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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #1
My new to me Holland and Holland came from the West Coast so no rust. On the bad side, most of the wood veneer got burned up by the sun. I pulled off all of the wood trim since I had to go in and replace the heater matrix O rings and removing a few extra trim pieces was not a problem.

Did find a number holes already cut-- so someone has been into the dash before. Not only the large round hole in the passenger side panel- but on each front right or left corner of the Heat and AirCon unit a rectangular hole was cut out. Guess I will find out what those were for at some future time.

The veneer had a light coating like varnish or poly which was all checked. Came off with a gentle scraping and sanding with 320 grit. Some cracks and lifting of the veneer are showing.

I am at an impasse as to what finish I should use. My assumption is to use a penetrating gunstock oil like Tru Oil or one of the gunstock recipes found online. I read that the Holland and Holland stocks use many coats of some form of gunstock oil. But did Land Rover go this time-consuming route for the HH???

Now, most gun oils provide a beautiful finish-(from a satin-- like the HH interior- to gloss) and will bring out the wood grain--but does not protect against sun or moisture. It takes many many coats and is very slow to dry. I have read that you can put a varnish over it- not sure how it will actually adhere.

Perhaps that is what LR did as part of the extra 30 hours-kind of doubt it.

Using a marine spar give UV and humidity protection but to look best it should be sprayed on.

Madera Concepts removes any finish using stripper and then sprays on a urethane finish. The lady I spoke to says they refinish the Holland and Holland trim the same as any other P38- but you can choose a satin finish.

Has anyone tackled refinishing their H/H trim pieces? If you have, what finish did you use?


I tried to attach a few photos but the Manage Attachments box comes up blank--- with no boxes to check so I can pull photos off of my computer. Shows that I have a secure connection- and then just a blank box.
 

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LR did not produce the H&H trim pieces. H&H did all the trim. Think of your auto trim like caring for teak trim on a boat. It is labour intensive and well worth it
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the encouragement THall-

I do not mind putting hours into getting the wood correct-

But I do not know if H&H used a gunstock oil finish like I have read that they do on their high-end shotguns-- or because it was trim in a Range Rover if they used a Spar type varnish.

It will take at least a month using a gunstock oil like Tru Oil because of long drying time. A Spar varnish will be done within a week.

Time and labor is not a problem for me---Just need to know how H&H finished the trim. Hoping someone has a clue.
 

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I've been reconditioning my H&H wood trim slowly by using boiled linseed oil. Apply a small amount then let sit for about 10 min then wipe off the residue and repeat once a week. It has been working well, leaving a satin finish with no waxes that might damage the wood or leave residue to remove if an error occurs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've been reconditioning my H&H wood trim slowly by using boiled linseed oil. Apply a small amount then let sit for about 10 min then wipe off the residue and repeat once a week. It has been working well, leaving a satin finish with no waxes that might damage the wood or leave residue to remove if an error occurs.

Good for you choosing BLO. I feel this is what the factory may have gone with even if it would take many weeks to produce. But the factory did apply a light coat of some sort of top coat like a matt lacquer. My wood was so sun checked I was able to remove the flaking top coat with gentle scraping with a dull razor blade held 90 degrees.

I debated long and hard on whether I should go the traditional gunstock BLO route or go to the hybrid tung oil route. I have all of the Tru Oil products which is a compromise and I almost went down that road.

But much of my veneer was also badly checked/cracked that I felt I had to use a finish which would soak in as well as provide some bonding of the many check cracks in the veneer. Your veneer may not have been as bad as mine was. I also decided that I wanted more UV protection then BLO or Tru Oil--so went with a tung oil/alkyd resin marine varnish. I am using Epifanes which has a Tung oil base and comes in gloss and in satin.

It is showing the grain nicely- we will see if the satin will come close to the original sheen. I may have made a mistake- but my H&H is a driver more than a collectible. I just wanted to save the veneer and protect it from the sun.
 

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There are specialist firms around (at least in the UK there are) that restore the woodwork on classic cars.
A H&H is worth getting it done properly by professionals rather than experimenting with finishes yourself.
 

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I'm also a recently new owner of a P38 H&H and am having a problem finding a firm that will touch the wood trim. It's not a standard auto-wood finish. Even Madera passed on it. Do you have any suggestions? Mine is only faded/separating at the top of the dash-console, but I'd like to make sure it doesn't get worse and lasts. I'd be happy to ship it to the UK if I was certain it would be done correctly.
 

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Have a look for local Cabinetmakers and Master Carpenters, they will be far more geared up to doing your trim than the local Panelbasher/Finishing shop.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #10
OK- I have sanded all of the bits and applied the first coats of varnish. I would say that the factory used a linseed oil but mine was so sun checked and cracked I need a finish that would harden up and hold much of the veneer lifted bits together. First coats are gloss which shows off the wood. Now I need to tone it all down to look hand oiled gunstock style like it came using a matt finish. I am not a wood person so some future collector will be cursing me.
Forgive the links-- somehow I cannot copy the correct bit on Imgur to get a photo to show up.

 

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I wouldn't sweat the "future collector". It's your truck and you're working to improve/preserve it. Not sure if a matte finish on top of a gloss will produce the desired result, but I'm not a "wood person" either.
 

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MarkTR. It looks very nice indeed. Well done.
 

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JACK'S GRANDAD
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Click free



 

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JACK'S GRANDAD
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I also wouldn't stress the future collector stuff. Unless your whole rig is totally mint and original, it's just another P38, worth what someone will pay for it and no more. It will probably never be a $20k collector rig, so just enjoy it and make it yours.

Martin
 

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Discussion Starter #16
MarkTR. It looks very nice indeed. Well done.

Thank you-- more luck than skill. Trying to save the veneer-more than making it original/collectible. Seems like the HnH wood trim was faithful to the gun stock finish-- but an oil finish has no UV protection. Most HnH dashes I have seen photos of have pretty checked and cracked veneer.

Martin--I am approaching the refurbishment of my HnH not as a collectible- just as a driver. But I know there a number of P38 lovers who feel that the HnH should be preserved-thus my statement about future collectors. Over my 50 years of restoring classic cars/motorcycles--every classic car or motorcycle Mark I have ever been passionate about has followed the same path. At the time I get into them they are pretty much unwanted except for the dedicated gearheads who save many from going to the junkyard. Eventually, they are "discovered", especially the Limited Edition models which are the first to get the money classes attention---and slowly the gearhead is priced out of buying them on the cheap.

As you say Martin- this is a P38 with more makeup. I happened to be the guy who saved it. The second owner gave it to a Charity who then had a junkyard auction it off. The photos from that auction showed a very abused HnH. But because it was an HnH --it tipped me into buying my first P38-- so all good. It may never be worth $20K but I am sure I will have that and more into it. Doing the wood myself was a big money saving.


Martin-- I tried to copy and paste every choice the image host site offered- but could not find the click free version. Which one attaches the photo rather than a link.
 

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JACK'S GRANDAD
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There are instructions on how to properly upload foto's, unless the folks up North screwed it up somehow.
I literally just copy n pasted your images from the host site is all.
I have a little invested in my own P38.... As in it has a built LSx engine and 4L60E trans in it. Took me a few years to get it all done, but it's buttoned up now. I doubt anyone would ever pay me what I think it's worth, so it will be mine forever I guess.
HP97.jpg

Yeah the P38's are not dropping in price any more, but they will never sky rocket neither I dont think. Part of the problem is all the ghetto idiots that bought them because of the badge, then never gave them a lick of attention or TLC. Basket case in the making and never cost effective to fix right

Martin
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Martin-

Nice motor/trans swap. In the Astro van world, the LS was the go-to motor to replace the standard V6. These motors find themselves in many different cars like older Jags.

From someone just getting into P38's and knowing nothing about what LR may have modified on the Buick based V8--the LS seems like a natural retrofit---Mechanically--Not sure about electronically.

My first thought when I was going through threads about slipped cylinders and cracked blocks with forum members buying replacement blocks--was--- why not install an LS motor. It must not be a simple plug and play or it would be a common retrofit- with wire harness and fuel management kits.

Did you have to pair it with a 4L60E trans to make the swap possible- or you just felt that the 4L60E was stronger so why not?

How did you get around the LR's integrated anti-theft/engine management--the immobilizer?

Did you have to go with an aftermarket fuel controller like a Mega-Squirt?

I am sure there is a great story about how you went about the swap-- do you have a build thread on this forum?




 

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JACK'S GRANDAD
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Yes there is a build thread.
I had the Rover ZF transmission rebuilt, then the LS motor ate it for breakfast, So then I got a 700R4, but got sick of the cable. So then I got the 4L60E and have never looked back.
Made an adapter housing and shaft to use the BW transfer case.
The wiring was the "fun" part, as it is with any swap. But everything works as it should.
I used the Rover computers and the LS pcm. They talk to each other here and there but they are mostly separate from each other. I can start the motor and drive it with the Becm in full lockdown as a safety deal.
I would't do it unless there was a good reason for it. I have a few years in the swap, but that was being the first etc too.
 
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