My Two Range Rover Builds, P38 & RRC

Hello Everyone,


I’ve owned several different 4x4 vehicles but always end up coming back to LR. My first car was a P38 and I’ve now owned three. I found this P38 in Mississippi, it is a one owner vehicle with 143k on the clock. To say it was neglected is an understatement, I’ve been working on it a year and just now have it where I can complete trips without a tow truck being involved. The goal with this P38 is for it to be mechanically reliable, cosmetically presentable and set up to be very capable off-road. Now that I’ve worked through most of the mechanical issues the fun is starting with the actual build of this P38 into a nice trail rig.

The day I saved it from the boonies:


First order of business was removing the aftermarket brush guard and cheap off-road lights, as you can see the previous owner is lucky they didn’t burn the vehicle up:


Did some serious cleaning on the interior, luckily the blue ink stain is where my son’s car seat goes!

 
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When I bought it the radiator was cracked so I replaced the radiator, water pump, and thermostat. The battery in it wasn’t fit for a lawnmower and the alternator wasn’t charging so I got a new alternator with Interstate battery along with a new serpentine belt installed. I then started on the neglected maintenance items next, as you can see it wasn’t pretty. Got her running on Mobile 1 synthetic oil with Wix filters now. I replaced almost every light bulb in the vehicle as well since they were all burned out.




The vehicle had a sagging old coil conversion on it, until I knew what route I was going with the suspension I put on a set of new, inexpensive 255/70R16 A/T tires to get me by for a few months. The tires that were on it were essentially drag slicks at this point:


After the tires went on we took it for its first trail ride, explored Blackwater State WMA for an afternoon:


I forgot how capable a P38 is stock with just A/T tires, it had no issues traversing this long section of sticky red mud road:
 
I lost the fuel pump and after having it repaired at a shop the replacement promptly failed, at that point I had to park the vehicle for a few months because it was yacht show season and I was opening a new location for my company.



Just this month I finally got around to working on the vehicle again, I had been ordering parts for the last few months but just started to install them. I installed a Terrafirma MD suspension from Lucky 8, replaced the steering stabilizer with a Terrafirma one from Lucky 8, replaced the starter, removed the sway bar, removed the mud flaps, removed the front bumper lower trim piece, replaced the noisy AC compressor and had a set of Patagonia 265/75R16 M/T tires installed.






 
Here are the before and after with the new suspension/tires. Much improved!

Before with the 255/70R16 A/T tires and old coil conversion:



After with the Terrafirma MD suspension and 265/75R16 M/T tires:
 
I have the vehicle now at the fabrication shop for the winch mount to be built, I am installing a 13k winch with synthetic line. They are going to cut the bumper out between the lines and build a mount similar to this one on a Taco with recovery points. I decided against using another Warn M8000 like I’ve used in the past because of quality issues I’ve had with two of them and a lack of service in my area for Warn winches.

Cutting out here:


Photo of what I’m hoping the end product will look similar too, picture borrowed from the internet:
 
After the winch my last few projects on the P38 are lockers/limited slip diffs, rear cargo organizer, rear bumper modification, paint, finish repairing the death wobble and have a new windscreen with upper finisher installed. I am also going to get a 7-way trailer plug with charge line and brake controller installed to pull a small travel trailer.

While all of this progresses has been made this month on the P38 a member of the local LR club posted up a white 1992 RRC base for sale. I was actually looking to find my wife a Disco 1 or 2 since finding people to trail ride with us is difficult with my schedule but we decided to buy this RRC instead. He had it priced cheap and it was popular so I bought it sight unseen and hoped for the best to avoid losing it to another member. To be honest this is my second RRC and I really don’t like them much, I know that isn’t a popular opinion but I’ve always found the P38 to be better in every possible way but my wife has fallen in love with it so it’s not going anywhere.

Here is it coming home:


It greeted us with a massive coolant leak from what I suspect is the valley gasket, I’ve ordered parts for it and several other things on the vehicle:
 
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The goal on this Classic is to get it mechanically sound, cosmetically presentable and lightly restored for trail use. I’m going to skip lockers on this vehicle since my wife will be it’s primary driver. I’m ordering an ARB from bumper with winch, Terrafirma HD suspension and sliders to install on it. I’m going to run 235/85R16 BFG KO2 tires on it replacing the tractor tires on it now.

Here is what the interior looked like, the guy who owned it before the Rover club member tried removing the seat with an angle grinder, it’s a mess:



The sunroof was partially open with the carpets soaked for god only knows how long, so of course the floor pans are all rotted. I striped out most of carpet, sound deadening material out, I’ll replace the sound deadening and reuse the original carpet. I started to wire brush the rust and get it treated with phosphate, once the fabrication shop is done on my winch I’ll have them cut out around the few spots where the floor pans are rusted thru to weld in patches.

The worst of the rust:

 
The dash of my P38 had four screw holes in it from what I assume was an old car phone. I was trail riding and got a bit turned around with no cell service so I decided to get a GPS, I installed a mount with a Magellan TR5 off-road GPS. Down the road I want to add an iPad mount to hold my iPad loaded with Topo maps on the passenger side.

The mount:


The GPS itself:
 

paachi

Member
Amazing work on the P38. I have an undying love for these RRs. Last of the truly dual purpose RRs..live axles but great daily driveability. I have had two and my current P38 is a DD

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Amazing work on the P38. I have an undying love for these RRs. Last of the truly dual purpose RRs..live axles but great daily driveability. I have had two and my current P38 is a DD

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

I commute about 106mi a day so unfortunately a P38 for a daily driver is out for me. There is a low mile 2000 HSE up for sale in my area cheap that needs cosmetic and mechanical work, I keep getting tempted to buy it to restore!
 

paachi

Member
Yeah that's too long a commute for a car let alone P38. When I had my 100+ mile commute (short 1 year stint at work) I chose to ride my motorcycle everyday..

P38s are getting to be better investments..do it :)

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The last of the parts I’ve been waiting on for the Classic have finally arrived. The P38 is at the fabrication shop waiting on the winch mount to be installed. I’ve been on holiday so I haven’t restarted the Classic project yet but hopefully I’ll get going again this weekend.
 
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