10 November 2023
Engine covers can drop a mass of dust and debris that contaminates the engine when it’s opened for servicing or repair, but Ed has an easy solution
Need to know
Time: 1½ hours
Difficulty: 1 out of 5
Models: Any Land Rover with a foam acoustic engine cover.
Tools needed: Large flat work surface for cutting, tape measure, straight edge, craft knife, strong scissors, cleaning materials.
Parts used: Dynamat hoodliner material 81cm x 137cm x 19mm thick, part no. DYN11905, £83.50 from JustKampers on eBay. Aerosol of clear lacquer, 2K Clear Coat from Jayco Ltd.
• Use barrier cream or gloves to protect hands, as preferred.
• Wear eye protection and a particle filter when clearing dust and dirt from the top of the engine.
• Wear thick gloves to protect your hands against abrasion.
• When cutting material, always cut away from yourself and keep your free hand clear of the blade and the direction it’s moving.
• Beware of hot components on a warmed engine.
We’re all familiar with the black plastic covers that hide the engines on the Td5 and everything that came later. They form a thermal and acoustic barrier, keeping heat away from the bonnet and noise away from the cabin. But underneath is a layer of foam that eventually falls apart and disintegrates into a fine dust that collects all over the top of the engine.
It’s not just an aesthetic problem. The engine cover needs to be removed for servicing and in some cases, such as this 2.7 V6 diesel, the oil filler cap has to be removed before lifting the engine cover. That means when the cover is lifted, debris and dust falls into the oil filler tube – we might be careful doing this, but will the garage take such care? And there’s still that layer of dust and debris all over the engine waiting to get inside as soon as parts are removed, such as the routine oil filter casing right on the top of the V6. Will your garage vacuum and blow the dust away before work starts?
A new engine cover for a 2.7 V6 diesel (part number LR013662) costs around £300, but for £85 you can buy a sheet of sound-deadening, insulating foam that, unlike the original, is sealed by aluminium foil – just cut it to shape and stick it on, job done. The foam sheet is big enough to do two engine covers, so it may be possible to share the cost with a mate whose own cover is disintegrating.
Falling apart: This is what happens when you lift the engine cover (oil cap has been quickly refitted here for protection). Collect all the bits and keep them intact.
Dust-busting: This dust and debris needs to be lifted, vacuumed and finally blown off with compressed air. If debris gets into the engine it could block oil galleries.
Remove all: The dust gets everywhere, and it sticks. Spray everything with GT85 or WD40 and wipe with a soft cloth to remove it, while shining up the engine bay.
Jigsaw: On the bench, assemble the bits onto the cover to understand what’s needed when you cut the foam. Indentations on the reverse of the pieces give clues to location.
Hoodliner: The foam has an aluminised skin on one side, and is self-adhesive on the other. After cutting to shape, the brown paper peels off to reveal the adhesive.
Working piece: Measure the overall size of the cover and transfer that to the back of the hoodliner. Cut well oversize so it can be later trimmed to exact shape.
Basic shape: Trace the cover shape onto the material’s backing paper. This is a tad oversize because excess is taken up on the curvature and sides of the cover.
Tough cut: Cut out the shape using a combination of a good quality craft knife and strong scissors capable of cutting through the aluminium foil on the underside of the material.
Indent: Position the foam in the cover. Press down around the oil filler boss and the four sockets that engage the support pins on the engine (bolt holes on Td5) to indent their shape on the backing paper.
Clarity: Draw fairly accurately round the indented shape, then cut from this side with a craft knife and finish with scissors to cut through the amuminium foil.
Trimming: The oil filler boss on this cover is conical so needs further trimming with the material laid in position. Similarly, cut around the sockets or bolt holes (inset).
Test fit: With the cutting completed, try the foam in position, pressing all over to ensure the fit remains correct against the curvature, and sockets are clear.
Stepped shape: Where the engine cover is stepped, as shown at bottom centre in picture, don’t follow the shape, instead cut the material off and stick it on the stepped section.
Adhesion: Before finally fitting the foam, ensure that the underside of the engine cover is clean and free from oil residue. The material will be stretched over the cover’s contours when sticking down, so the backing paper is peeled back from the centre, to stick the middle down first.
Centre out: Carefully align the foam on the cover ensuring all edges are square and parallel, then press down firmly in the centre to ensure that the middle section is fully adhered.
Stretch and fit: Carefully stretch the foam over the oil hole and sockets while simultaneously peeling the backing paper away and pressing the foam to adhere – one side, then the other.
Sealing: The foil and maker’s logo paint formed dust particles while being worked. As a precaution, I sprayed the foam edges and foil with clear lacquer to seal everything.
Safe and smart: No matter who works on this engine, there’s now no chance of damaging debris getting inside it. The clean-up of dust has enhanced the engine bay, and soundproofing effect is restored.
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