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The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse
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Newbie reporting for duty.

Our first P38 had quite a few faults when we bought it but I didn't have a clue what I was doing.

It looked tidy. Black tinted rear windows and black paint with wicked looking 21s (before I knew any better). Then he started it and it was game over! I'd never owned a V8 before and fell in love. I paid him way too much money, which I had very unwisely taken in cash, at started the drive home. The first demonstration of my galactic naivety was him having the windows down "so you can hear the engine." Smart move because he killed two birds with one stone clinching the sale and hiding the fact the refrigeration unit for the HVAC wasn't working. It was summer and I was driving a black car with no chiller!

He was honest enough to say the 21s didn't ride well and gave me a set of 18s in the boot. It has bloody awful and spent very little time in contact with the ground on the country roads near us. I blamed the 21s for being heavy knock-offs and punted them onto eBay. It was better on the 18s but I could still tell something wasn't right. 4 new air springs and a full set of Bilstein B6 dampers later, things were really good. The car feels tall but that pig-iron chassis pulls down the CG so it handles better than it has any right to. Maybe I blamed the 21s incorrectly but driving one on 16s years later the ride was supple but really controlled (also on B6s). I don't think this chassis is cut out for big wheels (not looking to start a fight about it though). A tremble in the steering was fixed with a new (also Bilstein) steering damper.

Later on the drive home I noticed a weird thudding noise and jumping sensation on full throttle and on hills. That proved to be a stretched transfer case chain. We got that and the refrigeration fixed and all was well until the MoT test. Needed a new exhaust, track rod a drag link (could have done just the ends). Those last two were the missing pieces in the handling puzzle. Suddenly the steering was lighter, more responsive and had less slack around the dead-ahead position. The exhaust is a Janspeed cat-back which sounds gorgeous and passes MoTs.

It really grew on me and passed some MoTs with advisories.

Then dropped a liner. It was decision time. Had the rebuild done. I'm All-In.

More recently it had a misfire diagnostic computers weren't showing a reason for. A very experienced guy at a nearby garage said it was a fractured flex plate triggering the knock sensors. Absolutely spot on. Changed it for an uprated spring steel alloy one from Turner Engineering. Also added a Prins LPG system they'd retrieved from a Maserati. Found a Turner ATB diff on Facebook for good money, it's on the back but I might move it to the front when funds allow.

It's on the drive with the roof liner out at the minute. Left sun visor kept going mouldy then the whole car got really damp inside. Turned out to be a leak on the seam under the roof rack trim on the passenger side. I fixed it by taking the roof rack trim out and drizzling Captain Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure (not making that up) into the visible part of the seam. A good 5-10ml two or three days running. You can do this without removing the trim at the sides or the nightmare one at the top of the screen, so it's well worth a tenner to try before doing anything more drastic.

Need to repair the sunroof mech when I get a weather window. All tips appreciated.

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Chasman wrote:

Need to repair the sunroof mech when I get a weather window. All tips appreciated.

Don't bother. I bought one of the 3D printed repair kits from eBay. Spent about 3 days carefully filing and fettling until I was happy everything was moving smoothly. Put it all back together, pressed the button and it slid back, tried it the other way and it slid forward again. Did the full movement to set it (while it hadn't been working I'd used the Nanocom to tell the BeCM it hadn't got a sunroof to stop it beeping at me because it wasn't set). Brilliant, all working perfectly. Until the next time I opened it. Halfway through the movement there was a crack from above my head and one of the new bits had broken. Went to East Coast Range Rovers and bought a complete working cassette (and retrimmed the headlining while it was out to fit the cassette).

I've owned 3 cars on 18" wheels and my everyday one is on 16s. Mine are poverty spec 7 x 16 (as ordered by Greater Manchester Police when it was new) so runs on 235/70x16 tyres and the ride is much more compliant than the others on 18s. Tyre choice does make a fair bit of difference though.

Welcome to the pub, you'll find a similarly inflicted bunch on here and, while it seems you've been there and done it, I'm sure there's things you haven't found yet that someone has.

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Sounds like you’ve learned a lot about P38’s already. You’ll find the most knowledgeable (not me) and helpful P38 people in the world right here. Welcome.

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Congrats on beating your P38 into shape! It sounds like you were getting off lightly until the liner issue hit. May I ask who did your rebuild? If it was a DIY then you score many man-points for skill and masochism :)

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P38s are the best most comfortable cars.

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Morat wrote:

Congrats on beating your P38 into shape! It sounds like you were getting off lightly until the liner issue hit. May I ask who did your rebuild? If it was a DIY then you score many man-points for skill and masochism :)

A chap called Derek who I know for sure has, sadly, retired. They X-rayed the block and had it machined for top-hat liners. I'm led to understand that's not recommended for the 4.6 but what's done is done.

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Bore on the 4.0 litre and 4.6 are the same and top hat liners is the best thing you can do with them. Makes them near bulletproof as the head gasket fire ring bears on the top of the liner rather than leaving the join between the liner and block within the combustion chamber. The only people that don't recommend it are RPi as they don't do top hats, all the reputable specialists, Turner Engineering, V8 Developments and others all do. But RPi would rather you believed their BS and spent £8k on one of their custom cast blocks (which are no better than original).

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Another with 16" (although by 8") here.

Coupled with the EAS, just soaks up the roads.