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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #1
1999 P38 Off-Road Upgrade Guide

Hey, just bought my first Rover about three months ago - after a rebuilding the engine, it's about time I start upgrading for off-roading. I have put about 2,000 miles on the engine since the rebuild, so I know it's running strong. The car is basically stock, other than not having the air lift system(or whatever the specific name for it is).

Where do I start?

I want to start doing some off-roading soon, but I assume there are some essential upgrades before I hit the trails. I built a 1993 Jeep Cherokee XJ but this Rover is completely different, so I'm completely lost. If someone could give me a dummy list like: 1. Tires 2. Lift 3. Armor, or something of the sort, and where the best place is to find those items, that would be awesome! (also, what size tires and size of lift and what not)

Thanks,
Mike
 

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Re: 1999 P38 Off-Road Upgrade Guide

There's plenty of threads on off road set ups, I'm sure there was one recently, so search down the past months questions..
Put what truck you have on your profile, will be helpful when you need help with other issues,,
Ps,, air suspension is called EAS ( electronic air suspension )
 

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Re: 1999 P38 Off-Road Upgrade Guide

the biggest tires you can run without lift but need a good bit of trimming are 265/75/16 or so. the bigger the offset the better for the wheels to keep them tucked. check out the paulp38a lift guide. i am having 2 inch blocks made for my eas. since you do not have eas, i would recommend to switch back to it or lift your coils (very easy) 2 inch lift is the max you should go without new driveshafts of panhard rods in my opinion. toddcosuspensions has good coil lift equipment. check out my rig in the recent ones it is called "recent p38 build/upgrade thread" it will show you some stuff that is cheap and easy as well. there is an offroad outfitting page on this website somewhere find that. if you have any more specific questions let me know.
 

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Re: 1999 P38 Off-Road Upgrade Guide

first things first, it may come across as biased but rover owners who off road will agree when I say that these trucks are extremely capable in stock form, to the point that you will run circles around other makes which are modified.

that being said, my build plan starts with recovery gear I/E winch, tow straps and good recovery points. follow that with traction and suspension, be mud tires or all terrain , mild lift and possible lockers. last I would do cladding, sliders, skid plates diff guards etc.
do not compare your rover to the performance or capabilities of jeep, toyota, nissan, etc. when modified, those don't come close to the performance of a stock rover and lastly do not over modify your land rover or you will ruin its capabilities. too big of a lift and it ceases to flex, too big tires and they will rub, you get the drift.
good luck and enjoy your vehicle.
 

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Re: 1999 P38 Off-Road Upgrade Guide

first things first, it may come across as biased but rover owners who off road will agree when I say that these trucks are extremely capable in stock form, to the point that you will run circles around other makes which are modified.

that being said, my build plan starts with recovery gear I/E winch, tow straps and good recovery points. follow that with traction and suspension, be mud tires or all terrain , mild lift and possible lockers. last I would do cladding, sliders, skid plates diff guards etc.
do not compare your rover to the performance or capabilities of jeep, toyota, nissan, etc. when modified, those don't come close to the performance of a stock rover and lastly do not over modify your land rover or you will ruin its capabilities. too big of a lift and it ceases to flex, too big tires and they will rub, you get the drift.
good luck and enjoy your vehicle.
This. Take your stock truck off road and see how it does. Upgrade as you see fit. A good set of MTs or ATs is a good upgrade to start with, but you would really be surprised what a P38 can do, even with stock all season tires.
 

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Re: 1999 P38 Off-Road Upgrade Guide

It's got me beat why people spend a fortune on tires when you can buy a set of chains for $200. You can do a lot of damage to axles etc with lockers and its not that hard to get the winch out if you need it.

A minor war story re tires - A few months ago I went down a well used fire trail back of Nowra. The down hill in was all carved up from guys with lockers and spinning wheels going up the hill. When we came back I was sure from the look of the track that we would need to get the winch out. Surprise surprise the car walked up the track in low low with 205/R16 road tires. Our tread marks were the only tread marks there, everything else looked like a ploughed paddock. Not 100% sure on the moral but I guess there are a lot of guys out there who are only happy at 3,000 rpm with the wheels flinging mud everywhere.
I'm starting to see the same on rougher tracks now where all the bits of dirt between the rocks are getting chewed out by idiots with 33s and lockers and we end up with a staircase.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: 1999 P38 Off-Road Upgrade Guide

Hey friends, thanks for the help! I took my truck off-roading yesterday; nothing major, just some trails through my land in Raleigh, NC with some decent inclines and rock paths. My rover shocked me, it did so well. Since my truck suspension is on coils I'm going to do 2" coil lifts, try out a set of A/T and trim my bumpers and fenders a bit. I have a few tow points, a bag of tow straps, and I'm going to order a 16k lb winch this weekend. Headed out to a Safari Adventure on April 4th with North Carolina's Rover club, just want to make sure I'm not slowing anybody down.

Does anyone know someone in the southeast region of the US that will fabricate me a bumper to fit my winch and still have a good mounting point for my brush guard?

Also looking to get a custom safari rack made.
 

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Re: 1999 P38 Off-Road Upgrade Guide

Rather than muck about with lift kits for the coils, put it back on air. It'll be far more capable on- and off-road. Bear in mind that absolutely bone stock with normal 235/70R16 tyres and air suspension you've got exactly the same breakover angle as a Defender 110 but a slightly shallower approach and departure angle - and less room under the diffs.

I can get my stock P38 up far more difficult terrain than I can get our work Defender. It's so easy it's almost embarrassing. You don't need locking diffs. Locking diffs are only they to get you out of the mess you could have avoided with a centre viscous coupling and traction control.
 

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Re: 1999 P38 Off-Road Upgrade Guide

You don't need to trim if you do a 2" lift and 265/75R16 wheels and tires. When I had 285/60R18 on mine (with about 2" of lift) I only rubbed in reverse at full lock. No rubbing whatsoever with 265/75R16 on mine.

I would second going back to EAS, but I am very biased in that department.
 

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Re: 1999 P38 Off-Road Upgrade Guide

Hey friends, thanks for the help! I took my truck off-roading yesterday; nothing major, just some trails through my land in Raleigh, NC with some decent inclines and rock paths. My rover shocked me, it did so well. Since my truck suspension is on coils I'm going to do 2" coil lifts, try out a set of A/T and trim my bumpers and fenders a bit. I have a few tow points, a bag of tow straps, and I'm going to order a 16k lb winch this weekend. Headed out to a Safari Adventure on April 4th with North Carolina's Rover club, just want to make sure I'm not slowing anybody down.

Does anyone know someone in the southeast region of the US that will fabricate me a bumper to fit my winch and still have a good mounting point for my brush guard?

Also looking to get a custom safari rack made.
try rovertym or rte "rte-fab.com"
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: 1999 P38 Off-Road Upgrade Guide

Rather than muck about with lift kits for the coils, put it back on air. It'll be far more capable on- and off-road. Bear in mind that absolutely bone stock with normal 235/70R16 tyres and air suspension you've got exactly the same breakover angle as a Defender 110 but a slightly shallower approach and departure angle - and less room under the diffs.

I can get my stock P38 up far more difficult terrain than I can get our work Defender. It's so easy it's almost embarrassing. You don't need locking diffs. Locking diffs are only they to get you out of the mess you could have avoided with a centre viscous coupling and traction control.

Alright, here' she my current issue: How the hell do I put it back on air?

I'm no Range Rover master technician or master mechanic, I don't have tons of money nor do I have the slightest idea how the thing works. The last owner literally just cut the system out, and cut just about every vacuum line on the truck. I'm not even sure where to start to be honest. What does a full air kit even consist of?

I would much rather be back on air, I'm just not sure how to make that happen.
 

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Re: 1999 P38 Off-Road Upgrade Guide

It's a bit of work if the hoses have been destroyed, because you'd need to run new ones in. They're just normal 6mm nylon air hose though same as you'd use for truck brakes. You've got an airline running out to each bag, and a sensor on each radius arm. The sensors go back to the ECU under the seat (passenger side in UK models, don't know if they swap them around for US?) and the air lines go back to the EAS box under the bonnet (right hand side as you look into the engine bay, behind the air filter). That contains the compressor and valve block.

Actually fitting the bags is the easy part - you will need specialised tools to get the springs off (dangerous!). Once you've got rid of those nasty bedsprings and the flimsy bodge plates that let them fit the axles, it's just a case of jacking the vehicle up enough to get space to fit the airbags into the gap, and clipping them into place. Then you plug the hoses in, and let 'er rip.

Depending on how badly vandalised it is, you might need to grab some bits and pieces from a breaker. Just buy new airbags, they're very cheap and last a long time.
 

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Re: 1999 P38 Off-Road Upgrade Guide

if you do not have the money to go back to air, do not do it. although it would be nice, your coils will do fine. just understand that a lot of people around this website worship the airbags. and for good reason, but they will do their best to get you back on air.
 

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Re: 1999 P38 Off-Road Upgrade Guide

It all depends on what you EAS system looks like right now. If they simply cut the lines and removed the EAS box with the valve block, driver, and compressor, then that is fairly easy to replace. If they removed everything, then it may be best to stay with coils.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey, just a few quick questions, want some advice!

I've been looking into a 2"-2.5" lift in the front and a 2.5"-3.5" lift in the rear for my P38. I followed this set up thread: http://rockrover.com/techarticles.htm and it has helped a lot, but it is a bit out of date compared to Old Man Emu's(OME) current stock.

I have been looking at a pair of OME 2751 Heavy-Duty Front Springs and OME 2781 Heavy-Duty Rear Springs which are from: http://www.expeditionexchange.com/

I currently have a stock coil spring set up(I didn't install it, the previous owner did) but I do not know what brand - I'm pretty sure it's a basic brand from an Auto Store or something along those lines.

My main question is does anyone know what size lift I'm looking at with the OME 2751s in the front & OME 2781s in the rear?
-I'm running stock bumpers, front brush guard, full side roof rack(medium-duty); so nothing crazy heavy to weight down the suspension

I would like 0.5"-1" extra lift in the rear for when I am loaded up in the trunk for traveling and safaris.

Also, could anyone suggest any other coils that are in that same price range($180ish front, $180ish rear)?

I'm going to run Bilstein B46-2214 Shocks in the front + the Bilstein Shock Relocation kit, as well as the kjsmfg Grand Cherokee WJ Sway Bar Quick Disconnect Links which are for for 1.5"-4.5" lift on the P38s + Sway Bar Link Relocation Kit.



BASICALLY:
What lift will I get out of my OME Springs and are there any good alternatives in that price range?
 

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Why bother? You'll still get stuck on the diffs and not only will the on-road handling be horrible but if you ever go above 50mph you'll shake your teeth out and have to change the propshaft UJs every second tank of petrol.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Why bother? You'll still get stuck on the diffs and not only will the on-road handling be horrible but if you ever go above 50mph you'll shake your teeth out and have to change the propshaft UJs every second tank of petrol.
I'm also putting a Heavy-Duty Custom Locker Differential on & a Custom Heavy-Duty Front Drive Shaft. I'm sure that will help, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Why bother? You'll still get stuck on the diffs and not only will the on-road handling be horrible but if you ever go above 50mph you'll shake your teeth out and have to change the propshaft UJs every second tank of petrol.
Also, that being said; what can I upgrade to prevent vibration?
 

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I used OME 2762 HD for the rear (50 millimetre lift from standard) and originally used OME 2761 for the front but these are not suitable . they where replaced with OME 676X , these are more suitable , heavier and gave 40 millimetre lift in front . no drive shaft problems ( you will need to replace your universals as the drive shafts will be running in a different position) , no vibrations. if you go higher than this you may have problems with brake lines ,abs sensors etc (this is my experience only). the color of your springs will tell you what brand you have eg black OME , blue lovell , red pedders etc . my ride is firm but not ridged .
 
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