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

The heater control display finally decided to go into permanent missing pixel mode last week so I fitted the zebra strip I'd had lying around for several years when pixel problems first arose. (Which promptly fixed themselves once I'd gotten the strip and made sure the battery was always well up. Magic!)

Unfortunately I can't get a full set of display elements to come up. Despite several cleanings and fitting tries the bottom half (ish) isn't co-operating. A bit of judicious thumb pressure on the bottom of the screen brings up some signs of life suggesting the zebra strip isn't settling flat on the contact areas of PCB and display.

Any ideas as to how this could be fixed? Looks to me that the zebra stip I have is little too tall and a little too thin to work properly in the space available hence it could tilt when the display is tightened down. Are all the zebra strips the same size or could my early E-Bay sourced one be wrong?


Booted the beast for a quick overtake yesterday and it ran up to 4,000 (ish) revs and just stayed there. Engine control module clearly holding it back despite foot on the floor waiting for the gearbox to get its act together and change. Lifted foot a bit and it changed gear OK. Possibly a touch harsh but it changed.

Tried couple more times and same thing. Won't go past 4,000 rpm whilst waiting for a gear change. Whether drop down for overtake or change up when driving. Changes just fine in normal amble mode. Usually between 2,000 - 3,000 depending on slope.
Pretty much same in sport mode.
Is this just a matter of the adaptive settings needing to be re-set or something more serious. I'm going to lift it up later and check the gearbox oil level despite no sign of leaks.
Sticking caliper to fix first though.

Car has been on short run duties all summer which can't be good. Hence sticky caliper.


I've "always" had a water drip from the thermostat to water pump hose junction but its gotten much worse over the last couple of weeks. Now its stopped raining I can see its leaving serious evidence directly below the thermostat when parked up. Big panic when during Mondays under bonnet check showed the header tank level to be well down, maybe 1/2" deep at most, after no more than 100 (ish) miles since last look. Topped up, tank lev el holding up when cold but the hose to thermostat joint is still dripping.

Following my standard practice I changed the hoses immediately after buying the car. Reputable source but, as I recall things, unbranded. I was never totally happy with the stub fits but generally everything worked except for that darn drip. 11 years down the line I figure it's time for new hoses again so which breed to get. Genuine LandRover or are BritPart OK these days. The £90 difference will be worth it if it stops the drip.

The car got a new genuine thermostat about 5 years back so pretty sure the case on that isn't cracked.

Currently the hose clip on the offending joint is one of the single loop spring variety, as came with the hose set. Would a jubilee or mikalor type do a better job of sealing things? I'm not convinced about screw up clamps on plastic stubs as quite serious pressure can be generated. The spring type are supposed to maintain almost constant pressure when temperature variations lead to expansion and contraction of the plastic stubs. Which seems safer.

I guess I could just change the clip but if I'm gonna get a sleeve full of water I want my moneys worth.


ABS and traction control lights are on with the associated messages coming up on the dash.

Nanocom says 0 volts on the right hand front sensor, 5 volts on the other three. As I recall it the Nanocom correctly identifies the right hand front sensor but mixes up some of the others.

Multimeter says 0.640 Meg Ohms impedance for right hand front sensor which is way too high.
Left hand front reads 1.125 K Ohms which is near enough book value so looks like my meter and technique are honest.

Obviously the sensor is toast but does the 0 volt reading from the Nanocom imply other faults?

The Britpart replacement, made by OEM, is around £120 from the usual suppliers. Some offer an Allmakes version for under £30. Given that its pretty easy to change a sensor is the cheapy worth the risk. The dead one was a Britpart installed maybe 5 years ago.

Looking round for prices the Island 4x4 site seems to be down at the moment.


The big red beast stopped running early this afternoon on the way up to the supermarket. Drifting downhill towards the carpark I got a "boing" and he came to a halt. Nothing on the display, all the usual warning lights associated with ignition on but he wouldn't restart. Turning over on the starter over was a bit lumpy as if he might have been getting the odd almost fire. Would have expected it to spin a bit faster given the battery was fully up to charge. Temperature gauge about half way towards normal running. I'd been out earlier and he hadn't fully cooled down before going off again. Petrol tank almost full.

As it seemed almost certain to be electrical I spent five minutes wobbling fuses, pulling out and reseating appropriate relays et al before trying to start up again. Fired up just fine in the usual almost instant manner.

Started fine three more times.

Once to come home and twice whilst doing the Nanocom tests. No fault codes on the Nanocom and outputs seemed reasonable. After reminding myself where Encoder Tooth counts lived on the Nanocom menus I tried one more start.

No go.

Did the pull relays and fuses thing again squirting with contact cleaner before re-installation. Verified that the fuel pump relay was working fine and had low resistance on the contacts when made. Also did the female contact wobble with a screwdriver test for the relay female contacts to, hopefully, verify there was no circuit board problem. All seemed solid. The only issue I found was worn plating on some of the relay male prongs. Shouldn't make any difference but I polished things up.

After retrieving the fuse puller from under the battery where it had hidden after "someone" dropped it I tried starting again. Instant fire up. Temperature still a little shy of normal running level.

So have I fixed it or is there something lurking waiting to be activated by Lawyer Murphy and the Gremlin Squad at a seriously inconvenient time.

Tempted to just replace the fuel pump relay on principle and put a genuine crank position sensor into stock. But he has only done 96,000 miles so it seems a bit early for CPS problems.

Any ideas as to what's really going on.


So I have 50 high density concrete blocks left over from raising my garage floor so it is flush with the car and bike lift platforms which the local builders merchant will refund the cost of if I take them back. 50 at 19 kg each is 950 kg / 2094 lb, just shy of a ton.

Handbook says max rear axle weight is 1840 kg / 4056 lb. The EEC defined kerb weight with full fuel tank and 75 kg / 12 stone (near enough) driver is 2100 kg / 4629 lb gross with 1000 kg / 2204 lb on the rear axle.

By my maths that implies I can load 840 kg / 1852 lb in the back. Probably a bit more as the tank is down to 1/4 full and I'm 10 stone dripping wet at most.

Looks like 46 in the back and 4 in the passenger footwell will do it.

Only 2 miles down a twisty hill but its still seems a scary load for a passenger car. The £75 refund on my flexible friend will be nice but I'm not inclined to risk popping the airbags. Cleaning out all the dust afterwards is quite bad enough a prospect thank you (quietly ignoring the slog of manually loading and unloading).


Worrying comment in this months Car Mechanics magazine concerning LED headlights and the MOT test.

Start Quote

"There have been a few revisions made to the MOT inspection manual in January.Problem was , current MOT testers weren't informed in the usuals way (by notification) of these updates . Since the last update in 2019 there are over 50 revisions to take on board.

Section 4 of the manual is lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment- its fair to say this gets a lot of attention. One of the added checks now required on each MOT is

Compliance with requirements

Existing halogen headlamp units should not be converted to be used with high intensity discharge (HID) or light emitting diode (LED) bulbs. If such a conversion has been done you must fail the headlamp.

The tester did, of course, check on conversions to HID before but the new added text is about fitment of LED bulbs into a halogen housing. As far as I'm aware this revision is for the headlamp bulb itself and won't affect any white LED sidelight bulb fitted to a car. However I'm unsure as to insurance companies views on fitting LED sidelights."

End Quote

More bloody stupid rules for the sake of rules. Beam pattern is what matters not technical details of the source. Typical shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. Plenty of decent LED units that give the right beam pattern around now. Bad ones were an automatic fail before anyway.

Looks as if I ever get round to fitting the pair of LED headlamp bulbs I got a while back I shall have to invest in a beam setter, or, more likely "Clives cheap field expedient equivalent", so I can do swopsies before the MOT.


Can the rear brakes be bled on their own with satisfactory results or is it best to do the whole system?

When I changed all my brake callipers couple of years back the rear flexi pipes obviously weren't coming undone so i kicked the can down the road and left them as still being functional.
The metal extension on one rear caliper pipe let go last Monday so I've been dodging the rain for the past couple of weeks of spare time getting things changed. Which included making new sheet metal brackets ANR 5918, ANR 5919 and the "flat with a slight bend one at the bottom" which, apparently has no part number. Searching the usual supplier suspects indicated that availability of ANR 5918 & 5019 appeared to be spotty with daydream prices on some suppliers.

So I drew them out and made a set of four. Drawings can be sent as a pdf if anyone wants them. Not intrinsically hard to make but something of a PIA to mark out and cut to size making for a slow job. I officially have too many toys, including a 41/64 th drill for the hose hole, so getting it done merely took longer. Cutting the blanks would have been an ideal job for the baby CNC mill I've never worked up enough enthusiasm to get going.

Further searches after the event suggests you can get ANR 5918 & 5019 for £5 - £10 each if you choose suppliers wisely but no one seems to have both.


Shopping time yesterday afternoon so I went to move the big red beast for the first time in a fortnight(ish) and noticed the phone holder stuck to the right hand bottom corner of the screen was dangling a bit wrong. After an exploratory poke, must work on my self control, it dangled down a whole lot more with great strings of transparent sticky plastic gloop running back to the screen.

Post shopping investigation showed the transparent plastic under the rubber suction thingy had melted. It also showed that removal in the heat of the afternoon wasn't going to happen. The stuff seemed to have approaching infinite stretchability with a Poisson Ratio nearly as high and that (gremlin decreed) perfect level of tackiness that won't actually stick and stay put as you try to work with it but leaves a near impossible to remove layer of tack gunk on your hands and tools. Think old, hot, cheap insulation tape adhesive remnants. Cubed.

In the cool of the morning it was a bit better mannered and scraped off the screen leaving a small deposit that succumbed to cellulose thinners.

Best scrapers I've found for all sorts of things when you don't want to damage the underlying substrate are the something plastic ones my master baker grandfather used to use to clean out his mixing tins and bowls. Flour makers freebies, logos long gone. Prefect combination of flex and stiff without scratchy sharp edges that is seemingly unobtanium today. Probably not made since 1950 something and I'm down to my last two. If I recall correctly he was muttering about not being able tor replace them when he taught me how to hand make bread, properly, round about 1960. Standing on a stool to reach the bowl. Wish I'd paid more attention.

I guess the moral is "don't leave things stuck to the screen." Now I have to find another which may be hard as that one was a freebie and rather better in practice than the paid for ones. Wouldn't really matter except I've gotten used to Waze!


A film of oil is collecting around the bottom drivers side corner of the radiator and over the connecting pipe from the thermostat. With the grill off it can be seen extending up the sheet metal side cover for the radiators assembly to around half way up the fans.

I reckon the most likely source is the transmission oil cooler.

Whats the best way to get at things so I can see if the leak is on the radiator itself, connection or pipe. RAVE implies that you can see straight in once the grill is off but I'm blowed if I can see the source. Be nice if it were just the O ring seal but that is probably way too optimistic. If I do have to change the cooler is it a drain the transmission job or can it be done with minimal oil loss by setting the car nose up so only the cooler contents escape and topping up the transmission afterwards?

If it is the cooler which brand to choose? LR Direct have Britpart £100, Allmakes £150, Land Rover £250 approximately.

On a related note does anyone have a feel for how many of those nylon nut thingies that take the grill fixing screws are used on the P38. Part CZK3264L. I need new ones for the grill but, at 20p each, its awfully tempting to get a decent bunch for stock. All the suppliers say used in various places but give no idea how many or how various. Got a thing about not reusing over age plastic stuff if at all possible. £10 or £20 worth on top of my next parts order is hardly going to break the bank but no point in getting 3 cars worth!


Her ladyship has decided that a Mercedes E350 estate will be her next car and keeps bombarding me with look-at-this bargain on CarGurus E-mails.

As a sanity check I looked at P38 prices. Not many but two seriously optimistic standouts were:-

1998 4.6 Limited Edition (which?) with 54,000 miles on the clock for £12,000 and a fiver change

2002 4.6 Vogue with 24,500 miles on the clock for £20,000 and a fiver change.

!! ???

Makes the up to £10,000 ish Japanese imports seem almost sensible.


Nooging around t'Bay tonight (22/08/2019) I was surprised to find 4, yup Four, Holland and Holland versions up for sale. At prices ranging from OK I guess to pushing it.

Given that there are only 100 around in the UK that sounds a high proportion looking for new owners in a random week.


The big red beast is showing definite "Yank Tank" wallowy ride characteristics. Seems more at rear suspension related than front. I'm pretty sure that it used to be much taunter, by big 4x4 standards anyway, but its hard to evaluate the handling of your own car as one tends to adapt. Doesn't help that the roads round here are terrible for lorry humps and similar vehicle upsetting features running more or less in the direction of travel.

Normally I'd go straight to shock absorbers but new Boge labelled "OEM" units with the correct Land Rover part numbers went on about 15,000 miles ago. Unfortunately I missed putting them in service record spreadsheet so don't know exactly when. When it stops raining I'll verify that there are no leaks but they certainly looked dry on Friday.

Rear Panhard rod got new factory bushes around the same time as the shock absorbers were changed. All the front end bushes, steering assembly bearings et al have been done over the last year except for the front Panhard rod bushes which, according to the MoT man, are in fine fettle but will be done soon anyway as I have new ones. The rear ones were certainly well past their best so the front ones must be showing their age.

I've heard that dying height sensors can give wallow issues. If so what breed to go for. Britcar show genuine Land Rover factory ones at near enough £64 and £67, cheaper than Dunlop or Britpart. Island show Dunlop about £5 cheaper with OEM quality similar prices to what Britcar wants for the factory version. At Britcar prices I'm inclined to go genuine. Obviously if it is likely to be height sensors I'll change the lot. At that age if one is past its best the rest can't be that far behind. if nothing else the arms on the rear ones are looking distinctly manky.

Anything else I should be considering remembering that all the EAS stuff has been done relatively recently. Airbags, compressor rebuild, valve block re-build and so on.



So finally got round to fitting the factory hose from water pump to thermostat on Thursday. Significantly tighter on both thermostat and pump connection stubs than the one from the (allegedly) good quality, but not factory, set I fitted shortly after getting the car. The cable operated spring clip compressor thing worked fine when fitting the new pipe to the thermostat end but couldn't do the deed at the water pump when working from underneath. Probably be OK if working from the top. So the pump end got a Mikalor stainless steel band and bolt type clip. Needed a bit of careful alignment to keep the bolt head clear but went on well in the end and stayed in place whilst ratcheting up the bolt head. Jubilee worm drive types don't stay put and are the very devil to do from underneath!

Test run and top up, no leaks despite encountering the airlock issue for the first time ever. Sixth time unlucky I guess. Still dry all through standing round Friday. Last check at about 9 pm.

Yay! Fixed. I thought. Celebrated too soon.

Wandered out on the paper collection walk this morning and ... territorial marks under the car. Perhaps 1/4 or 1/2 a teaspoons worth. Quick look confirms the joint at the (new) thermostat is slightly wet.

So it seems that it does it overnight. Presumably due to temperature changes but how that would generate enough pressure to produce a leak is beyond me. In retrospect its always had odd days and periods without marking its territory overnight and, so far as I recall, its always been overnight. Never when parked up during the day.

Getting to the point where I'm about ready to abandon my stance against bodges and chuck a tin of sealer jollop in. But which one! I'm sure it had jollop in the cooling system when I bought it but I assumed that was to seal up the sadly bodged water pump gasket. Must have been good stuff as its the only time I've ever been able to see where it settled when sealing gasket. That one was so bad it probably leaked under simple pressure head when the coolant was poured in.


Still chasing the occasional, and sometimes not so occasional, water leak where the hose from the water pump enters the thermostat housing. Only seems to happen during cool down after the car has been parked up for a while. So presumably a pressure build up on the engine side when the stat is closed.

So far its had new hoses, albeit a while back, changed clip from the spring thing to an up-market Mikalor stainless steel band and bolt affair and finally fitted a new OEM thermostat last week just in case it was a minor crack in the plastic housing.

Still drips a teeny bit.

When changing the thermostat housing I did think that the hose was little slacker on the stub than I'd ideally have liked but still within the range of what a clip ought to have tightened up. Seems to me that modern hoses are slacker on the stubs than what they used to be. The hoses I used came as a full set from a reputable supplier so should be OK. Don't recall blue bag packing but may well have been Britpart. I notice that the visible end of the top hose where it goes onto the radiator shows little coolant spots about where the reinforcing cords might be. Something I've not seen before.

Seriously thinking in terms of paying the Green Oval tax and getting a factory hose. At £35 a pop it ought to fit properly but thats a lot of money for a hose. Any suggestions for a cheaper fix. Leak sealer in the coolant or rtv round the stub would probably work but both are bodges.


Has anyone got any experience with the baby "jump start" battery boxes?

Right now specifically interested in using one as a 12V power source for the alarms and anti theft devices on Her Ladyships BMW K1200LT which flatten the bike battery in about 6 weeks - 2 months. Garage in separate block so no power. I figure that she can easily pull something that small and, basically, portable off every week and take it back to her flat to recharge overnight. Presumably when it goes back on again it will top up the main battery whilst looking after the alarms et al. If I find one that works for her I plan to get one to do same job on my P38, which usually needs a top up charge a couple or four times a year if I'm not out and about much.

Problem is deciding on what is a good brand, which capacity specification to believe and whether a separate 12 DC output alongside the jump start one is useful. far as I can see most of the usual suspects quote the capacity for the USB 3.2 / 5V output in milli amp hours to get nice big numbers. Real 12 volt capacity seems to be around 1/3 of those numbers. Say 1 1/2 to 3 amp hours for the under £100 market.


Ready for road test after all brake work and find the steering is very stiff when trying to turn right. Turning left is fine but going right wards feels like there is no power assistance. Is it simply air in the PAS system needing bleeding out or is it more serious.

Quickly lifted it on the jack and checked that everything turns fine both ways with the wheels off the ground. Sat front axle on stands and twirling back and forth with pump running in the hope of shifting any air. Feels slightly heavier going rightwards but hard to tell if thats meaningful. Opening bleed nipple on steering box gives an ooze of oil. Is this right or should it gush!

About the only cause I can think of its that I had the steering well to the right when removing the old drag link. Which was very stubborn and had to be hit to shift it. Not something I like doing but I wanted finish replacing all the steering swivels this year as everything was showing wear. Could be coincidence and steering about to go wrong I suppose.

Saturday shop by motorcycle now!


Well the grand fix the brakes up properly in one hit project has well and truly hit the buffers. All the hexagons on the solid pipe connectors at the rear are severely rusted. Probably not gonna come undone, especially if the same gorilla who overtightened the front ones did the installation. Even if they do come off they certainly aren't going back.

For now flexi pipes and hard pipes are OK so I'll make do with just changing the callipers but something will need to be done in due course. (Which will be after I've got my lift installed for decent working room underneath in an indoor environment.) Looks like the long twin pipes from the booster for my year 2000 car can still be got OEM at about £230 (ouch) but supply of the short ones looks iffy.

Is there a reliable pattern supplier or is it a case of roll your own with Kunifer, flanging tool and a set of screwed unions? I have the tools and enough experience so no issue with DIY if need be. Ready made is easier tho'.

If DIY is the only way to go who does proper Kunifer at a decent price. Last lot I got from a factor was ordinary copper, and too thin at that. Remonstrating with the supplier basically got a shrug "All same stuff innit". Annoying but I didn't get it for brake lines anyway so no great issue. Obviously I want all the fittings in stock before I start so who is a good source for the male screw fittings and are they all same size and threads? Presumably stainless is the best material for the threaded couplings. The short pipes on mine were garage replaced shortly after I got it so only 4 years or so for the hexagons to corrode away. Not good.

About 20 years since I last did a hard pipe replacement DIY style so I'm way out of touch with the market.


Drag link ball joint taper is well and truly stuck in the steering drop link. Even a 12 ton ram operated separator won't budge it! Failed removal always abuses things in greater or lesser degree so, even though it was OK before its now got to be done. Whole link is well rusty and seal on wheel end joint is pretty manky too.

Looks like the only way its coming off will be to take the steering drop link off complete with drag link and get medieval with it in the work shop. If I show it the angle grinder and chop ball off the stem so as to have a straight push with the shop press it ought to go.

$64,000 question is how much of battle is it to get the steering drop link off and back on correctly. Do you need a special puller? Official Land Rover device is "impressive" in both price and appearance. Bearmach sell a fairly weedy looking alternative. I can make something to take a 12 ton ram that should be effective.


Front left flexi let go this morning, fortunately only a mile out so made it home, so time to replace the lot as clearly all same age and none look that wonderful. No bulges tho'. Calipers and all as they are well corroded and chances of getting bleed nipples out are low.

Do the flexi pikes come complete with all sealing washers and banjo bolts? Only Britpart seem to be in stock at usual suppliers, are they OK or should I wait for a (hopefully) better brand name such as Allmakes, Bearmach or Nelson? Factory prices are just silly.

Are any of the lower priced calipers safe to get or should I follow first inclinations and buy OEM from TRW.

Do I change the accumulator on spec whilst I'm at it or leave for now as it still seems OK.