The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse
775 posts

As some of you will remember, my P38 has been using coolant for a long time. 5+ years. It was also pressurising the cooling system and showing signs of coolant in the cylinders (some of the plugs were stained orange). It has however never actually overheated, so long as you keep it in water.

It seemed to be a multitude of issues, leaks in the engine bay pipework, leaks from the water pump, leaks from the heater core orings as well as dodgy head gaskets.

I took everything apart in the summer, gave it new headgaskets, new water pump, new heatercore orings and replaced every coolant hose on the engine. Removed the horrible T-pieces feeding the LPG and rerouted that to be fed from the throttle heater loop instead. Basically ticked every box in the "fix your P38 v8" hot list...

Except, its still using coolant, and still pressurising the coolant system. The top rad hose is properly solid after the engines warmed up, feels like pressing on a car tyre. I've got a leak on the hose on the inlet manifold that goes to the LPG vaporisor that i cant seem to stop, i've already striped one jubilee clip from tightening it up that much trying to stop it. This morning when i got in i noticed red drips all over the side of the centre console carpet and some contorting later it would appear the new heater core o-rings are leaking.

It seems to be leaking LESS than before, which i guess is something, but i'm getting somewhat pissed off with it now.

The interiors in bits as i didnt want to refit all the plastic trims until i'm sure the leaks are sorted. Its also mouldy and horrible inside as both footwells and the boot are damp... The wife tried to use it yesterday while i was at work to find the child seat was covered in mould-fur. So that had to get stripped down, bleached and put thru the washing machine...

Any ideas beyond getting rid and buying a Toyota?

Last month i got the car converted over to the newer Wabco D ABS system after the original modulator failed.

Drove the car at the weekend and it seems to have developed a fault in the new system. ABS and TC lights were on and the dash reported ABS Fault message.

Reading the fault codes i get a message saying "Front Right sensor short to Another sensor" which seems very obscure.

Some googlefu suggests this might be related to a faulty ECU, im also wondering if its maybe moisture/damp related? The car does seem to have a small leak into the passenger footwell, so perhaps the ECU has got wet?

Anyone seen this fault before?

Part of the brake job required me to remove the two ducts that go between the blower motor and heater box on each side.

Getting those ducts in and out was an absolute shitemare, however theres a further issue and thats that they dont seal in anyway. It looks like there used to be some sort of foam sealing on the duct which has long since perished, now the two parts just rattle around loose on the spigots, which will explain why i get a cold draft from the footwell in the winter!!

Anyone got any advice on what i can use to replace this missing foam, and perhaps also any tips on getting the ducts in without mangling the foam.

Spend the weekend wiring in the 99 spec wabco ECU and corresponding modulator to replace my broken one.

Finally got everything together, brakes bled, ECU powered, everything looks good....

Except the dashboard says Traction Failure

I've not actually driven it yet as i need to put the coolant tank and stuff back in. Scanned for fault codes and none are found. Is this perhaps normal for a WabcoD after the battery has been removed? Or do I have a problem somewhere in the wiring 🤔

Since i need front hoses, i'm revisiting my thoughts on the rear axle hoses.

My car has an early pipe routing, with the pipes above the axle. But the axle is a later one without the bracket, so its all a bit bodged currently.

I'm struggling to figure out what exactly the short pipe and jump hose does on the later setup?

If the caliper pipe goes from the axle to the chassis, why cant the hard line from the front just go directly into that flexi?

Went to the builders yard this morning and when i got there i could smell cooking brakes. Got out for a look and passenger front wheel was smoking hot.

Got it home driving slower and using the brakes as little as possible, and i've pulled the corner apart hoping it was just a stuck slider, except i cant actually see anything wrong.

sliders are free, pads werent even stuck in the carriers. I lifted the pistons boots and the pistons are shiney clean. I then got a G clamp, and if i push one piston in, the other pops out and vice versa, very little force needed, suggesting the pistons themselves are free. Now heres where it gets really odd...

I put a block of wood in the caliper leaving about 10mm of space, jumped in and pressed the brake pedal, in an attempt to push the pistons out some more, so i could check for rust, except nothing happened. The space remained at 10mm. I turned the ignition on and charged up the brake pump and properly heaved on the pedal... same thing.

Got a chunk of metal across both pistons and managed to force them both back 5mm or so with the g clamp. Reinstalled the caliper on the car. Since i pushed the pistons back theres now a 5mm gap between the caliper and pads. Stomped on the pedal as hard as i could inside the car, but the gap didnt close.

So what on earth is going on here!?!

One minute they're stuck on, and now they;re not getting any pressure at all?

Does anyone happen to have a scrap transfer case or gearbox knocking around they'd be willing to part with?

Was there a particular spec of car that did NOT have a sunroof? Was it simply an option?

From what i can see it seems to be low spec cars that were missing it? Would be good to confirm though.

I've pulled the passenger side head (drivers ones proving to be annoying!) but i'm curious about some of the findings.

The engine was pressurising the cooling system, slightly, and using coolant, but drove fine and you could do 100's of miles in it a day without issue. Lots of short trips seemed to guzzle coolant, but a long trip would only use a little, suggesting it was leaking more when cold perhaps?

Spark plugs on 1 and 3 would turn orange over time. Its been like this for several years and i've finally decided to fix it as it seems to (finally!) be getting worse with some signs of water on the other bank.

I'm particularly curious having removing the head though, of how exactly its ended up the way it has.

Examining the head and pistons, you can see that 1, 3 and 7 all appear to have signs of steam cleaning, with the clean areas of the piston crowns and clean areas of the head. 5 looks pretty normal.

Moving over to the gasket, cylinder 1 has obvious rust on the firing ring, so we can imagine thats certainly a path between the water jacket and cyl 1. Oddly enough for the cylinder with the most obvious water route, its the dirtiest of the three cylinders. Cyl3 has a small amount of rust on the fire ring too. I guess i'm pondering how water got into these cylinders in the first place to rust the fire ring though... Especially 3, it doesnt appear to be near any water... Cyl 7 fire ring looks fine, infact theres nothing obvious at all around cyl 7, so not sure why its showing signs of steam cleaning. It is ofcourse adjacent to the water jacket, so it certainly could be leaking across from there.

Is there anything else i can check while its apart? Cylinder liners being the obvious question mark.

Ive put a stream of photos on imgur: https://imgur.com/a/PyyyvxJ

I've just replaced by tailgate as the old one was rotten.

The glass on the new one is much darker, and has "opticool" on the info plate.

However there is a damaged area about the size of a thumbnail right in the middle where what looks like window tint has peeled off.

Anyone know if the opticool glass has a coating applied that could peel off? Or is it just normal glass and someone has applied standard window tint?

I don't want to start trying to peel it if it's supposed to be part of the glass! But if it's tint ill probably just peel it.

Some months ago while in the local U-Pullit i happened across a late model P38 with a updated cluster.

The guage faces have a green background and the legends etc are all a bit more modern, so i bought it.

Finally went to fit it today, and after sorting some niggles (airbag warning light/message due to a missing bulb) and syncing the odometer, it all seemed to be working, except the two small guages.

The fuel guage seemed to display 1/4 tank. The petrol tank is nearly empty and with the old cluster the light was on and the guage was just off the red. Though at various points it did correctly display "fumes" as it should, it also at various points returned to showing 1/4. I took it out for a drive for a mile or so and it slooooowly dropped to the line before the red, however the light didnt come on. I dont know if it would have eventually sorted itself out. When i got back, i cycled the ignition a few times and eventually it did show the low fuel light, but after checking some things with nanocom, it went back to showing 1/4 tank again....

The test drive also highlighted a second issue. Once it warmed up the temp gauge pinned its self round against the right hand side and the red warning light came on. Checked with nanocom, and the ECM was reporting 93c as normal. Does the temp sensor perhaps differ between Gems and Thor? Any way to alter the calibration?

I've got a pair of rocker shafts from my spare engine which I'd like to disassemble and clean to go back on the heads before install them to the engine in the car.

Then I wondered, do these parts need to marry up with the original components? I don't have the pushrods from the spare engine, and the rocker shafts have been mixed up so aren't going back on the original heads either...

Assuming I can still use them, is there anything specific I need to check or measure to check for wear?

Any tips on getting the sunroof panel out? The headliner is out and retrimmed, but I can't see how the sliding panel comes out of the sunroof cassette to retrim that piece?!

I've started stripping the scrapyard V8 with a view to keeping stuff that might be handy and binning anything that isn't.

I've discovered both exhaust manifolds have a small Flexi joint under the heatshield, and on both manifolds they are distorted and split.

Is this a common problem? My car has what sounds like a manifold leak, and my plan had been to clean up the faces on these ones and swap them in when I do the heads...

Is it worth trying to repair them? Anyone just sleeved with solid pipe instead?

I've pulled out the HEVAC control to remove the nasty sticky on wood trim from the front of it. When its out i want to see if i can fix the unresponsive buttons...

Is there a known fix? i was guessing i just pull it apart and try cleaning up the contacts?

I should probably have ordered a bulb kit while it was out 🤔

Anyone know if its possible to bench test an instrument cluster?

I picked up a cluster from the scrap yard. Wanted to power it on to check the mileage, so i've connected the two purples to 12v and the two blacks to ground. Set up a current limited supply of half an amp, and its pulling all of it and showing no signs of life.

Before i just crank up the power i wanted to check if anyones done this before and knows if it will even work? Does it need the serial comms to the BECM to actually come alive?

I've decided to create this thread to document my efforts at creating a replacement for the GEMS MAF. As some of you will know, the GEMS MAF is unavailable anywhere other than landrover (if its even still available) and costs a fortune. Aftermarket units are junk. After buying probably 4 or 5 used MAFs at this point, i wanted to find a solution.

My thinking is simple. If we can figure out the curve, we can build a "module" which can translate the values from some other cars MAF, over to signals the GEMS ECU expects.

Having had some background in tinkering with 2000's VAG cars, i know that their Motronic 7.5 ECU's contain a 512x1 table which contains the MAF calibration in a very simple format: kg/sec against voltage. As such i have curves available for many common VAG MAFs. Those VAG MAF's are ubiquitous, readily available, and cheap new. I also already have a few units knocking around i can use for testing. Half the problem is thus "sorted"

If we can acquire the same curve for the Lucas 20AM, we can then create a translation table between the two.

Trying to find this information online seems pretty much impossible. Tuning info on the GEMS is rare, and i havent been able to find the factory calibration anywhere. However when replacing my broken MAF with yet another used one recently i noticed something potentially useful. RAVE provides airflow figures that should be seen at various engine speeds. One reason i know my newest-old MAF is junk is that it massively overreads against these figures. However while staring at the Nanocom, i realised it was showing both airflow in kg/sec and MAF voltage...

My first attempt then was to drive around, and use the nanocom logging function to log these two values. Unfortunately nanocom updates extremely slowly and seems to only pull one value at a time, which means the displayed airflow and voltage dont line up in time, and thus its all a bit random. Perhaps with many miles of logged data, we could get something resembling a curve, but i wasnt happy with this approach at all.

Spent some time thinking about it, and threw together a MAF "stimulator". Essentially its an Arduino Nano, and a MCP4725 DAC. The arduino is programmed step from 0v to 5v in 0.3125v intervals. Fishing about in my box of parts i found a matching connector for the harness MAF plug, so i can plug this contraption in, inplace of the MAF. The idea being that instead of driving around, i can just sit on the drive, ignition on, engine off, and feed in the sequence of voltages and log the output.


So, tonight, i went to give it a try. And, provisional results are that it worked, kinda! Nanocom kept disconnecting, and i realised the battery was flat, which potentially was causing the nanocom weirdness, however i managed to capture a bit of data before i gave up with the battery down to 7 volts and went and fished out the battery charger instead.

Interestingly you can see the lag i was talking about in the log due to how the nanocom polls each value. In order to try and minimise this, i'd set the Arduino to step the voltage once every 10 seconds. It appears to update the voltage first, then airflow shortly after.


As you can see it was a struggle to keep the thing connected for more than about 30seconds, but you can also see some nice clear data points. Will revisit later in the week when it has a charged battery and see if we can capture the full sweep.

My car has a sad cup holder like this:


Its rubbish as its too shallow and cups fall out.

I came across this however (ignoring the ludicrous price):


Much deeper cup holes... Was this a later revision? Or is it some sort of aftermarket addition?

Doing a bit of exterior TLC, i painted up the trims along the top of the door as they were badly faded, and now the rear window trim looks awful.

Anyone know how it comes off?

Can anyone confirm my guess that the GEMS and Thor timing covers are interchangable, with the only difference that i can see being the Thor cover has an extra oil sensor outlet?

I've searched and cant really find anything confirming it, but looking at pics they seem very similar...