RangeRovers.net Forum banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

Not sure how many of you remember me from the last time I was here, but I'm back with another lovely L322. BMW-engined, of course, as is my preference (being a BMW mechanic and all). The last L322 I owned was a 2004 in Zambezi Silver:



I sold it a while back and bought an X5 4.6is, thinking I wanted something a little sportier. It was certainly faster and handled better, but I had a lot more mechanical issues with it and the ride quality was awful. It drove more like an oversized car than a real truck. So I sold that and kept my eye out for another Range Rover.

Flash forward to July 2018, when my buddy and I rented out a space to open up our BMW shop. There was a car dealership next door with a black Range Rover sitting outside, so I talked to the dealer and found out that it had transmission issues (according to him). He was about to scrap it so my buddy and I scooped it up for $800. The cluster pixels were busted so I had no idea what the mileage was, but I figured that since it started and ran it was worth that in parts alone.

After getting the title, keys, and Range Rover to the shop, I put a battery into it and hooked up my BMW diagnostic laptop... as expected, a lot of my software didn't quite work, but PA Soft did. With that, I was able to see that the mileage on the DME was 102,000 miles! Score!

The initial problem was that the truck wouldn't move at all when in gear, so the dealer's transmission diagnosis seemed accurate initially. I had a 5HP24 laying around in my backyard from a 540it parts car, so I figured if I had to replace it that it wouldn't be the end of the world. Before taking that on, my buddy and I did a bunch of research to see if it could be another problem. Long story short, we found that the transfer case was stuck in some kind of towing mode and just needed to be reinitialized after pulling a fuse. We did that, and boom, it started driving. So now we had a 2003 Range Rover with 102,000 miles and a clean title that ran and drove. Heck yeah! I felt like I was on top of the world that day.

Naturally, the first thing we did after putting some gas in the Rover and some air in the tires was off-roading. So we drove up north to a place where we could do that. These are the first pictures I ever took of this Range Rover, doing what it does best:







So we basically went from having a non-driving Range Rover to one that did 80mph beautifully and off-roaded like a champ. The transmission shifted perfectly, the AC blew cold, and the air suspension worked perfectly.

Of course like any cheap Range Rover, it still has its fair share of problems. There's a red BRAKE light indicating a bad pad sensor (the brake rotors and pads themselves are fine), there's a coolant leak somewhere, there's a bit of shimmy in the front suspension, and the clear coat is pretty bad on the hood, roof, and tailgate. There are a few cosmetic issues with the interior as well. The radio doesn't work at all— the onboard computer and nav work fine but there's no sound when I press the power button for the sound system, so I'm thinking a dead amp?

Another issue we ran into after our first round of driving it was the steering wheel and ignition key cylinder locking up. We eventually got it to work again through a combination of pulling fuses and pulling the battery a few times. That was a real pain in the rear so our solution in the meantime has been wiring up a switch to fuse #18. By flipping it off and then on, everything works perfectly. Keyless entry and the alarm system seem to be unaffected so I'm fine with this solution until we figure out a proper fix.

We also got the cluster pixels repaired through an eBay seller, so now I can see that wonderful low mileage as well as any warnings. So far the only warnings are "check brake pads" and "check coolant level," otherwise it's solid. No CEL either.

For now the plans are pretty simple— go through all the usual maintenance items like filters, spark plugs, and oil. Then fix the suspension looseness, which is probably caused by either loose sway bar links (had that issue in my last Range Rover) and/or the thrust arm bushings (common issue with all the BMW's I have as well). And I've gotta figure out where that coolant leak is coming from before it gets too serious... for now I've just been adding distilled water regularly and it's been fine.

It's good to be back!
 

·
Registered
2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
Joined
·
129 Posts
Congrats! It's good to have you back from the dark side. LOL

What year was that X5 you had? Would you say it was more or less reliable than the first Rover?
 

·
Registered
2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Congrats! It's good to have you back from the dark side. LOL

What year was that X5 you had? Would you say it was more or less reliable than the first Rover?
I wouldn't say I'm fully back, just kinda one foot in each side, haha. I run a BMW shop with my buddy and I still mostly have BMW's. But what BMW still doesn't have is a competent truck/off-roader... the X5's are a joke when it comes to towing and off-roading.

It was a 2003 X5 4.6is. Same chain guide issues which was no problem to take care of, but then the transfer case needed a rebuild, along with replacing the front driveshaft. After the transfer case fiasco, both window regulators failed, one after the other. And then a silly 20" tire popped on those giant dubs that they put on from the factory on the 4.6is models. That X5 spent more time parked than driving, even with me doing all the work myself and not having to wait/pay for a shop to fix it.

The only thing it had over the Range Rover was speed... the silly 3.91 diff ratios on its axles, combined with a high-stall torque converter and a hot rodded 4.6L engine (basically a lightly bored, stroked, and cammed version of the 4.4L M62tu) it was pretty darn quick, going from 0-60 in the 6-second range. The downside was that fuel economy was about as bad, if not worse, than the Range Rover, despite weighing like 600lbs less and being smaller all around. The other downside of that agility and speed was an extremely firm ride... not a fan of it.

Coming back to the Range Rover, it feels like a magic carpet in comparison, even with some tired bushings and old tires. The driving position makes me feel like the king of the road, and it just feels like a proper luxury cruiser. It's not as fast, but I have other cars for when I want to go fast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Awesome thread! It was nice to read the details (both good and bad) of this find. I'll be checking up on this for updates!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Nice work. I've always had pretty good luck at upper end purchases (Audis.. A8, Porsche, etc) - the early miles are super well taken care of. Then as they fall off the new/current model radar, age & maintenance issues start to stack-up, striking bloody fear in people. Which tanks the price.

I looked a lot at the BMW X5 for my suv project, as I just got an '18 X3 for my wife. The new X3 is pretty good, not my type of car but fits my smaller wife's needs very well. Exc fuel mileage and performance. Transmission is very precise.

The guys in Europe were driving X5's when they first came out. Our company was involved in the assembly line for the Xfer cases (which were simple things). I thought they were OK. I sat in the '18 X5 and I was concerned the headroom felt tight. It also felt like a boosted car, which I guess it is.


We had a 2006 Range before and I liked it. I was looking at LR4's too. But the value point was definitely the full size Range 2009 and below. 2010 there is a bit of jump there. So as I was looking for the X5 etc I came across this beauty Rangie SC a mile from my place. Freakin' hella good condition. So made a deal with the bro-ski. He just bought an AMG GL 63(?) the 570HP monster box from Merc.

So loving this thing at less that what I would pay for a Kia Soul :O

I just added the garage9.com frameless wiper conversion kit this weekend. I forgot how cool that kit is! Ditching the framed abomination of wiper blades is liberating.


2008SCRangie.jpg
 

·
Registered
2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Awesome thread! It was nice to read the details (both good and bad) of this find. I'll be checking up on this for updates!
Thanks! I always like to be pretty transparent with my build threads... the best parts of used car ownership are the ups and downs, in my opinion.

Nice work. I've always had pretty good luck at upper end purchases (Audis.. A8, Porsche, etc) - the early miles are super well taken care of. Then as they fall off the new/current model radar, age & maintenance issues start to stack-up, striking bloody fear in people. Which tanks the price.

I looked a lot at the BMW X5 for my suv project, as I just got an '18 X3 for my wife. The new X3 is pretty good, not my type of car but fits my smaller wife's needs very well. Exc fuel mileage and performance. Transmission is very precise.

The guys in Europe were driving X5's when they first came out. Our company was involved in the assembly line for the Xfer cases (which were simple things). I thought they were OK. I sat in the '18 X5 and I was concerned the headroom felt tight. It also felt like a boosted car, which I guess it is.


We had a 2006 Range before and I liked it. I was looking at LR4's too. But the value point was definitely the full size Range 2009 and below. 2010 there is a bit of jump there. So as I was looking for the X5 etc I came across this beauty Rangie SC a mile from my place. Freakin' hella good condition. So made a deal with the bro-ski. He just bought an AMG GL 63(?) the 570HP monster box from Merc.

So loving this thing at less that what I would pay for a Kia Soul :O

I just added the garage9.com frameless wiper conversion kit this weekend. I forgot how cool that kit is! Ditching the framed abomination of wiper blades is liberating.
Nice, looks clean! I always liked the supercharged Range Rovers, I feel like they finally got the power that the earlier Rovers had been lacking. However, I can't see myself ever owning one due to my loyalty to BMW. I can justify owning the 03 Range Rover because it's basically a British-built BMW... almost like a very early X7 in a way. Most of my specialized tools work with it, I have loads of spare parts for the engine and transmission, and I generally have a lot of experience with the BMW Rovers.

good find!!!
Thanks! In my case, it was literally next door. I guess you could call it fate? Or just me being obsessed with Range Rovers...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,326 Posts
Sorry, Toad, for going off topic of LR..but

The X7 is MASSIVE!

One of my buddies works at X BMW dealer, I've seen the dealer only build sheets. For the price, it is extremely competitive to something like the GL and possibly the SVAutobiography Range Rovers in 50i trim.

I was told I get a "Big Discount" if I ditch the Rover and be the first to offroad the X7.. I don't know about that one!






Lucky find on the truck, how's the VANOS noise? Has to be pretty loud with 107k assuming no work done on tensioner and no VANOS rebuilds. I have to say, I kind of miss the BMW L322. It has a unique driving style even comparing an 05 BMW to 06 Jag Rangie.
 

·
Registered
2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Sorry, Toad, for going off topic of LR..but

The X7 is MASSIVE!

One of my buddies works at X BMW dealer, I've seen the dealer only build sheets. For the price, it is extremely competitive to something like the GL and possibly the SVAutobiography Range Rovers in 50i trim.

I was told I get a "Big Discount" if I ditch the Rover and be the first to offroad the X7.. I don't know about that one!

Lucky find on the truck, how's the VANOS noise? Has to be pretty loud with 107k assuming no work done on tensioner and no VANOS rebuilds. I have to say, I kind of miss the BMW L322. It has a unique driving style even comparing an 05 BMW to 06 Jag Rangie.
I'm curious to see how the X7 does with off-roading... to me that was always the weakest link of the X5, that it had no real off-roading capabilities beyond basic dirt roads or snow. However, the X7's looks are just appalling to me, I just can't ever see myself owning one, even for $800 haha. Plus given the reliability issues with BMW's turbo V8's, buying a used one will be a pretty scary proposition (and I own a BMW shop!).

Not much Vanos noise honestly, it's pretty darn quiet. At 102k miles, it just hasn't worn out as much. I rebuilt the M62tu in my last Range Rover, including the Vanos seals, and it wasn't much quieter than this engine. Even if there was a ton of Vanos noise, there's so much sound deadening that it would never make it into the cabin, as opposed to my 2000 540it with 217k miles on original Vanos seals where I can hear it at every stop light. Doesn't bother me at all though, that's just BMW life for me. The chain guides are more of an issue than the Vanos noises, and when the time comes I'll do the guides on this Range Rover too. It's an easy job.

I've always loved the M62tu, it just has such a nice torque delivery. The BMW-engined L322 isn't fast by any stretch of the imagination, but the M62tu makes it feel fairly zippy. Getting up to 90mph and staying there is no problem at all.
 

·
Registered
2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
Joined
·
315 Posts
I just added the garage9.com frameless wiper conversion kit this weekend. I forgot how cool that kit is! Ditching the framed abomination of wiper blades is liberating.
If you don't mind my asking, what's a frameless wiper conversion kit? I couldn't find it on the website.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
On that subject - I was always curious about the BMW engine. I was told by Rover that the jag/ford motor was better blah blah when we had our LR3. I thought "how could that be?". Every BMW engine I've been in has been the smoothest, beautiful running motors ever. I spent time in the 320s, X5, 750il, 5 series diesels and that monster ~circa 2000 M5.
 

·
Registered
2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
Joined
·
169 Posts
I just checked the website - it's been a while for me. Our staff is upgrading the place. I might actually develop more for the Rovers, these are classics to behold.

On that subject - I was always curious about the BMW engine. I was told by Rover that the jag/ford motor was better blah blah when we had our LR3. I thought "how could that be?". Every BMW engine I've been in has been the smoothest, beautiful running motors ever. I spent time in the 320s, X5, 750il, 5 series diesels and that monster ~circa 2000 M5.
I've always liked the BMW motors more, they're just so much more refined. The Jag motors aren't nearly as nice and they have nearly the same timing chain issues as the M62tu, so there's really no benefit to having one of those motors. At least with the M62tu it's a beautiful-running engine when it's sorted out, and most of its flaws are very well documented and relatively affordable to fix.

Not a big fan of the frameless wiper look though, but maybe I'm just oldschool.
 

·
Registered
2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Anyways, back to my Range Rover. A couple days ago it passed emissions, awesome! So now it's road legal again.

Yesterday my friend and I used the Range Rover for some very truck-like activities... see for yourself:



We got an engine shipped to us from LKQ for a customer car, but LKQ screwed up and sent a truck without a liftgate to deliver the engine. The truck driver was really nice and found a nearby warehouse with a forklift that was willing to unload the engine from the truck and place it into the Range Rover. Now that was an interesting sight, wish I took a picture of that whole process. Unfortunately the pallet was ever so slightly too wide to go all the way into the Range Rover's cargo area, so it just kinda sat halfway in the trunk and halfway on the tailgate for a few blocks while we drove very slowly to our shop. Once we got to the shop, we used our cherry picker to pull the engine out of the Range Rover and safely into the shop.

At one point the other day the Range Rover threw a CEL shortly after a cold startup... it was a P1173, so it appears to be a vacuum leak. Which makes sense since the idle is a little rough on cold startups. It's probably the intake manifold gaskets, that was the issue on my last Range Rover as well. I also finally got around to investigating the coolant leak, turns out the water pump has a steady weep. That'll be getting replaced in the very near future for sure.

The first round of maintenance will be coming soon, and it'll include:

- Water pump + gasket + o-rings
- Intake manifold gaskets
- Engine air filter
- Cabin air filter
- Spark plugs
- Hood struts
- Trunk struts

After that I'll dig into the suspension, but so far I know it needs thrust arms and sway bar links, there's a noticeable clunk here and there, particularly when turning.
 

·
Registered
2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
So, time for some work on the Range Rover. The coolant leak had been getting worse, to the point of where I'd been needing to add half a gallon every other day to keep the coolant warning from coming up. Into the shop it went...

I started out by replacing the hood struts and hatch struts, since those had been annoying me since day one and were super easy to knock out.

Result!



Next up was removing the intake manifold, since I had been wanting to replace those gaskets to help with the rough cold start idle. There were a few more steps on the Range Rover compared to the 540i/740i that I'm familiar with, but all in all, everything came apart without too much drama. Lots of rotten vacuum lines all around though.



After that, the cooling system got drained and the fan, belts, SAS pipe, and harmonic balancer were removed. That gave me good access to remove the water pump, and off it came, without too much of a fight.



Curiously enough, the water pump itself was not original as I had figured, bearing a 2011 production date stamp. Still old and leaking though, so it was due for replacement. I also noticed that the pump's bearing was quite worn out and did not rotate smoothly at all.



It was pretty gross all around, partially due to it leaking for a while and partially due to previous owners using crappy coolant and tap water. You can see where the cooling was leaking down the snout of the pump.



Before installing the new water pump, I cleaned the rear water manifold and replaced the o-rings, since those often get pinched and unhappy when the coolant crossover pipes get jostled.



The new water pump sure looked nice when installed with the cleaned coolant crossover pipes.



Continued in the next post...
 

·
Registered
2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
With the new water pump installed, I moved on to resealing the intake manifold. The old gaskets were super hard and in terrible shape... they came out in several pieces.





The front cover gasket got replaced, the rear gasket got replaced along with the CCV, and the throttle body gasket got replaced as well for good measure.

After all of that excitement, it was time to reassemble everything. I bought new vacuum lines in bulk and replaced pretty much every vacuum line that I touched, since they were all in terrible shape. The intake manifold got installed with fresh gaskets as well, before being torqued to spec. I took my time getting all of the plumbing to sit right in the back, with the battery terminals, brake booster hose, battery cable, CCV/OSV hoses, and OSV hose heating jacket all going back on in a very particular order. It was fiddly but very satisfying to get everything lined up properly.



The rest of the reassembly was fairly uneventful, and after a quick coolant pressure test to confirm the absence of leaks, I fired the Rover up. It started instantly and idled beautifully, no errors or anything. After running it for a bit and topping off the coolant, I finished buttoning up the cosmetic bits and drove home satisfied. I started the job in the early afternoon and finished it with enough time to spare for dinner, so overall not a bad job at all.

Special thanks to my friend Graham who helped out with cleaning and some of the more fiddly bits (it really helps having an extra seat of hands when installing the intake manifold so the gaskets don't fall out). He also cleaned up the wiring for the fuse 18 bypass switch, now it looks properly OEM.



If only the switch was green, I could convince people that it's a factory option, haha.

Out of curiosity, we also threw the Range Rover up on our shop's lift. Everything looked super clean on the undercarriage, I was pleasantly surprised.



Look at how clean the gearbox and transfer case are, it's crazy! I also love the beefy subframe for the transfer case.



When you're underneath the L322 you really come to realize what a beast it is. It's a heck of a lot more truck-like than the X5's I'm used to working on. The only bad thing I noticed while underneath the Rover was how bad the thrust arm bushings are:



No wonder it's been clunking around! Everything else looked fine as far as the suspension goes, so once I replace the thrust arms I should be golden.
 

·
Registered
2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Small victories are the best— case in point, fixing the non-functioning radio.

The nav and display worked fine so I ruled those out pretty quickly, which left the Logic 7 amp and radio as the remaining culprits. Given that the power button did nothing at all for the radio (no orange light or anything), I first decided to check the radio module. I had read that there was a fuse but I did not see a fuse, so I dug a little deeper and removed the radio module. Turns out the fuse was underneath the big connector on the radio module... what an odd place to put it!

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the fuse was very obviously blown:



Unfortunately it was one of those extra small fuses, whereas I only had normal-sized fuses laying around. To make matters worse, it was Thanksgiving so every store is just straight up closed. Thankfully I have two BMW parts cars in my backyard, so I found a matching 10 amp fuse on the back of a BMW head unit. With the new fuse plugged in, I put everything back together and tested the radio. It immediately started working, heck yeah!

So now I've got sound and the Range Rover is now 95% functional. All that's left is to fix the jammed cupholder on the passenger side.
 

·
Registered
2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
Joined
·
129 Posts
Great work Danny! Thanks again for keeping us updated with such detailed information.

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,758 Posts
Nice reporting. Stuff I should do/should have done to ours but perhaps a bit more faint hearted than you are. I'd be curious to see how your rear brake lines look under the plastic covers. I agree that she is a beast underneath. Factory undercoating and joints of metal caulked to prevent water entry really slow the onset of rust which is why I was so surprised to have both rear brake lines rust through at the same time (right under the driver's seat basically).
 

·
Registered
2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Great work Danny! Thanks again for keeping us updated with such detailed information.
Thanks for reading! I'm more than happy to rattle on about my Range Rover happenings, glad somebody reads em, haha.

Nice reporting. Stuff I should do/should have done to ours but perhaps a bit more faint hearted than you are. I'd be curious to see how your rear brake lines look under the plastic covers. I agree that she is a beast underneath. Factory undercoating and joints of metal caulked to prevent water entry really slow the onset of rust which is why I was so surprised to have both rear brake lines rust through at the same time (right under the driver's seat basically).
I'll have to check that at some point, but I have no reason to suspect any rust... this Range Rover has been an Arizona vehicle since day one, there's not a spec of corrosion anywhere. None of my cars have any rust at all, despite them all being over 15 years old.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,758 Posts
Ahhh. Of course. Arizona is the place to get something nice. Hard to underestimate the true value of a no rust vehicle.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top