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Thread: reliability issues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    304

    reliability issues

    Oh dear, I used THAT word... I know.

    Let me start by saying that the P38 has both won me over and impressed me to no end with it's capabilities, ride, charm, etc. It has taken me places in bone stock configuration that I would not even have though possible for a chelsea tractor. Once I started modifying the vehicle and putting some big-boys toys in there like wheels, lockers, winch, I have been even more impressed. I would expect axles and cv's to snap, gearboxes to fly in pieces around my ears and the mere sight of water to destroy all the electronics in the blink of an eye.

    None of that has happend, just yet.

    However... Having said that, I have run into very persistent and annoying issues like the emissions not willing to play along (possibly due to my choice of cam though it should not have done that), the rear left airbag always leaking even after replacing the airlines, rebuilding the valve block three times etc. Though they bother me, like a true landrover fan (boy?) I am willing to look past that. In 2016 I damaged my P38 because a wheel bearing was shot. I had never had an issue like this before so I did not know what to look for to prevent this so I saw this as a learning fee Last week though I was looking over the car in detail for the upcoming MOT and to my surprise I found quite a few things wrong with it, all of them on replaced (new or rebuild) parts!

    The front wheel bearing for example was again shot. (both of them actually) I have driven about 40K km's with them and I feel that is quite fast for a bearing to die on me. I am running bigger wheels but only 32" and 235 wide so it's not like I am rocking those monsterously large things you see around some times. I have used the car more for extreme conditions but then again, they do not compare (from what I can tell) to the conditions down under!

    Also, my engine, which is about as old (40K) is leaking oil like it's nobody's business. I can't see where the oil is coming from but it seems to be seeping from the top of the gearbox on the back of the engine. My first thought at this point is the valley gasket. Now, I am used to driving (and working on) honda's and so this is quite new for me, this much oil leaking in 40k however is not exactly what I would expect...

    So, either my replacement parts are sub-par or the parts as they should and my car wears quite a bit faster then I would like. Since I have no other points of reference I would like to hear about your experiences in this regard! For me right now however, I am (reluctantly!) reconsidering my decision to take a P38 to the farthest reaches of the globe. I don't mind maintenance, I don't mind complexity as long as I have sufficient control over the thing, but having to replace wheel bearings every 40k for example (which needs quite a sturdy press and is not a road-side job by any means) is not something that is acceptable and so far it does not seem to be an item that I can replace with something better, except maybe fit completely different axles which would be quite the hassle.

    Don't get me wrong! I still love my P38 and I have spent around 50K ausd up to this point getting the vehicle into shape so I won't abandon it lightly but my confidence is a bit shaken shall we say with my experiences so far. I am convinced one can make a landrover as reliable as a toyota without too much problems, but perhaps the P38 is not a platform that will lend itself for that in the very end...

    In any case, I'm looking forward to reading some of your experiences

    Cheers,
    -P

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Gosford, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    2,531
    HI Mate

    Not sure about the wheel bearing issue, but the motors are renowned oil leakers. One mechanic said "they are like Harley's the way they leak oil"

    I think you are on the right track with the valley gasket, those end seals need to fit perfectly and have a dab of silicone sealant on them to make them stop leaking. My motor does not leak any oil, though 2 cylinders still burn oil

    Good luck

    Steve
    MY96 4.6 HSE P38. Niagara Grey; "The Phoenix"
    MY99 4.6 HSE P38. LPG, Blenheim Sliver; "Voldemort" burnt to a cinder
    MY79 RR Classic, Gone, MY57 Series 1 SWB, Long gone
    P38 write ups and info on my website http://p38.hts.com.au/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Townsville, QLD
    Posts
    2,530
    I’ve gotta agree with Steve here mate, they’ve got a reputation they like to live up to! Sadly in your case it sounds like the sub-par parts, or invisible issues have crept in. There’s no way a bad battery or charging system can show these issues you have.

    As with Steve’s, mine has never leaked a drop of oil. Mine doesn’t use oil or coolant either. I’d happily lap Australia multiple times in mine in a heartbeat.

    Could it be a case of it being that one in a million with birth defects?

    Cheers
    Keithy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Avoca Beach
    Posts
    11,746
    The front wheel bearing for example was again shot. (both of them actually) I have driven about 40K km's with them and I feel that is quite fast for a bearing to die on me. I am running bigger wheels but only 32" and 235 wide so it's not like I am rocking those monsterously large things you see around some times. I have used the car more for extreme conditions but then again, they do not compare (from what I can tell) to the conditions down under!
    The usual way to replace the front wheel bearings is to replace the whole hub. While it is possible to press out the bearings AFAIK from my reading, the forces involved are great and it is very easy to damage components when using 20 tonne presses . As you have found cheap is not always good. My original D2 hubs have now done 200kk and I met a bloke a couple of years ago with 350KK on the originals. Of course water is the enemy.

    Regards Philip A

    FTC3243 | Front Left Hand Wheel Hub P38 - Land Rover Part FTC3243

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    304
    Alright then I'll take the leaking oil as a standard feature and peak under the intake manifold somewhere in the next few days.

    Regarding the front wheel bearings, one was completely rusted away and the other was in a bad shape. In order to get the bearing out we had to weld a lip onto it, most definatly water ingress damage. I was stuck last year in a bog for a while that had this ultra fine mud, if it were dry it would be dust. A mate of mine suggested I try to find bearings with these dimensions that are better sealed, not sure of they exist though. Also, it's always the outside bearing that fails/get's affected by water. We also found the replacement bearings to contain a dangerously low amount of grease (once we got them out of the hubs, I did not pry the new ones apart) and I know of no way to get more in there.

    As far as damaging the hub is concerned; a mate of mine has a workshop at his job with a 60 tonne press and what not and has done all 4 of my bearings before so we have got some experience with the suckers by now, thus far only one (the rear right) has been slightly damaged. It's on the todo list to be replaced with a doner hub from my wrecker but it has held up quite well over the year.

    In any case, my front hubs are fitted with the spare bearings I had laying around and if they last me another 40K I guess I can be happy for now, I'll see about improving on them later on. If needs be, I'll order the genuine deal, the complete hubs.

    If I do have the one with birth defects; I am glad my car is not a human beeing since I intend to rip those defects out and replace them with better stuff! No way you can get away with doing that on a baby

    Cheers!

    -P

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    304
    Time for an update here as well.

    Regarding the leaking engine; I did take the intake manifold out of the way (just the top) to get a slightly better look and the oil does indeed come from the top of the valley gasket. I guess I need to replace it but for that I needed to do way more work then I had time for before the MOT so like the ETC unit, it'll have to wait for now. When inspecting the under side I also noticed some leaking from the front, most likely the crankshaft seal.

    I also took a look inside my provent to see how things are looking down there and I noticed that there is a lot of beige goo in there. What seems to happen is that a lot of moist from the engine (probably from the fuel, bloody ethanol crap) get's into the oil and out through the PCV, since the provent is relatively cool the water vapor condensates and mixes with the oil. The filter looks fine from the outside but perhaps the combination of water and oil has restricted the air flow through the filter... Since there is not other way out of the engine, it seems likely that over pressure is a contributing factor the the leaking engine?

    The new wheel bearings fitted like a glove but one of them still had some play on it. Turns out that the axle nut was not tight enough. I was always under the impression that tightening these too much is detrimental for bearings but this was probably too loose. After correcting this issue all is fine again

    Anyway,

    That's it for now

    Cheers,
    -P

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Gosford, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    2,531
    Quote Originally Posted by prelude View Post
    Time for an update here as well.

    When inspecting the under side I also noticed some leaking from the front, most likely the crankshaft seal.

    Cheers,
    -P
    The oil pressure switch is a know leaker as well

    Steve
    MY96 4.6 HSE P38. Niagara Grey; "The Phoenix"
    MY99 4.6 HSE P38. LPG, Blenheim Sliver; "Voldemort" burnt to a cinder
    MY79 RR Classic, Gone, MY57 Series 1 SWB, Long gone
    P38 write ups and info on my website http://p38.hts.com.au/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Buderim
    Posts
    184
    Anything in rubber that is required to seal anything in a RR - use genuine.
    The first time I pulled my engine out I used aftermarket rubber seals such as rocker cover, T seals, sump gasket etc - they all went hard as a rock within 18 months. They become brittle and cracked - ended up like hard black plastic. I was assured by these parts people that they had never had any bad reports back from using said parts.
    I have heard that line quite a bit from parts people actually - most of them have never turned a spanner I reckon.

    After changing to genuine I have no more leaks - very clean engine actually.
    1998 D1 in showroom condition, 1999 D2 TD5 with everything, 2000 P38 on sequential LPG.
    1992 RRC sold and now pranged.

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