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Blanco

New motor, an old P38, baptised in pain already!

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Being a chronic sufferer of the Land Rover blight, and had a few series/defender and a very long term D2, I recently moved with  2 of them (and the wife) to Ireland, a 130 and the D2. I decided not to pay the exorbitant demands to register my D2 mainly because of the frightening level of road tax over here (see my thread on D2 Camper Conversion) and went 'Irish' car hunting.

Having driven many miles and viewed a lot of rubbish I came up with this: A 2001 DHSE P38. It is already registered here (may even be a genuine Irish vehicle) and is at present taxed for 12months which gives me that breathing space.

Now I never liked the P38 to look at (and I'm still not sure) but there is no denying that they are comfortable, and it all seemed to work, what could possibly go wrong!

Last Friday afternoon I got a lift down to Cork and collected the car, drove it back, used it immediately that evening for an airport run and over the next few days it behaved very well. I didn't understand at first that you had to be in Park to alter the height, then I realised the doors had to be closed as well. Any malfunction or delay of the EAS during the week I put down to my confusion or my having confused the 'brain'.

Looking ahead to this weekend, and our long planned trip to Scotland, I started to give the P38 a more serious once over and it has definitely been well looked after until fairly recently. In the course of changing the oil filter I found the box in picture 3 which I want to know more about, apart from that and some adaptation to the headlights the car is very original and rust free.

I found the 'Offroad' setting on the suspension is great for oil changes and yesterday went out to set about the auto box, transfer box and the diffs. Well the suspension completely failed to play ball. No messages or anything but no upward movement at all. After an hour or so playing about all I succeeded in doing was dropping it onto the bump stops where it stayed.

Onto the internet then and found out about EAS unlock freeware which sounded promising, couldn't get an adapter cable locally so dashed into Limerick to Maplin (how much!). After a bit of soldering I had a cable which would speak to the EAS system via the OBD port. Here's the thing no faults were on the dash until I plugged that cable in, that seemed to wake it up to the fact it was down on the bump stops. Suddenly it said 'SLOW 35MPH MAX'.

After more messing about, I didn't really get anything out of the EAS unlock software (no faults at all showed) and last night I left it on its bump stops and came back in to read more on the internet. I even in desperation emailed Storey Wilson for ideas (his freeware) fair play he came back to me but apart from reassurance that the software was 64bit compliant no new ideas.

Fast forward to this morning and I wake up with the revelation that I didn't install the driver for the USB adapter, that's it I thought, that's why the EASunlock software isn't working. So 7am and out to try again, no joy, either it was plug and play anyway or my EAS brain doesn't speak that lingo.

Having tried again the bad news is that the error message wouldn't clear now, so if anything I am worse off!!   Back onto lr4x4 and I found some advice from SimonR about disconnecting the battery and touching the cables together, good tip that.

Fault cleared, its now yelling at me to set windows but I can live with that. Still flat on the stops but no message, great back to base at least.

Having cycled windows and such I left it running to warm up and came in to find out more about installing Schrader valves as back up into the lines. When I went back out 30mins later it has miraculously raised itself up...... Hooray!

Really big question now is what is the mystery fault and should we chance it to Scotland (plan B is the wife's Polo, which won't be quite the same!) All suggestions gratefully received.

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Hi Blanco , Your box in picture 3 is a diesel tuning device that gives the engine a bit more go , As to your suspension , I think it is a worn air compressor pump as the car came back up on its own eventually . Regards , Paul .

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Yeah, sounds like a worn out compressor. Order a rebuild kit, it's not difficult to do at all.

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While accepting that the most likely cause of 'slow to respond' is a worn out compressor (I agree they can be overhauled. Compared to most jobs you do on a Land Rover it's a bit fiddly, take a patience pill before you start).

BUT, unless you do something about the suspension airbags the compressor will still struggle to respond, and will quickly wear out again.
Look closely at the inflated airbags, both at standard height and at full height. You are looking for 'surface crazing', especially where they roll over. If you see it, even though you cannot detect any leaks through the crazed area, then start (more) reading, this time on replacing the suspension airbags.
For obvious reasons, second hand units from a breaker are false economy.
In my view, it's likely that the suspension problems have come to light because you have used the off-road settings. I suspect many users don't use the control.

As for Scotland, if you can get one Schrader

valve in the supply to the reservoir tank, then that is your 'get out of jail' card, although it will help to carry a decent tyre inflater pump as well.

BTW, if you are using 'suspension on off-road setting' to enable access for working on the car, please do put a couple of chassis stands under the chassis rails before you start work. We don't want the next post from your account to be from your wife asking how can she raise the vehicle to extract your body!!

Good Luck, and enjoy.

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Well, now you mention it, it does go at least as well as my D2, .... and gives a good 25mpg which I wasn't really expecting. Have been cracking on with the rest of the oils during the morning, just the auto box left now. Thanks for the link on the box.

The compressor is supposedly a new genuine unit, fitted by Tom Martin in the Cork area, apparently he is an ex main dealer and knows his stuff, that said I don't have any documentary evidence (it just isn't 'normal' over here) and neither do I (yet) know how to tell.

Well, off to sort the last of the oils (with rigid support)...... Scotland feels closer now!

 

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I just read a thread on topping up the auto box properly, but can't find, anybody point me in the right direction please. Not sure if I should drive it through the gears or just shift the selector??

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Just shift the selector, and keep it in each gear for a second or so.

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That is an interesting and potentially useful link to bagpipeandy (who I wasn't previously aware of).

However, it has to be pointed out that his kits do NOT cover the 38A, the topic of this thread.

This may be because bagpipeandy just hasn't been asked, but might also reflect the fact that the 38A suspension compressor is not a Wabco design, so the piston ring may not be transferable.

That was posted for the future guidance of others, as I now see that on 'this' vehicle there is a strong possibility that a new compressor was recently fitted, so removing that as a possible weak spot.
There remains the question of whether the airbags were changed at the same time. 'Tom Martin of the Cork area' may have wanted to change them, but the then owner may have baulked at the price, feeling that the best course of action was limiting expenditure to a new pump and then selling the car before the new pump also failed.
Sorry, I'm being cynical and negative, but the possibility ought to be faced. If kept paperwork isn't available, and a visual inspection doesn't give you an answer you are confident with, perhaps it might be rewarding to make a phone call to 'Tom Martin of the Cork area' to ask what work was done.

Regards.

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Might be worth speaking to Andy about both the P38A pump and airbags. He may offer these too. 

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Thanks lads for the latest ideas, I am currently in Scotland with the p38. It has performed pretty well, as long as I don't lower the suspension it has gone down very slightly over night but responded instantly on firing up. I have tried to call Tom Martin before leaving but now it's best left until I get home I think. Great on motorways, I reckon it needs radius arm bushes though, the twisty bits were occasionally twitchy, all in all very pleased. 

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Well, we made it back from Scotland in one piece, the suspension did give us a couple of bad moments, going for a ferry (Fishnish / Lochaline ) it got the hump that I didn't wait for it to sort itself out before driving off and bled itself down to the bump stops while on the move..... once reset it took about 15mins to get to ride height again, just in time.

That happened once more and then its final effort was without warning on the A9, it unilaterally decided it was going into bump stop mode at 60mph!

The ferry run reset showed two faults ' Vehicle moved' and 'RR valve stuck', subsequent resets showed only the 'Vehicle moved' fault??

Anyone know what the RR valve might be?? (this is the EASunlock freeware I am using)

Anyway, picked the warmest week in recent history to go to Scotland and really wished the A/C was working, so started yesterday to find the problem, local garage pressured it up for me with dye and we found the condenser was leaking......... guess what the 2001 year diesel condenser is different to all before and no-one makes them.

Glad I started on it really, found a water leak, and discovered the recent radiator had been fitted somewhat loosely to say the least.

Going to remove the EGR while I am in there and clean up the mess.

I am trying to find the part no. for the o-ring that seals the heater pipe to the block between the pump and that top hose housing if anyone has microcat open. Middle pic. Not the shiny EGR pipe but the grimy black one behind it.

Also very interested to hear if anyone has retro fitted the readily available early style condenser. it means lopping off that mounting at the bottom of the oil cooler (LH pic) and apparently altering the hoses as the terminations are different.20170511_110520.thumb.jpg.909b821b1f3f358f5aa0a93fd06f25ca.jpg

 

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RR is Rear Right.

"Vehicle has moved" can be ignored though, both my classic and P38 show that on a regular basis with no adverse effect.

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Thanks for that, simple when you know.  Vehicle has moved does seem to have an adverse effect on mine though!!.

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"Vehicle has moved" is, as far as I know, just a marker that's set to indicate the system is working properly.

If your right rear valve is acting up, it can certainly cause all these symptoms!

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Well, driving around testing the newly rebuilt A/C it was obvious the sinking when switched off was getting worse so took courage in both hands and got out the new seals. Spent Tuesday evening doing a marathon o-ring and seals job on the valve block, there were several issues inside the valve block, most notable was a rusty solenoid internals on the exhaust, some white dust as well, have ordered new dessicant for the dryer.  All that and it still took 40mins plus to reach working pressure so I thought I would have a look at the supposedly 'new' compressor. Guess what lads?... your initial thoughts were spot on, compressor was shot. Dated 2004, might have been a genuine reconditioned unit originally but the state of the reed valves tell me there is some age to them so somebody isn't telling the whole truth. Rebuilt that following some of the many utube guides and it pressured up in about 4 minutes (airbags left inflated, not recommended I know). Looking out there this morning to find it sitting exactly as left yesterday was very satisfying.

How long will a compressor rebuild last do you reckon? Anybody had cause to revisit one? I've not had any experience of the alloy cylinder and plastic piston before.20170601_144646.thumb.jpg.bfac066a58ade77afdcca77ee0d1c81d.jpg

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Well I am long overdue for an update on this, it didn't last long........... the repaired compressor I thought was probably at fault (just self doubt really), and the valveblock came out again for a more in depth investigation, but basically the schraeder valve solution (one on each corner) is really very effective as a temporary measure and so it remained in place ever since,......  right up until last week when at the annual roadworthiness test the guy (contrary to the last two) decided that not having the control system working was a 'fail'.

Well I wasn't happy but it probably was time to get back on it!

Almost 2 years ago now I had traded in the compressor for a 'professional' recon one and bought Viton o-rings and a new dryer, all of which waited on me getting a 'Roundtuit'.

So, a few hours of catch up and the valve block in bits again and all new o-rings, .... dusted off the EASUNLOCK freeware and ...... nothing.....

Clearing and interrogating the faults gave very variable results, but two or three times the list came down to just two, one of which was rear left height sensor, which has actually had a broken mount for some time, the other 'vehicle moved', which it hadn't.

Took a punt on the RL sensor and Rimmer Bros. sent me one overnight (Ordered Mon. am, arrived Tuesday pm, that is a first in this neck of the woods!). Fitted it this morning and lo and behold it stopped bleeping at me!

Almost there...... I had reconnected all the lines with t-pieces in place so that I could, apart from anything else, pre-inflate the system at least to 7.5bar with the little workshop compressor, including the reservoir. This was intended to save the system compressor working too hard initially, and allowed me to include a pessure guage.

After a little while it became apparent that the system compressor although turning wasn't contributing anything?? I'll admit to being a bit stumped by that. Took the compressor line off the valve block and connected a spare length of 6mm nylon, ....... output precisely zilch!

Now I was pretty sure I hadn't over-stressed it with the precaution of pre-charging the system so I was a bit puzzled.

I unplugged it and brought it indoors for a closer look, cut the seals and opened it up (nearly 12 months out of warranty anyway)..... the crank grubscrew had been seated on the round section of the shaft, not the flat!, 10 minutes later we have this.......

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This pressure switch cut out at just over 120psi; and it feels very good to have the whole thing working properly again after all this time :i-m_so_happy:

 

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I don't understand half the things that you've said but very pleased its working properly! Seems like you are, too.

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Thanks, .. I guess my script assumes some familiarity with the P38 system, (and which I now feel very  familiar with). There was a post-script to the compressor story, I felt at the time I was eliminating me/my rebuild as a potential weak point,  the supplier phoned me when my 'return' unit got back to them to say that there was nothing wrong with it!, so at the time I was really puzzled as to what was at the root of my trouble, the 'guaranteed' elimination of my compressor failed totally as it turns out their unit was  faulty. This is the main  reason why I altered the pipework and included the guage so that I could understand what was and wasn't happening.

Re-test is now tomorrow, once I have that in hand I will set about investigating the engine breather and doing a compression test (also a long overdue 'Roundtuit'), if there is no cause for concern then its probably time for 4 new tyres, 3 of them being 'advisories'.

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11 hours ago, Blanco said:

the other 'vehicle moved', which it hadn't.

That "fault" means the suspension is at a different height from when it was last shut down. Really common to have that in there.

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8 minutes ago, elbekko said:

That "fault" means the suspension is at a different height from when it was last shut down

Makes sense, I just assumed it meant lateral displacement, I need to try and hone my scientific deductive powers if I am going to keep this P38 on the road!

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It confused me for a long time as well, can't even remember where I read the actual explanation now, I think in some document or other.

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