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Hey all, so browsing craigslist, I came across a localish listing for a 2000 P38 for real cheap. Pics show both the exterior and interior to be in good shape, and it's quoted at being 120k and change miles. All for the low, low price of $1,500.

Now, this is a 45ish minute drive at the best of times for me to go check it out, and with my busy schedule, I have a hard time justifying it without being reasonably sure of what I'm gonna get/see when I arrive. After texting the owner and asking a few questions, I have been told that there is minimal rust underneath and that the car was running just fine. That is, before the owner got a new vehicle and let the RR sit for 3 years.

The vehicle does not start. Seemingly, it is an electrical issue. "Something could have gotten wet" are the words he used, after telling me the starter was replaced about a year prior to sitting, and he is firm that it isn't the battery, which I am inclined to believe as well. Apparently, the vehicle will turn on. Lights, electricals, all work. However, while he hasn't looked into actual check engine codes or anything, the owner says that the vehicle starts listing EVERYTHING as having errors. Windows, engine, transmission, speed limited, theft attempt detected, etc. Also, once connected to a battery, the wipers come on and do not stop, no matter what you do.

All of this sounds pretty intimidating, but I am hoping there's a silver lining here as I love these P38 Rovers and also kind of enjoy a small project. I'm not a particularly experienced wrencher, I'll change my oil and brakes, do a tune-up. I'm hoping someone on this forum has experienced similar issues or knows what might cause such problems. I browsed the FAQ and "Electrical Gremlins" posts on here but they are pretty specifically-targeted, and this seems like more of a far-reaching issue. Any assistance and information could be appreciated, and if I should definitely stay away, then that input is also welcomed although I would appreciate a bit of a "why".

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Daaaamn. Shame to hear, as I do really love the p38 style. Thanks for the input though, most likely turning my back on this one.
 

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I have removed that response post. It was nothing but ridiculous in scope with misinformation.

All light housing have screws. No lights are held in with only tabs, not even the fender signal lamps. Valve block rebuild is something you do yourself for under $30. Head gasket job is not even half of your ridiculous $2k. Overheating is always the result of poor maintenance. There are no 1.6mm struts under the seat. Seat rails do not just snap.

Dan, Yes this is a poor example you have come across. It really should be parted out. Decent running examples can be found. Take your time and you can find one that has been well maintained.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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216 Posts
I have to agree. Bushman's info is a lot out of date and does not reflect today's much lower costs; I have been able to maintain my P38 to a very high standard with little cost really thanks to this forum and others such as the Australian Paul P38; check his great page out; most members will know it; He seems to have dropped off the map; I really wanted to say a big thanks for his fantastic detailed info.

I would not buy that one; it sounds terminally bad but I would, and have bought one of the best 2001 model P38s in the country.

As with all things second hand automotive, the cheap ones are expensive and the good ones are cheap.

Someone asked me recently how much a P38 is worth. I said; 'anything from "I'll give you five hundred as well as the car to take it out of my drive" to up to $AUD25,000.00 for the best of the best'. I bought the best one I could find for a realistic price. I rebuilt the valve block and EAS compressor for peanuts, fixed every electrical little issue I could find and did a hundred other minor jobs on it over two years. Apart from a little HEVAC issue I will nail, it works perfectly. The engine at 240,000 kms starts, runs and works superbly and burns almost no oil between changes.

It's a big car so it's quite easy to work on. There are few cars I'd rather drive. I prefer it to my Mercedes SL 500 (which is more fun in summer). A P38 does chew the juice as we say in Australia but they cost so little to buy, who cares?

They're a great looking car and good ones are getting rare on the roads; are others noticing?

The biggest cost in running ANY new or newer car is depreciation, by far. By a mile.

So Dan, do not buy that one. Spend a bit more and get a solid example. It will cost you FAR less over the journey.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you both for your replies, definitely giving me more hope that I'm not crazy for wanting one, haha. Will still stay away from this one, but will keep my eye out for better examples of the vehicle. Hopefully I'll get into one soon and be able to really contribute to this forum! :)
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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455 Posts
a friend of mine bought a p38 that didn't start and had a lot of tax to pay for about 1400 USD in your money last year. Normally they go for at least 5000 USD here, which has a lot to do with our import taxes.
A lot of poeple called him mad. there were no keys and it didn't start.
it had 350.00 kms but it looked really good.

I cleaned a lot of green contacts, red errors and a very blue looking ABS line.
Did some BECM magic.
Got the EKA and earned myself about 100 USD

Found a very good second hand key, somebody found a blade.

Luis is very happy now, which is one year later.
Yes there are still and will always be things to do. Did some cables today.. he drives a towtruck and will always negotiate a good price with his boss for me.

Morale.. unless it is a heap of rust go for it.
If you have questions we are here
 

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Well, 1.500$ is not much, and if it seems to be a dead end, you could always resell it for that 1.500$ ..

I bought myself a 1999, 4.0 V8, 180.000km (not miles `) ) for 1.000€ (1.170$) (Europe, not UK) that had been sitting still for 5 years! I replaced all disc brakes and disc pads for only 100€, steering damper, track rod, drag link for maybe another 100€. This beast now brakes superb and no play in the steering. Air suspension is acting weird but like said before by others, valve block and compressor rebuild can be done very cheap (even the air springs are not that pricey), you just have to take your time and enjoy working on it!

But, I'm not there yet, and (expensive) surprises may still come my way..
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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I’ve bought a few p38s that had been sitting around, or no key, always had them up and running the first day, ( unless waiting for key) the engines always fire into life, it’s normally electrical gremlins, normally bad connections.
as for corrosion, the p38 doesn’t suffer as much as other LR models, over here ( UK ) at the moment, the prices are crazy, as little as £500 to the sky’s your limit, I’ve seen some half decent later p38s sell for less than a £1000, I was offered a 99 Bordeaux for 800, ( swmbo would of killed me) , so gone are the days where there expensive, look around and your find a reasonable one eventually, at a reasonable price, history is more important when buying a p38, to many so called enthusiasts that know zero !
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hmmm good info to know, thanks! I’ll most likely end up passing on this one but maybe I’ll go take a ride and check it out. If I can inspect the grounds and test the battery, maybe I’ll notice something obvious and it’ll sway me one way or the other
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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I got a 1998 HSE with 160,000 ks for $1,500. Owner had it listed for $5,000. The car was about to run out of rego so he was under pressure to sell. The car had issues with air suspension, low range and oil leaks, which I pointed out to him, and when he got a quote to repair issues, he decided to get rid of it. Cost me $200 in parts and half a days labour to sort the air and the low range.

The one you are looking at sounds like it is only good for parts, you might get lucky and find a simple fix for the electrical problems like corroded connections or replacing a plug, or you might be up for a new computer and then when you get it going you find out the motor is cooked. Seems like a lot of risk when there are good cheap cars out there.

Personally I'd find something running and registered and low ball the owner.
 
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