The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse.
220 posts
Dec 29 2016
31 January 2019 - 23:55

I've decided that the vague steering on my P38 is driving me nuts at the moment so it needs sorting...

First port of call is the radius arm bushes... Looking on the Island 4x4 website, they list:

Britpart - £2.99
OEM - £7.50
Genuine - 15.99

The rear end bushes:

Britpart - £1.00
Genuine - £5.25

(All prices per bush and + VAT)

Will probably do the anti roll bar bushes and drop links whilst under it too.

When you times the difference by 4 it makes quite a big difference... Usually I'd go for Genuine without batting an eyelid at it, however, it's got me wondering if the cheaper ones are actually any good?


30 June 2018 - 12:42

One of my P38’s won’t start... the starter motor has been sluggish for a long time and on Tuesday it dies completely with smoke coming out of it whilst trying to turn over.

I whipped the starter off my breaker and fitted it but it just clicked when it tried to engage the starter. As it had been sat there for years I suspected the starter.

I ordered a new starter on Tuesday evening and have just fitted it now and at still just getting a single click when trying to engage the starter.

Have ran a jump lead from the engine to the chassis in case it was an earth problem but that’s made no difference either.

Anyone got any ideas?



27 December 2017 - 22:49

Right, onto the next issue on the red VSE.

It has a Tartarini LPG kit fitted to it that was installed in 2005 when the car was 3 years old and had covered 37k miles at a cost of £2150 according to the invoice I have here. The owner, a local gentlemen, was a jammy bugger as there's also paperwork in the history file for an £800 rebate he got from the green energy trust for having the car converted!

Anyway, the system is 12 years old and had done almost 80k miles since installation. None of the service positions in the book have been stamped so I can only assume that it's never been touched since it went in.

The car will switch to LPG and it will idle OK but when sitting on the motorway at a steady speed the car develops a stutter the second you switch it over, as if it's being starved of gas. When trying to climb the hill on the single lane road to our house, on LPG there's no power there either, it slows down on the hills, and won't go.

First things first, I was going to order the filters for it and change them but on the several single point systems I've worked on I've never noticed the filters getting that filthy. I can't help but think that the vaporiser/reducer is probably going to be due for replacement. If so, do I need to replace it with a like for like one? If not, is there any particular one that people would recommend?

Any hints/tips/suggestions would be appreciated as I don't know very much about multipoint unfortunately.


15 February 2019 - 20:20

Evening gents,

I'm looking for a bit of advice regarding our new Vogue SE... When we got it the seller told us that it was making a tappet noise. It is definitely making a tappet like ticking noise...

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What's got me confused though is that when the engine is cold started it, it is totally SILENT, there's not the faintest hint of a noise. Once the car has done a mile or two you can hear the tap start to develop into the noise in the video.

It sounds to slow and to high pitched to be bottom end to me... What does everyone else think? According to the last owner it's been doing it for 5 years and hasn't got any worse. It certainly doesn't feel down on power and it doesn't seem to affect the drive in anyway.


09 February 2019 - 18:09

Well, yesterday started as any normal Friday... a day in the office, a decent trip home at the end of the day with the traffic not being to bad followed by a cup of coffee whilst browsing through emails and social media. Whilst trawling through Social Media I saw someone who had an advert out for a 2002 P38 Vogue SE that they were breaking. Upon closer inspection it turned out to be my cars identical twin!

So... I now own 2 Alveston Red Vogue SE's...

First two pictures are of my car:

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Pictures below of the latest project:

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So... the train is booked for tomorrow to pick it up :)

The bodywork looks good apart from a dent in the bonnet where someone shut the bonnet on top of some tools, the wheels need a refurb and I think it might need the tappets looking at as it develops a tick when it's warm. For the price I've paid for it though, I don't mind a do'er upper as it's a Vogue SE.


26 February 2019 - 11:19

Well, curiosity got the better of me...

As everyone knows there was a ticking noise from our P38 that I would have sworn was a top end tick and probably from a faulty tappet.

Video here so everything stays in one thread: Click Here - YouTube Video...

On Sunday, I dropped the wife at Edinburgh Airport at 8.30am, drove the hour home and started tearing the P38 apart.

I got the inlet manifold and rocker covers off the engine and had a good look around, without seeing much I then proceeded to take the rocker shafts off. The passengers side one was nice and oily, the shaft was still silver and everything was moving freely. The drivers side one wasn't quite as nice, the shaft had browned, and a couple of the rockers were stiffer then I'd have expected. Number 4 cylinders rocker arm wasn't as lubricated as the others either and there was some sludge in the oil way under the rocker shaft.

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None of the rocker arms looked worn though, all of the pushrods looked ok and none of the tappets were dished either. I was getting curious at this point as with the noise it was making I was expecting to see something that was obviously wrong. I was also convinced after listening to the engine that the noise was coming from the front of the NS bank.

Anyway, I decided to keep going as I'd gotten this far. I tried to be clever and remove the manifolds with the cylinder heads but gave in on the passengers side as the manifold was a doddle to remove, on the drivers side I managed to fiddle with the bolts enough to get them undone and then removed the starter motor as the steering shaft makes getting to the back manifold bolts a pain in the tits.

By the time I'd stripped it on Sunday we had visitors arriving so I had to get cleaned up, after they left I was tired and was up early for work on Monday so I left it alone having given it a very, very brief look over.

Last night I went back to the workshop for a proper look and I'm 99% sure I've found the cause of the knocking noise... and much to my amazement, it wasn't the top end!

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So... it looks fairly conclusive that the liner for the number 3 cylinder has moved. All of the other 3 are flush on that bank and you can see on the number 5 cylinder next to it that there's no shiny lip at all. When running my finger nail over the others, there's no lip, on number 3 there's a lip that I can very easily click my finger nail in.

So... she's currently sitting looking like this in the workshop...

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I spoke to Rob at V8 Developments yesterday about a top had linered block, a high torque camshaft and some stage 1 gas flowed cylinder heads. He advised me that if we're buying the components from them, they don't actually charge to assemble the engine so I'm going to buy an entire engine from them as that way all I have to do is fit it and bed the camshaft in before following the running in procedure and it'll come with a 12 month warranty on the complete unit.

Once I'm certain and I've given Rob a deposit, it's a 3-4 week lead time on the new engine so I've got plenty time to get everything out of the engine bay, get the car dragged out of the workshop and steam clean everything in sight. I'm determined I'm going to do this properly whilst she's in bits.

The engine number on this car has also been damaged too...

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It looks like it should be XM56M95B31. Is there a way of decoding these to find out any more about them like there is with some manufacturers engines?


11 February 2019 - 21:55

Does anyone know for sure what sat nav disc the P38 uses? I was just wondering out of curiosity what the newest version available was? Both my Vogue SE's have the original 2002 disc in them. If there was an easy source available for a later version it'd be nice to make an out of date system as up to date as possible.



18 March 2019 - 12:06

When I was a kid my Dad had a E registered 3.5 Classic which he then traded in and bought a L registered 3.9 Soft Dash Classic.

For years I've messed around with P38's as they don't tend to rot but the lure of a Classic is getting stronger. I nearly bought one a few years back but a quick change in circumstances stopped me, I'm now looking at them again.

I've been told that they're awful to drive but I'm not convinced that'll bother me as it's not being bought as a race car. I've had P38's and L322's and still have them, adding a Classic to the line up seems like a bit of fun.

What's everyone elses thoughts? Got a feeling I'll be perfecting my welding rather then just mechanical skills with one of these though.


25 June 2018 - 21:59


A pal of mine owns a garage in Thornton and we were talking about air conditioning recently. Apparently a 13k bottle of gas used to cost him around £90, due to some changes somewhere it's now £350. When I told him how much gas a P38 took, he reckoned that most placed will be charging £150 to recharge something that size before long... So I've decided to do it quickly.

My Alveston VSE needs a new condenser as it's rough as hell looking through the bumper, I've decided I might as well fit a drier too.

Condenser - £66


Drier - £24


Recharge - £30


All in, that'll only be about £120 to get the air conditioning working again, with the current weather, I think that's pretty good value :)

Just check that there's an ATS Euromaster near you as not all centres are included in the offer. There's a link on the Groupon page. My wife had her Peugeot recharged using the same voucher last year and we've had no problems since.

On my last P38 I found the tri-switch to be faulty, I'm hoping on this one it isn't though, there's no fault code suggesting that it is, so fingers crossed!


22 July 2019 - 00:07

What plugs do people recommend for a Thor 4.6 that’ll be running on LPG?

If it makes any difference it’s got a torque max camshaft and a couple of other head mods done to it so want a plug that’ll be efficient.

Usually I run stock plugs but was wondering if there’s anything better.


28 July 2019 - 22:19

Evening Gents,

Starting to accumulate the parts to rebuild the new engine... So the likelihood is this is the first of many daft questions!

What are the recommendations on the exhaust manifold to head bolts? I've heard people have used Allen key bolts before as it makes removing them in situ much easier.



23 July 2019 - 12:47

I've just replaced all of the bushes and steering damper on my car and it's made a massive difference to the way the car drives and behaves. The wandering when hitting undulations in the road have gone completely.

She's also just passed her MOT with no advisories but I'm still not happy.

When driving in a straight line there is play in the steering when the steering wheel between 11 and 1. When on the motorway the steering feels as if you're correcting it. It's by no means the worst I've driven but it's annoying me.

The only things I've not replaced are the front axle ball joints, track rod, drag link and steering box. Before I start mucking around and try to tighten the steering box slightly, does anyone have any suggestions? I've nipped one before and it made a bit of a difference but it was heavier to steer which I don't really want to do again as it bugged me when turning into parking spaces at low speeds.



29 July 2019 - 18:57

Told you last nights thread was the first of many daft questions...


Looking on the Island 4x4 website, there are 3 different makes of thermostat. They range from £11.66 for a Shitpart one, £13.99 for an AllMakes 4x4 one, up to £73.33 for a Genuine LR one (Plus VAT).

Usually I try and stick to Genuine LR, especially where the cooling system is concerned but at almost 7 times the price, it's a huge difference.

Anybody got any thoughts?


01 January 2019 - 22:32

My 2002 Vogue SE has never had working remote central locking since the last owner bought the car. I've got 2 remote with the car and these both work, the lights on both come on when you press the keys but nothing happens when you try and unlock the car. I've tried the usual process of re-sync'ing the key to no avail.

The other thing I've noticed is that none of the front speakers on the car work either. I wondered if this was an amplifier fault initially but I'm now wondering if everything is related.

I've checked all the fuses in the side of the BECM and they're all ok, I've checked the antenna behind the rear seat is connected but nothing seems to be making any difference. When checking the remote locking with Testbook it tells you to press a button on the remote but the test fails.

Has anybody got any ideas where I'd be best going from here? I don't mind doing some digging to try and sort it but am unsure of the best route to take.



04 May 2017 - 00:24

Well, the Vogue SE has finally arrived.

It was collected in Gloucester yesterday at around 1pm by Beamish Transport, from there it went to Birmingham, Newcastle, Coatbridge, Linwood and then to Langbank where it was delivered at 1.30pm today. A massive thanks to them for such a pleasant and efficient process.

The car itself needs work doing to it, I knew it did when I bought it. The front bumper is removed and in the back as it was removed for painting but never painted, the interior has had parts borrowed from it for other cars. All the parts that were removed are present so it just needs putting back together.

The car drove off the lorry, I had to unload at my flat rather then at my folks where the workshop is. It's definitely a Range Rover I bought... it had to be jumpstarted whilst on the lorry and it then broke down on the 1.5 mile trip! The small return spigot from the radiator to the expansion bottle was sheared so the coolant was spraying everywhere. Thankfully as soon as I saw the temperature gauge go up I stopped it and used the other P38 to drag it up the hill.

There was a brand new radiator in the back of the car so I've fitted that tonight. The coolant return pipe was some crappy piece of pipe so I've replaced that with a proper one, and I've replaced the bonnet struts as they were shot too. I've had it running tonight, it was beautifully smooth but after about 10 minutes there was a bearing from something on the auxiliary belt that was screeching. I took the belt off and felt the pulleys, there's a bit of wear in the tensioner and the water pump so I'll check them out tomorrow. Other then that, the car has been running and has had the cooling system filled and bled out and it's running beautifully. The rear air suspension came up no problem but the front didn't so I'll get a look at that too.

The engine is spotlessly clean so I do believe that it's been changed recently too. The seller has the receipt for the RPI engine that's in the car and is going to send it on so that I can keep it with the cars history file. There's some amount of money been spent on the car over the years, including a receipt from a Land Rover dealer in Benidorm for €1300 for an air suspension compressor!

It does need a lot of work doing to it however I believe all of the parts are in the back of the car but for the price I paid for it I think I've got a fair project. Current mileage is 104,800. It's done about 600 miles from it's previous MOT before it sat off the road for 2 years.













There's some unusual wiring coming off the battery that I wasn't sure about when I saw it earlier. It has however just occurred to me that it's probably to do with the split charge system for the 12S towing socket.




The battery on the car is totally dead, I put it on the reconditioner earlier on and it said the battery was faulty. I was going through the service history tonight and the receipt for the battery is there. Thankfully, it's got 13 days of warranty left on it so I'm going to get a replacement battery for it tomorrow. :)

More updates to come as progress occurs.


08 January 2017 - 01:20

Well, up until now I've only ever fiddled with 4.6 V8 Range Rovers, that is until tonight, when I collected a 2.5 DSE that was to cheap to walk past.

The car is a 99 V registered Oxford Blue DSE with Sandstone Leather, the car has 2 sets of wheels with it, both aftermarket, one of them is a set of 20" Eltex alloy wheels which Paddock retail at £410 a wheel including tyres, and the other set is a set of 19" Range Rover Sport wheels. I've already sourced a set of Comets for the car so both sets of these will be for sale. It's got Sat Nav but it doesn't power on and it's got an after market stereo fitted to it.

The main problem though is the gearbox - there's no drive at all. The selector is incredibly stiff, when you pull it thought the gears the indicator on the dashboard changes from P, R, N, D, 3, 2, 1 and when you move it to low it beeps and the light flashses and it says LOW on the dash but there's no clunk from the transfer box motor. In High or Low there's not even an attempt at drive. There's no noises or clunks as you move selector and when you rev it there's not even a shake from it as if it's trying to drive.

Unfortunately there's no dipstick on this one so checking the oil is a bit more tricky. I need to get under it and check the selector cable hasn't broken or come free from the gearbox, other then that, is there anything that is worth checking?

I've got a 4.6 breaker complete with a 4HP24 box on it, I've read a few things on the net and think with a bit of fettling it might fit. Does anyone have any information that could help?

Thanks guys,


04 March 2017 - 22:05

Evening guys,

I'm after a spot of advice...

I'm about to put a new gearbox into the DSE, however, with this being a 99MY it doesn't have the transmission dipstick fitted to it. From previous experience, it's much easier to fill the transmission and to check the level using the dipstick from above then it is using the fill plug on the side.

I've got a 1995 MY 4.6 breaker with the dipstick and tube still on it, is it possible to retrofit it to the DSE whilst the gearbox is swapped out?



10 January 2017 - 19:34

In June 2014 my old P38, a 1997 4.6 HSE that I'd spent 2.5 years putting into concourse condition caught fire. I was on my way to London with my Xantia Activa on the trailer behind me. It was heart breaking as it was the only car I’d kept for 3 years and not wanted to get rid of.

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Here she is the night before we left in all her former glory:

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And this is how the Xantia and I finished our journey to London:

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I didn’t realise it at the time but it knocked my confidence and trust in the P38 massively. We still had 2 others at home and I could not relax or get comfy when driving them so I bought myself a Supercharged L322. My next knock came when I tried to take one of the others for MOT and ended up with the fire brigade at that when I had flames coming from the front wheel due to a seized brake caliper.

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I then sold the red P38 and we kept only our Oxford Blue 4.6 HSE. The bodywork on this one lets it down but mechanically we’ve done all the work to it and it drives beautifully. The other night I stupidly forgot the trailer was on it and as the windows were all steamed up I jackknifed the trailer and caught the O/S/R door with the trailer.

I then started scouring eBay and Gumtree for an Oxford Blue door and ended up finding the DSE that was local and in Oxford Blue that didn’t drive. The listing said it was a manual so I started researching the possible faults and decided it might have been the selector pin so if it was better then I expected I’d repair it. I then rang the guy and decided that I’d buy the car however upon collection found it to be in much better condition then I expected it to be… I also looked in the window and saw an automatic gear lever in there!

The car hadn’t moved in over a year so the brakes were stuck on but thankfully the winch on the trailer had enough power in it to break them free. I winched it on and we set off for home. It was pitch dark and the car was in a place called Forth, about an hour from us. Our 4.6 P38 was running like a dream, and towing the loaded trailer beautifully. When we were passing Hillington on the M8 (about 15 minutes from home) the P38 beeped 3 times and showed “EAS Fault” on the dashboard.

Thankfully it didn’t shut down to the bump stops and we managed to complete the journey home. The next day I went out in daylight and had a look at the DSE and noticed that the suspension on the 4.6 had sagged at the rear.

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The DSE turned out to be in lovely condition:

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I detest the after market wheels on the car so today I made a trip to Kilcreggan which is about an hour from here to pick up a set of Comet alloys. It’s a set of 5, 4 of which are great but the 5th is a bit of a mess.

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I spoke to Ashcroft Transmissions for some advice on the gearbox. The car has no drive whatsoever but when you move the gear selector there is absolutelty nothing that happens. They advised that with the car in P if it will roll then the transfer box is knackered, if it won’t and the Park break works then the gearbox is knackered.

Having carried out the tests it is indeed a gearbox fault. I’ve managed to source a 4HP22 gearbox locally for £150 so I think I’ll begin the process of swapping the gearbox.

Today I decided to have a look at the compressor on the 4.6. It was bought from Island 4x4 in 2011 but has only done about 20k in the car. It turns out that the bearings in it are knackered.


So, it looks like I need to order a compressor.

I’ve got a 4.6 breaker which has a good 4HP24 gearbox, however, I’ve decided that I’m going to buy a 4HP22 for the DSE and keep my HP24 just in case I need it for our 4.6.

I’ve been offered one locally from a 4.0 so need to check that the internals are the same and it’s not going to cause me any problems with the ECU’s etc.

Anyway, that’s the last week covered and me up to date now :)


13 January 2017 - 19:57

Seeing as I'm about to be replacing the gearbox on the DSE I was thinking of flushing the oil cooler. I don't know what's gone wrong in the old gearbox and I don't want to risk any more damage then necessary by any crap that might be floating around in the oil system.

I've been looking on Google and found a video on YouTube of Eric The Car Guy flushing an oil cooler using a can of spray solution.

Video of cooler flush

I can't find anything similar in the UK so I was wondering about flushing it backwards with ATF or possibly Diesel, I just wondered if anybody had any suggestions or ideas.



18 January 2018 - 22:04

Opened the bonnet on the VSE tonight when it was running and heard a TICK, TICK, TICK.

Looked down the side of the engine and saw a spark jumping between the plug and the manifold heat shield. Upon closer inspection, someone has cut the boot on the spark plug level with the end of the connector that goes onto the plug so the spark is escaping. I'd of thought I'd have felt that but it's near perfect when driving.

Anyway... onto the subject of new plug leads.

Our old 4.6 HSE has Magnecor Plug leads on it and they've been great, they've probably been on for 6 - 7 years now.

I'm probably going to for Magnecor leads to this VSE as well unless anyone has any other suggestions? I'm now torn between the 8mm Electrosport 80's or KV85 8.5mm red leads.

Anyone got any suggestions?