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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I'm not at all new to cars, but am very new to Rovers. I recently had a coworker offer me a 1997 Range Rover 4.0 HSE that hasn't seen the road in two years. It's mine if I can get it out of her driveway, and apparently was driven to its current resting spot. I'm going to look at it in a few days and wanted to ask advice on what to look for?

I'll get a lot of questions answered when I see it up close, I know the air suspension was removed and replaced with standard springs and shocks, no details on the setup and hoping it wasn't a backyard job. Supposedly no rust and the interior is clean, it belonged to her ex and is now just an eyesore. I'm not one to typically refuse a free car, but I discovered the beauty of an old, reliable Toyota 4Runner many years ago and it's been a nice stress reliever after many years of frustrating Audi/Volvo/Subaru ownership.

I'm expecting to find:

- Mystery suspension
- Electrical problems
- Coolant leaks
- ?

I'm searching the forums as time permits and finding some useful information for sure, but haven't been able to find a comprehensive "buyers guide" type of posting, especially for a situation like this. I'm happy to share my experience with all of you if I decide to lug this guy home.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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take a very good battery with you , reset the windows , sunroof, read the alarms on the dash go from there.
 

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You don't know why it was parked up in the first place but if it was driven to where it is now, there shouldn't be a lot wrong with it. You know about the springs, conversion is a pretty simple job so unlikely to have been botched (other than having springs fitted in the first place). There may be electrical problems but they shouldn't stop it from being driven, no reason why there should be coolant leaks either and a P38 rarely rusts unless parked near the sea. BUT, to prevent it going into lockdown, you need to be careful when you connect a battery. Assume it was locked when the battery went flat so as soon as a battery is reconnected it will revert to the same state. So, unlock the door with the key, open the bonnet then close and relock the door (keeping the key in your pocket). Connect the biggest, best, fully charged battery you can lay your hands on. The door latches with probably operate, then and only then, unlock the door again. If the central locking works that is a good sign. Check the coolant and oil levels and top up if needed. Put the key in the ignition, turn it on and see what the dash display says. You'll get numerous beeps and windows not set messages and probably an EAS Manual message (due to the springs). If that is all you get it should fire up. If it comes up with Keycode Lockout, you'll need to leave it for 10 minutes for that to go out. Then see what the dash tells you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You don't know why it was parked up in the first place but if it was driven to where it is now, there shouldn't be a lot wrong with it. You know about the springs, conversion is a pretty simple job so unlikely to have been botched (other than having springs fitted in the first place). There may be electrical problems but they shouldn't stop it from being driven, no reason why there should be coolant leaks either and a P38 rarely rusts unless parked near the sea. BUT, to prevent it going into lockdown, you need to be careful when you connect a battery. Assume it was locked when the battery went flat so as soon as a battery is reconnected it will revert to the same state. So, unlock the door with the key, open the bonnet then close and relock the door (keeping the key in your pocket). Connect the biggest, best, fully charged battery you can lay your hands on. The door latches with probably operate, then and only then, unlock the door again. If the central locking works that is a good sign. Check the coolant and oil levels and top up if needed. Put the key in the ignition, turn it on and see what the dash display says. You'll get numerous beeps and windows not set messages and probably an EAS Manual message (due to the springs). If that is all you get it should fire up. If it comes up with Keycode Lockout, you'll need to leave it for 10 minutes for that to go out. Then see what the dash tells you.
This is great, thanks! I’ll definitely follow these instructions. I have a spare battery that should do the job. I’m looking forward to seeing what works and what doesn’t.
 

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A few things to add: after you connect the battery (with doors locked), the central locking should operate when you unlock the driver's door with the key. If it doesn't, try synchronize the remote and lock/unlock again. If you can't get the central locking to work, you'll probably have to enter the EKA code to enable the immobiliser. Might be a good idea to go through the paperwork and try and find the EKA and learn how to enter it before you actually try to start it. You'll only need to wait for 10 (usually 30) minutes for the keycode lockout if you enter a wrong EKA and try to start.

Coolant and oil shouldn't be a problem, but it's a good idea to check and have a look at the drive belt etc just to make sure it's free to turn.

Best of luck and keep us posted!

Filip
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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I too recommend you get the title business squared away, first thing. Then download RAVE (it's a free workshop manual that includes P38s; search for link in this forum). Be sure the driver's door is open and let the driver's window down before you close the door. Of concern then, is, the window going back up. When you are locked out of a Rangie, you are truly locked out. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Of course I plan to check on the title, I’ve had the same thought since this offer came up! It’s a good friend that I’ve worked with for several years. She has her stuff together, he ended up being more of a deadbeat over the years. Not sure how that bodes for the maintenance of this poor Rover.

I’m going to see it Friday morning and plan to give it a good look with a strong battery, fresh gas, a good flashlight, and a few basic tools. Of course, if there’s title issues I’m probably much less interested. Thanks a ton for the advice on the central locking system, but what does EKA stand for?

I’ll update you guys after I’ve seen it!
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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EKA stands for Emergency Key Access, a code you enter by turning the key in the driver's door a specified number of times to the right and to the left. It seems that most North American P38s were never programmed to accept an EKA so would not spend time on that.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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When you connect the battery, make sure you have the keys on you!! Not in the car with the doors closed.
As soon the system is powered up the doors lock automaticly..
 

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As soon the system is powered up the doors lock automaticly..
But only if the car was locked when the battery went flat. As I mentioned before, it will always return to the state it was in when the power went off so if it was locked, it will lock, if it was unlocked it stays that way.
 

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But only if the car was locked when the battery went flat. As I mentioned before, it will always return to the state it was in when the power went off so if it was locked, it will lock, if it was unlocked it stays that way.
Mine also locks when car was unlocked, I'm quite sure, but now I have to test that. ;)
 

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EKA stands for Emergency Key Access, a code you enter by turning the key in the driver's door a specified number of times to the right and to the left. It seems that most North American P38s were never programmed to accept an EKA so would not spend time on that.
That’s not quite true. NAS trucks were programmed at the dealer with EKA 1515.
 

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Well many people, including myself, have tried 1515 and found it to do nothing so I would not spend a lot of time trying to get it to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
She claims to have started it a few times in the last year to move it out of the way, but ran it out of gas the last time she did, so hopefully the fuel pump survived running dry. I’m assuming it’s an in-tank pump? I’ll keep the locking and unlocking routines in mind, it’s cold here so the last thing I need is to get locked in or out of it!
 

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Yes, it is an intank pump. Measure fuel pressure at the injector rail to see if it is generating pressure if the car refuses to start.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
No title issues, and pretty clean overall, so I’ll drag it home one way or another. The air suspension was replaced with a very shady sounding setup of springs and shocks but I don’t think a proper kit was sourced, so I’m likely to replace all of that at some point. Someone spliced in schraeder valves at some point to top up the shocks manually, so I don’t know if that means the compressor is bad or if it was something electrical that led to the need to change. I’ve read that fixing/rebuilding the air suspension can be surprisingly simple, is that the general consensus? I’d need to source the actual suspension parts as all of the shocks/bags are long gone.

I couldn’t get it to crank, the battery I brought wouldn’t fit. Everything would light up with a jump but that’s it. It’s about -5 here today so that’s not helping, and the cold also limited how much time I wanted to spend crawling around it. I didn’t get underneath, etc.

Seems like something is missing from the left side of the engine bay? I saw some threaded posts over there and it looks way too empty.

Goal is to drive it home if possible...
 

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Sounds like the air suspension valve block and compressor have been removed as that is a roughly 12x8 box that is on the driver's side towards the windshield. The Schrader valves must be left over from a modification to the air suspension as I doubt very much that you have some kind of air shocks. How easy it is to return to air springs depends on how many parts are missing. Lots of used parts on eBay though.
 
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