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KEEP IT OR SELL IT?

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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79 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need a little advice from some current RR owners. I just bought a 2001 RR HSE
I think I got a very good deal. Kelly Blue Book (currently) ranges from $6595-$8045.
The owner was in a bind (death in the family) and I was able to get it for $4800.

Please check out the link below of pictures. I have one loaded and will load more as I take more pics this afternoon.
http://www.photobucket.com/01RRHSE

Pros:
Very clean with glossy paint
Clean interior
No accident history, No body work
No check engine lights
Engine bay is immaculate (yes it was detailed, but nothing looks worn out, seriously looks new)
Has aftermarket K&N over sized Air Filter
Transmission/Gears/Transfer Case all work smoothly
Spring Conversion done about 5 years ago which resulted in max height (about a 4" lift from stock)
Nice tires (80% tread)
Had a recent misfiring issue that was fixed by a mechanic. They replaced the ignition coil, plugs and wires.

Cons: (??)
No maintenance history, No owners manual (they told me everything was taken out of glove box at a mechanic shop and was not able to be found)

119,000 Miles (not sure if it is really a con)

A/C Condenser - I live in AZ, so AC is important. (I called the shop who did the ignition coils and asked if they had any notes on the job they did, the mechanic talked to me and said they they also charged the A/C system. They did a leak test and found a leak at the A/C Condenser. Not a big leak, but it will run the Freon out. Told me it would be about $740 to fix.)

Heater core has been bypassed. I did see the forum showing how to replace the O-rings (step #1) and the forum on how to replace the entire core. I am planning on being in the snow and cold in the mountains and need to be warm and be able to defrost the windows. (I really hope it is not a ruptured core)

CD Changer does not work (Don't need anyway, would like to use my iPhone/iPod instead. I have looked at a couple packages. Kinda dumb that they didn't include a dash CD player, even in 2001)

Headliner is falling down (Getting totally replaced for $150!)

Key Fob does not work, the rubber pad is rubbed off. (just figured out how to fix that from this site!)

Rear driver side door does not unlock with the other doors. (Does this use Vacuum lines, electric?)

Fog lights work and then don't work... and then work again! It's magic!! (or Gremlins, prob loose ground maybe?)

Windshield is cracked - I know these are expensive with the small heater elements in it.

SERVICE ENGINE SOON - light came on the night I bought it. No idea the problem. (Will take it to Auto Zone and get them to put the computer on it)

BIGGEST "CON"CERN:
I was very excited about getting this vehicle. I was originally looking for a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited and came across this RR HSE. I offered a low price and they took it! The reception I have been getting from friends and family is nothing but negative. "Unreliable" "It's going to be a nightmare!" "My 2007 broke down weekly" "WTF!" and some people just laughed. I didn't realize the stigma these vehicles have...

I have joined a off road/trail organization and have been looking for a 4x4 to be able to go on some of their outings. They have seemed to be very nice people and from looking at the photos of events and crawls that they have done, they seem to be the type of people that will stop an entire outing for a fellow 4x4 enthusiast that has broken down, was stuck... Etc etc...

When I posted the photo of my new 4x4, I heard an overwhelming... YOU BOUGHT WHAT? I thought they were half kidding, knowing that I will be 4x4'ing in luxury, while they are getting beat up in their XJ Cherokees and Wranglers. One of the members who was trying to help me find a rig, even messaged me and told me that they would be happy to have me join the group and go on outings, but if the Range Rover breaks down, I might end up on my own out in the middle of nowhere. Not nice to hear.

FINAL THOUGHT:
I want a vehicle that is unique, can pull a boat and will still handle the trails and snow very well. I want a vehicle that is comfortable and refined. I do not mind working the the vehicle myself. I understand small items break and are tricky sometimes and am able to have the patience to work on and around those issues. I do not want a vehicle that is going to leave me stranded in the middle of nowhere from dumb little issues. I do not want to have to replace major components like the engine or transmission (if I care for them properly)

DO I KEEP IT?
DO I PROVE PEOPLE WRONG?
CAN I PROVE PEOPLE WRONG?

REALLY looking forward to the responses!!

Chris Smith
NEW 2001 Range Rover HSE Owner
 

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Sounds a lot like my experience. When I decided I needed to buy a "beater" people were SHOCKED and harassed me over the notion that I would use a P38 as such. My BMW had gotten to the point that aside from shows and a few track days, it just wasn't practical to drive around in (racing seats suck)... But I refused to get something boring and wanted something that, amongst a sea of DC vehicles, had some character. Enter the P38.

So I started looking around and found what I believe to be a great example. It had 94k on the clock, was in good shape, still had the EAS, and didn't have any apparent mechanical issues. Here we are a year and 10k miles later. It's been a blast to drive, I've put a decent chunk of cash into upgrading it (with wheels, navigation, and some cosmetics that, in total, cost me around 3k or so) and put another 2k or so into keeping it on the road and happy (recently did the brakes for around 500)... otherwise, some small issues here and there but nothing overwhelming. I did replace the MAF with a part off eBay and regret it terribly as I'm already getting codes linked (most likely) to a faulty MAF. Have a new Bosch one sitting in the garage that I need to put in.. that ran me another 300 or so.

So yeah, these aren't cheap cars to keep on the road but they are worth, in my opinion, the cost of upkeep because they're fun. They really aren't even as much a car as it is like owning a horse LOL.. expensive but so m uch fun and, in a way, almost loving. I pet my rover on the gauge cluster whenever it puts a smile on my face (and often it does) and was amazed at its performance in the DC blizzard last year.. it was a total tank.

That said, and this is just me, but i WOULDN'T take the p38 off roading. I know it's what they are made for and they rock at it.. but I feel it's putting a whole lot of extra strain on a bajillion different parts and will just give you more to potentially go wrong. Just not worth the costs IMO. But hey, this is coming from a guy who blew tons of cash on cosmetic nonsense for both vehicles he owns so what do i know about being fiscally responsible LOL.

But I say you prove them wrong and, as long as you are good with a tool set, can use the internet, and can read, you'll be fine doing most small things in your garage :)
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I appreciate the quick response. Looking forward to more. Are you the guy with the Pioneer GPS in place of the original? I don't need GPS, but I really want to use my iPhone music without using an FM modulator. Let me know what you did! Thanks!
 

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Firstly, we Aussies are jealous that you have so many RR options so inexpensively! Mine was more than twice that and not as nice looking.

Here are my opinions - without touching the beats:
- The engine fault code is -likely- to be a sensor like MAF, O2, TPS, CPS, Knock sensor. Buy a cheap OBD diagnostic off ebay and fix them. Or get a Faultmate for sure if you are going to keeep the car.
- The aircon leak, no idea. Surely you can pick up a new compressor from a wrecking yard and get it sorted for less than $740. That's all he would do.
- Ignore everything the plundits say.
- Windscreen probably would be expensive. That wouldnt have passed a safety certificate for sale here in Oz.
- Fogs, can probably be fixed with a connector wiggle, a relay wiggle, a fuse wiggle and worst case a fusebox replacement.
- Key fob can be fixed, reset, recoded, or replaced - for not too much money. As long as the BeCM is not cactus. Even if it is, a donor BeCM is no longer a death knell.
- No service history is a concern, but do a compression test and listen when its running - does it sound OK?

I am envious of the journey you have undertaken, because I enjoyed my first year so much. Looks like a nice rig. Post more pics. Good luck, have fun. And oh btw, you will destroy the Jeeps... :)
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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I want a vehicle that is unique, can pull a boat and will still handle the trails and snow very well. I want a vehicle that is comfortable and refined. I do not mind working the the vehicle myself. I understand small items break and are tricky sometimes and am able to have the patience to work on and around those issues. I do not want a vehicle that is going to leave me stranded in the middle of nowhere from dumb little issues. I do not want to have to replace major components like the engine or transmission (if I care for them properly)
What you've stated could be considered the basic RR owners credo. If you don't mind working on the vehicle yourself, then you'll be OK. You need to get RAVE and start becoming familiar with the vehicle and it's systems. This forum is your safety net. Armed with RAVE and good questions, there's very little that you won't be able to fix yourself. Some parts will be expensive, and there will be some surprises, but usually a well maintained Rangie will go anywhere on/off road in comfort and not leave you stranded. If you plan on adventuring into the wilds then there are a few add ons and things to take with you to make the trip less worrysome (ie EAS recovery system). You might want to invest in a diagnostic system (Blackbox Solutions) so you can check regularly the health of the various sensors and systems in the vehicle before they fail (novel idea...).

I've off roaded my P38's without hesitation. They're marvelous vehicles both on and off road. Are they maintenance free, heck no, but if you're willing to roll up your sleeves and dive into it there's plenty of reward and satisfaction to be had. There's nothing like showing up at an offroad meet and getting the usual "you brought that" looks from the group, then showing them what a well maintained Rangie can do.
 

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For that price, I think you made a great purchase.

Firstly, RRs perform very well off-road as well as on snow. During winter season, I take my rig up the mountains for ski trips weekly. Amazing how well RRs handle in snow. BTW, even if your heater core doesn't work, the filament in the windshield is enough to get rid of the frost. Replacement windshield is like $700.

Your SES light: I'm afraid MAFs on RRs don't like K&N filters. I've heard more than a fair share of people having problems with them. Get a standard paper filter and do a MAF clean w/ a CRC MAF cleaner or something.

I hope you're handy w/ tools. If not, you gotta learn quick. Unfortunately, these rigs do break down, but nothing you can't handle yourself, typically.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Firstly, we Aussies are jealous that you have so many RR options so inexpensively! Mine was more than twice that and not as nice looking.

Here are my opinions - without touching the beats:
- The engine fault code is -likely- to be a sensor like MAF, O2, TPS, CPS, Knock sensor. Buy a cheap OBD diagnostic off ebay and fix them. Or get a Faultmate for sure if you are going to keeep the car.
- The aircon leak, no idea. Surely you can pick up a new compressor from a wrecking yard and get it sorted for less than $740. That's all he would do.
- Ignore everything the plundits say.
- Windscreen probably would be expensive. That wouldnt have passed a safety certificate for sale here in Oz.
- Fogs, can probably be fixed with a connector wiggle, a relay wiggle, a fuse wiggle and worst case a fusebox replacement.
- Key fob can be fixed, reset, recoded, or replaced - for not too much money. As long as the BeCM is not cactus. Even if it is, a donor BeCM is no longer a death knell.
- No service history is a concern, but do a compression test and listen when its running - does it sound OK?

I am envious of the journey you have undertaken, because I enjoyed my first year so much. Looks like a nice rig. Post more pics. Good luck, have fun. And oh btw, you will destroy the Jeeps... :)
I appreciate you responses! The nice thing about living in Arizona is that we can buy luxury vehicles cheap. The rich people in California tend to only drive cars til they are 3, maybe 4 years old.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What you've stated could be considered the basic RR owners credo. If you don't mind working on the vehicle yourself, then you'll be OK. You need to get RAVE and start becoming familiar with the vehicle and it's systems. This forum is your safety net. Armed with RAVE and good questions, there's very little that you won't be able to fix yourself. Some parts will be expensive, and there will be some surprises, but usually a well maintained Rangie will go anywhere on/off road in comfort and not leave you stranded. If you plan on adventuring into the wilds then there are a few add ons and things to take with you to make the trip less worrysome (ie EAS recovery system). You might want to invest in a diagnostic system (Blackbox Solutions) so you can check regularly the health of the various sensors and systems in the vehicle before they fail (novel idea...).

I've off roaded my P38's without hesitation. They're marvelous vehicles both on and off road. Are they maintenance free, heck no, but if you're willing to roll up your sleeves and dive into it there's plenty of reward and satisfaction to be had. There's nothing like showing up at an offroad meet and getting the usual "you brought that" looks from the group, then showing them what a well maintained Rangie can do.
Thank you for your reply. I am going to go for it! I do not have EAS, it has the spring conversion, but I am planning on getting a diagnostic system. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
For that price, I think you made a great purchase.

Firstly, RRs perform very well off-road as well as on snow. During winter season, I take my rig up the mountains for ski trips weekly. Amazing how well RRs handle in snow. BTW, even if your heater core doesn't work, the filament in the windshield is enough to get rid of the frost. Replacement windshield is like $700.

Your SES light: I'm afraid MAFs on RRs don't like K&N filters. I've heard more than a fair share of people having problems with them. Get a standard paper filter and do a MAF clean w/ a CRC MAF cleaner or something.

I hope you're handy w/ tools. If not, you gotta learn quick. Unfortunately, these rigs do break down, but nothing you can't handle yourself, typically.
When I was in High School all I wanted to be was a mechanic and build off road trucks, sandrails and muscle cars. Well, things changed and I have not worked on many of my cars in years. I have tools and am looking forward to getting more! Need a little project in my life. As long as the payoff is some fun in the BUSH (Desert) LOL!

I will check into the K&N Air Filter idea. I am concerned about that. I am not sure if original equipment, filter housings or anything else was removed. I will take a photo and post. Thanks!
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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is that i rhino edition?!?!?!

looks VERY sharp and clean. sounds like your rover has some of the typical P38 issues, none are ones that i would consider selling my P38 for. these trucks are very rewarding to own and drive..it might be expensive sometimes to keep them happy, but i've really amazed my friends with its off road capabilities and its library quiet and smooth highway manners. hands down one of my favorite vehicles in my fleet!
 

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Looks just like mind did when I got it! I'd defiantly say keep it. Like someone already said, my favorite part about mine is showing up to the OHRV parks around here (AL) as you can imagine everyone is in jacked up f250's and 2500's or a jeep and they just look like "are you kidding?!" then you are the one towin them out of a ditch with a a broken axel. (true story) but it appears that you have about the normal issues to me. Idk if your familiar with rovers north, but they are the best parts place as far as I'm concerned. Check their website. Roversnorth.com first and of they don't have what your looking for, call. They have maybe half of what they stock online. And if they don't have it they will point you to it. Good luck with it. I hope you love it as much as I love mine.
 

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Looks like a pretty good buy in my opinion. None of your issues are unique or un-documented on this forum or the main site. Willingness to work on it yourself will save you lots of cash. If you have windshield coverage as part of your insurance, then replacement may be as cheap as your deductable or even free. I"m on my 3rd windshield and have paid a whopping $0 - glass coverage is worth it in my area.

So, research your issues, and get em fixed. The mileage is of no concern. Other people's opinions of your purchase are what you make them. Personally they can go pound sand IMHO. I wheel my P38 with my Jeeper buddies all the time (also wheel a Jeep), and they tend to be surprised how capable the P38 is pretty much stock. So don't worry, good off roaders will accept and welcome you, and help if needed. Usually little annoyances are things that break, the truck itself is a tank and if properly cared for, the chance of being stranded is pretty low when offroading.

So, in my opinion, ya done good and look forward to you posting up often and letting the incredible knowledge of the forum members help you get your Rangie in tip top shape for years of enjoyment!! So - Keep it and prove them wrong (if ya even care what they think!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you! I appreciate your encouragement. I was a bit worried when I first bought it on a whim, but after getting on here I am energized and super excited! Making a checklist of things I need to do today. Prob starting with checking and possibly replacing all the fluids, since I have no idea when they were done last.

Do I care what other people think? Not usually. However, my biggest worry was going out with some naysayers and breaking down and have to be pulled in. That would be hard on the EGO. ;-)
 

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Just make sure you carry a rope so you can help tow those broken Jeeps off the trail! Go for it, most of what the unenlightened tell you is wrong with your car is based on rumour! Regular maintenance is the golden key with Rovers, especially make sure your driveshaft joints are greased regularly! I am in Yucca Valley in SoCal, about 7 hours from Phoenix, but hey, meet me at Havasu and lets go get the tires dirty!:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just make sure you carry a rope so you can help tow those broken Jeeps off the trail! Go for it, most of what the unenlightened tell you is wrong with your car is based on rumour! Regular maintenance is the golden key with Rovers, especially make sure your driveshaft joints are greased regularly! I am in Yucca Valley in SoCal, about 7 hours from Phoenix, but hey, meet me at Havasu and lets go get the tires dirty!:thumb:
I plan to be in Havasu a couple times this summer! Hoping the Rover pulls my boat pretty well. I know it will be fine to pull it 45 minutes to a local lake, but not sure about the 4.5 hour trek to Havasu!? How has your Rover handled the heat?
 

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Mine handles the heat with ease, even with the A/C set on max/Hi we don't get any overheating even if it is 120 degrees on the trails around Twentynine Palms in low range! Make sure your hoses are good, especially the stupid plastic ones going from the intake to the 'overflow' tank and the one from the top of the rad to the same tank. As for towing, I towed a 79 Chevy van conversion from Modesto, central Ca, to Yucca Valley in So Cal, just over 400 miles on a four wheel car trailer with no problems or overheating, even climbing Tehachapi Pass was a breeze! Just make certain you have the correct electrical set up for towing otherwise you WILL have problems!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am definitely keeping the Rover!! Had an amazing trip up to a mountain range here in Arizona. We went from 1057 ft elevation to 5750 elevation up and through the clouds! The rover handled the mud and snow very well. A couple friends went with in their 4x4. We had to pull out a 2010 GMC 2500HD Diesel 4x4 that was lifted to the moon! What a feeling. :) Have had a couple new issues pop up, but figuring them out seems to be half the fun! My next project is going to be the heater core "O" rings or, if the plastic is cracked a Audi heater core conversion. This forum has already taught me alot!! :) Thx!
 
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