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Which to buy, RRC or P38?


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I've decided that I want another Range Rover but I can't decide which one.

Having owned several Classics and worked on even more I'm no stranger too them, I still really miss my last one. I've been looking at the late SoftDash classics. I've also been tempted to have a look at P38's as they seem to represent more "metal for money".

This is going to be my daily and as such will be fitted with LPG, I need it to be fairly reliable. If I were to buy a RRC it would most likely be subject to a total strip down and rebuild.

Any ideas from people?

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I've had both, and the P38 is miles better in space, comfort, and driving experience.

I had mine for 4 years, and other than wear and tear and previous owners neglect, I

had no major problems. Twas a lovely vehicle and I regret swapping it for a 2004 Disco.

My advice thoug is if you buy one, buy your own diagnostic tool. I had BlackBox Solutions

and it was brilliant.

Look for a good one and look carefully, the slightest doubt go to the next one.

The only ones to go for are 4.6 HSE/ VOGUE or an Autobigraphy, which is what mine was.

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I find the Classic to be better looking, but the P38a better for driving, especially longer distances on-road, with the EAS also making greenlaning more comfortable.

Classics are 20 years or older (except for the softdash), which does mean problems of wear and tear (not to mention rust) are getting more and more common. The P38a seems to be far less affected by rust, but is more complex due to all the electronics.

Availability of aftermarket parts is getting better, reducing costs.

As Q-rover said, a good diagnostic tool is a good investment, and will save you much hassle and money.

Greetz,

Filip

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Interesting views and not exactly what I was expecting!

I'm not really up with the P38 so is there anything I need to be looking for? Any changes past a certain date that might be worth aiming for?

What sort of optioins are there for the after-market diags? Electronics don't really scare me all that much, just aslong as I'm not going to get dumped at the side of the road scratching my head on regular occasions.

I need to go and drive a P38, might try and find one on a forecourt this weekend.

Cheers guys :)

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Interesting views and not exactly what I was expecting!

I'm not really up with the P38 so is there anything I need to be looking for? Any changes past a certain date that might be worth aiming for?

What sort of optioins are there for the after-market diags? Electronics don't really scare me all that much, just aslong as I'm not going to get dumped at the side of the road scratching my head on regular occasions.

I need to go and drive a P38, might try and find one on a forecourt this weekend.

Cheers guys :)

As far as modelyears are concerned, it's a tough one. From late 1999 on, the V8 got the Bosch control system instead of the GEMS. I prefer the GEMS, seems nicer to drive, more like a Classic while the Bosch has more of the character of a normal car.

On the other hand, the later models do get the better looking lights (white indicators and such), color coded bumpers and mirrors and so on.

When taking one for a test, make sure everything works: EAS, HEVAC, windows, sunroof, seats (heating), low gear... All common failure items past a certain age/mileage, all not too hard to fix, but not that cheap either.

Stay away from coil-converted ones, as it's a clear sign the owner couldn't be bothered to maintain the car properly.

There are some excellent replacement and upgraded parts available for the EAS, at about the cost of of a coil conversion.

I use a (old) Blackbox Rovacom, covers all of the systems (and other models as well), but is no longer available. The Faultmate is the next generation, giving a lot of flexibility.

Be carefull when driving one, you could get hooked! :P

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Check all functions on the vehicle and that they work.

Make sure the EAS works properly, shift it through all it's levels several times.

It should respond immidiately, if it struggles to get into offroad mode, most likely

the springs are leaking. Then also factor in the cost of a compressor (rebuild).

Make sure the (cheque)book symbol isn't displayed on the HEVAC display. Again make

sure all the buttons work and cycle through them.

Rust- rear part of chassis, rear bumper frame are susceptable, not much else.

Brake lines can rust and are a pig to change.

Check the sparewheel compartment (under the boot) isn't an aquarium= leaking boot seal.

Check the central locking works on all doors and the boot.

Check the BECM goes into sleep mode, light by gearlever should go out after 2 mins

when vehicle is locked.

Make sure the alternator is charging properly, vehicle is susceptable to faults when voltage

gets low.

Chcke the enginecompartment fusebox hasn't got signs of burning/ overheating, and

the relays.

Check drivers side (RHD) carpet by the pedals to see signs of coolant leaking= O-rings gone.

Other than that check the normal 'caveat Emptor' type things when buying a second hand car.

When you buy a car make sure you get 2 keys and both work and the credit card size card

with the security codes (radio/ EKA). Keys are expensive andd need to be ordered through

a dealer/ independant and there are only 4 available. Check the numbers on them. Keys from

other vehicles won't work, although the blade may have been changed to allow it to operate

the lock.

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I found my 4.6 to be acceptable, it is a big heavy car, and mine was running

on 265.75x16 tyres.

Commuting 24Km's each way and general local driving would get about 17Mpg average.

On a long run I could get it to around 21Mpg. My disco Td5 does about 24Mpg <_<

and isn't half as nice to drive.

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One thing that worries me a little is the general cost of running compared to a classic, has anyone made a comparison between a 3.9 Softdash on LPG and a 4.6 P38 on LPG?

On LPG, my 4.6 was giving better mileage than my mate's 3.5, both running similar single-point systems and 32" tyres.

With the Megasquirt fitted on the 3.5, he does get better economy on petrol...

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i used to think alot about this very question

i have had lots of rrc,s over the years (six at last count) and wanted a range rover again

i decided in the end to go for a p38 despite its fearsome reputation (i figured no rust was worth the risk)

i got a 2001 spec 4.6 vogue in oslo blue with lightstone leather with 128k miles on the clock with fsh

to be 100% honest its great

everything works bar the seat heaters and rear screen wash (both very common faults)

i have since buying it replaced most of the wheel nuts for the old swollen nuts problem

and all air bags as the old ones were perished so better safe than sorry as it was

i like it alot and the wife loves it even at 16ish mpg

one thing as said above is try lots and if any doubt walk away as alas these are very much a case of people THINK because they can afford to buy it they can afford to run it

the reality is often they can barely afford to put fuel in it so maintance suffers (5 of the ones i looked at were proof of this)

they also seem to be very twitchy on the wrong tyres on 18 inch wheels as mine tramlines badly on its coopers but when i tried my friends same hurricanes on it with at2,s on it was a different car to drive

o and the throttle body heater plate tends to leak alot but very cheap and easy to fix ;)

enjoy Rob

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Hmm, this is all very good advice :)

I've found a 2001 4.6 Vogue at a nearby dealers that I'm going to have a look at on Saturday, I'm not likely to buy this one but it's more to get a feel for them!

Cheers guys and I'll let you know how I get on.

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they also seem to be very twitchy on the wrong tyres on 18 inch wheels as mine tramlines badly on its coopers but when i tried my friends same hurricanes on it with at2,s on it was a different car to drive

An interesting point that it affects the P38 too. My Classic tramlines horribly on the current set of 235/70x16s fitted to vogue alloys. The 205s I had before were a dream to drive on. I have since heard that it just seems to depend on tyre make/tread pattern.

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I can't afford to run my RRC anymore, but I keep it for towing the 'van. I wouldn't swap it for a P38. If I were buying form scratch that might be different, I can only think the ones I drove when looking for my softie were in poor mechanical condition becuase they handled pretty badly.

Late softies are no bed of roses, the metal seems to rust worse than older classics, there are few wiring diagrams if any and parts are hard to get hold of unless they appeared on the Disco too.

All 3 of ours also suffer from some degree of steering kickback, don't know if this was a problem on the P38.

For me though I think the early P38s have dated badly, I would want a later P38 or late RRC.

You know what you are looking at though by the sounds of it, so test drive a few and I think you'll know when you've found your new car :)

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Thanks for all the replies guys, I went to look at a few P38's yesterday. The first one I went to look at was in a terrible state, bits of trim falling off.

We then drove further on to a 2001 Vouge SE 4.6 in gold. This was a very nice example but not without faults. I took it for a test drive (as did my old man who had come along for the ride). It went well but didn't stun me, the inside was a very nice place to be.

It looked like the heater was leaking on the drivers footwell, the engine was making that knackered idler pulley noise and there were a few spots of corrosion on the rear arch. The dealer was willing to take an offer if we did the work ourselves (no stranger to this approach).

We retired to my house for a bit of deliberation when I recieved a phone call regarding an avenue I'd all but given up on.

I have now bought a Range Rover, it's a bit of a project but fulfills a bit of a dream for me. More will be revealed when I can get some photos up :)

Thanks again for all your help.

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Very nice ;) one of the few specific RRC models I would want (no longer have the space time or money).

I had the same when I wanted the LSE, I wanted a softie and every one I found was either rotten or sold before I got there and for a while I gave up looking.

Glad to see another RRC find a good home.

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