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Land Rover Discovery and Discovery II



  • waskowasko Posts: 103
    Nanuq, all:

    Long time, no chat! Nanuq, you still have the '96? Man, I still miss mine - had a lot more character than my DII has but no complaints for me in the DII reliability department!

    Things are still well out here in Seattle. Sold the D90 about a year and a half ago. Truck was awesome and ran great - just didn't want the pmt. Used the proceeds from the sale to pay off my DII - woohoo! Sold it to a coworker and still see it driving around from time to time. He did her proper and put roof rack, rear ladder, lamp guards, rear lamp, and some other nice kit on her. Looks great and still runs great according to an email from him about six months ago.

    About a year ago, my sister-in-law got in an accident with my Rover. At 45 miles an hour, she broad-sided a VW Jetta that didn't look before pulling out. The Rover could have been driven away had it not been for a broken tie rod. These trucks are solid. A year later and she still tracks true with no problems whatsoever. Will probably turn 40,000 miles this weekend on her. Couple of little things here and there (window fell out of the retaining spring one rainy Seattle day this past winter!) but no major problems at all.

    We have a ton of thick vine-type undergrowth on our front embankment in front of our house (ton = 9 5x9 UHaul loads to the bark company up the street!). Stuff grows up to 30' long, burrows in and re-roots, then shoots out again. Root bases are 9-12" in diameter with a 10-15' root system.

    My neighbor removed his with a pick axe over a 2 year period. Not wanting to exert that sort of effort, I decided to get a chain and yank em out with the Rover. Talk about fun! There were 40-50 root bases and some 25-30 degree slope driving with the Rover - it was great! Chain to the recovery point, gently ease into reverse, and torque them out.

    Interesting point - HDC doesn't seem to work when the vehicle is in reverse. Seems as though it would - I can remember 4 wheelin growing up with my cousin and getting into some crazy camber situations where we had to back down in his old Bronco. HDC in reverse would be handy :)

    At any rate, just thought I'd come up for air and do a quick post. Hope all are doing well!

    Any rumors about diesel Rovers on the horizon? Jeep Liberty is coming out with common rail diesel this fall and I saw a Tourag W12 TDI the other day. US market is finally waking up to the benefits of diesel technology! Looking forward to more choice as a consumer in this department.

    Thanks, wasko
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    Nice to "see" you again! My '96 is still running like a cat on carpet, absolutely NO complaints.

    But I was distressed over the weekend, my brother and I drove his diesel Chevy HD2500 Siverado down to Anchor Point and back pulling a trailer. It's like 500 miles round trip. He's got The Monster Chip and he's doing something like 500 ft-lb of torque. So we're pulling a 24' trailer FULL of gluelams, CCIs, OSB plywood, 2x6 studs, you name it... a dual axle trailer loaded to the gunnels and we're driving 70mph most of the way, up and down the mountain passes. Occasional romps to 100mph on the way back (empty) and he got NINETEEN MPG average on the trip! Sheesh. I get about 14mpg on a good day, downhill, with a tailwind. There was just NO justice at all on that trip.

    Diesel Rover? Sign me up!
  • An update to earlier posts. Just returned to Colorado from another vacation trip to Montana. With the increased cost of gasoline, Disco gas mileage can be a concern.

    We averaged 17.47 MPG on our 2,251 mile trip. Highest gas price was $2.389 at a gas stop in Flaming Gorge, Utah. Lowest was $2.069, somewhere in Wyoming, perhaps Duboise.

    We now have 21,223 miles on our 2003 Disco SE. Overall gas mileage has been 15.75 MPG. Best fill was 19.79 MPG. Worst was 12.97. Best sequential seven fill average has been 17.65 MPG. Best sequential 15 fill average has been 17.20.

    Our bias is toward long trip driving, although not necessarily on superhighways. We prefer the back roads, which invariably includes slowing down to drive through the many small towns along the way.

    Reliability has been absolutely flawless for all 21K miles. Only services have been the free oil changes, and (not free) tire rotations and (not free) reprogramming of the lights always on and all doors lock computer functions.

    We are thinking seriously of a trip to Alaska next year. Anyone have any experience towing trailers, or driving to and from Alaska?

    The new LR3 looks like a big improvement over the Disco, as does the price. Anyone wanting to get a 2004 should likely get a very good deal on a solid vehicle while supplies last. No, I don't work for LR, Ford, or anyone else, for that matter.

    If there is a downside, we saw only three other Discos while in Wyoming and Montana, so a breakdown could be interesting. (Knocking on my wooden head!).

    Only other vehicle I saw on the trip that I would prefer was a brand new Range Rover from Missouri. Only a dream, however. Regards & 73's,

    Light Cahill
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Driving is easy but I've never done it with a trailer. Get a copy of the Milepost ( I last did it April '03 and it's a beautiful drive.

    Steve, Host
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    I've done the Alcan highway 11 times and it just gets better every time. Get a Milepost, like Steve says, and get ready for some expensive gas in Canada. It will take around 4.5 days to Anchorage from Seattle and the temptation is to go faster and faster as Anchorage approaches. Don't let that happen, it's gorgeous scenery (almost) all the way in. Bring a fly rod and stop for grayling, and bring lots of good bug spray. When you get up around Sheep Mountain in Alaska start looking to your left down in that long valley at the lakes... they're loaded with BIG trout. There used to be some long stretches between gas stations, but pretty much that's all taken care of now. There was a famous stretch going into Fort Nelson that was a little spooky. Pay attention to the signs warning of tight corners. The really tight ones have yellow/black checkered borders and they mean it... slow down! If you drive up thru Banff it's great scenery, you can take the Yellowknife highway over to Prince Rupert and catch the Blue Canoe (Alaska State Ferry) into Haines and bypass some of the flatter part of the drive. Do the trip in the Fall, the colors are great and the road is dry and it's not so cold yet. Winter can get REALLY cold up around Whitehorse. If you see signs for road construction, slow down and watch for hazards... I've spent entire days driving on roads covered with fist-sized rocks as they built up the roadbed. Consider headlight covers... motorhomes and trailers will spray rocks and gravel and you'll likely get some windshield and headlight dings. Kluane lake is a beautiful turquois color, and there's a nice campground along its midpoint.

    Pulling a trailer won't be a problem as long as you're not in too much of a hurry. There are long stretches (like from Tok to Glenallen) where the road has long frost heaves in it and if you're going too fast it can get away from you.

    Most of all, enjoy the trip! -Bob
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    4.5 days! The fastest I ever did it was 7 (to Boise). It too great a drive to rush.

    Hey Nanuk, we were up two weeks ago for a wedding and spent a week kayaking out in Aialik Bay. Can't believe the stretch of hot and dry weather you guys are having. Better keep your Rover's muffler and cat off the tall grass for a while.

    Steve, Host
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    That's a leisurely drive! The fastest (so far) was 47 hours 59 minutes from Spokane to Anchorage. ;)

    Boy do I hear you about the hot/dry weather! We've been building a "cabin" down in Anchor Point and it's so bleeding hot we're having to take breaks in the shade! Driving home last night thru Cooper Landing it was 86 degrees. UNBELIEVABLE. When I was a kid it never EVER got up to 80 degrees! Even the high 70s were rip-snortin' hot and everyone skipped work and went to the lake.

    Was the wedding in Seward? We got married on a sailboat out in Thumb cove in Resurrection bay. Here's a nice page of photos for you to remember your trip:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    The wedding was in Anchorage and it was hot and muggy until we retreated inside for the reception - it hit 95 here in Boise today but the humidity is only 17%.

    Our trip looked more like this. :-)

    I think we saw the same humpy whale though!

    I couldn't do the sailboat wedding thing; I had to wear a patch on the 3 hour boat ride out to Aialik.

    Anyone else Rovering around on their summer vacation? Discovering Alaska is highly recommended. You can drink the water right out of your tincup. (Enough topical references yet? <g>).

    Steve, Host
  • Thanks to both Nanuq and Steve_Host for the info on a trip to Alaska. Our dream is to make it the event of the summer for 2005. So we have lots of time to think about trailers, tow vehicles, routes, destinations, etc. I am not sure if I want to try to tow a trailer with the Disco. I know that the engine could do it, but I would wish for a longer wheelbased vehicle so that the tail does not wag the dog. Besides, I am not sure if I would want to put that much stress on my Disco. Crunching rocks on trails in Montana and Colorado is close to my limit, although I know that the Disco is capable of much more.

    Whatever time it may take to make the trip, I'll have to add the time it will take to get from Denver up to the Canadian border, which is a couple of days, at least.

    If we rent an RV or get a truck and trailer, I'll be sure to take the discussion to another appropriate forum. Planning this trip may be almost as much fun as taking the trip. Thanks again.

    Light Cahill
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    Remember that water spout in the rock wall down along Turnagain arm? Lately people have been stopping and filling gallon jugs and taking it home. It still runs crystal clear and collllld! And far more than a "tincup" full.

    Those are great pictures! So is this one you???

    (ducking and running)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Our photos aren't back yet :-)

    We saw people getting water on the drive down. Was glad to see the sheep were still around too, in spite of all the blasting.

    Steve, Host
  • trader_tomtrader_tom Posts: 25
    Hi all. This is my first time posting on this forum, but I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the Disco II. My friend and I both purchased them around the same time. Let me start off by saying this is an awesome vehicle with capabilities beyond my expectations and nearly anyone else who has ever ridden in it. I have climbed mountains, driven through switchbacks in 1' of snow, negotiated ice covered trails, hauled trailers, and traveled with my family and friends over 600 miles a day. It has never failed to disappoint me with its utility. It seems to have something for everyone from luxury and convenience to versatility and capability.

    My first Disco was a 2001 SD which I purchased from the dealer's fleet service at a reduced price. On the night I brought it home, the Check Engine Light came on. After many trips to the dealer, this problem was never resolved. The next day in the rain, it leaked water through the fire wall due to a seam on the body that was never caulked. I had a series of other problems including tire wear that could not be corrected through pressure and/or balancing and rotation. I finally had enough, and traded it back in at my expense for a new 2002 SE only three months later.

    The SE started out great, until I went to get the trailer wiring package a month later, and it was on indefinite back order due to problems with the subcontractor (Bosch?). I ended up buying an aftermarket kit, and wiring the harness into the existing wires myself. Still, I had no quality concerns. It is now 2.5 years and 29,000 miles later, and a long and distinguished list of problems have occurred with many of them re occurring on a regular basis. This includes front turn signal bulbs that cause the turn signals to fail. Leaking rear gate window seals. Compass that only reads "S". All of the door seals leaking dust into the cabin. Rail dust covering the paint with rust dots. Uneven tire wear on two sets of tires that have worn prematurely. Doors that fail to open and/or close. Ice frozen anti lock brake failures. Seized rear brake calipers. Various electrical system glitches such as not starting due to alarm system deactivation failures. Intermittent oil leaks. Interior trim pieces that have fallen off. Broken snap on the cargo cover. Foam vibration deadeners that have fallen out of the body panels. I am sure there are more in the service folder I keep on this vehicle.

    I have used this vehicle off road for many trips including hundreds of miles on timbering roads through Quebec. Through all of this, I have gone through great lengths to maintain the appearance and maintenance of the vehicle. The friend that purchased his at the same time is also experiencing similar problems including some I have not had like leaking sunroofs, and all of his lights turning off during night driving, and grill gaurds that drip rusty water down the body panels after every car wash, and an AC compressor that sounds like a lawn mower. Through everything, Land Rover has been unreceptive to comments and complaints from either of us. The dealers, from two different states, merely seem to put up with the LR issues, and make a solid attempt at repairing things that really are sub par designs.

    Regretfully, I have had enough. I am selling my Disco II this summer and purchasing another brand of vehicle. There is no doubt I will miss this awesome vehicle. I never expected great gas mileage, car like ride, or other shortcomings that people tend to blame on SUVs due to the very nature of this type of vehicle. I don't even fault the recalls. I think that is a responsible way to deal with design flaws. I just can no longer cope with with the frequent problems associated with this vehicle, and the "don't care" attitude that LR takes after the sale.

    I sincerely hope that all of you will have better experiences than I have had. Maybe the LR3 and the possible closing/quality improvements of the UK plant will put to rest some of the nagging problems that many LR owners seem to face. Maybe Ford can help bring a North American perception of quality and customer service to this otherwise distinguished brand name. If that is the case, I may give them another try in the future.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    timbering roads through Quebec

    That's scarier than thinking about seized calipers! (having driven to the Bonaventure River put-in, the logging trucks make the semis on Route 20 seem tame).

    Steve, Host
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    If anyone has a doubt, talk to Mike Green of West Coast British in L.A. Last time I "talked" with him on a forum, over a year ago, he had 650,000 miles on his '96 Discovery... with ONE engine rebuild.
  • trader_tomtrader_tom Posts: 25
    Thanks for the welcome Steve. Yes, it can be scary driving the timbering roads through Quebec. The first time we took my friend's 2001 SE Disco, and cracked the heated windshield five times from flying rocks off passing trucks. This year, I got one minor chip on my 2002 windshield, and felt cheated as though a broken windshield is a badge of honor (we've broken over 6 in the last 14 years of making the trip.)

    By the way, the Disco is marvelous on dirt roads and even washboards. The only thing that can be a bit unnerving on long stretches of washboard is that the steering wheel will start oscillating into an unnatural rhythm that feels like the front end will come loose. You get used to the shaky wheel after a few incidents, but it feels unsettling. A side effect of this is that the rear gate handle does not like the dust or vibration, and tends to freeze up. (which means you will be forced to take your dirty golf clubs in and out one of the rear doors with a seat folded down) This has happened to me several times. The service "band-aid" for this is to pop the LR emblem off the rear latch cover, spray a bunch of WD-40 into the latch mechanism, and then super glue the Land Rover emblem back into place. It's in the shop today again, for this very procedure (plus the brake modulator recall.)

  • davidc1davidc1 Posts: 168
    Very nice. Can't wait to get one.
  • jefftabarjefftabar Posts: 4
    To anyone out there, I am looking for a CD changer and driver side mat for my 2000 LR Disc. II. I bought the vehicle used and it did not come with these items. I have looked into the dealer price and WOW, not paying that.

    Help would be appreciated! If you know of or have these items to sell, please e-mail me at

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    We aren't set up for buying and selling on Town Hall - try eBay or your local salvage yard or Thrifty Nickel/PennySaver flyer.

    Steve, Host
  • aztecsunaztecsun Posts: 7
    Has anyone ever had the snowplow blade attached to the Disco II?
  • trader_tomtrader_tom Posts: 25
    For anyone keeping score...

    I drove my 2002 SE to work this morning, and noticed it was making a brake sqealing type sound. I got out, and noticed the back wheel was smoking. I seized another rear caliper (#3), and it's back in the shop. They said it's binding, and does not fully release the pad from the rotor. Ugh :-(

    While mine is in for service, they hooked me up with a 2004 SE. For anyone who has not driven one, try it. For most folks who do not drive the Discovery on a regular basis, it will look and drive like the previous DII. For those of us who drive them everyday, you will say "Wow, everything just feels better!" The power is significantly better. Ride seems softer without any additional body roll. The pedal feel seems improved. Locking center differential (should have never disappeared to egin with.) The steering feels more solid (that may change with age.)

    Overall, the 2004 seems like a better version of the vehicle.

  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    I wonder if they've eliminated obvious problem areas like grit or metal filings in the brake lines, etc? Or perhaps LOTS of water in there, or something like that? Maybe the ABS system is not releasing pressure in that brake line?

    Especially if it's one wheel that keeps doing it, I'd suspect *that* brake line or *that* circuit of the 4-circuit ABS system.
  • phill27phill27 Posts: 31
    After working a little on the back seat squeaks of my '00 dII. I had to attack that darned sub woofer. My entire rear gate rattles whenever there is more than a little sound out of the stereo. The problem is, when I'm driving, there ALWAYS A LOT OF SOUND! Now I'm not into bass thumping disturbances. It's that rattle that got me.
    I decided to pull of the cover material from the door shell and coat the door with acoustic material. (I saw a diplay in the local audio shop that kept an aluminum garbage can from rattling. So I said, "It MUST work on the disco!)
    Well, it took about half the day to do it. I removed all upholstery, door latch and sub woofer from the door shell. Then applied acoustic treatment to everything that wasn't a screw or bolt. I even covered the recessed area the sub sits in.
    IT WORKED!! I am now actually turning my stereo down because it's simply too loud. There is so much bass without rattle, I've had to re-adjust my settings. The difference is worth the time. The stereo is working much more efficiently.
    Folks, if I can do this and be happy with the results, ANYONE can.
    I would like to do the same to the other doors, but there seems to be so much more electronics in them. Window motors/ guides speakers etc. I am afraid it would be too easy to screw something up. The rear gate has nothing other than the sub and door latch cover.
    Now, keep in mind the sub only houses two 6.5 in woofers. Even with all the sound treatment it's not going to wake the neighbors! If that's what your going for, install the right equipment.
    I was looking for a clear sound that was full. That's what the harmon kardon name is known for.
  • trader_tomtrader_tom Posts: 25
    The dealer claimed this was simply a caliper issue. The first time it happened, both sides were faulty with one pad dragging more than the other. Both rotors warped during the first occurrence, and were replaced.

    This time, they are only doing the driver's side, and claim the other side is fine. I figure that one will develop problems at a later date. It's difficult to tell when a rear brake is dragging under normal driving conditions while driving on dry roads.

    Like you, I suspect that there is something else contributing to this problem. Especially if this is not a common problem for other owners. Since these repairs are done under warranty, I generally don't argue with the repair that is performed.
  • mnrovermnrover Posts: 52
    Does someone know what needs to be done for the 45k service. And also, how difficult is it to change the serpentine belt on a 99 DII? Thanks

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Check the Edmunds Maintenance Guide for service info.

    Steve, Host
  • Thanks ALOT Steve.......awesome link! Do you know if ALL scheduled services need to be done to not effect original warranty?

    Tires? Seattle? Rain? Snow only few times in mountains? Mostly pave driving. 18" rims..Suggestions?

    This forum is great......b
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I suppose if you never changed the oil and the tranny died, you could still make a claim for a new tranny. For new shoes, try a Discussion Search in here or ask over in Tires, tires, tires.

    From this week's SUVs Newsletter:

    Land Rover's newest SUV arrives in showrooms later this year wearing a sticker price substantially higher than the Discovery it replaces. The LR3 midsize SUV will come to the States priced from $44,995, the Ford brand said last week. Two trim levels will be available: the SE and the $49,995 HSE, which adds a nav system, memory seats and a ritzier sound system. Both will feature a 300-hp, 4.4-liter V8 derived from the 4.2-liter engine found in the Jaguar lineup, as well as a six-speed automatic, an air suspension and advanced four-wheel drive.

    Steve, Host
  • discomandiscoman Posts: 110
    I also live in Seattle and am used to the tires I have. I suggest going to Les Schwab and getting some from him. Otherwise I would go with Pirelli Scorpion AT's. They seem to have pretty good reviews with Disco's.
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