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The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse.
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Joined: Sep 22 2019
Posts: 6

New member here & hope this is the right section to be posting this.
I am not new to 4x4"s having previously owned LR 88, 90, 110, Disco 200 & 300, 2 Shoguns, a Daihatsu 4Trak & an L200 pick up.
I am now in the market for another 4x4 & am tempted to get a P38 as I have always liked the look of them.
Mechanical & electrical work I can do myself but not welding or bodywork.
My use for the vehicle would be around 3-4,000 miles a year mainly motorway & A roads not towing & very occasional towing of a 1.5 tonne boat set up.
I have a van I use for work & running around town.
I am tempted to go for a V8 petrol with LPG conversion as that will basically double the mpg compared to petrol cost wise but would also consider a diesel.
However having previously owned Disco 200 & 300 I am thinking that the P38 diesel will be a bit sluggish ?
All advice/suggestions gratefully received.
TIA.

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Joined: Feb 11 2018
Posts: 167

They are sluggish, but a Ronbox or remap makes a huge difference.

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Joined: Jan 07 2016
Posts: 99

Welcome to the Pub!
If you are good at mechanics and electrical, you are in luck, because P-38s need little to no bodywork, or welding (Avoid trees)
and plenty of quality time spent tracking down electrical gremlins. Mechanically, they are really very basic and not a real drain on your time.
Pay attention to the niggling issues and you can prevent them from becoming big problems. Ignore them, and get hauled home on a tilt tray!
The 4.6 V8 tows like a dream, especially with the EAS intact. Running on LPG is a great option. I wish we had the infrastructure to do it here in the States! I have done extensive off road towing with up to 4000 pounds of batteries on trailer. No issues at all. Great TC.

I have an Tdi300 in my Classic, and whilst it is a bit doggy, it gets fantastic fuel economy, and tows the Champ on a 2 axle trailer up and down the hills of S.E. Oz with ease.
Never had the opportunity to drive a P-38 diesel, but as was mentioned, re mapping them seems to give them
decent performance.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 3769

Forget welding or bodywork unless you are really unlucky. A P38 isn't a Disco that starts to dissolve as soon as the sky clouds over, rust simply isn't a problem. The chassis is built with much thicker steel and doesn't suffer while bodywork will only show signs of rust around the rear wheel arches, front edge of the bonnet and bottom of the lower tailgate (which is alloy but can still corrode. Diesels are a bit sluggish (and that's me being polite so as not to offend the diesl owners on here too much) although they can be chipped to get a bit more out of them, but even then, they are still thirsty, for a diesel, so the running costs of a V8 on LPG is probably the same or slightly lower. Don't even consider a car that the seller tells you has been 'upgraded' to coil springs, you'll just be buying a pretty Disco. The air suspension is what sets the P38 apart from everything else, is simple (once you get your head round it) and dead easy and cheap to repair. Make sure you get two working keyfobs, if you have to lock and unlock it by putting the key in the keyhole, it will lock you out and immobilise itself in the very near future. The cooling system is the most important thing on a V8, make sure it doesn't overheat and doesn't show signs of gloop in the cooling system. Brown coolant with copper coloured flecks in it should cause you to run away very quickly.

Get a good one, or one that you need to spend a little time on and once you are happy with it, I guarantee you'll be doing more miles in it than your van. I've done nearly 200,000 miles in mine in 10 years, 320 of them this weekend!

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Joined: Aug 07 2019
Posts: 35

welcome to the forum don't be shy of springs , look and see if the air sus is still their so that you can go back if you want to . unlike mine that was stripped of everything
PS sometimes the air suspension doesn't suit your purpose.

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Joined: Jun 16 2018
Posts: 77

Welcome HL,
Your situation sounds familiar! I have re-chassis'd 3 S3 LRs and had a 2000 Disco 2 so was expecting RUST. Not so!!
I have done about 4k pa since ownership in 2018. I got a 4lt 2000 with 109k on for relative peanuts.
I still have no headlining but the PO had stripped out the fabric really well so who needs to look up!

Speaking personally, if you are only doing 3-4k pa, is MGP really that much of an issue? I know many on here will sing the praises (justifiably) of a well designed and set-up multipoint LPG system, but to my mind, at these annual mileages, it just adds complexity and additional servicing costs.
Add in that LPG service stations are becoming rarer by all accounts then it isn't necessarily going to help, depending on where you are in relation to a sales point.

Double + for the advice on the EAS - I drove a vehicle before buying (along with 8 others) that was on springs and was massively underwhelmed.
I would also recommend looking for a Thor engine'd (late 99 onwards) vehicle which generally appear to suffer less problems - but that can very much depend on PO maintenance.

I spent the first month, before using in anger, replacing rad, water pump, viscous fan, hoses, coolant, air filter, pollen filters, spark plugs, engine and gearbox oil and filters and overhauling the EAS Compressor - all of which has repaid me handsomely with no problems on the road. I have also replaced both front shocks and had a front wheel hub/bearing replaced, and swapped out a stiff gear lever mechanism and done the infamous heater matrix O rings.

Most jobs were a breeze but the O rings were less fun, I'd have to admit! Good luck and keep us posted!

All in all, in spite of my initial worries (given the reputation), I have really enjoyed the experience and I love driving her. I am approaching a service, after 5k miles and will redo oils and filters and may have a look at the ARB bushes and steering damper.

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Joined: Jan 07 2016
Posts: 99

"welcome to the forum don't be shy of springs"............Says a Tazweegian Aka: "Madas"
I have 2 -2002's with similar mileage. One with EAS, and one with "Good quality" springs. The difference is striking when you do a bumpy road back to back.
EAS just soaks them up, and springs......not so much.
I have also done fast sweeping corners and hairpins in both, and the EAS just feels solid, especially when it drops itself to Highway mode.
Given a choice, (and in all fairness, the pickings are a bit slim in Tazzie,) If you can get one still on Air, you may curse us, a bit, but you will not regret it!
Oh, and pulling a trailer? Tongue weight just does not matter, you will be level, and more importantly safer with EAS.
OK, stepping off soapbox now.........

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1603

P38 sounds ideal for you, but I'd always recommend budgeting for a Nanocom so you can be self sufficient for diagnosis and changing settings in the various computers.
I've never driven a P38 on coils, but having been left stranded by a failed EAS compressor* I'm a bit wary of long journeys and always travel with a set of schraeder valves that I can, in extremis, hook up directly to the airbag lines. The idea is that I can limp to the nearest garage airline and inflate the bags individually to get it off the bump stops. They're physically small and cheap insurance against getting stranded.
With those in the centre console I'm happy to take the family wherever. The rest of the car has been an educational experience (as you can tell from my user info) but that's what you get for buying on the condition of the paintwork :)

*and rescued by the mighty Marty.

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Joined: Sep 22 2019
Posts: 6

Well my mind is made up, P38 V8 "Thor" engined so 99-2002 ? on LPG & as unmolested as possible it will be.
Still on air suspension, more service history the better & fewer owners the better.
See what I can find.

Member
Joined: Nov 16 2016
Posts: 890

If I ever bought a P38 I'd want it on airbags same as most here and I'd do the same as Morat carry schraeder valves just in case.
Driven loads of P38s on airbags, fewer on springs but still quite a few, I prefer the airbags and think they set P38s apart from similar vehicles in terms of ride quality. I'd want airbags even though an airbag on the rear of a Disco I was working on once exploded due to over-pressure (not the type of problem a schraeder valve could have helped with after the event but could have prevented if over-inflation was noticed before)... I wasn't working on the suspension, was working on the LPG system when an airbag went off like a shotgun, blast came as a surprise to me and to the many concerned looking faces that appeared at windows in the customer's area lol. Then I got roped in to fixing the suspension too, fitted a replacement airbag and ride height sensors but had to use a local Landrover specialist's OBD tool to calibrate ride height.

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Joined: Sep 22 2019
Posts: 6

Looking online it looks as if I might have to travel a few miles to be able to look at some as there doesn"t appear to be any close to me.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1603

Don't rule out the ones which are still on Petrol only. They tend to have lower mileage and you won't inherit an LPG system with a 10 year old tank and knackered injectors. I had mine converted immediately after purchase - you have to allow for it in your budget.

Simon, I have a spare rear bag in the garage and I'll probably get a front as well :)

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 3769

headlight wrote:

Looking online it looks as if I might have to travel a few miles to be able to look at some as there doesn"t appear to be any close to me.

Where are you?

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Joined: Nov 16 2016
Posts: 890

There's a P38 with 'For Sale' sign in the window around here (South Elmsall, Yorkshire), don't know if it's petrol or diesel.

Now I'll probably be told Headlight's in Florida.

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Joined: Nov 16 2016
Posts: 890

Morat wrote:

Don't rule out the ones which are still on Petrol only. They tend to have lower mileage and you won't inherit an LPG system with a 10 year old tank and knackered injectors. I had mine converted immediately after purchase - you have to allow for it in your budget.

Simon, I have a spare rear bag in the garage and I'll probably get a front as well :)

Plus you'd notice if airbag(s) suddenly took one end sky high, disable the electric pump and fit the schraeder valve.. Unlike me at the time!

I too like the idea of buying petrol only then having it LPG converted... but I would say that lol ;-)

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Joined: Jan 07 2016
Posts: 99

Oh, yea......EAS Rocks! etc......Forgot to mention....Whilst I trust the system, I do
carry a spare rear and front bag with me as well......They fit inside the wheel of the spare along with the spare belt,
Cps, and a used but servicable T-stat.........The Nano lives in the cubby.......I may forget to bring my phone on a trip, but NEVER forget the Nano!
I have been intending to get a set of schraders as well.......Any good deals on them about?

Question for the gallery: Can you drive on 3 well inflated bags in case of catastrophic failure of one?

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 3769

Bolt wrote:

Question for the gallery: Can you drive on 3 well inflated bags in case of catastrophic failure of one?

You can but it'll sit at a very funny angle with the diagonally opposite corner being high.

Best (only) deal for emergency valves is https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/P38-RANGE-ROVER-AIR-SUSPENSION-SYSTEM-EAS-EMERGENCY-VALVES-SET/272726482487

Although I've got a couple of servicable air springs, I have never carried them with me. I suppose if someone was doing a lot of serious off road stuff (or running Arnotts) it would be a good idea but not with Dunlops under normal use.

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Joined: Nov 16 2016
Posts: 890

Gilbertd wrote:

Best (only) deal for emergency valves is https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/P38-RANGE-ROVER-AIR-SUSPENSION-SYSTEM-EAS-EMERGENCY-VALVES-SET/272726482487

I imagined having to make something like that and probably not as neat.

If anyone sees female connectors that will fit onto fuel rail pressure test / bleed valves (of which there are various sizes / threads / etc but usually schraeder type design) with a pigtail or some other way of connecting fuel pipe to the other end please let me know. On various model cars I convert I have to fit a petrol return, such bits would prevent having to cut into the petrol system.

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Joined: Sep 22 2019
Posts: 6

I am in South Wales & looking at what is available buying one that has not already been converted might be easier than one that has & as mentioned would save me inheriting any LPG problems.
I have already been in touch with Lpgc.

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Joined: Nov 16 2016
Posts: 890

As just said in my PM....
I wouldn't put you off buying one that's already converted... not many are converted as I would recommend (which can make a difference to how well they run etc) and parts do wear but I can always put them right.
Good luck with your buy!
Any questions etc I'm always ready to answer and help.