Finger Lakes Rover Club Tech Tips (Post #452) 2/18/2014

From the Finger Lakes Rover Club Site

I found a link to the Finger Lakes Rover Club today in a forum. I was researching the common problem of failed door locks on Range Rover Classics. In the page “grnole” posted a link to an article on the Finger Lake’s page.

I immediately sorted through the URL to get to the Home page. They have a tech tips page that has several very helpful links to articles. I highly recommend you check it out.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Rovering.

Central Locking System Woes (Post #158) 11/13/2009

I attempted to repair the central locking system on Veteran’s Day. I could write this post in the form of a battle, but I will not. I won’t write the post in that form mainly because…

“History is written by the victors.” – Winston Churchill

So with that quote you have probably figured out I lost the battle.

First, I wasn’t totally confident I would win. I took a lot of INTEL (reading and research) in to the battle with me.
I had all the RESOURCES (tools and time) to win.
None of that allowed me to carry the day.

I got the panels off of the passenger side doors. These were the locks that bounced UP and DOWN four or five times each time one of them was locked. This resulted in the locks either being locked or unlocked when it finished. It was a crap shoot each time. So to lock the Rover you waited for the cycling to stop and then you manually lock the doors. As you can imagine, I received quite a bit of teasing from the unwashed non-Rover people that ride in my beloved Landy.

After the panels were removed I attempted to sort out what was happening each time the locks were depressed. I’m guessing there is a threshold that checks if the locks are in the locked state. And at the point you press the lock it attempts to lock the door several times until it just gives up. That is a basically a WAG (wild ass guess).

Even my remote fails to do the job. I did use it once to unlock the doors as a last resort after my daughter locked the last remaining key in the truck on a very cold winter day. Also locked inside the vehicle that day was her coat. So with freezing rain coming down we each learned a valuable lesson that day.

I guess I’m going to replace the entire system. Or I’m going to at the least replace some bits to get it back to functioning. There is a great post by Chris-St Louis on DiscoWeb describing how he repaired his central locking system. There is even a schematic that shows how to wire the entire system with two relays. To check out his post you will have to register at the site.

There are some great tips on the site as well. I’d go through these before jumping to the replace everything stage. A used replacement door lock module could also be a solution if you are willing to spend the money for it. Perhaps your’s is just worn out.

So for the mean time I have pulled the fuse and I am locking and unlocking the doors “the old fashioned way” ala’ my 1978 Malibu. It is a barbaric method of locking your vehicle. But it does cut down on the disparaging remarks from my non-Rover buddies.

Chris graces all his posts with another great quote by Winston Churchill.

“Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end; there it is.”

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

A few more things (Post #144) 5/11/2009

So I’ve been driving the Range Rover this week, on and off. And I have some additions to the “little list” in the previous post. It’s amazing all the things you forget when you don’t drive something everyday.


  • Driver’s side door latch is mostly failed.
  • Code 69.
  • Central locking system is toast.
  • Rear center brake light non-functional.
  • Passenger side seat leather beginning to split.
  • Carpets need to be cleaned/replaced.
  • Cupholders, lack there of.
  • Power steering lines leaking.

Getting out of the Big White Bus (BWB) is quite a challenge these days. My daughter has been just jerking on the door release several time very hard to get the door to open. All that is needed is to pull the door to you and then pull the latch. In either event the door needs to be sorted out and possibly the driver’s side door latch needs replacing.

Code 69 has popped up on the on board diagnostic display. That is the position sensor for the automatic transmission lever. In addition to that failure the high-low transfer case lever does not move due to a common failure with the solenoid failing. I had forgotten about that problem. Looks like I will be underneath the middle of the truck for a couple of problems.

The fob to unlock the truck has been not locking the door locks. The weak state of the actuators is probably to blame. I really like pressing a single button and listening to the doors lock. This will be one of the first things I need to sort out. The central locking system is going to be very important if I am to upgrade the sound system.

The rear center brake light stopped working. I know I hooked it up, but I’m pretty sure the slamming of the upper gate by my daughter, knocked the lamp loose and probably damaged the bulb.

No amount of leather feed/leather conditioner is going to stop the passenger side seat leather from splitting. I tried to condition it again this weekend, but until I get the tint on the windows its probably all for naught.

Who doesn’t like clean carpets? The carpets in the BWB need to be cleaned or even better replaced. I’m not sure I have the budget for that so it’s a low priority for now.

The lack of cupholders was pretty evident the last time I drove the BWB as I watched my cellular phone slide off the dash and out the window. Just kidding it just slid into the dash cubby but it scared me just the same. I have invented my own style of cup holder and am debating whether or not I turn a couple more or just install my spare Discovery cup holders. The jury is still out on this one.

The perenial power steering leak is still there. I haven’t bothered to just replace every hose. It doesn’t leak all that much, just enough to make the bottom of everything wet with fluid.

Well that’s about it. At least that’s all I could come up with for now. I’m not sure if I’ll find anything else after I start driving her. As right now if I had all the money for repairs, it would take me 10 days to sort it all out, if I did nothing else. Once again the term “rolling restoration” works very well for the Range Rover LWB known affectionately, once again, as The Big White Bus.

February 10th, 2004 (Post #41)

February 10th, 2004

CV Joint repaired
It is now a couple of weekends since the CV joint repair. Everything is hunky-dory. It was a major job and I rated it as such in my write up about it. “The one where I fix the CV joint”
My confidence grows in my ability to tear this truck down and fix the problems that have come up. I would say now I have little doubt that I could work on most of the items on this truck. Leaving transmissions and engines to their respective experts. No need to learn something they have spent a life time learning. My wife was proud of me and justifiably so as I only damaged a small part of my hand and saved us a great deal of money doing the work myself. She is coming to realize that I like working on the truck it is rewarding. My wound is nearly completely healed and did not require any further medical care. I wrote this with quotes from “Star Wars”. It was fun to use them. It is amazing how many one liners in that movie apply to repairing a Rover.

The tie rod ends as you will see if you read the latest article are in really bad shape. I should not have waited this long to fix them. I am really lucky they have not broken. Knock on wood, I will make it until Saturday when I will fix them. I attempted to fix them in the process but was not strong enough to do the work while they were still under the truck.

Mirror update. I have my “replacement” mirror. The replacement for my mirror did not include the very handy map lights under the mirror. This is one of my most beloved features. So I sent it back for a prismatic style that has the map lights and does not auto-darken. Since I have never had an auto-darkening mirror I don’t feel I am missing anything. I would have liked to have the compass, temperature, map light model but felt it dishonest to get those upgrades when I didn’t have them before.

The door lock issue is completely annoying now. I have it on good authority that my driver’s side door actuator is either failed or gummed up or rusted. Brett of Brett’s Import told me that was common. So I need to take the panels off and see what I can do with it. Saturday is going to be real busy at this point with so much to fix.

November 8th, 2002 (Post #11)

November 8, 2002

Okay the very frustrating “bouncing lock” problem has gone away.

What did you do to fix it, you might ask?

This is complicated so try to stay with me. I took my son to skating last night when I got out of the truck, I hit the key fob with a confident “lock you sorry, @#$%%#” and it did! So I was thinking what have I changed?

Okay yesterday on the way home the sensor for fluid level in the expansion tank
blinked that I was low once again on coolant. I had determined last Saturday that the coolant measured 10 degrees farenheit on the “how cold can you go” antifreeze checker. That is not good enough for the climate that is coming with the Oklahoma winter so I must add more antifreeze. I stopped and got more antifreeze and added it. There is obviously a relation to the antifreeze level in the tank and it’s ability to withstand temperatures below 10 degrees farenheit and the bouncing lock problem.

Not many mechanics have the expertise to find such an obscure relationship. I now consider myself a member of the Rover mechanic elite. It’s either the fluid level/temperature tolerance OR it has been dry, as in no rain, for 4 days now. I’m pretty sure it’s one of those two things or that Rover uses antifreeze as electric locking fluid and I was just low. There is an outside chance it could be pixies or perhaps gremlins too.

November 5th, 2002 (Post #10)

November 5, 2002

Yea sun. The “bouncing lock” problem is still there. But this is just in (teletype sound here), I have been locking the truck from the driver’s side. But when I lock the doors with the key, just as before, from the passenger side they bounce! So I am going to look at the passenger side first in hopes I will see an obvious problem. More to come….