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P38 Engine Mods


Shane Ward P38 2.5
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Hi Guys,

Just joined the Site as bought my first Land Rover- P38 2.5 Diesel RR.

As you know, they are a little dead and was wondering what engine mods are available.

I was thinking of Chipping it and possiblty bigger intercooler was also looking at increasing the boost on the Turbo to around 1.3bar.

Also with all theses mods can fuel economy be kept.

Any advise will be welcome

Cheers

Shane

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I'm afraid if you want perfomance out of your P38a, you'll have to go the V8 way.

The diesel is not bad at cruising, even at high speeds, but doesn't like a sporty driver. I know several with 350-450k kms with a gentle driving style and standard engine, but just as many who suffer from overheating and died much much earlier after chipping or fitting a powerbox (and using the power).

Keep in mind the mods you propose will be made to an engine of some age/mileage who never had an easy job to begin with.

My first P38a was a 2.5 DT, did 363k km with it, usually took it easy but propely warmed up and given enough time she wasn't shy to sit at 150-160kph all day.

Greetz,

Filip

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Yes you can do all those things.

Power does cost money, but if you enjoy the results, why not - it becomes your hobby.

Engine life expectancy will be reduced, but this is a natural result of making significant changes to the power output.

You should fit a boost gauge if you are going to change that setting, but choose wisely. A gauge intended for a petrol engine will have part of the dial occupied with a vacuum section. Totally pointless for your use.

Don't pick a dial gauge with a maximum reading around 3.0 bar. They are to impress the Chavs.

You either go digital, or pick a gauge where the needle moves over a significant amount of the face while travelling from 0 to 1.5 bar. The bad alternatives cover that range in two thickness of the needle (approximately).

One additional but often unappreciated action, which if used correctly will help both economy and engine life, is to install an EGT meter.

Assuming you are making the progress you are content with, or what the traffic and road will allow, then always aim for the lowest temperature possible. It seems a very basic point, but this shows you are using the least amount of fuel for the power you are using. I'll repeat the point in different words, you often don't need maximum power.

Analyse the results and you will find it's often better to stay for longer in a low gear at a higher engine speed, or change down earlier rather than later when accelerating.

When your road speed is restricted by conditions or traffic it's very nice to let the engine speed drop, floor the throttle, and let the torque pull you back to speed, all in the same gear, but watching the gauge will show you that you use a lot of fuel, and this means you are creating a lot of cylinder pressure per combustion stroke to get the performance. In terms of engine stress it's better to do more revs at lower pressures.

The EGT sensor goes in the exhaust manifold just above where the turbo bolts on.

You have already bought your car, so some comments are academic.

Consider how many miles it has done already.

If it has already had the head gasket changed, how many miles ago? (Just done, then sold, or done 10k miles to 'prove' it was done correctly before being sold).

The later version with a black plastic inlet manifold is better than the earlier version with an aluminium inlet manifold.

HTH, and good luck. You have just taken me back 10 years to when I started on the same path. The conclusions above are based on my hard won experiences during those 10 years.

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Thanks Dave for the info. Its an auto aswell. Looking to do a few engine mods alright, will take your advise onboard.

Currently im doing a conversion from the Air to Coil Springs and new shocks.

Im slightly worried about the temp. Its quite cold in Dublin at the moment however The temp gauge barely rises. Even when i take it on a 20 mins drive its doesnt go to the middle like one would expect. I do however have plenty of hot air, and doesnt look like its using water although ive onlt had it a few weeks.

Do they run cold, my mates Disco when idleing for a while starts to drop temp and only gets going when you drive it on a bit.

Any ideas, I was thinking the Stat might have being takin out??

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  • 2 weeks later...

Missed your post.

I doubt that the thermostat is missing, they do fail, and when that happens they tend to fail slightly open.

Change the thermostat, but don't bother looking for a cheap aftermarket one. Buy a pukka item from the Dealer.

Remember that strictly you need two O rings for the 38A thermostat change, one for the thermostat (I'd expect that in the box, but check) and one for the coolant pipe you have to remove. You might get away with re-using the existing one, but it's better to know the correct method before deciding on the short cut.

HTH

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Guys,

Just joined the Site as bought my first Land Rover- P38 2.5 Diesel RR.

As you know, they are a little dead and was wondering what engine mods are available.

I was thinking of Chipping it and possiblty bigger intercooler was also looking at increasing the boost on the Turbo to around 1.3bar.

Also with all theses mods can fuel economy be kept.

Any advise will be welcome

Cheers

Shane

Have a look at this http://stores.ebay.co.uk/allisport/Range-Rover-P38-2-5-Tdi-/_i.html?_nkw=allisport&_fsub=1943909017&_ipg=&_sasi=1&_sid=92853487&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322

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