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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All,

Been lurking for a while. Long story short I may have the opportunity to purchase a 1 owner 2002 P38. It has 265,xxx miles on it with those mostly being highway miles. My Biggest concern is the owner says the brakes are hardly there, to the point he had to use the e-brake to get him to the gas station down the road. I have briefly read up on the seemingly expensive and daunting potential brake failures on these models and it looks like 2002 MY is better off, but just want to know if there is anything else to be concerned about? I am mechanically inclined and can turn wrenches but the brake system sees complicated, or am I just overthinking things?
On a budget so if it has to sit a little that's not a problem I just don't want to get the truck and have to end up finding thousands to put into it (I wouldn't, i'd sell it before then).
He already converted it to coil springs and has had the top end serviced. Engine and trans both work very well per him. For the price I am very interested and know that the P38s can go for a couple hundred thousand more miles (I come from the Land Cruiser world so this isn't uncommon to see 17-30 year old trucks just keep going with proper maintenance).


Thanks,
William
 

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Not aware of any advantages for the '02 model year other than age and those miles certainly cancel that out. Unless you are convinced that this P38 was extremely well maintained, I would avoid it. If he can give more details on the "top end service" that would help. P38's are cheap to buy, finding one well maintained is very difficult at least in the US. Along with the usual small details, you will have wear items that last a very long time start to fail as they would on any vehicle. Brake ABS pump is certainly one along with transmission, transfer case, engine bottom end, wheel bearings. Coil springs limit utility to some degree if you are planning to tow or haul loads or off road.
 

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Lack of brakes is almost certainly down to a dead ABS pump for whatever reason. It could be nothing more serious than a blown fuse or it could need a pump. Not difficult to change but expensive to buy new. However, well maintained and coil spring conversion should never be used in the same sentence, it's either been well maintained or bodged to keep it on the road.
 

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However, well maintained and coil spring conversion should never be used in the same sentence, it's either been well maintained or bodged to keep it on the road.
I'm a fan of EAS too and still maintain my own. But those who rely on others for maintenance usually take their advice. I've heard plenty of mechanics who don't understand and don't want to learn the system suggest going to coils. Plus the major parts house all sell them. So I would hold back on judgement based on the rest of the vehicle. Now if it has the heater bypassed to avoid leaky o-rings, a switch to manually energize the AC, and mismatched tires, I'm with you 100%.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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265,000 miles is a lot of miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for everyone's input. Forgot to mention the owner did say the ac/heat barley blows, I figured It was the blower motor.
I know 265k is high, what is the average longetivity of these trucks?
Can't tell if the tires match, it's about 2 hours from me so I haven't gone to look at it yet. From the description and conversation with the owner it sounds like it's been taken care of for the most part. He mentioned they replaced it with an 08 LR3...and he paid to have part of the air suspension replaced on it, so I'm guessing he's one of those who takes it in and pays for whatever they recommend, hence the coil conversion and such.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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265K miles - Defender 110 - Yes
265K miles - Range Rover Classic - maybe
265K miles - P38 - keep looking
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Whats the price? At 265k free is probably too much...meaning you are going to pay $$ just to get it going. How long PO owned it?

There are hundreds of decent 110-160k P38s on CL and ebay right now, most <$3-4k. Most not well maintained. But some owners just want them gone, and sometimes it is over little things (straw that broke camels back). A 265k P38 isn't something to just jump into b/c owner is letting it go for $500......

A '02 P38 isn't an '02 LC when it comes to reliability. Better looking though.....
 

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My P38 is at a similar mileage range, so I know it is possible to have a high mileage P38 that runs very well.

However, in order to maintain my P38 in running order, I probably worked on every single major component probably at least once. Many common failure points noted in this forum that are prone to failure, I probably worked on few times per failure point.

So, if the PO can't produce a booklet full of receipts noting a significant list of repairs, it's probably gonna cost you a fortune to bring the vehicle to running order.

Also, before I started to work on my vehicle DIY, I was nagged by a local Indie who wanted me to convert to coil springs. It's an easy money maker, so my guess is that a lot of owners who did not DIY converted based on a "professional" recommendation. So, just because the vehicle has coil springs would not necessary be an indicator to me that the vehicle was not well maintained.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks again for the further input. Price he gave me over the phone was $800, which is down from $1k he has it on CL for. He did say he has receipts he's give me but didn't elaborate how many and what for. He is the Original owner of the vehicle which is one reason why I am considering it. In my speaking with him I did get the impression he spent money keeping this thing on the road. I am almost curious enough to check it out and see what receipts he has but that would require and entire day of driving 2 hours each way just to look...so hence my asking and researching beforehand.
Fair enough point that a 02 p38 with 265k on it isn't anything like an 02 100 series with 265k on it.
 

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Before you drive out to check the vehicle in person, I suggest that you ask the owner to send you an itemized listing of all the repairs done to the vehicle, making sure to ask to note the date (approximation or just the year would be fine, really) when each of the repair was completed. Then, post the list and ask for forum member's input here.

If you like what you see in the summary and you get a concurrent consensus here on this forum, maybe it would be worthwhile to drive out and check out the vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Before you drive out to check the vehicle in person, I suggest that you ask the owner to send you an itemized listing of all the repairs done to the vehicle, making sure to ask to note the date (approximation or just the year would be fine, really) when each of the repair was completed. Then, post the list and ask for forum member's input here.

If you like what you see in the summary and you get a concurrent consensus here on this forum, maybe it would be worthwhile to drive out and check out the vehicle.
I had considered doing this. My take is that if he has had all the major systems touched I am very inclined to go check it out. However I do not want my desire for an inexpensive project car to over rule my inner voice of reason. I know that Rovers are often costly to maintain, but I also considered the fact that this specific unit has made it to 265k miles therefore it could only be plausible that it has had serious $$ spent over its life time.
I will say that I forgot to ask him why they parked and replaced it, however he did say they replaced it with an '08 LR3...so obviously they have money to keep these things on the road. It sounds like his wife really like the P38 and they'd like to see it go to someone who is going to appreciate it and keep it on the road.
 

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Mine was at 205k miles when I bought it and by the time it was at 287k, the engine was decidedly tired and came out for a full rebuild, so you need to know what, if anything, has been done to the motor. If you are going to work on it yourself, it doesn't really matter. Parts are relatively cheap and they are easy to work on but if it is going to be sent out for work to be done, then it could end up costing you an awful lot of money (instead of just time).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Mine was at 205k miles when I bought it and by the time it was at 287k, the engine was decidedly tired and came out for a full rebuild, so you need to know what, if anything, has been done to the motor. If you are going to work on it yourself, it doesn't really matter. Parts are relatively cheap and they are easy to work on but if it is going to be sent out for work to be done, then it could end up costing you an awful lot of money (instead of just time).
That is one thing I would be looking for. Owner mentioned top end work being done but I cannot recall what exactly he listed out. I would be doing the work myself with the mindset that if it becomes too much to take on or beyond my capability $$ or skill wise, I would sell it and try and recover as much as I can. That being said my wife was clear she didn't want it just sitting in the driveway forever, and I agreed because i'd like to have it to drive around.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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One owner is definitely a plus, but 265k is 265k..... I would take TheoR's advice to heart & have him spend 15 minutes taking photos of all of the last 2-4 years worth of maintenance receipts & send them over to you via text. I did that with the recent purchaser of my M5 & it sealed the deal for him. These aren't necessarily expensive to maintain $$$ wise IF you can do a lot of the stuff yourself, but they are a BIG time suck as things absolutely will go wrong with them, and while the information is out there to fix almost everything on them, researching + learning takes time, and then you have to source all the parts. I learned the hard way that a 1 owner P38 with full maintenance records doesn't necessarily mean a trouble-free ownership experience. Within 30 days of acquiring my first, a 2002 with 100k & full maintenance from local LR dealers, wife had managed to put it into superlockout, the EAS was shot, there was either a bad head gasket or multiple lifters going out, cooling system needed full replacement, at least three doors needed new latches, and, and.....and I was thrilled to have it towed out of the driveway by someone who had the time/resources to fix everything. Also keep this in mind--the '02 is Bosch, not GEMS, and while neither is great the GEMS does have the huge advantage of being able to bypass the BECM using a Mobi and avoiding the entire superlock issue....nobody has yet figured out how to do that (practically) on the Bosch (though there seems to be progress from some board members).
 

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I have an 02 NAS P38. 131K miles. I’ve done a ton of work and have a bunch of spare parts
its been a great truck with not to bad maintenance. If it made it to 265k this guy or his wife loved it
anybodywho has owned a P38!forbthat long sank money into it to keep it running.
Coolant hoses, starter motor, battery, most of the systems will have had replacement by then.
Im sure he has has a head gasket job done and at least 3 sets of rotors, probably new ball joints.
What exterior stuff does it have on it? Roof rack, safari rack, fog lights, brush guard?
$800.00 is a deal. Any pictures? I’d get a ton of pictures. If the ABS pump is shot you can pull one from a junker cheap or buy a rebuilt one for $700.
Its a great project truck that is a joy to work on. I’d go for it.
 

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Re replacement parts....for anyone looking to buy a cheap P38, I'd spend a couple of hours looking at all the pull-a-part yards within 60-100 miles to see what they have, and possibly even visit them before buying one. The boards are great, but I've learned more about fixing P38s by pulling the parts (actually getting to the parts) than by all the online advice. Advice is awesome on what to look for/get. Getting to it/actually seeing how it is & then pulling it....you'll save yourself a ton of frustration (and a boat-load of $$$$) going that route. I'm lucky that I have 3 within 20 minute drive of me to source from (well 4, but one is seriously picked apart)....and I'm in a market where P38s simply aren't readily available.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Posts like these are why i'm considering this vehicle. However I am concerned about constantly having to deal with electrical gremlins. I can do mechanical, electrical not so much. Ideally with some work this would be a back up family car, one I can take camping or go out for a night on the town in and not have to worry about it not starting or something else detrimental with a wife and 2 kids in tow.
 

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You need to take a look. A 2002 model is one of the last ones to be made and if the body and interior are good, $800 is not a lot. It is worth spending time and effort to get it right or even to just use it as a spares car.
Later models didn't have the problem with the brake modulator and they also have 4 wheel TC. Bosch electrics on the later cars are also more reliable. You will need to buy diagnostics though.
I have had my 2000 my for 17 years and I would guess I am spending on average £500 a year on service items and spare parts, which is cheap really. I do all my own jobs.
Some things on the car deteriorate with age. Especially things made of rubber: tyres, air bags (mainly Dunlop air bags - Arnotts are synthetic), heater o-rings, valve block o-rings, radiators (plastic top), battery, headlining, exhaust.
However with 265,000 miles there could be some big jobs coming up imho. Transfer box chain? viscous coupling? Axles and gearbox? The brake problem may be just the pump and/or the accumulator.
It really needs a test drive to see if the engine and transmission are OK or else you will have to trust the guy that it is as he says.
 
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