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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Friends,

like i wrote in my welcome thread, i am currently in the hot phase of buying a P38 97-01.

I have checked the market around my area for 4 month now, basically visited all possible dealers/sellers
and testdrove 7-8 Rangies that fit my profile (low mileage - P38 4.6 - Leather - Prefered Metallic Blue)

So here are my biggest two questions, hopefully you experienced guys can give me some good advise.

First is General:

Do you think its worth to buy a 97 over 01 if it has lower mileage and a better overall look, chassi/paintjob-wise?
(i know the differences of the upgrade in 99, i just wonder about your guys opinions)

Second is technical:

With many of em i noticed the the Frontaxle and the gearbox beeing pretty oily.
I know cars like this loose some oil, but do you have any good advice for me to be on the safe side just by looking at it?
What amount do you consider normal?

To be specific - One has a oily patina mixed with dirt, that looks dry. Its driven daily by the owner.
The other one had been sitting in the yard a while and has not been driven. However his axle was glazzed like a doughnut and the oil looked very fresh and clean

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advances for all answers, i hope you guys can help me make a good pick
 

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Many folks find the GEMS easier to work on than the later Bosch engines. Other than minor differences I would certainly take better condition of newer.

Oil on the under carriage is certainly nothing to be scared of. It's usually a case of loose/seeping oil pan, valve covers or oil pressure sender. The seepage travels downward and rearward sending may new owners into a panic. A good cleanup and a day of snugging up bolts does wonders.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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3,952 Posts
There were changes made in mid '97 which makes a '98 or later a better car. So you would be looking at a late GEMS or Thor from '99 on. As said, the GEMS engine is easier to work on without the huge inlet manifold sitting on top of the engine getting in the way but the Thor does produce more power. The longer intake tracts give more torque and the Bosch engine management is improved over the Lucas/Sagem GEMS. The engine ECU communicates directly with the gearbox ECU so the Thor makes a better tow car (even though the GEMS is extremely good anyway).

Don't worry too much about the oil unless it drops on the ground whenever it is parked, the underside is always a bit oily from various places. It stops them from going rusty too.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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325 Posts
As RRTH says, buy on condition, not age, especially for a vehicle used in European winters.

Mine's an early '95 and had a myriad of faults showing, which half an hour with the Nanocom shifted, but the body and chassis were pretty much mint. Yes, it had oil leaks but again, as said, these can be minimised - I won't say eradicated (!) - but the engine ran relatively smoothly, was clean inside and the box shifted as it should in both ranges, so I took the plunge. After slowly playing for around 12 months, making a change here, an adjustment there, cleaning stuff and rigorous servicing, I have a super smooth motor that I'm happy to drive anywhere.

You have an advantage in that you'll have a lot more choice than I did. There only ever seem to be one or two for sale at any given time here and I don't remember seeing a non-GEMS one. Seems supply stopped in '97.

Again, buy the best condition one you can, get a dedicated ODB reader, download RAVE, suspend all reality and enjoy!
 
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