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Shackleton

Range Rover Anatomy - Nerd Alert!

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I'm making a video about the Range Rover Classic and I want to make it a journey around the construction and systems of the car, figuratively dissecting it to showcase [or criticise if deserved] the engineering and design.

So I've been researching and looking for knowledge, comparisons and real world testimonials on the following;

  • Axles - how thick are they, are they strong [cases / shafts] by comparison to the competition, thoughts on swivel housings/bearings
  • Braking - Info on the Wabco ABS system in later cars [I read that it's the forerunner of modern traction control, and was the envy of the industry when new]
  • Engine - Foibles of the RV8
  • Suspension - Ability of the late car in comparison to non ARB equipped RRC's and the competition AND the Defender
  • Body - How do the approach/departure angles compare to the competition AND to the Defender, real world examples of how rust prone [or not] the inner shell is, anything of note?
  • Electrics - Anything inherently bad in design, common problems
  • Transmission - Strengths and weaknesses of the ZF4HP22, likewise the BW transfer box
  • Cross overs - anything on a late RRC that is shared with a non related marque, eg; Wabco ABS, ZF4HP22, Borg warner transfer 
  • Firsts - Anything the RR [early or late] brought to the mainstream that hadn't been there before
  • History - Oz was reportedly a LR dominated market until trade deals with Japan meant Toyota became the fav / why does the USA car majority hold the RRC in such low regard

All knowledge and opinions welcome, there has been a lot of leg work on this one and I don't mind sifting through a lot of info. I'd like to make this the be all and end all of Range Rover Classic review videos. Not just some hack jumping in a loaned car for two hours and spouting whatever they think sounds good.

Thanks and thanks!

George

 

PS - If you've other RRC chats going on elsewhere perhaps you could bring this up and widen the net? 

Edited by Shackleton
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(94RRC) The ABS and probably saved us from serious injury a couple of times. It was amazing how it worked as it did not seem possible in the incidents. The only downside is I had to remove it when the WABCO Master cylinder  failed , there are no replacements available and no one services them.

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Geeky trivia about the Range Rover and Rover V8... how long have you got??? :ph34r:

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19 hours ago, FridgeFreezer said:

Geeky trivia about the Range Rover... how long have you got??? :ph34r:

I've been reading very interesting articles about the history of the RV8 and Buick 215 it was developed off. Reckon I've plenty there. Common probs are cam wear on 7/8 am I right?

What do you know about the electrics? 

And yeah any trivia is good trivia. What I'd like to do first and foremost is prove the car is made of good components.

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11 minutes ago, Shackleton said:

What do you know about the electrics? 

From past posting - I’d say he knows a lot more about the RV8 electrics  than we could reasonably ask him to type out ... 😂

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I think it was fairly pioneering in having disc brakes on all four wheels already, but adding the ABS was a first for an off-roader.  They also made the rear axle ABS function as Electronic Traction Control on late models.

Suspensionwise, that was a radical design at the time, everyone else using leafs.  But it was also the first 4x4 to use EAS.

I don’t know a great deal about the ZF, but automatics cushion the axles and shafts from shock loads, which would have been beneficial as standard diffs and shafts weren’t especially strong (particularly true of the late vehicles with 24spline diffs - their outer ends on the front axle half shafts were very thin).  The Borg Warner seems pretty tough, but it’s the quietness, smoothness and the viscous coupling (saving the need to select difflock) that made it so good a choice over the LT230 for the RR.

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The fact that the ZF4 was used in so many cars [on both sides of the Atlantic] is probably testament enough.

The reason I was asking about the electrics is it's a vague subject. Difficult to quantify, so I'm kind of looking for a tangible way. My car is full of relays, I see that as a good thing. There are one or two smaller control boxes for things like cruise and delayed systems. None of it seems unreliable to me across my three LR's [which all have some version of those electrics or other. I haven't heard or read of the looms giving trouble, least not without some accompanying reason that mitigates the failure.

So the late RRC's that had air were the first 4x4's in the world to use it? I hadn't heard either that the ABS being employed as traction control had actually debuted on the RRC, that's a cool one. Goes a way to verify what I'd read about the Wabco system being the envy of the industry when first launched.

This stuff is invaluable thanks!

 

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The earlier 3-speed TF727 was a transatlantic box too, although supposedly a weaker version... lot of people rated them higher strength-wise than the ZF, and I think you could uprate them with yank bits easily enough.

Heard a rumour that the original 4WD system was a descendent of the Ferguson Formula system (as seen on Jensen FF) and this badge I spotted on a 2-door certainly suggests it might be... yes I'm that sad;

rr_auto_ff.jpg.2831412caa371da1737eb54549864e42.jpg

 

Fun fact on the flapper EFI - the special red "relay" isn't a relay but contains a couple of diodes and things they forgot to put into the ECU.

Not sure when they deleted the hand-crank hole in the front bumper but it's got to be one of the last cars to feature it!

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George, the RR was the first off road vehicle to have ABS outright.  I wouldn’t swear to it being the first to use the system with a different logic to gain ETC, but it’s plausible.  It was only ETC on the rear - the system used on later D1s, the D2 and later Defenders was also made by Waco, but was very different in architecture and while it benefited from front ETC, the ABS was far more agricultural and less reliable (that is the system synonymous with the “three amigos” failure lights).  It was also the first to have SRS (airbags) on the late models, and EAS (air suspension), initially on the 108” LSE (badged LWB in the US) and then the standard 100” SEs- the plain Vogue stayed with could to the very end (like mine).

As for relays, they allow smaller, cheaper dash switches because the heavy electrical loads are kept in the main loom and fuse box, away from the dash wiring and switches.  From a consumer perspective, it means the switches can be made a bit prettier and neater, but from an engineering perspective it’s about cost.  It’s a much better solution that most modern cars have of ECUs controlling all the lighting, Hevac, wipers and so on, because relays are easy and cheap to replace and are less prone to cascade failures.  The P38 was one of the first cars to use the ECU approach, and its BECM is notoriously problematic.  Owners would have been far happier with the car had they just used dumb relays controlled by the driver and dash switches.

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42 minutes ago, Snagger said:

Waco

Should be Wabco, I'm guessing auto-correct got this!

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1 hour ago, Snagger said:

and its BECM is notoriously problematic

According to the big book of Land Rover history, the first P38's were so bad that the many of the dealers who attended the launch event had to be flatbed-taxi'd home :lol: supposedly the electrics were mostly lifted from the top-flight Rover 800 and shoe-horned into the P38 without enough thought / R&D...

Shame as most stuff on P38's is fixable if you stop to understand how it works - and I think the BECM's are almost amateur-repairable in many cases as it's often only a burnt out transistor that fails to operate a relay or somesuch.

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😂😂 John, the worrying thing is I don’t know whether you’re taking the pee or that actually happened!

From what I have seen, most of the BECM stuff is just dry joints where the solder has cracked.  Like you said, reparable to those who know how, but it’s still more awkward than replacing a relay.  I just don’t see the need for it.

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1 hour ago, Bowie69 said:

Should be Wabco, I'm guessing auto-correct got this!

Yes, but a lot who have suffered the three amigos have contemplated a Waco type solution!

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Yeah part of the cost saving of relays is not having to route the thicker gauge wiring to each switch right? I'm glad I asked, this is a really interesting area of more recent automotive history. Everyone loves to lament the day when you suddenly needed a computer to work on your car, but the average car guy doesn't consider what the alternative was.

 

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Lots of reasons for relays - the main thing is you can put all the high-current stuff in one or two boxes full of relays & fuses with a nice big battery feed and then the switches can all have skinny wires, only have to take low current, and you can use small cheap transistors in your ECU to switch things on & off - although the kick back from the relay coil will kill small transistors without a bit of extra protection. Relays will put up with a lot more than transistors which will go pop faster than a fuse can.

You can seal relays, you can easily decide which ones are active by switching the power/ground wire to the coils (low current) from another relay or switch rather than having one switch that turns the main battery feed for multiple circuits on/off. Also f**ckups in design can be corrected by simply swapping a relay part number - swap a normally-open for a normally-closed, add a feed you forgot you needed by going from a 4 to a 5-terminal relay (Flapper EFI I'm looking at you again)...

@Snagger - the book says it's true and ISTR it's the official LR History book :rofl:

 

Edit: George you have a PM with a contact.

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Nope, didn't imagine it - from "Land Rover File 65th Anniversary Edition" by Eric Dymock;

p38_breakdowns.jpg

:rofl:

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Amazing.  Well, not as amazing as it should be, but shocking.  No, not that either.  I’m struggling for the right adjective... 😂

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