Electronics in Land Rovers - a Brief Summary
All started with the alternator replacing the dynamo, back in the early 1970s. Alternators had solid-state diode rectifiers and electronic voltage regulators - and produced more electrical power at lower engine revs. Next we saw electronic flasher units, ignition systems, wiper delay units, heated rear window control units and the like.
Electronic Fuel Injection,introduced on the on the V8 engined Range Rover in the mid-eightes, was soon followed by the introduction of ABS (anti-lock brake system) and air suspension - the electronic Land Rover was here to stay. More and more dedicated electronic gadgets appeared, especially on the Range Rover, and by the early 90s behind the dashboard of a late model Range Rover Classic was a maze of individual dedicated electronic control units.
The Next Big Step
The biggest change probably came with the introduction of the P38 Range Rover with its BECM (body electronic control module), bringing many of the previous relays and control units together in one market-programmable box. All the ECUs on the vehicle were networked together to form an intergrated system. You could not properly support these vehicles without Electronic Diagnostic Equipment.
We now have multiple, programmable networked ECU's controlling all aspects of vehicle operation. How things have changed!