The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse.
Sloth's Avatar
831 posts
Jan 05 2016
28 November 2016 - 19:56

My P38 needs to spend some time parked up, and will likely only get driven once a week or so (unless we actually get some snow down this way for a change...) over the next few months. It has a good battery, and I haven't had any drain issues that I'm aware of. It does have a tracker fitted that draws a tiny bit of power however. It may be that it gets left quite a while, and I don't really want to risk the battery draining. Last time it did (before the new battery, admittedly) I was on holiday, and it went nuts, and burnt out the front door latch motors.

I have no access to mains power, or I'd just connect it up to a CTek charger, leaving me thinking about solar panels. I will be putting a cover over the car to keep it clean, so I was thinking about a panel of some size with magnetic feet lobbed on the roof on top of the cover, cable fed in under the tailgate and eventually plugged into the rear 12v socket (mine is switched, so it can be always on direct 12v).

Looking on eBay, I have many options. I presume I'd want something between 10-25w, and if I'm at the higher end, a charge controller would be a good idea.

Has anyone played with such setups? OB, I recall seeing you say somewhere you have something setup on your motorhome?

20 June 2016 - 20:11

So a couple of times my Bosch P38 has refused to start - not immobiliser related, as it would sometimes start and die, or attempt to fire and fail etc. Until yesterday, it hadn't done it for months. I figured yesterday, it was because it was reallllly low on petrol and on a slope. Forced it to start on gas, and with my foot on the floor, it eventually went, but ran horribly for a little bit. Figured that was normal - cold vapouriser etc. It started fine once I'd moved the car, so I thought nothing of it.

Went to leave work today and..... it wouldn't start. Not on petrol or gas. I leave the Nanocom in the car now, so I plugged it in and initially went to check the immobiliser when I noticed...

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For a cold engine... and even an up to temp engine, something looked a bit amiss here. Popped the bonnet and poked the sensor wiring/plug a bit as best I could. Got back in the car, and the reading had dropped to a far more reasonable 28c - car had been sat in the sun, so I went with it. Started straight away. I left the Nanocom plugged in though, and I noticed on my way home the reading would only ever show 59c, usually when at a standstill, or 85.5 when on the move. The gearbox had also resorted to jolting forward when coming to a stop - something it used to do a few months ago but stopped without me noticing. The idle would also jump up 2-300revs when the reading dropped too, which it often does randomly when its damp out.

Back home, A/C compressor unbolted and out of the way, I could actually get at the plug to check it out. Think I found the problem:

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Red and green/blue wires both suffering insulation breakdown and shorting out on each other.

And fixed. Cut the plug off, soldered on some short flying leads and then reattached to the loom. I drowned the joints at the plug in resin so any vibration shouldn't cause any breakages etc. Best I could do without a replacement plug from another loom, short of just taping up the broken insulation and hoping for the best.

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Coolant temperature faults cleared in the engine and gearbox ECU and all is back to normal, and my slight idle vibration also appears to be gone! Idle hasn't been shooting up either, though we'll see tomorrow when its cold and probably damp again if this was also causing that. Amazing how many problems a little bit of dodgy wiring can cause. I love how the Nanocom description states the fault would light the MIL. Nope. Even unpluged, no MIL - and it does work.

10 May 2016 - 09:22

I'm looking for some replacement door speakers - the 6.5" woofers. All four of mine are in various forms of buggered - either seized or torn foam surrounds. When I've had a working (or mostly working) set the sound has been very good and I'm happy with it. I replaced my two front woofers with those from a cheap FLI Comp 6 component set (not using the included crossovers or tweeters) and at low volumes it was good... but at reasonable-high volumes it was rubbish. Lacked any sort of mid-range bass. Comparing one of these FLI units to a working OEM one, the OEM woofer responds far better to a greater range.

Plenty of suggestions when searching online for replacements, but I can't find any that mention speakers I can get in the UK.

Have any of you fitted something I can get locally that work well? I want to avoid buying used OEM items as of the 8 I now have had / still have, only two are in good enough shape to use.

02 April 2016 - 15:52

Made a bit of a cock up and have removed the fusebox and enough other bits that it would be a pain to put things back now just to open the tailgate.

Is there a way of pulling the solenoid from within the car to open it? I figure remove the carpeted panel and hopefully it'll be there in front of me, but I can't remember if you can actually get to it now, or if the panel will actually be removable from the inside. Any ideas?

19 June 2016 - 19:44

Pondering a little lighting modification.

Are the front fog lights driven by a relay or a mosfet in the BECM?

If its by mosfet, does the BECM recognise when a bulb is blown, or does it just remain blissfully ignorant of the condition of the front fogs?

07 May 2016 - 20:13

Went on holiday for 8 days and sadly didn't account for the battery lasting. So im expecting fun with the EKA, which I have for my VIN, but I have a feeling the BECM may have been changed at some point - not entirely sure mind you.

What's the best way for avoiding angering things when it comes to powering up etc? It was locked by the fob before I left which I think screws me over a bit if I have the wrong code.

Key in ignition in position 2 the best way to go?

03 August 2016 - 14:33

I'm not particularly impressed with the A/C in my P38. It gets cold... but it isn't fantasically cold shall we say.

The evaporator is getting down to 3-5c depending on blower speed, engine speed etc. With the blowers on full, it sits around 8 at idle. The condenser fans are currently running on slow all the time the A/C is on - single pressure switch bypassed as I initially thought it was warming up at idle due to a faulty switch. Seems they rarely come on even in hot climates, but at that point I hadn't noticed it was colder with higher engine/compressor speed.

Have forced the blend motors all the way to cold and even had them unplugged for a bit to see if they were misbehaving, but no difference. I don't believe I have a leak, it has been a bit meh since I replaced the condenser/drier and had it vacced down and filled etc I think 2 months back. The suction back to the compressor is nice and cold too.

I only have our BMWs to compare it to. My E39 on full speed/lowest temp is too cold to endure for long on a day like today - 22c outside. I prefer it chillier in the car, and I sort of expected more from a system as big as the one on the P38.


12 September 2016 - 18:00

Does anyone know where I might be able to get a Bosch MAF connector? Ideally with 6" or so of wiring.

Mine has a break in the insulation on the MAF signal wire (it has no cover like others, hence the 5 wires are exposed), so I'd like to lop it off and replace it to rule that out causing me some minor issues.

17 October 2016 - 10:11

I'm not sure what to do.

Preparing a new heater box for my car. I've disassembled the whole thing and 'adjusted' various pivot points, and re-lubed. The flaps are now all loose and move freely and easily. I have a set of blend motors that are all now working to go in along with it. The gears in each one are fine - no stripped teeth or broken bits. Now, I don't see the box binding up again and thus causing the gears to strip, but I'm not sure about the potentiometers... I did try replacing one with some I had, but either I damaged the replacement fitting the rotor/gear or it just wasn't quite right, but it didn't want to work properly at all after that. Put the original back in and it was fine... so I currently have a set of three working motors to go in, but for how long...

£162 for a new set of three Valeo motors from Island4x4... I really don't have the money to blow on them between now and taking the dash out. Do I risk it?

26 February 2016 - 11:29

I have a couple of issues with my HEVAC that I've yet to work out.

The one I'm stumped on currently is the LCD backlight is dead - it's not the bulb, I've checked and replaced it. I've checked all the connectors are properly seated and reconnected them just in case. Also checked the plug to the instrument cluster, and that's fine too.

Someone has replaced the original 97-98 unit with a 2001 part at some point. I thought the A/C compressor and software were the only real changes between earlier and later units? Is there anything that might explain my lack of light?

My car is a bit odd, but every other date stamp I've come across is either 97 or 98 so far.

22 June 2016 - 18:13

I can rarely flash my headlights without latching my mainbeam on and having to pull the stalk to turn them off again.

I assume this is a(nother) fairly common P38 thing, as both my own P38s have had dodgy stalks, and a bit of Googling brings up a few posts. Having a spare, I cracked it open and couldn't reliably get the flashing function to work without being unable to then trigger the 'main beam latch' buttons on the PCB. That may have something to do with me having read the wiring diagram backwards and I was testing only with a multimeter. So what I thought was the flash wire was the main beam, and vice versa.

Gave up on that plan having not realised, and decided I'd use the speed limiter button as my flasher control instead. I find the speed limiter relatively useless, given it doesn't limit speed, and setting the speed at which it beeps isn't great.

I actually made two attempts at this, as I cocked up and got it reversed the first time. On this stalk, during my attempts at spacing the mechanicals inside out to get the buttons pressing properly, I actually stopped the main beam button from being pressed entirely, yet seemingly managed to get the flashing pads working. I have no idea how I did that, but hey. That left me needing to swap the flash and main beam functionality around, which was easy as conveniently the flash and main beam pins on the socket are next to each other. So all you have to do is cut the leg at the bend on the second in pin, bend it over slightly to the left, and solder together. Then, take wire #6 from the PCB, and solder it onto the back of the pin whose leg you just cut.

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Now I can flash by pressing the limiter button reliably, and a short or long pull on the stalk turns on/off the main beam.

I'll have another crack at repairing the now spare stalk, but it seems like a pretty poor design. Makes more sense on other cars that pulling forward flashes, pushing back puts main beam on...

03 December 2016 - 11:20

Pre-req: you will need working blend motors/flaps and distribution flaps, and the engine warmed up, and the interior warm.

In my P38, I have a strange thing happening. If I have the HEVAC set to say 22c, and the air set to come out of the face and footwell vents, once the temperature in the car reaches the set temp, the air from the dash cools off a bit as it should, but the air coming from the footwell vents is constantly hot. If I set the air to only come out of the footwell vents, its also always hot. This becomes a bit uncomfortable after a while, unless I set the air to only come out via face or screen vents. The air does go cold from the footwells if I set the temperature quite low though.

What does your car do? I don't know if I've cocked up rebuilding the heater box, I'm pretty sure I haven't. Blend motors are calibrated, though really shouldn't make a difference as the temperature coming from each vent (per side anyway) should be the same regardless of what the HEVAC thinks, and the distribution works fine.

Looking at the old one, the air to the footwells goes back down over the back of the heater core section, which I guess could be warming it up, but I wouldn't have thought enough to keep it properly hot.

07 April 2016 - 20:23

So on my silver P38, RL7 is looking rather crispy, and the passenger side blower isn't running at all. Whether it is the relay or blower at fault, I plan to swap the fusebox with the one from my breaker that looks in better condition. When I disconnected it though from the old car, I noticed the blue connector had clearly gotten a bit hot on one pin too. I guess this will be the same on the silver car.

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I'm assuming this pin is fed by RL7, though I haven't cracked out the multimeter to confirm this yet.

If it is, my plan is to cut this wire out of the blue connector, extend it slightly and mount a decent relay externally, fed from a new fused feed from the battery. So the only feed from the fusebox is the ground/positive for the relay coil. I know recently a similar idea was posted up on the other forum, but it seems to me that it would be better to bypass the not so great fusebox tracks / connectors altogether.

Anyone foresee any issues?

12 July 2018 - 19:19

Today I had my windscreen replaced, by the company my insurer provides - Nationwide Motorglass.

I left the car in a nice open space with plenty of room around it, and let the guy get on with it. He let me know how long it would be etc, all fine. I checked with him that they'd supplied a heated windscreen, and not made a mistake with the wrong glass etc. All fine.

Hour or so goes by, and its all done. No problems mentioned, told to leave time before driving, longer before washing etc. Anyway - I get home, pop the bonnet to check no dislodged trims. Notice a screw missing, but no biggy.

My old heated windscreen had about 3 lines total that worked - and was open circuit one side, so it basically didn't work. I tested the resistance from the relay sockets to ground to check it was all connected okay (not exactly the weather to be testing it, and who knows if it should be left for the adhesive to cure fully before using it). One side open circuit, the other, 1.4Mohms. errrrrrrr... that isn't right.

Figured fine - it hasn't been plugged in properly. So I pop the strip at the bottom of the windscreen off carefully... and the air turns blue.

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For those that haven't seen this area before... at the bottom of the glass in the middle of the screen should be two black wires - the grounds for the two halves of the screen. Both, as you can see, have been cut clean off. The black wire visible is the remains of one ground wire to the old glass.

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This is the remains of the passenger side positive cable, again, from the old glass. This was presumably the side giving me 1.4mohm, as it was flapping around touching the body/painted surfaces. Brilliant - so a cable that would properly eventually wear through the paint and short out.

What he has done is pull the old glass out of the body, ripping off the cables in the process. He has then cut off all of the wires on the new glass, and bonded it in. What the fuck.

I can only assume he has ripped the old glass out before realising some of the screws holding the scuttle panel in were rusty, but frankly you could still get the positives in place and connected even so. The grounds a bit tricker maybe. But he should have at that point contacted me, to ask what to do. I would have happily removed the screws myself as I have now done to inspect the damage. The positive loom on the drivers side has had the connector bracket bent, and the rubber cable bung pulled out of the body. Thankfully the plug itself wasn't broken.

I have been in contact with the company, who are sending someone out on Tuesday to 'inspect' it to confirm what I'm saying. If he/they even try and deny he has cut the wires off the new screen, they won't get far:

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On Tuesday I'll be leaving the car in our visitor parking, which will cover it entirely in HD CCTV.

I am incensed by this... what was he hoping? That it would get to winter and I just wouldn't notice? It would still come back to his company. How many others does this happen to? Is it just him, is it standard practice when its 'too hard' to do a proper job?

Fucks sake. I hate being watched while I work, so I left him to it - he's a professional, supposedly. Now though... I'll be sat there watching whoever does it next, as well as having it recorded in full view. Sometimes its just easier to be paranoid, can't trust anyone to do a proper bloody job.

07 July 2017 - 20:17

I've just changed my tailgate straps as one snapped a while back.

The replacements I've put on are Bearmach, but both ends have been crimped on in the same orientation, meaning the cable needs to twist for one end to be screwed in. So the first time I close the tailgate, they twisted, and one had a chunk taken out of the rubber/plastic sleeve as it got trapped between the tailgate and body... no amount of changing the twist makes things good - they either get caught in the body or caught in the door seal...

I'll be returning these as they're crap, the ends also don't rotate freely because the washer type thing is too big and it ends up clamping down on itself.

Has anyone bought any that are decent, if so, who/what/where? :) Specifically avoided Britpart and still ended up with junk from Bearmach... sad times.

26 November 2018 - 09:59

While I'm repairing my nudge bar, I could do with a measurement of the depth available for spot lights - ie the distance between the front edge and the radiator grille with the bar fitted to the vehicle. I know the LR Safari 5000 lights fit - but I want to fit something else, but they're a bit deeper.

If anyone can oblige that would be much appreciated :)

Pic for attention:

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Much like the mud guards... these things are horrendous for rusting under the foam/rubber and quickly becoming beyond repair.

28 January 2017 - 12:33

So my parent's P38 has had a bit of a whiff of petrol on startup from the front, and about a week ago I saw the car again and it was obvious it was now constant, so it was parked up till I could get to it. Ordered new orings for the injectors, and various other bits to give it a service. It had started missing at idle etc and generally fuel consumption was way up.

So, assuming it was the o-rings, we pulled the upper plenum off (its a Thor), and had my dad turn the ignition on just to see if we could spot which one was leaking. Nope. Huge cloud of fuel vapour suddenly started pouring in from behind the coil packs, and I made various noises before diving for the extinguisher in the back of mine...

The Thor is returnless, with a single plastic shaped fuel line that connects to the rail underneath the coil packs, and has an abrasion protection thing around it. Or... it should have:

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Someone has broken the original line, and replaced it with 6" of some kind of rubber hose... even if that were fuel hose, that's down the back of a very hot engine with no airflow at all. Either way, its disintegrated, and you can see all the cracks in it. Scary.

As for the poor running... one of the HT leads was falling off.

19 August 2016 - 07:34

Boring question time!

Currently I have a pair of Britpart's finest £2 wiper blades on my car. Stuck them on an Island order to get free postage... as expected, they work about as well as 10 year old dried up blades pulled off a barn find. Chattering on the way up making a lovely noise.

I'd like some nicer looking (and preferably better working) flat blades - but I'm not sure what to go for. I'd also like the passenger side to be a bit shorter than standard, the overhang on all the blades I've had in the past bugs me.

Thoughts? Riveting stuff.

14 February 2016 - 12:57

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A glorious sounding problem.

My first P38 sulking at the back slowing undergoing weight reduction, my parent's red Bordeaux in the middle here for me to fit a towbar, and my latest silver R reg with a Bosch engine up front. A strange vehicle it seems, ignoring the engine, it has side airbags too, which I thought didn't come until 99-00 onwards? Seems Land Rover owned it for the first two years of its life going by the service history.

08 September 2016 - 14:45

My steering has been getting a bit wondery of late, and while I know any play in bushes etc underneath can cause tramlining/vagueness etc, my tyres are definitely in need of replacement. I have adjusted the steering box with no effect either on the wondering thing - and the indy had it a week ago or so and couldn't find play in anything underneath. I may call upon the almighty Marty though and his shiny tool to replace the 18 year old radius arm bushes for good measure at some point.

Currently I have Nexen Roadian HPs on it - and they've been fine I guess. A slightly damp field though has them totally flummoxed. I mean - trying to park in a field I'd have better chances in a RWD BMW with no weight over the back end. That was months ago too, now the front two don't have much left on the outer edges (worse on the inside, but not massively so), and all four have some perishing/cracking going on on the sides.

General Grabber AT - they seem to be a popular choice with little complaining of tramlining etc? Seen quite a few posts where people have had problems with other tyres and put these on, problem solved. While my P38 will spend most of its life on roads, I'd like it to be able to take on some mild off roading at some point. Or you know, park in a field without going sideways.