The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's
114 posts
Aug 06 2019
02 July 2020 - 18:18

Hi Gilbert, thanks for your information, and thanks for providing the part number, even if they are NLA !!

I have had another look at the seal, and, fortunately, it is still all in one piece. What I thought was a break in the rubber seal just where the A-pillar and the top of the door meet is actually where the self adhesive tape has become unstuck and the top 4 inches or so of the seal drops when the door is opened.

As it happens I have industrial double sided tape so I will re-attach the seal to the top of the door opening. The top of the A-pillar looks to be in good condition .


07 July 2020 - 18:58

At last, my mission is complete.

In the post, this morning, a brand new driver's side door handle arrived from Rimmer Bros, complete with a new key barrel.

And I am very pleased to say that the key works perfectly in the lock.

After all the fuss and messing about Rimmers came through with a new unit, so now I will have all new door handles on my P38.

I must have a look at the difference between the locking mechanism on the back of the handle, and that on the back of the passenger side, to see whether my original idea of using a LHD handle would have worked.

So, if anyone does want a new driver's side door handle with a new barrel, give Rimmers a call.


19 July 2020 - 21:59

A last post to finish this thread.

I fitted the new door handle today, and everything is working fine. But a couple of things might help anyone else doing the job.

[1] As mentioned by someone elsewhere here, the aluminium lock trigger arm did snap off when I tried to lever the locking arm from out of the spring retainer on the locking arm. In my case, it didn't matter because I was fitting a complete new handle.

[2] I didn't notice a solid metal block that acts as a spacer between the inner and outer door panel, where the screw for the door handle goes through. While I was lifting the handle out I heard a 'bang' from inside the door and only then did I find the metal block in the bottom of the door. The easiest way to relocate this block is to put it back in the door through the handle opening and then keep it in position with a screwdriver, and then push the handle screw through the hole, pushing the screwdriver back out.

In my case the threading in the handle wasn't correct, and I had to tap the hole with a 6mm tap.

[3] When refitting the handle make sure that the handle is relocated by slotting the end at the front of the handle into the locating slot in the door - before connecting any of the unlocking rods. I connected the lock trigger rod first, and then realised that you can't lift the handle out to an angle of 90 degrees because the lock rod won't allow the movement in the handle. So it took some careful opening of the spring retainer on the locking rod to disconnect the handle again. Then fit the front end into the door and bring the handle back parallel with the door, connect the arm that goes to the green clip in the door, reconnect the lock activating arm back into the retaining clip, and screw the door handle back on the door.

If I hadn't had to struggle with the metal spacer block, and re-tapping the thread in the handle, the job would would probably have been done in an hour, a fairly easy job, and a great result as I now have a perfectly working drivers's side door handle, which also matches all the other, new, handles. No more white ones, now !!


15 August 2020 - 19:26

Hi guys, just out of interest, how easy, or difficult, is it to replace this window seal ? Do you have to do any deconstruction of the door or door panel ?


16 August 2020 - 11:37

I do agree with you there - famous last words indeed ! But, to be honest, when I read about how to demolish, errrr sorry, dismantle the panels around the front scuttle [plenum] filter I was surprised that it was easier than I expected, with the exception of dealing with a couple of corroded screws. But nothing very disastrous.

I just hope that the glass doesn't have to be taken out to fit the new rear door seal.

Maybe someone could explain the procedure for this ?


18 August 2020 - 19:32

Same as classic [70's and 80's] Mercedes W126 parts. I have an original AMG set of 8inch alloys on my 500se, and the rough price for all 5 would be around £1000 - £1500. There are quite a lot of later copies but the originals are very hard to come by. They are nearly worth the same are the car itself !

Rear window - at least £700 - IF you can find an original glass. Brake calipers - for two front calipers - about £ 150 - IF you can find the correct caliper, as there were three different manufacturers of the darn things. Which make is fitted is a lottery, no mention anywhere as to what is fitted, you have to remove the calipers and physically read off the manufacturer. PITA !!!

Anyway, could anyway say how the rear door window seal comes out ? Does it just pull off the door frame, like the door seal, and the new one just push back on ?


21 August 2020 - 18:38

I wonder whether anyone would know where to get a replacement drivers side [RHD] seat base ?

The leather is good to excellent but the bolster on the outer edge is starting to go flat. I have two new seat heating pads, drivers and passengers seats, but I would like to fit a new foam rubber seat base to the drivers side seat, to lift it back to near factory spec.

I have checked the usual P38 suppliers, and guys like Exmoor Trim, but I can't find anyone who does new seat bases.

enter image description here

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


23 August 2020 - 17:42

H i romanrob, I think that you are correct about this part, I think that it is the correct part, but as was mentioned earlier in the topic, it is bleedin' expensive !!!

The earlier suggestion about finding a decent passenger side seat is looking distinctly more attractive ! Looking on ebay, and some other sites with used parts, a complete seat is often only about £60-80, although, interestingly, there are a lot more upper [back] sections for sale, so it must be that the bases have already been sold so the ones that are available look a bit worse than my own.

I will keep a look out and make a few phone calls. The biggest problem is that I am in Ireland so the shipping can be expensive.


23 August 2020 - 18:07

Just out of interest, would anyone know whether the front seats are the same in the P38, and the L322 ? Looking at pictures of breaking RR L322's the base of the seat looks the same, but is this just a pie-in-the-sky suggestion ?


27 August 2020 - 14:07

Hi, many thanks for the advice, I thought, all right, that I was asking a bit to much of a general question as I have already read about lots of questions and answers about the book symbol issue.

That's an interesting point about the diesel not looking for AC refrigerant.

I suppose that I am not absolutely sure that I know what to look for, or expect to happen when the air-con is running [or not !]. I will run the engine up at the weekend and get it hot, and then go through the different settings and see what happens. Again, being honest, I am not sure whether I can justify £400/500 for a plug in diagnostic tool, but as has been mentioned without it I could be going around in circles. Do all the diagnostic tools that are advertised, work with the HEVAC system, or is it only Nanocom or Evo ?

I might ask a guy I have had do some work on the vehicle if he can use his diagnostic machine to check the HEVAC system, and see if he can identify the problem. Although having just spent €2800 on getting the front suspension and steering links replaced, and new brake lines, I think that it may need to be on the long finger.

I may see if I can check the blend motors over the weekend, just to see if they are doing what they should.

Thanks for the help.


28 August 2020 - 15:34

Thanks for your advice, I will give some thought to buying the Nanocom unit.


26 August 2020 - 18:29

I fitted a new outer, rear passenger side window seal this afternoon.

I found that the easiest, and quickest method is to remove the inner window seal first because the outer seal is lodged inside the inner seal.

Taking out the inner seal you then just pull off the outer seal, refit the new outer seal, and then refit the inner seal. The one thing that I have noticed to be a bit of a snag are the top corners, front and rear. I have found that when the rear corner is in tight the front corner is just slightly raised, and not sitting exactly into the front corner. I don't think that this is a big issue, I think that with some warm weather the seal will shrink slightly and bed in. I am talking about 1 mm of an overlap, riding up very, very slightly as compared to a flush finish on the drivers side window seal. But then that one has been there for 19 years !

Next job is the headlining.


27 August 2020 - 10:31

Hi, I would like to ask for a bit of advice in relation to the never-ending issue of the book symbol on the HEVAC display.

I have read lots of posts giving solutions to the many issues which affect the air-con and ventilation in the P38, but I would like to see if these solutions are directly relevant to the reason the book symbol keeps appearing on the display in my P38.

I have replaced the pollen filters recently, cleaned and hoovered out the plenum area [?], fitted a new plenum filter, but the symbol is stillon the display.

The thing is, when I turn off the ignition, leave the car parked for a day or so and go back out in the vehicle then the symbol is not on the display, it only appears after about 15 minutes or so after setting off. Is this the air-mix flaps getting stuck, or will I need to go through the whole job of replacing the whole blower assembly.

The HEVAC display seems to clear the book symbol each time the ignition is turned off, but is this only the BeCM checking the system and then flagging the issue ?

I was hoping [!!!!!] that this may only be the air flap motor getting stuck, as described elsewhere, but I am wondering whether this is too simple a solution.

Any advice is appreciated, as I couldn't get cold air for the last few days in the hot weather.


Or am I asking too generalised a question ?

27 August 2020 - 14:46

Thanks, Gilbert, for the advice. I will have to wait for the weather to improve, as unfortunately, I have to do this on the drive !


02 September 2020 - 18:50

Just a note about the seat cushion - they are still available from LR, and in stock. This is from Rimmer Bros:

The Part Number for the Base Foam

BTR 7482 price is £198.47 plus vat.


12 September 2020 - 17:53

I was looking for advice on the headlining colour and I am very disappointed that people have recommended the wrong shade.

There was a number of "recommendations" that with a Lightstone interior then Oatmeal was the best colour headlining. I rang Martrim last week to ask their advice, and they agreed that Oatmeal was perfect.

This is complete rubbish. The colour required is Beige.

I took the vehicle to the guy who is going to do my headlining, and fortunately, he has lots of colours including Beige. He buys most of his material from Woollies, who I had completely forgotten about, and there was no mention of them on any of the RR threads or topics. I am sorry that I relied on Martrim as their advice is hopeless.

Fortunately, the guy doing my headlining has agreed to take the Oatmeal bolt of cloth against a fresh order of Beige.

I can't understand how people feel that Oatmeal is correct for a Lightstone interior. I didn't have anywhere around Dublin to check the colour, and it looked OK when reviewed on the Martrim website. Beige looked too yellow so I had to rely on Martrim's advice as they are supposed to be the experts.

Anyway, I am only too pleased to a bit extra to the guy doing the job as he will supply the correct colour. I had a feeling that, when the material arrived, that it was too grey and I really should have listened to my own opinion !


13 September 2020 - 11:07

Hi, ref. StrangeRover, I had a look at a Jaguar that my guy finished recently, it was back for some attention to the seats, and I have to say that I don't think that it would suit the slightly yellowy tinge that is in the Lightstone leather. I have the original headling still in the vehicle, and it gives off a warmer effect than the Oatmeal that I saw in the Jaguar.

I just don't think that the Oatmeal is the right colour, and I would have to argue that the perfect colour is either Beige or Cashmere.

So, I am going to check with my guy, tomorrow Monday, and see which would be the better of the two- again either Beige or Cashmere !


14 September 2020 - 10:53

Hi, I was looking a post somewhere, last night, about fitting a new headlining, but this morning I can't find it anywhere.

The post gave a blow by blow description, along with pictures, explaining the process. I can't remember whether it was on this forum, or the "Other" [.net] forum. I have looked at a lot of posts, just now, and the only one that I can find is on the "Other" forum but there are no pictures any more, just a triangle with an exclamation mark.

If possible, could someone possibly post a link to the the detailed post ?


14 September 2020 - 10:23

I honestly do like the Cashmere colour. I think it looks a bit warmer. For me, the Oatmeal is a bit too grey. When you look at Oatmeal in the daylight it is very much a light grey, whereas Cashmere has a warmer, light yellow shade. I am not sure that I agree with it looking like 20 years of cigarette smoking, but I suppose that, if you fit Oatmeal and then smoke for 20 years, you could get a colour similar to Cashmere !!!!!!!

In fairness, it is all down to the beholder. Does one prefer a grey or a cream/yellow interior ?


11 November 2020 - 22:47

In Ireland we have the infamous NCT test, operated on contract by some Spanish company, Applus, who seem to make up new reasons to fail a car test.

This year I took the P38 for the test and it failed because the tester couldn't read the chassis number behind the front wheel. So I took it to the guy who does bigger suspension types jobs on the vehicle and asked him if he could clean the underseal off it so it could be read. He got a wire brush and gave it a rub, but said it was easily legible. I, unfortunately, didn't get down to have a butchers and took his word.

When I returned, after three weeks trying to get an appointment, the tester took the vehicle back into the garage, a big warehouse with 5 lanes for testing cars, and came back out 20 minutes later and said "No" he still couldn't read the chassis number. The problem this time was that I then had to take the vehicle to a police station, have a traffic officer get down and check the number against the V5, and fill in and stamp a form. Then I had to take this form back to the test station.

When I was with the traffic officer I pointed out the chassis number and he looked at it and asked how could the tester not read it as he could by just bending down by the front tyre. So at the test station I took the signed form in and gave it to the guy, who just said "OK, that's fine, car has passed".

I couldn't just accept that, and I asked for the tester to come out and explain how he could see the chassis number, and why he didn't come out the final time to check it even though I have a form signed by a traffic officer. I just argued until eventually one of the tester came out, and then I asked him to show me where the chassis number was. He went straight to the rear wheel arch and pointed under the vehicle, by the back tyre. So I asked him to crouch down with me and show me the number as I couldn't see it. He knelt down, got out his torch and started looking about while I stood up.

I pointed out that the traffic officer had said that he could see the number by just bending down. The tester guy eventually stood up and said that he couldn't see it, so I asked him if the vehicle was actually a failure then as he couldn't confirm the chassis number. He said it was confusing and he would need to check with his supervisor, who then appeared after about 10 minutes. The tester took him to the rear wheel arch and said that he couldn't confirm the chassis number as he couldn't see it. The supervisor had a look, and then went and looked under the front wheel arch, and said "Look, there it is, you can see it plainly". The other guy said "Oh, I didn't realise that it was there, the numbers are usually under the rear wheel arch".

So I had a strong discussion with the supervisor, and pointed out that it had cost me three trips to the test station, one trip down to my garage man, and one trip to a police station. He just said that he would bring the matter up at the next training meeting but he didn't offer to repay the money for the retest.

So this is what we have to put up with in Ireland with our NCT [National Car Test]. You can be failed for orange bulbs not being orange enough, slight misalignment of headlights, incorrect design of number plates, and pretty well anything else that is the issue of the day. The rules change as and when the testers decide.