View Full Version : New to Rover need opinions

12-09-2006, 06:45 PM
Hi All,
I am new to this BBS, I am interested in purchasing a 96 or 97 P38A, I would like to get some opinions about what to look for, reliability, estimate cost to run, etc anything that might give me a heads up so I can purchase the right one.
Any info is much appreciated.

12-10-2006, 11:11 PM
G'day Mate,

If you can swing it.... I would reccomend a 99 to 02 P38, the reason being... Bosch electronics.... I did heaps of research on it when I went to upgrade from my 94 LWB to current 00 4.6 H&H. Just from what I have "heard". Don't get me wrong... any of the 96 and on P 38's are good to go. I just found that the 00's were about the same price so that is what I went with.
Just my .02


12-13-2006, 08:51 AM
being a sucker for punishment and one that has to own and dabble in every LR product, I owned a 95 P38...

Buy as new as you can afford, but with as complete a set of service records as possible. Some people follow maintenance, some have more money than sense(ie the lawyer that came in on a tow truck 2.5 years after buying his 97 RR and the engine siezed up. He had 75K miles and NEVER changed the oil. LRNA determined the low oil light had been on for probably something like 6-8 months)

Butter up your dealers service writer, take him a cup cake and milk and say "I'm thinking of buying a 2nd gen. RR, I want to pick your brain"

Once you have become his best buddy, and you have the Vin # of a couple of candidate RR's, have him run the VIN #s and print the service history and warranty history(he should have no problem with doing this, but dont walk in at 5:30 pm when all the pissed off people are trying to pay for service and pick up thier cars)

Now you can at least see if the former owners pulled maintenance or if your chosen vehicle is cursed(some P-38 are pretty reliable, some where real lemons, maybe something with being built on friday afternoon or monday morning), and the records will reflect this.

The early cars(95-98) will have the GEMS induction/control system
The latter (99-2003) will have Bosch

both have their own issues!!

GEMS is easier to work on (I worked on these cars for 5 years)
Bosch is better drivability and HP.

early cars (95-98)only rear traction control,
later cars had 4 wheel TC(awesome!!).

I have seen stock P38 do amazing things offroad
I have seen modified P38(ditch airsprings for coils and lift, no sway bars, MT tires) defy logic off road!!

Electronics is a real nightmare(ie HVAC, Security/door locks, internal dash)
and no way around this, when your time is up, the Rover man comes a knockin!!


I you are scared, Go for a Disco(best deal on the market for an easily modified awesome offroader)

If not, go for the P38, it is an impressive vehicle!!

These cars are just starting to be modified and used off road, just do your research and take your time, this can be a cheap vehicle to buy, BUT IT WILL BE AN EXPENSIVE VEHICLE TO MAINTAIN!!!!!!!!!

Cheers from Bavaria,

Ray Morgenweck
12-27-2006, 05:43 PM
Not being new to rovers...I have owned a 1958 2 liter series 2 for about five years. It has been a good soldier and has done a good share of fairly tough off roading. A force to be reckoned with out there for sure. Last month I added to the fleet a stunningly beautiful 1999 Range Rover 4.0 SE. While it has over 100 K miles it came from a wealthy area of North Jersey and had been maintained and detailed from new. Never smoked in either. My wife is not too happy about my "no coffee. no eating. no french fries" in the car rule but Oh Well she has to live with or drive her own car.

Whats it like? God Damn those people build one solid car. ...they guy at the inspection station (here in NJ its tough) told me "we dont fail many land rovers" . That told me a lot. I dont know why some people bash the styling of this model range rover...I think its modern, classic, understated and just rare enough that for the most part the Joe on the street cant tell it from a new one. You will feel like a King driving it. Or, as I like to think... "this is what Prince Charles drives". OH and the Sound System will totally blow you away. 12 speakers 300 watts and hot damn it is amazing. I suggest either Mozart Requiem or Metallica S & M. It can shake the whole 2 and a half tons of car and suspend you in a cloud of sound. Miles float away....you are at the concert.

Hopefully all the little electrical goodies work for you, a few of mine are out but oh well I can live without a warm butt. There are a few companies who write very nice 4 year warranties on used Range Rovers, and though they dont cover the little stuff, it sounds good in case something really nasty happens. My warranty cost $2350 and is good for four years with unlimited miles.

Now some poor *rich* sucker has eaten about forty grand in depreciation. Along the way he paid untold dollars to detailers and servicemen to keep 'my' Rover looking new and running strong and healthy. And back to the average Joe in the streets brain, all they think of when they hear Range Rover is obscenely expensive. Now just go seven years down the line and that Range Rover is cheaper than a daewoo.

Im happy I made the buy. Usually there are a few nice candidates within 200 miles on ebay, though there arent a lot for sale in general. I think this might be because a lot of people out there are happy with them. I know I am.

Rod Turnbull
12-28-2006, 02:27 AM
My warranty cost $2350 and is good for four years with unlimited miles.

Take care and read ALL the fine print on these warranties... I have had them save me money but I have also seen people just flushing their money down the toilet. If all of the service are not preformed as often, by who, and when the company that issues the warranty states it has to be done (regardless of what your service manual says)... and some times proof that you did 'said service' to your vehicle, mail to them on the date stated in the contract, with photos of the ritual sacrificing of the chicken during the oil change... they will refuse to cover any claims.

One nice thing about these warranties are that at the end of the warranty most companies will let you keep renewing the warranty (for a price), year after year... kinda like heath insurance for your vehicle.


01-03-2007, 03:39 AM
Rod is Right(still owe you that Guiness for letting me poke fun-o-you Rod)

Be really careful on the aftermarket warranty. Back in the late 90's there where a lot of Rover Dealers(just like any car dealer) offering aftermarket warranties on used rovers(the ones that couldnt meet the "Certified Rover" program) and once these companies started getting nailed with all the oil leaks, major elec. problems etc. they started getting real picky(ie sending out a field rep to inspect and watch work performed!!!and in some cases take oil/coolant samples for lab tests to ensure the car had consistent service-yes you can easily tell these days if one has been owned by a soccer mommy or tight wallet pretty rich boy). These companies are only in business to make money(not pay out lots of claims) so make sure you read fine lines. It can be a very wise investment on one of these cars though. Like I said, cheap to buy, not to repair......
Jack of Bavaria

Rod Turnbull
01-05-2007, 05:02 AM
I'll get that way eventually... when I do, I'll come looking fer that drink :thumb-up:

02-14-2007, 01:05 AM
I recently purchased a 99 4.6 HSE and love it. Relatively easy to work on but make sure that the air suspension has been upgraded to spring coils.