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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #1
New to me 4.0 HSE with Bosch engine. The truck sat for over a year.

The battery is brand new, Deka 31P, 950 cold cranking amps, good stuff. Various contacts and ground connections cleaned, seem good. I replaced the fuse/relay box under the hood and the driver's door lock today with brand new genuine LR parts. The truck does recognize the key when I insert it into the ignition and shows a message to that effect. The truck shows no immobilizer related messages. Therefore I am assuming that "crank, but no start" is not an immobilizer-related issue.

When I try to start the truck, it turns over but does not start. I have not checked whether I have spark and fuel yet, will do it tomorrow. The tachometer needle does not move when I crank it. If this were a Discovery, I would be suspecting Crankshaft Position Sensor. On disco the tachometer needle is supposed to move, if it doesn't the crank sensor is dead. Does it work the same way on p38a? Other than hooking up a scope or swapping the part, is there an easy way to check the crank sensor on P38a?

The carpet on the right (LHD passenger) side is soaking wet, feels like coolant. I think the heater core leaks. The truck complains about bad fuses 2, 7, 20. These are the fuses on the BECM. I checked the fuses and they are fine, but i see oxidation on the fuse block contacts. I suspect that BECM had water damage. I have a set of BECM, ECU and instrument cluster, all from the same truck (Bosch 4.6 HSE). If I swap all three at the same time, will the truck work without additional reprogramming?
 

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Get your current BeCM repaired. It has the appropriate settings and information for your rig. In addition not all BeCMs are the same. They can not just be swapped. If your BeCM has been coolant damaged, which it sounds like it has, let someone with experience at least clone your information and move it to a proper BeCM that can replace yours. You could be in a situation where you have lost sync between the ECU and BeCM.
 

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"On disco the tachometer needle is supposed to move, if it doesn't the crank sensor is dead."

Interesting observation......Got to check that one as it is a simple indication.
As for the issue at hand, I would go with TH on the Becm being soaked at some point.
Remove it and open it up. frequently, it and the corroded multiplugs entering it can be cleaned.
If the power board is damaged, you can probably swap it with the one from your donor Becm. If not, send it, along with the undamaged one to someone like Scotty on this forum to clone the information into the good one. A LOT less hassle, and the VIN will still match the truck.
Water in footwells is O rings at heater core. Read this:
https://www.rangerovers.net/repairdetails/heateroring.html
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If the sync between BECM and ECM is lost, will there be any error messages or other symptoms indicating that this is the case? When the sync is lost, does the fuel pump get energized? I remember reading that the ECM cuts fuel and spark. Not sure if 'cutting fuel' meant fuel injector pulse, fuel pump or both. I am trying to find a symptom that would allow me to distinguish lost sync from bad crank sensor.

I don't have P38a diagnostic gear at the moment. I have a couple of genuine Ford VCMs and an IDS that I use for my Jaguars, but I don't think it will work with P38a.

Can anybody clue me in on Nanocom vs Faultmate vs other options for P38a? I am confused as to the feature set of these two systems and the vendor site does not clear that confusion for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Swapped the BECM, ECM and instrument cluster. Truck is starting now, yay! Ordering heater o-rings (sounds like a fun project for this coming week-end). Anything else I should look and take care of while the dash is off? Should I check the blend motors?

I will try to get the original BECM repaired or cloned and re-fit it to the truck, so that the VIN and programming are correct.
 

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Good result.
Probably could get away with power board swap and not need to worry about cloning.

As for diagnostic gear, I have a Faultmate and an Nano, and much prefer the Nano as it is a simple stand alone machine that rides in the cubby box.
The FM is a bit more powerful, but more fiddly to deal with.
There is a whole section on this site for diagnostic gear related discussions:
https://www.rangerovers.net/forum/12-diagnostic-equipment/
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I replaced the heater core o-rings. It's unclear to me why anyone who has a legitimate reason to cal themselves a mechanical engineer would expect this design to work. It looks like the job was done a number of times before me. Broken plastic, missing screws and extra holes bored to ease access are a clear evidence of that. The truck runs, but has a miss. I will take plugs out, inspect them and use an endoscope to inspect the piston tops for the dreaded "steam cleaned" look. If the pistons look good (i.e. dirty enough) I'll replace the plugs, plug wires and catch up on the rest of the maintenance.
 

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I replaced the heater core o-rings. It's unclear to me why anyone who has a legitimate reason to cal themselves a mechanical engineer would expect this design to work.
Funny, I'm an ME and I had the same reaction to this design. I normally like to "stay stock and worry free" but I couldn't bring myself to trust repairing this back to stock. Did the Audi core swap mod and bypassed the o-rings permanently.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am a software engineer, but I learned a bunch of engineering-related wisdom from my father who was an aerospace engineer. I also had a few semesters of materials science and metallurgy at school. This design is obviously a bad idea.

Speaking of bad ideas, who is the genius that came up with "let's use torque-to-yield bolts in an overbored aluminum block with iron sleeves pressed in and not a lot of aluminum left between the holes for the liner and the stud". Why would that ever be a good idea? I am convinced that that's why these blocks crack, sometimes even if you don't overheat them. Rover pushrod v8 engines are notorious leakers, so people do head gaskets on them. There is only that many times you can apply stress to that poor sad little piece of aluminum, before it cracks under stress and starts leaking coolant either into the combustion chamber (stock liners) or into the crankcase (top hat liners). That's why every rover engine I ever removed heads from had head studs installed. You are not going to crack the block if you do the studs correctly.
 

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....who is the genius that came up with "let's use torque-to-yield bolts in an overbored aluminum block with iron sleeves pressed in and not a lot of aluminum left between the holes for the liner and the stud". Why would that ever be a good idea? I am convinced that that's why these blocks crack, sometimes even if you don't overheat them. Rover pushrod v8 engines are notorious leakers, so people do head gaskets on them. There is only that many times you can apply stress to that poor sad little piece of aluminum, before it cracks under stress and starts leaking coolant either into the combustion chamber (stock liners) or into the crankcase (top hat liners). That's why every rover engine I ever removed heads from had head studs installed. You are not going to crack the block if you do the studs correctly.
Dead on. ARP 124-2003 is the best thing that ever happened for Rover V8s. Then there is 124-3001 that ARP sells for 3.9, 4.0 and 4.6 for $75 more. Save the $75, the 2003 kit just comes with the 8 extra bolts, washers and nuts for the earlier model heads.
 

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Considering the Rover V8 was designed by General Motors in the 50's and started at 3.5L, I would say it started out as a pretty innovative engine. Rover did things to make it stronger and more powerful but I'm sure it was an economic decision not to start fresh with a new engine for the P38. Can't blame engineers for the bean counter decisions. Did Rover ever design their own engine?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Considering the Rover V8 was designed by General Motors in the 50's and started at 3.5L, I would say it started out as a pretty innovative engine. Rover did things to make it stronger and more powerful but I'm sure it was an economic decision not to start fresh with a new engine for the P38. Can't blame engineers for the bean counter decisions. Did Rover ever design their own engine?
GM designed engines were Buick 215 and Olds 215. They are a different engine with respect to the liners. GM engines had cast in liners. Given 1960s technology the percentage of blocks that had to be scrapped due to casting defects was higher than GM would like. Pressed in liners were a British (Rover) invention. As far as I know GM engineers were skeptical as to the success of the pressed in liner design.

Overall, aluminum block was is a questionable idea until mid-90s when technology finally made it possible. The 215 was an iffy motor, with weak bottom end, prone to main cap fretting in high horsepower applications. The Rover 4.2 cranks fail in a spectacular fashion, because the main caps fret (DSM people call this phenomenon "crank walk"). That's why the 4.0/4.6 blocks have cross-bolted mains. To be fair, other companies that made aluminum blocks in the 80s and early 90s didn't do much better than Rover. Porsche M28 didn't have block issues, but it was a boat anchor of a motor that weighted more than many iron block designs and made little horsepower for its size and weight. Jaguar v12 made little horsepower for its massive size and cost. The Jag AJ6/AJ16 engines were pretty reliable with no block issues. But their blocks were heavily overbuilt. In fact, a Ford 5.0 pushrod engine, complete with iron block and iron heads weights a little less than a Jag 4 liter inline 6 with aluminum head and block. Ford 5.0 with aluminum heads and iron block weights about the same as Rover v8. That's why I believe that the advantages of an aluminum block were largely exaggerated. Prior to LS1 they either had poor power to weight ratio with decent reliability, or they had decent power to weight ratio with poor reliability. LS1 changed all that, it was had a good power to weight ratio and was very reliable.
 

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The Buick engine is what Rover.. or what became Rover bought the rights to. It did not have cast in liners. It had liners that were cryo frozen, placed and allowed to expand within the aluminum block. the block was then planed to ensure a perfectly smooth head mating surface. Rover ran with the frozen liner design as licensed. they did not invent "pressed in" liners.

Porsche, Jag and Ford have absolutely nothing to do with the Buick 215 unveiled in 1961. the Buick aluminum 215 was also used by Pontiac and Oldsmobile in base models. Oldsmobile turbo charged the Buick 215 for their 62 and 63 Cutlass flagship "sports car".

the Rover/Buick engine was such a huge success that GM tried to buy the rights back from British Leyland/Rover. BL/Rover refused but offered to maintain a steady supply of it's improved V8 to GM. GM refused.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The Buick engine is what Rover.. or what became Rover bought the rights to. It did not have cast in liners. It had liners that were cryo frozen, placed and allowed to expand within the aluminum block. the block was then planed to ensure a perfectly smooth head mating surface. Rover ran with the frozen liner design as licensed. they did not invent "pressed in" liners.
I read a different version of the story here:
http://aluminumv8.com/Home/Technical

"as GM utilized pressure casting of the Reynolds 356 aluminum alloy around steel sleeves. "


In the chapter covering the differences between Buick 215 and the Olds variant, Des Hammill's book states that Olds F85 engines had sleeves pressed in "Rover style", implying that Buick blocks were different. Ultimately the Olds/Pontiac variant had different heads and valvetrain, so Rover engines are definitely a Buick derivative, albeit with sleeves pressed in, just like the Olds/Pontiac variant of this engine.

I seem to remember reading an article by a retired GM engineer that stated that Buick liners were cast in. He mentioned special coating that had to be applied to the liners, so that molten aluminum would stick to them. I can't find that article.


 

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Discussion Starter #15
Fund a few sources confirming the cast in liners on the Buick 215:

https://ateupwithmotor.com/model-histories/buick-special-skylark-rover-v8-3800-v6-history/

[h=2]THE ALUMINUM BUICK V8[/h]...
Both the cylinder block and cylinder heads were aluminum, but the linerless block was deemed too risky, so the production engine got unusual cast-in iron cylinder liners, held in place by groves in the cylinder walls.

http://www.britishv8.org/Articles/Rover-Autocar-Article.htm

The liners in production were pre-heated to prevent chilling in the mould and held in place by mandrels as the block was cast.


https://www.seight.com/images/tech/magreps/1961hrm.pdf

Cylinder blocks are aluminum with ridged iron liners cast into the, block.
 

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I’ve just sat for the last hour reading about the Rover V8, it’s history, manufacturing ect.
the olds 215 seems to be the beginning of the Rover V8.
Im not going into page after page, the blocks were cast, liners pressed into a heated block, so very
possible that the liners were chilled/frozen to give that extra thou of clearance when pressed in.
some of the engine remanufactures still use this process when installing tophat liners, all in all,
lets be honest, no matter how or who built it, it’s a great engine, the possibilities for tuning are there, wether a 3.5 or a 5.2.
i agree with people that sometimes the casting wasn’t exactly the best, people rave about coscast blocks, but as there as rare as unicorns, and mega expensive if you can find one, I’ll happily stick with my standard 4.6 for now that’s 18yrs old and as smooth as the day it left the factory, wether it be GM, Buick, Rover, Tvr or anyone else that wants to lay claim to it, thanks for a great engine ��
 

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Well I said I thought the engine was innovative for its time (development must have began in the late 50's to be released in 1961) and I'll stand by that. It was lightweight when everything else was heavy. The LS1 was certainly not innovative in any sort of way. It is a testament to modern manufacturing technology but certainly not design.
 
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