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geoffbeaumont

It's gone :(

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Well, that's me Land Rover-less for the time being :(

The P38 has been sold, for spares or repairs in the end as it was still overheating even after a new head. On the plus side it's gone to someone who was after a project car to sort out over the winter and knows exactly what they're getting into. I was a bit worried it would go to a dodgy dealer who would give it a quick wash and sell it on to some mug for a quick two grand profit...

I think it'll be a while before I'm allowed another of solihull's products (even if it was the german engine that let us down*).

* - talking of which, it got really annoying being told by every AA man who recovered the wretched thing what a wonderful reliable engine the BMW M51 is...

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My commiserations.

Although in 1999 the 38A was my introduction to Land Rover, and I don't really hold a torch for any other example of the marque, I did start off by thinking that the model should never have been signed off as fit for purpose with that engine installed. It went further, the man who did agree to that engine should have been sacked, whoever he was.

I never changed my mind, I just learnt to keep that opinion to myself when around LR 'enthusiasts'.

I was told that the engine was important for sales on the European mainland, and that it was the best diesel engine around in 1990 - 95 (the development period). I can't argue those points, because I don't have the knowledge of the market place at that time. If that was the best, then the rest must have been right dogs.

I made mine tolerable by spending money on a full Jeremy Fearn kit, but again, I kept that opinion to myself because 'tolerable' sounded as though I was damning the conversion with faint praise. The conversion I was happy with, it's just that despite it's substantial benefits the overall package became 'only' tolerable. The resulting performance should have been how the factory product came out of the gate, not the result of tuning it until it's balls squeaked.

Still, whatever your LR desire, I hope that a more satisfactory product comes your way sooner rather than later.

Regards, David.

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I had a P38 DSE for a couple of years and seem to have been very lucky with it - no problems. I did have it chipped when I bought it though by James French - it was a bit sluggish as standard.

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I have to confess that the experience hasn't actually put me off P38s - but it has made me realise that at this time of my life I don't have the time to keep up with the running repairs that are part of running an elderly land rover as an everyday car, and I can't afford to run a toy at the moment either :( I never expected the diesel to be quick - it replaced a 300Tdi Discovery so I was used to going no where fast, and the refinement was something of a revelation!

That said, if I get another it'll probably be a V8, as long as I'm not using it every day. I think I'll be a bit torn between a classic and P38 - the classic offers a lot more potential for tinkering, but that's mostly a reflection of the fact that the P38 is a vastly better car to start with.

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That said, if I get another it'll probably be a V8, as long as I'm not using it every day. I think I'll be a bit torn between a classic and P38 - the classic offers a lot more potential for tinkering, but that's mostly a reflection of the fact that the P38 is a vastly better car to start with.

I suppose it's a case of horses-for-courses. If you want an underdeveloped, overcomplicated moneypit that looks like a london cab go for the P38. If on the other hand you want relative simplicity with a style that never dates then it has to be the Classic, preferably a 3.5 for durability. I have an everyday car to use (plus I'm retired) so fuel consumption isn't an issue.

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I suppose it's a case of horses-for-courses. If you want an underdeveloped, overcomplicated moneypit that looks like a london cab go for the P38. If on the other hand you want relative simplicity with a style that never dates then it has to be the Classic, preferably a 3.5 for durability. I have an everyday car to use (plus I'm retired) so fuel consumption isn't an issue.

And the original Range Rover wasn't underdeveloped? Even by the end of it's long life? Some things on the P38 are overcomplicated - the security system springs to mind - but most of it is relatively straightforward if you aren't scared of electronics. Mechanically there's nothing much to pick between them, especially if the classic has air suspension (the P38 version is better, having had both) - the P38 is easier to work on, albeit some of the parts are more expensive. Build quality on the P38 is far better (which is not to say it's perfect), and while there are still one or two rust prone areas the body work is vastly better designed and finished.

As for styling - the P38 grew on me, but the original Range Rover was definitely the best looking to date.

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:unsure: Not at all sure about that, and yes I've had both.

So have I...there were a lot more things I felt the need to change on the classic! :lol:

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I have to confess Geoff that I've never owned or desired a P38. I was comparing the ease of ownership between the two models, especially the 3.5 engined Classics. My main concern as an owner (surely I'm not the only one on this forum that has to pay an independant to carry out repairs) would be the electronics, how many ECU's does the '38 have compared to just the one on the Classic? Moving quickly past the flawed block problems of the later V8' :( to the troublesome EAS, coils were not an option on the P38 whose production run only ran for 8 years compared to the Classic's 25. I'll agree on the build quality issue though, how LR ever convinced the market that the original model was worth it's sticker price we will never know, especially with a dashboard assembly that would be unacceptable today even in the cheapest import. I'm sticking with my 'London cab' comment though!

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... I'm sticking with my 'London cab' comment though!

:-)

The irony there is that the 38A went on sale in late 1994 BEFORE the Hooper Metrocab Mk 2 was brought to market in 1997.

So actually it's the 'taxi' that looked like the Range Rover, not the other way round.

It's a classic case of the journalistic excuse - 'why let the facts get in the way of a story?'!

See under Metrocab at http://www.london-taxi.co.uk/taxi/taxicab-history.htm

fx4rep_11.jpg

The Series 1 Metrocab, introduced in 1986, is on the left.

The Series 2 Metrocab picked up on the 38A styling cues, with it's grill showing large slats, rectangular headlights, large rectangular indicators, and single colour bumper.

Regards,

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I have to confess Geoff that I've never owned or desired a P38. I was comparing the ease of ownership between the two models, especially the 3.5 engined Classics. My main concern as an owner (surely I'm not the only one on this forum that has to pay an independant to carry out repairs) would be the electronics, how many ECU's does the '38 have compared to just the one on the Classic? Moving quickly past the flawed block problems of the later V8' :( to the troublesome EAS, coils were not an option on the P38 whose production run only ran for 8 years compared to the Classic's 25. I'll agree on the build quality issue though, how LR ever convinced the market that the original model was worth it's sticker price we will never know, especially with a dashboard assembly that would be unacceptable today even in the cheapest import. I'm sticking with my 'London cab' comment though!

If by ECU you mean electronic controller rather than engine control unit (in which case the answer is one in both cases), then my classic had five*...seven if you count the LPG and EDIS (to replace the dog-awful distributor ignition) controllers, but they were aftermarket. Technically it had eight for a while as I had a megasquirt controlling the EDIS timing but the original lucas ECU running the fuelling. I didn't have to get quite as intimate with the electronics on the P38 as, with the exception of the SRS (air bags and belt pre-tensioners) controller they just worked, but I make the count five** for that as well. I'm discounting anything to do with the sound system if anyone is out to split hairs :P

With the exception of occasional friday cars EAS is only troublesome if you don't look after it on the P38 (and mostly on the classic - though that's prone to eccentric behaviour), and it's very easy to work on now there's free diagnostic software available for it.

The P38 became a problem because I don't have the time or money to look after it at the moment - my classic was a lot more trouble!

* - ECU, EAS controller, ABS/TC controller, window controller, alarm/immobiliser, if you're counting.

** - ECU, BECM, EAS, ABS, SRS

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Okay - P38 was actually six. I forgot the transmission controller.

So lets get this right on my 'cost/ease of ownership' angle: Six ecu's vs my one, a 94mm block vs my orig. bore, a motor to shift the transfer box vs my lever, a VCU vs my manual diff lock, pricier tyres vs my 205's, CAT's in the exhaust vs my none, EAS vs my coils, ABS vs my none, a style & presence that, I think, leaves the P38 (& any other modern 4x4 for that matter) in the shade - 'oh lets leave it there Geoff, I don't want to alienate you mate or bore anyone else to death either!

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either way he's now P38-less, a situation which i am sure will change in time - you never quite get all the ep90 out of your bloodstream....... :D

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P38 v Classic........

I've had both too and they're both special for different reasons but similarly you do feel that you are driving something special no matter which one you drive.

Thinking back i spent more time looking after the Classic that i've had to with the P38 (touch wood)

The issues I had with the classic (was a '94 Tdi) were mostly metalwork related; rear boot floor, sills, rear chassis and various other little bits like window frames and the like. The Tdi was a brilliant engine, fairplay to it. 30mpg at least, inlcuding when towing a trailer. Alot of the electrics and plastics were fragile mind.

My P38 (diesel/manual)has no bodywork issues at all and could be happily described as "mint", i have had minor issues with other items though. Two of the blend motors have been replaced and I have changed all the air springs and shocks as the rear ones were looking a bit ropey. I changed the steering joints the other week along with the steering arms and I replaced all the discs and pads for piece of mind. I've learnt that the "secret" of P38 ownership is to buy the best you can afford and keep right on top of the maintenance. I've kind of resigned myself that it may cost me a little more to keep to up to scratch but I still consider it alot of car for the money.

The P38 does pretty much everything I need of it and am still pleased with it. The lure of a L322 grows stronger by the day mind!

I don't actually find it that slow either. I certainly find it a step up from the Tdi. When I first got it I found that I was sitting for ages at low revs because of used to having the Tdi have all the torque low down and trickling away at idle. The Tdi is probably my favourite LR engine. I just found that I had to adjust my driving style somewhat with the P38. I do find having to slip the clutch on a steep hill with the trailer on a bit embarrassing mind. I've resorted to using low box! I think that because the P38 is so refined, it feels slower than it actually is.

Dave

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I have owned a 2 door Classic and 2 P38's.

In a simple comparison, the Classic seemed quicker and more nimble but it had a noisy manual gearbox and the seats were uncomfortable compared to the P38 HSE. My current Vogue "model" has manual seat adjustment and no lumbar cushion so not quite as good.

The Classic body roll was epic, many a time the roundabouts were taken on the doorhandles, that is probably why they adopted flush handles from the BL parts bin. The P38 is better on corners especially with uprated shocks but I would hesitate to throw it into a bend like the old Classic.

My first P38 was a 4.6 HSE and gave little trouble over 3 years after it had been sorted through for recalls that had not been done. Give them their due, Mann Egg fitted a new drive plate, changed hoses fixed the sunroof and a number of other problems showing on the factory records for free!! And they did'nt sell me the car.

I never had any overheat issues but the Air suspension did pack up and I fitted a new box for £350. That was a bargain at the time.

My current P38 has a new Coscast 4.6 fitted, together with a couple of chips in the ECU. She is very fast when provoked, particularly in the 70 to 90 acceleration band, tailgating Mercs eat my dust. When I bought the car it had a 4.0 lump which had died from the usual cracked block issue, hence the choice of the Coscast replacement. I have a Blackbox Solutions diagnostics system to sort out the computer issues plus a spare rear 4 pin dif just in case.

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I have owned a 2 door Classic and 2 P38's.

The Classic body roll was epic, many a time the roundabouts were taken on the doorhandles, that is probably why they adopted flush handles from the BL parts bin. The P38 is better on corners especially with uprated shocks but I would hesitate to throw it into a bend like the old Classic.

My '87 has been retro-fitted with genuine LR anti-roll bars. Very little lean when cornering & (allegedly) only half an inch loss of suspension travel, not that matters to me as I don't off-road the old girl.

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