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

I took my P38 through a car wash today after filling up with fuel. It looks nice & shiny now even if there are a few bumps & scrapes that it's picked up over the years.

I also fitted new wiper blades all round. I bought them from https://www.wiperblades.co.uk. I went for the Michelin Radius Retrofit Beam at a total of £39.10 including next day delivery. They are lovely soft rubber & do a great job in the rain very quietly.

I've been with the RAC for years & always been happy with the service when I have needed them. The last time I needed them was about six months ago when my new to me Jaguar S-type had a puncture while I was on my way to work. It was dark & pissing down with rain & I had to wait a couple of hours for them to arrive but I didn't fancy getting soaked & dirty changing the wheel with a jack & wheel nut spanner I had never used before. If I hadn't been on my way to work I would probably have changed the wheel myself.

About four years ago I had to call out the RAC several times for a flat battery on my P38 when I ended up needing to use the EKA & synchronise the key fob. I had the same guy each time & he was quite knowledgable about the P38 & got me going each time. I searched around the forums & discovered that my flat battery problems where caused by the remote receiver waking up the BECM all the time with spurious radio signals. I had previously lived in a rural area away from other houses & it was only after I moved to town & had to park the P38 on the street that I encountered the battery drain problem.

Other call outs I have had over the years that I can recall are:-

The clutch cable on my Citroën BX snapping as I approached a toll booth on a motorway in the south of France on a Sunday afternoon. We were recovered off the motorway then taken to a small family garage where they fabricated a new cable & fixed the problem.

The water pump on my Audi A6 ruptured when I was in a rural area in France on a Sunday. We were recovered to the nearest Audi garage & provided with a hire car. It took about three days for the car to be fixed & cost me €800.

The offside front tyre on my Audi A6 went 'Bang!' as I was driving along a fast A road. I was able to pull over partly onto the narrow grass verge. I put my warning triangle back down the road & had the flashers going but really didn't fancy trying to jack up the front of the car & change the wheel while traffic was passing so closely. The RAC guy parked his van down the road & quickly lifted the car with a trolley jack & had the spare wheel on within a couple of minutes.

I've always been satisfied with the service I've had from the RAC & they are the only operator that offer European breakdown cover on twenty year old vehicles like P38s.

I now live in France more than half the time & have re-registered my P38 on French number plates so cannot have breakdown cover from the RAC or any other UK service. There is no equivalent of the RAC or AA in France as breakdown cover is included with your car insurance but this isn't roadside assistance just a recovery to the nearest suitable garage & a taxi home.

To follow up on Richard's report after I collected the car & was about half way home the SRS AIRBAG FAULT came up on the dashboard. At Richard's suggestion I read the error code with my iCarsoft CR PRO which I've never used in anger on the P38 before (I bought it for my Jaguar S-type) which was reported as "Short circuit fault in driver airbag circuit". This seemed odd as it seemed most likely that if the fault was related to the recent work it would a loose connection as the wiring got disturbed. I unplugged & replugged the airbag connectors under each seat after applying some circuit cleaner but without success. It still seemed most likely that it was a disturbed cable after having the dashboard out but I started depressing myself by reading forum posts about intractable airbag faults.

As luck would have it I had managed to leave my Jaguar car keys in the central console of Richard's P38 Ascot that I borrowed while mine was in pieces. It's a 180 mile round trip from my place to Richard's but only about 10 miles from where I work 2-3 days per week. I normally commute with my 2.7 diesel S-type as it's so much more economical than my 4.6L P38 so leaving my keys in the Ascot probably cost me £30 as I had to drive to work in the P38 yesterday! However it did mean that I could pop over to see Richard who was able to read the error codes with his Nanocom which was reported as an open circuit fault with the driver airbag which made more sense.

Richard whipped off the access panel under the steering column then unplugged & replugged the airbag connector switched the ignition on & the error code was gone & hasn't reappeared. Result!

What is the advantage of the Faultmate over the Nanocom Evolution? The BBS website isn't very clear. They have a comprehensive list of what the Faultmate can do https://blackbox-solutions.com/shop/product/mp015 but almost no information about the Nanocom.

BTW I see why you bought the single VIN software as the full fat version is €1,783.81 versus €345.04.

A few years back I got some new tyres at ATS & they offered for a price to inflate my tyres with nitrogen promising some magical benefit. I declined on the basis that air is about 80% nitrogen already so that would be good enough for me.

KCR wrote:

Another diagnostic option is the RSW suite v4 for a laptop / tablet. That's usually my first and preferred choice.

I have used the free older version of the RSW Unlock software on the EAS & it's brilliant. I hadn't realised that the paid for version had Nanocom like capabilities. It's a lot cheaper than buying a Nanocomm but does it do everything that a Nanocom can do?

I put my P38 through a final MOT about a month ago. I have re-registered it in France so now it is due a Contrôle Technique every two years but thought it useful to have a third party look under the car & warn me about any developing problems like split rubber boots. Apparently it only just passed on emissions but the only advisories were a "oil leaks - unknown" (it's a P38 so of course it has an oil leak:-) & "tappet knocking in engine (may effect the emissions)". There has been a very loud tappet noise for about eight years so I'm not worried but it's the first time I've heard of that as an MOT advisory.

The lights look fantastic but if they are powered off the trailer auxiliary plug how do you switch the lights off?

Just to update. The parts arrived & it was a pretty straightforward job to put everything back together. I found that tightening up the left most bolt on the water pump (viewed from front) was only possible after I removed the idler pulley that was blocking the path of the socket wrench. It was much easier replacing the belt with the fan removed & I now appreciate why RAVE describes this step.

Removing the fan was easy as the water pump was seized & it just need a little loosening with a 36mm spanner then the big nut spun off easily with my fingers. Replacing the fan however was an absolute pain. It needs to be offered up at exactly the right angle to engage on the threaded shaft on the water pump. I took 10-15 minutes of fiddling about before I finally got the thread started then it was easy to spin the fan round & tighten up.

The first day when I took it apart I was wearing a T-shirt & ended up with extensive scratches on both forearms that still haven't healed. Learning from this I wore a long sleeved rugby shirt when putting it all back together thus protecting myself from the multiple hose clips & other sharp edges.

Speaking of hose clips. I struggled with using my Mole wrench to compress the clip on the hose attached to the water pump. I managed it eventually but this would have been so much easier with the correct tool which @Gilbertd tells me is https://www.amazon.co.uk/FAVENGO-Pliers-Flexible-Maintenance-Radiator/dp/B086QHZRVH/ I notice in the photos demonstrating use of this tool the mechanics are wearing protective leather gloves!

One irritating mistake I made was in replacing the plastic cover over the belt & pulleys at the top right (viewed from the front). It's held in with two bolts & there is a 3" spacer that the left hand bolt runs through. I managed to drop the spacer three times. The first two times it dropped clear through the engine compartment onto the ground where I recovered it but the third time it disappeared behind/under the alternator somewhere never to be seen again. The spacer is just a metal tube so should be easily replaced. I hadn't noticed that the two bolts holding the cover down are different lengths so I messed up the thread on the longer bolt by over tightening it as I had it in the place where the shorter bolt should be. The cover is secure & it's not touching the belt but none the less the fact that it's not right is annoying.

The radiator shroud needs replacement but the repair with gaffer tape will do for now.

I was well pleased when I started up the engine & all worked as expected. I had no problems at all with refilling the coolant. I had read of others who had issues with air locks so was concerned. I filled up with 50:50 OAT as per the instructions in RAVE ie run the engine with the cap off the header tank topping up as required then when the engine was up to temperature switching off & allowing the engine to cool down still with the cap then filling up once more.

I was particularly pleased with myself as this was the first proper work I have done on any car for over 30 years. When younger I did all sorts of work on Minis & Mk 1 Ford Escorts (engine replacements, head gaskets, brake callipers, bodywork etc) mostly because I didn't have the money to take the cars to a garage. As soon as I was earning enough money to pay a garage to do the work for me I figured it made more sense for me to spend my time earning money to pay a garage to do the job for me. This has been particularly the case as cars have got more & more complicated & difficult to work on without specialist equipment. The P38 might have some complicated electronics & the EAS is ingenious but they are still accessible & have rugged old fashioned mechanical components that mean the amateur mechanic still has a chance.

Gilbertd wrote:

How to post photos https://rangerovers.pub/topic/1877-how-to-topic

Found it & fixed my earlier posts. The link that I had been given from the image hosting site was not a direct link to the image with .jpg at the end.

The LED units look good but your first link doesn't work I just get a 404 error.

BTW I haven't been able to get embedded photos to work when posting on this forum either but I have seen posts with embedded images so it is possible & obviously some trick is required.

Battery powered cars are just the wrong technology for so many practical reasons. Many people cannot charge at home or at work. A whole new charging infrastructure needs to be rolled out

Hydrocarbons are so much more energy dense & suitable for powering vehicles than batteries. We would be much better off spending the money currently being devoted to battery cars to developing synthetic fuel. It's already possible to make petrol by sucking CO2 out of the air & catalysing it with hydrogen. The cost is currently several times that of petrol but it's carbon neutral. Synthetic fuel is going to be necessary anyway for vehicles that batteries can never be suitable for eg tractors & other agricultural machinery, earth moving equipment. Aviation can never have battery planes. They will need synthetic carbon neutral fuel to continue flying.

Biofuels aren't really the answer as they require so much land but I'm currently in France & E85 (85% bioethanol 15% petrol) is widely available & less than half the price of petrol so I'm doing my bit for the planet & my pocket by currently running on 50:50 E85 & E10. I see no difference in performance & only a little higher consumption. I have read in French Range Rover forums of guys running their P38s on 100% E85 so am currently working up to that. I usually do 18mpg on petrol but saw 16mpg on 30% E85 70% E10.

It makes me wonder whether more of that sludge is lurking around in other parts of the engine. Perhaps the cooling system would benefit from a good flush through & refill with 50:50 OAT before the new radiator gets sludge up?

The water pump was jammed solid so I was easily able to remove the fan with just a little touch of the nut with the 36mm spanner then it came undone with just my fingers. Now that the fan is off it looks much worse than I had thought. I have one on order that will be delivered in a couple of days so I will hold off reassembling everything until I have the new fan as it was easy to get off without the special tool as the water pump was seized but might not be so easy if I put it all back together again.

The water pump was seized because the bearings had failed & the impeller on the shaft had been gouging out the inside of the water pump & bending the impeller blades until one blade embedded itself in the body of the pump & wedged solid. That is when I imagine that the belt snapped. Inspecting the old belt it's actually in decent condition (apart from being snapped) with no obvious wear or cracking.

I have a new water pump arriving tomorrow so will be fitting it on. Then I will re-fit the new belt. It is actually much easier to fit the belt with the fan removed as I discovered after I had fitted the belt then removed it again when I found the water pump immovable. I see now why RAVE describes removing the fan first.

Actually fitting the belt was pretty easy once I used my secret weapon - an extra long (37cm) 15mm ring spanner - easily worth the €18.60 it cost from Amazon. With this I was able to easily apply enough force to the tensioner to make lifting the belt up onto the alternator fully easy. It also made it a single person job.

Gilbertd wrote:

If the blades are only chipped and not cracked, I'd leave it, particularly as you don't have the spanner to take it off. As you've discovered from the diagram, there's not need to take the fan off to fit the belt, it can just be threaded through. Fit it onto all pulleys except the alternator and make sure it is on straight, then heave on the tensioner bolt to give some slack and slip it onto the alternator. Don't trap your fingers, don't want you to end up in A&E.......

The blades are more than chipped. I think that two are intact but the rest have about a third of the blade shaved off. If it wasn't for the intact ones I wouldn't be able to tell how much had been removed.

KCR wrote:

IMHo You should take off the fan anyway, because You'll ruin the water pump / visco coupling sooner or later. You won't have fan blades accelerated flying off under the bonnet, too.
You need a 36mm Spanner and hold the water pump, with the tool it is much easier, but maybe You can get it off without, as Your fan already went south. If it has been 10 years never removed, it usually will need some kind of "persuasion". Lots of solvent in advance, patience and good luck!

The belt arrived this morning. I have a fan on order but it might take another week to arrive. I have just discovered that someone we know here in France has got the fan removal tools for his TD5 which I believe can also be used on the V8 so I will replace the fan when it arrives.

Harv wrote:

You don’t need to remove the fan, just the upper part of the fan shroud. Too bad you drove it until it steamed, hopefully no serious engine damage.

The belt arrived this morning. I'm not sure why I would need to remove the fan shroud as the belt runs quite a way back from there. I have already removed the shroud that covers the two pulleys at top right (whatever they are).

I wasn't sure which forum to post this but RAVE puts it under Electrical so who am I to argue?

I have a 2001 4.6L Vogue. Last Saturday my serpentine belt snapped. There was initially some noise under the bonnet like a branch being dragged along. Then a sort of 'Bang!' & the steering suddenly went really heavy. I guessed immediately that it was the serpentine belt so drove on for a short distance until I found somewhere safe to stop by which time the temperature warning light was on & steam escaping from the header tank cap. The belt was all shredded & it had taken chunks out of half of the fan blades plus another chunk out of the lower fan shroud so the upper fan shroud has nowhere to clip to on the right.

I've had the car brought back to the house & I should have a new belt delivered tomorrow but I just wanted to check a few things. RAVE describes removing the fan but I cannot see any reason for this. The fan isn't in the way at all & removing the fan isn't going to make putting the belt on any easier as far as I can see. I've identified the tensioner & putting a 15mm spanner on it can move it across plenty so it all looks straightforward to put the belt back on. Oddly RAVE doesn't show how the belt runs round the various pulleys. @Gilbertd sent me this image that matches my engine.
enter image description here

I've also found this photo which also shows quite well how it is fitted (the shroud over the two pulleys at top right has been removed)
enter image description here

Are there any hints or tips anyone has? According to an Atlantic British service schedule that I downloaded the serpentine belt should be replaced every 60,000 miles. My P38 has done 166,660 which is about 86,000 more than it had done when I bought it 10 years ago & even though I've had it regularly serviced I don't ever recall mention of a new serpentine belt so I'm not sure when if ever it's been changed.

Will the damaged fan be a problem? I can repair the fan shroud with gaffer tape. It should be all right for cooling as it's just had a new radiator & the fan blades are mostly there but looking moth eaten. Will it be a problem if it's unbalanced? I cannot get a new fan for several days & it looks like a bit of a bugger to get it off unless you buy a special expensive pair of tools so if I don't need to replace the fan as a matter of urgency I would be pleased.

To add further to the background. I have been using the same garage for over four years. They are specialise in 4x4 & always have a collection of Range Rovers parked outside. I have had long chats with the mechanic who specialises in P38s. He was formerly employed by the Land Rover main agent & told me all about the many training courses he was sent on when the P38 was introduced as there were so many advanced features for the car at that time. They are OK for regular servicing & have replaced various components of the EAS over the years but I have lost faith in their competence recently.

The car had a spectacular water loss when the water pump sprung a leak & subsequently had regular overheating problems. The garage put this down to leaking a head gasket or cylinder liners as their test for combustion gas in the coolant was positive. They offered me the option of stripping down the engine to find the problem at an unknown but high cost or using Steel Seal as a last ditch emergency repair. At the time I was getting disheartened about the car & saw it as a potential money pit so opted for the cheap option. To everybody's surprise it fixed the problem & there was no more issues with overheating for over six months. They used three bottles of Steel Seal as that is the correct dosage for an engine of 4L or more. I believe that the overheating was due to a leaking head gasket or cylinder liner & that Steel Seal did fix the problem. When I got the car back after this repair I noticed that the heater operated very poorly. Some warmth did come out but not the roasting hot temperature of which it was previously capable. The garage should have by-passed the heater matrix before pouring in the Steel Seal.

Six months later I had another overheating issue but this time it wasn't so dramatic as it didn't occur until I had driven 10-15 miles & then while the red overheat light came on the needle didn't get up to more than 3/4 of the way to max. This time they put in two more bottles of Steel Seal but they also flushed out the cooling system which I think is what fixed the problem. Unfortunately as @Gilbertd (Richard) has shown the effectiveness of the cooling was still vastly reduced by a radiator that was clogged internally so the coolant flowed poorly & clogged externally so that air flow was reduced too. Now the heater matrix was horribly clogged & so the heater was hardly working at all. The needle was no longer going above normal & the overheat light wasn't illuminating but the overall efficiency of the cooling system was marginal so while driving along with air flowing through the radiator was OK sitting idling for 30 minutes was enough for it to overheat & boil over.

I'm really grateful for Richard's assistance in fixing my problems. It's unfortunate that replacing the heater matrix proved impossible in the time available but I needed to have the car back for my return to France where I now live over half the time. The car has just been re-registered & put on French plates. It didn't miss a beat in the 500 miles 10 hour journey from my house in the UK to my house in France. The heater matrix was bypassed to stop the leak & I had thought that I wouldn't miss the heater in August but found a 7am start would have been more comfortable with a bit of extra warmth.

Just to add to Richard's write up. He handed me one of the O rings which cracked & shattered in my fingers. It was the consistency of dried pasta.It was interesting to actually calibrate the EAS heights after I had read up on all the theory. Clambering under the car with the blocks then reading the Nanocom gives you a much better idea of what you are trying to achieve than just reading the instructions.

I'm looking forward to more repairs next month when I drop off the car with Richard for him to have for as long as it takes to fit the new heater matrix plus he has promised some other fixes like cruise control (to help me avoid speeding tickets) & the glove box strut (to avoidd my wife's complaints of it dropping down & hitting her knees every time she opens it😀).

I have owned my 2001 P38 4.6L Vogue for ten years. I have suffered many of the usual P38 problems with EAS, remote receiver, crankshaft position sensor etc but nothing major until it started overheating last year. It's either the head gasket or the cylinder liners but was fixed with some liberal application of Steel Seal. This fixed the overheating problem with combustion gases entering the cooling system but put a load of sludge into the radiator & heater matrix which led to more overheating problems & a non-functioning heater.

I was very happy to meet @Gilbertd in person as he lives only 10 miles from where I work. He introduced me to this forum & has been doing some work on my car. The Nanocom fixed some minor irritating problems with the headlight warning & interior light not working. The new radiator has fixed the overheating but the leaking sludged up heater matrix proved more challenging so has been removed & bypassed for the moment so I don't have a heater at present but in summer this isn't a problem. Replacing the heater matrix requires complete removal of the dashboard & is a 2-3 day job that will have to wait until next month. The AC has been recharged so I can be icey cool when it's hot outside.

I acquired the car as part of a divorce settlement ten years ago. My initial plan had been to sell it it but after I drove it for a week or two I fell in love with it. It's still the nicest car I have ever driven. I love the driving position, the visibility, the manoeuvrability, the performance etc The fuel consumption of 18mpg is the price I have to pay for driving around in a £50,000 car. It's not my daily driver but I do use it regularly. We have had countless journeys to & from our cottage in Brittany heavily loaded in both directions. We are now resident in France & spend over half our time there so the P38 has been re-registered on French plates. There was a one off cost of registration of €500 but there is now no equivalent of road tax in France so I save over £300 each year. The equivalent of the MOT (Côntrole Technique) is every two years. I considered an LPG conversion but first I am going to experiment with E85 (85% ethanol 15% petrol) which is available in France at half the price of petrol.