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Thread: Range Rover ramblings.

  1. #1

    Range Rover ramblings.

    A bit of a trend has developed with me car wise over the last few years, this is for BMW 6 cylinder engines, and this time is no different as a Range Rover L322 came into my possession.
    This one in fact, not very clean but you get the idea.

    It certainly is striking and veteran Land Rover designer Don Wyatt was mainly responsible for the body design, capturing the essence and styling cues of the Classic. The in house Land Rover team who designed the P38 In building 38A at Solihull, got slated for designing a bland vehicle, I never thought this to be the case, and always thought the family resemblance came through like a distant cousin maybe, the L322 is definitely a first generation heir though. Gained a bit of bulk, being 9.3 in. longer, 2.6 in wider, and 1.8 in taller, the wheelbase is over 5 inches longer.

    It’s hard to know if heritage can be built into a car, or it’s just clever marketing, In February 2002 the last P38 4.6V8 and the first L322 off their production lines in Solihull drove in convoy straight to the Heritage Museum in Gaydon to go on permanent display there, if that doesn’t imbue a vehicle with a certain something I don’t what does. though apparently the L322 never made it.

    The minute you open the huge door of this car the size and solidness hits you. Climbing into the seat the huge centre console which must be at least 8 feet wide is at your knee, and it sweeps up into the dash where your eyes catch on chrome gauge bezels and swathes of soft leather, somewhere in the distance is the windscreen, and the familiar castellated bonnet spreads out before you.

    Fumbling around the right hand side of the steering column with the key will get you nowhere, as the ignition lock is located on the centre console, this takes a little getting used to, but it’s a nice quirk, and does mean no one can reach in and grab the keys easily. The minute you turn the key, the TD6 acknowledges and quietly goes about its business of smashing air and Diesel together, the refinement of the idle caught me by surprise.

    Select D press the pedal and the RR moves off and the purposeful hum of the engine rises and falls as the dotty automatic gearbox slides smoothly and seamlessly through its ballet of electronics, valve bodies, clutches and oil while silently toting up your repair bill. In a very p38 unlike fashion, motorway speed is reached, you begin to realise sitting in your arm chair that this mobile fortress has more power available, prod the TD6 and something happens, off we go again. The power available is night and day to the P38.

    The early RR’s have many Achilles heels, enough to challenge a centipede on a busy pavement, but the early TD6 model has a lurking time bomb, In the shape of the General Motors 5l40E 5 speed electronic automatic gearbox. GM for whatever reason decided to change the type of metal used in the valve bodies, which turned out to lead to a lot of wear contaminating the oil. The box is a sealed for life type with no dipstick, however enthusiasts recommend an oil change every 60,000 Miles. The box without servicing will usually fail before 100K it gives no notice it just stops, mind you I think they were built in France.

    If you have had a p38 you will find owning the L322 is a bit like hooking up with an old flame and pleasantly discovering she has had a boob job, everything sort of feels familiar and falls easily to hand, but you are aware it’s bigger and firmer and more of a handful. The old girl has put on a bit of weight mind, 500 Lbs more to be exact.

    To explain how much better the L322 is over the P38, and it pains me to say it, but is like comparing the White Cliffs of Dover with a stick of chalk. So far I love it……………………so far.
    That's all I have for the moment.

  2. #2
    @Brown's lane, that looks delicious. I've been trying for some time to justify having one of these in my life. So far, I've been unsuccessful in that pursuit.
    As for exes and boob jobs, that's a whole other story!

    Good luck with it man, she's a beaut!


  3. #3
    I love these..well wear.

  4. #4
    Great post browns!

    They're on my radar too but maybe in another 10 years although porschemans commercialised on gave me pause for thought.

  5. #5
    They are a lovely looking machine and impressive on the road, but not my cup of tea. Looking forward to stories of unending love and reliability, at least that is my hope for you BL. Enjoy it.
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

  6. #6
    Excellent post BL, very nicely written! Well wear and enjoy. That interior is marvellous.
    I love Renaults. And Dacias!

  7. #7
    Fantastic BL - have fun and well wear - looking forward to hearing updates on this one.

  8. #8
    Well my P38 behaved itself for the first 3 months before all hell broke loose, lets see how this one goes.
    I have ordered an ABS and an air suspension diagnostic and reset unit, so I'll sleep a little easier when that arrives.

    I have to say rose tinted glasses do develop for the old Rangie and coming from a car you forget some of the comfort and performance will be missing.
    You get bounced around a bit, and not being able to really overtake or make great late night time progress does detract from the fun a little.
    People have said it, and I have agree the cornering is the stuff of a clown car, even the P38 could be hustled around a corner.
    Though in fairness you do arrive at the corner going faster.
    Of course none of this is what the RR is really about, at least in TD6 form anyway.

    MPG, well the (optimistic) computer says 32 mpg my first brim to brim test with very mixed driving says 26.7 MPG.
    I think it will do better than that though as it settles into it's motorway routine.

    I haven't had time to attend to the oily bits yet, though the front discs need replacing, and a change of all the fluids and filters is on the list.
    It's going to need tyres soon, and I am tempted to get a set of RR 18 inch wheels instead of the 20's it's fitted with.
    Just can't make my mind up, the 20's do look good, but the low profile tyres look wimpy, and the 18's would allow the fitment of chunkier m+s tyres.

    Anyway one job attended to, rear screen wash wasn't working, this yoke pulls quite a vacuum behind it and the window never stays clean for long.

    Open the tailgate and prise of the top piece of trim.

    This reveals the wiper washer assembly. undo the 3 bolts arrowed and remove the tailgate top outer trim.

    Back at the tailgate the wiper is now revealed lift this bit off and prise it out, the washer jets are visible.

    The water comes out of the hollow centre of the wiper spindle into the plastic caps and out the jets.

    Non return valve fitted in the line to stop water draining back into the reservoir.

    Everything was blocked, the plastic cap. the hollow spindle, and the non return valve was jammed.
    It all blew out easily enough with a blast of compressed air.

    It's now working but there is a leak from the wiper assembly itself I have sealed it up with some silicone.
    If it doesn't seal it I will mount a bonnet washer under the outer trim, as there is an ecu of types in the washer assembly and I don't want to touch it.

  9. #9
    Love those Range rovers. Buying the diagnostic tools has to be the first purchase after getting any car with Air suspension etc. I bought the VCDS system for my Audi A8, cost around 450 euro but well worth the money. Easily recovered the cost already and I sleep better as well ! . I'm surprised you say it lacks comfort , do they not have adjustable suspension ? . Looking forward to your accounts of more home spannering.

  10. #10
    The suspension is not adjustable as such, it has 5 heights.
    An access height, dropped to the floor, a normal height, and wading mode. There are 2 heights which the driver can't manually select.
    Motorway height after sustained travel over around 60 MPH it lowers itself by 20 mm for better stability and fuel consumption.
    It has a max height which it selects automatically if it gets grounded, it can also be activated by testbook the JLR in house software.

    Part of the problem I feel too is the 20 inch rims.
    I will be replacing them for 18's, I was on the fence about this until I was parked beside one on said rims, it just looks so much better.
    It will also give me a better selection of M+S tyres as I will use it for light off roading, should also be more comfortable over the potholes.

    I added two more items to my RR side of the road assistance kit.

    A tow sling, the RR is an automatic but it can be towed, the clever people at JLR have you covered, by inserting a fuse into the correct spot the transfer box goes into neutral allowing the vehicle to be towed. The second smaller item is an abs and eas reset unit, a bit costly but handy to have onboard. The old eas suite for the P38 required a laptop to work and meant having one at all times. This unit is stand alone and just plugs in and hey presto kicks the computers where it hurts.

    Well it caught fire today, having moved it across the driveway, as I was walking away plumes of smoke began to issue from the wheel arch and bonnet vents.
    I was mentally thinking I'm free, the insurance will pay out and I can buy a Landcruiser, then panic set in as I ran around trying to find my fire extinguisher.
    Then I noticed the RR didn't really seem bothered, and there was quite a bit of whirring and clicking of relays going on, then with a triumphant click it all stopped.

    I remembered a friend of mine with a Tourag issuing steam in the work car park, when I told him his car was on fire, he told me Diesel burning heater.
    This is quite a nifty trick the car has up its sleeve, you set a time on the climate menu say 06:30 in the morning, when you stumble out to the car at 07:00 it's toasty inside with all the windows defrosted, if temp is under 5 degrees it heats or on a warm day it will blow cold air and cool the cabin, who knew? ( I didn't get a handbook )

    Not sure I love the idea of a Rangie capable of making fire on its own parked near the house!

    On a positive note, the spare wheel well, where the air compressor lives out its evil life had been filling with water, I presumed rain.
    Since I fixed and siliconed the rear wiper assembly it has been dry.
    So the washer water under pressure must have been finding its way out somewhere, and into the well.
    Last edited by Browns lane; 26-02-2016 at 12:42 AM.

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