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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,
First post here.
I've been reading through related threads (and learning) about the issue I have with my recently purchased P38 Range Rover (GEMS).
Backstory::
Bought it last week, it started first crank every try, ran good, idled for about 10 mins with no overheating. Test drove nicely.
Handed over cash
Got on freeway home and temp gauge pegs to the red.
I pull over immediately and cut the engine off. Steam was coming into the cabin through the air vents so I figured a heater core hose blew.
Towed it home
Charged the battery
Bypassed the heater core

Now it cranks and cranks but will not Fire...

I have verified that it has good spark
Has good fuel pressure at rail
And oil / coolant are both clean (no blown headgasket)

I know that the Ckp sensor controls spark so thats good.
My question is what could possibly cause the car to not start anymore if it has fuel, air, and spark? The becm is syncing fine (getting check engine light)

Also what would kill the injector pulse because thats my next guess as to what happened.

CLIFFS
-Bought good running Range
-Overheated once for no longer than a minute 30 secs
-Cranks but No start for 2 weeks and counting
(has fuel, air, spark, becm+ecu sync)
-Getting pissed

Thank you all
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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I would think you’ve blown the head gaskets, sounds like it was really hot and previous owner knew they were gone, I’ve had one I repaired, would tick over for an hour plus, pop round the block ok, but once out on a major road at speed it overheated, ( cracked block )
Have you checked for spark, or just relying on eml going out, even with blown heads these normally start, it’s got 8 cylinders to fire, Try a bit of easy start and if it doesn’t fire then it’s not fuel related.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That sounds like the case, as the previous owner cut the test drive kinda short. I should've known. I still have hope though.
I checked for spark by pulling a plug and grounding it. I tested two plugs and both gave off an orange-ish spark.
Just tried a few sprays of starter fluid into the manifold and it didn't make it cough at all.
Strong blue spark coming from coil packs through the wires which are in good shape.
Could it be possible that the plugs are too weak to fire it off after overheating it?
Thanks for the reply
 

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@SHEL I agree with chris_no_10 that they will generally start even with head/gasket issues so I'd be inclined to check that (1) spark is timed correctly, rather than just 'has spark' (2) check the injectors are working as they should. There are a number of methods of checking for injector operation, these are well set out in various forums so no need to reiterate here. There are also threads on this forum which could assist: http://www.rangerovers.net/forum/7-range-rover-mark-ii-p38/264794-p38-4-6-gems-1996-ecu-problems-i-think.html

Bear in mind that because it won't start at all (rather than just missing a cylinder or two) it's likely not an individual cylinder issue - ie. it won't be all injectors failed, or all plugs failed - so I'd be looking for things that could be affected by heat or steam/water, since this seems to be the catalyst. Or things that could have been 'bumped' in the process of sorting out the water issue.

Cheers, PU,
 

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Just double read, you charged the battery, Are you getting any messages in display on the clocks ?.
was it a hose inside that blew, would be unusual as there metal, possibly Orings to heater, or heater core itself, or engine bay hose, if engine bay, have a look at fuse box, connector of engine loom ( not sure if gems has, under expansion tank) I’m thinking something isn’t speaking to something,,
 

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A Couple of long shot s here as you seem to have all the systems doing their thing properly.....
I also am a bit curious about the "Towed it home, Charged the battery" part of the story?
Why would the battery need charging after an quick overheat? If the battery went dead, or it was removed, then there could be a simpler electrical issue here. Further to the electrical possibilities, if the fuse box gets wet it will short and die...... I tried this recently by flushing the cooling system and letting water run out of the header opening. Splashed all over the fuse box, a bit got in, and things went Fizzzzzz...I had the new one ready, so no problem. Putting it right next to the header tank where you could slop water on to it was sheer brilliance!

When you say that the Becm and ECU are synced. how do you know this?
If you have fuel, air and spark, you possibly have an intermittent / failing CPS??......

Last but not least, if you let us know where you are in the country, there is a chance someone with the right test gear is nearby.........

Read a bit more........How long has this been sitting? Hot and humid area perhaps? E-10 fuel possibly? Ethanol will absorb it's weight in water and contaminate the tank if left alone for too long. This has been a HUGE problem for us in Hawaii.......
You may have water in the fuel system.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for the replies. I was out late last night but now I'm back at the truck.

@private_user Good point on it not looking like an individual cyl prob. Im thinking something got wet after overheating and shorted also but cant seem to find what exactly. The two multiplugs underneath the expansion tank are clean and making good connection. Will go out and double check the loom connections toward the back of the motor right now. All of the fuses under the hood are in good shape and relays function as normal as far as I know (fuel pump runs @ pos II, no other elec problems).

@chris_no_10 Same. And possibly the entire heater core then unless Im missing something. The only messages Im getting is windows not set and EAS fault bc it was converted to springs.

@Bolt The previous owner showed me the car with a dead battery but he started it using a charge pack. When I bought the car he threw in a newer (yet undercharged) battery that he had sitting around which started the car first try but didnt have the juice to crank it over the second time I tried after I had pulled over and shut it off.
After I got it home I charged that battery multiple times with a borrowed charge pack while diagnosing the no start. Its been removed multiple times. The BECM and ECU is in sync because I am getting the CEL in pos II, which to my knowledge is the two system's "handshake". All else seems to work fine like central locking, radio, seats, etc. however the key fob doesn't lock the doors with the button. Im pretty sure it didn't work with the previous owner either because the rubber buttons are missing from the key and he unlocked and started the car manually both times.

Also the car had just passed inspection 2 weeks before I purchased it.
I'm in downtown Austin, Tx btw

Thanks again everyone.





 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oh yeah @Bolt I thought of that too but its only been a couple weeks since it ran last. But wouldn't it still try to start if sprayed with ether?
 

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because of the overheat, have you taken a compresson test? piston rings could have suffered thus too low compression to complete combustion.
 

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These cars don’t like multiple battery disconnects, get a decent one you can use to diagnose, key refurb kits are very cheap, a working key is a must.
i don’t know about your inspections, but if it’s like our mot, it means the car was roadworthy that day when tested, nothing else, have you tried lifting the carpet to check the becm isn’t swimming ..
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Haven't done a compression test, dont have the guage/kit yet. And yes I checked under passenger side carpet and it was a little damp with coolant on the floor. BeCM was dry but harness was damp on the floor. Unplugged and cleaned each multiplug with brake cleaner and let dry. Same with damp wires on harness.
Removed and inspected the engine bay fuse box as I thought RL19 could have been damaged from the wise location of coolant reso but all was ok.

Working key fob is a must to start these things?? Or would it just not crank at all if that was the issue.?
Feels like im a step away from solving this.
 

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@SHEL It's beginning to sound to me as if you may have lost sync between the BECM and the engine ECU, which won't necessarily show up on the dash.

I've been lucky in that it's not happened to me, and because mine is a diesel I don't have plugs etc so can't report whether you'd ordinarily still get spark when this happens. However if you search for 'lost sync' you'll get a myriad of responses on the problem.

I believe if you know the EKA (Emergency Key Access) you may get it to work, and/or if you get something like a 'syncmate' or equivalent. I'm lucky in that my EKA was recorded both in the owner's manual, and in the separate 'emergency card' so you might want to have a hunt around the vehicle for this detail - it's a 4 digit code you 'enter' via the drivers door lock (again there's plenty of detail around on how to do this).

Just to be clear; there's a difference between the FOB opening car, and how that syncs, and the key/becm/engine ecu syncing. It's the latter that could have gone awry with your machine.

Cheers, PU.
 

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As has been said, get a good battery, one sized for a P38. A used battery from a car isn't going to give enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Got a fresh battery in and wasted cash on a set of new plugs today for safe measure. Cranks and tries to fire but hasn't come to life yet.
Then I remembered how tough it was to get it up to highway speed the day I drove it. Being my first time driving an old Range I thought it was just slow lol or needed the maf cleaned. Read a post about crank pos sensor going bad and causing speed probs as well as all the other problems I am having.
Took mine out and inspected it and found a few different things that raise concern.
- Pinched wire going to cps (which I spliced, reconnected and taped)
- Only one 7mm bolt holding the sensor in place. I was expecting a dust shield with 2 bolts and the sensor to have 2 bolts also but it came out after removing the closest one to me.
So now I have a few new questions
1. Did they make a one screw sensor from the factory or is mine broken? (doesn't look broken)
2. Would a failing ckps cause weak spark or no spark at all?
3. Does Ckps control injector pulse also?
Also my sensor wire disappears into the loom instead of the typical multi plug at back of motor.
Need this pos started by tomorrow!

Thank you for all the help so far.
 

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GEMS (pre-99) has just one bolt holding the CPS and no dust shield and a failing CPS will cause poor running initially followed by no start as it controls both the sparks and the injection. They usual fail when they get hot and the common test is to spray them with cold water to see if cooling them causes them to recover for a while. The fact that this has happened after an overheat could have cooked an already failing CPS so definitely worth replacing it.
 

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I had a similar experience a few weeks a go (bought the car, over-heated on maiden voyage. Turned out someone had installed a second thermostat in the engine housing as the coolant leaves to go to the top of the rad (on a 4.6 the thermostat is in a "heart" system on the return from the bottom of the rad). Completely killed the circulation since the second thermostat was faulty, and relied on the single small "emergency" hole for any flow, and on a hot day that was not enough. I know you have bigger issues now, but I'm curious if you have id'd the source of the over-heating yet
 
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