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

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...

I've got the RF filter box so generally don't have any battery issues with the P38. It can sit for weeks or even months and starts no bother... Except Sunday!

Wife used it on Wednesday/Thursday, it's sat for a couple days, went to start it on Sunday and it managed about half an engine revolution, then nothing.

Grabbed a spare battery and jumped it and away it went. Drove 5mins to the park and it restarted fine after the park, and it's been fine since...

I want to give the battery a full charge, but are there any other common issues that can cause drain like this? Couldn't see anything obvious like lights left on.

What I really want is a set of ash grey door cards with leather panels (anyone got a set?), but in the mean time I'm going to vinyl wrap the "wood" inserts on my granite cards..., does anyone have any spares knocking about? At least the drivers side two as I've ruined them with glue from a previous failed idea 🤣

I'm also trying to figure out why the dash trim is rubbing on the small trim next to the steering wheel? Any pointers how that piece comes off and why it's rubbing?

Does anyone know how easily the black lip on the lower edge of the rear spoiler on the tailgate comes off?

The local breakers has a mint tailgate, but the black lip has a bad dent in it.

I need to sort the headliner out, and i've been thinking about the sunroof... I dont like sunroofs, they leak, they're noisey, and my one wont set so i have a permanent error saying "Sunroof not set" on the dashboard.

Seen as i need to rip it all out anyway to do the headliner, i'm wondering if i should just remove it permanently?

Weld something over the hole perhaps? Anyone tried anything similar (on a P38 or anything else)?

Anyone fancy cutting out a section of roof skin from a breaker?

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

Anyone here running a pattern MAF on their GEMS P38 and how do you find it?

My third used OEM one has failed, and while it runs pretty well without it, its a pig to start, which left the wife stranded on the schoolrun this morning.

I've ordered yet another used one from ebay, but clearly these are all old and failing.

Pattern units for other cars have a very poor record for actually working properly, so i've generally avoided buying a pattern one for this, but maybe its time to have a look?

Just after going thru 4 pattern crank sensors on this car, i'm super wary!

Not sure if i'm imagining this or not, but is LPG getting harder to find these days? My usual home station (an Asda) and the Morrisons at my parents are still okay, but when out and about i'm finding they are somewhat rarer to come across. A few shells along various common routes i use have all dropped LPG. Theres literally none on my route home from work so if i run out away from home i have to drive home on petrol!

So i'd like to do the gaskets and i'd like some pointers.

I want to use quality parts, i hate shite that doesnt work properly and ends up meaning i have to redo the job.

I've seen the likes of this:
Turners have a good name, so i'm hoping this is a decent kit, but anyone know?

Is it worth looking into any of the aftermarket upgraded bits like Cometic Gaskets or ARP head bolts? Most modern engines use MLS gaskets so they're clearly superior, but do they work properly on an old thing like this?

I also need to reseal the front timing cover and fit a new alloy sump pan, any gotchas here?

Also pondering, do i pull the engine out the car? or is it okay in situ?

Is there any gotchas swapping out an electric interior for a manual one?

Dont particularly care about the electrics and may have found one in a preferred color which is manual

Had the p38 out for a long drive today. At one point in roadworks doing about 40mph I noticed a pretty worrying noise.

Sounded like a rubbing or scraping sound from the rear axle or something around there. Most noticeable when holding the throttle at cruise. Full over run or acceleration seemed to make it go away or at least become much less noticeable. At higher speeds I couldn't really hear it any more.

I also have a clonk noise when changing drive direction, eg shifting from reverse to drive, most noticeable at low speeds, which might be related?

Any ideas where I should be looking?