblower at the center of this story, who is an employee of the dealership in question, provided TTAC the details on how the repair came to be. A representative from Jaguar Land Rover was also able to confirm that the incident was resolved, resulting in a satisfied Land Rover owner.

The Reddit user, who’s an employee of the dealership, shared some background information on the incident and confirmed that the vehicle in question is a 2013 Range Rover Evoque with a 2.0-liter GTDI engine (we previously thought it was an LR2).

“It originally came in for a timing chain sprocket replacement and when the tech tried to start it the engine failed,” said the dealership employee whistleblower. The engine and transmission had to be removed to replace the engine, which resulted in an incident that damaged the transmission.

According to the whistleblower, the Land Rover dealer service manager and the dealership shop manager for the dealer group initially decided to repair the transmission and not tell the customer. Since the dealership is not equipped to weld aluminum, they decided to send it to a third-party shop for repairs. The whistleblower is careful to note that the repair is not a Land Rover practice and was solely made by the service managers. He also stated that, in his mind, Land Rover has a decent reputation as it tries to take care of customers the best it can.

transmission-install

He updated the post over the weekend and stated that the dealer informed the customer that it repaired transmission, but he was not sure if the dealer divulged the extent of the damage. He also  stated that the pan was sealed and the transmission was installed, tested, and the car drove normally.

We reached out to Jaguar Land Rover to see if the automaker had knowledge of these claims. It confirmed the dealer completed the repair and informed and the customer. The dealership extended the warranty on the transmission for the life of the vehicle. The vehicle in question has 49,000 miles, so the original 50,000 mile warranty would have ended very soon.

Our whistleblower cleaned up most of his earlier comments but did issue a final follow-up in the thread, which matches what Jaguar Land Rover told us. He also stated that he now wants to cover himself and tread lightly as the incident is now resolved and the post could put him in an awkward position at work. He finished off by stating that multiple people and reporters contacted Land Rover corporate, which caused this case to be taken very seriously.

I am glad to hear the dealer resolved the issue and I hope the repair lasts for thousands of miles to come, but I still wonder if replacing the transmission may have been a better idea. The lifetime warranty does give some assurance to the current owner, but I can’t help but think that the second or third owner might end up with a leaky mess of a transmission at some point.

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53 Comments on “Cracked, Welded Land Rover Transmission Case Comes to a Close...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “The vehicle in question has 49,000 miles”

    There’s your problem, your Land Rover is at the end of its warranty-life span on initial components, and is due for complete replacement.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      “It originally came in for a timing chain sprocket replacement…”

      “The vehicle in question has 49,000 miles…”

      Uhh wasn’t someone claiming the Ford mills in new LR products were bulletproof and that we were all unfairly treating LR products based on decades old prejudices??

      Edit: Ah yes it was ‘heavy handle’

      “2013 to 2015, they used a Ford-sourced Ecoboost 4.

      Neither engine is particularly troublesome.

      Thing is, you are extrapolating your data from a car that was introduced 20 years ago.

      Let it go. It was a long time ago, the old Rover Group doesn’t exist anymore. Land Rover have gone through 3 owners since then (BMW, Ford, Tata). Nothing is left of that company now that Defender production has stopped.”

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Yes, and that person was Heavy Handle. We’ll have to wait for him to remove his foot from his mouth, then he’ll be along shortly.

        “Let it go. It was a long time ago, the old Rover Group doesn’t exist anymore. Land Rover have gone through 3 owners since then (BMW, Ford, Tata). Nothing is left of that company now that Defender production has stopped”

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          I stand by what I wrote. One sprocket replacement doesn’t make all Ecoboost 2.0s bad.

          Obviously, this particular sprocket replacement took a wrong turn, but that could have happened with any engine (unless the Ecoboost 2.0 is particularly difficult to work on).

          I wrote a comment earlier asking if anybody knew of issues with that engine. Given the TTAC love of the FoST, someone should know something.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Are they using a Ford transmission as well? I’m guessing not, because of their unique hill descent electronic stuff in there. That could be enough to wear on the engine differently.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I agree that this particular issue seems to be not widespread. Having said that, the Evoques seem to have a litany of driveability issues (check engine lights, limp-mode activation, etc), on top of various electrical issues as expected. LR group continues their proud tradition of building fantastically desirable vehicles with fantastically awful reliability (both short and long term).

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            They use a ZF 9-speed now, the one that all journalists hate in the Cherokee, but love in every other application. 2013 would have been a 6-speed, not sure who supplied it.

            One issue is that the 2.0 was Ford’s first attempt at VVT on both intake and exhaust in a turbo engine. Maybe that has something to do with the issue?

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            This is Land Rover. They would screw up the durability even if they used the old 4.9L I6. The 2.0EB never stood a chance.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            heavy handle – see my comment below. The 2.0 is a solid motor when it comes to quality. They actually upped it’s take rate and capacity at valencia because of it’s robustness.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            That ZF 9-spd has had problems in other models such as the Acura TLX (one reason why Acura’s reliability rankings have dropped recently).

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Ford Quality is really, really good!

        /s

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          oh come on, DW, you’re better than this. If there was some widespread problem with the timing chain hardware on these engines, we wouldn’t have needed to wait for a story about a transmission being dropped on the floor to hear about it.

          you build 200,000 of anything every month, there will be defects here and there. NOBODY gets around that.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I can’t and won’t speak for the Ford 2.0 ecoboost, but I can state that Ford is suffering a higher than industry average rate of problems with motors & transmissions by a fairly wide margin if Consumer Reports Reliability Index has any merit (it does, and all but the least objective people will claim otherwise).

            I would consider buying a Ford with the Coyote 5.0, but alas, I also wanted a manual, and unfortunately, Ford went to China to have Getrag of China make the manual gearbox that would accompany that 5.0 in the Mustang I’d consider.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            If you want a V8 Mustang with a good transmission you can always go for the GT500, Boss302, or GT350.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Deadweight,

            the problem is that some of us are Consumer Reports subscribers and we can go in and look at Ford’s reliability ratings. You will not find a single Ford vehicle in their listings which has anything but a solid red dot (Best) under “Engine Major” and “Engine Minor” for at least the past several model years. The only Ford vehicles with mediocre to poor ratings on “Transmission” are the Fiesta and Focus, and you know as well as I do that it’s the infamous DPS6. And even in that case, for anything after MY13 it’s mostly shift quality complaints.

            So I would appreciate if you’d stop trying to paint the Ecoboost engines as some “reliability nightmare according to Consumer Reports” when Consumer Reports is saying the exact opposite thing.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Hello, Deadweight? where are you? Where is your evidence for Ford’s ” higher than industry average rate of problems with motors & transmissions by a fairly wide margin if Consumer Reports Reliability Index has any merit?” ‘Cos I’m a CR subscriber, and they say pretty much the exact opposite of what you’re claiming.

          • 0 avatar
            Frylock350

            @JimZ,

            I don’t give Consumer Reports rankings any merit because they do not publish their methodology. I won’t accept any conclusions as scientifically accurate if the method/algorithms for arriving at those conclusions isn’t also published. Once CR is no longer a black box I’ll trust their results. I also suspect a bit of confirmation bias is at play as well considering their data isn’t collected scientifically; its based on reader surveys. If anything its a good indicator of what public perception is.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            @Jim,
            Facts matter not when DeadBrain is on the rant. If it is a Ford, it drives awful and must be rebuilt every 15k. You disagree? UNFAIR BIAS! A FORD SHILL! MARK FIELDS USING MULTIPLE ACCOUNTS TO STOP THE TRUTH. EVERYONE WHO BUYS A FORD HATES IT (which totally explains their having some of the highest owner loyalty ratings in the industry).

            You can’t expect reasonability from an unreasonable person. Not to mention a particularly angry and unstable one.

        • 0 avatar
          laserwizard

          My 1997 Ford with 170k miles is a testimony – tires, brakes, timing belt, water pump, and a clutch slave cylinder replaced. Still has original clutch.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Which model?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Escort.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            Frylock, your post doesn’t make sense. You note that Consumer Reports discloses the source of its data – reader surveys – while ripping them for “not publishing their methodology” and “confirmation bias because it’s based on reader surveys.”

            Duh, lemme think: It’s a survey. It has the characteristics of a survey. For my money, while it’s imperfect as a scientific random sample, CU and True Delta are as close to impartial published data as we consumers can get. Why don’t you just admit you don’t like them because you don’t like them?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Well we know it got a replacement engine, so hoist the engine out and replace everything else.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “I can’t help but think that the second or third owner might end up with a leaky mess of a transmission at some point.”

    BHPH Evoque gon git’cha.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    Replacing the transmission is the correct thing to do. I’ve seen what happens when a tech tries by his lonesome to lower a ZF 5HP19 using only a screwjack in order to replace the torque converter. Gravity won that round and a replacement (used) transmission had to be sourced. The tech tried to blame the transmission jack (that he did not use).

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Let me be clear & resolute (hence the upcoming all caps):

    THE WORLD WOULD BE A MUCH BETTER PLACE IF EVERY PERSON HAD THE ETHICS & CAJONES THAT THIS LAND ROVER DEALERSHIP TECHNICIAN WHO REPORTED THIS MISHAP POSSESSES.

    Land Rover should give him a promotion to an in-house dealership service department training manager or other such position.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    Do timing chain sprockets commonly fail on the EcoBoost 2.0?

    I’ve heard a lot of horror stories with Honda timing chains skipping, but not with Ford. Mind you, I know a lot more “import” techs than “domestic” techs.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    You can’t beat a lifetime warranty. I’d leave it alone. But would “replacing” the trans mean a new one from the factory (supplier), rebuilt on the spot, or a “Factory Authorized” rebuilt unit?

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    The second or third owner of this used Land Rover will wonder why it is their trans never needed replacement when the rest of the model year did.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    “resulting in a satisfied Land Rover owner.”

    Except that they still own a Land Rover. Time to dump this turkey.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    An Evoque? Was Cher riding in it? Or a female impersonator who looks like Cher?

    /topgear

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Hard for me to believe that any owner of an Evoque could ever be “satisfied” with that ridiculous vehicle, even if it was the one Land Rover ever built that didn’t break.

    It’s a CUV without any interior space, makes off-road pretensions without any off-road capability, tries to feel luxurious without any material quality, and has the styling of a pug.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    @DeadWeight, you wrote “…if Consumer Reports Reliability Index has any merit (it does, and all but the least objective people will claim otherwise).”

    I suspect that those words are not what you really meant.

  • avatar
    turf3

    This transmission is at risk for failing due to the welded case. Aluminum castings will distort when welded. Unless the case was carefully measured for position and roundness of all the bearing bores, before and after the welding, and confirmed to meet the print specs for the part (how many weld shops, or for that matter dealers, have access to the original prints for a Land Rover transmission case? How many weld shops or LR dealers have a coordinate measuring machine, or a class A machinist on staff with sufficient experience to set up these measurements without a CMM?), and then the thrust washers remeasured and changed if needed to compensate for possible changes in the distance between thrust washer mating surfaces, the job is incomplete.

    If I were the owner of this vehicle I would accept nothing less than a replacement trans. case, unless before and after inspection results comparing those items to the print specs were provided to me. A lifetime warranty is not a lot of help if it’s 3 in the morning in a bad part of town, freezing rain, you’re in a tuxedo, and your transmission seizes up.

    Leakage of fluid is a minor matter compared to screwing up the dimensions of the surfaces that constrain the rotating equipment.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      Turf is correct. If the welded sections are even slightly out of alignment the internal parts could wear prematurely or fail under stress. Oil leaking would be and obvious sign of failure, but if the surfaces are not perfectly aligned you would not see anything wrong while the transmission could be slowly self destructing.

      If I were the customer I’d demand a new or OEM re-manufactured transmission.

  • avatar
    FThorn

    Not our business. If both sides are happy, good.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I hate it when people make argument and information-neutering statements like this. If the only news published was “our business,” then the financial statements of publicly traded companies would be the only thing to read.

      It’s news/editorial. If you want to go around with “To each their own. Not my business,” don’t read a news site.

  • avatar
    cornellier

    Donald Trump on His Tax Rate: ‘It’s None of Your Business’.

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    “It originally came in for a timing chain sprocket replacement and when the tech tried to start it the engine failed,”

    Did anyone else catch this? It sounds like he dorked up the sprocket installation, got it out of time, and bent the valves. THEN he dropped the transmission. The technician cluster-dorked the entire job and was trying to salvage what was left of his butt. I’ll bet he gets fired about the same time as the whistle-blower.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Informative post, Erik. Thanks. Actually, I was wondering about the part with the casual mention that “the engine failed.”

      (Although I then thought to myself, “You’re overthinking this. This is a Land Rover.”)

  • avatar
    BrunoT

    The resale hit it would take with a welded transmission case would make it nearly worthless to anyone who took the time to properly inspect it. That alone makes what the dealership did beyond the pale.

    I like some of their designs, but would never buy from Land Rover/Jaguar.

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