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So i'm at one of those dillemas where i cant really figure out the correct path. I think i've posted about this before, and it never really got resolved.

I've got my P38, and to be frank its pretty rough. The bodywork isnt fantastic with some rust in weird places (like on the roof above the tailgate!), the engine needs work (at the very least headgaskets and possibly many other gaskets, but its smokey at startup which might be valve stem seals, and probably needs fully going thru), and the rest of the car is needing a good overhaul, things like brake hoses, shocks etc are probably overdue changing. The interior is also a bit of a mess, with the saggy headliner, and bits of trim removed due to various half finished "projects"... For instance the plastic trims in the boot under the side windows were removed when i was messing about with the RF filter unit thats never worked properly.

I do like the old barge, but it feels like its at that point where old cars get to where it needs a lot of money and time spending. I've been throwing different ideas around, do i buy a better one? If i do, i know its still going to need a lot of work to get it up to standard. Its also thrown a few reliability issues recently one of them being the MAF failing, and there is seemingly no actual solution for that, as new MAF's are not available, meaning the only choice is fitting yet another 30 year old one and waiting for it to die... Aftermarket ECU would fix it, but thats megabucks. A later car with Thor would i guess be a better idea. I just have a niggle that i'm never going to be happy with the Rover V8, with its endless list of issues, and the idea of spending thousands on a full rebuild with top-hat block etc feels like a waste of money.

Another issue has cropped up recently, which is the centre lap-belt in the rear. We have three kids now. The modern child-seat rules dont gel super easily with an old car like this, we do have a seat that fits in with the lap belt, but its basically the one-and-only and the middle child has about outgrown it, but the smallest isnt really big enough yet to move from the rear facing seat into the one fitted with the lap belt.

With all of that in mind, i've been browsing ebay and noticed some Supercharged L322's are getting to be around the 4grand mark. So obviously the niggling itch has started and i'm thinking, do i buy one of those instead? I hear horror stories generally, but then i heard those about the P38 too... So how bad exactly are they? Obviously buying the cheapest-shed-on-ebay is a bad idea, but i can keep my eyes open for a nice one etc.

Thing is i think i prefer the P38, not sure exactly why, perhaps it feels like it has more "original" landrover DNA, but the L322 as a package with that engine, and being more modern with less weird old-car issues is certainly tempting me. The middle three point belt will keep the wife happy too. But if it manages to be even less reliable than the P38 the wife will be pushing it off a cliff and buying an Aygo instead

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I can assure you that the "weird old car issues" are replaced with why won't this bastard ever work "issues" the L322 is indeed coming down in price..

However the problem is they are much more complex than the P38 but a good thing is with the Supercharged engines being a proper Jag lump atleast the engine you won't have to worry about, unlike the utter and complete pile of shit that the old M62 L322's are.

Anyway.

Parts are roughly twice the price of P38 bits and you have almost twice as much to go wrong and they do go wrong. the P38 is a pretty sturdy old beast like you say yourself yours is rough and ready yet still works, you only have to fart wrong near an L322 and something will fall off, Ok slight exaggeration but you get the gist

And they rot, very quickly the L322 which is surprising, but it is a land rover..

The latter P38s get my vote, obviously the latest P38's are 21yrs old now, so don't expect a peach for peanuts but they're easy to work on and the Rover V8 really isn't a troublesome motor, I mean if you rag the every living fuck out of it at every opportunity and run it on panther piss and let the coolant leak out of the various gaskets and cook it until the block goes pear shaped then yes you will have an issue..

However keep on top of them and you'll have a fine motor..

And with the later Thor V8 punching out 218hp and 407nm it really is no slug 0-60 if you're interested in that is 9.6 seconds compared to an M62 L322 at 9.0 so yes nowt much in it.

As for the the "Money/sense" thing, lets be real, sense and any kind of financial stability went right out of the window when you consider any Range Rover, you just have to decide what kind of wallet draining experience is for you.
That be Classic, P38 or L322.

I'd drop 4k on a recon stage 3 V8 tomorrow if I had that kind of cash, P38 is a package hard to beat...

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I live half the time in France & my 2001 Vogue is French registered. It's a bit tatty but basically sound with just over 170,000 miles on the clock. I'm torn between waiting for the engine to die then fixing it or pre-emptively spending £5K+ on a reconditioned engine.

If you wanted another somewhat similar vehicle I was very impressed with the Freelander 2 that I had as a loaner car when I took my P38 in for a service. The Freelander 2 is basically a Ford made at Halewood. They have a good reputation for reliability & the 2.2L diesel will go on forever. If I was in the market for another car I could go for a Freelander 2.

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StrangeRover wrote:

I can assure you that the "weird old car issues" are replaced with why won't this bastard ever work "issues" the L322 is indeed coming down in price..

I'd drop 4k on a recon stage 3 V8 tomorrow if I had that kind of cash, P38 is a package hard to beat...

I think a big part of the reticence is your last point there, you'd be 4 grand into a RV8 rebuild and still be making under 250hp... Its funny, its not the outright performance either. It goes well enough if you wring its neck even with the existing engine. But the way the transmission is mapped in the range rover, and the engines power curve means that it just feels soooo sluggish. It tries to keep the rpm down to make it smooth and quiet, but doesnt have any power down there to actually pull the thing along. And sure, floor it in sport mode and it goes, but it then feels like your trying too hard, and the wife gives the look. I also think driving an EV daily means i'm very used to the instant torque, and no enginey noises means "the look" doesnt happen either.

The Supercharged on the other hand is making 400hp and 400lbft, and has a much more sophisticated gearbox. I havent actually driven one, but i would expect it to feel much more lively against the 220hp/280lbft of the P38 engine.

I also dont super mind "complex" so long as decent and competent diagnostic kit exists. P38 is much the same in that regard. And parts costing more isnt the end of the world either, its a complicated thing and depends on many factors... For example, a front radius arm bush on a P38 is £20. A lower control arm for my A4 costs £60 and theres four of them. I'd much rather swap those lower control arms than the changing the radius arm bushes on a P38 (which, incidentally is why i havent changed the front radius arm bushes on the P38!!)

The rot is a surprise, are there any particular areas of concern? I thought that has pretty much stopped being an issue with modern cars!!

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nigelbb wrote:

I live half the time in France & my 2001 Vogue is French registered. It's a bit tatty but basically sound with just over 170,000 miles on the clock. I'm torn between waiting for the engine to die then fixing it or pre-emptively spending £5K+ on a reconditioned engine.

If you wanted another somewhat similar vehicle I was very impressed with the Freelander 2 that I had as a loaner car when I took my P38 in for a service. The Freelander 2 is basically a Ford made at Halewood. They have a good reputation for reliability & the 2.2L diesel will go on forever. If I was in the market for another car I could go for a Freelander 2.

Yeah, i've been pretty much ignoring the engine even with its obvious head gasket failure symptoms, in part because i know just how expensive fixing it properly will end up. Ofcourse i'm aware that at some point, its going to fail catastrophically, either by the gasket failing more completely, or some part of the cooling system deciding its had enough of the excess pressure!

I'm not feeling the Freelander2, and try to avoid diesel if i can. The full size is also handy for towing my big car trailer, i imagine the FL2 doesnt have the same towing limits.

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Aragorn wrote:

StrangeRover wrote:

I can assure you that the "weird old car issues" are replaced with why won't this bastard ever work "issues" the L322 is indeed coming down in price..

I'd drop 4k on a recon stage 3 V8 tomorrow if I had that kind of cash, P38 is a package hard to beat...

I think a big part of the reticence is your last point there, you'd be 4 grand into a RV8 rebuild and still be making under 250hp... Its funny, its not the outright performance either. It goes well enough if you wring its neck even with the existing engine. But the way the transmission is mapped in the range rover, and the engines power curve means that it just feels soooo sluggish. It tries to keep the rpm down to make it smooth and quiet, but doesnt have any power down there to actually pull the thing along. And sure, floor it in sport mode and it goes, but it then feels like your trying too hard, and the wife gives the look. I also think driving an EV daily means i'm very used to the instant torque, and no enginey noises means "the look" doesnt happen either.

The Supercharged on the other hand is making 400hp and 400lbft, and has a much more sophisticated gearbox. I havent actually driven one, but i would expect it to feel much more lively against the 220hp/280lbft of the P38 engine.

I also dont super mind "complex" so long as decent and competent diagnostic kit exists. P38 is much the same in that regard. And parts costing more isnt the end of the world either, its a complicated thing and depends on many factors... For example, a front radius arm bush on a P38 is £20. A lower control arm for my A4 costs £60 and theres four of them. I'd much rather swap those lower control arms than the changing the radius arm bushes on a P38 (which, incidentally is why i havent changed the front radius arm bushes on the P38!!)

The rot is a surprise, are there any particular areas of concern? I thought that has pretty much stopped being an issue with modern cars!!

rear arches around the secondary seal and the sills under the plastic covers rot.
Rear subframe and mounting areas
Boot floor
etc etc

I'd happily spend 4k on a P38 engine making around 280hp and a healthy amount of torque, the L322 is a trouble prone beast, for example David on here bought a 2007 supercharged L322 around 1 year ago now, and has spent most of that time rebuilding it

New gearbox
New front axle
New rear axle
etc etc and godknows whatelse!!

But you pay your cash and get your car, if you get a good l322 happy days, however if you get a bad'un..

well... it'll be painful.

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I've got the l320 4.2 v8 supercharger on 56 plate it is a lot more responsive than my 2000 2.5td was
as for spares there not much difference in price between the 2 or so I've found

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Anything is more responsive than a 2.5td P38......

Have a read of this https://rangerovers.pub/topic/2247-2007-supercharged-l322-project-thread

The P38 is easy to work on, parts are dirt cheap and just because one part of it packs up, without Canbus where everything is linked, it doesn't affect everything else. At the end of the day, the L322 is just an X5 prototype. Yes they do rot, I've seen few with rusty rear arches but one overtook me the other day (I was towing an Audi A2 on an A frame at the time or he probably wouldn't have caught me) where the whole rear wing was rotten.

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That's why I prefer discovery 1 over P38 2.5 ok it was a weldathon But 300tdi is a great engine rough as ol' boots but with pump tweaks it'll blast a P38 diesel away ---- And parts are easy to get Ok it's rougher than P38 Some people are going for discovery 3 over P38 now that's what I found out at rover views anyway
Trouble with BMW is they don't believe in spares backup They rather sell you new model ---- planned obscelecence I'm afraid

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Many moons ago I used to have a Discovery 1. It was a company car that I had from new. It was ok but I much prefer a p38.
Leaving the engine out of it, the seating position is better in the p38, sitting in a leather armchair going cross country.
I also like the tailgate and spare wheel well on a p38. The heavy rear door on a Disco with the wheel on it was a pain. Also the rust set in around the wheel aches after only 3 years. It was back at the dealers a couple of times for a respray. The p38 is a tank by comparison.
My p38 is 22 years old now and even if it is getting a bit tatty in places, underneath is pretty good.
I wouldn't have another Classic and I wouldn't have another Disco. I also don't like the newer monocoques designs, so that narrows it down a bit.

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Leaving aside the fact that you're unlikely to get an unbiased answer on this forum ;)

I'd stick with the P38 over L322. The L322 has a lot more internal space but that's the limit of its appeal for me. They are at the stage of a car's life where they look old rather than classic which is where the P38 is starting to get to. IMO, of course.
Also, in my opinion again, the L322 has always looked a bit too blingy for me.

I'm sticking with a P38 as long as the rust stays away. I can't fix rust and I don't intend to learn. Other stuff I can bolt on myself or pay someone to do it without having an aneurism. If we get to full engine rebuild territory, I may have to eat my words. Having had a quick squizz through Ebay last week, there are plenty of rust free P38s popping up. I suspect it's due to the fuel crisis. It would be a shame if they all went to the scrapper.

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The P38 V8 is the only version that will be worth keeping as the diesel has many engine parts no longer available It's not rocket science to figure out if chains wear ---- you won't get replacements so only option is engine conversion ---- but fundementaly not viable if you can't do it yourself
LPG on V8 is not really viable these days as less places sell it

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That depends on where in the country you are. I've got 5 LPG filling stations within 5 miles and under normal circumstances can always find somewhere to fill up when outside my area. Admittedly there are problems at the moment with many stations normally supplied by Flogas not getting supplies and those that do selling out far quicker than usual so not scheduling refills often enough. Mind you, once out of the UK where I do most of my really long journeys, I've never had a problem. Poland and further east even have LPG only filling stations......

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The LPG stations near me are dwindling for sure. There are two in a nearby town 5 miles away, which is already annoying as its kinda off route for anywhere i usually go. However the last few times i've visited those they've had none. There are none in my own town. There used to be 2 or 3 shell stations i passed along my 40 mile commute and they've all gone now after Calor closed down Autogas, so theres no LPG stations along my commute at all any more.

Wifes been running it around at 12mpg on petrol for the last few weeks, which is very much "ouch" territory.

Another potential appeal of the L322 is actually fuel economy. Reports are they'll do 18-20mpg on a run. My P38 gets around 200miles to about 85L of LPG. With LPG at 80p and petrol at £1.60, the cost difference isnt actually that big. P38 is doing about 34p a mile (plus some extra for petrol at cold start etc) and the L322 would be around 38p a mile. Ofcourse a LPG L322 would be even better, but those seem fraught with issues, and given LPG is getting hard to find, switching back to petrol at roughly the same cost has an appeal!

Bleh, i think my immediate plan is to try and get my A4 thru an MOT, and then tackle some of the bigger jobs on the P38. Maybe feed it some gaskets and see if we cant relight the mojo. I figure if i want to swap to a L322, i really need to be able to sell the P38, which means fixing the worst bits like the head gaskets. I bought a drivers interior door handle from the scrappy at the weekend to replace mine as the return spring has broken. I'll probably be keeping half an eye out for a L322 as well though 😂

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Has anyone one looked at putting an LPG tank in at home? You see a few above ground tanks in rural locations round here.
Calor are one of the biggest players. If you are spending a couple of grand a year it might be worth it.
If you don't have mains gas and have oil central heating as well, it would be well worth switching over.

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But a P38 should do 18-20mpg on a run on petrol too, 12mpg, unless it is spending all its time sitting in traffic seems very low. My tank takes 65 litres and I'm getting anything between 190 miles in general local running around and 230 miles on a long run. That's in a 4.0 litre but the 4.6 Ascot gets 5-10 miles less, so 200 on 85 litres also seems really low.

If you live in an area without mains gas, a home LPG tank is an option and can be used to fill a car too. The standard home tank has a top take off so only vapour comes out of it but to fill a car you need a bottom outlet and pump with a separate meter so you can tell HMRC exactly how much you are using in a car so you can pay them the road fuel duty. The main suppliers are Calor, Flogas (and it is them prioritising home deliveries that has slowed deliveries to filling stations) and Avantigas who I understand are undercutting the other two. Even with the RFD added, it still works out slightly cheaper than a normal garage forecourt. Main problem is that the tank needs to be located a specified distance from a building and the property boundary so you need a pretty big garden.

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dave3d wrote:

Has anyone one looked at putting an LPG tank in at home? You see a few above ground tanks in rural locations round here.
Calor are one of the biggest players. If you are spending a couple of grand a year it might be worth it.
If you don't have mains gas and have oil central heating as well, it would be well worth switching over.

Birmingham Autogas will deliver a skidded unit (drop in place, hookup to electricity and its ready to go once filled up) for around £6k when I enquired about it. You'd need a suitable hardstanding for it to sit on and a suitable electricty supply to run the pump off. They would also be able to fill it, though that might depend where you are located as to it being a viable option or not.

As Richard says above, Flogas seem to have real issues for some reason (apparantly the amount of time they are having drivers sat waiting to fill up?) so seem unable/unwilling to actually supply to many places. That said, the local Shell which hasn't had any LPG since the beginning of February, also seems to be having problems getting diesel some of the time as well as frequently when I've driven past that way the price for both on the sign is blank.

Trouble is I can see a lot of the places that currently offer it telling them to remove the tanks as no doubt the one bit of Flogas that is still running at normal pace is the tank rental fees, with them using dropping sales volume as justification to do so (as they will obviously struggle to sell any given they haven't got any to sell).

Don't know what Flogas would have done if the weather was colder this winter, its hardly like its been cold enough for them to claim high demand for supplies.

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The situation isn't helped at the moment by the Extinction Rebellion nutters blocking access to the refineries for all fuel types. My missus went shopping on Saturday and found the local Morrisons filling station closed as they had no fuel and ended up queueing for half an hour at Tesco instead where all they had left was the 99 Octane Super unleaded. A lot of stations in this area are currently out of diesel even if they still have petrol (although Shell Northmead have LPG and E10 petrol but nothing else at the moment....).

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Just discovered the same having been over to my mothers, the stations on the main route seem fine, but others (the ones that are usually cheaper) seem to be out completely of both petrol and diesel.

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My 4.6 P38 gets similar fuel mileage as Richard is saying for his 4.0 (19-20), and that’s over our fairly steep local mountain passes travelling 120-130kmh. My 4.0 Disco does about 2mpg poorer and it can’t keep up to the P38. It is a big box compared to the Rangie.