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Towing with P 38 Diesel Automatic

Discussion in 'Range Rover' started by Landrover130, Feb 9, 2016.

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  1. Landrover130

    Landrover130 Member

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    Has anyone got any experience of towing loads of about three tons,this will only be once or twice a year but journeys of around 500 miles. I know its not the most Ideal tow vehicle but at the moment needs must. I have considered chipping for more torque, but I am not sure if it will give what I need, and be reliable. Or should I try to afford possibly a TD5 powered vehicle.
     
  2. domino

    domino Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Can't speak for the diesel.. but in my petrol, there is zero noticeable difference when towing about 2.5t.
     
  3. brianp38dse

    brianp38dse Well-Known Member

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    You will notice that weight on the back of a diesel, especially up hill, chiping makes a lot of differance but can wear out the autobox quicker as by all accounts the extra torque put it near its limit, you can change the box for one out of a 4.6v8
     
  4. Grrrrrr

    Grrrrrr Technician, Bodgit & Scarper Ltd Full Member

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    As long as the cooling system is looked after it'll do it no problems. If the viscous fan or anything else is a bit suspect it'll show up PDQ. I've got the manual and it pulls like a train, albeit steep hill starts require some heavy revs on the clutch. Cannot imagine the auto is much worse and a darn sight easier to stop and start with in traffic.
     
  5. quavey

    quavey Active Member

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    Well a P38 Diesel has far more power than a wheezy TD5!
    As mentioned just check the cooling system is up to scratch and an auto gearbox oil change cant hurt if its not been done for a while! Another thing you might need to consider is a tacho as you'll be 2.25t of rangie and 3 ton of (I assume boat) towing which is quite a bit!
     
  6. Landrover130

    Landrover130 Member

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    Last year I had overheating problems with the P38, the radiator and water pump were replaced and have not found any engine problems as a result. I have a manual P38 that has been off the road for two years. it needs a clutch and brake discs maybe I should put that back on the road. Is the manual box capable of handling the extra power a chip and larger intercooler will hopefully give, I did not know that you could fit the auto box from a 4.6 v8, \is this a straight swap or do you need to alter anything?.
     
  7. Bix

    Bix Loading... Full Member

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    If you put on the later box it is a straight swap beyond changing bell housings and ECU. Otherwise you need to change the propshaft too as te earlier 4.6 autos were longer than the 4.0/2.5 auto.
     
  8. lezbrucelee

    lezbrucelee Active Member

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    Been pulling car transporter trailer with car on, tools, 16 wheels n tyres (prob 2-2.5 tonnes all in) with my p38 derv for last few years with no issues, not fast going uphill but it gets there. I use a transit at work n tow a digger n the p38 is quicker up the hills than that. U just need to think ahead before trying to over take lorries uphill on motorways
     
  9. ovalandrover

    ovalandrover Well-Known Member

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    I dont think the earlier box was longer but the front pump has to be changed where as the later box it dosent
     
  10. plumbfisher

    plumbfisher Active Member

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    I previously had a petrol 2A that I thought was great. I've now got a 2001 2.5DT (not chipped) and have been amazed at how well it tows. I've not done the sort of mileage you are talking about, but it will easily pull a trailer with 1.5 tonne mini digger up muddy hills and across fields. Traction control ticking away as it does its stuff, and down into low range 2nd for the descent!
     
  11. Discocrazy2

    Discocrazy2 Member

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    I towed 2.6 to 2.7 tonne behind my old p38 manual diesel and it was under powered you had to watch overheating on hills, my disco 2 was a better tow car handled the hills better and gave more mpg.
    But now I use a p38 4.0 auto and it pulls with lots more power than both the diesels.
    Depending on how fast you want to get to your destination if you don't mind the slow lane and watching the temp gauge then keep with the diesel. I thought about chipping put had a chance to get the v8 so the diesel had to go it wasent worth the extra 4 to 5 mpg more.
    If yours is a Auto then cant you just use a larger 4.6 torque converter instead of changing the complete box.
     
  12. plumbfisher

    plumbfisher Active Member

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    The 2.5 diesel auto is fine, it just needs a bit of boot on the accelerator! Same is true even on the road without towing, its not slow or underpowered you just have to have the confidence to push it a bit!
     
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  13. Grrrrrr

    Grrrrrr Technician, Bodgit & Scarper Ltd Full Member

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    I believe the manual (R380) gearbox can handle being chipped. I've never risked it though and TBH never needed it, albeit it isn't the fastest thing to accelerate. It isn't that sort of car though!
     
  14. Bix

    Bix Loading... Full Member

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    The first guide I read said you had to replace prop shafts if you fitted the early 4.6 'box as it was a different length. Although that is no real hardship.
     
  15. Landrover130

    Landrover130 Member

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    I dont want to race about just be able to move at a reasonable speed with trailer in tow. Unfortunately due to where I live I dont have any chance to test the P 38 on a long run, only when I want to do the towing. I think I will put the manual P 38 back on the road because when I used the automatic the gearbox would change down from top gear at the slightest push on the throttle, and it changed down two gears. This does not seem right, I have also found in the glove box a chip that would push in to a socket mounted on a circuit board, so now I dont know If the vehicle has been chipped. It has some numbers on top would they be Identifiable as an original chip ?.
     
  16. wammers

    wammers No longer with us, RIP Donater

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    If you knew what the numbers on the original chip were yes. Chip is soldered to the ECU board. If your car has been chipped maybe a plug in adaptor has been soldered on. Only way to check is by taking a look.
     
  17. Landrover130

    Landrover130 Member

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    OK so which box of tricks do I look in to find the chip ? also would a chip make the gearbox jump down two gears?.
     
  18. Thor1950

    Thor1950 Well-Known Member

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    drop 1 gear when towing, keep your rpms up do not lug the engine, make damn sure your cooling is top notch, and don't use the AC. if it starts to over heat roll down all your windows and turn the heat up to high
     
  19. Grrrrrr

    Grrrrrr Technician, Bodgit & Scarper Ltd Full Member

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    Box behind the battery. Be careful!
     
  20. Landrover130

    Landrover130 Member

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    I will have a look in the morning, I will only look because it is running fine at the moment. I will also get the numbers of the chip in glove box.
     
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