The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse.
Gilbertd's Avatar
4709 posts
Dec 30 2015
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?

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

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......

05 March 2020 - 21:16

Going over to France next weekend to investigate a couple of problems with a 99 DSE. Main one is horrendous battery drain, like it can take a fully charged Hankook MF31-1000 down to completely flat overnight. Once the battery is charged it works fine. The only thing I can think that would cause battery drain that serious (without the car bursting into flames) is a short circuit diode in the alternator. As they are 3 phase it will still charge but will drain very rapidly when not charging. Now getting hold of a replacement alternator in France isn't going to be that easy and will probably cost twice what one will cost over here. Buying one here to take over and then finding it isn't the alternator, seems a waste of money too. If anyone has a spare I can borrow for the weekend if it proves that the one on the car is faulty I'll swap them over, bring the old one back and get it reconditioned to return to whoever can lend me one.

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......

enter image description here

25 September 2019 - 23:16

We all know that the ultimate battery for the p38 is the ginormous Hankook MF31-1000 (the one that just fits in the hole) but the last time anyone checked, they were being shown as no longer available. Well thankfully, now the weather is about to get colder and batteries are going to start to show their age, they are back. https://www.batterymegastore.co.uk/hankook-mf31-1000.html

30 December 2015 - 22:38

Wasn't sure if this went here or in the oily bits section but as it uses 'lectric and doesn't contain anything that can leak, this seemed most appropriate. For a while now my every time I hit a bump while turning left, I would get a beep, beep, beep and Bonnet Open would come up on the dash. The RH bonnet catch, the one with the switch in it, would sometimes stick too. After a bit of bouncing around on some lumpy stuff, it got worse and it was beeping at me whenever I turned a corner or hit a bump. Adjusted it so it opened and closed perfectly. Only problem now was that it was telling me the bonnet was open all the time. So I had a look at it.

Just under the slidey bit that latches under the pin, there's a bit of plastic. I poked it with a screwdriver and found it slides in and out and with it pushed in I could hear a microswitch switching. So I pulled the latch out to have a look. The bit of plastic is the end of a nylon carrier with a microswitch fitted to it. As it is pushed back by the pin the switch plunger hits a bit of metal sticking up from the latch body (or so it appeared). No problem, just put a bit of heatshrink sleeving over it to make it fatter and take up the wear. No, that's going to involve gong into the garage, finding a bit of heatshrink of the correct size, trying to shrink it with a fag lighter in a howling gale and it's just starting to rain. No, bend the bit of metal so it's closer to the switch so it doesn't have to move as far and it will all be good. Try to bend it with pliers but it won't move, it is a couple of mm thick after all. Get a pair of small Mole grips on it, give it a heave and it snaps off. It's not bent mild steel as it looked by the light of an LED torch, it's bloody Mazac! So, I've left it disconnected at the moment so it thinks the bonnet is always shut but at over 50 quid a go for a new one, I think the replacement is going to come from a breaker.

14 August 2016 - 17:51

In anticipation of 5,000 miles in the next 3 weeks and the respray (which isn't going to happen until after the 5,000 miles now), I've been doing the odd little job on the car this weekend. As well as the obvious service things, I've been doing something I normally never do, cosmetics. I've painted the front grille so it's no longer a milky grey from the UV exposure. In fact, I've painted it twice as the first time I bought dark grey bumper paint but it looked more like a shitty brown to me so I've done it black. Did the strips under the headlights too and I must admit it looks damn good.

As those that were at the summer camp will have noticed, one of my front foglights was doing a passable impersonation of a goldfish bowl. So I took it out. Now one piece of advice. If you have a front foglight full of water, do not open the back of it while laying under the car. It makes your Tee shirt very wet and your head hurts from hitting it on the front anti roll bar as you try to leap out of the way. Found out why it was filling with water as it had a big crack on the top so any water thrown up from the front wheel would lay on top of it and drip into the lamp. Anyway, after emptying the water out, I had a bit of a problem. There were multiple tide marks showing the different levels the water had got to at various times on the inside of the lens. It appears that they install the bulb holder and reflector before fitting the glass and that is bonded in place so didn't look like it was going to come off. Or not in one piece anyway.

Dina had gone shopping and a quick check in the kitchen revealed that the dishwasher was half full. So the foglight went in there positioned so the jets of water and cleaning stuff would go into the opening on the back. Switched it on and went back outside to continue my tinkering. Dina came home from shopping and thanked me for putting the dishwasher on even though it wasn't full.

After about an hour a voice from the from door was heard to say, "Richard, what was this doing in the dish washer?" The dishwasher had beeped to say it had finished so she'd opened it to empty it...... I told her that Orangebean, Mark, the guy in the dodgy shorts with no seats in his car at the Summer Camp, had suggested a dishwasher was ideal for washing engine parts and I figured it should be pretty good for foglights too. It was, it did a damn good job too. Sealed the crack with a dollop of silicon and the jobs a good un as they say.

enter image description here

Bugger, I can edit a post but not the typo in the title, Doh!

06 January 2017 - 15:36

I need a PRC7618, which is the Clarion PU9836A, to go in the P38 my mate in France recently acquired. It's a '98 HSE with the amps in the doors so he needs the correct stereo to feed these. They can be recognised by looking on the back and it has two DIN style rectangular sockets, an 8 way and a 10 way. Ideally it needs to be a worker and with the security code if at all possible but not absolutely necessary. When he got the car it had a dead aftermarket head unit in it and he's trying to return it to standard. I know a few people have fitted tablets and I thought Marty might have one he's taken out but he hasn't and the only ones on eBay are listed as spares or repair (which usually means they are completely dead and no use to anyone).

I'm flying down next Friday (13th, yes I know, booking a flight for Friday the 13th may not be such a good idea) so am trying to get one before then so I can bung it in my hand luggage.

20 May 2017 - 11:04

Inspired by a question asked on the other side by someone who is now registered on here too and by the lack of bass on my system. OK, so I've got the original LR speakers rather than the HK ones but need to swap the 6.5" woofers in all 4 doors at the very least. I've got an aftermarket Kenwood DSP head unit driving the original speakers. Well, nearly original as I changed my basic spec door panels for ones from a higher spec car and found that as well as the wood on the outside, they had a pair of HK midrange speakers still bolted to them. So I've got bog standard woofers and tweeters but HK midrange at the moment. A professional sound engineer spent a good 2 hours while we were driving through Holland playing with the settings and got it as good as it can get but the woofers are decidedly lacking in the bass department (and there's no sub). As I've got OldShep's 2001 Vogue here with a working HK DSP system in it, I bunged a CD in the changer expecting amazing sound quality. No matter how I fiddle with the settings, it's good but nothing like as good as I expected it to be. In fact, it's not that much better than what I have. Maybe I've been spoilt recently with listening to the Bose system in an Audio RS7 and the Naim system in a Bentley but I don't see why it shouldn't be possible to at least get close.

So, I need to change the speakers. They need to be 4 Ohm, with as low a frequency response as I can find and not stupidly expensive. I'll probably need to add crossovers too. Most 6.5" speakers are 2 and 3 way coaxial but that isn't needed and so far I've narrowed it down to http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2x-Skytec-6-5-Hi-Fi-Polypropylene-PP-Mid-Woofer-Bass-Speaker-Driver-Cone-200W-/182455996924 (nice low frequency response but 8 Ohm so no idea how they would interact with the HK mid-range and standard tweeters I've got in there and I've never heard of Skytec), these http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/JBL-300W-TOTAL-2WAY-6-5-INCH-16-5cm-CAR-DOOR-2WAY-COMPONENT-SPEAKERS-TWEETERS-/190885731881 (A name everyone has heard of, 4 Ohm but frequency response only down to 50Hz although they do come with a pair of tweeters, which I don't need, and a pair of crossovers but are described as mid-range) or these http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bass-Face-6-5-Inch-16-5cm-165mm-800w-Mid-Bass-Drivers-Car-Door-Sub-Speakers/351990186243 (which seem to meet the spec but are just for the speakers so crossovers would need to be bought separately). My head unit also has an output for a sub so I will probably add one of them too.

Anyone tried any of these or got any other suggestions?

08 October 2017 - 18:48

Taxed the Ascot so I can run around in it to see if there's anything that still needs doing to finish it off and to see what packs up. Dina got in and realised she seemed to be sitting a bit high and it turns out that the passenger electric seat was stuck at the highest position at the rear and wouldn't go down. The front would go up and down but lowering it just succeeded in her sliding forward on the shiny cleaned leather. So spent the morning getting that working. Then turned my attention to a bit of testing on the HEVAC.

I've replaced one blend motor and given the other two a good clean out, check and re-grease and they are all working fine but..... It's been about 15 degrees so setting the temperature to 20 should result in hot air but it doesn't. To get hot air, the temperature has to be turned up to 26. If I poke the Program button the air comes out at maximum temperature so it isn't like the heater matrix is just cold, Nano shows it to be 65-70 degrees. Nano shows the two temperature motors to be giving a feedback figure of 83% when set at 20 degrees and rises as the temperature is turned up. Checked mine and got a figure of 70% when set at 20 degrees. Figured that the interior temperature sensor may be reading high so the HEVAC isn't giving hot air as it doesn't think it needs any but Nano shows that to be correct. Blasting the interior sensor with brake cleaner and the reported temperature dropped to -1 degree and the blend motors opened up and gave me hot air from the vents. But once the temperature sensor reported 10 degrees or higher, the output went cold again.

So it's doing everything it should, it's regulating the temperature it just needs to be told to keep the car hotter than it should. Both blowers are working, both pollen filters are new and a decent amount of air comes out of the vents, it's just the temperature is lower than it should be. I've even used the Nano to calibrate the blend motors and that made no difference. No book symbol on the display either. Any clues anyone?

09 May 2018 - 08:24

Seen yesterday on an L405.......

enter image description here

05 July 2018 - 09:25

Opened my bonnet last night to find that it isn't only my tyres that are covered in Billing dust, so is everything under the bonnet! Can any of you detailing freaks tell me how to clean it off? I've got a pressure washer but am a bit concerned about spraying water around under the bonnet. Obviously I wouldn't spray on the ignition coils but what about everywhere else? What bits should I avoid?

enter image description here

30 August 2016 - 14:24

Just refreshed my connection to RangeRovers.net and got this. I've only sent an invite to Mikeinfrance recently but it looks like someone may be reading PMs too.

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26 March 2018 - 15:12

Having been supplied with a replacement one way valve for the rear screen washer by Clive, fitting that and adjusting the nozzle so it sprayed onto the rear window and not the ground behind the car, I was able to say that absolutely everything worked as it should on my car. After 5 days of this almost unheard of state, the book symbol came up on the HEVAC. Nanocom reported a compressor clutch fault and setting the HEVAC to Lo on both sides and noting that the compressor clutch didn't engage I concluded that there was indeed a fault that didn't have an obscure description. Did a bit of checking and found that the reason it wasn't engaging was no continuity through the trinary switch. Reason for that was that it has no refrigerant pressure in it.....

I did notice that although the AC was working last summer, it seemed a bit feeble so it looks like I now need to get it re-gassed. Although the reason for it losing pressure could be down to a minor leak somewhere (it was last gassed about 2 summers ago) so I think this is going to get a bit more involved. Then, to add insult to injury, last night I switched the lights on, the dash beeped and the message centre came up with RH sidelight failed. So from no faults I've got two in the space of two days!

20 November 2017 - 20:38

Having spent the last few weeks on the Ascot, doing everything I would do to it if I was to keep it myself, I finished the final job yesterday. That was removing, soldering and heat shrinking the connections in the footwells that used to go through the pretty green and hairy multiway connectors. At that point, other than waiting for the original stereo to come back from being refurbed at Clarion, as far as I was concerned I'd finished the mechanical and electrical work (just need to persuade BPSM to take a trip down to deal with the cosmetics now) and it was spot on. Everything, and I mean everything, now works exactly as it should.

But ideally, it needed a bit of a test. Daughter's Toyota MR2 has recently developed an evil wailing from the RH rear wheel bearing but a press is needed to remove the old one and press the new one in. Not too much of a problem as a mate has a workshop with a suitable press but he's only there during working hours. So I would need to remove the rear hub and get it down to him at a time when he would be there. As the Ascot was now sorted, I swapped cars with her last night confident that it would get her to work and back for the next couple of days and give me the time to pull her car to bits and get it back together again. At 8:50 this morning my phone rang. I've broke it, she said. She'd managed all of 50m from her driveway to the end of the road, the engine had died and now the message centre was telling her she had a gearbox fault, a traction failure, an ABS fault and the engine wouldn't restart. Got there and found that everything looked normal when the ignition was switched on, it was only when the key was turned to start the engine that the starter did nothing and the dash went blank. The negative battery terminal was loose. I can't remember when I last had the battery off but I obviously didn't do it up tight enough when I put it on. Tightened it up, jump started it from mine, checked that it was charging and she went off to work (and so far, hasn't broken it again).

What I don't understand is why then? Over the last few weeks I've used it a few times to run around in just to see if everything was working as it should. I've done a couple of hundred miles in it and never a problem. I've started it and had it idling for ages while doing other jobs and not once has it shown any signs of a problem. So why is it that the first time a woman used it, the damn thing dies?

14 January 2019 - 16:10

I'm in the process of buying a LHD car for Dina's parent's in Latvia and have found that they seem to be very cheap in Holland. As I had a couple of questions, I emailed Tony, Ferryman, for advice. Although Tony sold his P38 so hadn't been here for a few months I told him that he was still welcome to drop into the pub for a bit of banter. Unfortunately that isn't going to happen as I've just received the following email:

Hello Richard, I am Ronny the stepson of tony. I'm sorry to inform you that Tony passed away on Christmas Day 2nd.
I will post another message on the forum later this week,If there are any questions you can always ask, we will keep the email account.
best regards Ronny

What is it they say about the good dying young?