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P38 HVAC attempted fix

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#1
JFuller

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Yesterday I spent a bit of time re-replacing the heater core on our P38.  The truck came to us with a leaky heater core pipe; a common issue.  The previous owner had done some research and found that with a little modification a heater core from a 90's audi could be used thereby removing the need for the leak prone hard piping replacing with rubber heater hose and clamps.  The previous owner was even kind enough to include a new audi core and the install instructions.  So i went to work.  After a couple of evenings worth of work the heat was pumping and the wife was happy.  

 

Fast forward a couple months.  P38 has strange overheat indication on the way to work, but there is still coolant in the lines and nothing seems out of place.  After the obligatory, pop the hood and stare as if I actually had the ability to fix anything on the way to work, the gauge magically returned to normal position.  I assumed that i had an indication problem and pressed on.  Truck ran fine all the way to work and most of the way home, most.  On the way home I stopped at the grocery store and as I was pulling out the gauge red lined again and I thought "You're a liar, I don't believe you anymore, I'm headed home."   less than one mile later a loud pop followed by a nice exfoliating ethylene glycol steam bath coming from every vent.  Uh oh.  Onto the flatbed for the final 5 miles home.  First time a land rover has ever left me on the side of the road.  

 

Obviously my new heater core had a problem but I didn't have time to work on it and since it was May heat wasn't going to be a big need for a while anyway I just bypassed it and drove on.   Finally yesterday the heater core was replaced and the culprit was found.  One of the plastic tanks cracked and split along its entire length.

 

As I was buttoning things back up I figured I would try and fix the HVAC LCD which was missing some pixels.  I had seen some stuff online and I figured I could make it work.  Sadly, all my efforts seemed to only make things worse.  Removal of the unit went smoothly and disassembly was straight forward.  Online people indicated cleaning of the LCD ribbon contacts was needed.  Sadly cleaning of the contacts was not what mine needed as the conductors had cracked off the ribbon and fused themselves to the connector.  All my efforts only made things worse and worse.  And to add insult to injury the fan knob was half broken before I took it apart and now it's completely broken.  The fan knob has two "legs" that keep the auto button facing vertically so it contacts the circuit board in the proper place.  One of the legs was broken already and the second one broke after I more or less breathed on it.   In addition there is a small, read very tiny, detent  ball and spring which controls the stops on the fan knob.  That ball popped out when I was disassembling the face plate.  It landed on the bench and I thought, wow, that was close.  While I was attempting reassembly that tiny little ball shot out of its proper place like a flea circus cannonball, flew over the bench, hit the wall and landed in it's final resting place which is who knows where.  

 

So now I have no idea what the LCD is trying to tell me, the auto switch no longer aligns properly and therefore doesn't work and the fan knob spins freely.  Ugh.  Not only that but I had wasted a big chunk of my afternoon messing with it and even tried at the local pick n pull to find a replacement to no avail.

 

Anyone have a decent replacement?  Or a pile of spares?  Ebay has a rebuilt one for $200.  Really don't want to spend $200 for something that worked well enough before I "fixed" it.  



#2
AdvRovr

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Heh. Sounds like some of my luck. I think it's one of those parts you'll have to pony up for the reman. Most of the used/junkyard parts will be in sad shape too.

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Chad // Instagram: @AdvRovr
2009 Range Rover Sport // 2001 BMW 330Ci // 2000 Toyota Land Cruiser // 1996 Triumph Tiger 900

FOR SALE: Built 1997 Range Rover 4.0 // 2006 BMW 330i 6MT 


#3
RedRover

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My 2002 SAAB 9-5 information display had a similar problem of missing pixels; they used a hot bar operation to apply the ribbon to the connectors and assumed that would do it... You know, because dashboards never get super hot in the sun or anything...

Jared (KJ6MQI)
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#4
Teds

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Jason, that sucks. I fixed my LCD screen once 5 years ago and then the display went again this past year. I also pulled off the knob in an attempt to replace the lamp and broke the damn prongs. Before that, I bought some dielectric tape will supposed fix the screen, but I found a full HVAC unit on eBay for $80. Miraculously, this unit has a full working LCD and works. A different lamp is out, but I don't care since  the unit works. Keep looking at eBay and Craigslist. You can have my old unit in the interim as it still works. Call me if you want it.


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2006 LR3 SE - ARB bumper with Superwinch EP9, roof rack, Sasquatch Rods

#5
JFuller

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I picked up a 90% working unit from a pic n pull in roseville. It showed up yesterday. What are the odds. Now I'm looking to find the connector in this video.
https://m.youtube.co...h?v=8CeRVXmR9F0

Anyone speak or read French. The link doesn't work anymore.

#6
Teds

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Not sure which connector u r referring to. I have dielectric tape for fixing the ribbon which is supposed to fix the LCD screen. You are welcome to have it and my old HVAC if u need parts. Text me. I'm available all Tuesday.


2001 Range Rover SE - SD rack, Warn XD9000CE, front axle guard, steering guard, sliders, ladder, coils, 33in KM2s
2006 LR3 SE - ARB bumper with Superwinch EP9, roof rack, Sasquatch Rods

#7
JFuller

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The video shows the replacement of the ribbon cable with a solid connector.  I was able to get ahold of the poster and he selling me on for 25 euro including shipping, so about $29.  That's not too bad.   If it works out then for the cost of the connector ($29), the new unit to replace the one I "fixed" ($30) and entrance to Pick-n-Pull ($2) I will have a working unit that should last for many moons.  If i hadn't broken he fan and auto button then it would have been ($29)  oh well.  Another lesson learned.  






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