View Full Version : No Fuel Pump... New computer needed?

Tim Smith
07-02-2008, 10:31 AM
Hiya P38'ers,
I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction for diagnosing a 96' with about 230,000 miles on it.

The current owner has had it to a couple of shops and has been quoted from $800 to $3000+ to fix his problem of "sometimes not starting". The dealer was the most expensive and quoted that the computer needed replacing. His local garage was about 1/2 price but also said his computer (but a different one?) needed replacing. Another local garage was cheapest and said the fuel pump needed replacing. The fuel pump has been replaced once already. Now he's fed up and just wants to sell the car to me really really cheap. :p

A buddy of mine bought an under hood computer off of eBay for $100 and hooked it up with no change. I believe there is an under seat computer or relay box as well but not sure if it will have anything to do with this.

Any ideas what could leave a P38 cranking over and only sometimes it will fire off and run?

I'm not sure if this will be a good deal to pick up or not. I'm assuming that since it's got 230,000 miles under the original owner that it has been a good truck but now that it's got that many miles, how many could be left in the thing? :sly:


07-07-2008, 01:12 PM
Four years ago, I had a truck in the shop for eight months with a similar issue. I ended up having to replace a door latch, remote locking receiver and the BeCM. The door latch went bad, the BeCM went nuts over not kowing if the door was open, closed, locked, etc. Then, the RF receiver went wonky and made the BeCM even less happy.

Finally bit the bullet, bought the parts and it has been fine ever since.

The earlier P38s were plagued by BeCM issues, we've replaced several of them. Many conditions can result in what you've described, but without a real-time indication of what the various computers are saying to each other, it's nearly impossible to be any more specific.

It could be a problem with the BeCM, it could be a problem with the under-bonnet fuse box (might be the best place to start), could be a problem with the ECU, might even be an issue with crankshaft position sensor. Too many things to even try to diagnose online.

Good luck. I'd stay away from it if I didn't have immediate and unfettered access to a good Rover computer and knew how to use it (the only reason why I owned a P38).


Tim Smith
07-07-2008, 01:26 PM
Thanks for the great reply.

This probably isn't the right truck for me at all. Being a series truck guy, this is all new to me. Not sure what a BeCM is but I don't think I can take a screwdriver to it. :p

Hmm, seeing how I don't even understand the P38 lingo, this doesn't bode well for the truck ending up in my garage.

07-08-2008, 01:15 PM
With all due respect, run away from this truck.

I make my living fixing them and have a good track record with P38s, but this truck could be an easy fix, or an expensive hole to throw money into.

I'm so glad one left yesterday and I can go back to the '59 SII in the shop! Woo Hoo, electrical problems on a series truck, got to get the brake lights working and then I'm done with this one!