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Dec 30 2015
12 August 2018 - 19:55

I mentioned in the Are We Froze thread that I'd noticed my rear discs were looking a bit odd so had them off today and fitted a set of Delphi discs and pads.. Having checked my order history with LR Direct, the discs I took off were Allmakes brand ones bought in April 2017. So they've been on there for 16 months and have covered around 30,000 miles. What i don't know is what pads I fitted when I put them in but they haven't fared well. All pads were worn down evenly and by the same amount, none were sticking in the carrier and the pins were sliding nicely. Nothing appeared to be wrong with anything except for the appearance of the discs.

The offside one had marks looking like it had been sitting for weeks with the pads in one place, score marks and felt rough to the touch. Both inner and outer faces of the disc were the same.

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While the nearside one appeared scored everywhere and felt rough to touch yet the inside face was clean and looking as you would expect a fairly new disc to look.

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I'm thinking either the Allmakes discs aren't good quality or aren't compatible with the pads I've used. In saying that I would have thought if the pads are too hard, they would wear the discs but they would still stay smooth? Anyone else come across anything similar?

23 May 2018 - 21:49

So how do I get a wheel off? Been out this evening to fit a nice new, or rebuilt anyway, rear diff from that nice Mr Ashcroft. Simple enough job, rear axle on axle stands, rear wheels off, rear prop disconnected from the diff and tied up out of the way, hubs pulled out far enough to disengage from the diff, undo the bolts, pull old diff out and slot new one in. However, when I went to take the rear wheels off, the nearside one came straight off but the offside one is seized solid to the hub. Got the diff changed by undoing the bolts on the hub from underneath and pulled the hub clear with wheel still attached. Now it's all back together I figured I should really get the wheel off and clean up the centre hub spigot just in case I need to change the wheel at the roadside. All wheels were last off just before Christmas when the new tyres were fitted so, even though I've done about 12,000 miles since then, I would have expected them to all come off easily enough. It's not like they've been on there welding themselves on for years.

Currently it's sitting outside with a couple of blocks of wood, a jack and a length of steel tube between the two rear wheels in the hope that constant pressure will force it of but I'm not holding my breath. I want to take it out and listen to a rear diff that doesn't whine on the overrun and throw oil all over the underside of the car from the front seal but I'd rather get the wheel off, cleaned up and put back on first. Any advice?

03 November 2018 - 16:55

Mate bought me his car over the other evening. Despite running fine it sounds more like a traction engine than a V8. He's had it for just over a year and it has always had a slight noise but recently it has been getting worse. He's already replaced the exhaust manifold gaskets thinking it was blowing from the head to manifold joint but that made no difference. I was starting to suspect a head gasket blowing out of the side of the block. See what you think..... https://youtu.be/dKEqPY5rX7A

30 December 2015 - 14:47

There is nothing on a P38 that can't be mended in one way or another but you do need some instruction and there's a lot of it about. You may have heard of RAVE which was the Land Rover workshop manual but it hasn't been updated since 2005. But, as the P38 ceased production in 2002, who cares.

RAVE can be downloaded from http://rangerovers.pub/static/rave.zip but it might take a while as it's a pretty big file. To run it, simply double click the rave-lr.pdf file and you're in.

There's also an online version that can be found at http://workshop-manuals.com/landrover/p38/range_rover_workshop_manual_volume_1/

The full parts manual can be found at http://new.lrcat.com/

and if you can't figure out exactly what the problem is, there's quite a few decent guides to the common faults that can be found at http://www.rangerovers.net/newrremedies.html although it is a little out of date now with some of the advice as it hasn't been updated since the original site was taken over by a Canadian company who allow it to be run by the main reason this forum has been created.

There's also a few archived articles of use that SpiggyTopes (Peter) has uploaded to Google drive that can be found here https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B4azhgT5UI-QWW9TQlhUWE9FWUE&usp=sharing

07 February 2016 - 18:05

A couple of months ago my car developed what sounded like a whining diff. As I had replaced the rear not that many months previously it couldn't be that so I assumed it was from the front. There was a bit of up and down slop on the input and oil that did resemble metalflake paint so I figured that had to be it. Marty fitted new top and bottom ball joints to a spare front axle he had, I went to his workshop and we fitted that. On the way home it did seem to be much better and the front end felt much more precise so the ball joints had done the job. Over the last few weeks though, the whine still seemed to be there. I wasn't sure if it was me being hyper sensitive to it and do remember my missus once saying that it sounded like a bus and had almost come to the conclusion that it had always been there. The noise always seemed to be coming from the centre of the car. I'd changed the transfer case anyway and that hadn't made any difference so I was starting to suspect something in the gearbox. But dropping it into neutral didn't cause the noise to change and running it through the gears with the transfer box in neutral and it wasn't there.

Yesterday I decided to convince myself once and for all so crawled underneath and dropped the rear propshaft off. Took it for a run down the road and realised that it is most definitely the rear diff. What a difference with no drive through it, near silent just as I remember it! No noticale slop in it at all but something definitely isn't right inside. However, I did come very close to a major disaster. I got home, went to refit the propshaft and found the parking brake drum had almost fallen off. The countersunk screw that holds it in was on the last turn of it's thread and another half mile or so and the drum would have fallen off and shot out from under the car doing who knows what damage on it's way out to freedom. So if you are going to try running with no rear propshaft, make sure you put at least one of the nuts onto a stud to hold it in place.

A visit to Avenger 4x4 to pick up a replacement rear diff would seem to be my first call tomorrow. Unlike the front, the rear is a piece of piss to change......

13 October 2016 - 13:25

From a discussion going on over on the dark side where some daft Yank had an air spring come apart so lubed the rubber bit to put it back together and then wondered why it kept coming apart again. Durr, they aren't normally lubed that's why. However, it moved onto the advice about not jacking the car on the chassis rails but only on the axles. Now I can see how it could be thought that this will pull an air spring apart and it probably would if it had no air in it at all, but if it is inflated it'll only extend as far as the shocks will allow it to so no different to dropping a wheel into a pothole or driving over some very rough ground. A tyre place I use has a guy that used to own a P38 and he always insists that the EAS is put on high so there is maximum pressure in the springs before jacking on the chassis. I appreciate that if a car is sitting on the bumpstops with no air in the springs, jacking it on the chassis could well cause the springs to come apart but there should never be a problem if they have air in them.

But why have I posted this advice here and not over there? After my ban, for which I am still awaiting an explanation, I registered another username giving the very briefest of information about me and using a completely different email address. I posted in one thread and my post appeared, only to disappear a few minutes later and since then I've posted a couple more times and the posts have never appeared. Looks like they may have sussed that it's me. Being logged in means I don't get half a screen of adverts though and I have found that I can send PMs.....

Anyway, we get a much better class of discussion on here.

13 July 2016 - 08:35

In anticipation of 5,000 miles in the next 2 months and the forthcoming respray and general tidy up of my car, I've decided to do the odd little niggly job that I've thought about for a long time. Things that work but had an outside chance of needing attention at the side of the road if I was unlucky. One of these was the hoses to and from the throttle body heater. On the GEMS, and I suspect the Thor is much the same, there's a short pipe that runs from the inlet manifold to the heater and another long one that goes from the heater back to the coolant reservoir. When I had it all in bits rebuilding the engine, these needed a bit of attention. The short pipe had split and been shortened at some point and was only just long enough and the long one is a hard plastic pipe with hose on each end so it could fit onto the heater and reservoir. The hard plastic had gone brittle so cracked when I moved it and the hoses on the ends were looking a bit dodgy too. Unable to find any 8mm inside diameter coolant hose, I'd used fuel hose and had a couple of joins in the hard plastic bit too. It worked but I recently found that fuel hose isn't ideal. From previous experience I knew that you can't put fuel through coolant hose as it dissolves it but figured the other way round would be OK. It isn't. It isn't intended for the sort of temperatures so goes very hard and inflexible. Originally I thought about replacing the hard plastic with 8mm copper microbore pipe but would still need some 8mm inside diameter coolant hose for the ends. So why not replace the lot with one run of hose and avoid any joins? Finding something suitable wasn't easy but I ended up buying a length of this stuff http://www.autosiliconehoses.com/silicone-hose-shop/performance-silicone-hoses/silicone-1-ply-radiator-heater-hose-up-to-30-metres.html. 8mm inside diameter silicon coolant hose.

The short run from the inlet manifold was no problem at all, it's nice and flexible and pushed over the flared ends of the metal stubs at both ends easily. Initially I ran the longer one by the same route as the hard plastic so it ran along the front of the engine under the big metal thing that holds the wiring loom away from the serpentine belt, but it is so flexible that there was a danger that it could move forward and touch the back of the belt. So I re-routed it to run under the back of the alternator. A nice straight run and not in danger of being caught in any moving parts. 10mm I/D hose could also be used to replace the breather pipe from the top of the radiator, the one that seemed to be different on every car we checked at the summer camp. It's not cheap but seems to be good stuff and was delivered next day.

Next job is the headlining followed by the respray.......

14 December 2016 - 17:42

As well as shifting cars around Europe this weekend I took the opportunity to give my mate a hand in getting his EAS working. He's only just got the car and when he sent me a few pictures of it when he got it, I could easily spot why the EAS switch did nothing and the suspension didn't drop at speed despite the previous owner having spent a fortune on it. The biggest clue was in this picture

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Errm, that's not original.....

As well, there were signs that somebody had been in there from the fact that the valve block appeared to be complete but there was a reason why the pump wouldn't run, it was disconnected

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Although the pump looked OK, I suspect it had been replaced as the lid of the EAS box suggested that it had got a little bit warm at some time in the past

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I pointed him in the right direction and he got a rebuild kit for the pump and a set of O rings to rebuild the valve block and did those. So, in theory, all I had to do when I got there was connect everything up and maybe clear the odd fault or two with the Nanocom or the RSW EASUnlock software (as the cable and an old laptop live in the car anyway). The dash was showing EAS Manual when he first started it up so that said the jumpers had been fitted in the EAS ECU plug.

Fairly simple you might think but in anticipation of any possible problems I removed the valve block and compressor from my SE and bunged them in the boot just in case. We started off by getting rid of the Schrader valves and putting the pipes back where they belonged in the valve block. We then turned our attention to the electrical side of the system. Fitted the delay relay which he'd found in the glovebox, removed about 3 feet of insulating tape from the plug for the EAS ECU, checked to see if it had any jumpers in there (which it hadn't) and plugged it back into the ECU. Then removed the EAS bypass harness fitted to the BeCM (the expensive alternative to a pair of jumpers at the EAS ECU plug), refitted relay 20 which had been removed and figured that it might work. Started the engine and nothing. No lights on the display, pump not running, zilch. Pulled the display and rocker switch out of the dash and found that had also been disconnected, so plugged that in. At least that now lit up but the pump still didn't run. Use the Nanocom to force it to run and it did. Checked and found that not only had the pump needed a new piston and sleeve, a replacement reed valve he'd had to make from an old feeler gauge fitting (as the original one was split) but it seemed the thermal switch was open circuit too. Fitted the pump from the boot of my car.

Now it ran, it sounded a bit noisy but it was generating air, so much air that after a couple of minutes there was a pop and the sound of air hissing out. The collet on the large pipe just beneath the exhaust silencer had obviously fallen out so the pipe had popped out. Pulled the collet from the valve block in the boot of my car. Left it running with doors open for about 10 minutes then closed the doors to see if it would lift. It all appeared to be doing the right things, no fault messages, bottom light on with the standard height light flashing. That's about all it did though, the suspension was still doing nothing. Seems that although the pump was running, it wasn't filling the tank for some reason. Maybe a problem inside the valve block, maybe he'd mucked something up when fitting the O ring kit, we didn't know, but it didn't work. So, pull it out and fit the one from my boot. So now it has my pump and valve block in it. Fired it up again, pump runs, left it for a while and slowly it started to lift up off it's knees. It bloody works! A squirt of the soapy water showed leaks from just about every one of the multiple connectors in the air lines but I keep some of those (along with a length of pipe and a set of Schrader valves) in my emergency get me home if something goes horribly wrong kit in the boot. Swapped the cheapo pipe connectors for decent quality ones and no more leaks, or at least none of any immediate concern, those that were left were at the valve block where a couple of the pipes went in and they were cured by trimming a couple of mm off the end of the pipe so the O rings sat at a different place and not in a groove in the pipe. It was all working although appeared to be sitting a bit high. Admittedly it wasn't on flat ground so we took it down the road to a nice new, flat car park to put it next to mine and measure the heights at each setting. Spot on, no tweaking of heights needed. The only thing we hadn't checked was if it lowered to motorway height at 50 mph but that would need a run down to the Autoroute, even 50 kph is pushing it on the mountain roads around where he lives.

The pump still seemed noisy though. It could be heard easily inside the car whereas on mine the only way I can tell if it is running is by opening the bonnet and putting my hand on the box lid. I've also heard other people say they can hear their pump running too. We had another look at it and compared it with mine. The pump sits on 3 rubber mountings with a washer above and below them. These washers are dished and they were on upside down. The bottom ones need to go with the concave side downwards and the top ones with the concave side upwards. With them like that the engine was fired up and to see if the pump was running I had to put my hand on it to feel the vibration, it was completely silent.

A pretty good half days work in all, even if we did end up having to use the valve block and compressor from my SE which I now have to replace. All that was left was to get it running properly on LPG but that is a whole different story.......

01 May 2017 - 16:37

A couple of weeks ago I noticed the nearside rear brake backplate looked a bit damp. The rear discs didn't look brilliant and I knew it was getting close to needing pads on the back too so ordered a couple of rear discs and an axle oil seal (I already had the pads). Finally found time to do it today. I somehow doubt my nearside rear brake was doing much......

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At least everything came undone easily enough though, unlike the other side which hasn't been doused in axle oil. One of the caliper slider pins was seized solid but rather than trying to twist it out and shearing it off as I have done in the past, I decided to get a bit more technical. I drilled a 5mm hole in the caliper carrier behind the pin and tapped it with an M6 thread. Then I filled it with Plus Gas and left it to soak for a while. Screwed an M6 bolt into my tapped hole and it pushed the pin out easily. Once I'd cleaned everything up, I just cut the bolt down and screwed it into my hole to stop any crud getting in there.

14 June 2017 - 20:11

Been ABS season in France for the last few days. First one was the car belonging to my mate in the South who noticed that the ABS pump was cutting in every time he touched the brake pedal. Assuming, as most of us would, the accumulator on it's way to meet it's maker, he ordered one from Island and fitted it. No difference. maybe air in the power circuit, so flushed through the entire system and bled the brakes. Braking improved no end but the pump was still cutting in every time the brakes were applied. In fact, if he left the car with the ignition on, the pump would cut in for a few seconds every 30 seconds or so without the pedal being touched. Then noticed that when the car was left, the fluid level would rise in the reservoir and drop back down as soon as the pump cut in. So the pressure was somehow dropping and the fluid stored in the accumulator was flowing back into the reservoir. Assumed that there must be a leaking non-return valve in the pump that was allowing the fluid to flow back but before ordering a replacement pump, did a test. Disconnected the hose from the reservoir to the pump and put a length of hose with a funnel on the end on the pump. Poured fluid in, turned on ignition, pump ran and the level dropped. Touched the brake pedal and the level dropped a bit more, the pump cut in but the level didn't rise after leaving it, instead it started filling the reservoir. So the modulator had an internal leak, presumably between the power circuit and the hydrostatic circuit. He ordered a replacement modulator block and took the old one off. This is what he found after he had removed the reservoir.....

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Best demonstration of why you should change your brake fluid regularly. I know it absorbs water but wouldn't have thought it would absorb enough to make the internals go rusty. He's now fitted a replacement modulator and the brakes are better than they have ever been since he has owned the car.

The second one nearly caused me grief. Went over to sort out a problem or two on mymisteri's car. I'd already replaced the door latch with one with working microswitches, replaced the drivers window regulator with one with a full set of teeth, replaced the leaking heater O rings and reconnected the heater hoses. Only then did I take it out for a test drive to find ABS and Traction faults and the most evil sounding rear wheel bearing I've ever heard. So, went back yesterday armed with a rear hub assembly complete with driveshaft and ABS sensor. Fitted that, along with a pair of tailgate struts so it didn't drop onto your head when opened and a working remote receiver to replace the dead one so the keyfobs worked. Then took it out for a test and found no noise from the wheel bearing but still had ABS and Tractions faults. Plugged in the Nano and, after a couple of attempts, managed to get it to connect to the Wabco D ECU (1999 car so has the 4 wheel traction control). On my previous visit I couldn't get it to connect but had assumed that the dodgy wheel bearing would almost certainly have damaged or at least moved the ABS sensor. I found that the Nano would only connect with the ignition in position 2 but with the engine not running. Once connected I could start the engine and it stayed connected but there was no way it would connect if the engine was already running. There were no stored faults, the sensor voltages were the same, driving it slowly and the speed displayed on each wheel sensor matched, so all seemed fine. Except that it still had ABS fault on the dash and the ABS warning lamp didn't go out as it should. Tried checking the speed sensors again and noticed that although they were all showing the same speed at 5kph, the right front sensor seemed slower to react than the others. Gave it a tap, saw it move, tried it again and everything was fine. Job done but what I don't understand is why there weren't any stored faults. If I hadn't been driving across an empty car park, I would never have noticed that the one sensor was reacting slower than the others and the problem would still have been a mystery.

16 May 2017 - 10:37

On my way back from the Loire valley yesterday we called in and gave a forum members car the once over just outside of Paris. The car, belonging to mymysteri has been the source of much grief to the owner and that, combined with being ripped off by a couple of French Range Rover 'specialists' meant she (yes the owner is a she, something I didn't know until I met her!) was on the verge of getting rid of the car. It's got the odd little niggle but they are causing all sorts of problems. The key switch in the drivers door (LHD car so LH door) doesn't work so the fob won't sync and the EKA can't be entered (Nano to the rescue here), the central locking isn't working (presumably due to the lack of sync) the front passenger (RH) door is superlocked which means the tailgate can't be opened (but hopefully that will sort itself out when the door latch is replaced and it can be synced) and the EAS pump is very tired so takes ages to build enough pressure to get the car to rise from it's bumpstops.

However, the things that I noticed first upon opening the bonnet was a) there's an awful lot of spare room under the bonnet of a LHD diesel and b) there were no pipes attached to the heater matrix. As she'd already been charged an arm and a leg by the aforementioned 'specialist' to sort out the non-functioning heater, she was not best impressed. It looked so neat I couldn't immediately see how it was supposed to be connected. Referring to the picture below, there was a metal pipe coming upwards from behind the engine (presumably the one marked as 1) with a curved hose that connected to what I now know is the heater return (marked as 2) so assume that a join has been put in the return hose. If there any chance someone with a diesel can get a photo of the heater pipe arrangement so I can be sure how it should be connected?

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I strongly suspect that in addition to the above faults it will also need heater O rings as that is likely to be the only reason why it was disconnected in the first place. It's looking like I will be nipping over there for a couple of days in the next few weeks to get it all sorted and working as it should. The BeCM has already been to Marty to be reset (although it did seem to have a mind of it's own and thought it had a manual GEMS rather than an automatic diesel) but I suspect the vast majority of the problems were down to the door latch rather than anything more serious.

06 May 2017 - 09:37

Curiosity really, but what dictates how quickly a gearbox drops the clutch so to speak? In the last few days I've driven 4 different P38s and have noticed a difference when pulling away from a standstill. On mine and OldShep's car when you pull away the revs go up to about 1,800rpm and the torque converter then makes the car accelerate while the revs stay constant. A bit like giving it some throttle and slipping the clutch on a manual. On the SE and one that a mate has just bought that he bought over to me to give the once over, the torque converter seems to lock up immediately and the revs go up as the car accelerates, more like dumping the clutch and booting the throttle on a manual.

I initially thought it would be down to mileage and a bit of wear but mine is on what I assume to be the original gearbox and has done 329,000, while OldShep's car only has 104,000 on the clock. The SE has 134,000 and the one my mate has just bought has 173,000 so that theory would appear to be out of the window. What dictates the speed the TC locks up at in the lower gears then? Is it the fluid, the fluid pressure, the torque converter itself or is it something more subtle like the output signal from the TPS maybe?

31 August 2017 - 06:54

When I went for the MoT last year the rubber boots on both ends of the track rod were perished and falling to bits. Rather than mess around I just got the complete Lemforder track rod kit so track rod with a ball joint on one end, track rod end and adjuster and fitted that. Took the car in for this years MoT yesterday expecting all to be fine and it failed on track rod ball joint boot split. Now my local factors stocks random sized boots for a quid each so I shot straight down there and picked one up. Split the taper and took the split boot off and found the ball joint itself was perfect and still had the original grease in it but the boot was falling to pieces. It doesn't look to be made of rubber either, more like a sort of rubbery plastic (vinyl?). Whatever it was made off, it doesn't last like old fashioned rubber does. It may not perish but it splits instead but I would have expected it to last longer than 12 months (admittedly that's 23,000 miles). So if you've fitted Lemforder expecting to fit and forget, think again.

22 April 2018 - 17:33

Been playing with the SE as the weather was nice, I've run out of things to do on mine and having got the engine running nicely without peeing fuel out of the injector seals and the passenger central locking working again, I decided to check the current drain. The battery on it is completely FUBAR'ed and doesn't want to take or hold a charge so I just hang jump leads on it and use my spare battery to power it. The battery was a decent one when I put it on so aren't sure why it has now died but hung my meter on it to check the current drain. Closed everything and locked the car, current drawn was 900mA, after 30 seconds it dropped to 600mA and after 2 minutes when the BeCM went to sleep, it dropped to 100mA and stayed there. Left it for over half an hour and it was still drawing 100mA. So what is dissipating 1.2W permanently? Further investigation required but it seems to be too low for anything meaningful but high enough to drain the battery when left for a long time. Draining the battery to completely flat and leaving it like that is probably what killed it in the first place too.

And yes, I did disconnect the battery on it and was checking from my external battery only. Didn't to start with then realised I was measuring the current my decent battery was trying to put into the duff one as well as what the car was drawing.

16 July 2018 - 20:50

We moved house over the weekend and spent our first night in the new place on Saturday. Sunday morning got in the car, turned the ignition on and the Message Centre came up with, Alarm Triggered, Ignition Tamper. Never seen that one before but didn't think too much about it. Got into it this evening and it came up with the same message. As I've not heard the alarm for quite some time checked it earlier by locking the car with one window open then pulling up the sill button and opening the door. Sounder is definitely working and I think I would have heard it as the car was parked under the bedroom window which was wide open (humping furniture on the hottest weekend since records began is not a fun game). Owners handbook says that Ignition Tamper is caused by "turning the starter switch on was the cause of the alarm system triggering". To me this means that the starter operating on it's own would cause this and according to some on RR.net, the starter operating when it feels like it is a sign of a failing fusebox. Fusebox was changed for a brand new one about a year ago, so unlikely to be that and I think I would have heard the starter turning the engine over. Anyone else ever come across this one? I'll wait and see if it gives me the same message in the morning.......

14 June 2016 - 19:59

Been outside playing with the car this evening, mainly giving the LPG system a tweak. Decided to take it for a quick blast down the road with the laptop on the passenger seat so I could see what the LPG system was doing. It had been idling for a while so was up to temperature and I dropped it into reverse still at idle. Slowly reversed about 2 feet and the engine cut out. Tried to restart it and nothing. Then noticed the check engine light wasn't coming on and the LPG switch wasn't lighting up. Tried the EKA code, no different. Tried the Nanocom and it said everything was fine. Started using a bit of logic and figured that the LPG switch would be getting an ignition switched supply so no check engine light and no starter either could be down to a lack of ignition switched electric somewhere. Fuse 26 was blown. Put in a new 20A fuse, check engine light came on, LPG switch lit up, starter turned and the engine fired up. Into reverse, managed about 10 feet this time and it cut out again. Fuse 26 blown. Another 20A fuse put in, reversed out of the driveway, into drive and set off for test drive (with a box of spare fuses on the passenger seat). Drove about a mile and a half to my local test road (a bit that used to be the southbound carriageway of the A1 but now doesn't go anywhere). Tried it in normal, floored it in Sport and confirmed that the LPG system was working spot on and keeping the mixture correct no matter how much I tried to make it work (foot to the floor in Sport and it didn't change up into top until I hit 85mph!). Got to the end of the road, went to turn round and managed no more than 10 feet in reverse and it cut out again. Fuse 26 had blown.

Now Fuse 26 supplies ignition switched volts to the engine ECU (which would explain the lack of a check engine light), the ignition coils and the lambda sensor heaters. As far as I can see from the diagram, putting it into reverse would have no affect on the current draw on fuse 26. So why the hell does it blow when I put it into reverse and not when It's idling or going forwards? When reversing out of the driveway, I don't even give it any throttle, just let it creep back at idle so it isn't likely to be a torque reaction when reversing causing something to short out, so what the hell is it?

11 December 2018 - 21:36

Now I know it usually gets a bad rap and is blamed for everything from the neighbours budgie dying downwards, but it seems the BeCM is actually a pretty clever little beastie. Last weekend I had to tow this to just north of Toulouse

enter image description here

Not only is it 9 feet tall and 6 feet wide, so acts as a braking parachute in a headwind, it was also well loaded so almost at it's maximum weight of 3.5 Tonnes. The weekend coincided with Storm Diana hitting the south of England and most of France too which meant two things, the channel crossing was going to be rough and once the other side I'd have a hell of a headwind. Also the route includes some pretty serious hills both up and down. So, rather than risk being rammed up the back by an empty artic who may not realise the speed differential while I was slogging up a hill in the dark, I put a magnetic 55W halogen amber beacon on one side of the trailer. The trailer has a junction box near the back where all the wiring connects so it was easy enough to connect the beacon to one of the sidelight circuits in there.

About 20 miles from Dover, I get a beep from the dash and the message centre comes up with RH Tail Light Bulb Blown but a few minutes later I notice that the LH side marker lights and beacon had gone out on the trailer. Switched the lights off and back on again and everything came back on. Seems that the extra load of the beacon on one sidelight circuit had been seen, eventually, by the BeCM as a short circuit bulb which would only happen if the bulb had blown so it had switched that circuit off to prevent the possibility of further damage in lieu of there being a fuse in the sidelight circuit. When I next stopped I ran a wire from the beacon to the ignition switched supply in the boot but it did prove that the trailer lights were wired back to front so the LH and RH circuits were crossed I was more impressed with the way the BeCM cuts power to a circuit it detects a problem on, so not so dumb as many seem to think it is.

Incidentally, I took the picture in my avatar on the way back but what was most interesting was the difference between the run there, against the wind with the trailer and coming back with the wind behind me and no trailer. Trip out, average speed 43 mph at 12mpg, coming back, average speed 67mph at 17.2mpg. Seems aerodynamics, or a lack of them, make a hell of a difference......

27 October 2018 - 07:30

As some may know, the P38 door latches, you know, the ones with the microswitches that fail and lock you out, are the same as the MG TF. Rimmers have a one day sale on ex-factory stock of MG TF parts which includes brand new door latches at £24 for the RH and £36 for the LH. I've just ordered a RH one as a spare before posting this so none of you lot get in and clear out their stock. See https://rimmerbros.com/ItemList--MGF-Body-Fittings-Sale--m-19112?src=MGF18

12 September 2017 - 17:25

Some of you may remember that I noticed that EKA was set as Disabled in the BeCM on the Ascot. It didn't seem to be a problem but now it is. As you probably realised, I've been away and it hasn't been touched for 10 days. I was pleased to see that the EAS appears to be working fine as it hadn't settled at all in that time.

However, went to move it today and the doors didn't unlock on the fob, none of them. Opened it with the key in the hole and only the drivers door unlocked. Found that the battery was completely flat. I mean totally, zilch volts. Connected jump leads and noticed the hazards flashing. As the sounder has been disconnected, that meant the alarm was going off. Closed the door, manually locked it and unlocked it again and the hazards stopped so I'd turned the alarm off. Tried to start it and the dash said Engine Disabled, Press Remote. Now the remote isn't doing anything as the flat battery has caused it to lose sync. I can't re-sync it as it won't do that while the engine is immobilised.

So, grabbing all the paperwork for it, thrash off down to local friendly main dealer and get the printout showing the EKA code (so I at least now know which of the 5 different 4 digit numbers handwritten on the various bits of paper is the EKA code). Back home, try the EKA and it does nothing. But as EKA is disabled in the BeCM, that's probably why. Out with the Nanocom and plug that in. Go into the BeCM settings and get "Error, Unable to communicate with the ECU". Clean the contacts on the OBD connector, still the same. Check RAVE and find that the BeCM uses the same pins as the engine ECU, ABS ECU and HEVAC. Try them and find I can connect to all 3 (although the HEVAC did put up a bit of a fight) but still can't connect to the BeCM. Tried it the usual way with ignition off, tried it with ignition on, rebooted the Nano umpteen times but it still won't connect.

So, anyone got any ideas? I've got a car that has lost sync (no check engine light) so it either needs the remote button pressing but as the remote has lost sync, that won't do anything, or the EKA entering but as EKA has been disabled in the BeCM I need to connect to the BeCM to enable it before it can be entered.

09 January 2016 - 22:00

My wife works away for a week at a time and he car doesn't get used during the week. Last week she came to come home and the battery was flat so the AA had to be called out. So I treated her car to a new battery and found the old one was dated 11/04 so it hadn't done bad. I also decided to treat mine to a new one too. It hasn't given any problems but it is 5 years old and as the one on the SE was completely knackered I figured I could put the old one on that.

Went out today to swap the battery but didn't want to disconnect the power. I don't mind setting the windows but retuning the radio with allk the FM and DAB stations as well as setting the 9 band graphic for each input takes forever. So a couple of bits of wire with croc clips and the battery I'd just taken off the missus's car could power it while I changed the main battery. I connected the positive to the big stud inside the fusebox so had the lid off. While there I noticed something that didn't look quite right. At some time someone (probably me actually) had fitted a cheap generic relay in the RL7 position.

I think it had got a bit warm......

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