AuthorTopic: Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a  (Read 31622 times)

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Offline thermidorthelobster

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Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« on: June 04, 2007, 16:28:17 »
As an experiment I've created this as a Sticky thread so it can be built on and added to.  Please post your Buyer's Guide comments on buying a P38a below.  If this works well we may be able to use the format for other vehicles too.

Thanks, Thermidor
David French
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Ex Disco 200TDI, P38a 4.6HSE and 101FC 6x6 Camper.  Africa Trip Blog

Offline thermidorthelobster

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Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2007, 16:48:08 »
Well, I guess I'll go first...  :D

Engines

The 4.6 V8 has a marked tendency towards slipping cylinder head liners;  earlier examples in particular also had porous block problems.  Problems quite often arise around 95,000 miles, and you'll find a surprising number of P38s have had engine replacements at that mileage.  Personally I'd steer clear of a 4.6 at that sort of mileage as problems are so common.  The 4.0V8 is better in this respect, partly because the engine's not been milled out so drastically.

As with all V8s, look for signs of overheating (not good), regular servicing and clean oil (not mayonnaise).

The 2.5 diesel is a BMW 6-cylinder unit and is a basically decent engine, although it's pretty underpowered in a P38.  It's relatively easy to chip and upgrade in various ways.  Make sure the engine hasn't been thrashed all its life just to get the truck moving.

Electronics

The P38a is a complex beast - there are somewhat over 9 ECUs all communicating together, and if they won't play ball, all sorts of problems can arise.  However, when you're buying one, either it's working, in which case fine, or it's not, in which case steer well clear.  Among the less obvious things to check are that the HEVAC system (heating / aircon) behaves appropriately.

On the higher-spec models make sure all the in-cab gadgets (such as motorised seats) are working properly.  Replacement motors can be expensive.

Air Suspension

The P38's air suspension is both an asset and a potential problem area.  Problems can arise with:
- the air bags - these can leak, but can be replaced fairly easily - go for OEM equivalent parts, not Genuine Parts
- the valve block - this used to be expensive to fix but can now be reconditioned more easily
- the compressor - which can wear out, particularly if problems exist elsewhere in the system
- the unions, particularly where rubber o-rings can perish but are replaceable.

To check the system, drop the vehicle down to its haunches using the dashboard control, then raise it to normal ride height.  This should only take a couple of minutes.  The compressor may be audible but shouldn't be intrusively loud.  If the compressor runs continuously for more than 5 minutes or so then there's almost certainly a problem.

If left to settle overnight, the truck shouldn't drop noticeably;  and one corner shouldn't sag.

Body & chassis

Check for general chassis rust as normal.  Lift up the plastic flap where the tailgate opens and check underneath.  P38s aren't particular rust-traps but some panels, the substructure and the chassis are of course steel so may rust.
David French
Tree-hugging communist
1999 Discovery II TD5 Manual
Patriot roof rack, QT Services diff guards front & rear, DiscoParts steering guard[/url], Autologic ECU upgrade, 2" Old Man Emu lift, 235/85R16 BF Goodrich All Terrains, Safari snorkel, DiscoParts jackable sills, Warn Tabor 9000

Ex Disco 200TDI, P38a 4.6HSE and 101FC 6x6 Camper.  Africa Trip Blog

Offline waveydavey

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Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2007, 08:00:42 »
Aircon
I know of three people myself included who have lost the aircon because of the same fault. The condenser is the furthest forward cooler and develops a leak at the bottom nearside corner, the way to tell is that you can see an slight oil stain underneath.

It's a relatively easy fix, about a two hour job and various places sell the condenser for around £100.

Although all those I know of were Diesels the condenser is in the same spot on the V8 so I suspect it will be much the same.

Air Suspension
Worth noting that there are places that do rebuild bits, everything from airbags to compressor and valve seals. LR parts is the expensive option!
« Last Edit: December 12, 2008, 08:58:05 by Frankie-Boy »
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Offline andycwb

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Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2007, 19:20:20 »
See www.p38a.co.uk for my collected wisdom on the topic.
"You came here in *that thing*?  You're braver than I thought."
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Offline Range Rover Blues

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Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2007, 21:46:12 »
A decent upgrade to the air suspension would be to fit Arnott GIII springs form the 'states, especially as the pound is so strong there.  Roughly $230 a pair.  These give a better  ride because the spring rates are altered and more travel I believe.

Contact Rover Renovations for advice/purchase on all EAS parts

http://www.rover-renovations.com/
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Offline agent006

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Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2007, 22:48:19 »
Quote from: "thermidorthelobster"
The 4.0V8 is better in this respect, partly because the engine's not been milled out so drastically.


4.0 and 4.6 blocks are identical.  The extra .6 is achieved by a longer stroke.
98 RR 4.6 (gone)

Offline CNorman

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Re: Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2008, 12:59:03 »
Well surelly if the stroke is longer then the blocks are not the same??

Offline waveydavey

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Re: Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2008, 08:22:45 »
Well surelly if the stroke is longer then the blocks are not the same??

It doesn't have to be, as long as there is clearance you just need a crank with a longer throw.
In fact if you wanted to make a bespoke crank you could even have different strokes on each pot - doubt that would be very smooth though.
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Offline edy

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Re: Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2008, 19:25:05 »
i dont know many things about the p38 but i do know two

engine

as already mentioned above, the p38 has a pourus block but do not be over concerned, there is a fluid that you run around the coolant system for 24hr and this shoud cure (or at least help) with the problem

suspension

commonly you will see the p38 with the suspension sitting uneven, but dont walk away yet, all that needs doing is plugging into the computer and resetting the air bags, hey presto! problem solved!

:)
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Offline bertie_bas205

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Re: Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2008, 00:42:55 »
My advice..... Don't buy one!!!!! Get a good classic. I "upgraded" to a V8 P38 and wished i hadn't. Come back my classic!!!



Bertie.

Offline Brian the Sn@il

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Re: Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2008, 20:10:02 »
Surly after a few basic mods a 38 would be a good Rangie to buy ? I now realise they have rather alto of electronics ( i mean plug in a pc to level the suspension ) for example

It must be possible to Down grade them , to make them easy to Upkeep / Repair / Maintain without a PC ?

I for one am looking at changing mu ole Rangie for one , as they are as cheap as chips at the moment.





I must say this is a great Thread :)   
PLease Edit / delete my post if its not good input.
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Offline Range Rover Ron

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Re: Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2010, 12:15:50 »
Hello there , the header on this thread is full of good into,
thanks but I think you are a bit confused when you say use OEM instead of genuine parts.
O.E.M. = ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT MANUFATURER = ORIGINAL PARTS I think!
So I guess you mean use after market copies not original Land Rover parts?
Confused a bit there as I would think it is best to use LR parts if you can afford them!

I'm pretty well up to scratch with the old LR layout, having had three RRC's, a Disco 1 for 12 years and have had several 90/110 Defenders, all more or less on the same chassis & running gear etc. etc.
I'm also pretty much up on the areas that go wrong or rust on the aforsaid LR's
but looking at a P38 is negotiating unchartered waters for me.

Where should I look for rust or corrosion?
I'd like a diesel, manual P38 and want to use it as a greenlaner,
I would like to fit rocksliders, steering guard, diff guards, recovery bumpers, higher walled tyres, 2" lift etc. etc.
any pointers would be helpful,
cheers,
Ronnie Wood, LLROC

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Offline Tulpy

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Re: Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2010, 14:09:31 »
Hello all.
This is my first post as I'm looking at joining the Land Rover fraternity!
I'm not hardcore enough to start with a defender, I still like my creature comforts!
I'm looking at a P38 Range Rover 4.6 HSE with LPG.
There is one available at the moment on a 95 M reg with 140,000 miles.
What sort of things should I look out for and how much should it be?

Some specs/extras of one I have seen!

FULL LEATHER SEATS

HEATED SEATS

ELECTRIC SEATS

DUAL ZONE CLIMATE CONTROL AIR CONDITIONING

TILT & SLIDE ELECTRIC SUNROOF

CRUISE CONTROL

MULTIFUNCTION STEERING WHEEL

FRONT AND REAR ELECTRIC WINDOWS

6 CD MULTICHANGER & CASSETTE PLAYER

FULL FUNCTIONING AIR SUSPENSION

THIS VEHICLE HAS AS EXTRA- REAR PRIVACY GLASS, TWIN ELECTRIC TOW BAR, RECENT RANGE ROVER 19" AUTOBIOGRAPHY ALLOY WHEELS (IN EXCELLENT CONDITION WITH NEARLY NEW GOODYEAR WRANGLER TYRES) AND OF COURSE, IT HAS HAD THE LPG CONVERSION WITH MEANS YOU CAN FILL A SEPARATE TANK WITH GAS, THEN CHOOSE TO SWITCH BETWEEN GAS OR PETROL WITH A BUTTON ON THE DASHBOARD, MEANING YOU SUDDENLY HAVE AN ECONOMIC RANGE ROVER PETROL! ON TOP OF ALL THAT, EVERYTHING SEEMS TO BE IN GOOD WORKING ORDER, AND IT HAS 12 MONTHS MOT JUST DONE AND LOTS OF PREVIOUS MOT'S AND BILLS.

Any help you guys can provide would be invaluable. Also, the car is one well known auction site but being sold by a dealer. Should they provide a warranty?

Kind regards and thanks for any help!

Dan

Offline JumboBeef

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Re: Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2010, 09:16:13 »
I've heard that the 4.6 doesn't work well with LPG: is this true?
1991 Range Rover Vogue SE V8 auto on LPG, time warp!

Offline Bigjohn

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Re: Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2010, 13:30:35 »
Hi peeps my first post, I wondered if it would be ok to post a few items and what ive learnt about my P38, some usefull, some poo, some will have you wondering why I bothered and the rest will have you in tears, but we soldier on :undecided:

Offline James.Harwood

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Re: Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2011, 08:14:09 »
Having bought a P38a dhse in January this is my advice.

Shop around before you set your budget, budget for about

Offline Saffy

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Re: Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2011, 10:32:22 »


4. Fuel tank pump died (probably something to do with the Tea Bag that was stuck in it),

I LOL'd
.swonk eno oN .esoht dna eseht ,siht dna taht ,wollof ot selur emos teg eW

Offline James.Harwood

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Re: Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2011, 13:13:48 »
I am still baffled as to why there was a Tea Bag in the fuel tank........  :blank:

Offline James.Harwood

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Re: Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2012, 10:04:19 »
I have now fixed the viscous coupling by replacing the entire transfer box (recon unit from Ashcroft), worth doing it this way as the chain in the transfer box should be changed after 120K ish miles.  Only took about 2 hours to change transfer box (with me playing spanner fetcher for someone who knows what they are doing, thanks Dave)....

Am now sorting the after effects of running in 2 wheel drive for over 1 year.  Tyres knackered (ouch).  rubber donut on prop shaft replaced and last to do, uj in prop shaft (next weekend).  drives so much better in 4wd though.

New tyres are general grabber AT's. quite a nice refined tyre on road (not tried off road yet).

Offline Frankie-Boy

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Re: Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2012, 14:08:18 »

I have Grabber AT2's on mine and find them to be good both on and off road, I always managed to get where the motors with aggressive mud tyres went without too much trouble.
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Offline James.Harwood

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Re: Buyer's Guide - Range Rover P38a
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2012, 18:46:34 »
Grabber AT's tested in a saturated field, very impressed, TC never kicked in at all.