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The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse
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In June 2014 my old P38, a 1997 4.6 HSE that I'd spent 2.5 years putting into concourse condition caught fire. I was on my way to London with my Xantia Activa on the trailer behind me. It was heart breaking as it was the only car I’d kept for 3 years and not wanted to get rid of.

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Here she is the night before we left in all her former glory:

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And this is how the Xantia and I finished our journey to London:

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I didn’t realise it at the time but it knocked my confidence and trust in the P38 massively. We still had 2 others at home and I could not relax or get comfy when driving them so I bought myself a Supercharged L322. My next knock came when I tried to take one of the others for MOT and ended up with the fire brigade at that when I had flames coming from the front wheel due to a seized brake caliper.

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I then sold the red P38 and we kept only our Oxford Blue 4.6 HSE. The bodywork on this one lets it down but mechanically we’ve done all the work to it and it drives beautifully. The other night I stupidly forgot the trailer was on it and as the windows were all steamed up I jackknifed the trailer and caught the O/S/R door with the trailer.

I then started scouring eBay and Gumtree for an Oxford Blue door and ended up finding the DSE that was local and in Oxford Blue that didn’t drive. The listing said it was a manual so I started researching the possible faults and decided it might have been the selector pin so if it was better then I expected I’d repair it. I then rang the guy and decided that I’d buy the car however upon collection found it to be in much better condition then I expected it to be… I also looked in the window and saw an automatic gear lever in there!

The car hadn’t moved in over a year so the brakes were stuck on but thankfully the winch on the trailer had enough power in it to break them free. I winched it on and we set off for home. It was pitch dark and the car was in a place called Forth, about an hour from us. Our 4.6 P38 was running like a dream, and towing the loaded trailer beautifully. When we were passing Hillington on the M8 (about 15 minutes from home) the P38 beeped 3 times and showed “EAS Fault” on the dashboard.

Thankfully it didn’t shut down to the bump stops and we managed to complete the journey home. The next day I went out in daylight and had a look at the DSE and noticed that the suspension on the 4.6 had sagged at the rear.

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The DSE turned out to be in lovely condition:

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I detest the after market wheels on the car so today I made a trip to Kilcreggan which is about an hour from here to pick up a set of Comet alloys. It’s a set of 5, 4 of which are great but the 5th is a bit of a mess.

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I spoke to Ashcroft Transmissions for some advice on the gearbox. The car has no drive whatsoever but when you move the gear selector there is absolutelty nothing that happens. They advised that with the car in P if it will roll then the transfer box is knackered, if it won’t and the Park break works then the gearbox is knackered.

Having carried out the tests it is indeed a gearbox fault. I’ve managed to source a 4HP22 gearbox locally for £150 so I think I’ll begin the process of swapping the gearbox.

Today I decided to have a look at the compressor on the 4.6. It was bought from Island 4x4 in 2011 but has only done about 20k in the car. It turns out that the bearings in it are knackered.

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So, it looks like I need to order a compressor.

I’ve got a 4.6 breaker which has a good 4HP24 gearbox, however, I’ve decided that I’m going to buy a 4HP22 for the DSE and keep my HP24 just in case I need it for our 4.6.

I’ve been offered one locally from a 4.0 so need to check that the internals are the same and it’s not going to cause me any problems with the ECU’s etc.

Anyway, that’s the last week covered and me up to date now :)

David.

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Oddly enough I was talking to Marty about a P38 that caught fire and I had a feeling it was yours - I remember you were towing at the time. Such a shame :( That and a white one in the states going up in flames (I think around the same time?) made me a bit paranoid of my GEMS... I think I changed the two rubber fuel lines when I replaced the engine as a matter of course after that.

The diesel looks very tidy though!

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As far as I know and can find from RAVE and Ashcrofts website, the gearboxes are identical. I had a feeling the torque converter was different but can't find anything that confirms it one way or another.

The car looks very tidy (except for those wheels......), a shame it's got a diesel engine in it.

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I said to Dad about doing a V8 conversion on it on the way home from collecting it and he told me not to be stupid lol.

I've just managed to get a box for it tonight so I need to collect that this week.

I'm sure it was the fusebox on mine that caught fire, when I opened the bonnet to see if it was smoke or steam (it was right where the coolant pipes run through the bulkhead that it was coming up between the bonnet and the scuttle) and it looked like the fusebox was engulfed in flames.

I've got the wheels that are on the Diesel advertised already and have had a couple of bites. There's all the chrome bits on the bull bars and the side steps that I don't like so will be removing and selling them too.

David.

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Coolant, in mist conditions, is flammable. Just needs a hot exhaust. Also main fuel pipe comes up in that corner. Brake fluid also burns nicely so not necessarily fuse box.

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The torque convertor between petrol and diesel is certainly different, as the diesel has a three bolt triangular flex plate.

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Hopefully I can use the torque converter from the original gearbox, and I guess it'd make sense to change the flex plate whilst I'm in there.

David.

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Sloth wrote:

Oddly enough I was talking to Marty about a P38 that caught fire and I had a feeling it was yours - I remember you were towing at the time. Such a shame :( That and a white one in the states going up in flames (I think around the same time?) made me a bit paranoid of my GEMS... I think I changed the two rubber fuel lines when I replaced the engine as a matter of course after that.

Did you change just the rubber bits of the pipe or the entire pipe? If you just changed the rubber bit what did you do about the crimps? I'm thinking of changing mine just to try and prevent it breaking and a fire starting.

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jacckk wrote:

Sloth wrote:

Oddly enough I was talking to Marty about a P38 that caught fire and I had a feeling it was yours - I remember you were towing at the time. Such a shame :( That and a white one in the states going up in flames (I think around the same time?) made me a bit paranoid of my GEMS... I think I changed the two rubber fuel lines when I replaced the engine as a matter of course after that.

Did you change just the rubber bits of the pipe or the entire pipe? If you just changed the rubber bit what did you do about the crimps? I'm thinking of changing mine just to try and prevent it breaking and a fire starting.

Just the rubber bits - I cut the crimps carefully with a cut off wheel on a dremel which let me pull off the rubber hoses revealing nice hose barbs. Then just fitted new hose with good fuel hose clamps.

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Coolant, in mist conditions, is flammable. Just needs a hot exhaust

Can confirm, having set fire to the coolant in my Citroën CX during a "spirited blast" down the A90.

I cut the crimps carefully with a cut off wheel on a dremel which let me pull off the rubber hoses revealing nice hose barbs. Then just fitted new hose with good fuel hose clamps.

Might do that on mine.

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gordonjcp wrote:

Can confirm, having set fire to the coolant in my Citroën CX during a "spirited blast" down the A90.

Now that's what you call an overheat!

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It burst one of the heater hoses running along the back of the engine, and sprayed coolant onto the red-hot exhaust manifold. When I opened the bonnet (clouds of steam) there were suddenly little bluey-green flames and acrid smoke...

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I'm fairly certain this was electrical as the flames appeared to be directly under the fusebox, closer to the wing then anything else. Just as the engine cut out I got all sorts of electrical warnings on the dash before it cut out, one of which was Alternator Fault. I can't remember the others.

Gordon and I went for a run in our 4.6 tonight and picked up a 4HP22 gearbox so we're almost ready to get the DSE repaired now. I'm going to order a new flex plate from Land Rover tomorrow. For £47 it seems stupid not to swap it whilst we're in there.

I thought that this car would have the later door latches on it, I checked the part number for the chassis number with Land Rover this morning and thankfully it's the earlier ones with 2 plugs which should make sourcing one a bit easier.

Anyway, until I can clear a route through the workshop to the ramp, there's not really much more I can do with it.

David.

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It's weird, the driver's side lock in the DSE pops up but drops back down again just like the opposite of a mislock - when the door locks and unlocks! Trying to pull the button up from the inside it felt like the linkage was flexing rather than actually moving any of the working parts of the lock.

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Oh so it's you folks that're buying up all the project P38's around here then >:|

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Every P38 is a project P38 :)

mace wrote:

Oh so it's you folks that're buying up all the project P38's around here then >:|

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Well, progress has been a bit slow.

I put the car in the workshop and removed the bull bars from it and then started stripping it down to get the gearbox out. However, due to work and other commitments progress has been slow.

I've got a new genuine flex plate ready to go in, i've ordered a full service kit including new gearbox oil cooler pipes and I've ordered enough oil to change the engine oil, gearbox oil, transfer box oil, and both diffs.

Hopefully I'll get it finished this week and we can see how she goes!

David.

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Good luck with that!
One thing to watch for- if you're changing the gearbox oil cooler pipes there's a pretty good chance the unions on the cooler itself will leave half of their threads in the old hose fittings, rendering both the cooler and the hoses unusable. Dissimilar metals corrosion and just a matter of luck unfortunately.

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I was expecting that to happen as the same thing happened on my 4.6.

I'm hoping I can cut the pipes near the unions and then remove the whole cooler from the car. Hopefully with it on the bench I can slice the nuts open with the air cut off saw or dremel and remove them.

Got a funny feeling I'll need a new cooler but if I can do it without I'd rather not put another hundred quid into it before even having driven it.

Once it's moved under its own steam and I know it's good the plan is to go over it thoroughly and make it a good 'un.

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To keep the cooler radiator in one piece you could try to heat the nuts for a short while, aluminium expands very quickly when heated with a torch (kitchen chef's torch).
If no avail your plan can always be plan B.