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The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse
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Yesterday we drove down to Brittany again. This time I took the ferry from Poole to Cherbourg. It's a bit further to drive than my preferred Portsmouth to Saint-Malo route but we had been over in the New Forest for a college reunion so I thought that I would give it a try. When I checked in at Poole I chatted through the open window with a chap who was giving us directions who commented that my P38 sounded a bit noisy but I didn't think that it was any worse than normal. It's had a loud ticking from the engine for 8-10 years. It's probably a tappet but has never seemed to get any worse. Oddly it was even an advisory on the MOT last year. However I became aware as we were driving from Cherbourg to our cottage that it had developed a throaty roar when accelerating.

This morning I had a look to try & figure out what was up. It's definitely noisier when the engine is revved up but it's hard to place exactly where the sound is coming from. It sounds like a blowing exhaust but I clambered under the car & can't see any obvious holes. I couldn't feel any leaks either but the front pipes heat up quickly so it's not easy to get your hand in position while lying on the ground. I'm reassured that I probably don't have anything as deteriorated as @Garvin's exhaust in the photo above so for the moment I shall just keep on driving until it reveals itself by deteriorating further. If it doesn't get any worse then when I am back in the UK I will take it into the independent Land Rover garage that I took it into last & get them to have a look up on the lift. I've ordered some exhaust bandage & mastic from Amazon which will be delivered on Monday. Even if I don't get to use it next week it will be a useful addition to my emergency repair box in the boot.

Gilbertd wrote:

You've been playing with your Nanocom again. It's an option under the BeCM menu for setting Arm/Disarm display.

Not guilty. I haven't had the Nanocom plugged in for ages. I did wonder whether I could switch it off & on. I will take a look.

BTW Sorry I just realised that I should have posted this question in Electrickery rather than Oily Bits.

Am I dreaming or thinking of another car? I'm sure the indicators on my Vogue used to flash when I locked or unlocked with the fob but they don't now. Everything else is working well. It has a new latch in the driver's door. Am I imagining flashing indicators?

Aragorn wrote:

My car has a sad cup holder like this:

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/arUAAOSwzixc77dp/s-l1600.jpg

Its rubbish as its too shallow and cups fall out.

I came across this however (ignoring the ludicrous price):

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/294301903188?hash=item4485c2a954:g:P6kAAOSwwchhAlIq

Much deeper cup holes... Was this a later revision? Or is it some sort of aftermarket addition?

The cup holder in the second link looks exactly like what I have in my 2001 Vogue so I'm sure it's a factory option. I am so pleased that I lucked out when I bought my P38 back in 2011. I knew nothing about P38s & looked at several. I eventually bought it because my ex-wife wanted one & liked the colour plus it was a good price at £5K with only 80K miles it looked immaculate (less so now) & everything worked properly except the heated seats (they still don't work). I don't think I even realised a Vogue was top of the range. I could just as easily have bought a lesser model & now be suffering cup holder envy.

I realise that I am really referring to up market bangernomics. The only time I have really gone the true bangernomics route was when I went to work in France in 1997 & bought a used BMW 320 automatic for 8,000 francs (about £800) as a temporary measure as an alternative to renting a car. I ended up keeping the car for ten years until it died with some mysterious electrical fault that the garage couldn't diagnose. Apart from servicing & tyres the only work it ever needed was a replacement fuel tank that was leaking. I did about 100K km & drove it all over Europe & it never let me down until that final breakdown when it just died in a very inconvenient place near Nice airport.

I agree that it is helpful to have more than one car. I am currently running three. The Jaguar S-type for my 180 round trip on the A14. A Smart FourTwo for local-ish journeys as my wife is learning to drive. Finally my 2001 Vogue that I bought in 2011 for £4K. I must admit that I knew nothing about Range Rovers or EAS or V8s etc & only bought it because my ex-wife wanted one. I recognised at the time that I was buying cheaply a luxury car with original sale price of over £50K but would have to pay over the years with higher fuel consumption. I've loved it & had relatively few issues over the eleven years & >90K miles that I have put on it. I really lucked out with my purchase as it was in such great condition & hadn't been buggered up by previous owners. A couple of years ago we bought a cottage in Brittany & now spend just over 50% of our time there. The P38 has done sterling service back & forward dozens of times loaded up in both directions. It's now registered on French plates so I don't have to pay road tax any more. Best of all the high cost of fuel has been solved as it happily runs on E85 (85% bioethanol) widely available in France & currently around 75c/L versus €1.75 for E10. Fuel consumption is around 15mpg versus 18mpg but the cost is so much less it's the equivalent of getting about 35mpg. I am conscious that it is the only car I have in France so I am now paying particular attention to improving the reliability of the P38. The one time it was off the road waiting for parts after the water pump failed & took out the serpentine belt & fan I was able to hire a car from a local supermarket for just €7/day plus 15c/km or a fraction of the cost from Avis or Hertz.

Aragorn wrote:

Its also largely why i went electric with the daily. My commute is 80miles a day.

I had a 9 year old 330d, which was costing about 17p a mile. Round trip commute was about £13 a day. For a months commuting say 20 trips a month it was around £260 in diesel a month. It was also at the age where every month it was needing something fixing, often minor ofcourse, but still requiring time and effort.

Same commute in the EV costs about £2 a day in electricity, or 40quid a month. The first EV i leased was £260 a month, basically paid for itself by the time you'd taken fuel and tax into account, not to mention it was new, reliable and had a warranty.

The Skoda is a bit more expensive at £380 a month, but fuels also gone up (if i still had the 330d i'd be paying £15-16 a day now), and its a bigger, nicer car with more range, so i'm happy with the extra cost.

Clearly its not for everyone, but when the fuel savings mean its almost free it can really work in your favour. Theres no way i'd have paid those monthly payments for a new ICE car.

There is no way that I would spend that sort of money on ANY car especially one that i will never own! Leasing a car is a mug's game I would rather pay off the mortgage with the money.

I am a fervent advocate of bangernomics. Buy 10-15 year old a quality car for £2-5K then run it until it fails emissions or there is some major fault. Rince & repeat.

I had an Audi A6 Quattro 2.7T for eight years that cost me £2K to buy & another £2K in servicing & repairs. It went like a rocket but only did 25mpg. I drove it for over 70K miles.

I have a 2007 Jaguar S-type 2.7D that cost me £2K about 18 months ago plus another £1.5K to get it mechanically reliable with new injectors etc . It's cosmetically immaculate & drives like a dream giving 34mpg cruising at 70+mph on my regular commute 90 miles each way. Even with the cost of fuel & even if the car died tomorrow I'm still quids in compared to leasing a car especially as I've now reduced my work so I'm only doing my 180 mile round trip 5-6 times a month. I'm not committed to paying the lease cost for the next 2.5 years either.

Gilbertd wrote:

Starter motor would be a good call, coils but only if you can get genuine, aftermarket are likely to fail long before the originals. My original alternator lasted around 300k miles but even then it was only the brushes that wore out, for around £20 you can get a replacement regulator including brushes. Spark plug leads are almost a service item anyway. If the engine is going to somewhere like V8Developments or Turner, they will replace the oil pump, cam chain and any other bits that need replacing when doing the rebuild (mine got both and one faulty knock sensor when it was done). Oil coolers don't usually need replacing unless the threaded ends are stripped off when trying to change the hoses (which do start to leak at the crimped ends), so new hoses and cooler (if required) are probably a good idea. I would also say water pump but know you replaced that not long ago so won't need changing again.

The water pump had been replaced by the garage that formerly serviced my P38 about 18 months previously after it was said to be leaking. I don't know what brand they used but it looked like the bearings failed & the impeller gouged into the body. I replaced the failed pump with a BritPart ProFlow as the genuine LR part was ludicrously expensive & the only other pump available to me in France was suspiciously cheap. I wish that I had sourced an Airtex brand pump as that seems to be the most highly recommended. It's a simple job to replace anyway even with the engine in the car.

At the end of the day it's all a question of whether it's worthwhile expending effort & money on preventative maintenance/replacement or just waiting until something fails before fixing/replacing it.

My long term project is to have the engine in my 2001 Vogue reconditioned/remanufactured. Given all the labour involved & the ease of access to components what other ancillaries should I consider replacing with new or reconditioned items? A few obvious candidates include starter motor, alternator, coils, spark plug leads etc What about oil pump, oil cooler? Anything to do with gearbox or differentials?

I have owned my P38A for eleven years & it's now done 172,500 miles. It had 80K miles when I bought it. It's basically sound if a bit scruffy but has been regularly serviced & is rust free. It cost me £5K & it looks like clean examples are worth at least that now so it's worth it to me to invest some money to keep it running for another twenty years.

If it all works I wonder why GROM don't list their BT3 unit as working with a P38 emulating the CD changer? Their market for Bluetooth add-on units must be diminishing as modern cars have Bluetooth built in. Still at least there is an add-on Bluetooth unit available for the P38. My 2007 Jaguar S-type has built-in Bluetooth for connecting a phone but only for making phone calls & no add-on Bluetooth units are available from GROM or any other company so I have no option except to use a £10 device that plugs into the cigar lighter.

What's the deal with a GROM BT3 unit in a P38? The documents on their website only state support for 2002-2004 Range Rovers with a note that some earlier models may work so to contact them. I emailed them but have had no reply.

I use a £10 gadget that plugs in the cigar lighter, connects by Bluetooth & transmits on a relatively free frequency (108.00 MHz) which is OK but a bit susceptible to interference. I would prefer a proper Bluetooth unit that plugs into the radio. I have a 2001 Vogue with SatNav & CD-changer.

I like the fact that the sunroof gives me a window in the roof but I I don't recall ever having the sunroof open in the eleven years I have owned it. As Richard says what is the point when you have climate control. I don't want the sunroof open for the same reason that I don't have any windows open causing noise & draughts.

I live half the time in France & my 2001 Vogue is French registered. It's a bit tatty but basically sound with just over 170,000 miles on the clock. I'm torn between waiting for the engine to die then fixing it or pre-emptively spending £5K+ on a reconditioned engine.

If you wanted another somewhat similar vehicle I was very impressed with the Freelander 2 that I had as a loaner car when I took my P38 in for a service. The Freelander 2 is basically a Ford made at Halewood. They have a good reputation for reliability & the 2.2L diesel will go on forever. If I was in the market for another car I could go for a Freelander 2.

nigelbb wrote:

You get a good view of the latch by opening the window fully then shining a bright torch down the slot towards the rear then squinting down the slot. I'm pretty sure that if it were some other portion of the latch causing problems that you could operate it with some sort of metal hook or some other amateur locksmith tool. When I was Googling 'P38 driver's door locked' I only found quite extreme suggestions as to how to get the door open eg removing the offside front wing to allow you to unbolt the hinges. I'm surprised that the more subtle approach of squinting down inside the door with the aid of a bright torch didn't get mentioned.

A genuine replacement cable from Land Rover costs over £50 https://parts.jaguarlandroverclassic.com/alr6968-cable-front-door-internal-release.html

Even a Britpart cable is around £30 which is pretty pricey for a 30cm Bowden cable. https://www.lrdirect.com/alr6968-cable-door-release-p38-rh

I don't need the knitting needle any more as I have replaced the sticking cable. Initially I tested the central locking after I had removed the old cable & was disappointed to discover that the bouncing lock problem persisted. It was only when I connected the new cable to the latch & then to the interior handle that I realised that the latch depends on the spring in the interior handle to push the latch back into 'neutral'. The cable that I removed wasn't obviously frayed or kinked & moves quite freely but as it all works smoothly with the new £1/cm cable (I only ran to Britpart not LR) I can only conclude that the old cable was the source of the problem.

I was pleased to note when I had the door card off that it is nice & dry in there with no rust. I was also able to improve the operation of the external handle liberal amounts of WD40 applied while the door card was off.

Knowing that I would probably bugger up some of the plastic fixings that hold the door card I had ordered spares (20 for £2) but only needed to replace two of the "Door Trim Panel Clips" (part number MWC913).

Gilbertd wrote:

So the conclusion is that for Nigel, who's P38 is now on French plates so an LPG conversion isn't viable as to pass the CT, the French MoT, the LPG system needs to be installed using a Government approved installer using a Government approved system for the car (if there even is one for the P38). For his use it might be worth fitting the £800 E85 conversion so the economy on E85 will be back up to, or better than, E10 levels which really will make it cheap to run.

As I understand it E85 just like LPG is less energy dense compared to regular E10 so the amount of fuel that needs to be injected during each cycle is higher so consumption with E85 is always going to be up to 20-30% higher. The fancy flex fuel boxes that retard the ignition vary in price from €200-800 & may enable the engine to run smoothly but cannot improve the fuel consumption to E10 levels. With E85 my Thor runs smoothly without strange smells unmodified with the expected lower fuel consumption so even assuming a box was available for the P38 it wouldn't offer any advantage. Running my P38 on E85 at 89c/L with 14mpg is considerably cheaper than using E10 at €2/L & 17mpg. Cost wise it's the equivalent of getting over 31mpg on E10.

All the ferry companies are OK with LPG conversions. It's only the channel tunnel that won't take them as they aren't licensed to take them. Apparently as LPG wasn't a big thing when they were designing the tunnel they didn't get carrying LPG powered vehicles signed off as safe & now it's too much hassle & expense for them to get it done. Maybe after the P&O debacle they might open to some lobbying. If we travel Dover->Calais we always use the tunnel as it's so much simpler & a little quicker never mind nicer during winter weather. Our place is in Brittany so we always prefer to use Brittany Ferries especially the Portsmouth->Saint-Malo route. It's a 12 hour overnight trip but you get a good night's sleep & then it's under 1.5 hours drive to our cottage whereas if we go via Calais it's a six hour drive.

I too will never use P&O & agree that they will go out of business They have misjudged the outrage their actions have caused & their legal advice must have been poor. A combination of consumer boycott, picketing & the courts will ensure that they don't survive.

Symes wrote:

Well as most of the cost is tax & vat not only gas companies to blame -- pity you can't run bio diesel like my TDI does

My 2001 Vogue runs happily on E85 (85% bioethanol). Fuel consumption is higher at around 14mpg instead of 17mpg on E10 but as in France it currently costs 89.9c/L versus about €2/L for E10 it's still a great saving. I'm sure a large chunk of the price difference is down to lower tax.

You get a good view of the latch by opening the window fully then shining a bright torch down the slot towards the rear then squinting down the slot. I'm pretty sure that if it were some other portion of the latch causing problems that you could operate it with some sort of metal hook or some other amateur locksmith tool. When I was Googling 'P38 driver's door locked' I only found quite extreme suggestions as to how to get the door open eg removing the offside front wing to allow you to unbolt the hinges. I'm surprised that the more subtle approach of squinting down inside the door with the aid of a bright torch didn't get mentioned.

A genuine replacement cable from Land Rover costs over £50 https://parts.jaguarlandroverclassic.com/alr6968-cable-front-door-internal-release.html

Even a Britpart cable is around £30 which is pretty pricey for a 30cm Bowden cable. https://www.lrdirect.com/alr6968-cable-door-release-p38-rh

The drivers door latch has been playing up. It was locked & wouldn't respond to the internal or external handle & the locks 'bounce' when using the fob for central locking. I was getting in the car by the passenger door then clambering across.

It looks like it's the cable from the internal handle that is sticking & preventing the latch from opening. I released the single screw & took the cover round the inner handle off & can see it operates a cable but I couldn't get enough purchase on the cable to operate the lock.

With a torch & one of the wife's knitting needles I was able to release the catch by pressing down on the arm operated by the cable from the interior handle. I put the window down then shone a bright LED torch at the midpoint rearwards & squinting down the slot I could clearly see the end of the cable. Pressing down on the arm at the rear then allowed me to pop the door latch up & open the door.

Unfortunately the lock got stuck again when I re-closed the door but opening the window shining the torch & squinting down the slot again has allowed me to reliably unlock the door. I'm not sure that I'm yet slick enough at the manoeuvre to get in & out of the drivers door at the filling station or shops with just a torch & knitting needle.

I have liberally anointed the latch with WD40 in the hope that whatever has been sticking will be freed up but suspect that it needs the cable replacing. It actually looked clean & rust free but now that I think about it for quite some time I have found both the exterior & interior handles 'sticky' & reluctant to snap back into position when released.

I have been opening the window & using the external handle to open the door & this has been pretty reliable. I only had to resort to the knitting needle a couple of times today

I am so pleased that I didn't have to resort to any of the more extreme methods of getting the door open. I read of people taking the rear door off its hinges to give access to the rear of the striker plate &.even taking off the offside front wing & then undoing the hinges. Not to mention the cold chisel & hammer to smash the lock open.

I am at our place in France at the moment. My 2001 Vogue runs beautifully on E85 (85% bioethanol). Fuel consumption is higher at around 14mpg instead of 17mpg on E10 but as it costs 89.9c/L versus about €2/L for E10 I'm not complaining. E85 was 69.9c/L only a few months ago so there has been a big price rise.

dave3d wrote:

Volvo did a deal, back in the 60's I believe, that when your car had done 1 million miles you could exchange it for a new one.
Long since discontinued I'm afraid.

It looks like this was a one off deal from Volvo for a guy who eventually hit 3,000,000 miles in his 1966 P1800. I'm not sure about a P38 ever hitting that figure. Even Richard has got some way to go before he joins the million mile club.😀

https://wyantgroup.com/remembering-the-three-million-mile-volvo-man/