The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse
Gilbertd's Avatar
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The newly acquired P38 is fitted with a set of 19" L322 wheels and, from the shuddering at speed when I drove it home, I strongly suspected that no spigot rings had been fitted. These are needed to keep the wheels central on the hub as the wheel nuts are not conical and the hub centre on the P38 is slightly smaller than that on an L322. I've bought the required rings but if anyone else has fitted them, do the rings fit on the hub centre or in the wheels?

Checking the MoT history on our recently acquired P38, at the bottom of the page I noticed it was shown as having an outstanding safety recall. Thinking I would take it down to the LR main dealer once it was on the road, out of interest I checked mine to find the same thing. Both are '98 4.0 litre cars but when I checked the Ascot (a 96, 4.6HSE), it wasn't shown as having one.

Thinking that if this was something serious enough to warrant a recall, I'd better get it done so went to the LR main dealer yesterday. If nothing else it would be amusing to be booking in a 26 year old car into a main dealer for work to be done. Spoke to the service man who looked it up on his system and it showed my car had safety recall D255 outstanding. However, when he clicked on the link, which should have bought up the document showing what needed doing on the car, it said there was no document attached. Gave him the registration number of the new one and that also has D255 recall outstanding. He was that impressed with the idea of a 26 year old car with over half a million miles on it, he left his marble floored showroom full of brand new cars to come outside and have a look at it. He agrees with me that none of the ones currently in the showroom will last that long and said that they currently have 80 broken down new ones, most of which have been towed in, that are waiting for work to be carried out on them!

Back home I realised that I have the full service history from the LR system for the Ascot so checked that to see if there was any mention of it ever having had recall D255 done to it but there wasn't. So the question is, what is it that should have been done to 2 out of 3 of my cars that hasn't?

The 4.0SE I've just bought is giving an ABS Fault, Traction Failure on the message centre as soon as it is started and before it has moved. Read the codes with the Nanocom and there were lots of them so cleared those hoping I would just be left with the relevant ones. There's not as many as there were but still a lot and not the usual wheel sensor errors. It's a '98 GEMS so has the Wabco C system and the faults are as follows:

Open circuit to normally open ETC valve
Short between valves on outlet demanual valve
Short between valves on normally closed ETC valve
No inductive load on normally closed ETC valve

Anyone got a clue what these are telling me? It looks like I've got to start looking at the ABS system wiring but with the other half or incorrectly done modifications that the car has been subjected to, it wouldn't surprise me if someone has tried fitting a 4 wheel TC modulator without changing the ECU for a Wabco D, so checking that might give a clue as to what is going on.

After a delay of a day I'm finishing off putting my car back together after changing the head gaskets. Noticed that the breather hose on the RH rocker cover to plenum was slightly split (or it was probably weak and split when I pulled it off). Cheap enough from Island 4x4 (https://www.island-4x4.co.uk/rocker-cover-breather-pipe-plenium-llh500090-err5038-p-5924.html) at under £2 but with postage that would probably put it up to nearer a tenner. Figured I may as well get one from LR as I would be able to order it from my local main agent and pick it up the next day, so checked their site. In stock and available, no problem, then I saw the price https://parts.jaguarlandroverclassic.com/llh500090-hose-assembly-breather.html?code=60977 for a 6 inch long pipe?????

As most will have noticed, we've been to visit the other half's parent's in Saulkrasti, Latvia. On the way out we cheated and only drove as far as Lubeck Travemunde in Germany and took a 23 hour ferry crossing to Liepaja in Latvia, but on the way back, there wasn't a convenient ferry so drove all the way. However, there was an event in Liepaja on Saturday that we wanted to go to, so came back via there too. Unfortunately, there's a bit of Russia (Kaliningrad) between Lithuania and Poland so you have to go round that making it a less than direct route. So with going via Liepaja and avoiding the Russian bit meant the route that we took was a bit further than a direct one and included a stop off with my step daughter in Lelystad, Netherlands for a decent nights sleep. The temperature was below freezing and snowing as far as Warsaw and the HEVAC didn't get up as far as 0 degrees C until we were well into Germany, by which time the snow and turned to sleet and then rain. So we knew we were getting closer to England.

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It did mean that a milestone was hit just before the Belgium/France border though......

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The car behaved faultlessly all the time. The highest temperatures we saw all week was -3C and there was 40cm of snow on the ground. Interesting that we were hearing about snow in the UK causing a state of emergency to be declared and roads closed but no such thing there. The snow falls, they send out a snowplough to clear the roads down to about 5cm so you can see where the road is. After that, the traffic clears it if there is enough. So main roads get cleared after a while, more minor roads are left with tyre tracks while side roads are still a couple of inches of hard packed snow that you drive on. With decent winter or all season tyres, it isn't a problem at all and I had to try really hard to get the traction control or ABS to kick in by booting it and then stomping on the brakes.

Over the weekend I drove to the in-laws in Latvia and for the last 150 miles or so the exterior temperature was down to -4C and it was snowing. The snow got on the wipers and a combination of the ambient temperature and wind chill meant my wiper blades turned into a couple of blocks of ice. With the curvature of the windscreen it meant that they were frozen into the shape of the screen so were only clearing a couple of small strips and not even in contact with the screen over most of their length. Before setting off I'd filled the screenwash with neat wash supposedly good for down to -20C but it can't clear the screen if the wipers aren't touching it.

What do people do that live in places where this sort of temperature is common so they can still see where they are going?

On a side note, having seen the news reports of a state of emergency being declared in parts of the UK due to the snow, there's heaps 3 or 4 feet tall either side of the roads here where it has been ploughed but not gritted, you just drive on the remaining snow. I'll also change my review of the Kleber Citilander tyres I fitted last week. I said they were pretty good in snow, they aren't, they are absolutely excellent in snow, I had to try really hard to get the ABS to kick in, it goes where I point it and stops no worse than on a wet road.

Last week I was asked if I would look at a 1999 Vogue that had a permanent SRS light and Airbag Failure showing on the dash. The owner had recently swapped the driver's seat and assumed he had done something wrong but his Nanocom wouldn't connect to the SRS system so he was unable to identify the problem. As the MoT is due shortly and it wouldn't pass with an SRS light on, if it can't be fixed, a local breaker had offered him £500 for the car to break for spares.

I went to have a look at it and first thing was to try my Nano on it and found exactly the same as he had, a Nanocom would connect to every system except the SRS. As that uses a dedicated wire from the ECU to the OBD port, that was the first thing to check. Sockets on the port were spotless. So the next thing to check was continuity between the OBD port and the ECU. As that lives under the rear of the centre console, easier said than done but we got the centre console out and got to the ECU. Identified the wire and found continuity to the OBD port, so not that then. As diagnostics wouldn't connect to the ECU and the SRS light was on permanently, decided it could be a dead ECU. Took it out and took the cover off. Looked perfect inside with no signs of water ingress (difficult considering where it lives) or burning and the ball bearing in a housing that detects impact could be heard rattling around. A quick call to the local breaker (about 12 miles away) who told me there was a car in his yard, a 2000 so it would be the same, with the interior out so he was happy for me to go and help myself to it. Got there to find that although the seats were out, the centre console wasn't so set about removing another one. Got the ECU, went back to the car, fitted it and no different. Nanocom wouldn't connect and SRS light on all the time. Checked the plug for the ECU and didn't find power on any pin, only a 3.8V signal on one wire which I assumed was a data line. As I didn't have my laptop with RAVE with me and the owner of the car had printed workshop and overhaul manuals, but not the ETM, gave up on it.

Went back today with the SRS diagrams printed out as well as the laptop in case I needed to look at any other parts of the ETM. Identified the pin that should have an ignition switched supply to the ECU only to find it was the one with 3.8V on it. It goes via the RH footwell connector so that was the next place to look. Contacts all clean and not corroded and 3.8V on both sides of it on the wire to the SRS ECU. The feed comes directly from fuse 23 in the fusebox, checked that and found 12V on both sides. Lifted the fusebox to check what was coming out of it and while there may be 12V at the fuse, there was only 3.8V on the connection on the bottom. There's actually two separate wires coming out of the fusebox from fuse 23, one to the SRS ECU and one to the SRS circuitry in the instrument cluster. There was continuity between both and both showed 3.8V. Connected a piece of wire to one of them, turned the ignition on and connected that wire to the battery. SRS light went out immediately, Nanocom would connect and all it showed was a historic fault for the drivers seat from when it had been swapped. That said the problem was definitely inside the fusebox. Another call to the local breaker, another 24 mile round trip and came back with two fuseboxes, both from 2000 models and both had been working fine, I was assured.....

Off with the original fusebox, on with the better looking of the replacements, fired it up and everything worked. SRS light went out, no Airbag Fault on the dash and went through all the electrics to confirm we hadn't fixed one problem and put another one on in its place. So fusebox failure isn't always obvious, it doesn't always cause a burning smell but can cause all sorts of odd problems. A new one on me but somewhere to check in case of an SRS warning coupled with no communication with diagnostics.

A couple of years ago I tried to replace the original Boge shocks on my car only to find that fronts were unavailable. I bought a pair of Boge for the rear but, working on the principle they were cheap and not difficult to change, took a gamble on a pair of Britpart on the front. Up until recently they have been OK but must have done around 60k miles (if not more) by now and I noticed a slight 'shimmy' through the steering when crossing joins in the tarmac. Initially thought it was the lower rubbers which looked pretty soggy so replaced those. That improved things but it still wasn't right. Checked the LH front shock and found no damping at all for the first half millimetre or so of movement. New front shocks required. Googled the part number (STC3672) and found Rimmers could supply genuine (which I'm assuming would be Boge) at over £200 each, Island 4x4 and LRDirect could supply multiple different makes but not Boge but a company I had never used before called British Parts UK in Stevenage (www.britishparts.co.uk) showed Boge OE as being in stock. Not only did they claim to have them but they were listed at £28 each, so I ordered a pair.

That was Wednesday evening and DPD delivered a parcel on Friday afternoon. However, when I opened it, I found it contained a pair of Chinese made, Pro branded, front shocks. So I emailed them saying I ordered Boge OE but had been sent the Pro units. Timed at 07.11 on Saturday I received an email apologising, saying that it must have been a mistake in the warehouse and it would be dealt with on Monday. Around 10am on Monday I get a phone call saying they would arrange for DPD to collect the Pro units later that day and they would send me what I had ordered. DPD man duly turns up and collects the pro units on Monday afternoon and today (Tuesday) DPD delivered a box containing a pair of genuine Boge front shocks.

With service like that I have a feeling I may be using British Parts UK again (and it would take me about the same time to drive to them as it does to Rimmers so may well go there if I need something in a hurry too).

Edited to add that their website no longer lists the Boge units, just 'quality aftermarket' which I suspect will be the Pro units......

As most of you know, my GEMS P38 runs on LPG. Unlike the later multipoint systems it has a single point so LPG enters just before the throttle body and the output from a lambda sensor adjusts a stepper motor valve in the LPG feed to keep the mixture correct. Because it doesn't slave off the petrol system, it can run on LPG from stone cold. It is set to change over at 1,100rpm on deceleration which means it starts on petrol, the revs rise initially and as they fall, it changes over and runs on LPG from that moment onwards. I keep some petrol in the tank for starting and in case I run out of LPG. Which I did a couple of days ago. My local Flogas charges 78p per litre and the two other filling stations nearby are £1.05 and £1.09 so I try to avoid them. I ran out of LPG a couple of days ago, so ran on petrol to Flogas but was too late, they had just closed. As I needed to use the car that evening, I bunged £20 of petrol in only to find it runs like a dog!

The idle on LPG is perfectly smooth but on petrol it is lumpy, accelerating up a slip road it could only just hold the same speed rather than accelerating as it would normally so seems down on power, although once I had got it up to cruising speed it felt normal. As I stopped at a roundabout, it stumbled and died but restarted without problem. The lumpiness clears once the revs are up to 1,000 rpm or so, so it is primarily an idle problem. As idle is controlled by the idle air valve, I gave that a clean (but thinking about it, that is still used when on LPG where there isn't a problem) and the petrol filter was replaced about 10k miles ago (I bought it when I first got the car 13 years and almost 300k miles ago and found it in the garage recently so decided to change it as I could). There is a separate 0-1V lambda sensor in the right bank exhaust downpipe solely used to drive the LPG system so the only part of the petrol injection system used by the LPG install is the throttle position sensor and that is only used to shut off the LPG on the overrun.

When running on LPG the petrol injectors are switched off but the fuel pump stays on and just circulates the fuel back to the tank. On petrol the RH bank lambda sensor switches as it should but the LH bank one stays pinned at 5V suggesting a lean mixture, yet the exhaust smells rich. Which means the only thing left would appear to be the injectors. My theory is that one of the LH bank injectors is partially clogged so the exhaust on that bank is showing as lean, the ECU is richening the mixture (Nanocom shows short term fuel trim on that bank pinned at +38.5%) but not all are getting their full quota of fuel so some cylinders are running lean while others are running rich. Hence me thinking the injectors could do with a clean. So the question is, has anyone used an injector cleaner, which one and did it make a noticeable difference? Or do I need to strip the injectors off and clean them for the rare occasion I actually run on petrol?

I assume you all know what these are and what they do, but for those that don't, they plug into the RF receiver under the RH rear shelf and prevent stray RF from constantly waking the BeCM and flattening your battery. Marty has been working away for quite a while and some of the components he needed to build them were NLA so they haven't been available for quite a while. Well, the good news is, he has sourced the required components and has a limited number available now. They can be ordered through his website (http://p38webshop.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=84&product_id=97) until the 20 or so he has are gone. So if you want one, get in quick.

One or two of you have met my daughter Steph and I suspect, as most of us seem to be getting on a bit, we all know of someone that has suffered a stroke. My daughters mother-in-law, Hazel, was retired but drove to a stable every day to look after and ride her horse. A couple of days before Christmas, she left the stable to go home and had a stroke while driving along a narrow fenland road. The car went off the road, took out two telegraph poles came to a stop in a ditch and she had to be cut out of her Toyota Yaris by the fire brigade.

Steph wanted to do something and, having inherited her father's sense of adventure and lunacy she's doing a freefall parachute jump to raise funds for the Stroke Association. This isn't one of these tandem jumps where someone is attached to an experienced sky diver, she'll be taken up to 13,000 feet, shoved out of the plane but will have a pair of instructors with her, but not attached, just in case she forgets to pull the ripcord when the time comes. So, if anyone feels inclined to bung in a quid or two, how to do it is here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jump-for-hazel.

Thanks, I'll be there with still and video cameras to prove she actually did it......

Further to Dave’s comment in this thread https://rangerovers.pub/topic/3016-ac-leak-test-at-home?page=2#pid38452, I’ve had a bit of time on my hands today. The car is ready and loaded up so I’ve spent the time waiting for Dina to finish work so we can set off before driving to Spain to write this.

I would like to think that at least some of you understand how the AC system in your car works, but in case you don’t, a little explanation. Everything has 3 states, solid, liquid and gas, the only thing that differs is the temperature that they change from one to another. Water, as we all should know, has a boiling point of 100C, the temperature where it changes state from liquid to gas (and 0C when it changes state again from liquid to solid, aka ice). However, if it is under pressure, the boiling point increases. That is why your cooling system has a pressure cap and the increase in pressure means it doesn’t boil (change from liquid to gas) until around 120C. That is why, as long as you don’t have a leak anywhere, your cooling system can run at 105-110C without boiling. In the same way, if you run on LPG you fill your tank with a liquid (Propane in this case) at around 10bar (145psi) so it remains a liquid but, as Propane has a boiling point of -44C, as soon as it is no longer under pressure, it becomes a gas.

So, what does this have to do with AC? Because it uses this to move heat from one place to another. It is filled with R134a gas, Tetrafluoroethane (CF3CH2F) with a boiling point at atmospheric pressure of -26.1C. Your system also has what are termed a low side and a high side signified by the pressure in the system. Starting at the low side, the system is full of a gas at a pressure of around 2.6 bar when operating. That gas passes through a compressor which raises the pressure to around 10.3 bar (at the High side) at which point it is fed to the condenser (the one in front of the radiator, the one that leaks with monotonous regularity) where, it condenses and becomes a liquid. That generates heat which is dissipated by the airflow though the condenser. This liquid then passes through a small orifice where it vaporises as the pressure drops on the other side of the orifice and goes through the evaporator (see how the names of the various components start to make more sense now?). At this point it gets very cold (although strictly speaking, in thermodynamics there is no such thing as cold, only a lack of heat, so the correct terminology is that it ‘draws heat’, something it took me ages to get my head around when I did the FGas course) in the evaporator, air is blown through it and that is the nice cool breeze you should get out of your vents. At that point the cycle starts again as the gas gets to the compressor to be compressed and turned back into a liquid. This is just the same as a Calor gas bottle getting condensation or even ice forming on the outside if you have your barbecue/patio heater/ blowtorch running flat out for a while. The liquid in the bottle is vaporising so is getting cold (sorry, drawing heat).

OK, so that is an automotive AC system and a domestic AC system works in exactly the same way. You have the compressor and condenser in a box outside your house (along with a load of control electronics). That is linked by two copper pipes (liquid and gas) to the indoor unit. These come in a variety of forms but the most common ones are the wall unit, the rectangular box on the wall up near ceiling height, or the ceiling cassette, the square units set into the ceiling that (usually) have 4 outlets blowing the cold air out in different directions. There’s multiple different designs but they all work in the same way. The big difference between a domestic system and that in your car is that they are reversible. The flow of the refrigerant can be reversed so the condenser becomes the evaporator and vice versa. That way, when the flow is reversed, the indoor unit gets hot and the outdoor unit gets cold. That way they can provide heating as well as cooling. Different units differ in how they achieve this, with some of the cheap Chinese made systems you have to manually set them for heating or cooling. The better systems, like the Fujitsu units I prefer and install, have an Auto setting. You put it on Auto, set the temperature and it reverses the flow as and when it is required. That way you can set 21C and no matter if the ambient is -5C or 30C (or higher as it has been recently in some areas), it will automatically maintain an indoor temperature of 21C.

On a decent quality system working correctly, with an ambient temperature of 25C when set for maximum cooling, the air coming out of the indoor unit will be down to 2-3C. When set for maximum heating, it will achieve 55-60C. If the ambient is cooler, this will be a bit lower but the Fujitsu systems will still provide 50C down to an outdoor temperature of -15C. This is spread around the room by a fan so is much the same as using an electric fan heater. The big difference is that it can achieve the equivalent of 3kW of heating (or cooling) while only drawing sufficient electrical energy to power the compressor, which will normally be around 600W, making it a cheap way of heating a room. Multiply that by the number of rooms in your house and it adds up to a considerable saving. The outdoor units can supply a single indoor unit or up to 8 but the install does get pretty complex…….

That brings us on to air source heat pumps (or ground source heat pumps for that matter, they work exactly the same). They are configured just the same as an AC system when using it for indoor heat as they aren’t reversible. The difference being that instead of giving a source of heat which then has air blown over it to distribute the heat throughout the room, a heat exchanger is used so that heat is used to heat water which is then sent around the existing pipework to your radiators.

This is where the problems start. First of all you have in inherent loss in the heat exchanger dropping the water temperature down to around 50C, many of the more modern houses have 10mm microbore pipework, perfectly adequate when the water is being pumped around from a gas boiler at around 70 degrees but too restrictive for water at a lower volume and 20 degrees cooler. Then a radiator will have been specified for the size of the room. Radiators tend to be specified in Btu’s (British Thermal Units), as are many AC units. You take the volume of the room in cubic feet, multiply by 5 and that gives the size of the unit or radiator you need in Btu. So an average living room or bedroom of 5m x 4m with conventional ceiling height is 16.4 ft x 13ft x 8ft, giving a volume of 1,705 cubic feet. Multiply by 5 gives 8,528 so I would install a 9,000 Btu AC unit. Radiators are also rated in Btu but that figure assumes they are fed with water at 70C and at the sort of flow rate achieved by a central heating pump. As the water from a heat pump is cooler and the flow is lower, in virtually all cases larger radiators (and often pipework) need to be installed. This is why people are having to spend in excess of £20k for an installation only to complain that the house isn’t as warm as it was with a conventional gas boiler. Radiators aren’t that efficient anyway, as all you have is a hot spot in one place in the room and the heat is spread mostly by convection with a little by radiation. That’s why it is recommended that the insulation properties are improved, to keep what feeble amount of heat you have from escaping.

Is it cheaper to run though? No not really. Let’s take the average 2 storey, 3 bedroom house. You’d be looking at a footprint of roughly 30ft square, so that is 900 square feet per floor so 1,800 square feet floor area. With 8ft ceiling height, that means you need around 72,000 Btu in total heating capacity or 28kW equivalent. OK, so AC units and air source heat pumps are pretty efficient so won’t be drawing that amount of power, but they will still draw in the region of 6kW as there’s one serious compressor in there (anything over a conventional house system will need a 3 phase supply). At today’s average electricity costs of around 30p per kWh, that’s £1.80 for every hour it is on. Not that cheap compared to a gas boiler, even at today’s prices, without taking into account the purchase price and the modifications needed to what you already have.

The only time a heat pump system will work adequately is if you have underfloor heating (and walking on a floor at 50C is a little more comfortable than one at 70C!). Although even then I have installed an AC unit into a house with underfloor heating fed by a heat pump as it would kick in as soon as the temperature dropped but if, after a couple of days the sun came out, it would switch off again. The owner of the house wanted AC to fill in the gap between the weather getting cold and the underfloor heating starting to work properly and also to give him the benefit of cooling in summer.

The irony of the whole thing is that you can get a Government grant of up to £5k to install a heat pump and they have a lower VAT rating too reducing the cost to buy and install. Although as they are so damn expensive in the first place there’s still a considerable outlay, particularly when you consider you can replace an existing gas boiler with a more efficient, modern one, for a couple of grand. But, even though it works in the same way and is probably better in many cases, you can’t get a grant for AC (and the systems are still rated at 20% VAT) as it gives you cooling as well as heating, so you are getting a bonus which the Government won’t pay for.

Personally I think Hydrogen fuelled boilers are the way to go but technology moves a lot faster than Governments so when they first made their recommendations that we should all be going for heat pumps, Hydrogen fuelled boilers weren’t around. Much like how they advocate we should a be driving battery electric cars when hydrogen fuel cell powered ones , or even a near conventional internal combustion engine running on Hydrogen, seem a much more viable, and ecologically friendly, option.

Got sent a link to these and thought they were worth sharing.


Rather than allowing this discussion to get lost in a totally unrelated thread, I thought I'd move it to it's own dedicated thread. Some forum software allows posts to be moved to a new thread but if it can be done on this one, I can't see how, hence the multiple quotes.

Gilbertd wrote:

I've been using P&O for years and have a season ticket (fixed, cheap price, irrespective of time of year, school holidays, etc) with 3 return Dover-Calais crossings left on it. In the last year or so they have removed the restaurants so you could no longer get a proper meal on the crossing and other things that suggested they were cutting costs. Going over to Paris in the morning and was going to call them to book it against my season ticket when the news broke. They are advising people with a P&O booking to go to the DFDS check in so figured that would be booked solid and almost certainly delayed so I checked the price with Irish Ferries who have been running a Dover-Calais service since last year and have booked with them. Cheaper than DFDS and only slightly more than my pre-paid season ticket would have been but shouldn't be any problems. P&O are saying they will be back up and running in 7-10 days but I very much doubt it, I suspect they are dead and gone and even if they aren't, they will be very soon. If I can get a refund on the unused crossings on my season ticket, I'll just use that to buy a DFDS season ticket or an Irish ferries one (if they do one). I too won't be using P&O ever again either.

Lpgc wrote:

It's a bit alarming to hear about P&O, I don't know all the ins and outs but on first consideration it doesn't seem legal re UK employment law what they're doing. I also see this as likely the end of P&O. Not that it's really relevant or an important factor but I have to wonder if this could also have minor impact on my business, because if people wonder about being able to get their LPG converted vehicle abroad in future (and since they can't take their LPG vehicles through the Chunnel) there's the possibility a minority of customers could be put off LPG conversion.

BrianH wrote:

The ferries generally aren't a problem - Stenna Line say nothing about LPG and I've used them multiple times, Irish Ferries or DFDS (one of them can't remember which) Just say something about it needing to be shut off when on the ferry (Can't remember exact wording, but it didn't seem like they wanted you to manually operate the shutoff on the tank, and not something they could easily check). The impression I got at the time was that if the gas was shut off when the ignition was off then this was good enough (so the electronic valve would do this).

May be different on the routes to Europe rather than Ireland, but it didn't seem to be a problem. Might have changed in the last few years as its been a while since I've been out that way.

I can't see P&O surviving this, it seems a desperation measure as they would be forced to try and compete on price to attract any custom. Seems odd they removed the restaurants as my experience of them is theres very little to actually do on the ferry whilst your crossing and it seems an easy money maker. Though I guess a 90 minute crossing is a bit different to a 4 or 8 hour one to Ireland depending where your going from/to.

nigelbb wrote:

All the ferry companies are OK with LPG conversions. It's only the channel tunnel that won't take them as they aren't licensed to take them. Apparently as LPG wasn't a big thing when they were designing the tunnel they didn't get carrying LPG powered vehicles signed off as safe & now it's too much hassle & expense for them to get it done. Maybe after the P&O debacle they might open to some lobbying. If we travel Dover->Calais we always use the tunnel as it's so much simpler & a little quicker never mind nicer during winter weather. Our place is in Brittany so we always prefer to use Brittany Ferries especially the Portsmouth->Saint-Malo route. It's a 12 hour overnight trip but you get a good night's sleep & then it's under 1.5 hours drive to our cottage whereas if we go via Calais it's a six hour drive.

I too will never use P&O & agree that they will go out of business They have misjudged the outrage their actions have caused

As most of you know I regularly use the Dover-Calais route (only got back in the early hours of this morning) and for a number of years I have been using P&O season tickets which were good value. You buy a block of crossings, 3 returns, 5 returns, etc at a fixed price, so the price is the same irrespective of whether it is school holidays, bank holidays, etc which would normally push the price up. It is also fully flexible so you get on the next crossing irrespective of what crossing you are actually booked on. I've often been asked why I don't use the tunnel as it is quicker but, ignoring for the moment the fact that I'm running on LPG and they don't allow LPG powered vehicles, while the actual crossing time may be quicker, overall there isn't a lot to choose. Loading takes longer, unloading takes much longer and apart from anything else, it is boring sitting in your car, in a train, in a tunnel with nothing to look at for the crossing time. My other, and main reason, is that while the tunnel may be better if you are just nipping over to Calais for a booze cruise, if you've got any distance to drive once the other side of the Channel, you're going to have to stop for food at some point. So why not use the ferry where you can sit in a restaurant, browse the duty free shop, sit down and relax in one of the lounges (unless there's half a dozen coachloads of schoolkids on a school trip) and generally relax out of the car? There was nothing better than a P&O full English to set you up for the drive ahead of you.

The P&O ferries used to have the Food Court, a cafeteria style restaurant with a choice of 4 or 5 meals in the afternoon and evening or various breakfast options in the mornings, and the Brasserie, a waitress service, a la carte restaurant that, while a bit more expensive, was excellent. With the Covid restrictions on travel, changes were made over a period due to the much lower level of tourist traffic. When restrictions started to be relaxed around September 2020, the Brasserie was closed and rather than having the food pre-cooked in the Food Court, it would be cooked to order. By August 2021, the Food Court was closed but tourist passengers were allowed to use the Routemasters restaurant that normally would only be open for freight drivers. Food was, if anything, better quality and cheaper than the Food Court (full English and a mug of coffee for a fiver). By December last year, the Brasserie had been removed and the Food Court renamed the Food Market with a choice of pre-packed sandwiches or, the only hot options, a soggy panini or probably the worst pizza I have ever had. Non freight passengers were no longer allowed to use the Routemasters either, so no proper food. They had however, opened the Club Lounge (taking the space that used to be occupied by the Brasserie), an extra cost option but with unlimited food and drink. Tried it in January and while it was very nice and comfortable, with help yourself tea, coffee, beer, spirits, etc the only hot food options were a bacon roll or the aforementioned panini or pizza. This despite the kitchen that had formerly been used by the Brasserie was still there, just not being used. When I spoke to the staff, they didn't think it a good idea at all and while there weren't too many tourists travelling at the time, once restrictions were lifted then things should return to normal. Although I was told that the staff that used to run the restaurants had already been made redundant so reinstating things wouldn't be as simple as just opening up the doors.

It seems obvious to me that the Dubai based owners don't understand how the ferries work. Yes, probably all operators have been running at a loss while they have had to rely on the freight traffic but give it another couple of weeks and tourist traffic will almost certainly return to the previous levels. The other operators, DFDS and Irish Ferries, who took over the Dover-Calais route in June last year after Sea France stopped running on the route (although they never really got started from what I could see), will now reap the benefits of P&O disappearing as I very much doubt they will be back. Even if they do come back in 7-10 days as they are saying, I suspect hardly anyone will risk using them in the future. If anyone is prepared to risk P&O they will only do it once after they discover they can no longer get something to eat and have to resort to French motorway services instead. Driving into the port at Calais last night, the overhead signs simply said "P&O, No Departures", not what you want to see if you've been away for a few days and not been keeping up with the news,

I had intended using one of the 3 remaining crossings on my season ticket to go over yesterday but the announcement came before I had called them to confirm the crossing times. DFDS are taking passengers that had booked with P&O so I figured they might be busy and, as I had a pretty tight schedule, couldn't afford any delays. Irish Ferries were about £30 cheaper than DFDS too so gave them a try. The ship, the Isle of Inishmore, was more luxurious than any of the P&O ships, all the restaurants were working (and busy), the only downside being the crossings aren't as regular as the others due to them only having 2 ships doing the crossing. Just got to see if I can get a refund on the unused crossings on my P&O season ticket now......

All the 4s.....

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There was mention of this really helpful quirk of the EAS diagnostic system in another thread recently (this one https://rangerovers.pub/topic/2698-dead-eas?page=1) but I think I might have found what is means.

I've been on the other side of the Channel (again) and just put another 2,000 miles on the clock. Arrived at my mate's house on Saturday and was leaving Sunday morning. As I was towing, the EAS was locked in Motorway as I normally keep it, but his 'driveway' needed a bit more clearance so turned inhibit off and poked the rocker to put it to Standard height. Up she came and I set off, only to notice the EAS light on the dash had come on and it was at High. Thinking I might have poked the rocker twice, I sent it back to Standard and carried on. About a mile later, the dash light comes on again and it rises to High, poke the rocker again and drop it down to Standard. By this time I'm trying to remember where the spare rocker I have somewhere might be as it looks like mine is showing it's age. Then, just as I was going through a toll booth, it does it again. As I'm travelling slowly, I ignore it for a minute and that was when it gives me the beeps, 35MPH MAX and drops me to the bumpstops. Pulled over, got the Nano out, checked the fault and there it was, Invalid Fault Code. Cleared the fault, everything went back to normal and I carried on, leaving the Nano plugged in so I could clear it while driving if it did it again. Which it didn't.

Then I drove through the sort of rain I have only ever found in France. Hammering it down, motorway traffic down to 40 mph, wipers on high speed, road surface with about 2 inches of standing water, spray everywhere. That cleared and I carried on for another half hour or so when again, it decided it was going to go to High without being told to (was locked in Motorway at the time too). Cleared the fault, carried on only for it to do it again a couple of minutes later, dropping me to the bumpstops again too. Cleared the fault (Invalid Fault Code again) and, just like the previous time, it didn't do it again.

Then I started pondering it and realised it had only done it after torrential rain. The previous afternoon, on my way to my mate's house, I'd driven through this......

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Which had subsequently turned to rain as I'd dropped down off the mountains. The car had then stood overnight and had started doing it as soon as I'd started it up for the journey home. Having the heater on to keep me warm may well have dried out any moisture that had managed to find it's way into the car. Then it had done it again after driving through more heavy rain. We all know that the multiway plug behind the RH kick panel can corrode and cause silly problems, but the wiring between the EAS ECU under the drivers seat and the rocker switch, runs through a near identical one behind the LH kick panel. I bypassed the RH one years ago but had never even looked at the LH one. So, having got home a few hours ago, I just have. I suspect Invalid Fault Code is caused by corrosion in the plug on the LH side as this is what I have found.

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Pins and sockets look good, not rotted away completely like some I've seen, and should clean up easily enough, so that is a job for the morning but I'll put a bit of silicone grease in there to protect them from any moisture in the future. It seems to be dry in there but I don't believe in coincidences and the green isn't going to help at all. As Bolt discovered some time ago, the rocker isn't just a switch, it has some electronics in there too so I'm thinking a high resistance connection between different pins would be enough to make the ECU think the rocker had been pressed. If it sees signals that suggest the rocker is being pressed up and down simultaneously, that may well be what triggers the fault.

We all know how expensive door latches are and how much grief they can cause, but it seems that if you have a GEMS with a dodgy drivers door latch, there's another option (as Marty is still away and not able to supply refurbed ones). Some may be aware that the MG TF uses the same latches as the GEMS P38, the only difference being that they have 6 + 2 way plugs rather than the 6 + 1 on the P38. Not a problem though as you only need to use the black wire in the 2 way connector and ignore the extra grey one that the MG latch has. However, while Rimmers have huge stocks of latches for LHD cars at ridiculously cheap prices (probably because there's not that many LHD MGs in the UK), latches for RHD MGs are around the same price as latches for RHD P38s. Every supplier seems to want £200 or thereabouts plus the VAT. All except one it seems, how about this https://www.ukmgparts.com/product/mgf-mgf14-exterior-bodyshell-panels/door-lock-rh-mgf-tf-rhd-fqj102262pma. There are two part numbers for the MG latch, the other one is FJQ000080PMA which you don't want as it is for the basic MG without central locking so doesn't have the microswitches we need.

If you have a Thor the plug is different. It uses a single 8 way plug but the latches are the same as on the GEMS so if you need one and don't mind getting involved in a bit of soldering and swapping the plug over, the MG one will work in a Thor too.

Nigelbb is a new member here after being rescued from the other side but has a 2001 4.6 Vogue which he's had for some time. It's been 'maintained' by a local to him LR specialist but he was asking about an engine rebuild as it had been pressurising the cooling system. His specialist had dealt with that by adding 3, yes that's right 3, bottles of Steel Seal. Although the car ran fine (other than a knackered cam follower so it sounds a bit tappety) after driving it for a long distance and then letting it idle for 15 minutes while waiting to get on a ferry, it got a bit hotter than it should. He had taken the header tank cap off and lost quite a bit of coolant as that was forced out due to the pressure but after letting it cool a bit and topping it up, it had been fine for his journey home. I had previously asked him to check if it was combustion gases by running the car until hot, then leaving it to cool down and see the state of the hoses then. If they got hard when running but went soft again when the engine had cooled down, that meant the pressure was down to thermal expansion of the coolant, if the hoses remained hard then extra pressure was getting in there from somewhere else, most likely combustion gases. Once cold there was no pressure any longer so simply thermal expansion.

He also had an intermittent fault with the EAS but EASUnlock simply gave him a page full of errors that wouldn't clear. I went to have a look at it and we found the hoses were getting rock hard when the engine was running but my Nanocom wouldn't connect and his EASUnlock wasn't getting good idle. Thinking the OBD port could be corroded dropped the panel to find it wasn't corrosion but the pins were loose in the socket so were being pushed out as soon as you plugged anything in. Having got diagnostics to connect, found a few things that weren't as they should be. To start with, after idling for 20 minutes, it was running at a steady 107 degrees C. Now with a pressurised system that could be considered OK but there's no headroom left in case it gets too hot and the hoses were rock hard too. While it was sitting there idling, the EAS was randomly rising and falling so had a look at that too. The settings were all over the place. It looked like someone had programmed it with a bunch of random numbers, best of all was that the Motorway heights were actually higher than Standard, so rather than drop at speed it had been raising! Then I looked at the drivers side footwell and the stains from leaking coolant could clearly be seen.

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Seems like a set of heater core O rings are required.

Then turned our attention to the high running temperature and with the aid of an infra red thermometer worked out that it looked like the radiator could well be clogged. Which, after 3 bottles of Steel Seal isn't really surprising. So it was arranged that Nigel would get a new radiator and an OBD port and drop the car off with me for a couple of days while he was working not far from my house. I ordered a pair of genuine LR heater core O rings and once it was at my house (and Nigel had driven off in the Ascot so he could still get to work), work commenced.

Figured the first job should be the OBD port so one that had been ordered from eBay was duly fitted. It was actually better quality than the original with plastic shields that pushed in to stop the pins from backing out as had happened on the original one. Then I moved to the other side to start on the heater core O rings. The carpet was absolutely sodden

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so I put an old cloth over the carpet to try to soak some of it up (and to stop me getting soaked in OAT when leaning on it) and set about removing the panels. It soon became pretty obvious that somebody had been in there before, the holes in the side panels to give access to the ducting screws and the cut ducting poorly sealed with masking tape were the immediate giveaways. The small stalactites of, what seems to be a mixture of OAT and Steel Seal, were interesting.

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The joint between heater matrix and pipes clearly showed where the leak was.....

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The screw came out easier than I had anticipated and the O rings were removed. One was split but the interesting thing was that they were obviously not genuine, or not even aftermarket, heater core O rings as they seemed to be being dissolved by the OAT and were also thinner than the new ones I had to put in. The black on my fingers is from the O rings themselves.

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So whoever had been in there before had obviously fitted some generic O rings that just weren't fit for the job. Cleaned everything up and fitted the new O rings. Before putting it all back together I started the engine to run it and make sure they no longer leaked. As soon as the engine was started, there was a leak. Not a big one but a steady drip, drip, drip. Slackened the screw off to see if giving the pipes a wiggle would reseat them and stop the leak but as soon as the screw was even slightly slackened, I got a jet of coolant sprayed out showing pressure in the cooling system. As I had topped up the coolant as soon as the new O rings were in I knew there was no pressure in the system and it had been running for less than 30 seconds so not even remotely warm but where was the pressure coming from? Switched it off and checked to find a solid top hose and pressure in the system. Figured that the system was so clogged with something, probably the Steel Seal, that the pressure was coming from the water pump trying to circulate it.

Decided to leave the O rings for the time being and move on to fitting the new radiator. That didn't put up too much of a fight but what was surprising was how heavy it was compared to the next one. It must have weighed at least twice as much and not only did it appear to be clogged internally, not a lot of air would have been flowing through it either......

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New radiator was fitted and the system refilled with nice new OAT. Made sure there was no air left in the system and started it up. Still had a drip every couple of seconds from the heater but ignored that for the time being and concentrated on the pressurisation and temperature. After 30 minutes of running at idle the temperature was sitting at a steady 99 degrees, still higher than I would like to see, but as soon as the revs were raised it immediately dropped down to 94 degrees, far more acceptable. What was more pleasing was that although the hoses were hard due to thermal expansion, they were nowhere near as previously and after turning the engine off and slackening the header tank cap, there was only a small amount of pressure in there. So the pressure was almost certainly been the water pump trying to force the coolant through a clogged radiator. Went back to the O rings, tried reseating the pipes but still couldn't stop the drip. Dried everything off so I could see exactly were it was leaking from only to find it was coming from a tiny crack in the matrix body just behind the screw. Whoever had been there before had overtightened the screw and cracked the heater casing. Bugger......

Nigel was due to collect the car the following afternoon so next morning I leapt into mine and drove to Rimmer Bros, a one hour each way journey. Well it would be one hour each way if Lincolnshire County Council hadn't decided to dig up at least 20% of the roads I wanted to drive on. Got there, picked up a new heater matrix and headed home. Attempted to fit it and despite having seen various people say it can be done without taking the dash out, it may be that it can be but you do at least have to remove the steering column and, as Nigel was there by then, we decide to bypass it for the time being and have the dash out at a later date.

We got my blocks out and recalibrated the EAS, the settings were miles out, and it sat nice and level and would at least drop at speed now. Nigel reported that on his drive home it behaved perfectly and no longer does a little dance every so often while standing still so that was a success.

I have a theory on the sequence of events that had led up to the specialist's conclusion that it had a leaking liner. The heater matrix, or O rings or both, were leaking so allowing air into the cooling system. That meant there was an airlock in there which would expand far more than coolant so cause pressure in the system when it got hot. That fact that this pressure dissipated when the engine had cooled down again would seem to confirm that. Quite why they thought they had cured the problem with 3 bottles of Steel Seal when, if anything, it had made it worse, I have no idea. The overheat when he was waiting for the ferry would have been a combination of the high running temperature, the almost fully clogged radiator restricting coolant flow and the crud clogging the outside of the radiator meaning that there wasn't a lot of air managing to get through it either. I suspect that the still higher than I would like to see running temperature may be down to the Steel Seal restricting flow elsewhere, possibly the thermostat, so when it comes back for the new heater matrix to be fitted, I'll drain the cooling system completely and reverse flush it which should get rid of any remaining gloop that could be clogging anything else. Should be a fun way of spending a couple of days.....

I followed another P38 today a couple of cars in front of me, S plate but with amber indicators making it a late 98. Got up behind it and as I overtook it, looked at the badge on the tailgate and saw it was a Vogue 50. New one on me, I know of the 50th Anniversary and the Vogue and Vogue SE but not a Vogue 50. Bumpers were body colour but the paint was that sort of green that looks like it could be blue under different light that I think they used on the Holland and Holland. Have I just found a really rare limited edition?

Been out for a few hours, came back and saw we'd been hit by a spammer who had somehow got through the protection. Started deleting the spam posts only to see the number of them was going up not down. Looked at the spammers profile to see that he had posted 71 posts which rose to 76 while I was looking at it. By the time I'd clicked the Ban Member button, he was up to 78! At 3 mouse clicks to delete spam, it's normally fairly simple but when there's 78 to get rid of......