Defender My Puma is alive again





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  1. #1
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    Default My Puma is alive again

    Guys, as some of you would remember, my Puma died in December last year down in Mossel Bay. Well, I just got it back with a "new" engine fitted, and R98 000 - 00 later.

    I would give full feedback on the whole sad and sometimes upsetting process of getting it back on the road, but before I start with that, and naming and shaming some individuals involved in this whole process, it is first going for its run-in service tomorrow, after which, depending on the service I get tomorrow, I will do a full write-up on this.

    Just for now......whow....my Puma is back and pulling better than a new one, even though I think that I must be driving one of the most expensive Pumas in the country at the moment.

    I hope that my write-up later will serve as a guide and a warning to some out there about the pitfalls etc. when landing in a similar situation, having to replace the engine.........especially when the car is 1500 km`s from home.
    Land Rover Defender 110 Puma
    "If better is possible, good is not enough"
    ........so they build the Puma.....

  2. #2
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    Sorry to hear about your disaster.

    Look forward to your story.
    Andrew

    2010 Mazda BT-50 3.0 CRDi

  3. #3
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    glad its sorted,
    sounds like someone took you for a bit of a ride
    Steve
    4x4 AG 002
    ex Disco 4

  4. #4
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    Though painful, it is not the R98 000 that bothers me the most, but my dealings with LRSA in George, also an independent LR Workshop down in George, and one up here in my neck of the woods, and mostly the reason, as I suspect anyway, why my engine blew to start with.

    I`ll keep you guys posted. Sorry, this might sound a bit silly, but I do not wanna tell my story now, before tomorrows run-in service in Pretoria, as the outcome of that will have a major impact (positive or negative) on the story perhaps.

    I1ll keep you guys posted.
    Land Rover Defender 110 Puma
    "If better is possible, good is not enough"
    ........so they build the Puma.....

  5. #5
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    Ek't gewonder wat het van jou geword het?

    Ai man, sal graag die hele storie wil hoor! Ek is seker daai vacuum pump wat hulle daar onder vervang het, het iets te doen met die gemors!

    Vertel asb!

  6. #6
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    98Grand?!?!?!?!

    wow.

    thats scary!!!

  7. #7
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    Sorry guys, this is a long thread, but this is no short story.

    OK guys, herewith the whole sad story of my 2007 110 Defender Puma`s death during December 2013 down in Mossel Bay and eventually its resurrection from death just now in 2014.
    I left Secunda, up here in Mpumalanga, on Friday 6th December 2014 to go down to Mossel Bay for my annual holiday down there. Two days before I left, the Landy received a full service and everything was just fine. The car was not heavily loaded, and it was just us three in the vehicle. (No trailer and nothing on the roof rack) (Swambo, my son and I) At this stage it should be mentioned that my Landy received it`s services on time every time without any deviation at all.
    As Swambo was diagnosed with cancer early last year, and she does not travel well, we have decided to take this trip down to Mossel Bay at a leisurely pace and I never once had the car above 110 km/h. Also we had broken up the trip into three legs so as to accommodate Swambo. First day to Bloemfontein (slept over), second day to Baufort West (slept over) and the third day down to Mossel Bay. Roughly 500 km`s a day traveling then with lots of rest stops on each leg.
    Each morning after sleeping over I checked the water and oil levels on my Landy (old habit of mine on longer trips) and there was absolute zero oil and/or water usage on the entire trip. The car performed as only a Puma can……meaning traveling without effort or hick-ups the entire trip. Well almost……
    On the last stretch down to Mossel Bay we stopped off at one of the lovely picnic stops in the Meirings Poort Pass just outside of Oudtshoorn, and when at a standstill and still idling to cool down my turbo, one could hear a very faint, almost squealing sound, emanating from the engine bay. It was getting dark by then and as this sound wasn’t that pronounced at that time, I decided to push on to Mossel Bay.
    The following day I investigated, and after using a probe it was clear that the sound emanated from the vacuum pump. There was no oil seepage on the pump, but it was squealing. I made an appointment with Land Rover George for the following day, and took the car in to them. They inspected the car and concurred that it was the vacuum pump, and replaced it with a new one the same day and at R2700, which I quite happily paid.
    I took off from them, back to my house in Mossel Bay (49 km`s away), and I was pleased to have my Landy back without it making any funny noises. About halfway, there was a very faint noise coming from the front, but I was not too worried coz I thought it was just the serpentine belt perhaps settling into the pullies etc etc. Arriving at my house, and pulling into the driveway, I switched off, got out and saw oil streaming out under my engine. I opened the bonnet and my entire engine bay and inside bonnet was covered in oil. It was immediately clear that the brand new vacuum pump packed up and it was pumping out oil like the Sedco 1 Oil Rig.
    Now, as you can imagine, I was pumping blood as well, and phoned LR George explaining the problem. They said they would replace the vacuum pump again, but that they don’t have stock, and I have to wait till the following Wednesday for the new part, and that they would then come to my house in Mossel Bay to fit it. After a long battle with them they agreed to lend me a Land Rover Freelander in the meantime, which they dropped off at my house later that evening. I was mobile but without my Puma, and still steaming.
    The following Wednesday, late afternoon, they pitched at my house and fitted the new vacuum pump in my driveway, started the car, let it idle and it sounded good. Before starting it they poured in two litres of oil, and though it was still not on the “full” mark, the mechanic said it was fine to drive it like that. They left, and I did not take my Landy for a spin until the next morning.
    Doing a few trips in Mossel Bay, I heard a whining noise, almost the same sound that an electric drill would make, just higher pitched, and only when at speed. It would climb with the revs, and stop when you lift your foot from the accelerator pedal. That same day I decided to drive back to George LR and let them hear this noise for themselves, as I did not trust myself to be civilized talking on a phone with them.
    About 18 km`s outside of Mossel Bay, on my way to George, after traveling at about 100 km/h and running normal, albeit that sound, the Landy suddenly lost power and was traveling at max 70 km/h. I was still looking for a safe place to pull off the road when suddenly, just a loud bang and the Landy cut out completely, with smoke and steam bellowing out from the engine bay and under the car. The heat gauge was showing normal temperature.
    I checked the oil, and it was at normal level, but there was no water in the reservoir. I phoned my insurance to have the Landy piggy backed back to LR George, and whilst waiting the hour or so I checked in and under the Landy again. I found the rubber plug on the back of the water pump, under the vacuum pump, to be blown off, but other than that everything looks fine, cept for it was clear that the engine was piping hot.
    My Landy was delivered to LR George, with instructions to check what went wrong and to fix. The LR George Workshop Manager started my Land Rover and let it idle for at least 10 minutes without a drop of water in that engine. The engine was very rough and it was smoking like a volcano in full outburst. Five working days later I phoned the LR George Workshop Manager, and asked him whether he had time to diagnose the problem. He said to me “no, I did not have time, and I don’t think I will soon”. This after he was fully aware that I am on holiday down there.
    I lost my confidence in them completely, and phoned an independent LR workshop in George, Landy World, to go fetch my car from LR George, diagnose and advise on what went wrong. At this stage still believing (hoping) that it was not something too bad. I mean, my Landy was in tip top shape before this.
    In the mean time I had to come back to Secunda and left my Landy with Landy World in George. To cut an already long story short, they phoned me a few days later stating that the entire engine was blown, and that it was in a state of no repair, as it would cost more to rebuild than to fit a new engine. They stated that it was due to complete loss of oil pressure. Turbo was blown as well. They warned me that I should be ready for a repair bill of R100 000 -00 or so. I asked them to give me quotations on all my options available, and that we would then make a decision as to what to do.
    I was given two options. A factory sub from LRSA, or a rebuild engine with top, supplied by British 4x4 in Pretoria. The latter being R66 000 – 00 cheaper than the LRSA option, I opted for the British 4x4 engine, but with all other parts (turbo, turbo pipes, water pipes, bolts, gaskets etc etc) , to be from LRSA. This quote was at R94 000 – 00 at that stage, and I gave the go-ahead to fix my car. The engine from B4X4 came with new water pump and vacuum pump as well. I gave further instructions to fit new manifold and turbo heat shields as well and also to fit an oil heat gauge and pressure gauge.
    I had to pay R75 000 – 00 cash up front “for the parts” and went to fetch the car three weeks ago. Total invoice came to R98 882 – 66. Upon inspection I found that the gauges were not fitted and neither the heat shields, but I was so excited to have my car back that I did not make too much of a fuss about that. The car was immaculately cleaned inside and out, and I took the car and spend the weekend in Mossel Bay, driving it back to Secunda the Sunday. I was asked not to drive faster than 100 km/h for the first 2000 km, and boy oh boy, was she a pleasure to drive. Up to Bloemfontein that was……….. when…… bang…..smoke…..dead……..diesel all over the engine, the underbody, the wind screen, the rear of the Landy, the road and I guess a few passing motor cars and low flying planes as well.
    Needless to say……immediate heart attack, followed by a stroke, followed by anger and rage I did not even know I had inside me. (Ek is n kalm oukie julle weet) Immediately on the phone, first Swambo (second heart attack of the day) and then on to Landy World in George. They contacted people in Bloemfontein who came out to assist me, and this chap immediately saw that the diesel feed line between the pump and the high pressure rail cracked. Landy dead. Long story short again, that man towed my Landy to his workshop and custom fitted a new pipe and my Landy was back on the road, good as ever. This on a Sunday morning. Good for him and his business (Non-Land Rover workshop as you might have guessed)
    Yesterday the Landy went back to B4x4 for its run-in service to validate the warranty. They drained the oil, replaced the oil and air filters, run the engine and checked the injectors. Everything is fine. They fitted a second hand turbo heat shield at R1070-00 (yes it is correct – old scrap shield and fastened with two bolts) and a second hand diesel pipe at R368-00 (again this is correct ya – for a 5 minute job). More worrying though is that they reported that the one engine mounting is shod. Now if you guys can remember, this is a new engine just fitted three weeks ago. Why did Landy World not repair / replace the mounting?
    Finaly, my thoughts on going forward.
    I am 100% sure my engine failed as a direct result of driving it without enough oil, for about 50 kilometres, after that brand new vacuum pump failed again, and pumped out more than two litres of oil.
    I am going to take the matter up with LRSA, but we all know they don’t even respond.
    I am not happy with the work carried out by Landy World in George, and will try to recover some of the costs from them for work not carried out or not carried out correctly. I will advise all Land Rover owners to stay clear of that workshop.
    If your car breaks down, anywhere in Africa, let it be towed in to your place of stay in order for you to be able to keep an eye on the repairs, irrespective of the cost.
    The 98k paid is market related for the work carried out. With other costs I had as a direct result of my Landy that broke down, the total costs for this amounts to R122 000 – 00 (Car rental, fuel, air ticket to go back etc etc)
    Now it is going to be a battle going forward, and I am sure this is going to turn into some legal issues at some stage.
    My “new” Landy? I just love it. At least that is one good thing about all of this. I will/can never sell it.
    Land Rover Defender 110 Puma
    "If better is possible, good is not enough"
    ........so they build the Puma.....

  8. #8
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    That is a horror story!
    Hope you can recover your money back.
    Why did they only filled your landy with 2 liters of oil and not to the full mark?
    Last edited by Xander1; 2014/03/19 at 11:20 AM.
    2010 Defender puma 1108)

  9. #9
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    Wow what a story

    Im glad you never gave up, it must have taken huge amounts of patience to deal with this...

    I hope you take LRSA to the cleaners!

    Defender Puma Raw Limited Edition
    Series III 88"
    Scout Nomad


    Chop your own firewood and it will warm you twice

  10. #10
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    They only had the two liters of oil with them at the time and it was ready late evening. It took almost another liter the following morning.

    ClaudeG - indeed it took patience on my side, but it took a lot more. At times I was just short of telling them to scrap the vehicle, but realistically that was never an option. I have almost 120k`s in extras alone in and on that vehicle.
    Land Rover Defender 110 Puma
    "If better is possible, good is not enough"
    ........so they build the Puma.....

  11. #11
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    Well at least I still have my sense of humor, and had this sticker attached to the bonnet.

    Land Rover Defender 110 Puma
    "If better is possible, good is not enough"
    ........so they build the Puma.....

  12. #12
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    I cant seem to get the pic uploaded.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Land Rover Defender 110 Puma
    "If better is possible, good is not enough"
    ........so they build the Puma.....

  13. #13
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    Jis, you're a better/calmer man than most. I would have let snakes loose in both workshops
    Defender 90 TD5 with steering guard, Warriorworx rocksliders and diff guard, 33' Bridgestone MT, Warn winch, outback roofrack, frontrunner penthouse RTT and awning.
    African Backbone offroad trailer.

  14. #14
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    can a similar situation be prevented by installing a Madman system
    Grond Monster

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  15. #15
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    Default So true

    Sorry to hear about all your drama but happy that its OK again.

    "If your car breaks down, anywhere in Africa, let it be towed in to your place of stay in order for you to be able to keep an eye on the repairs, irrespective of the cost"

    This is very true, it happened to me once and I had my car towed back all the way to my house. It just puts you into a better comfort zone I think.

    I also then found that although some guys know that you are on holiday, they up there prices because they know you are hard-up. It happens and it is actually very sad. That was when I decided to get it at my house.
    "If you can park your car and NOT turn around to look at it as you walk away, you haven't bought the right car"

    Fancy Nancy - 2009 Pajero 3.8 Liter 24 Valve V6 SOHC MIVEC ECI- Multi Engine 6G75 with 184Kw & 329 Nm.
    Topless Tersia - 96 J-Top SWB 3.0 V6 Pajero. Restoration 99% completed.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grond Monster View Post
    can a similar situation be prevented by installing a Madman system
    It might have picked up on the loss of oil pressure?



    I still maintain....You must not give in! This was caused by LR George. They diagnosed the initial problem, then fitted a faulty part (first loss of oil and probably initial damage to engine), then fitted a 2nd new part again but obviously was negligent in the way they fitted it and then gave you the "all clear". The onus is on them!

    Thus the way I see it.....The initial faulty part THEY fitted was probably the root cause of the failure with the initial oil loss. There after they installed a new part with the wrong procedure and told you to drive the vehicle which then led to the final failure....no brainer in my eyes!

    They will come with "can't proof this and that" and "car was serviced by an indie prior to the failure" etc, etc..but do not give in to them! The car was surely serviced more than once by the indie without problems? It then drove a 1000km odd without issues. It was 50km after THEIR service that it failed......1+1=2.

    Good luck!

  17. #17
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    My 1st priority now is to fit "madman" or similar. I have spoken to several guys and the consensus is that old school VDO oil pressure and oil temperature gauges are the most reliable.

    Landy Works down in George is ignoring my mails to them like one would ignore a railway stop street.

    I have spoken to a LRSA man that I know, and he said that LRSA will not admit anything, but that all new Land Rover parts carry a warranty. That warranty covers the part should it fail, (like it did) BUT it also cover consequential damages should it fail. He reckons that I should go that route and perhaps recover 50%. R49 000-00. Better than nothing.
    Land Rover Defender 110 Puma
    "If better is possible, good is not enough"
    ........so they build the Puma.....

  18. #18
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    Sjoeee...Wouter jys n kalm en geduldige outjie...ek sou my Landy nie eers laat verwyder het van daai sleg LRGeorge se vloer af nie,daar en dan LRSA gekontak het dat LRSA vir LRGeorge gedwing het om reg te maak..mos hulle nalatigheid EN part wat n waarborg dra wat hulle ingesit en vervang het so dis op hulle om die skade te herstel .

    Enige part en arbeid is mos gewaarborg asook die skade agv die part wat ingesit was...ai maak mens eintlik sommer hartseer...dit sal mos nie LRGeorge wees wat die skade ly nie dit eis hul weer van LRSA af om jou voertuig te herstel,so dan was LRGeorge net te sleg en onbehulpsaam..dki vir die laat weet sal sommer ver weg bly van hulle af.

  19. #19
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    Wouter

    On the madman vs old school vdo style instruments your comment of the accuracy is more than likely correct.
    The ability to set max and min warning levels is what makes the madman work for me as when driving there are enough idiots on the road to take your attention away from the gauges.
    Ross

  20. #20
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    Wow.

    This is why I'm still scared of my 90.

    Pleased you have a working car again but ouch - don't give up on LRSA they are very slack you need to follow up every day to get a response.

    EVERY DAY.
    Andrew

    2010 Mazda BT-50 3.0 CRDi

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