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Discussion Starter #1
I've been trying to diagnose my wife's '89 RRC. The last couple of weeks it hasn't wanted to rev, and it just doesn't accelerate up to freeway speeds the way it used to. I started by double-checking the timing (right on target) and the plugs and wires (good color). She hasn't been losing any coolant or oil, so no worries about the head gaskets I replaced this winter (yeah, I worry that my repairs might not work out). The fuel consumption is pretty good, at 16 mpg. All that was good, so I thought about a plugged exhaust; I'd seen a chunk of catalytic converter matrix hanging in the tail pipe a couple of weekends ago. This weekend I took the entire exhaust off, and found the cats had been hollowed out by a previous owner. I also found that the intermediate muffler had nothing rattling around in it, and appeared to be much newer than the rest of the exhaust system. The tail pipe and its muffler had lots of catalytic converter matrix chunks in it, and the pipe was laced with rust.

So, figures I, with the exhaust off of it except for the first exhaust pipes and the hollowed out cat enclosures, the truck should run much better with the exhaust off... no back-pressure... and it would neatly discriminate between a plugged exhaust and a failing transmission. Well, the truck sounded great, like a nicely tuned hot rod, but it still just didn't have any get-up-and-go! It looks like my transmission is slipping. Flooring the gas at 55 mpg sends the engine to 4000 RPM but the truck doesn't accelerate. On our stretch of rural Interstate, that's deadly.

We know from receipts that came with the truck that it got a used transmission at 120,000 miles. It has 197,000+ miles on it now. Who knows how many miles this tranny had on it when it was pulled from its original car. So, it makes sense that the tranny is worn out.

Has anyone rebuilt one of these? Is it practical for a hobbyist to do? I know a retiree in town who will rebuild American automatic transmissions to suppliment his retirement check, but his specialty is Chrysler Torqueflytes. I'll be asking him, but I'm very interested in your opinions too.

I've also checked the junk yard database to see what's available in the local yards. They range from ~$300-1200.

Scott
 

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this is almost the same trans used on BMW, i have seen BMW with dirty trans filter that wouldn't even go over 5 mph, every sign was trans, problem but after filter check it was clear why it didn't wanna go, and it happened right away after normal driving .

so make sure u have clean filter otherwise it keeps oil going up that tube to torque converter , and it looks like transmission is damaged
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That makes a lot of sense. I last changed that filter almost three years ago, and had the truck off the road for months with transfer case problems, so I plumb forgot to change that filter again. I think it is due, perhaps overdue.

Thanks for that bit of advice! I'll change that filter this weekend, and we'll see if it gets better.

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm a little embarrassed to say this, but I haven't gotten around to that yet. It turns out that I found several other things that went went wrong, so I've been busy fixing these:

1. The left-side oxygen sensor's 12 volt wire burned up last year inside a wiring bundle, but I didn't diagnose that little problem until yesterday. I started running a replacement wire last night and will finish it this morning. Let's hope it works.
2. The air hose from the MAF sensor to the intake plenum has delaminated, with the inner layer of cloth blocking almost all airflow through it. (It's made of layers of rubberized cloth, and that rubber is perishing in classic British fashion.) I'm looking for a replacement. Any hints here are welcome.
3. The breathlessness that I misdiagnosed as a slipping transmission (now traced to the delaminated intake hose) got me looking at the catalytic converters. One had been rodded out by a previous owner, and the other was badly melted and disintegrating. After taking apart the exhaust system, I shook all the bits of melted and broken catalyst matrix out of the mufflers, then rodded out the melted matrix. I'll be looking for replacements as money allows. (I've got to buy school supplies for the kids next weekend.)
4. While troubleshooting, I found my fuel pressure regulator had a holed diaphragm, so I replaced that. These aren't cheap, and I had to wait more than a week for it to ship to me from New Jersey.
5. I sidetracked myself looking for the mythical tune resistor. My '89 just doesn't have one. I think they were fitted only to overseas Rovers, not to Rovers sent to the US.
6. The washer fluid tank started leaking past perished O-rings. I took that out just to stop the dripping, and I've got to get that sealed up again before winter.

At least with the exhaust off I have easier access to the frame cross-member and transmission, but I haven't gotten to that repair just yet. I may actually get to that tranny filter today if the new oxygen sensor power wire repair works.

Thank you for your commiseration. Misery (and frustration) loves company.

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Time for an update....

1. I repaired the 12v wire to the O2 sensor, and it is happily heating and signaling the 14CUX again.
2. I still need a new air hose. I tried, partly successfully, to re-glue the layers of this hose back together. I just don't trust the repair, but at least the hose isn't blocked anymore.
3. The transmission is still failing to change gears from 2nd to 3rd under throttle, but letting up on the gas will let it change up. Clearly, I need to replace the transmission filter ASAP. However, the breathlessness and "slipping" sensation are gone. I think these symptoms were caused by the oxygen sensor and air hose. It certainly isn't plugged exhaust now, since I did my testing with the middle and rear mufflers off. :roll:
4. Fuel pressure vacuum hose no longer smells of raw fuel. The new fuel pressure regulator appears to be doing its job.
7. My EFI light still comes on after warming up. I really wish my '89 had some sort of OBD!

So, does anyone know if the '95 solid butyl rubber hose will work with an '89? My hunch is that it won't. I found some proper replacements in the $60 range, but I have to wait for payday to buy one.

Scott
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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i think that the 95 may not work since they changed the air box, I have a spare in my stash. does yours have the big round canister on the ps?
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Tranny still acting up? is it a 3spd with overdrive ? Just bought a 90 rrc and was told it has tranny issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Most of my wife's Rover's problems are fuel injection related. The only problem with the transmission is a failure to shift from 2nd to 3rd under wide open throttle, but it shifts if I let up on the gas momentarily. My biggest problem is time to work on it... I was too busy with "back to school" shopping last weekend to get under the thing at all. Thank goodness the kids are back in school this week. Next weekend should be back to the usual routine, with several hours Saturday and Sunday afternoon to get to work.

Scott
 
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