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Just bought a p38 4.0 L 1999 took it out in the snow tried to get up a hill wheels just span then the top radiator hose exploded, alo prior to that tried in low range but a light comes up with a cog on right of dash and flashes with sound any ideas on both counts please no manual with cfar so probably asking basic stuff.

John
 

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I'll give this a go then....

wheels spinning could be anything from tyre choice to tyre condition or a faulty viscous coupling in the transfer box or even driver skills/knowledge. These are amongst the best 4x4 but like all they do have there limitations in certain conditions.......

top hose coming off could be a loose clip to a worn hose to a cylinder head leak or even a cracked block. As you rev the engine (as in your case with the wheel spinning) the water pump spins fatser which also builds more pressure in the cooling system but this would also happen at road speed with similar revs so I don't feel it would be just this.... Did you notice the temp guage climbing rapidly as you were wheel spinning. With spinning the wheels without going anywhere you increase the work load on the engine which creates lots more heat in the engine and with no movement you don't have air flow going through the radiator. The engine fan can only do so much to cool the water jacket temp and if the viscous coupling on the fan is faulty this can make matters worse. Did you sit there wheels spinning for a lentgh of time? This should be avoided and use of the low range gears should help avoid this! The V8 engines in these vehicles are very sensitive to overheating and you run the risk of serious damage in a very short period of time if you run them with the engine temp needle towards the red!

regarding the cog picture and noise when you switched to the low range gears this is normal and the noise should only last for a few seconds and the cog picture stays on whilst you are in the low gear range.

Just a few ideas but hopefully others will give there pennys worth......

Welcome to the world of the P38!
 

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Seconding the tire choices. Agressive tread/snow tires will cure the lack of traction.
I've seen older radiators loose the tip of the inlet for the hose and that'll cause it to pop off hoses. Double clamp it with aircraft style clamps if it continues to pop off.

Patience with the gearbox. flip it to LO-Neutral and leave it in neutral until the cog lamp and beeping goes away, then select a gear. reverse this procedure for returning to high range.
 
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