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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #1
So I rebuilt a spare valve block over the weekend and swapped it into my '97 P38 along with a brand new compressor. Rebuild was done with a kit from a UK seller (diaphragm plus o-rings for solenoids, air lines, NRVs).

Problem now is that the car drops to bump stops when parked -- all 4 corners, not overnight, but in under an hour. Car is usable, in fact I've taken her out a few times for roughly an hour's drive each time out. At least it seems the new compressor's working well.

Prior to rebuild, with the old valve block, with the delay timer pulled out, only the front left corner would drop, and that was overnight. I decided to order a new compressor (I rebuilt the old one but still found it weak, then I found that the two pins of the thermal switch had been soldered together!). Figured I'd pair it with a rebuilt valve block. That was about a month ago, and the car's was idle while I waited for the parts.

Soapy water test on collets reveals no leaks, save for a minor one on the top of the air drier when the compressor is on. I haven't tried soapy water on the solenoid bases yet, though (will do so soon as I get the chance). Since it's all 4 corners dropping quite quickly, it's possible I messed up the o-ring replacement on all 4 respective solenoids (I'd like to think I was much much more careful than that!), or that the o-rings provided don't quite do their job -- I guess I'll confirm this w/ the soapy water test.

I also removed the exhaust silencer with the car at standard height, and put a finger over the hole -- no air escaping there.

I'd appreciate any leads on what might be going on, what I can check. I don't have as much time to work on the car as I'd like, so I'd like to cover as much ground as possible when I do get a chance to play mechanic.

Thanks in advance!
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Firstly, hello to a fellow P38 owner in the Phils!

Secondly, have a look at this

http://paulp38a.com/range-rover-p38/eas-valve-block-renew/

and check against what you've done. It also has a handy schematic showing what does what and where, along with the different plungers on the solenoids.

The valve block has to be a prime suspect, although it sounds like the dryer could do with the rings replacing as well. Have you sorted the front left drop out?

Also, if you haven't already, have a look through this

http://www.rangerovers.net/forum/7-range-rover-mark-ii-p38/4468-info-eas-troubleshooting-tips.html

Do you have any diagnostic kit? If so is it saying anything?

If you have checked everything and found/cured any leaks but still have the problem, I've got a Nanocom we could throw on to have a look. I'm in Malate.

Alternatively, drop into EuroSpec Motors in Las Piñas (02 403 0767) and speak to Fritz, the owner or Ed, the LR Guru, if that's more local to you. They were the guys who helped me put mine back to air.

Finally, don't assume a new compressor is a good compressor. My new genuine Dunlop one failed after around three months. The grub screw holding the piston/counterweight to the motor shaft had backed out.

Sure there will be someone else along with anything more.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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568 Posts
Just one thing to add to George.....way back when I did my valveblock the first set of o rings I purchased were very inferior ( forget where I purchased them but it was UK way.) they were very skinny and had leaks all over........second set perfect.....just a thought.
 

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Just one thing to add to George.....way back when I did my valveblock the first set of o rings I purchased were very inferior ( forget where I purchased them but it was UK way.) they were very skinny and had leaks all over........second set perfect.....just a thought.
Could be. The OP doesn't say where he got them. Mine came from Scotty and worked first time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hello GeorgeB! Good to see someone else on here who'd be familiar with the 'challenges' in our parts. The rains have begun so you understand why I'd best get this fixed asap. :) While searching through these forums I did see your posts as well as pics from your own rebuild -- thanks for sharing your experience! I've been a customer of Rover Parts Sales & Services out in Quezon City since acquiring the car last September.

Thanks for the offer on the Nanocom, if it comes to that I might just take you up on it. So far I've only used the EAS Unlock Suite from RSW solutions. Made it work on a Mac (not sure if that's been discussed here but I remember not finding anything on the topic, perhaps I'll start a thread); coupled with a frankencable -- did pretty much everything you're NOT supposed to do when making the cable! (I have parts on the way to make a proper cable.) But what can I say, that worked (got the software to sync, then successfully cleared the 35 MPH warning, then got to read heights, etc.).

The PaulP38 guide was in fact my bible going through the rebuild process.

Daf11e, I got my kit from landyair.com (well, from their eBay site) -- anyone else have experience with these? Their instructions (downloadable from their website) were not nearly as good as PaulP38's. I haven't been able to check the solenoid bases for leaks because of work the whole day, and it's raining here now (no roof over the car). I must say, though, that the replacement o-rings seemed to be of the same thickness/quality as the o-rings they were replacing. But of course you never know 'til they're in....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Got a (too short) lull in the rain this afternoon and did a little checking...

Soapy water test on solenoids (well, the top ones) results in bubbles between the exhaust valve and inlet valve solenoids. But I'm willing to bet it's the exhaust one.

More complete story (sorry for omitting this important bit): I received the repair kit and checked contents against seller's instructions as downloaded from his site (landyair.com). Page 6 showed a pic of the o-rings in the kit. In my excitement (I'd been waiting over 2 weeks to get it) I failed to notice, or subliminally chose not to, that the picture on the instructions showed only the o-rings for the solenoids and NRVs. The kit I purchased needed to have, in addition, a replacement diaphragm, the accompanying o-ring, plus o-rings and piston seal for the compressor. If I had checked against the sellers actual e-Bay listing that I purchased, I would have noticed I was missing one o-ring.

Thinking I had all the bits I proceeded with the rebuild. I did the NRVs, then the diaphragm block -- got an "A" size o-ring from the set of 6 I had, and then proceeded to doing the solenoids. As I neared the last 3 solenoids I realized I was missing one A size one, and remembered that in fact, the diaphragm came in a small resealable bag only with the large o-ring for compressor cylinder head, but NOT its own "A" o-ring.

Of course, when I got to the last solenoid, which happens to be the exhaust one in my case, I was left with no more "A" size ones. I was forced to reuse the old one. It looked okay to me (wishful thinking?), as did the others, actually. I just cleaned it a bit and lightly applied silicone grease per instructions.

And here we are, seems that solenoid is in fact leaking. I've just messaged the seller on e-Bay and hope he can send me a new o-ring. But in the meantime I've a mind to go through the other old ones (hey I've 6 of those) and find another to try out.

There's something I noticed while checking, though. With the car at height and the compressor running to refill the tank, I would here intermittent clicking seemingly from the exhaust valve. It would sometimes click a few times in rapid succession then silence, then a click once, silence, then click twice, and so on. Doesn't seem normal to me, but why would it be doing this? (I hope I don't have a busted solenoid aside from a bad o-ring.)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hello GeorgeB, I think I need one that's bigger than the diaphragm -- it's the big o-ring on the bottom of the solenoid base. Thanks for checking! I messaged the seller on eBay the other night, and he's supposedly despatched the missing o-ring.

In order to TRY something at least, this morning before having to leave for meetings and such I took out the solenoid to re-replace the old, questionable o-ring with another old one. Have to say that the old o-rings really do look okay to me. From the bunch of old ones I chose what maybe was the best one (from seemingly good ones), cleaned it up, applied silicone grease and put it in.

No joy. The car still lowers (all 4 corners) even with door open or delay timer relay pulled.

I came across this post from 2010 and this one from 2011 -- I guess my problem isn't as simple as an o-ring in the exhaust solenoid. I'm just finding it strange that it's all 4 corners that are dropping when parked and seemingly at the same (fast) rate.

Anyhow, ideas/suggestions would be most welcome. I hope to put more time into this tomorrow but have some stuff scheduled so more likely Friday...
 

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Problem with both those threads, like so many others, the OP never comes back with the final cure! Frustrating.

See how you get on when the new ring arrives. I have spare rings for the dryer if that helps, as well as probably enough for the bag that was dropping originally, if they are the culprit there. I still feel you are chasing a leak/leaks somewhere.

Anyone else out there care to chime in? C'mon guys, let's help keep one of the few remaining air sprung '38s out here running!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
And the relatively few people here familiar with P38s (unfortunately even some RR specialist garages -- yes we do have 'em (!) and they're for the most part quite knowledgeable) seem to expect all owners want to switch to coils!
 

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And the relatively few people here familiar with P38s (unfortunately even some RR specialist garages -- yes we do have 'em (!) and they're for the most part quite knowledgeable) seem to expect all owners want to switch to coils!
And when I was looking, it seemed most owners had done it as well. It's a big selling point here, "Now on coil springs" and of the few you do see, virtually none will be on air.

So yes, "seriously".
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yesterday I decided to put the old valve block back in as I was out of ideas on what to try. The only symptom with the old valve block after all was the front left corner lowering to bumps overnight (w/ the delay timer pulled out). The rebuilt valve block was lowering all 4 corners in less than an hour, so I was better off with the original one.

The reason I did a rebuild was I wanted to pair a new compressor with what was supposed to be a "known good" valve block. It was more convenient at the time to rebuild the spare valve block (let's call it VB2). So much for that....

Before replacement I checked the front left solenoid on the old valve block (VB1). O-rings looked okay, but I replaced them anyway with old o-rings from VB2, which maybe looked in marginally better shape.

When pulling out VB2, I hit a snag in that I couldn't remove the exhaust filter. I'd been turning it for ages to no effect. On closer inspection apparently the filter had come loose from the plastic base that actually screwed in to valve block. I guess I'd over-tightened on installing VB2. Had a hell of a time trying to grip just the plastic base which when installed is recessed into the the EAS plastic case. Succeeded in unscrewing it only when I used pliers to grip the base. Note to self: do not over-tighten exhaust valve. Note to self 2: get new exhaust filter.

With VB1 back in, I replaced the o-rings in the air drier (rebuild kit had a couple extra 8mm ones for that purpose). Fired her up and did what I should have done even before the rebuild and the compressor change: checked front left air spring air line collet for leaks. Sure enough, bubbles on soapy water test. The kit also had enough extra 6mm o-rings for the air bags. A bit tricky to do, but a little perseverance and care and I had that sorted out as well.

Soapy water test revealed no leaks on VB-side air lines, air drier, front left and front right air bag collets, top solenoids. Definitely not dropping to bumps in a couple of hours, so I was much better off than with VB2. Left her on standard height overnight with delay timer pulled. This morning greeted me with rears still at standard height, but with front left again on bumps, and front right maybe at around access. Still better than with VB2 and all four corners down in under an hour. Will try to do a re-test of the soapy water test. Hoping to catch something I hadn't seen prior, I'm hoping it's not the bags that need replacement...

Took the car out today on a trip out of town, about an hour and a half on the road each way, half the time on the freeway. EAS behaving well, lowering to motorway height and rising back up as expected.
 

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Generally its probably the bag, fronts especially as these bare the brunt of deceleration and one side will bare the brunt of being on the worse side of the road (near side), same as traffic flow -for want of a better word, roundabouts).

One way you can quickly find out is to swap those two front airlines at the valve block, no need to de-pressurise, just get them both to standard height say and swap the lines over, air will come out but due to the small diameter lines its more than manageable.

Hopefully they will both have dropped approx the same amount, now just start the car and watching the corners carefully letting them come back up to standard height, disable timer/relay and watch the results, if the same corner goes down its obviously the bag itself, if the other corner goes down its the valveblock, there may of course be a mix of the two.

This process should be done carefully and returned to normal as soon as you've got the results, due to the loss of feedback the corners could runaway if your not aware of whats going on.

In reality (in my experience) both corners switch each other off when raising up, as long as you start them both from broadly the same position/height, if one bag is half deflated and the other isn't then your asking for trouble...common sense really.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the input, LarryS! Hope to get to try switching the lines tomorrow.
 
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