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Sign of the times with energy prices going through the roof: I chopped up some logs with my chainsaw in the back garden yesterday.
Periodic fillups with chainsaw oil, then realised I had been filling up with transmission fluid. I had previously filled a 5L container when I had my transfer box saga last year and the label had come off. Seemed to work OK. Not a good day.
I drove past a local garage and diesel was 179.9p/L.

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Stopped my drivers window from wobbling as I open or closed it. Had a look the other day as it had reached the point where sometimes the anti trap would kick in halfway up when closing from fully open and noticed that the plastic guides that sit in the runners were decidedly worn. Although the JLR site said they were NLA, LRDirect had them listed as OEM and in stock so ordered a couple.

The reason for the wobbly window is pretty obvious when comparing the old and the new

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But what I found more interesting was the OEM new ones. Made by Febi Bilstein and appear to be a BMW part......

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the thing is none of them have purchased fuel they just put the price up and the excuse is , well there is no excuse they hadn't even payed for the fuel that was $130 a barrel. its called price gauging , greed is the answer and the governments let it happen. modern day version of criminals .

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Well as most of the cost is tax & vat not only gas companies to blame -- pity you can't run bio diesel like my TDI does

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Symes wrote:

Well as most of the cost is tax & vat not only gas companies to blame -- pity you can't run bio diesel like my TDI does

My 2001 Vogue runs happily on E85 (85% bioethanol). Fuel consumption is higher at around 14mpg instead of 17mpg on E10 but as in France it currently costs 89.9c/L versus about €2/L for E10 it's still a great saving. I'm sure a large chunk of the price difference is down to lower tax.

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I've got to go over to Paris tomorrow so will be trying E85 in my GEMS to see what it runs like on it. I'll still have LPG as well but as LPG is around 1 Euro a litre in France and the consumption is roughly the same as Nigel is getting on E85, it'll be cheaper too. Apparently, the exhaust fumes smell like you are running on Vodka (now there's another option......).

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Symes wrote:

Well as most of the cost is tax & vat not only gas companies to blame -- pity you can't run bio diesel like my TDI does

I ran my diesel p38 for many years on a mixture of virgin veg oil and diesel. Percentage varied on the temperature at the time of year.
The M51 being indirect injection is quite happy to run on it. You don't really need biodiesel.
The only problems I've had are due to adding neat veg oil to the tank in cold'ish weather. It didn't mix properly.
I have run up to 75% in the summer and usually 50% in the winter. Bit of hassle mixing it in a jerry can first.
You can run 100% but it needs a heating system for the oil.
I havn't run virgin veg oil for a long time as the price at Costco increased a lot. I occasionally chuck in used veg oil.
Maybe with the recent price of diesel I should look at the costs again.

Addendum: quick search showed cheapest veg oil is now £1.30/L

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I think all the drug dealers around this way given up selling drugs and sell fuel instead 😁😁 seriously though ---- it'll never go down because people are paying ---- if everyone kicked off broke fuel pumps etc --- like they did in France years ago Then price would come down 🤗 Unfortunately it's people are too wimp these days ---- Nobody wants to cause upset or offence

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So, I gave E85 a try in my GEMS to see if it would run on it as well as Nigel's Thor does. Managed to find LPG round here on Saturday so filed the LPG tank. That would give me 200+ miles range on that. Had a little normal E10 fuel in the tank (range was being shown as just over the 50 mile threshold when it stops telling you how much you have) so bunged 40 litres of E10 in it so the gauge was showing half full. Ran on LPG down to Dover, off the ferry at Calais and straight into the Total station just outside the docks. Refilled the LPG tank at 0.99 Euros (so roughly 82p, more expensive than some stations here but cheaper than the MFG operated station in Dover at 90ppl) and also put 40 litres of E85 in at 0.89 Euro per litre (compared with 2.10 Euro, or around £1.75 for E10) taking it up to just over 3/4 of a tank, which probably caused my fuel gauge to suffer a nosebleed as it has never been that high in the 12 years I've owned the car. Reset the trip computer, plugged in the Nanocom, reset the adaptive values, set it to monitor the lambda sensors and set off.

Initially I would be running on the E10 that was in the pipes, filter and fuel rail so nothing changed. Then as, presumably, the E85 got there, it didn't feel quite as smooth, almost as if there was a slight misfire. Once on the motorway it ran as expected and was smooth cruising at 70 mph, lambdas both switching even though the short term trims were always going positive showing it needed more fuel than on E10 which is only to be expected. Under normal acceleration it was fine but under light acceleration it still felt like it was misfiring and holding back slightly. I had 170 miles to do before heading back and during this time it seemed fine with the trip showing 16mpg. Can't really compare this as I've run on petrol so rarely I don't know what it reads on petrol but it would seem to compare with Nigel's findings of a drop to 14mpg when on 100% E85. Other than the feeling of a slight misfire under light acceleration, it ran normally, no loss of power, temperature staying normal (if not a couple of degrees lower than normal), idle smooth and starting normal.

Arrived where I needed to be and the fuel gauge was showing just under half a tank. Set off to head back to Calais for the return journey and it was just the same, smooth when cruising but with the feeling of a slight misfire under light acceleration. About halfway through the return journey, I noticed an odd smell but couldn't work out what it was or if it was from me, another vehicle travelling in front of me (like when you can smell the exhaust from a diesel being run on paraffin or used chip oil) or from an industrial plant I had just driven past. Couldn't really put my finger on what the smell was either. Figured it must be from another vehicle as I hadn't noticed it on that same stretch of road on the way down particularly when it seemed to disappear only to reappear later. By this time I had reached the A26 so there was nothing else around me, no traffic, no industry, just a clear road and open fields so the smell must be coming from the car. Initially thought it could be the cats overheating but discounted that as it was still running at normal temperature but decided to err on the safe side and switched over to LPG and ran on that for the rest of the way back to Calais. By this time the fuel gauge was showing down to 1/4 tank so roughly 25 litres left meaning I wouldn't quite have managed the whole 340 mile round trip on the one tankful but still a decent range between refuels with another 210-220 on a tank of LPG. Topped up the LPG tank again at Calais sand ran on that for the rest of the return journey.

Thinking about it later, although the engine coolant temperature was normal, the conversions that can be fitted to allow running on E85, advances the ignition timing so it would have been retarded for the fuel. Retarded ignition would result (I think) in higher exhaust temperatures so it could well have been the cats complaining that they were getting too hot. Nigel's car still has the original huge LR cats on it whereas I have much smaller aftermarket ones which again might be relevant. Why it ran fine for the first 250 miles or so before it started to generate a smell I can't explain. Or, it wasn't the car at all but was from something outside and I switched over to LPG at the point I would have lost it anyway, who knows?

I've since noticed (after putting another 40 litres of petrol in it) that it doesn't run quite as smoothly on petrol as on LPG anyway. I'd never really taken that much notice as I run on petrol so rarely and for such short distances I don't have a benchmark to compare. It doesn't have the feeling of a misfire, and accelerates normally but doesn't idle as smoothly. It's unlikely to be ignition related as LPG needs a better spark than petrol and it runs fine on that (plugs are only 6k miles old too) although due to lack of use, it's quite possible the petrol injectors are gummed up and need a clean which would explain the slight roughness under acceleration.

So the conclusion is that for Nigel, who's P38 is now on French plates so an LPG conversion isn't viable as to pass the CT, the French MoT, the LPG system needs to be installed using a Government approved installer using a Government approved system for the car (if there even is one for the P38). For his use it might be worth fitting the £800 E85 conversion so the economy on E85 will be back up to, or better than, E10 levels which really will make it cheap to run. For me, is it worth completely overhauling the petrol system when it gets hardly any use and LPG is widely available in Europe (even though it has been withdrawn from some of the French motorway services, there's still plenty of places to fill up) at the same price or, with the exception of France, cheaper than here? If I get really bored or have another reason to take the injectors out, it might be worth getting them cleaned but I can't honestly see it is worth it. I could live with the misfire if I was really stuck but the odd smell was what concerned me more. Was it coming from the car and my cats were about to set fire to the underside of the car or was it outside and would have stopped at the point I switched to LPG anyway? But, an interesting experiment nonetheless.

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Thanks for the thorough write up Richard.
I have a question about the rubber parts of our pre-99 fuel systems being capable of withstanding ethanol. I remember reading somewhere that they may not be, I don’t think this was specific to LR though.

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Nitrile rubber is OK with Ethanol up to 95% and as fuel lines on modern, by which I mean anything later than about 1980, use Nitrile rubber hose rather than pure rubber, they should be fine.

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Good to know.

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Good write up and interesting Gilbert.

If you don't mind me saying - Fuel trims and fuel computer mpg readings can both be effected by the stochiometric ratio and calorific value of different fuels. Exhaust temp from the engine itself can be effected by the type of fuel, the mixture and ignition timing but the cat can generate extra heat itself doing it's job of cleaning up emissions... On vehicles fitted with a cat temp sensor you can see that although exhaust temp may go down with rich mixture (so the input to the cat is cooler) the cat temp can still increase with rich mixture (the cat has more HC's to clean up so the cat can get hotter than with lean mixture). The cat can get hotter anyway if it's got more exhaust gas to deal with because the engine is running under higher load (again more work to do). .

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Gilbertd wrote:

Nitrile rubber is OK with Ethanol up to 95% and as fuel lines on modern, by which I mean anything later than about 1980, use Nitrile rubber hose rather than pure rubber, they should be fine.

You say modern, but theres a surprising amount of vehicles on the e10 compatible list that aren't compatible that you'd expect to be. Most of which seem to be direct injection engines, but some of them are upto 2007.

As far as I can tell Morrisons offered E85 and B30 (Diesel) upto 2010, at which point the Government removed the 20p/litre duty difference, so they stopped offering it. Doesn't look like anyone else in the UK offers it except for some firms as racing fuel at around £2/litre (and that price might be somewhat out of date with more recent events).

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Gilbertd wrote:

So the conclusion is that for Nigel, who's P38 is now on French plates so an LPG conversion isn't viable as to pass the CT, the French MoT, the LPG system needs to be installed using a Government approved installer using a Government approved system for the car (if there even is one for the P38). For his use it might be worth fitting the £800 E85 conversion so the economy on E85 will be back up to, or better than, E10 levels which really will make it cheap to run.

As I understand it E85 just like LPG is less energy dense compared to regular E10 so the amount of fuel that needs to be injected during each cycle is higher so consumption with E85 is always going to be up to 20-30% higher. The fancy flex fuel boxes that retard the ignition vary in price from €200-800 & may enable the engine to run smoothly but cannot improve the fuel consumption to E10 levels. With E85 my Thor runs smoothly without strange smells unmodified with the expected lower fuel consumption so even assuming a box was available for the P38 it wouldn't offer any advantage. Running my P38 on E85 at 89c/L with 14mpg is considerably cheaper than using E10 at €2/L & 17mpg. Cost wise it's the equivalent of getting over 31mpg on E10.

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Well, not today, but yesterday my car got a completely clean MOT, no advisories, nothing!

So thanks to all for the advice on sunroofs, and heater matrix ‘O’ rings and indeed everything else.

Even happier to report that during a post-test ‘Italian tune up’ the car has lost all its tendencies to wallow and leap about the road. You can still tell it’s a 2 ton beast, but through the bends it’s much more predictable.

Now all I have to do is fill the tank….!

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Well done Don!

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Thanks Harv - so good just to drive it!

At one point, on a B road, I was behind a little car, and a lorry. Quite obviously the little car was going nowhere. Because I know the road, I knew when the straight sections were coming. It’s just glorious to see the space, plant your right foot, and have this 22 year old thing just leap forward!

Yes, given current fuel prices, it’s expensive - but you can’t take it with you!

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Even more impressive if you poke the Sport button before flooring it. Makes you wonder how something weighing that much and with the aerodynamics of a warehouse can be made to accelerate that quickly......

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^^^ 100%! My finger was hovering over the button as I was driving along waiting for the space, but I can’t say for sure what mode I was in when the foot got planted.

Tomorrow’s fun is probably taking the ‘other half’ out for a spin ( or more accurately, letting her take the car for a spin). I probably need a sensible car for a 3 or 4 day trip to Glasgow - i.e. hers. So her choice will be the Defender or the Range Rover. I know what she’d have more fun in.