The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse
209 posts

Fair enough that seems pretty definitive, if maybe a little counter-intuitive.

What I mean by that is, for example that you read about the crank pulley nut being the 'biggest torque on the engine' at ca. 250nm or something. My rattle gun takes that off in seconds - yet won't really look at the head bolts which will be < 100nm (nominally at least). I'm not expecting an answer to that - it's just a wee puzzle!

Thanks again.

Not much actual progress to report on the car - but the pile of parts is growing...

Just thinking ahead - and on the question of head bolt torques. Obvs the manual is all about the 20nm /90' /90' procedure. A few posts back Richard said a final figure of 65-70lb/ft via 3 rounds of 40, 55, and 65.

Being of the Nm generation, can I just check that? For 70lb/ft I get a final figure of 95Nm - which just seems low given the palaver I had getting the OEM stretch bolts out.

95Nm is no problem - got good tools that can manage that accurately, it's just that the figure doesn't square with the fight I had getting them off!

Peace of mind gratefully accepted!

I'm afraid I've got no advice to give, but I'm interested in any answers as I'm in the same position - though with black/dark grey seats instead of cream.

The leather is in good nick but could benefit from some TLC.

^^ I might have mentioned this here before, or maybe it was somewhere else: I was waiting in a queue for a ferry once - in the Defender. A tourist from Oz wanders past, has a look at the rear door, and asked me: "Jeez! What do you do with that thing, wash it in salt water?!"

Before they made cars from zintec and plastic, rust and cars in the UK was just the way it was. Poor steel and an unhappy workforce in the 70s and 80s made it even worse.

The salt on the roads also depends on where you live in the country. I guess somewhere on the south coast of England sees very little, up here in the north of Scotland we see a LOT. Imagine setting off in the early morning for a 1 hour drive to a ferry; you come around a corner and you're following the gritting wagon. What do you do? Listen to your car crumble away around you, or overtake and take a chance on the icy road ahead...?

(I usually go for the icy road!)

Nice pic David - it confirms something I came across at the weekend when I removed my front bumper. Took the two bolts out; gave it a little nudge downwards, and it just slid off. I didn't have to do anything with the clips at the sides, but having read up on the job beforehand, I'd been expecting to have something rusty to contend with.

Studying the parts afterwards it seemed that someone just hadn't bothered to flip the wire clips downwards. I thought I could see by the shape of the bracket that the wire was supposed to sit in the slots, but your pic shows it nicely.

^^ That's reminded me that I meant to ask what the purpose of those boxes is? I hadn't noticed them previously, looking onto the engine from the top. However when I removed the hose, I thought wtf??

Im going to need to get a new hose anyway, as the bit that spurs off near the throttle to go to the valve has broken off.

I thought I saw them (the weird boxes) called 'resonators' or the like?

Thanks guys,
There are followers/tappets in the order with the cam. I think the cam is specifically designed for the 4.0V8, and as I've said Turners have been fitting these for many years.

I'm still reading up on cam specs etc - just to understand the details, though I get the basic principle.
These are the specs of the Kent H180G:
Cam Lift (mm) 7.01mm Inlet/Exhaust
Duration 262° Inlet/Exhaust
Duration at 1mm 215° Inlet/Exhaust
Full Lift 108° Inlet
LTDC 1.42mm Inlet
Timing 23/59 59/23
Valve Lift (mm) 11.20mm Inlet/Exhuast

In further news... the second head came off yesterday evening. A breeze compared to the first now that I had the 'knack'. The pics of head and block aren't sufficiently different from the LH ones above to be worth posting. I haven't managed to get a straight edge across them yet, as I need to do a bit of a tidy in the garage, but I'll be sending them to the local engine machine shop anyway for a clean up and pressure check. Another genuine LR stamped Elring gasket...

And, in looking at wiggling the other condensers and coolers out of the way to get the cam out, I've noticed that my A/C condenser is falling apart; the drier/receiver looks like a WW1 mortar shell that's just been dug up; and the system is completely empty....

Every day is a schoolday. On the plus side I've found a helpful local A/C guy who was happy to offer initial advice last night, and will come along and check out the system/fill it once I've put it all back together. Parts and HNBR O rings now in the post...

See! I knew that was a numpty question. I hadn't stuck the nut back in and was just trying to turn the shaft by hand (though with my 'grippy gloves' on, and it seemed pretty solid. I just had a little panic that I'd cocked it all up at the very outset.

On the rads etc, I'll to investigate that too then, or just decide to junk the whole idea of the replacement cam and rebuild it the way it is. Pretty sure the A/C system is empty anyway.

Thanks for the reply.

Finally a bit of 'progress' this eve, but it was a bit of a hard fight still.

First time I've had or used cobalt drills - won't be the last. Even at this stage I had to use the impact gun to twist off the last of it.

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So - the (one) cylinder head is off. Ta da!

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Obviously enough, I had no idea what to expect, but it all looks fine to me!

LH # 4 cylinder is maybe the 'grubbiest'

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Followed by its neighbour - LH # 3

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and the block/bores themselves.

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It's hard to photo, but there are still faint hatching marks on these bores. Though a couple of faint vertical lines too.

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The gasket is showing no sign of leakage, and is actually a genuine LR Elring - it has LR and the part number stamped on it. I don't know where all the muck on the front of the engine was coming from, maybe the valley gasket, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't the head gasket.

And, not quite 'best of all' but when I went to the remains of that awkward head bolt - the bloody thing just came off in my fingers! Aargh. But what a joy that I don't have to fight with it to take it out.

So if anyone spots anything in the pics that I haven't seen, please let me know.

Now, the numpty questions (there's always numpty questions)
1) How do I turn the crank to move the pistons? Or, what's really concerning me I suppose, can you move the engine with the transmission in Park....

2) Is it actually possible to remove/refit the camshaft with the engine in the car, and without removing the A/C condenser? I've measured the cam, roughly 51cm. The space between the block and the condenser, roughly 41cm. But perhaps the shaft angles when it comes out? There's no mention of this in the overhaul manual, but perhaps that assumes the engine is out and on the bench...


Gd - if cam timing is a black art to you, rest assured it's like double dutch heiroglyphs to me!

So, before pressing the button I have sent an email to the tech-support guys at Kent as well; and am researching further on cams and options/pitfalls. Even if I didn't get all of the "extra 22bhp" they're claiming, if I got some of that, and didn't cock up the engine running, I'd be happy. It would be at least as good as it was when I took it apart, I'll have more confidence in the engine, and in myself having learnt some new stuff along the way. Like all this stuff about camshaft... who knew!

Thanks Harv. The crank pulley came off easily enough with my impact gun - the same one that's struggling with the head bolts... which I find interesting.

Good to get it confirmed that I can manage the seal and oil pump in 'bush mechanic' fashion without the LR tools.

On another note, anyone know if the timing procedure is in RAVE? I've seen it set out online, but all I can find in my workshop manual is a reference to lining up the timing marks on the cam and crank sprockets and sliding them on with the chain - nothing about finding TDC or measuring the degrees with the protractor. Of course it could be there, hidden somewhere else, and not in the same section as the camshaft or timing chain replacement.

Hi - not much progress really. The postie arrived with my 3/4 drive 5/8 socket... and it's just too big. The head casting just gets in the way. Luckily I did also get my 1/2 impact 16mm and 5/8 sockets so I now have a couple of options to use.... when I feel lucky!

Still pondering the camshaft. I phoned Turners to put to them the thoughts above about not changing only one thing. (Though I do get the logic of that). They reckon they've been successfully putting this, or cams like it, into V8s for some 10-15 years. I have a 'shopping cart' filled, just not hit the 'buy it' button, as I thought it might be cunning to check there wasn't some absolutely essential special tool costing as much as the cam.... and while there isn't for the cam, I've realised there are two for the front cover.... b@gg@r. A tool to line up the oil pump drive sprocket; and another to put the outer crank oil seal on.

I haven't set timing before, but have been reading up, and I reckon I could manage that. I'll need a protractor (apparently) but I do have a Dial Indicator (DTI). And of course the heads will be off, so finding TDC shouldn't be rocket science.

For those who know more than me - i.e. most of you - can I presume there are workarounds to this? Any reason I can't fit the oil seal with the cover on the bench, and then persuade the pump into place on the woodruff key?

Back to the camshaft, and pitfalls, tips or tricks to that and the timing??


Thanks Gd - you can be sure I'll post pics of the bores once I remove the heads. (I wish the couriers would hurry up with those sockets!)

I managed to get one of the cam followers out earlier (LH bank, #2 from the front) and it was beautiful. The bottom was mirror-smooth. I couldn't see my face in it, but I could very, very clearly see the weave of my T-shirt reflected. So that's one thing that matches a 75k speedo/mileage figure.

But your "wondering" about the engine or the oil is precisely the question I was asking myself. Is it really as original as a 75k speedo reading would suggest, or has something else taken place - or is it 75k oil?? I have a service record which strongly suggests a reasonable level of servicing, but who really knows what that means.

I will obviously be replacing all the seals and gaskets on the way 'back out' from this point. I have new plugs and leads on order, or already here.

Camshaft. I have a deal of faith in Turners' experience and track record as being a gold-standard supplier so I'm about 80-90% decided to go for their camshaft upgrade. I'm sure I haven't driven the car long enough to have a properly informed opinion about the engine performance - but I can see it increasing my knowledge and experience, while not emptying my wallet.

My daughter's just said she'd like to come home from Uni and get some intensive post-Covid driving experience in before going for a text.

The Yeti's too .new and the insurance would be annoying; the Defender's just not a learner's car; so I'd better get a move on with the P38!

I think you've found just about THE best place for P38 advice and assistance in the whole www. Welcome.

My P38 is my 3rd Range Rover - 2 'classics' before this - but it's my 1st P38 and I'm pretty much a newbie too. Mechanically it seems pretty simple, electronics might be another issue, but the whole package is a lovely machine. As Gd says, at least you shouldn't have too much rust to worry about.

Well...... It strikes me that it must often be frustrating to offer good, hard-won and experienced advice to people.......only to have them ignore it!

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Pearls among swine, Gd. Pearls among swine.....!

The whole front of the engine was actually pretty grotty. Oil and muck, so I though I'd just prefer to 'do it properly'.

Even underneath the sump was very oily, so I'm thinking that it was leaking somewhere - either the gasket, or one of the oil cooler pipes.

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Sump removed ....

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More strange non-factory marker pen....

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Underneath the engine looked darker than I might have expected

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when I took the sump of my 300Tdi, after 23 years and 220,000 miles it looked astonishingly (to me) shiny and clean. I could look straight up under the pistons and see 'clean' metal. This seems a lot darker. I thought the detergents in modern oils were supposed to help keep things fresher? I know the history of my Defender from when it had 65k on the clock, and was about 7 years old. I know I've been pretty religious with the servicing/oil and filter changes, so in that respect I probably shouldn't have been surprised that it looked so clean.

As I was told it, my P38 was a two owner car. Original for about the first 7 years, then the second owner was essentially the same family. It was 'dad's car' then became 'mum's car' until mum felt it easier to use something smaller. Then 'son' said to 'dad' that it ought not to be left sitting around so much, and took it on.

But I do wonder about things. The RH cylinder head has the marker pen writing; the sump has the marker pen; the front of the engine has these stamped marks - are they 'factory'? They don't really look it to me.

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Anyway, I think I've reached the bottom of my 'strip down'. Maybe. Camshaft??

I take the point about 'hot' cams being all about the top end. I remember putting a 'fast road' cam, gas flowed head, 1+3/4 SU carb, and competition distributor into a Mini - that was a lot of fun... a lot.

Turner Engineering (who rebuilt my Tdi last year) have a Kent cam on sale. The blurb says this:

_"emphasized text H180 Kent Sports Torque Rover V8 camshaft 4.0 - 4.6 Gems & Mems

Kent Cams H180 'Sports Torque' camshaft has been designed as a straight forward replacement performance cam for the Rover V8 engine and is suitable for both the Gems and Mems (Thor) ignition types.

With a duration of 262º and a valve lift of 11.2mm the H180 camshaft improves low end torque and is capable of increasing peak power by 22bhp, all whilst retaining the use of OE valve springs and maintains stable idle characteristics essential for: everyday use, on or off road, manual or automatic gearbox cars._

_An improved version of the former Kent sports torque H180 v8 camshaft

The new camshaft is produced on an improved 'Chilled Iron' cam blank which gives significantly superior reliability over the original production cams._emphasized text"

I'm 'tempted'. One of the good things about having the P38 as a second car is that I can use it to expand my own mechanical experience (it's doing that already....) so I can 'afford' to have it sitting in the garage while I wait for stuff to come up the road and get fitted.

It's also the case that, even since the beginning of this thread, the car has gone from a 'not quite sure where I'm going with this vehicle' to a 'definite keeper and loving it' sort of thing.

In that respect, even now, an additional £300 for a cam, and £100 for followers isn't 'such' a big deal. If I get the car back together, learn a lot in the process, and then keep it going for the next 5 - 10 years, I'll be delighted.

Thanks very much - appreciate that, particulary the info about the steering shaft. I hadn't really started looking at that yet. I think it was just age making things difficult. The car is off the ground, with no wheels on; and the ignition key was turned to take the steering lock off, so there was absolutely no tension at all in the shaft. I could get the splines to go 'out'; I just couldn't get them to go 'in' and therefore allow enough clearance to pull the UJ off the steering box.

You think that if I refit the longer pump bolts, that go through into the engine block, that this would nip up the seal enough? You're 100% right, it was opening those three longer bolts that gave the leak.

Having said all that, and given the general pattern of iffy maintenance, I am still wondering about going 'all the way' and taking the sump and cover off.

Any thoughts on a warmer cam? I did have a search on here, but couldn't really find anything specific. By the time you buy the cam and followers, its another £400, so not insignificant, but if I don't plan to be back in the neighbourhood for another few years...... ??

Thanks guys - I thought I'd posted a further comment, but I must have missed the button.
Having googled a lot, I wondered the same thing about the old spark plugs. I also read somewhere that they had a 72,000 mile service interval - which could mean they are original on this car, and might help explain they were so difficult to shift.
I now have 8xNGK BCPR6ES on the way.

If I was to do the timing chain etc (If, because the engine has only done 75k) is there any merit at all in a different/upgraded camshaft? I know I'd need to change the followers and pushrods too. Turners have a mildly hotter version available. I don't particulary feel any need for this, just wondering given that I'll be 'there' anyway.

Also read something from Gilbertd about pulling one of the crankshaft bearing caps... but again, at 75k, is this even worth considering??

Hey, I’m back! Strap yourselves in, it’s been a hell of a day....!

It’s been a day when I could have used lots and lots of sweary words , but I’ll spare you that in the interests of brevity.

Started off trying to get the intermediate steering shaft off. I referred very carefully to the WSM – don’t hit anything with a hammer, and push the shaft towards the bulkhead once all the bolts are undone. Ha ha ha ha ha!

I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong, but the XXXX thing just wouldn’t shift. Eventually, after just a few gentle taps with a hammer ... I realised that the long set of splines, at the steering box UJ just wasn’t moving enough to give me clearance. So, out came Mr Grinder...!

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To be fair to myself, even on the ground, those splines would go no further into the UJ, so cutting it out was the only option. I’m assuming 20 yrs of wear have created a little ridge inside the UJ.

So, manifold out, no great drama, except that the nuts between the manifold and exhaust were a 13mm, a 14mm and a 15mm. How...... entertaining!

Right. Next. Spark plugs. How hard can that be? (Bearing in mind my last 20 years of experience has been on a Defender 300Tdi diesel). On every single plug I had to use a 450mm ½” breaker bar. And, unfortunately, this picture tells its own story (apart from being upside down!).

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I did try and use a ‘reverse spiral easy out’ on the broken plug, once I’d dug out all its internals – but to be honest I gave up on that, as I know the heads are coming off anyway, and given how tight all the plugs were in, I thought I was likely to just do more damage.

For those of you more used to spark plugs....

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The end of the electrode on the old plugs looks a lot smaller than the new one alongside – have they just eroded over time? Other than that they seem OK to me – pretty consistent, and not fouled.

A set of ‘Champion’ plugs came with the car. Much bigger hex than the old ones - as you can see in the pics. Are these ‘OK’ or should I get something different? Given what’s to follow, the cost of a set of plugs isn’t going to make a lot of difference.....

So, because I’m still waiting for the UK, and the US posties to bring me my new sockets, I couldn’t go any further with the heads, and moved on to the water pump. (I’ll post a separate thread about my new water pump).

The “old” one looks is pretty good nick, I have to say, but I still 100% accept the logic of having a look while I’m here. Though I could probably just clean up the faces and stick this back on.

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However (insert lots of sweary words) as soon as I cracked off the first few water pump bolts, I noticed a leak between the front/timing cover and the block. I dived underneath with a torch, just to check that the leak wasn’t simply flowing down that way, but no. The gasket between the timing cover and block is gone. Green line shows the leak – in fact in the orginal uncompressed picture, you can actually see the coolant stream just to the left of the green line.

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So, now, having started all of this to try and chase one water leak at the back of the valley gasket, I’m into a tricky head removal, and taking the sump and front cover off.......

Indeed, to get my impact gun onto the crankshaft nut, the radiator will have to come off! At least it’s already empty...

This is where I left it this eve.

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I’ve sort of been here before, recently, with the Tdi. So it’s not excessively scary, but I was surprised to see that there were no bolts inside the crankshaft pulley/damper.

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I thought there would be some bolts in there, allowing me to attach a tool to lock the pulley while torqueing off the crankshaft nut? (Edit: there are two threaded holes - that's just a rubbish photo)

So, now I’m going to be effectively stripping the engine down to just a short block. It’s certainly giving me good value in the ‘hours in the garage:initial purchase price’ ratio.

If I keep going at this rate, I’ll have the engine out and on the bench by the end of next week.

Having said all of that, it’s probably obvious that I’m not really that bothered. In a perverse way I realise that I’m having to catch up on many, many years of poor or minimal maintenance, and once I’ve done all of this (plus the stuff I’ve already spent many hours on) then I’ll have a car that I’ll be much more confident of mechanically. All the electrickery will be another matter. (but I did unbolt the fusebox today to have a peek underneath, and that at least looks split new.)

And that's about it for now. I might take a day off tomorrow, or pull the radiator out. (FXck! I've only literally just realised that it's not 'just' the radiator that will have to come out on this car, but the oil coolers and AC condenser.... aaargh.)

Please feel free to comment on any of the stuff above – spark plug questions etc.

In addition as I’ll be removing the front cover, what do I do at the same time? Oil pump rotors? Or, given the state of the water pump, and the engine’s 75k miles, are they likely to be pretty good, and I should leave them untouched? Anything else? Radiator looks more or less split new from the inside, and I already have a new serpentine belt and a couple of new jockey pulleys.

Well, I don't know about you guys, but I'm heaving a sigh of relief! We have movement!

With the knowledge that I wouldn't necessarily kill anything by tackling the bolts out of sequence, I went for the ones that my current sockets allow access to - the three middle ones inside the rocker cover; and the middle of the lower line. I just let the impact gun rattle away - loosen, tighten, loosen, tighten etc. They still weren't moving with the gun, but it was doing something, and generating a bit of heat. Then I switched the impact socket onto the long bar and tube handle and I got 4 of them to shift. I've nipped them back up again for now, but they'll come off Ok.

I now need to wait for the slimmer socket to arrive to get access to the ones that are more obstructed by the head casting.

Full of confidence (well, not really) I went to the RHS, removed the liner, and manifold heat shield and loosened the exhaust bolts. Once I knew there were no demons hiding there, I took the same approach with one of the head bolts - on/off/on/off with the gun, then crack it off with the long bar. Got one to just start turning.

I do wonder if something's non-standard here though. It's a 16mm impact socket I'm using, and it's taking a hell of a beating, but it feels just a little too loose for comfort - given the torque involved.

But anyway, I think the long and short of this is that the current dramatic episode is over. I know they will shift, and have worked out a 'process' that will take them off. After all this, I'll defnitely be taking the heads to the machine shop though for a 'once over'

Thanks very much for the info and the moral support!

Thanks Chris - yep, that's precisely the socket I broke last night - 16mm Halfords plug socket. I couldn't use my 3/4 bar as I don't have a 3/4 to 1/2 adaptor. I have one that goes the other way round... I'll fish out the 3/4 bar when the new sockets arrive.

Not sure I'm familiar with grip tight sockets - will have a look at that.