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The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse.
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Joined: Feb 25 2020
Posts: 142

Taking off from this phrase from Gilbertd on the 'EAS height' topic ....
It was designed the way it was for a reason so quite why people seem to think they know better than the man who designed it is beyond me.....
... without wanting to sound like flaming, I always find a lot of issues (sometimes idiotic) with the design of the vehicles I own, maintain, repair, and modify. Often said modifications are to address shortcomings or flaws in the original design, due to constrains or requirements set by the manufacturer (which I do not necessarily need to abide to), outdated/obsolete components (normal, nothing to complain about), and so on, but other times, are something completely out if any reasonable thinking .... now, without getting into the obvious of the P38s design shortcomings (say, the RF), what curious quirks or strange things of the P38 call your attention?

One of my most mind-boiling ones is the decision to throw the driveshafts and output of the BW TF on the left side, opposite to any other LR since 1948, needing a separate arrangement for everything, and obviously negating the possibility to share components with the rest of the vehicle range. I have not come across a sensible justification for such decision. The Taylor claims it was done to improve comfort for the driver (in RHD vehicles) having more legroom, but there is not really a noticeable difference ....

About the EAS, while I understand locking the operation while brake is on and/or door(s) is(are) open, don't see really the reason for it to 'wake up' and settle/level the vehicle. You might object is in order to avoid excessive leaning, but honestly even if you deflate fully one bag only, it does not really go that much out of normal ... it seems designed to just waste air - and drain battery. Am I missing something?

Mind you, I love the RRP38 as a whole, this is just for ....pub talk ;-)

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Joined: Jun 17 2018
Posts: 543

For me EAS is a peculiarity i've driven a good few P38's and i find the ride is the same as Coils and especially at slow speed over a rough road it is quite rough..

The V8 is another, all other SUV's at the time could walk past the P38 in a straight line, the need to use a 40+ year old V8 is an oddity to me..

Just my findings.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 4560

A whole new redesign of the front axles was called for to get rid of those appalling swivel hubs that dated back to being a rip off of the originals from the Ford/Willys Jeep from 1940, hence the completely new designed hubs on the P38 and the Disco 2. Why they chose to move the drive from one side to the other may be a mystery but it was obviously done for good reason. Possibly, as the entire engine and transmission is offset to one side, it was to even up the weight distribution on the LHD versions if driven with just a driver. That's why the RHD versions have so little clearance on the right side as the engine is offset to that side and all the steering and braking mechanism is on that side too. The same drivetrain was used on the Disco 2 so it isn't as if it is unique to the P38, it's just a later derivative. The L322 has the front driveshaft offset to the left while the rear runs down the centre of the car.

The self levelling on the EAS is, I suspect a safety feature, in case one corner deflates for whatever reason, the diagonally opposite corner could unseat the air spring as it extends but with only limited air volume in it. As for the ride, my experience of comparing it with a Disco 2, having driven one 2 or 3 days a week for around 3 years from the day it was delivered from the dealer, the EAS on the P38 is vastly superior. Choice of tyres may make a difference and the ride won't be as good if it isn't calibrated properly but if everything is correct then it just glides over bumps.

The choice of engines would be what they had at the time, even though the V8 was developed quite substantially due to 'project Iceberg' in collaboration with Perkins to attempt to make a diesel version of the Buick derived V8, hence the cross bolted main bearings and much stronger bottom end that first appeared on the 4.2 version of the engine fitted to the Classic LSE. The P38 was designed at a time when LR were in a dire financial position so they had to use what they had. Being bought by BMW in 1994 would have injected cash, and allowed a lot of BMW bits to start to be used, but it would have been too late to re-engineer it to use something different. They had already done the deal to use the BMW engine in the diesel prior to the takeover but I doubt they had the funds available to attempt to buy in a different engine.

Oh yes, the RF. A subject I have dealt with considerably for the last 35 odd years in the course of my work. It isn't only the P38 that suffers problems, the difference is that on other cars it just means you can't lock or unlock your car and, without the BECM being woken on lesser vehicles, it didn't cause the battery drain. However, you can't blame LR for that. Back in 1994, I was asked to investigate why a brand new BMW 7 series couldn't be unlocked and was immobilised when parked in a certain car park. Having done some testing, I wrote a report pointing out that the receiver performance was so bad it would respond to, and be blocked by, just about any nearby radio transmitter. That report went from the local main dealer to BMW UK, who forwarded it to BMW in Germany, who sent it to the manufacturers of the keyfob and receiver. The response was, "when you pay the equivalent of 9p per receiver, you can't expect quality". Having seen the receiver fitted in that early E38, it appears to be the very same unit, almost certainly supplied by the same manufacturer (a very well known, highly respected, European electronics company), fitted to the early P38. So it is a case of don't blame the manufacturer, blame the sub contractor that are supposedly an expert in the subject.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1911

Yes, it is slow - but with the suspension set up you wouldn't want it to be fast!
It's not easy to make a vehicle that can conquer off-road and still be nimble on-road. Lots of people have tried. I wouldn't say that the P38 is a failure in that regard either, but it is definitely more off-road focussed than its successors. So, no it isn't quick but it is comfortable - in my opinion at least. Dynamically it is at its weakest on poorly surfaced roads, especially twisty B roads but for everything either side of that I think it's pretty good.

The electronics as a whole are a bit of a masterpiece IMO. Bear with me :)
They're the last iteration of in-house designed non SMT stuff that can still be fixed with a voltmeter, a soldering iron and a Kiwi. No, you can't compare it with CANBUS for sophistication or even reliability but electronics in 1994 are nothing like electronics in 2020. Progress has just been so much more rapid on that front than in the mechanical aspects of Vehicle design. It's a bit like Concorde vs an Airbus. Concorde achieved so much on Analogue instrumentation and Controls through sheer brilliance. An Airbus is far more efficient and has Digital systems that the Concorde team could only dream of - but that's the march of progress. I'd be willing to bet you could run everything on a P38 from the ABS to the Satnav via BECM and Motronic on one decent smartphone nowadays.

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Joined: Aug 05 2019
Posts: 60

As my old history teacher used to say, Gentlemen let us digress for a minute ....

I had very close connections with the factory and LR generally during the 90s and into the naughties. BMW's investment into Landrover was for one purpose only, to gather as much intelligence and engineering knowledge about building a large luxury 4X4 in as short a time frame as possible. BMW had the X5 on the drawing board and acquiring LR was perceived as a shortcut, and something that might make a few quid in the process. When BMW sold to Ford, about 70% of the engineering development team left and went to Germany with BMW, having been made offers they couldn't refuse.

Talking with the guys at Solihull sometime after the Ford take over, I asked did they prefer Ford or BMW as owners. The unanimous answer was Ford, as Ford knew how to build cars. The one thing they did ascribe to BMW was teaching LR about chassis and body stiffening and the importance of that in road holding/handling.

On delving further into the Ford BMW question, i.e. why did they say Ford knew how to build cars I was told it was a different philosophy and mindset. BMW, they said, wanted to produce the perfect car, so if a vehicle has an issue, on the line or a fault found subsequently, you fix the fault so the car is as good as it can be. Ford's view was that if a car had a fault, you found the root cause of the fault, you fixed the root cause so you never saw that fault again.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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Fix the cause, not fudge your way round the symptom. That requires a diagnostics mindset that can't be taught, you either have it or you don't. I've heard the same story regarding BMW just lifting as much technology as they could and when you compare the two, the X5 and the L322 are so similar they could have come from the same manufacturer. In much the same way as Ford lifted the heated screen.....

Agree totally on the electronics. What they managed to achieve with discrete components and the minimum of logic is amazing considering the state of the technology at the time. Now there's a project for Marty while he's got no work on, build a Raspberry Pi based BeCM.......

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Joined: Nov 16 2016
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I dunno about Raspberry Pi based BeCMs but people have built fuel injection ECUs from Raspberry Pi's, various videos on YouTube including one of an Indian guy who based his motorbike's fuel injection system on a Pi.

I'm tinkering with a similar idea but where the output from the Pi (or whatever) is used as input for an LPG slave ECU... could call it a slave driver ;-) All it needs to do is output a pulse per rpm pulse (or rpm pulse divided by 2 / multiplied by 2 / etc) with pulse length keyed to manifold pressure (e.g. 1 bar map = 10ms pulse, 0.5bar map = 5ms pulse length, etc). The range of pulse lengths it provides isn't critical because the actual tuning could be done in the slave LPG ECU's map. Could be made closed loop if it adjusts pulse length according to lambda voltage, could even have it's own fuel trims but to have it's own fuel trims it would ideally need to store a table for trims at different combinations of manifold pressure and rpm. Wouldn't even need it's own map sensor because the LPG system will have a map sensor. Standalone EFI LPG systems exist but are relatively expensive and modern such systems are incapable of running closed loop, this setup would be less expensive and the installer could use it in combination with almost any LPG ECU they preferred to use. Functionality of the unit could be increased, for example it could switch external emulation of LPG injectors to allow instantaneous switching to LPG (by switching from emulated LPG injectors to actual LPG injectors) when petrol from a carb float bowl runs out.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1911

The last time I read up on it, Megasquirt could be used with dual maps so you can use the petrol map for petrol and a spicier map with more boost/timing when on LPG.

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Joined: Jan 05 2016
Posts: 1058

"Quirks and peculiarities of the P38 design and engineering"

That's about the most polite way I've ever heard of it being put! :)

Oh where to start... I think LR had 'warranty period' on the brains as the determining factor for the level of 'that'll do!' used in most decisions.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1911

BECM on a Rasberry Pi would be overpowered :)
Of course, if you could put it into a handy quick release holder, you could walk off with your car's entire brains in your pocket. Start that, you thieving pikeys!! :)